jolly

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See also: Jolly

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English joli, jolif (merry, cheerful), from Old French joli, jolif (merry, joyful)[1] It is uncertain whether the Old French word is from Old Norse jól ("a midwinter feast, Yule", hence "fest-ive") [2], in which case, equivalent to yule +‎ -ive; or ultimately from Latin gaudeō (see etymology at joy). For the loss of final -f compare tardy, hasty, hussy, etc.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

jolly (comparative jollier, superlative jolliest)

  1. Full of merriment and high spirits; jovial; joyous; merry.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. [], London: [] [John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book I, canto 2:
      "Full jolly Knight he seemed [] full large of limb and every joint / He was, and cared not for God or man a point."
    • 1815, William Wordsworth, "Hart-Leap Well," Part Second:
      "A jolly place," said he, "in times of old! / But something ails it now: the spot is curst. ..."
    • 1819, Washington Irving, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., "The Stage Coach":
      [] he is swelled into jolly dimensions by frequent potations of malt liquors []
  2. (colloquial, dated) Splendid, excellent, pleasant.
  3. (informal) drunk

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

jolly (plural jollies)

  1. (Britain, dated) A pleasure trip or excursion.
  2. (slang, dated) A marine in the English navy.
    Synonym: joey

Adverb[edit]

jolly (comparative more jolly, superlative most jolly)

  1. (Britain, dated) very, extremely
    it’s jolly hot in here, isn’t it?
    • 1991, Stephen Fry, chapter III, in The Liar, London: William Heinemann, →ISBN, page 26:
      Adrian thought it worth while to try out his new slang. ‘I say, you fellows, here's a rum go. Old Biffo was jolly odd this morning. He gave me a lot of pi-jaw about slacking and then invited me to tea. No rotting! He did really.’

Derived terms[edit]

Verb[edit]

jolly (third-person singular simple present jollies, present participle jollying, simple past and past participle jollied)

  1. (transitive) To amuse or divert.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  • Jolly in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 15, p. 495.

Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English jolly joker, an older name for the joker card in a deck of cards.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

jolly m (invariable)

  1. (card games) joker
  2. wild card

See also[edit]

Playing cards in Italian · carte da gioco (layout · text)
Ace of spades.svg 2 of spades.svg 3 of spades.svg 4 of spades.svg 5 of spades.svg 6 of spades.svg 7 of spades.svg
asso due tre quattro cinque sei sette
8 of spades.svg 9 of spades.svg 10 of spades.svg Jack of spades2.svg Queen of spades2.svg King of spades2.svg Joker black 02.svg
otto nove dieci fante donna,
regina
re jolly, joker,
matta