A jolly good sport

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A jolly good sport

Postby LanguageLover » 2016-12-16, 9:34

From watching older English movies I always loved the word "jolly" but I was never sure what it meant. Is it still in use?

What would be the meanings of the following expressions?

*"a jolly good sport"
*"a jolly show"
*"a jolly good war", I am not sure if this was a serious use of the word, because it was used in the contexts of the wars being happy and the songs being sad in Ireland
*"a jolly good time"
*"jolly roger"

My dictionary says it will be translated with "cheerful" but I am not sure if this is always correct because I have the feeling that "a jolly good sport" would be better translated with "Sportsfreund". A Sportsfreund in German is a friend you made at the sportsfield if you translate it most literally but it has another connotation as the Sportsfreund is also believed to have certain qualities, for example he is believed to be a good loser. When gelöstes a Game he just says "Geat game. Good performance. Congratulations to you".

People (especially of the older generation) will also use the word in order to address a person when they don't know his or her name. Would that be the same as a "jolly good sport"?

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Re: A jolly good sport

Postby OyVey » 2017-01-09, 20:06

Jolly means "very". A good sport is someone who takes things well. It has nothing to do with sports.
Avatar by gill from Glasgow, uk (oy vey!) CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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