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A "xenophobe" is someone who is uncomfortable with things or people that are different or unfamiliar. Is there a word for the other side of the coin, someone who is most comfortable with things that are familiar and similar to his or herself?

  • Do you want a word with a positive or a negative connotation? – GEdgar Jul 15 '16 at 16:04
  • just made this up: philoikeios: phil (love of) + oikeios (familiar) – user180089 Jul 15 '16 at 16:34
  • 'xenophobe' is almost always about foreign things. A xenophobe would not necessarily be uncomfortable with something unfamiliar but still domestic. – DJClayworth Jul 15 '16 at 16:59
  • @GEdgar Either or. – Joe Morano Jul 16 '16 at 6:31
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    @JoeMorano in the last part of your question you say "things", but in your last comment you say "people". it's a very important difference - which one are you actually asking about? – Max Williams Jul 20 '16 at 12:55
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For something a little more neutral, you might try "Homebody". The official dictionary meaning is someone who likes to stay at home, or whose life centers around their home, but I've also heard it used in contrast to adventurous - so more broadly meaning someone who likes their familiar surroundings and usual habits rather than wanting to try new and different things. This would apply to familiar things, much more than familiar people.

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I'm a bit late answering this at this point, but two more options:

Provincialist: Derivative of the more common provincialism. The New Oxford American Dictionary's first definition is "the way of life or mode of thought characteristic of the regions outside the capital city of a country, especially when regarded as unsophisticated or narrow-minded. Or: narrow-mindedness, insularity, or lack of sophistication: the myopic provincialism of women's studies." (What did women's studies ever do to the New Oxford American Dictionary?) While provincialist does have some specific connotations of country vs. city, it's also used in a broader sense of narrow concern and comfort within one's own limited scope. It does have a negative connotation; I don't know if you were looking for that or not.

Insular: The first definition listed by the New Oxford American Dictionary is "ignorant of or uninterested in cultures, ideas, or peoples outside one's own experience: a stubbornly insular farming people. Or: lacking contact with other people: people living restricted and sometimes insular existences." This word still has a negative connotation, though I think it is more mild than any word people have suggested here except "homebody." I think this word also denotes the least dislike of outside things: it's focused merely on the preference of familiar things.

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You might tell they are Close-minded, Narrow-Minded, or even Willfully ignorant

According to dictionary.com:

Narrow minded - not receptive to new ideas; having a closed mind.

According to yourdictionary.com:

Willful ignorance - A decision in bad faith to avoid becoming informed about something so as to avoid having to make undesirable decisions that such information might prompt.

The 2 first variations are simple terms for people who don't like meeting/using/learning new things.

The variation Willfully ignorant (adjective) or Willful ignorance (noun) is not commonly used, and does not apply to every particular case, so I would prefer telling a person is Open Minded over telling they are Willfully ignorant.

Also, the first two variations sound less negative and less harmful than the 3rd, so using those two is preferred (in my opinion).

  • Please provide excerpts from dictionaries or links to substantiate why those words are a good fit. – Helmar Jul 20 '16 at 12:42
  • These do fit pretty well, but not perhaps in all cases. I think it's entirely possible to be more comfortable around familiar things without being close-minded per se. There's a difference between actively disdaining the unfamiliar and simply preferring not to seek out novelty most of the time. Granted, the latter isn't particularly conducive to broadening one's horizons, but it's a more passive, innocuous form of provincialism. – N. Post Jul 20 '16 at 18:54
  • Then again, the OP did ask for a word that was the "other side of the coin" of "xenophobe," which has seriously negative connotations. So very negative connotations may well be called for here! – N. Post Jul 20 '16 at 19:01
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Sounds like unadventurous is the word you're looking for. By "risky" in the definition, I believe they're talking more about trying a new restaurant rather than climbing Mount Everest.

[tfd.com] unadventurous: Not inclined to undertake new, risky enterprises.

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