phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Origins of "No Mean Task"

Posted by R. Berg on July 12, 2001

In Reply to: Origins of "No Mean Task" posted by Brian Murphy on July 12, 2001

: Anyone know the origins/derivation of this phrase?

: Is it suppose to represent no mean (i.e. average) task?

This phrase uses a different sense of "mean," the sense that has to do with baseness or lowness. "That's no mean task" = the task is not trivial, not easy, not beneath a person's capabilities. The task is difficult.