The defendant in its brief abandons all assignments of error except those to the refusal of the court to grant its motion for judgment as of nonsuit, and to the judgment as signed.
The alleged libelous words are “your previously having converted floor planned cars.” These words are susceptible to more than one meaning, and may have no meaning at all to a person not familiar with “floor planned cars,” and this ambiguity renders necessary an allegation that the telegram was published to a third party who understood that it conveyed a defamatory meaning, as well also as proof of such allegation.
“Since, in order to constitute a publication, it is necessary that some third person understood the defamatory matter, where the words are capable of conveying the defamatory meaning claimed for them, and also equally capable of conveying some other and innocent meaning, there must be averments that third persons understood the language as conveying the alleged defamatory meaning.” 37 C. J., p. 34, par. 355.
“So, if the offense consists in words of themselves unmeaning, there must be an averment of some fact to support the innuendo and give them a meaning. The jury must not only be satisfied that the defendant’s meaning was as charged, but that he was so understood by the persons who heard him, which latter part can only be established by their oath. Woolworth v. Meadows, 5 East., 46. It is the same as if the charge was made in the Chinese or any other foreign tongue (which the hearers are not presumed to understand), and in such case there must be an averment, not only that the defendant meant to make the charge, but that he was so understood by those who heard him.” Briggs v. Byrd, 33 N. C., 353.
*89“On the other hand, if it (the alleged defamatory declaration) be capable of two meanings, one actionable and one not, it is for the jury to determine which of the two was intended and so understood by those to whom it was addressed or by whom it was heard.” Oates v. Trust Company, 205 N. C., 14.
The complaint contains no allegation, and there is no proof to the effect that the telegram upon which the action was predicated was understood by the agents and employees of the telegraph company, to whom alone the publication was made, as conveying a defamatory meaning. The motion for judgment as of nonsuit should,' therefore, have been allowed.
The judgment of the Superior Court is