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Scilly

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
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Examples from the Web for scilly
Historical Examples
  • Outwardly, things looked all right; there was the cable attached at Land's End, and here was its other end at scilly.

    The Cornwall Coast Arthur L. Salmon
  • It was natural that Tresco should become the ecclesiastical centre of scilly.

    The Cornwall Coast Arthur L. Salmon
  • It is frequently stated, as a reason for its equable climate, that scilly lies right in the course of the Gulf Stream.

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

    The Cornwall Coast Arthur L. Salmon
  • A turtle weighing a ton has been caught off the scilly Isles.

  • "scilly people," piped a shrill female voice from our midst.

  • In scilly, however, there is more sunshine and less rain than on the mainland.

    Cornwall Sabine Baring-Gould
  • It was on the 5th of December that we sighted the scilly Isles.

    The Frozen Pirate W. Clark Russell
  • Like climatic conditions and a like industry account for the 2,000 souls living on the inhabited islands of the scilly group.

    Influences of Geographic Environment Ellen Churchill Semple
  • The fine weather continued until she had got clear of scilly.

    The Three Admirals W.H.G. Kingston

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