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I've found it in an article promoting a new car:

In terms of kerbside appeal, it’s in the similar territory to... [another car]

I've googled it and in most results the context is houses, gardens, etc. but I can't find any definition.

Does it mean that something attracts people's attention in a good way? That people want it when they see it?

What's the origin? It makes me think about passers-by who are attracted to something they pass by.

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I haven’t seen the phrase before, but my immediate understanding would be as a reference to how attractive the car looks (to passers-by) when parked by the kerbside. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 23 '13 at 16:32
    
Vaguely related: Why is a vehicle's empty weight called its "curb weight"?, –  jwpat7 Jul 23 '13 at 16:51
    
It's an expression similar to a 'head turner', something that causes people to take a second look, or that is deemed desirable, though it's more an expression used by 'budget' car manufacturers, in the hope of talking up their product, and not one you'd expect to see used of a Ferrari say. Damned with faint praise, is an expression that comes to mind with its use! –  user48193 Jul 23 '13 at 16:55
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Only just I've found this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curb_appeal. OK, so I get the meaning. But why kerb/curb? –  ghul Jul 23 '13 at 17:00
    
Because that is the vantage point which the house or the car is most likely to be viewed from, and from which the first (or only) impressions will be gained, unless you have the keys to them. –  user48193 Jul 23 '13 at 17:05

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Kerbside appeal (actually curbside in the US) is usually in reference not to a house or to a garden, but to the property as a whole.

When you go to buy a house your first and immediate impression is what the house's exterior looks like. This includes the state of the roof, exterior features, architecture, garden, parking spaces and the list can go on and on. So the "kerbside/curbside" appeal is what the first impression is when you walk up the house on the curb and see it for the first time.

There's no way to really be sure, but I'd bet that it was coined in an HGTV or TLC property show.

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The standard term I've heard in the US is "Curb appeal". See Wikipedia for a very little more detail. –  Charles Jul 23 '13 at 19:46
    
@Charles: I've heard "curbside" in my part of the U.S., but I can't recall ever seeing it spelled with a k before today. –  J.R. Jul 23 '13 at 23:47
    
@JR That's a Britishism, I believe. –  Charles Jul 24 '13 at 3:51

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