Pronunciation: [ˈə͡ʊnli ðə lˈə͡ʊnli] (IPA)

"Only the Lonely" is a popular 1960s song by Roy Orbison, known for its unique spelling of "lonely" as /ˈloʊnli/. The word is spelled with only one "l", despite the fact that the pronunciation indicates a double "l" sound. This spelling is a result of English language conventions, specifically the rule that states that when adding a suffix to a word that ends in a single vowel plus a consonant, the final consonant is doubled. In the case of "lonely", the suffix "-ly" is added, resulting in the unique spelling.

ONLY THE LONELY Meaning and Definition

  1. "Only the lonely" is an English phrase that denotes the feeling of isolation, desolation, or solitude amidst a lack of companionship or emotional connection. It essentially encompasses the notion of being alone, not necessarily physically, but rather emotionally or mentally, without any meaningful social or romantic relationships.

    The phrase often depicts a state of profound sadness or longing for company that pervades someone's life. It could refer to individuals who may have many acquaintances or contacts, but lack truly deep or intimate connections, rendering them to feel inherently lonely.

    The term "only the lonely" is frequently used to describe individuals who struggle to form lasting relationships or who find it challenging to connect with others on a profound level. They may have difficulty finding someone who truly understands or relates to their thoughts, emotions, or experiences.

    This phrase can also be associated with a sense of melancholy, highlighting the feeling of being trapped in a cycle of loneliness, where one feels their solitude is perpetual and insurmountable. Consequently, it may carry connotations of longing for love, companionship, or acceptance.

    Furthermore, "only the lonely" often brings to mind the idea that loneliness can be an incredibly isolating and painful state, emphasizing the desire and need for human connection and understanding.