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Etymology history?Edit

It seems to me there ought to be a little more discussion of the tremendous amount of semantic shift this word has undergone from its OE roots.

  • Old English: “blessed”
  • 1400: “innocent” (Cely art thou, hooli virgyne marie.)
  • 1470: “deserving of compassion” (Sely Scotland, that of helpe has gret neide.)
  • 1633: “weak” (Thou onely art The mightie God, but I am a sillie worm.)
  • “simple” or “ignorant”
  • Today: “foolish” 20:10, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

I do not know if the dates are exact but this etymology (or history) of "silly" is more useful for a reader of wiktionary and more etymologically correct. The way meanings are "expressed" (archaic 1, obsolete 2-8-9) does not give the knowledge as to when it was used with every sense. Also the usage of the word through out the centuries, indicates that the new meaning is not a direct outcome of "Phonetic variant of seely". (same problems of course arise in many other lemmas ex. nice) --Xoristzatziki (talk) 04:11, 5 August 2013 (UTC)


I am not sure that silly means foolish exactly, but something more like goofy or ridiculous in a small or cute way, or something like that, eh? What do you all think? Dudanotak (talk) 22:22, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

It can mean both (and a lot of other things). Equinox 22:26, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Russian translation not transcribed correctly?Edit

I can't attest either way to that translation's correctness, but in

  • Russian: глупышка (ru) (glúpyj)

I think the correct transcription of the Russian word would be closer to something like glúpyshka.

PauAmma (talk) 14:12, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Absolutely. I think the transliteration was copied from another translation in the same entry. It's already been fixed by another contributor. Thanks for bring it to our attention!
For future reference: the templates automatically provide a Russian transliteration, so it's generally safe to just remove the transliteration from Russian translations (there may be extremely rare cases where the automated transliteration is wrong, but I don't know of any).Chuck Entz (talk) 16:31, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
Return to "silly" page.