The Other I

March 1, 2013

Whether you want it or not

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 9:39 pm

With all the bits of Latin being bantered about with the pope’s resignation, I learned something quite delightful about the etymology of the phrase “willy nilly.”

It is a translation – albeit I will admit a rather free one – of the Latin phrase “volens nolens,” which translates literally as “willing or unwilling.”

But “willy nilly”  is a much more elegant way of saying the same thing, don’t you think?




1 Comment »

  1. This is an interesting one. One doctor I knew used to prescribe drugs for in-patients and instruct the nurses they were to be administered “willy nilly” but later realised that people thought that “willy nilly” meant something akin to “randomly”…


    Comment by sanstorm — March 1, 2013 @ 9:57 pm | Reply

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