student asking question

What is the difference between "silly" and "stupid"? Does British use "silly" more than "stupid"?


Native speaker’s answer


Excellent question. The word "stupid" is generally used to mean lacking intelligence. Because of that, it can be a serious insult to call someone or their actions stupid. "Silly" on the other hand is usually used to mean lacking common sense. It is also used more affectionately and does not carry the same feeling of insult. In British English, the word "silly" is a lot more commonplace and is used by both children and adults. Ex: Oh you silly thing. Don't put that there. Ex: That was stupid of you. Ex: That was silly of you.

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