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In the TV drama 'Boston Legal', Denny Crane says "you look like a prune" to his workmate.

What's the meaning of it?

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  • A prune is a dried plum. Dessicated, it gets all wrinkly.
    – TimR
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 15:16
  • Desiccated: one S, two Cs. ;-) Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 15:18
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    I disagree that this can be answered by a dictionary. Yes you can look up what a prune is, but that doesn't always explain what folks mean when they are describing a person as similar to a dried fruit. Does it mean wrinkly or is a comment on their color?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 16:31
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    I agree with @ColleenV. Also: A dictionary won't tell you whether the comparison is typically a compliment or a disparagement. In some cultures, prunes could be considered handsome fruit - I don't know. Another example: Saying a woman looks like a cow would usually be an insult in America - I bet there are places in the world where it wouldn't be, and knowing the dictionary definition of "cow" doesn't necessarily reveal that nuance.
    – Adam
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 16:56
  • @Victor Bazarov: That's what the dictionaries say, true. But we "ss-ers" are out there, hiding in the shadows. books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – TimR
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 20:48

1 Answer 1

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I imagine Denny was speaking to someone particularly shrivelled or wrinkly and was being insulting.

The phrase is literal. "You look like a wrinkly purple fruit"

These are prunes; not a particularly pretty thing to be compared to:

enter image description here

[Source]

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