joy noun (SUCCESS)

› [U] UK informal ​success, ​action, or ​help:
[+ -ing verb] Did you have any joy ​finding that ​book you ​wanted?
We ​tried ​asking ​local ​libraries for ​information, but got no joy from any of them.

I noticed that the dictionary says that the word in question can take "ing" after it. How is this possible that a noun can take a verb which follows it? Are we supposed to treat "finding" as present participle which modifies the whole sentence? Like "Did you have any joy (while or in) finding that book you wanted?

  • It seems to be similar to "luck" or "success". Any problem with these two? Dec 26 '15 at 23:00

In BrE usage, joy has a meaning similar to success or luck in AmE usage.

Were you able to ?
Were you successful with ?
Anything positive happen ?

can be asked by Brits by simply using

Any joy ?

an American would ask

Any luck ?

Whereas an American saying

He got no joy finding a new car

would mean

he had no enjoyment in searching for a new car

for a Brit, it would mean

he was unsuccessful

Joy like luck is something you can get, however it is not something lost, nor is it bad
From my experience, it is primarily used by the English

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