The meaning of “ground me” ?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by banbi322, Feb 11, 2019 at 7:44 AM.

  1. banbi322

    banbi322 Member

    “ground me” in the sentence below doesn’t make sense to me.
    Can anyone help me to understand this?
    “Nigeria seemed to ground me; I was from someplace too.” - Connecting People Through News
    Los Angels Times, Jan 20 2019
    By sandy Banks
  2. boozer Senior Member

    The link led to many articles in Swedish, which I understand marginally better than Japanese, if at all it could be qualified as 'understanding' :)

    Likely it means 'brought me down to earth', i.e. she was somehow disillusioned, but I cannot be sure - I think more context would do no harm...
  3. elroy

    elroy Sharp-heeled Mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    This use of "ground" has, um, gained a lot of ground :D in the past, I'd say, ten years or so?

    It's hard to explain the meaning. Imagine not feeling like you're stable, like you have "ground" beneath you. This happens when you feel like your life is out of control, or you're not sure what to do with your life, or you're not happy with what you're doing in your life, etc. etc etc.

    When you feel grounded, you feel like you have some sense of stability, some sense of internal calm or peace; like you're connected to something; like you're comfortable with where you are in life, not only physically but also emotionally and mentally.

    So in this context the writer is saying that Nigeria made him feel grounded, in this sense.
  4. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
  5. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    The extensive LA Times opinion piece was written by a woman who submitted a cheek swab for a DNA test and the report said she was 24% Nigerian.
    Previous paragraphs put her use of "ground" into context. For example:
  6. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    The writer is using the verb "ground" in the meaning "connect me emotionally to something". It is 100% about emotions and how a person thinks or feels.

    It's "one of those new-age things". In 1950 nobody talked about "grounding". The concept was created more recently.

    I have heard the word used in various ways that do not fit OPs examples. Usually "grounding" means "making a person more stable". That is still about emotions, thoughts and feelings but is a little different.
  7. Chasint Senior Member

    English - England
    I think that some people have been unnecessarily dismissive of the phrase. Look at the following definition.
    You can see it as a metaphor. Someone who felt unsettled as to their origins, now feels they know who and what they are. It is as though they are at last standing on solid ground.
  8. banbi322

    banbi322 Member

    Thank you for your replies.
    I got the meaning of “ ground me”, but it still doesn’t make sense to me especially when I think about the connection with “I was from someplace too.”
    I might be able to understand it better after rereading the whole article.
  9. banbi322

    banbi322 Member

  10. lentulax

    lentulax Senior Member

    Cumbria , England
    UK English
    Really, as explained by sdgraham, #5 . Where you are from is often a key part of your sense of identity; up to now, she hasn't known about her origins, she was 'from nowhere', rootless; now like everyone else ('too'), she can identify herself as belonging to a place. etc.
  11. banbi322

    banbi322 Member

    Now I got the meaning right after reading your reply.
    Thank you all.

Share This Page