I do not know how this usage came into India.I have searched on google and the internet but I could not find the usage.

She is his keep(concubine)

I hear this usage in southern India or may be Andhrapradesh.

Is there any base for such a meaning In English or is it just an Indian English?

  • In old fashioned UK usage you had such a thing as a 'kept woman', that is a woman entirely, or mainly, maintained financially , or provided with lodging at no charge (kept) by a man. A kept man is also possible. Oct 3, 2019 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


To "keep" something can mean "to protect, guard or care" for something.

Farmer Giles keeps sheep on his farm.

In particular, when applied to a person, it means "to provide with housing and money"

He kept a mistress for many years.

There is an old fashioned term "a kept woman" which means a woman who is dependent on a man who is not her husband. Usually a kept woman is a secret lover.

It is from this sense that the Indo-English term "keep" is derived. This usage is not standard in British or American dialects of English.

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