-lily

-lily
Few adjectives in -ly form adverbs in -lily because they are too awkward to use. As Fowler noted (1926), ‘it is always possible to say in a masterly manner, at a timely moment, and the like, instead of masterlily, timelily’. Some adjectives in -ly retain the same form for the corresponding adverb, e.g. kindly. A few forms in -lily are in occasional use, most but not all adjectives in which -ly is part of the stem rather than an adjectival ending. The most common is friendlily, followed by sillily, jollily, and uglily, all found in newspaper writing despite being ungainly:

• One of his superior officers, who was friendlily disposed to him —Times, 1992

• Tomlinson's French is uglily distorted —Evening Standard, 1999

• To see how sillily they did it —Observer, 2004

• I chose people who treated me rather jollily really —Herald (Glasgow), 2005.

Others, such as livelily, surlily, and wilily, are virtually non-existent. See also lonelily, lovelily.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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