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.