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ninny

[nin-ee]
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noun, plural nin·nies.
  1. a fool or simpleton.
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Origin of ninny

1585–95; perhaps generic use of pet form of Innocent proper name; see -y2
Related formsnin·ny·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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


British Dictionary definitions for ninny

ninny

noun plural -nies
  1. a dull-witted person
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Derived Formsninnyish, 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

Word Origin and History for ninny

n.

"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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper