girl next door - usage

Kirill V.

Senior Member
Russian
Hello!
I learnt from another thread that a "girl next door" is a pretty girl. How is this expression used? Does this work, for example:

Kira was a typical "girl next door" of our school. Meaning, most boys thought she was pretty.

And can I play with this expression further by continuing this way:
I guess you'd say Nata was one door down the street, but I liked her anyway. Meaning, most other boys would say Nata was less attractive but I liked her.

(Let me know if I must split this into two separate threads:cross:)
 
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  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don't believe that it does have that meaning. The girl next door is the one you played with as a child and whom you know very well. She's somebody you, perhaps, take for granted. Sometimes the friendship leads on to love, so we hear stories of somebody marrying the girl next door. There's no more to it than that.
     

    Kirill V.

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I don't believe that it does have that meaning. The girl next door is the one you played with as a child and whom you know very well. She's somebody you, perhaps, take for granted. Sometimes the friendship leads on to love, so we hear stories of somebody marrying the girl next door. There's no more to it than that.
    Okay, I see. So I must have misunderstood people's comments in that other thread.
    Thank you, Andy!
     

    MirandaEscobedo

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree with Andygc but there's a little more to it. The GND as a type is also wholesome, nice, pretty in an unsophisticated way, has decent moral values.
     

    Uriel-

    Senior Member
    American English
    A girl next door type is pretty, but in a natural, wholesome, down-to-earth way. She is not amazingly beautiful, or elegant, or stunning. She is not heavily made-up or artificially enhanced. She is a little more on the average side, but her appeal lies in that and not in having to spend hours in front of a mirror transforming herself into a different level of beauty.
     

    MirandaEscobedo

    Senior Member
    British English
    No, girl next door of -- to -- the school -- wouldn't fit. Of course, a girl could live next door to the school but that wouldn't have the connotations of "the girl next dorr".
     

    Kirill V.

    Senior Member
    Russian
    A girl next door type is pretty, but in a natural, wholesome, down-to-earth way. She is not amazingly beautiful, or elegant, or stunning. She is not heavily made-up or artificially enhanced. She is a little more on the average side, but her appeal lies in that and not in having to spend hours in front of a mirror transforming herself into a different level of beauty.
    Thank you. I think I understand - nice, reliable, probably a good wife if she loves the man. In my example (the OP) I guess Nata was the one then:D
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    A girl next door type is pretty, but in a natural, wholesome, down-to-earth way. She is not amazingly beautiful, or elegant, or stunning. She is not heavily made-up or artificially enhanced. She is a little more on the average side, but her appeal lies in that and not in having to spend hours in front of a mirror transforming herself into a different level of beauty.

    I agree.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Do we use it in the UK? I think of it as being an American concept, and rather old-fashioned nowadays, when there might not be any of quite that type!:rolleyes:
     

    Uriel-

    Senior Member
    American English
    It's not old-fashioned here. I think of it when I see very neutral-palette makeup ads, and I think it was the title of a recent movie.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The above thread is talking about 2 totally different things, totally different meanings, both common in spoken and written English:

    All this stuff about being beautiful, and a particular KIND of beauty (not much makeup, but pretty, wholesome) is The Girl-Next-Door Look which term applies to naked models in playboy magazines, clothed fashion models, and similar places (where it is totally fake).

    The other meaning, used just as often in English, is a literal girl next door - someone who lived near you in your home town, so you knew as a friend or acquaintance. There is no implied beauty. See a detailed description of this meaning in post #2 above.
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Doji, I find it somewhat strange that you refer to naked models and hookers in connection with "the girl next door" look or stereotype.:):eek:

    For me, the stereotypical "girl-next-door" would be the average, moderately attractive but not particularly exciting type of girl you happen to meet at high-school, or college, say - the pleasant girl who might be best friends with your sister, and whom you would not be afraid to take home to meet your mother.

    The literal "girl next door" is just a girl who happens to live next door. She might also be the "girl-next-door" type, ...or she might be a different kind of girl altogether.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The Girl-Next-Door Look which term applies to naked models in playboy magazines, clothed fashion models, and similar places (where it is totally fake).
    This strikes me as a very unusual view of the use of "girl next door" to describe a particular type of girl or woman.
    cuba, please read it again: it is NOT describing a "particular type of girl or woman". It is describing a "look" in the fashion and other industries. And I say it is "fake", making it clear I am NOT referring to any actual women.
     

    spilorrific

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I have seen the look dojibear is referring to... nude-colored lips, very matte make-up.... but I did not know that that trend was called the Girl-Next-Door Look.
    The line from your OP was "a typical girl-next-door OF our school," not "next door TO our school."
    Kira was apparently a girl like the one described brilliantly by Uriel in #6.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    To me, a "girl next door" may be strikingly beautiful. "Girl next door" is (or was in my time) a very positive description. The idea is a beautiful girl who is not exotic, but also not strange or cruel, someone who "speaks my language". The term has nothing to do with clothes (or the lack of them) or makeup.
     

    spilorrific

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Yes, she may be.
    In that case, as Andygc indicated early above, it's likely that she was overlooked for some years because the boy (or girl? Let's not limit...) in the other house because she was so familiar to him (her) all the years they spent as children. Then one day, whammo! He (She) sees the person next door with, as it were, a new pair of eyes and is stunned to realize that the person known as a friend and neighbor - or at the very least JUST as a neighbor -- is a "looker."
    I think for many people, though, naturally pretty and not "strikingly beautiful" might apply.
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    I got the impression that as TV trope it is used as a counterpart to femme fatale: a woman non-threatening to men.
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    If you can read it, I'd recommend the TV Tropes description as "girl next door" the fictional archetype will aid in understanding the other uses of the phrase. Girl Next Door - TV Tropes

    "She may literally be from the same neighborhood as the hero, or she may just remind him of girls he knew back home. In simpler terms: the feminine equivalent of an 'average Joe', in terms of looks and personality. Since the trope is more about her personality, some can be considered knock-outs. In which case, they're likely the local beauty in the neighborhood, or a small town; especially if she's someone like the sassy, hot waitress from the local diner, or the Farmer's Daughter."
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    This isn't even open for debate. So many people here have described "the girl next door" much better than I could. She is not a knockout, not a sexpot, not a Mata Hari, not the queen of the ball, etc. Please. I'm sorry to sound harsh but this is simply the meaning. She is the equivalent of the local Joe, who is also not a hero or knockout.

    From the link: "Girls of this nature will often appear in Harems, usually as the inevitably unlucky childhood friend of the protagonist ..." Seriously, a harem?
     
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    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I learnt from another thread that a "girl next door" is a pretty girl. How is this expression used?
    Redwood, perhaps the only thing "open to debate" is whether OP's comment is correct: does "girl next door" mean a pretty girl? OP's sample sentence uses it to ONLY mean "pretty".

    To several commenters in this thread, yes, the phrase definitely includes being "pretty" (plus other things). To others, no, it definitely does not.

    The "TV Tropes" above calls it (the TV fantasy version) a female equivalent of "average Joe" (no beauty there). But that is the fantasy version, not real people.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The "TV Tropes" above calls it (the TV fantasy version) a female equivalent of "average Joe" (no beauty there) and does not say it always means pretty.
    Since the trope is more about her personality, some can be considered knock-outs. In which case, they're likely the local beauty in the neighborhood, or a small town; especially if she's someone like the sassy, hot waitress from the local diner, or the Farmer's Daughter."
    Huh? "The Farmer's Daughter" was a TV show about a rather attractive woman. And what is meant here by "hot waitress"? No beauty there? I am suggesting that the "girl next door" is precisely NOT the local beauty (the excess of beauty). She is someone who makes you feel comfortable and whom you find attractive. I really find it hard to understand what the confusion is about. It is a very basic phrase.
     
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    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Huh? "The Farmer's Daughter" was a TV show about a rather attractive woman. And what is meant here by "hot waitress"? No beauty there? I am suggesting that the "girl next door" is precisely NOT the local beauty (the excess of beauty). She is someone who makes you feel comfortable and whom you find attractive. I really find it hard to understand what the confusion is about. It is a very basic phrase.
    In the quoted text, "hot waitress" and "farmers daughter" are given as examples of "SOME can be considered knock-outs". Not as examples of "girl next door" in general. So they do not contradict my statements.

    You "find it hard to understand" because you have always heard it used with one meaning. But my experiences has been different. Please understand that it is used differently by different AE speakers.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Redwood, perhaps the only thing "open to debate" is whether OP's comment is correct: does "girl next door" mean a pretty girl? OP's sample sentence uses it to ONLY mean "pretty".
    OK, fair enough. NO IT DOES NOT MEAN PRETTY GIRL.

    In the quoted text, "hot waitress" and "farmers daughter" are given as examples of "SOME can be considered knock-outs". Not as examples of "girl next door" in general. So they do not contradict my statements.
    The "girl next door" is NEVER considered a knock-out such as "hot waitress", in my opinion. We'll just have to agree to disagree.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The "Farmer's Daughter" referred to here is another trope. (Note that it's "the Farmer's Daughter," not "The Farmer's Daughter.")
    OK. I see it is a trope. So it should be: the farmer's daughter. Yet you said here:

    According to Wikipedia, it's been the title of several recent movies and TV movies.
    Anyway, what's the point? What is your definition of the girl next door? My God I never would have expected this kind of lengthy thread over this kind of issue.

    I really don't care about the farmer's daughter. The "girl next door" has a single meaning which I am perplexed to explain! Sorry! I don't like to be a contrarian.
     
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    Kirill V.

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Anyway, what's the point? What is your definition of the girl next door? My God I never would have expected this kind of lengthy thread over this kind of issue.
    I don't think we can have a reliable statistics, but my sense is that threads which deal with personal things (love, girls, boys...), as well as those dealing with food, drinks and cussing, do incite more than average feedback..:D
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I don't think we can have a reliable statistics, but my sense is that threads which deal with personal things (love, girls, boys...), as well as those dealing with food, drinks and cussing, do incite more than average feedback..:D
    If you think that, kayve, you've got another think/thing coming. (I mean that more abstract topics can get us strange language folk going too.:D)
     
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