silly(redirected from sillily)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
scare (someone) silly
To shock or frighten someone very suddenly and/or severely. (Hyperbolically alludes to frightening someone so severely as to cause him or her to lose his or her mind.) Don't sneak up on me like that, you scared me silly! That car accident seems to have scared Janet silly—she's still shaken by it.
(you) silly goose
childish You silly, goofy person! You can't have cookies before we eat dinner, you silly goose! You'll spoil your appetite!
An absurdly or extraordinarily large amount of money. Ever since John got into investment banking, he's been making silly money! Part of the reason so many people are in debt is that going to the college costs silly money.
ask a silly question and you get a silly answer
If one asks a strange or nonsensical question, the listener will probably respond with a similarly strange or nonsensical answer. A: "What the heck are you talking about? All I did was ask if you think I should dress my cat up for Halloween!" B: "Well, ask a silly question and you get a silly answer!"
bored sillyand bored to distraction; bored stiff; bored to death; bored to tears
very bored; extremely dull and uninteresting (Usually an exaggeration.) I was bored silly at the lecture. The dull speaker left me bored to distraction. I am bored to tears. Let's go home.
laugh oneself silly
Fig. to laugh very, very hard. I laughed myself silly when I heard that Steven was really going to give the graduation address.
frightened very much. I was scared silly by the loud explosion. We were scared silly to go into the park after dark.
*silly as a goose
very foolish. (*Also: as ~.) Edith is as silly as a goose. She thinks that reading aloud to her house-plants will help them grow. The ad in the newspaper said this lotion would make my hair grow back, but I've been using it for a whole month and my hair is still the same. Jane: You're as silly as a goose! Do you believe everything you read in newspaper ads?
play silly buggers(British & Australian very informal)
to behave in a stupid or annoying way (often in continuous tenses) Stop playing silly buggers and come down off the roof.
the silly season(British & Australian informal)
a period of time in the summer when there is not much news, especially political news, so the newspapers have articles about events that are not important It's the silly season again, and as usual, the papers are full of stories about the Loch Ness Monster.See play silly buggers
ask a stupid question and you'll get a stupid answer
Also, ask a silly question. Your query doesn't deserve a proper answer, as in Am I hungry? ask a stupid question! One authority believes this idiom is a variant of ask me no questions and I'll tell you no fibs, which appeared in Oliver Goldsmith's play She Stoops to Conquer (1773) and was frequently repeated thereafter. [Early 1800s]
scare out of one's wits
Also, frighten out of one's wits; scare stiff or silly or to death or the living daylights out of or the pants off . Terrify, make one panic, as in When the lights went out, she was scared out of her wits, or I was scared stiff that I would fail the driver's test. The first of these hyperbolic terms, scare out of one's wits, is the oldest and, like silly, suggests one is frightened enough to lose one's mind. The verb scare dates from about 1200, and out of one's wits was first recorded in William Tyndale's translation of the Bible in 1526 (I Corinthians 14:23): "Will they not say that ye are out of your wits?" They were first put together in 1697, the same period from which came scare out of one's seven senses, a usage now obsolete. The variant using daylights, which sometimes occurs without living, dates from the 1950s. Daylights at one time referred to the eyes but here means "vital organs." Frighten to death was first recorded in Charles Dickens's Barnaby Rudge (1840) and scare to death probably appeared about the same time. However, to death used as an intensifier dates from the 1500s. These terms allude to the fact that a sudden fright can precipitate cardiac arrest. Scare stiff, first recorded in 1905, alludes to the temporary paralysis that can accompany intense fear. For the last variant, see also under pants off.
mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. I hate to get stoned silly in public. At home—ah, that’s a different matter. He got stoned silly at the rally, and for all I know he is still there on the floor in the corner.