Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default looked dowdy/ prim and proper

    Dear teachers,

    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.

    Regards,

    V.

  2. #2
    Tullia's Avatar
    Tullia is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    628
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: looked dowdy/ prim and proper

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    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.

    Regards,

    V.

    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

Similar Threads

  1. perhaps I looked bad,but she looked....
    By nado92 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-Jun-2010, 20:17
  2. Prim-lipped
    By Bushwhacker in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-Nov-2009, 19:59
  3. prim and proper
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-Jan-2008, 14:46
  4. 'prim and proper'
    By hela in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Oct-2006, 11:39
  5. Looked / Look
    By jack in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Mar-2005, 15:11

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •