[Vocabulary] Is 'jolly/' popular?

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englishhobby

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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."
 
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emsr2d2

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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!"
 

andrewg927

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It is still used around the holidays like Christmas.
 

emsr2d2

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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.
 

andrewg927

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Have a holly jolly Christmas.:x-mas:
 

emsr2d2

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Thanks for the very early wishes! That phrase isn't used in BrE though.
 

andrewg927

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Oh, well. Good to know.
 

Tdol

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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.
 

Raymott

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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.
 
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