A “homely” home - would you want to live in it?
I was watching one of those property-buying shows on television the other day, and the show’s host (/real estate agent) was having difficulties finding a house that met his client’s taste. Eventually, the client was introduced to a comfy older property.
“Oh, now this homely”, cooed the client - smiling with surprised approval and relief.
I laughed and said out loud, “Ha - they meant ‘homey’, not ‘homely’!!”
I always understood “homely” to mean “simple, plain, unattractive”, and “homey” to mean “cozy, comfortable, home-like”. However, a family member disputed my criticism saying that the word was used correctly.
I know it’s not the be-all and end-all of dictionaries, but my first online search was with Google’s dictionary, and it produced definitions which both included the description “homelike” (with a comfortable & cozy connotation). homely homey
This is an contradiction and presents a problem. Is a homely home cozy, comfortable and welcoming, or plain, ugly even - and uninviting?
I’m not so sure that I’d like to live in a homely home.. I’d much prefer a homey home.