Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    englishhobby's Avatar
    englishhobby is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,886

    Is 'jolly/' popular?

    Is the word jolly very popular in modern English? It sounds like it's a bit dated to me... What are its closest synonyms?

    Are the following sentences natural?

    "My aunt has six children." "Wow! I bet they have a jolly life." or
    "Wow! I bet it's a jolly family."
    Last edited by englishhobby; 16-Jul-2017 at 16:31.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    61,335

    Re: Is 'jolly/' popular?

    It sounds dated to me too. We tend to use it to describe rather round, happy people, usually men! For example, Santa Claus is usually frequently described as "jolly" - he's a chubby, red-faced guy who says "Ho! Ho! Ho!" a lot. You might occasionally hear people say "Jolly good" but it isn't commonly used anymore.

    In your examples, I might use "I bet that's a happy household!" or "I bet they have a lot of fun!"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    1,325

    Re: Is 'jolly/' popular?

    It is still used around the holidays like Christmas.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    61,335

    Re: Is 'jolly/' popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg927 View Post
    It is still used around the holidays like Christmas.
    Even at Christmas, I can't think of a natural sentence in which I would use it, except when referring to Santa Claus as I mentioned before.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. #5
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    1,325

    Re: Is 'jolly/' popular?

    Have a holly jolly Christmas.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    61,335

    Re: Is 'jolly/' popular?

    Thanks for the very early wishes! That phrase isn't used in BrE though.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. #7
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    1,325

    Re: Is 'jolly/' popular?

    Oh, well. Good to know.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    74,131

    Re: Is 'jolly/' popular?

    You may hear jolly hockey sticks used to describe some posh people's speech in the UK- it suggests a boisterous but passé Enid Blytonesque enthusiasm. I did hear jolly good as a child. I can't think of the last time I heard it used without irony. We are more merry Christmas nowadays.

  9. #9
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    25,679

    Re: Is 'jolly/' popular?

    I don't know if this is specifically Australian, but the following have been used - not so much these days now that stronger adjectives are tolerated. It's a swear word substitute, with no actual meaning.
    "Get that jolly dog out of the house!"
    "He jolly well better do it!"

    I can't remember it being used to mean jolly though.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •