How Much Is "A Goodly Amount"?

Phrases are rich in communicative powers.

I do love old phrases that I heard in my childhood from my grandmother and grandfather, their parents, and aunts and uncles.  Their system of measurements are especially dear to my understanding of the values of things.

I miss these nuanced usages in today’s abbreviated communications.

Just the other day I had occasion to see what reaction a phrase would elicit from my teenagers.  

My hands were busy dipping chicken in buttermilk and then dredging it in flour for the dutchoven deep fryer. I could see that I was going to run out of flour yet could not spare the time to rinse my hands to refill the flouring plate while three thighs were already candescent in the roiling olive oil.

 “Give me a goodly amount of flour, please,” I requested peering into the fryer for a moment then when I returned my gaze upon the flour dish and saw an overflowing pile upon it. I laughed and told them, “Well, that’s a bit more than a goodly amount.

We all had a good chuckle about it and I told them the story of learning how much “a goodly amount” is from my grandmother’s kitchen. I thought a moment when they asked just exactly how much it is and I came up with this explanation, “I guess it’s proportionate to the size of the dish, it would probably be somewhere between more than a couple of tablespoons and less than a cup.” More laughter and acknowledgement that cooking fried chicken is an artistic endeavour that is hard to communicate with standard measurements and formulas.

Link to great, but not my fried chicken, with photos if you want to see some ambrosia.

The phraseology of old requires intimacy and attention to personal and specific instances and situations. It is  ripe with inclusion into the art of communication and has “a goodly amount” of agreement upon meaning and values.


Definition of GOODLY    good·ly adj \ˈgu̇d-lē\   good·li·er    good·li·est
1   pleasantly attractive
2   significantly large : considerable <a goodly number>

Examples of GOODLY
<$10,000 is a goodly reward to offer for a missing wedding ring>
<a goodly number of people gathered to watch the spectacle>

First Known Use of GOODLY
before 12th century 

adjective considerable, large, significant, substantial, tidy (informal), ample, sizable or sizeable He spent a goodly part of his life in America.

Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
goodly  A goodly amount or part of something is a fairly large amount or part of it, often more than was expected.  English Collins Dictionary 


Here are some random unrelated gems I found from searching the phrase,
“a goodly amount”

Peaches and health

Peaches contain a goodly amount of potassium and also contain vitamins C and A. They have diuretic and laxative properties, aid in the stimulation of digestive juices, and add color to the complexion. Peach leaf tea destroys worms.


Very interesting side trail, now we know some of what is in those FedEx trucks and why they’re sporting hazardous materials placards!

When it comes to plasmid DNA, it is relatively straightforward for a researcher to make copies from a tiny, forensic amount of the original. Because of this, it’s become trendy in recent years to send out DNA, not in a goodly amount in a tube, but as spots dried onto a piece of filter paper. This spot can be rehydrated and zapped into E. coli bacteria, which will create copies of the plasmid which you can then liberate from the bugs in large quantities………………And so it was that the Fedex package arrived. And I knew immediately how the DNA had been sent — the package was flat as a pancake. I fondled it optimistically, but there was definitely no tube in there, not even one of those weeny PCR-sized tubes.

Ah well, I thought philosophically as I roused the bugs from their dormant sleep in the -70 freezer. It’s definitely possible to be too greedy. The lab in question probably sends out hundreds of plasmids a week, and it’s just not practical to feed the five thousand. In fact, the post-doc was doing me a favor: I have way too much on on Monday, and another experiment probably would have tipped the balance.

Besides, I like bacterial work: it reminds me of my lost youth as a bona fide microbiologist.

So let’s hear it for the kindness of strangers, something that definitely makes the scientific world go round.

( from
Hummmm, reminds me of Michael Crichton whose writing shares so many fascinating scientific details in fiction. Seems a casual thoughtful blog from research person point of view.
Isn’t that an amazing search-rabbit trail find?)

This from ;

Book Review: Silver – My Own Tale As Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder by Edward Chupack


This link;

a GOODLY amount of links to house church resources and organizations, both USA and UK.

lead me to review one of my favourite Missionaries to China, Gladys Aylward.  from James E. Keifer’s Biographies  of Christians. Further taking me to Church History from AD 33 through The Reformation  and finally I ended up going to the movie of Gladys Aylward’s life The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)
 158 min – Biography | Drama | War – 19 December 1958 (West Germany) starring Ingrid Bergman,   I have enjoyed this movie several times before, it  is long but very beautiful and meaningful.
I read the book beforehand, it is well worthwhile.  1957, Alan Burgess wrote a book about her, The Small Woman. When Newsweek magazine reviewed the movie, and summarized the plot, a reader, supposing the story to be fiction, wrote in to say, “In order for a movie to be good, the story should be believable!” Miss Gladys Aylward, the Small Woman, Ai-weh-deh, died 3 January 1970.


(By now I am far afield from my search phrase;)
“a goodly amount” 


Ok, this is just too much! Now I have been lead to;
Sailing adventures in the first Light Trow—a homebuilt, 15ft 6”, ply and epoxy, yawl rigged, sail and row day-boat named Onawind Blue

First I fried some prawns with a goodly amount of garlic and chilli, then I set them aside while I added a goodly amount of white wine to the pot along with the fish stock and a few handfuls of rice.

I ate the prawns while the broth simmered then added the mussels and a goodly amount of parsley.


And finally to wrap up this post, a dessert;

 Wanting a bit more willpower? Try a bite of chocolate…
November 10, 2011 Dr. Charlie Brown, Health and Fitness, Mental Toughness    It also turns out that will power requires a goodly amount of energy, primarily in the form of glucose……….. the “HALT principle”….is a reminder to never get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Modern brain imaging research validates the HALT principle. If you are hungry and struggling with will power, a bite of something sweet may provide the sugar boost that you need to sustain self control (just make certain is is only a bite!)………………………….

My suggested form of glucose is a Belgian Cocoa Dusted Truffle or two, eaten very slowly. That’s a goodly amount of those richly satisfying treats to make anyone feel pretty happy.


2 thoughts on “How Much Is "A Goodly Amount"?

  1. Ma says:

    Fried chicken IS an artistic endeavor! I used to work at a restaurant that specialized in fried chicken (not KFC or anything like that) but iron skillet, pan fried chicken…in lard. It was awesome stuff. One cook there said the secret to frying chicken was having the "guts" (he used a different word) to say "it's done". I miss fried chicken, we don't have it much around here. The Mr. is a beef man:)

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