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[nin-ee] /ˈnɪn i/
noun, plural ninnies.
a fool or simpleton.
Origin of ninny
1585-95; perhaps generic use of pet form of Innocent proper name; see -y2
Related forms
ninnyish, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ninny
Historical Examples
  • I say, Hurst, don't be such a ninny as to keep them about you!

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • I take it as the reverse of flattering to be supposed that I have any liking for such a ninny as you are.

  • And then, behold, it was only little me, trembling like a leaf and crying like a ninny!

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • "The girl was a ninny to quarrel with a man like this," she thought.

  • All this while Flaxie was pushing, and ninny was shaking her head.

    Lill's Travels in Santa Claus Land and other Stories Ellis Towne, Sophie May and Ella Farman
  • Have I been such a ninny as to throw away my regard upon you?

    The Christmas Books William Makepeace Thackeray
  • "Give her port helm, you ninny," said Hat, wrapping herself in her arms.

  • ninny went singing about the house, and Preston whistled more than ever.

    The Twin Cousins

    Sophie May
  • Did you ever go in the cars alone, ninny, with your own valise, and a check in your pocket?

    The Twin Cousins

    Sophie May
  • “No, I never did—at your age,” replied ninny, who was now a young lady of twelve.

    The Twin Cousins

    Sophie May
British Dictionary definitions for ninny


noun (pl) -nies
a dull-witted person
Derived Forms
ninnyish, adjective
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from an innocent simpleton
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 ninny

"simpleton, fool," 1590s, perhaps a misdivision of an innocent (see N for other examples), or from the pet form of the proper name Innocent, with sense influenced by the name's literal meaning. There may be some influence in the word of Italian ninno "baby, child."

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



A fool or stupid person (1676+)

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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