“Didn’t you hear me? A bride, Cinder. As in, a princess.”

“As in, not going to happen. He’s only, what? Nineteen?”


I looked it up, and it seems to mean "for example" or "such as"; but here, I believe it could mean "maybe" or "possible".


"As in" is a slang-y equivalent to "in other words" or "to say it a different way".

She's ridiculously smart, as in, a complete genius.

It's a totally new technology, as in, "you shouldn't buy it at any price". Wait at least until they've patched all the bugs.

In your example Cinder repeats "as in" to sarcastically refute Peony, by restating what she said as a contrary opinion.

  • How slang-y is it? I think the spelling usage "d as in delta" is standard, isn't it? – Miguel May 8 '18 at 8:03
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    @Miguel It's hard to say. Your example is certainly standard English, but the use of the same phrase in the quoted text is somewhat more colloquial. Still, it wouldn't be out of place in certain kinds of government communication, academic papers, or presidential speeches, so how slang-y does that make it? To put it a different way: it's fine to use as there's no special nuance to it. – Andrew May 8 '18 at 8:46
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    The example of "d as in delta" might be considered a slightly different use of "as in" since the letter "d" is literally "in" the word "delta" as it is spelled out in English. The "slanginess" of the earlier examples comes from, IMHO, their figurative sense. – Darren Ringer May 8 '18 at 15:46

Here the phrase simply means to be more precise, or in the sense of.

Didn’t you hear me? A bride, Cinder. More precisely, a princess.

I think you meant it in the sense of, not going to happen. He’s only, what? Nineteen?

The second person apparently speaks with a sarcastic tone.


Originally, "as in" was used to resolve an ambiguity by citing a phrase in which the word appears: "He was vulgar, as in 'a vulgar joke'": that is to say "I am using the adjective 'vulgar' in the way that it is used in the phrase 'a vulgar joke', and not as it is used in the phrase 'the vulgar name of a plant'".

By extension, the meaning of the word could be explained by reference to a phrase in which it does not actually appear: "She was big, as in 'obese'".

Your example, "A bride, as in 'a princess'" suggests to me "By that I don't just mean she's getting married. I mean she's living a Disney fairy tale". But I might be wrong: context is everything!

For the second example "As in, not going to happen", I think I would need to see the preceding sentence to understand exactly what it means. Perhaps: "An asteroid strike is unlikely. As in, not going to happen". Meaning "it's highly improbable, sufficiently improbable that you can work on the assumption that it's not going to happen."

  • I think the first sentence does appear directly before the second sentence in the original text. – user3067860 May 8 '18 at 14:05
  • You might be right. I was assuming they were two separate examples. If it's a single example, then the second "as in" is just a meaningless echo of the first, designed to bind the two sentences together, and indicating "no, she's not going to be a princess. This marriage isn't going to happen". Very conversational and ungrammatical, but nicely representative of how people actually talk. – Michael Kay May 8 '18 at 14:42

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