This is from Michael Lewis's book, Liar's Poker:

I’m not sure any of them had what you’d call genuine ethnic identity. But they were an oppressed minority. And they shed rather than acquired airs. They were back-row people to a man.

What does "And they shed rather than acquired airs." mean?

The definition of airs is:

affected or unnatural manner; manifestation of pride or vanity; assumed haughtiness:

But I don't understand what does "they shed" mean.

Thanks for the help!

  • 1
    Hello, rds. What definition of 'shed' would you say contrsasts with 'acquire/d'? Feb 13, 2018 at 16:54
  • @EdwinAshworth shed- to get rid of. So is the author saying that they were a humble group?
    – rds80
    Feb 13, 2018 at 16:56
  • Perhaps 'lowly'; 'humble' is ambiguous. Feb 13, 2018 at 17:00
  • Makes sense now. 'Lowly' flows with the meaning of the previous sentence and the sentence afterwards. Thanks!
    – rds80
    Feb 13, 2018 at 17:07

1 Answer 1


The context suggests that 'they' were oppressed minority. Given the context, it means that 'they were polite and modest rather than arrogant and proud'.

More specifically, they shed(drop or lose) the arrogance instead of putting on more.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.