Printable Version
Pronunciation: brah-li Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: (British) Umbrella, bumbershoot, parasol.

Notes: Brolly has not spawned any further vocabulary, except it is used figuratively to refer to a parachute. A brolly-hop is a colloquial expression for "parachute jump".

In Play: In Britain (at least) today's Good Word is a slang word for umbrella: "Justin Case was never seen without a brolly, even on sunny days." In heavy rains, he might need wellies and a brolly. "Don't you ever come back to my house", she said, so wildly waving a brolly at him that it unexpectedly opened.

Word History: Today's word is a clipped and altered form of umbrella. It is a term that strikes me as baby talk (motherese), a word that has crept into the everyday vocabulary of UK English. In other words, umbrella as spoken by those just learning English. This is an untested hypothesis, so if anyone who has raised a child in the UK will confirm or disconfirm this hypothesis, I would be happy if you wrote me via the contact page and let me know your experiences. (We have to now thank David McWethy, who recommended this word in the Agora even before he knew its meaning.)

Dr. Goodword,

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