Word of the Day

home town

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Origin of the phrase

The term home town dates back to the mid 19th century but its constituent parts are very ancient indeed. The word ‘home’ comes from the Old English word ‘ham’ meaning ‘dwelling place, abode, fixed residence’; whereas ‘town’ comes from the Old English ‘tun’ meaning ‘fenced place’ or ‘group of houses’. Home town came originally from American English but is now widely used in other varieties as well.


Home town is a noun that typically refers to the place where a person grows up or spends the majority of his or her childhood.

One English town is hoping a new housing scheme will attract buyers looking for a new home. For the second time in four years, the Stoke City Council in Stoke-on-Trent will sell blighted properties to qualified buyers for just £1. The scheme is designed to restore dilapidated properties and give home town buyers a chance to own their first property.

The City Council has purchased 25 privately-owned properties and will sell them for a quid each. Buyers will then be given a £60,000 loan to be used for renovations on the home. The loan must be paid back — with interest — over 15 years, after which the buyers become the outright owners of the property. To qualify, buyers must have been employed continuously for at least a year, must live, work or have family living in Stoke-on-Trent, and must meet certain income requirements based on the size of their household.

Council members and town officials believe the scheme will not only help hardworking citizens on modest incomes afford homes they would never otherwise be able to purchase, but will also revitalize neglected areas of the city, leading to an improved sense of home town pride and community spirit. Average home prices in Stoke-on-Trent are about £130,000, so those who qualify for the new housing scheme are getting their hands on a bargain!


1. the city or town where you lived as a child
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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