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English citations of bigly

Etymology 1[edit]


  1. (obsolete, most recently Scotland) Habitable, liveable; hence delightful, pleasant, pleasing.

Etymology 2[edit]


  1. (now rare) Strongly, with great force.
    • [1757, Jacob Serenius, “BIG”, in An English and Swedish Dictionary: Wherein the Generality of Words and Various Significations are Rendered into Swedish and Latin, [...], 2nd amended edition, Nyköping, Sweden: Printed at Harg and Stenbro near Nykoping in Sweden, by Pet. Momma, Director of His Majesty's Printing-House, OCLC 642428057:
      Bigly, Adv[erb] ſtort, ſkrytagtigt.]
    • [1825, John Jamieson, “BIGLIE, adj.”, in Supplement to the Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language: [...] In Two Volumes, volume I (A–JUX), Edinburgh: Printed at the University Press; for W. & C. Tait, 78, Prince's Street; and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, London, OCLC 863495133, page 85, column 1:
      BIGLIE, adj. Rather large, [] This must be viewed as a different word from the former, and as derived from Big, large, q. big-like, from the appearance of largeness.]
    • [1859, Robert Nares; James O[rchard] Halliwell; Thomas Wright, “†BIGLY”, in A Glossary; or Collection of Words, Phrases, Names, and Allusions to Customs, Proverbs, etc., which have been Thought to Require Illustration, in the Works of English Authors, Particularly Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, volume I (A–J), new edition, London: John Russell Smith, 36, Soho Square, OCLC 645446779, page 79, column 1:
      BIGLY. Greatly; strongly; proudly.]
    • 2000, Keith Badman, The Beatles Off the Record, London: Omnibus Press, →ISBN:
      Tell me about The Mamas & Papas[sic], Bob. I believe you’re backing them very bigly, and they’re great. I believe you're backing them.
    • 2008, Haven Kimmel, “Chaos and Pangemonium”, in Kaline Klattermaster's Tree House, New York, N.Y.: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, →ISBN, pages 59–60:
      [A]s they backed out of the driveway Kaline's mom accelerated so quickly Kaline bonked his head on the dashboard and Pop-Tart went up his nose. "Oh, and we also need three more boxes of tissues for the classroom." / His mother was very bigly unspeaking.
    • 2016, Ray Cashman, quoting Patrick James (“Packy Jim”) McGrath, “Person and Place, Life and Times”, in Packy Jim: Folklore and Worldview on the Irish Border, Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, →ISBN, page 63:
      And he [Henry David Thoreau] was very strong to, for the, for the—against slavery. He was very bigly against that. Slavery was going on in America, enslaving the black people.
  2. (now rare) In a blustering or boastful manner; haughtily, pompously.
    • 1838, David Thom, “Appendix F”, in Dialogues on Universal Salvation, and Topics Connected therewith, London: Simpkin and Marshall; Liverpool: George Philip, OCLC 4976735, page 271:
      While Mr. Erskine and his clerical co-adjutor, after talking bigly of the perfection of Christ's work, and almost leading us to think that they had discovered the freeness of the gift of life everlasting, take care in due time to undeceive us by insisting on it, that this gift of Christ, (strange perversion of terms!) is merely laid at our door, it depending on ourselves, whether we shall receive the gift (?) or not.
    • 1866, Augusta Webster (transl.), The Prometheus Bound of Æschylus, page 65, lines 983–985
      The father bids thee show what marriage this
      Thou pratest of so bigly, and by whom
      Himself shall be cast down from power.