Lovely jubbly. Notice the pronunciation, 'lovely jubbly'. There is a kind of resonance there, a rhyming resonance, which is part of the attraction of the phrase.
It's a jocular exclamation. It means excellent, brilliant, great. It's the sort of thing you'd say when you got some good news or had a stroke of luck, 'ah, lovely jubbly'.
Well, would you use it? It depends whether you're influenced by television, I suppose, more than anything else. It's one of the slang phrases that was used by Dell Boy in the television series 'Only Fools and Horses', back in the 1990s. It actually goes back longer than that. These script writers are well aware of some of the earlier usages of phrases like this. In fact, you can take it right back to the 1950s, when there was an ice lolly called a jubbly, and there was an advertising catch phrase, 'lovely jubbly', and the Dell usage, I suppose, has come from that.
It later moved into London slang, mainly, I've heard it elsewhere but mainly in London, for anything that was excellent. I've heard it with reference to food - very tasty food is lovely jubbly food. Lovely jubbly antiques, there are - beautiful antiques, lovely jubbly people. And I guess these programmes are lovely jubbly programmes!
Transcript (pdf - 42k)
Lesson plan - Teacher's notes, student worksheets with answers (pdf - 39k)
Audio - Professor David Crystal on "Lovely jubbly" (mp3 - 490k)
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