Quora – Is ‘spry’ a real word?

Read James Brooksanswer to Is ‘spry’ a real word? on Quora

Do you mean to ask if it is used in the English language? The answer is that it is.

Spry was first used in 1746 to mean “active, nimble, vigorous, lively”, which is how it is used today, especially of someone who is older. Spry has one of two possible origins:

  1. a shortening of the word sprightly
  2. from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse sprækr, which is related to Swedish sprygg meaning “brisk, active”

Spry is generally pronounced (using the International Phonetic Alphabet) as /spɹaɪ/. It has one syllable and rhymes with fly and shy. While /spɹaɪ/ is considered the “standard pronunciation”, there may be dialects or accents that pronounce the word differently.

If you want to learn more about the International Phonetic Alphabet, you can find a guide here: International Phonetic Alphabet and Phonemic Alphabets

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