lately i read about the poem "Sigh No More, Ladies..." (From "Much Ado about Nothing"). it aroused my question, i.e., what does the nonny mean here?
additionally, does the leavy here mean the engery that summer emits? or anyone would like to explain it are
also welcomed.
i appreciate it sincerely.

poem

beg
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh nor more;
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into. Hey nonny, nonny.
Sing no more ditties, sing no mo,
Or dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leavy.
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into. Hey, nonny, nonny.

poem

end
1 2
lately i read about the poem "Sigh No More, Ladies..." (From "Much Ado about Nothing"). it aroused my question, i.e., what does the nonny mean here?

It's a nonsense word with no particular meaning, but was typical of English folk songs of that era. It imparts rhythm, implies jollity, punctuates a song and provides a chorus which everyone can join in with.
The phrase "hey-nonny-no", and variations of it, have now become something of a derisive way to reference traditional English folk songs, in the same way that people describe stereotypical Irish music as "tiddly-i-ti" music.
additionally, does the leavy here mean the engery that summer emits?

I'm guessing that it would now be 'leafy' - that is, bearing leaves. So in context:
The fraud of men was ever so, Since summer first was leavy.

Men have always been dishonest
Ever since leaves grew in summer
Compare this to the second line in the song
Men were deceivers ever

TSH
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lately i read about the poem "Sigh No More, Ladies..." ... aroused my question, i.e., what does the nonny mean here?

It's a nonsense word with no particular meaning, but was typical of English folk songs of that era. It imparts rhythm, implies jollity, punctuates a song and provides a chorus which everyone can join in with.

snip
For what it's worth, OED also notes that "nonny-nonny" which, like "nonny-no" is a meaningless refrain of obscure origin was "formerly often used to cover indelicate allusions".

Cheers, Harvey
Canada for 30 years; S England since 1982.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
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It's a nonsense word with no particular meaning, but was typical of English folk songs of that era. It imparts rhythm, implies jollity, punctuates a song and provides a chorus which everyone can join in with.

I believe the term for it is, of all things, "burden".

Michael DeBusk, Co-Conspirator to Make the World a Better Place Did he update http://home.earthlink.net/~debu4335 / yet?
On 06 Apr 2005, Stewart Hargrave wrote

It's a nonsense word with no particular meaning, but was ... and provides a chorus which everyone can join in with.

snip For what it's worth, OED also notes that "nonny-nonny" which, like "nonny-no" is a meaningless refrain of obscure origin was"formerly often used to cover indelicate allusions".

The Century Dictionary's take on it (and one which uses the term "burden" mentioned by Michael DeBusk):
From
www.century-dictionary.com
(quote)
**** , n. ; pl. nonnies . (An un- meaning refrain repeating nonny-nonny, nony-
nony, nonino, which was also used (like other
orig. unmeaning syllables) as a cover for in-
delicate allusions. Cf. ninny. ) *1(obsolete).* A meaning- less burden in old English ballads and glees,
generally "hey, nonny. " It was similar to the
fa, la of madrigals.
They bore him barefaced on the bier ;
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny.
Shak., Hamlet, iv. 5. 165.
*2.* A whim. (Prov. Eng.)
**** , n. (Cf. ninny. ) A ninny ; a simpleton.
(end quote)
Its definition for "ninny":
(quote)
ninny , n. ; pl. ninnies . (Prob. of spontaneous origin, as a vaguely descriptive
term. Cf. It. nino =3D Sp. ni=F1o, a child, It. ninna, nanna, a lullaby.) A fool ; a simpleton.

What a pied ninny 's this! Thou scurvy patch !
Shak., Tempest, iii. 2. 71.
Some say, compar'd to Buononcini
That Mynheer Handel 's but a ninny.
Byrom, On the Feuds between Handel and Buononcini.

(end quote)
I was amused by the next entry in the Century:
(quote)
*ninny-broth(obsolete),* n. Coffee. (Slang.)
How to make coffee, alias ninny-broth.
Poor Robin (1696). (Nares.)
(end quote)
The 1913 *Webster's Revised and Unabridged Dictionary,* in its etymology for "ninny," goes further back in the etymology of the Italian term.
From the entry for "ninny" athttp://machaut.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/WEBSTER.sh?WORD=3Dninny

(quote)
It. ninna, ninna nanna, lullably, prob. fr. ni, na, as used in singing a child to sleep.
(end quote)

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA=20
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
It's a nonsense word with no particular meaning, but was ... and provides a chorus which everyone can join in with.

I believe the term for it is, of all things, "burden".

Or "burthen."
Walt Kelly, creator of "Pogo", once launched into a series of strips featuring a curly haired girl with no visible pupils in her eyes. She also had a tiny little dog. The girl was named, for reasons I have long since forgotten, "Hey Nonny," and the dog was named no surprise "Arf." So the strip within a strip in which they appeared was "Little Arf and Nonny."
I think Walt would reach farther for a bad pun than any other practicing cartoonist.

Liebs
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So the strip within a strip in which they appeared was "Little Arf and Nonny."

Oh, bravo... kudos to Mr. Kelly. Emotion: smile

Michael DeBusk, Co-Conspirator to Make the World a Better Place Did he update http://home.earthlink.net/~debu4335 / yet?
So the strip within a strip in which they appeared was "Little Arf and Nonny."

Oh, bravo... kudos to Mr. Kelly. Emotion: smile

Can someone please explain what I'm missing here, then?

Matti
lately i read about the poem "Sigh No More, Ladies..." (From "Much Ado about Nothing"). it aroused my question, i.e., what does the nonny mean here?

Nonny and more particularly "Hey, nonny, nonny" (which has the unusual distinction of being a well-known and recognized phrase even though it is composed of nonsense words) is meaningless ... but in the context of the song the suggestion is that "Hey, nonny, nonny" is an exclamation of frivolity that might be made by the ladies to whom the song is addressed once they have eschewed the "sounds of woe" of the previous line.
Cheers,
Daniel.

..and don't say "tush", either! It's only a short step from "tush" to "hey nonny nonny"; and then, I'm afraid, I'll shall have to call the police.
Edmund Blackadder
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