Her indoors

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sat Nov 7 02:03:21 UTC 2009

Lynne Murphy wrote:
> 'Her indoors' is a common expression in British English, I've seen it a lot
> since moving here.  There were a pair of columns in the Independent when I
> first moved here, I think (that's 2000), that played on it: Her
> Outdoors/Him Indoors.  One also sees 'him indoors' for
> househusbands/stay-at-home dads.

I guess the dichotomy is expressed in Chinese too: Google <<neizi
waizi>>: "nei" = "inside" = wife, "wai" = "outside" = husband. Since the
sex is not explicitly marked in Chinese, I guess the
'paradoxical'/jocular "him indoors" or "her outdoors" wouldn't have a
ready analogue.

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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