One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural liltiesNorthern Irish
An excitable and energetic person.‘he was out the door like a lilty’
- ‘He was out the door like a lilty.’
- ‘I am always gadding about all over the place like a lilty.’
- ‘I skip over urban cobbles and paving cracks like a lilty.’
- ‘Eileen was up and down those first-class aisles like a lilty.’
- ‘"Away with the fairies" is an epithet for someone who is a bit of a lilty.’
Mid 19th century: of uncertain origin; probably from lilt; perhaps influenced by Scots lintie ‘lively girl’, an abbreviation of linnet.
nounPlural liltiesin phrase give it lilty
Put a great deal of effort into an activity.‘we gave it lilty and got through to day two’
- ‘Us four supporters were giving it lilty behind the standing goals at the oppositie side from where he scored the point.’
- ‘All the lads gave it lilty in the first 60 minutes.’
- ‘Here's me, giving it lilty from the handbook of day filling and she gets a strop on.’
- ‘My head aches from the screaming of the excited six year olds giving it lilty as they hurtle down the slide.’
- ‘There he was, giving it lilty and inciting the crowd into a good-humoured frenzy.’
Early 19th century: from the sense of lilty ‘a beating’, a variant of Scots laldy.
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