jolly boat


  1. a light boat carried at the stern of a sailing vessel.
  2. a small pleasure sailboat for use in sheltered waters.


  1. a small boat used as a utility tender for a vessel
  2. a small sailing boat used for pleasure

1727, of unknown origin, probably from Danish jolle (17c.) or Dutch jol (1680s), both related to yawl; or it may be from Middle English jolywat (late 15c.) “a ship’s small boat,” of unknown origin.

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