1. Sullenly ill-humored; gruff.
2. Obsolete Arrogant; domineering.
3. Middle English sirly [masterful, lordly]
中古英语 sirly [傲慢的，高傲的]
5. The fact that the word surly means “churlish” nicely indicates its fall in status. Churlish derives from the word churl, which in its Old English form ceorl meant “a man without rank, a member of the lowest rank of freemen,” as well as “peasant” in general. In Old English ceorl may have been a term of contempt; it certainly became one in Middle English, where cherl meant “base fellow, boor,” with churlish descending in meaning accordingly. Surly, on the other hand, started its life at the top of the scale but fell just as far. Looking at instances of this word in Middle English and Early Modern English, we see that surly was only one spelling for this word, another spelling being sirly, which makes it clear that it came from the word sir, the term of honor for a knight or for a person of rank or importance in general. Thus sirly, the form under which the early spellings of the word are entered in the Oxford English Dictionary, first meant “lordly.” Surly, entered as a separate word in the OED and first recorded in 1566, meant perhaps “lordly, majestic,” in its earliest use, subsequently being used in the sense “masterful, imperious, arrogant.”As the gloss “arrogant” makes clear, the word sirly could have a negative sense, and it is this area of meaning that is responsible for the current “churlish” sense of the word.
surly 意为“粗野的”事实生动地说明了这个词的地位下降。 Churlish 是 churl 的派生词，其古英文形式 ceorl 的意思是“没有爵位的男人，或者是自由民中最低等级的男人”，大概象“农民”一样。 古英语中ceorl 可能含有贬意； 中古英语中肯定是贬意，其cherl 的意思是“卑贱的人，粗野的人”，相应地 churlish 的意思也下降了。 另一方面，Surly 开始是个高尚的字，后来地位同样下降。 从中古英语和早期现代英语中的实例，我们可以看到，surly 的拼法只有一个， 另一个是sirly ，它清楚地表明这个字来自 sir （给于骑士或有等级或有身份的人的尊称）。 因此，sirly 这个字的最初形式记载在 牛津英语词典 中，开始的意思为（有威严的，高傲的）。 Surly 作为另一个字最初于1566年记录在 OED 中， 最初的意思是“老爷的、尊贵的”， 以后的意思为“老爷般的、命令式的、傲慢的”。“傲慢”这个字条清楚地说明sirly 可能有过否定的意思， 也正是在这层意义上，它和目前“粗野的”意义有关