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jolly

[jol-ee] /ˈdʒɒl i/
adjective, jollier, jolliest.
1.
in good spirits; gay; merry:
In a moment he was as jolly as ever.
2.
cheerfully festive or convivial:
a jolly party.
3.
joyous; happy:
Christmas is a jolly season.
4.
Chiefly British Informal. delightful; charming.
5.
British.
  1. Informal. great; thorough:
    a jolly blunderer.
  2. Slang. slightly drunk; tipsy.
verb (used with object), jollied, jollying.
6.
Informal. to talk or act agreeably to (a person) in order to keep that person in good humor, especially in the hope of gaining something (usually followed by along):
They jollied him along until the job was done.
verb (used without object), jollied, jollying.
7.
Informal. to jolly a person; josh; kid.
noun, plural jollies.
8.
Informal. the practice or an instance of jollying a person.
9.
Usually, jollies. Informal. pleasurable excitement, especially from or as if from something forbidden or improper; thrills; kicks:
He gets his jollies from watching horror movies.
adverb
10.
British Informal. extremely; very:
He'll jolly well do as he's told.
Origin of jolly
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English joli, jolif < Old French, equivalent to jol- (probably < Old Norse jōl Yule) + -if -ive
Related forms
jollily, adverb
jolliness, noun
unjolly, adjective
Synonyms
1–3. glad, spirited, jovial, sportive, playful. See gay.
Antonyms
1–3. gloomy, melancholy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for jollies
Historical Examples
  • The same as the jollies—'er Majesty's jollies—soldier an' sailor too.

  • Dick gets kinder peeved with her sometimes when she jollies him.

    Walter and the Wireless Sara Ware Bassett
  • Still the jollies were in no way disposed to give up their share of me, to which they considered they had a right.

    Ben Burton W. H. G. Kingston
  • I saw three or four of our jollies—as we called the marines—drop while firing away from the forecastle.

    Will Weatherhelm W.H.G. Kingston
  • When you think o' the sinkin' "Victorier's" jollies—soldier an' sailor too.

  • “According to your notion all the jollies are Towers,” cried Nettleship, when he regained his voice.

    Paddy Finn W. H. G. Kingston
  • We sent for the jollies—'er Majesty's jollies—soldier an' sailor too!

  • Karl Ludwig jollies Oswald about those friends who seemed so surprised to see him.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • They are supplied by the boatswain with hammocks, and thus the jollies soon feel themselves at home.

  • He was now engaged in drilling twelve of the most ruffianly and ill-conditioned of the crew, whom he called his jollies.

    Charley Laurel W. H. G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for jollies

jolly

/ˈdʒɒlɪ/
adjective -lier, -liest
1.
full of good humour; jovial
2.
having or provoking gaiety and merrymaking; festive
3.
greatly enjoyable; pleasing
adverb
4.
(Brit) (intensifier): you're jolly nice
verb (transitive) (informal) -lies, -lying, -lied
5.
often foll by up or along. to try to make or keep (someone) cheerful
6.
to make goodnatured fun of
noun
7.
(informal, mainly Brit) a festivity or celebration
8.
(informal, mainly Brit) a trip, esp one made for pleasure by a public official or committee at public expense
9.
(Brit, slang) a Royal Marine
Derived Forms
jolliness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French jolif, probably from Old Norse jōlyule
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jollies

jolly

adj.

c.1300 (late 13c. as a surname), from Old French jolif "festive, merry, amorous, pretty" (12c.) of uncertain origin (cf. Italian giulivo "merry, pleasant").

Perhaps a Germanic loan-word from a source akin to Old Norse jol "a winter feast" (see yule), or from Latin gaudere "to rejoice," from PIE *gau- "to rejoice" (see joy). For loss of -f, cf. tardy, hasty. Related: Jollily; jolliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jollies

jollies

noun

Pleasure and gratification; thrills, esp when somewhat disreputable; bang, kicks: People that drive Buicks are getting some kind of jollies (1957+)

Related Terms

get one's cookies

jolly

verb

To cajole with humor and bonhomie: I was pretty upset, but she jollied me along/ We jollied her into coming along with us (1876+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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14
18
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