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Date: May 07 2003


1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

“It’s not like I’m ashamed of who I was ten years ago, but I was going through life in a willy-nilly way.”
- Madonna, talking about life.


1. Definition - Study the definition.

without thinking, without a plan, in a careless way, in an out of control way, haphazardly

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

You can use “willy-nilly,” to describe something that’s done without thought and without a plan of action. For example, if you’re in college, but you don’t have a plan of study and you’re taking many different kinds of classes, then you’re going through college “willy-nilly.” Or, if you never think about what you eat, then your diet could be described as “willy-nilly.”


1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

””I don’t like hanging out with Jeffrey. Everything he does is so willy-nilly. You just never know where you’re going to go and where you’ll end up at the end of the night.”“

””I was really bored so I just started driving around the city willy-nilly. I didn’t really have anywhere to go, but I didn’t want to stay at home.”“

””My life has been pretty willy-nilly up to this point, but now I feel like I should get a job and take things seriously.”“


1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

I believe ’’Willy-nilly’’ It’s used in a careless way without planning something.
by Leyda (Heredia, Costa Rica)
I think “willy-nilly“here means without order or plan, haphazard.
by annie (Putian, China)
WILLY-NILLY in this context means in a careless way without planning.
by Luis Orlando (Tampa Florida, United States)
I think willy-nilly means uncontrollably; happening without plan.
by lianne (Alhambra, US)
She means that at this time, she was living without caring about the future, about the values of life…
by Gaby (São Paulo, Brasil)
It means that her life was undecided, vacillating.
by Antonio (Tianguá, Brazil)
Willy-nilly,” wheather desired or not, haphazardly.
by GC (Genoa, Italy)
I think ‘willy-nilly way’ means a special, ridiculous way which is much different from other people.
by Tracy (Hong Kong, China)
Willy-nilly just means ‘surely and without regard to plans or inclination’, synonyms, helplessly, inescapably, inevitably, perforce, unavoidably, whether or no…
by vedatgirgin (Istanbul, Turkey)
If something happens willy-nilly, it happens whether you want it to or not.
by talin (Tehran, Iran)
willy-nilly” means something happens without your desire.You can’t avoid it.
by Thao (Hochiminh, Vietnam)
It is an adverb that means that it happens whether you want it or not. For example, Arunee must accept the decision, willy-nilly.
by Nee (Bangkok, Thailand)
regardless of wheather it is wanted or not
by LAM (Hong Kong, China)
The means of “willy-nilly” could be: “it must be”, “it has to happen”. In portuguese: “quer queira quer nao”, “por bem ou por mal”
by Elcio (Campinas, Brazil)
Willy-nilly means you will do something whether the person wants or not.
by Luana (Sumaré, Brazil)
Express something which must be happen, it doesn’t hold for you or you can choose it!
by Hamid (Larnaca, Cyprus)
i guess it express an attitude that you have to face, whatever you are willing or not.
by ypp (Daqing, China)
I think, Madonna means, that she lived in very unordinary way 10 or more years ago; in way, that’s can’t be accepted by (normal) ordinay people.
by Irma (Kutaisi, Georgia)
I think the slang “willy-nilly” means “wrong”.
by Ritoca (São Paulo, Brazil)
willy-nilly means i was going in life in wide & narrow way, it shows that life wasnt easy before.
by DeSiDeRaTa (elfaiha, kuwait)
That means inarguable way—she lives in her own way by her unshakeble will.
by Qiong (Beijing, China)

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