He was more than a mere barber but a false doctor.

From this sentence, the quality or occupation of the person is not clear to me. Please explain someone.

  • He was not only a barber, but also a false doctor. – Damkerng T. Apr 7 '15 at 15:29

Is it the grammar/wording of the sentence that is confusing, or a specific word? I would rewrite the sentence like this:

Not only is he a mere barber, but he is also a false doctor.

By calling him a "mere barber" the writer is implying that being a barber is not a very important or interesting job. Then, the writer contrasts this boring simple job with also being a "false doctor", which is far more interesting. "False doctor" either means he pretends to be a doctor when he isn't, or more likely, that he really is a doctor, but the writer disagrees with his methods and/or teachings.

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