Business Class: A Sketchy Situation


Here is another classroom moment. A learner of mine just came back from a business trip abroad. He was telling me about his stay in this country and the feeling he got when he was in the downtown area. Here is what he said: “ The downtown is great by day. You can walk around freely but as soon as evening comes around , a tourist couldn’t walk around alone in that part of town. You can’t trust the people in the streets at night.”  I thought of the word sketchy to define this part of town & its’ nocturnal residents.

A sketch can be referred to a rough copy or drawing because it is not well-defined. A sketchy situation is vague or unclear therefore could be dangerous or bad. You can’t trust it because you don’t understand it entirely. A sketchy person doesn’t seem transparent or trustworthy.

Here are a few examples:

  • He is a sketchy character. I don’t know if we can count on him.
  • The report looks a little sketchy. I wonder if they played with the numbers.
  • My younger brother lives in a very sketchy neighborhood.


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