Meaning of 'These gentlemen are something in the City'


‘These gentlemen are something in the City.’

Should it be ‘mean something’?
Or ‘are something’ is also fine? (In my first language such, a bit specific, use is possible and would be understood by native Russians.)

Hi Tamara,

Something in the City suggests that someone has a job in the City, often indicating an important job.


Thanks, Alan.

Could you say a word, how ‘wide’ is the expression (be something) in English and where can it be normally used?

Also, I’d be grateful if anybody give some other examples, a bit more ‘ordinary’ than ‘He is something in the Government’ :))


‘Something in the City’ is the stock phrase and I don’t think you can use it in other contexts as far as I know. It is reserved for that particular occupation ie to do with money and banking and has a certain cachet about it. People tend to be impressed by the designation.


I’ve got a tape by an American business man where he says “Man, the enthusiasm in this room is something.” So maybe ‘is something’ can refer to things as well as people?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Mailing letters[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

Now there we’re going down a different avenue. ‘Something’ in the sense you’re quoting is more an abbreviation of say’ something you have to see’ ‘something remarkable’. People who get excited about our site could say: Now that site is really something.


I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for, Tamara, but here are two similar expressions:

[i]Most people who were anyone stayed there. Anyone who is anyone will be invited/was at the party.

Anyone who is someone in this town… He was someone in show biz.[/i]

Just to make sure nobody is left out, here are the “bodies”: :smiley:

Everybody who is anybody will be attending the ceremony. … is+anybody

Getting back to the word ‘something’:
You can also use ‘something else’ to mean that someone or something is special or remarkable in some way:

The special effects in the new film were something else.

Now that’s really something, isn’t it? :smiley:


Thanks to you all. You’re wonderful!

Hmm. Interesting -thins and –bodies! :slight_smile:

I can only add that in Russian when we use somebody for the person as in
‘he is somebody’ (in the same meaning as it is explained above), in most cases it is said with a bit of a secretive or intriguing tone ( =I myself, of course, know who he is and all the details, but I can’t say… :))
whereas when we say ‘he is something’ – in most cases this just directly means ‘very special/important figure’.

But. ‘Something’ and ‘somebody’ in this use can be translated by different words, with a bit different meaning:
somebody – as ‘некто’, ‘кое-кто’ or ‘кто-то’
something – as ‘нечто’, ‘кое-что’ or ‘что-то’.
[size=84](Sorry for using Russian. Just not to be abstract and objectless. )[/size]

Each one in this case requires a very special tone and expresses a bit different meaning.
I doubt I would be able to explain all of that to a non-native Russian. :slight_smile: