Saturday, January 9, 2010

quicko: homely

Either the word has a different meaning here or no one knows how to use it properly, and I'm not entirely sure which it is. Australians use "homely" to mean what Americans mean by "homey." Hence, it is a compliment and not an insult, though it often takes a few seconds for me to remember this.


Garry with 2 Rs said...

Really? What does hoemly mean to you?

To us "homey" a term of endearment used by the Fresh Prince of Belair.

KIM said...

To us it means not particularly attractive or plain, almost always in terms of a girl.

Some interesting notes from

1. lacking in physical attractiveness; not beautiful; unattractive: a homely child.
2. not having elegance, refinement, or cultivation.
3. proper or suited to the home or to ordinary domestic life; plain; unpretentious: homely food.
4. commonly seen or known.

1, 2, 3. Simple, homely (homey), homelike, plain imply absence of adornment or embellishment. Something that is simple is not elaborate or complex: a simple kind of dress. In the United States, homely usually suggests absence of natural beauty: an unattractive person almost homely enough to be called ugly. In England, the word suggests a wholesome simplicity without artificial refinement or elegance; since it characterizes that which is comfortable and attractive, it is equivalent to homey: a homely cottage. Homelike also emphasizes comfort and attractiveness, but it conveys less strongly than does homey a sense of intimate security: a homelike interior, arrangement, atmosphere. Something that is plain has little or no adornment: expensive but plain clothing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.