I recently started reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and was confronted with "artfully indeterminate" in the following context:

[ What say you? Are you the helpful sort? Are you willing to assist your new brothers and sisters with their interesting work?” The boy mulled this over for a few seconds. “You mean,” he said in a high thin voice, “that you want us to steal things.” The old man stared down at the little boy for a very long time while a number of the Shades’ Hill orphans giggled behind their hands. “Yes,” the Thiefmaker said at last, nodding slowly. “I might just mean that—though you have a very, ahhh, uncompromising view of a certain exercise of personal initiative that we prefer to frame in more artfully indeterminate terms. Not that I expect that to mean anything to you. What’s your name, boy?” “Lamora.” ]

Thanks in advance.


He means that they don't call it thievery or put a specific name on it (indeterminate), and he indicates that considers this use of euphamism clever (artful).

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