One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Used in songs as (part of) a refrain. Also in extended use. Compare "hey", "nonny", nonny-no. Now archaic.
A refrain of ‘nonny-nonny’. Compare nonny-norare.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in John Heywood (c1496–c1578), playwright and epigrammatist. Origin unknown.
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