The Grammarphobia Blog

Funny you asked

Q: What do you think about the expression “funnily enough”? Hideously awkward, but it fills a slot nothing else can.

A: There’s nothing wrong with “funnily enough,” though it sounds awkward to my ear (I prefer “oddly enough”).

The adverb “funnily,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary, has been in use since at least the early 19th century.

The first use in writing, as far as we know, was in a letter written in 1814 by Harriet Countess Granville, quoting someone else. Lady Granville’s letter reads: “Freddy is extremely galant about Susan, says she is such a nice girl, and talks so funnily and sweetly.”

Here’s a “funny” descendant that hasn’t fared as well: “funnyism,” meaning a joke. The first reference in the OED comes from another literary lady, Caroline Fox. In 1839 she referred to “stories and funnyisms of all descriptions.”

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