Here is an excerpt from HeadWay Upper Intermediate, Student's Book, Unit 1:

Even after four years, I don't feel I belong. Over Christmas I went back to the UK for a month's holiday - on landing at Heathrow, I felt at home straight away. What I miss most is greenery. My own culture still fits me like the winter gloves I left behind when I came to work in the desert sun. Shame I can't say the same of my old winter trousers...

What does the author mean by adding the last sentence 'Shame I can't say the same of my old winter trousers'?

Many thanks in advance.

  • 1
    shame "a reason for feeling sad or disappointed". A paraphrase for your sentence, Sadly, I can't say the same of my old winter trousers. Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 12:22
  • The Teacher's book gives an explanation that "NO MATTER HOW LONG HE STAYS AWAY, HE FEELS COMFORTABLE IN ENGLAND AS SOON AS HE GETS HOME" for "HIS OWN CULTURE STILL FITS HIM LIKE WINTER GLOVES". Why does an author add the last sentence? What does he mean by that? I understand the translation of every word. But I couldn't get the meaning of the sentence. What does the author imply by 'Sadly, he cannot say the same of his old winter trousers'?
    – Svetlana
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 13:51
  • 2
    Hahaha! (I've just read the whole passage.) He gained weight! ;-) Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 13:58
  • That is really funny :-)
    – Svetlana
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 14:02
  • "(It's a) shame (that) I can't say the same of my old winter trousers."
    – user230
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 15:20

2 Answers 2


This is hilarious!

At first, I thought your question was about Shame (I can't say the same), but now I can see that it's really about the senses of fit the author used hilariously.

One sense of fit in this excerpt is about the comfortable feeling one feels when being in a place they belong (which is opposite to the feeling of being "out of place", which the author seemed to have when he was away from home).

The other sense is about how well clothes fit someone, i.e. "if clothes fit, they are the right size for you". And fit (someone) like a glove is an expression that means "fit extremely well"

The author was talking about his (I assume that he is male) feeling when he came back home (in the UK). Everything fit him perfectly, even his same old winter gloves he left at home (and of course, this alludes to the expression fit like a glove). However, there is one thing that didn't fit very well. It was his old winter trousers! -- That's an indirect way to say that he gained weight while he was working away from home (for four years).

And that's why (It was a) shame (that) he couldn't say the same of his old winter trousers. :-)


@Damkerng's explanation is correct, but I will simplify it for you.

Here, "shame" is an abbreviation of the expression "It's a shame" meaning "what a pity" or "too bad" (quel dommage, qué lástima).

It has nothing to do with someone feeling shame.

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