phrase "this far out"


My question is about the reading of a phrase “this far out” on page 29 of 99 pages
The Old Man and the Sea:

I take the phrase “this far out” as " because I came here long way from the seashore and far out to sea"

Is my reading right? :?:

Hi Foozky

It’s not clear exactly how far out to sea the man is. However, the context does suggest to me that the distance from shore is considerable.

Thank you Yankee,

My dictionary tells;
The phrase “far out” also means unusual, strange or excellent, instead
of literal meaning of far out, i.e. far distant.

Do these definitions above, I mean unusual, strange or excellent
make sense for this sentence?

In other words, is it possible to understand
the sentence “This far out, he must be huge in this month, he thought.”
as “This unusual, he must be huge in this month, he thought.”?

Here, the “he” as in “he must be huge” is a fish, and another “he” as in “he thought” is the Old Man, for your reference.

Thanks in advance from Saitama, JAPAN


Hi Saitama,

In the text you quoted ‘this far out’ is another way of saying ‘as far out as this’ meaning that the fish he (the old man) is trying to catch is a long way out from the shore and therefore must be a very big fish.

In another sense ‘far out’ on its own means ‘extreme’ in the sense of ‘very unusual’ ‘not in any way conventional’. Music for example can be described as ‘far out’ as can clothes or behaviour. It refers often to something that is in a way outrageous or shocking.


Thank you, Alan.

Your comment helps a lot. I learned that the phrase “far out”, in another sense, is rather limited to things outrageous or shocking.

By the way, I am a member of a group that enjoys reading novels written in English.
All members of the group are some 60 yeas old and graduated from the same high school 42 years ago. An English class reunion held monthly.