Family name origins & meanings
- English : nickname for a person with a cheerful disposition, from Middle English seely ‘happy’, ‘fortunate’ (Old Englishsǣlig, from sǣl ‘happiness’, ‘good fortune’). The word was also occasionally used as a female personal name during the Middle Ages. The sense ‘pitiable’, which developed into modern English silly, is not attested before the 15th century.
- Altered form of German Seele, respelled to preserve the bisyllabic pronunciation of the German name.