willy-nilly, to do something(redirected from to do something willy-nilly)
1. Without thought, order, or reason; haphazardly. You can't just choose a college willy-nilly—you have to do some research. It appears he listed the items willy-nilly, with no regard to how they were loaded.
2. Regardless of whether or not it is desired. I'm afraid you're going to be assigned to a classroom willy-nilly.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
willy-nilly, to do something
Willingly or not; anyhow, any old way. This very old term was once will-he, nill-he, nill being the negative of will (i.e., will not or won’t). It was in print by the late thirteenth century and was picked up by numerous writers, including Shakespeare (in Hamlet). Today it is sometimes used in the original sense—that is, this will happen, whether or not one wants it to—and also (erroneously according to the OED but not American dictionaries), in the meaning of sloppily or in disorganized fashion.
See also: something
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer