What does "surly" mean in this sentence ?

Even so, the president and Secretary of State Cordell Hull considered it prudent to keep the way open for improving relations, so Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles had been engaged in a series of fruitless discussions with the Soviet ambassador, Constantin Oumansky, since mid-1940. The haughty Welles, a family friend and close adviser of Roosevelt, was the perfect foil for the surly Russian.

7 Answers

Relevance
  • RP
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    In this context, surly is equivalent to obstinate or difficult, as opposed to welcoming and receptive.

    • bluebellbkk
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Yes, but that's what it ALWAYS means. There's nothing special or different about this context.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 4 weeks ago

    It means the Russian is obtuse and stubborn.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 4 weeks ago

    Surly you jest at asking such a question of us out here on Yahoo Q&A.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Mike
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Surly you jest.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 1 month ago

    What it always means. This is a standard way to use the word.

    If you're reading a book on politics and history, why aren't you using a dictionary?

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Unfriendly (also means bad tempered)

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Carson
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    "Gruff" would also work. Some one that looks angry at the whole situation.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.