Survey - "Bully for you"

What do you think the phrase “Bully for you” means, both in meaning and in tone, and what is your nationality?

I think it means “That is unfortunate for you but I don’t care” but I am not wholly sure if that’s its meaning.

I am English Born, Manx Resident.

“Well done” or “That’s a piece of luck” but with a snidey overtone. Southern English Brit.

It means, roughly, “I can tell you’re proud/happy about what you just said, but I think it’s trivial or assholish.”


Basically the same as “Well, pin a rose on your nose!” or, “Aren’t you special?” Very sarcastic. I’m American from FL.

Depending on the context and tone, it can mean either:

  • “well done”, in a sincerely positive sense; or
  • “that’s nice, but I really don’t care” in a sarcastic sense.

Probably more likely the latter.


“It’s clear that you’re pleased by this development; no one else gives a shit.”


It means ‘well done’ and the tone is sarky.

English Midlands.

It appears I was off the mark. Consider my ignorance fought (slightly)

‘‘Too bad for you.’’

In the same dismissive tone as someone 'round here might say, ‘‘Sucks to be you.’’


It’s roughly equivalent to “Smashing!” Or at least I think it’s contemporaneous. My father saw me in Arsenic and Old Lace when I was in high school and he’s used “Bully!” periodically ever since.

When I use that phrase I mean it as a sarcastic “well, whoop di doo” or “good for you”. Like if I was complaining about my job and a friend said “I love my job, it’s really great” I would say “bully for you, but mine sucks eggs”.

I’m American.

Ah, there you go. That’s the phrase I was trying to recall when I posted.

Seconded. I’m an American from NE Ohio.

I’m a Theodore Roosevelt fan and it always reminds me of him (and a century ago, he meant the word “Bully!” as high praise indeed).

“While you’re up, patting yourself on the back, get me a beer.”


Of course, anything can be said with a sarcastic tone or intent, and such uses may have become the most common sense in any given location, or for any person.

But the literal original meaning, which like Elendil’s Heir, I associate with TR, simply means “Good for you!”

ETA: I’m American.

“How wonderful for you!” :rolleyes:
This phrase sounds awfully quaint to me. I would use something like “Well, more power to you.” :rolleyes:

“Well, good for you,” very sarcastically. I suppose it might be said without sarcasm, but then “good for you” is a sentiment almost always dispensed with a healthy dose of same, so I just mark it down mentally as a sarcastic phrase in itself.

American, Washington State.

It’s a sarcastic way of saying, “That’s wonderful.”

Frex: I just got an A on the test you said was impossible!

Bully for you.

Midwest American

“Congratualtions!” (non-sarcastic)

  • Australian