The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

Definition 1 of 2

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Adjective.
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Definition

Often used in matrimonial ads to describe 'girl' who can cook, clean, and does not have any 'modern' ideas.

Usage

Wanted: Homely, convent-educated Brahmin girl for US-return, IT, Brahmin boy.
Added 2011-07-07 by itsacharade

Definition 2 of 2

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Adjective.
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Definition

In English, when the word 'homely' is used to describe a person it implies being unattractive or not particularly good-looking.
In India, it takes on a whole new meaning! It usually refers to a girl who is demure and maternal. It means that she puts tending to the needs of the home above all else. It is most often used when describing a prospective daughter-in-law while on bride-hunting expeditions.

Usage

2 mothers discussing a prospective wife for one of their sons:

Mother 1: So Ranjini, what did you think of Nalini?? Did Rohan like her?

Mother 2 (nodding vigorously): There is something very nice about her - very sweet, very homely.
(Taking a sip of her coffee)
It's better to have someone like that only, instead of a girl who wants to run off to work at 8 every morning, no??

Added 2011-07-08 by Shutup your mouth

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