Not one for social pleasantries, the chief of staff would brusquely ask his subordinates anything he wanted, even coffee.

What does it mean?

  • You should include the research you have done in your question.
    – JeremyC
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 10:02
  • I found nothing! Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 10:41
  • @JeremyC "not one for" indeed consists of words that are too general to find something from established sources while googling. There is a wordreference question, though. So, Mo-stafa, you should really learn the trick of googling for phrases while putting them in quotation marks: "not one for" (with quotation marks). Read the help to understand how this forum works. And welcome to ELL.
    – user68912
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 11:24

1 Answer 1


"Not one for something" means "he is not the type of person who is inclined to something."

In this particular case, this guy is probably very direct, even brusque; he doesn't care about manners (social pleasantries).

Someone can be

not one for complaining

(He doesn't like to complain)

not one for sentiments

(He doesn't like to be emotional or nostalgic about something)

not one for words

(He doesn't like to talk a lot, or might sometimes struggle expressing what he feels.)

  • Note that this is because for can have the meaning "in favor of." For example, "I'm for it!" means "I want to do it [whatever is being discussed]!" So "not...for" means "not in favor of. " Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 14:38
  • @CanadianYankee I'm not feeling the presence of "in favor of". Rather, there is an ineffable smell of "falling for something" in the background.
    – user68912
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 17:50
  • Honestly, I can tell this is the most helpful site ever, thanks a lot) Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 19:29

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