Thin has a meaning of "not well fleshed," but does it also carry a meaning of "being weak or feeble"? In the Merriam-Webster, it does carry a meaning of "lacking substance of strength," but it uses "thin plot/broth" to make the example.
Is it okay to say someone is to thin to do anything which needs a lot of strength? I just find it misleading to say, because thin doesn't always means weak. If you google, there is a title such as "Michael Jackson is too thin to play live." Is it OK to say so? Somebody argued that it's a euphemism to say so.

  • 1
    With regard to "Michael Jackson is too thin to play live" - it's not a euphemism, and it's not a general statement that people who are thin are weak/incapable. Rather, dramatic weight loss is often a symptom of an underlying disease. I don't know exactly what Michael Jackson's medical condition was in the last few years of his life, but he was obviously not healthy. – MT_Head Jun 19 '11 at 22:08

If thin were used to suggest that someone is weak, it would be a euphemism, but as far as I have seen, it is not generally used in this way. As the Merriam-Webster entry suggests, thin and weak are synonyms in reference to things such as flavors, but not in reference to physical strength. If you are looking for a word that means both "not well fleshed" and "weak or feeble," then the word which would normally be used is scrawny.

  • I agree with you, thin never necessary means to be weak or lack of strengh, actually, this is an issue over which we had a violent quarrel. And I think it's never a way for native-speaker to say that and the opposition argued: 1.it's a euphemism; 2.it says there in the Merriam-Webster dic, but again, I think it only referrs to things not humans; 3.the googled and enumerated this many links to say "thin" also carries a meaning of "being weak", since none of us is native-speaker, I thought maybe, it's better to ask here, thank you for your help, the below are the links they gathered from google – Daisy Jun 19 '11 at 8:11
  • stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/2392869/… gamespot.com/forums/topic/26455752 too thin to play inside setonhall.rivals.com/… too thin to play the 4 gamefaqs.com/boards/921183-fire-emblem-the-sacred-stones/… too thin to wield a hatchet. forum.narniaweb.com/viewtopic.php?p=166386 Both of these things caused his surgery to be postponed as he's too thin to make it through. – Daisy Jun 19 '11 at 8:13
  • check them out if it's not too much to ask, I really want to know if it's common to say so in English, thanks in advance. – Daisy Jun 19 '11 at 8:14
  • never ever heard it. Your tea can be thin or weak, but thin cannot use about a person when speaking about strength. The strongest person I have met in person was thin and wiry. – mplungjan Jun 19 '11 at 11:21
  • Scrawny seems like a vulgar so is better to say thin and weak – Iness Jan 29 '17 at 17:52

protected by tchrist Jan 29 '17 at 18:09

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