I heard a line in the movie The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Looks like you picked up a couple of weights, too, huh?

The speaker of this line apparently suggests that the other party has gained weight. But why does he use weight as a count noun? According to the Macmillan Dictionary, weight is a mass noun when referring to a person's heaviness. The character here is not a native speaker of English, but appears to be highly educated (Princeton-educated) and have a very outstanding proficiency. And the actor is an Oxford-trained English actor. Is this usage grammatical?

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    I'm not familiar with the quote, but it seems more likely the "picked up a couple of weights" would refer to exercise weights (countable items), so the comment would refer to someone who looked like they were in good physical condition from have been exercising. If the comment refers to someone who has obviously gained weight, it would be ungrammatical.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 27, 2018 at 5:34
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    I tried to check at various places but could not find such a usage! Seems improper to me. The only context is 'weights' where you refer 'weight' to dumbells or weighing plates.
    – Maulik V
    Jun 27, 2018 at 5:35
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    When I smoked cannabis resin in the UK in the late 1960s/early 1970s, a "weight" was slang for one pound of the stuff. A "quarter weight" was four ounces. I knew someone who did a year in jail for having a quarter weight. May 30, 2021 at 10:46

1 Answer 1

So now Lahore is your nest.
--Been here seven years.
Your Urdu is quite good.
--I've picked some up.
Looks like you picked up a couple of weights too, huh?
You look quite solid  for a journalist.

The reference is to exercise weights, dumbbells.

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