student asking question

What does the word "little" in "little people" mean? I was curious because it doesn't look like talking about the size of people!


Native speaker’s answer


Quite right! "Little people" doesn't refer to the size of the people themselves. There are two possibilities here, both valid. Belle could be referring to the number of people or population in the village. Or, she is saying that they are "small" in their thinking. They don't think too broadly about things and their lives that aren't too big or "flashy". Their exposure to the outside world is limited. They go around doing what they need to do every day. Ex: The population of our town isn't that big. There are like 50 families. Ex: Just because I'm from a small town doesn't mean I don't have big dreams! Ex: My life sometimes feels little and insignificant, but I know I have a purpose.

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