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"Jason has more badness in his left thumb.  DC is great but JS is greater."I am...

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apprentice | eNoter

Posted December 14, 2010 at 2:30 AM via web

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"Jason has more badness in his left thumb.  DC is great but JS is greater."

I am translating English into Japanese as my hobby and this sentence is from Twitter of TheSLYStallone.

Is there any specific meaning in the line "badness in his left thumb"?

Should I take it literally as Jason had really injured his left thumb?

Or is there any hidden connotation?

English is my second language and I encounter those jokes i don't understand very often.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Shin

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 14, 2010 at 4:11 AM (Answer #1)

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You are right to be confused by this out-of-context tweet.  Even in context it contains a difficult figure-of-speech probably taken for granted by native English speakers.

TWEET IN CONTEXT: A previous comment made by @theslystallone that day is discussing different actors to play James Bond (if another Bond movie were to come out in the future).  DC and JS refer to Daniel Craig and Jason Statham who are actors.  @theslystallone is basically saying that his choice would be Jason Statham because he is more "bad" than Daniel Craig.  As English slang, "badness" here refers to being "tough," "effective," or "awesome." (in this case as a fighter and character in a movie).

His thumb is not injured.  To say he has "more badness in his left thumb" is a figure-of-speech.  If you think about it literally, think about how small the thumb is compared to the whole body.  @Theslystallone is saying JC has "more badness in his left thumb" than DC has in his entire body.  Basically, he is the strongest and toughest choice.

This is certainly slang, and also supposed to be humorous, so you are right in catching the joke.  Another figure-of-speech which is similar and fairly common in English is to refer to someone as having more [of something] in his pinky finger than someone else.  For example, to describe someone who is unnaturally outstanding at sports we might say, "He has more athletic ability in his pinky finger than I have in my entire body."  (If his pinky has that much ability, think about how much the rest of him must have.)

English is a difficult language precisely because of figures-of-speech like this.  You are doing a great thing to start learning them, as it will make your conversational English grow immensely.

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