Specifically, someone who has never experienced other places? A college professor once used the term "parochial" in this context. "You should earn your doctorate from another graduate college, then you will not be so parochial in your studies".

  • "hakoiri musume" (yeah, I know that's not English). Mar 13, 2014 at 14:46
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    There's nothing wrong with parochial - defined by google as having a limited or narrow outlook or scope. synonyms: narrow-minded, small-minded, provincial, insular, narrow, small-town, inward-looking, limited, restricted, localist, conservative, conventional, short-sighted, petty, close-minded, blinkered, myopic, introverted, illiberal, hidebound, intolerant; parish-pump; informal jerkwater, hick; "parochial attitudes" But those synonyms are all just General Reference if you don't want to copy your professor's usage. Mar 13, 2014 at 14:46
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    Just wanted to make a note about the great philosopher Immanuel Kant: "In his entire life, he never traveled more than ten miles from Königsberg." (wikipedia) I did this to try to sway certain negative connotations that are being thrown around here.
    – d'alar'cop
    Mar 13, 2014 at 21:31
  • possible duplicate of What do you call a person who is regionally biased?
    – aedia λ
    Mar 13, 2014 at 21:40
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    'Homebody' is one term.
    – Chloe
    Mar 14, 2014 at 5:31

7 Answers 7


Provincial carries a connotation of not having left one's home town or province. It is a synonym to parochial not having left one's own parish.

I originally had inbred listed here. I believed the reasoning self-explanatory, but, it was causing too much confusion for people. I suggested this because of the example given of going elsewhere for further schooling.

Institutionally speaking, we describe programs where everyone was trained in the same place as being inbred. It is not usually applied to the individuals themselves. But, it can be applied to their ideas.

The terminology refers to the breeding of ideas without outside or fresh input. It is metaphorical to consanguinity where an isolated population can become inbred over generations of interbreeding.

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    I'm not happy with people who won't explain their down votes. They may have a sound reason, but without knowing what it is, I think your answer fits the context that the OP set up. If the OP wants a word that has literal meaning, then he should say so himself by commenting here. +1 by the way, just to stick it in the eye of whoever down votes without explaining. Mar 13, 2014 at 15:04
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    I can't give this a + with inbred. Won't downvote but inbred does not carry this. Also provincial means belonging to a province not won't go to other provinces. Might as well say regional. But won't downvote. Mar 13, 2014 at 15:06
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    @ryebread It is used institutionally all the time. For example, when we discuss people who all trained at the same institution, we often say their ideas are inbred. I've clarified it with regard to context. And, why do you assume that a province must be a specified land mass, it can pertain to ideas, regions, etc.
    – David M
    Mar 13, 2014 at 15:28
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    Inbred, when applied to a person ("someone who..."), would always mean the result of consanguinity. When applied to ideas, it would mean that there are no "fresh" ideas (i.e., "genetically" distinct from what's already there) coming in. In this context, someone staying at the same school would fail to experience new or different ideas. They would be stuck in an intellectual rut, and not have a wide breadth of experience. "Inbred", due to the danger of being applied to the person, is perhaps not the best choice of words, but understandable, especially in a jocular way.
    – Phil Perry
    Mar 13, 2014 at 17:05
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    I've heard of the situation where students stay at the same school, eventually becoming professors there, etc., called "inbreeding". You might say, then, that taking a job where you graduated, or taking graduate studies at the same school where you took undergraduate work, as inbreeding. That's the exact case that Dr T's professor was describing. I don't think that any of the individual people are called "inbred" this situation, though. Mar 13, 2014 at 18:21

Depending on whether it's AmE or BE, you're probably looking for




Meaning from Oxford Dictionaries:

NOUN (plural homebodies)

• informal , chiefly North American A person who likes to stay at home, especially one who is perceived as unadventurous: since his marriage, Brett has become a homebody

  • My impression of this word is that it refers to the preference to stay literally at one's dwelling. Mar 13, 2014 at 15:23
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    That's the literal meaning, but it's also commonly used to refer to someone who doesn't like leaving a particular location e.g. independent.ie/woman/fashion/…
    – Ronan
    Mar 13, 2014 at 15:27

More specific than just home region, a townie is someone who's grown up, went to school, and still lives all in the same town (or nearby town). Someone who is "from" that town for their entire life.


The best I can come up with is "untravelled". It's not exactly right as it can also mean you haven't travelled much (as opposed to not at all). I can't think of an English word that literally means you haven't left your home region at all.


How about some words with positive connotations? "Rooted", "established", "settled", "well-set".


I think to answer your title question that person (in the most extreme sense) would be a shut-in.

Soemone who doesn't get out very much or leave their home, ususally due to illness, handicap, old age.

If you are looking for something to replace parochial attitudes, in AE we would use small-town attitude/outlook.

  • See also, hermit.
    – David M
    Mar 13, 2014 at 15:58

Given the context, it looks like the professor is saying that earning your doctorate at another college will make you more worldly. worldly means having a lot of practical experience and knowledge about life and the world. (ref). Synonyms of worldly include sophisticated, experienced, refined, and broad-minded

Appropriate antonyms might be unworldly and unrefined, but you can start picking your own from a thesaurus. Of course, an antonym of parochial is broad-minded, and your professor's word choice is accurate.

For someone who literally never leaves or never left their home, here are some terms that might fit your context:

cave-dweller: metaphoric, meaning someone who have not evolved to the point where they have left their cave.

hermit: A person who has withdrawn from society and lives a solitary existence; a recluse.

recluse: a person who lives in seclusion or apart from society.

None of these literally mean never left their home, but they imply a sense of isolation from the rest of the world.

Language would be boring without vivid imagery in words. Using words like these tends to encourage it.

  • You are listing a lot of terms with quite negative connotations, and you are conflating a lot of terms that are arguably related but certainly not synonymous. (For instance, I find your statement that "unrefined" is an "appropriate" synonym for "parochial" to be a pretty hard sell.) Mar 13, 2014 at 19:23
  • @Kyle Strand: I think your taking this too literally, when I started by confining my remarks to the given context. And if you read it carefully, I didn't literally say that parochial is an antonym to unrefined, either. Does that make sense? Mar 13, 2014 at 19:34
  • Ah. Yes, it does; sorry. I'm still not sold on your choices, though. "Worldly" has a very non-academic connotation; in context, OP's professor's use of the word "parochial," qualified by its connection to OP's "studies," seems fairly closely tied to academics. I also still think "unrefined" is a bit too much of a stretch, and I think cave-dweller, hermit, and recluse all have more to do with isolation (as you noted in your definitions) than with staying in a single place (and in particular among the same people). Mar 13, 2014 at 19:59
  • Yes, I would stick with parochial myself. But if I were the professor and wanted to say it in informal but stronger terms, I might stress the negative a little more. I bent toward the metaphoric approach here. Mar 13, 2014 at 20:09
  • Fair enough. I suppose there would also be an element of humor, especially if he said "cave-dweller." Mar 13, 2014 at 20:56

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