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Looming you are
Strange usage of looming
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
2014/07/18
7:56am
Robert
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In the show Dexter (about Miami police), there is a scene where a detective stands outside  the door of his lieutenant boss, wanting to be invited in. He keeps staring down at the boss until she finally looks up,  smiles and says , “You are looming,”  and then he smiles too.

Strictly speaking ,  the word ‘looming’ accurately describes the man, physically standing big over the sitting woman.  But the expression in that context clearly represents a different meaning, something like ‘You are having pent up issues you are dying to say to me.’

The casual and clean cut  way the line is delivered makes it sound like a most common expression.  Not to my experience.  Is there some meaning to ‘looming’ I am missing here?  Some police jargon?

2014/07/18
11:02am
Dick
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Google’s definition seems typical:

(of an event regarded as ominous or threatening) seem about to happen.  “there is a crisis looming”
synonyms:be imminent, be on the horizon, impend, threaten, brew, be just around the corner, be in the air/wind
 
It seems to me that the detective standing there without saying anything made the lieutenant feel that something ominous was ahead.
Your brief definition: “Strictly speaking,  the word ‘looming’ accurately describes the man, physically standing big over the sitting woman”  did not include the aspect of being threatening or ominous which should be part of looming.
2014/07/19
9:54pm
Robert
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Yes.  But she makes it sound like it’s her daily vocabulary.  And I don’t know many uses of ‘looming’  on a person, except maybe historical big shots.

2014/07/21
4:37am
tromboniator
Alaska
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Looming probably most often refers to something threatening, but I think that mountains can loom simply by being big and immoveable, rather than menacing. It doesn’t sound as though the lieutenant is threatened by the detective. Her “You are looming.” says, “I’ve seen you hanging around out there. It’s obvious you want something, and that you’re not going to leave until you at least have a chance to get it. So what do you want?” With the smile, she says it in the nicest and briefest possible way. Well, she could have said, “Yes?”, but this way is friendlier, more familiar. It may be a bit unusual, but I find nothing strange in this usage, and have in fact used it just this way. Of course, I thought I was being clever, but not outrageously so.

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