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Word of the Day
Saturday, May 26, 2018

Definitions for ferly

  1. something unusual, strange, or causing wonder or terror.
  2. astonishment; wonder.
  3. unexpected; strange; unusual.

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Citations for ferly
As on a May morning, on Malvern hills, / Me befell a ferly of fairy, methought. William Langland (c1330–c1400), The Vision of Piers Plowman, 1360–99
Many a ferly fares to the fair-eyed ... William Morris, Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair, 1895
Origin of ferly
900
Nowadays ferly is used only in Scottish English as a noun meaning “a wonder, a marvel,” and a verb “to wonder.” The Old English source is the adjective fǣrlīc “sudden,” a derivative of the noun fǣr “fear” (akin to German Gefahr “danger” and gefährlich “dangerous”).