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thus +‎ -ly, dating from the 19th century, seemingly coined by educated writers to make fun of uneducated persons trying to sound genteel,[1] with a false inference that thus is not an adverb.



thusly (not comparable)

  1. (proscribed) thus (in this way).
    • 1865, Hingston (ed.), Artemus Ward (His Travels) Among the Mormons:
      Ar, tell me it is not so thusly as this thusness wouldst seem!
    • 1866, Petroleum V. Nasby, Life of Androo Johnson
      His course can only be akkounted for thusly:
    • 1866, Harper's Magazine,
      He had an attack of catarrh not long ago, and it happened, as J. Billings would say, "thusly:"
    • 1893, Isabel Burton, The Life of Captain Sir Richard F. Burton KCMG, FRGS, volume II:
      Stories never lose anything in the recital, and consequently this one grew thusly.
    • 1995 December, John P. Wiley Jr, quoting Edward R. Harrison, Smithsonian Magazine:
      The history of the Universe has been summed up thusly: "Hydrogen is a light, odorless gas, which, given enough time, turns into people."
    • 1996, Charles Harding, High Rise Dwelling[1]:
      Going thusly, unwillingly at the bell,
      Answering the call to recycle my time.

Usage notes[edit]

Although thusly has diffused into popular usage, it may be regarded as incorrect by some; instead, other equivalent expressions (such as thus or this way) can be used.[1] It originated in the Eastern U.S., and it is still more common in American than British English; it is "often used for amusement or to make an ironic point."[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition (Accessed 2012-01-13)
  2. ^ Pam Peters, The Cambridge Guide to English Usage (2003).