From Middle English fọ̄l-hardī, folhardy, folherdi, folehardi, from Old French fol hardi (“foolishly bold”), from Old French fol (“foolish, silly; insane, mad”) (from Latin follis (“bellows; purse, sack; inflated ball; belly, paunch”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *bʰelǵʰ- (“to swell”)) + Old French hardi (“durable, hardy, tough”) (past tense of hardir (“to harden”), from the unattested Frankish *hartjan, from Proto-Germanic *harduz (“hard; brave”)), equivalent to fool + hardy. Compare fool-bold, fool-large, etc.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈfuːlhɑːdi/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈfulˌhɑɹdi/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Hyphenation: fool‧har‧dy
- Marked by unthinking recklessness with disregard for danger; boldly rash; hotheaded.
1387–1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Monkes Prologue”, in The Canterbury Tales, [Westminster: William Caxton, published 1478], OCLC 230972125; republished as William Thynne, editor, The Woorkes of Geffrey Chaucer, Newly Printed, with Diuers Addicions, which were Neuer in Printe before: With the Siege and Destruccion of the Worthy Citee of Thebes, Compiled by Ihon Lidgate, Monke of Berie. As in the Table More Plainly Dooeth Appere, London: Imprinted at London, by Ihon Kyngston, for Ihon Wight, dwellying in Poules Churchyarde, 1561, OCLC 932919585, folio LXXX, verso, column 1:
1876, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter VI, in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Hartford, Conn.: The American Publishing Company, OCLC 1000326417, page 68:
- The master's pulse stood still, and he stared helplessly. The buzz of study ceased. The pupils wondered if this fool-hardy boy had lost his mind.
2000, Bill Bryson, chapter 1, in In a Sunburned Country, 1st US edition, New York, N.Y.: Broadway Books, ISBN 978-0-7679-0385-1, page 14:
- In the middle distance several foolhardy souls in wet suits were surfing toward some foamy outbursts on the rocky headland; nearer in, a scattering of paddlers was being continually and, it seemed, happily engulfed by explosive waves.
2017 March 26, “The Observer view on triggering article 50: As Britain hurtles towards the precipice, truth and democracy are in short supply”, in The Observer, London, archived from the original on 30 August 2017: