Willy Nilly – I Will, I Nill.

Willy-Nilly – Without direction or planning; haphazardly.

‘Willy Nilly’ – sounds like nonsense – but it’s actually a contraction of ‘Will I, Nill I’, ‘nill’ here is used with an early meaning – ‘to want to avoid something’, the phrase means ‘I will it, I will it not to happen’ and was meant to suggest uncertainty where something bears no mind to what the speaker wants.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s