- 1 Post By Tullia
looked dowdy/ prim and proper
Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentence?
….she looked dowdy and extra prim and proper.
dowdy = lacking in smartness or taste
prim and proper = self-important, puffed-up, swell-headed, pompous
Thanks for your efforts.
Re: looked dowdy/ prim and proper
Originally Posted by vil
You are not quite right.
You aren't far off with "dowdy". It means lack of style, but is more to do with being old-fashioned, perhaps, than lack of taste. Lack of taste alone could mean skirts that are too short, and colours that are too bright: dowdy is about drab colours, and could not apply to revealing clothes.
"Prim and proper" is not to do with arrogance or self-importance though. A person who is prim and proper is always polite, always follows the rules - they would never even think of breaking them. There's a definition of it on this very site you could have searched for: Prim and proper - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com
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