Well, soon we got the name out of the way. Asalamalakim had a name twice as long and three times as hard.

I really can get neither the concept of the bold parts nor the meaning of the latter part, especially the adjective hard.

  • hard = difficult (here, to pronounce) ; twice as long = double the length – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 11 '15 at 20:09

It is a figurative way of speaking. The writer is expressing himself in a "funny" way. The purpose is to transmit an idea of how he felt about the name.

Even if the name was exactly twice as long as the original word they were thinking of, you can not really express precisely how much harder a name is compared to another.

So he basically is saying:

The name was way longer than I thought, and quite more difficult.

It is similar to what you would do when telling, for example, how was in the end the ice-cream someone had recommended you to eat:

The ice-cream was twice the size, and three times tastier than I have imagined.

It is also a matter of scale, it was twice (two times) bigger than expected. But 3 times harder (or tastier in the case of the ice-cream).

For instance if the name was something like:


You could probably say it was 5 times longer than you expected, but not really that much harder.


I think there are two elements here:

  1. Twice and three times are probably more literary that literal. The meaning is bigger in either case, but it sounds good that way.

  2. Long means number of characters. aaaa vs. bbbbbbbb. Hard means difficultly to say. Asalamalakim would be very difficult for an English speaker to say. I imagine most wouldn't even say it with the correct number of syllables.

  • Thanks. Nonetheless, why has been written three times hard??three?? – nima Jun 11 '15 at 20:35
  • The only reason to put 3 times is that it follows twice (2 times). It's not actually 3 times harder. Length can be doubled, but not hardness. Only,it may imply being more hard than more long (3>2). – Dylan Cross Jun 11 '15 at 20:39

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