I found an interesting line in "Blue Jeans" - Lana Del Rey. "That love is mean, and love hurts". And in this case, the word 'mean' means 'evil' according to the song's translation. Is it right interpretation or the origin meaning has been lost? And if it is true, could you please give me explicit explanation, when 'mean' uses to describe 'evil'. Thank you!

  • The translation of 'mean' to 'evil' is bad. 'Mean' should translate as 'hurtful', or 'cruel'. 'Evil' is much harsher than 'mean'.
    – John Feltz
    Oct 4 '16 at 19:37

'Mean' can be a difficult word to translate as it has several different meanings, none of which translate back correctly back into English as 'evil' as @JohnFeltz says above.

Have a look at these definitions, particularly the second set which define 'mean' as an adjective (you will have to scroll quite a way down to find it).

Is it possible that there is a word in your language that ranges in meaning from 'unkind' to 'evil'? That might have caused the misunderstanding.

  • I think in BoldBen's link this definition is seems the closest - "Unkind, spiteful, or unfair." In particular, the "unfair" one seems apt.
    – k1eran
    Oct 4 '16 at 23:39

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