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Hello everyone. I am reading a novel, and I came across this expression. Could you please let me know its meaning?


“We’re also missing Inky,” said Pablo.

“He’s gone.” Rollo was obviously coming to Clara’s rescue.

“Yessssss,” said Clara, to mean, Okay, everyone stop asking.

“I can’t believe it.” This, she later told me, was Pavel.

Someone was shaking his head. Clara and the men in her life!

“Does anyone have any idea how fed up I am with men, each with his little Guido jumping to attention like a water pistol—”

“God spare us,” said Pablo. “We’re back to Clara’s I’m-so-fed-up-with-men routine.”


- André Aciman, Eight White Nights, First Night

This is a novel published in the United States of America in 2010. This novel is narrated by the nameless male protagonist who meets Clara at a Christmas party in Manhattan. Now, the protagonist is talking with Clara's friends at the party, including Pablo, Rollo and Pavel. When Pablo, assuming that Clara is still with Inky, says that Inky is not here, Clara says she broke up with him.



Here, I wonder what "Guido" might mean. I googled and found that it can mean "Italian-American person", but I am not sure whether it can fit into this context, so I just wanted to ask you.


Thank you very much for your help.

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Clara is using colorful language. "Guido" does not mean the male member in either standard English or in slang, but that is what Clara means. She makes reference to their (a guido's and a male member's) energy and machismo, and perhaps their overall appearance.

Lexico has a pertinent definition: "A man, especially an Italian American, regarded as vain, aggressively masculine, and socially unsophisticated." ( https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/guido )

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Thank you very much for the explanation!

So "Guido" means a male member in a group, with energy and maschimo.


But this is just my small question, but would it be possible that "Guido" here might mean something of a male person, probably the penis of a male person? I am wondering because "Guido" seems to be used as something belonging to a man, as in the following line which appears one sentence after the original quote:


“Leave my dousing rod out of this. It’s been in places where no man’s Guido’s been before. Trust me.”


But the dictionary definition says that "Guido" specifically means an Italian American, rather than a bodily part of a male person, so I am not sure...

Curious ReaderSo "Guido" means a male member in a group

You are misinterpreting the meaning of "male member". Those words are an expression that refers to a part of the male body. You should probably reread anonymous's post with that meaning in mind.

Curious Readermight mean something of a male person, probably the penis of a male person?

Not just "might". It is. Now you've got it.

Curious Readerthe dictionary definition says that "Guido" specifically means ...

Dictionaries don't list the meanings of words that authors invent or borrow so they can create clever dialog without being crude about it.

CJ

,


Thank you very much for the explanation!

Oh, now I learned that "a male member" is a euphemism for "a penis"! Now I think I understand the explanation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_member

Male member may refer to:

  • A member of a group or organization who is male
  • A euphemism for penis
So, "Guido" (capitalized) here would mean the penis of Italian-American men, or probably men of any race who are boasting their manliness, expressing their masculinity in an exaggerated way. Probably the reason why it is capitalized would be that it is being used with a special meaning... or that it is being used like a person's name, I guess. I sincerely appreciate your help. Emotion: smile
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Curious ReaderSo, "Guido" (capitalized) here would mean the penis of Italian-American men

No. Of any man.

Curious Readerthe reason why it is capitalized would be that it is being used with a special meaning... or that it is being used like a person's name

Actually, it IS a person's name. It's an Italian name. It's not being used LIKE a person's name. It IS a person's name. Many Italian boys and men are named "Guido".

CJ

@CalifJim,


Thank you very much for the additional explanation.

So "Guido" really is a person's name! It is an Italian name, so it generally means Italian-American men.

But here, specifically in this context, it means any man's penis. Probably the name "Guido" is used as a substitute of penis to impart the exaggerated masculine feeling that the name "Guido" gives. (Though this is just my humble attempt to understand the word "Guido" being used as a replacement of "penis"... Emotion: smile )


I truly appreciate your help.

Curious ReaderSo "Guido" really is a person's name! It is an Italian name, so it generally means Italian-American men.

Me, again. I didn't write "penis" because this forum has a censor bot that stars out any words it thinks might offend someone, and I assumed that "penis" would be on the list. I can hardly believe it isn't.

"Guido" is a rather rare term for an Italian-American man (and it is disparaging, so avoid it). We use "dago" around here if we want to start a fight, but never "guido". I wonder if the bot will tag "dago".

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