3

I know that лишний раз means once more in the sense of being reminded of something once again, or something serving as just another example of something. However I'm at a complete loss to understand it's meaning in the following sentences:

Я лишний раз дома не останусь.

Лишний раз выходить не хочется.

Лишний раз помогать ему не хочется.

9

Idiomatically, the best equivalent is probably "...if I don't have to". If that doesn't explain the literal choice of words, you can think of it this way: "I could spare myself an act of staying at home / going outside / helping him".

9
  • Thanks again. ¿Does if also cover: "don't ... if I can help it." For example, "I don't drink coffee after 6pm if I can help it." – CocoPop Apr 14 '15 at 16:02
  • @CocoPop, according to the definition given here:idioms.thefreedictionary.com/if+can+help+it , these constructions are pretty similar – Ivan Apr 14 '15 at 16:39
  • 1
    @CocoPop Here I'd rather say something like Я стараюсь по возможности не пить кофе после шести. Probably because that example doesn't necessarily involve subjective reluctance. – Nikolay Ershov Apr 14 '15 at 17:14
  • @NikolayErshov "If that doesn't explain the literal choice of words," I think the literal meaning of «лишний» is unnecessary, and that is enough to explain the phrase (I won't do it unnecessarily) – J-mster Apr 14 '15 at 17:41
  • @J-mster The literal meaning of лишний is much, much more abstract and flexible than "unnecessary". – Nikolay Ershov Apr 14 '15 at 18:01
6

It means avoid if I don't have to:

Я лишний раз дома не останусь.

I avoid staying at home if I don't have to.

Лишний раз выходить не хочется.

I don't want to go out if I don't have to.
or
I avoid going out if I don't have to.

Лишний раз помогать ему не хочется.

I don't want to help him if I don't have to.
or
I avoid helping him if I don't have to.

0

The focus is on the лишний, which has the principal meaning: spare, extra.

If a memory cell has a storage capacity of 2 bits, then 3-rd bit is лишний (cell overflow).

  Лишний X causes X to overflow something. 

  Лишний раз causes ...
          |
      once more 
          |
          be not relevant, serve no useful end.
-3

If person speaks "Я лишний раз дома не останусь.", it means that he doesn't want to be at home.

Imagine that some person was two days at home because he needed, but he didn't want to stay at home. But on 3rd day he doesn't need to be at home, so this person quickly go away from his home. He doesn't want to be at home once more time (лишний раз). Он не хочет быть дома лишний раз.

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