Transcription of a dialogue excerpt from the game Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (2009):

Long history this building, not much of it pretty.

Started out as a castle with an actual dungeon, built to withstand any siege.

Building survived every brutal winter. The occupants? They weren't so lucky.

The monastery didn't survive the purges. Over the last century it's played host to anyone the government didn't want but couldn't kill.

The place is filled with the living casualties of the last war, which I swear I thought we'd won.

But I suppose it's all a day at the races: you back the losing horse, and this is where you end up.

627 is the piece of meat Makarov wants, so let's cut him loose.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCE07hcueEw (from min 00:00-00:56 )

Note: A specific fleet from a special force that forms an alliance between the USA, Canada, and the UK (Task Force 141) is on its way to a Russian gulag to free a mysterious prisoner codenamed "627." The fleet receives information that the Russian terrorist Makarov, the main antagonist of the game and enemy number one, desperately wants the prisoner "627," but nobody knows why. That's why Task Force 141 is going to set him free.

The question is: In the phrase "627 is the piece of meat Makarov wants, so let's cut him loose," what exactly does "piece of meat" mean here? Based on the context, Makarov intensely seeks the prisoner, perhaps to obtain information or simply kill him since prisoners in the gulags, according to the game, cannot be killed. However, I'm unsure if this expression has a more specific nuance beyond simply "desiring someone greatly" or if, when paraphrased, it has the same meaning as "627 is what Makarov wants so badly, so let's cut him loose." One thing I'm certain of is that there is no sexual connotation in this expression. I've also seen this expression used when wanting to confront someone in combat, but based on the context, I don't believe that to be the case here.

2 Answers 2


To refer to someone as a "piece of meat" is dehumanizing and disrespectful. While the expression is almost only used with a sexual meaning, it doesn't have to be.

In this context, the soldier refers to the prisoner as a "piece of meat" to indicate he doesn't consider him as human, just an objective.

  • I agree with this. There might also be an allusion to "losing horse" in the previous line, as there's a trope that losing horses get sent to the slaughterhouse. Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 0:03
  • @MarcInManhattan I also think gotube's response was ok, although somewhat abstract. By the way, I just spoke to a friend of mine who loves this game, and he clarified my doubt. I'll take a chance and answer my own question.
    – Southman
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 1:45
  • It might also mean they don't care if he's dead or alive, with meat being dead, but it's hard to tell from the excerpt.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 11:22

In general, referring to a person as a "piece of meat" means seeing them merely as something to be used or exploited to satisfy one's interests, without considering their dignity or well-being. In the context of the speech, the prisoner 627 could be compared to a pawn for Makarov.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .