My own little understanding on the phrase "self-contained" is simply independent. But of late I wonder sometimes whether this term has some derogatory meaning in everyday English? For instance, will calling some kid self-contained imply implying him somewhat arrogant?


You are correct in that 'self-contained' means an independent, complete unit. However, it is not applied to describe people in a derogatory sense. A similar phrase that fulfils that role might be 'self-absorbed'.


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