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In the song Papa Was a Rollin' Stone, what does rolling stone mean?

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well, I don't want to know this mean only for this song, I mean general. But thanks any way :) –  Alejandro Sep 3 '11 at 16:54

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

From the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary:

  1. In the proverb A rolling stone gathers no moss, or variants of this
  2. A rambler, wanderer

From Dictionary.com:

a restless or wandering person

From Urban Dictionary:

A person who likes to move often or is unwilling to settle down in one place or with one person or both. This phrase is based on the old saying "a rolling stone gathers no moss."

For more informations on the proverb, Wikipedia has a dedicated article which also mentions "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" by The Temptations.

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Any explanation for the downvote? –  Gurzo Sep 3 '11 at 15:53
I didn't downvote, but it's hard to upvote for a link from Urban Dictionary. The site is non-citable, except for recent argot. –  The Raven Sep 3 '11 at 15:56
Well, I'm not begging for upvotes and was just wondering. I quoted directly because that's a good explanation of the meaning I knew. –  Gurzo Sep 3 '11 at 15:57
@The Raven: I doubt anyone would dispute the definition given in UD, so I can't see anything wrong in using it here (it would be a different matter entirely if Gurzo were citing UB to back up a more contentious position). –  FumbleFingers Sep 3 '11 at 17:26

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