A friend was explaining that the Japanese word "mimi" means ears.
But he ended up pointing to his ears saying "This means 'mimi'(in Japanese)". But I felt that he was wrong and should have said it the other way round : "'mimi' (in Japanese) means this(pointing to his ears)". He asked me to explain why he was wrong. I wasn't able to.
I tried finding out the answer for the same and saw this particular instance which I think is similar to this case : to have as its sense or signification; signify: The word “freedom” means many things to many people.
But I was still unable to come up with an explanation as to the reason why it is used in this way.So can anybody please explain why he was wrong? If he is not, could you also explain how he is right? I would like to improve my understanding of the word "means" as a verb :)