Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


isles off Cornwall, of unknown origin. Pliny has Silumnus, Silimnis. Perhaps connected with the Roman god Sulis (cf. Aquae sulis "Bath"). The -y might be Old Norse ey "island" The -c- added 16c.-17c. "[A]bout the only certain thing that can be said is that the c of the modern spelling is not original but was added for distinction from ModE silly as this word developed in meaning from 'happy, blissful' to 'foolish.'" [Victor Watts, "Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names," 2004].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for scilly
Historical Examples
  • It was on the 5th of December that we sighted the scilly Isles.

    The Frozen Pirate W. Clark Russell
  • It was natural that Tresco should become the ecclesiastical centre of scilly.

    The Cornwall Coast Arthur L. Salmon
  • Industrially, we chiefly think of scilly in connection with flowers.

    The Cornwall Coast Arthur L. Salmon
  • The naval importance of scilly was fully realised in those days.

    The Cornwall Coast Arthur L. Salmon
  • "scilly people," piped a shrill female voice from our midst.

  • The fine weather continued until she had got clear of scilly.

    The Three Admirals W.H.G. Kingston
  • The Earl of scilly chid me but this summer for sparing the rod and spoiling the child.

    Harding's luck E. [Edith] Nesbit
  • There was no escaping Cromwell—not even in scilly any more than in Jamaica.

    Armorel of Lyonesse Walter Besant
  • You will know nothing whatever about scilly if you go to-morrow.'

    Armorel of Lyonesse Walter Besant
  • Then the sea washed away all the land between scilly and the Land's End.

    Armorel of Lyonesse Walter Besant

Word of the Day

Nearby words for scilly

Word Value for scilly

Scrabble Words With Friends