Homely Homebodies

Why the word “homely” should be a euphemism for “ugly” is not immediately obvious. In Indian English, indeed, it means “skilled at household management”. I would suggest that the British English meaning arose because the unattractive woman was generally to be found at home, caring for her aged parents, while her prettier sisters did all the marrying. Similarly, the unattractive man will be often found at home, bringing up children whom he hopes are his, but may actually be the offspring of the less homely. He may have to accept, as his price for being married at all, becoming the base and pit-stop for his wife’s extramural sex life. The same applies to the unattractive woman – and for that matter, to most women in most places.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 10:30 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Life Unbeautiful

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