• IPA(key): /ˈnɪni/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪni


ninny (plural ninnies)

  1. (informal) A silly or foolish person.
    Synonyms: dummkopf; see also Thesaurus:idiot
    • 1601 (date written), Iohn Marston [i.e., John Marston], What You Will, London: [] G[eorge] Eld, for Thomas Thorppe, published 1607, OCLC 1203223082, Act V:
      Byd. [] a good cheeke, an inticing eye, a smooth skinne, a well shapt leg, a faire hand, you cannot bring a wench into a fooles parradize for you?
      Sim. Not I by this garter, I am a foole, a very Ninny I, how call you her? how call you her?
    • 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii], page 12:
      Caliban: What a py'de Ninnie's this? Thou ſcvrvy patch: []
    • 1962, John D. MacDonald
      Ninny — that soft, smiling, self-effacing, apologetic fellow, the type who is terribly sorry when you happen to step on his foot, the kind you can borrow money from in the certainty he will never demand you repay it.
    • 2021 May 7, Barrett Swanson, “The Anxiety of Influencers”, in Harper's Magazine[1]:
      Now, on the pool deck, the boys tussle and roughhouse with the zeal of Labrador puppies, slugging each other lovingly in the shoulders and then retreating with giggles like ninnies.

Related termsEdit