Way out in

Kolridg

Senior Member
Russian
#1
To my surprise I can't find definition of "way out in" in all directories and dictionaries I have at hand.

Only https://context.reverso.net contains it and interprets like "far from" but I don't much trust Context.Reverso especially if I can't compare its results with other directories' ones because sometimes they are full of errors.

It interprets:

That's way out in the Valley.
like:
That is far from the Valley.

or:

Okay, Mike's way out in the Everglades.
like
Okay, Mike is on the way to Everglades.

I think the interpretation of phrase is right, but usage and examples are wrong?


I came across with the phrase "way out in" in this lyrics:


Dschinghis Khan - The Strangers

Beings from galaxies way out in space
Came to Earth at the dawn of the young human race
Came to help us

Way can be translated like "place" or "area" but what is "out in" or even perhaps the whole phrase "way out in"? Is it idiomatic and means something particular?
 

sound shift

Senior Member
English - England
#2
"Mike's way out in the Everglades": Mike's in the Everglades, and they (the Everglades) are a long way from here.
 

dojibear

Senior Member
English - Northeast US
#3
I agree with post #2. There is no expression "way out in". There is "way out", and "in".

Beings from galaxies way out in space
"Way out" means "very far from here". In this example "way out" could be replaced with "far way". And "in space" is a standard prepositional phrase, just like "in the Everglades" and "in the valley".
 

Kolridg

Senior Member
Russian
#4
Okay, thank you, I see I understand now.

There is no expression "way out in". There is "way out", and "in".
However, so as to finalise picture would you please explain what does "way" mean there?

My dictionary among other meanings of "way" shows these ones:
1) distance/length;
2) place/area;

At that, "out" is intepreted like "distant".

So, I conclude that way out is either "distant length" or "distant place". And who knows what exactly.
 

dojibear

Senior Member
English - Northeast US
#5
However, so as to finalise picture would you please explain what does "way" mean there?
This is the adverb "way", not the noun "way". The adverb modifies "out". So "way out" means "very far out".

The WordReference dictionary gives this adverb meaning for "way":

- away or far; to a great degree or at quite a distance
Examples: way too heavy; way down the road
 

dojibear

Senior Member
English - Northeast US
#7
Note that there is a noun version of "way out". Here "way" means "a path" and "out" is short for the preposition "out of":

We were lost in the forest. We needed to find a way out. (a path out of the forest)
 

Florentia52

Modwoman in the attic
English - United States
#8
I take “Mike’s way out in the Everglades” to mean that Mike is deep in the back country of the Everglades, a long way from civilization, not that he is a long way from where I am.

If we were talking about someplace in the west, and I live well east of there, then it could have meaning dojibear suggests:

I’d like my grandmother to come to my wedding, but she lives way out in Seattle, and I don’t think she can make the trip.
 

Hildy1

Senior Member
English - US and Canada
#9
In the expression "way out in (a place)", "way" is as adverb, short for "away", as in the definition quoted by dojibear in #5.

I agree with all those who say that "way out in X" means "far away, in X".
 

Florentia52

Modwoman in the attic
English - United States
#10
I’m curious, then. If you live in San Francisco, and your friend is in Chicago, would you say “She’s way out in Chicago?”
 

kentix

Senior Member
English - U.S.
#12
I take “Mike’s way out in the Everglades” to mean that Mike is deep in the back country of the Everglades, a long way from civilization, not that he is a long way from where I am.
Definitely, the vast majority of the time. The Everglades (a swampy area in Florida) are very large and there are places far from any roads. To be out in the Everglades means you are away from civilization and the roads. To be way out in the Everglades means you are very far from those things. It might take you many hours or even days to return.
I think the interpretation of phrase is right, but usage and examples are wrong?
You're right that they are completely wrong. That's way out in the Valley. This sounds like a possible reference to Southern California geography (note the capital V). The San Fernando Valley is part of the greater Los Angeles area but is a long way from downtown Los Angeles. People who live in Los Angeles refer to places there as "in the Valley" (i.e. not here). So in this case "way out" refers to how far you have to travel to get to the Valley. The Everglades example refers to how far into the Everglades Mike has traveled. Either way, you are far from civilization (in the case of Los Angeles, it's mostly psychological, not physical, in that sense:)).

I’m curious, then. If you live in San Francisco, and your friend is in Chicago, would you say “She’s way out in Chicago?”
I agree with Hildy (I think). West is out, East is back in American geography.:)
 
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