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billy

[bil-ee]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural bil·lies.
  1. Also called billy club. a police officer's club or baton.
  2. a heavy wooden stick used as a weapon; cudgel.
  3. Scot. Dialect. comrade.
  4. Also called bil·ly·can [bil-ee-kan] /ˈbɪl iˌkæn/. Australian. any container in which water may be carried and boiled over a campfire, ranging from a makeshift tin can to a special earthenware kettle; any pot or kettle in which tea is boiled over a campfire.
  5. Textiles. (in Great Britain) a roving machine.

Origin of billy

perhaps all independently derived generic uses of Billy (male name); for Australian sense compare Scots dialect billy-pot cooking pot

Billy

[bil-ee]
noun
  1. a male given name, form of William.
  2. Also Bil·lye. a female given name.

Graham

[grey-uh m, gram]
noun
  1. Katharine Meyer,1917–2001, U.S. newspaper publisher.
  2. Martha,1894–1991, U.S. dancer and choreographer.
  3. Thomas,1805–69, Scottish chemist.
  4. William FranklinBilly, born 1918, U.S. evangelist.
  5. a male given name: from an Old English word meaning “gray home.”

Strayhorn

[strey-hawrn]
noun
  1. WilliamBilly, 1915–67, U.S. jazz pianist and composer: collaborator with Duke Ellington.

Bishop

[bish-uh p]
noun
  1. Elizabeth,1911–79, U.S. poet.
  2. HazelGladys, 1906–1998, U.S. chemist and businesswoman.
  3. John Peale,1892–1944, U.S. poet and essayist.
  4. Morris (Gilbert),1893–1973, U.S. humorist, poet, and biographer.
  5. William AveryBilly, 1894–1956, Canadian aviator: helped to establish Canadian air force.

Bitzer

[bit-ser]
noun
  1. George WilliamJohann Gottlob Wilhelm BitzerBilly, 1872–1944, U.S. cinematographer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for billy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "He said he was poor," urged Billy, who had been rather taken with the ease of Arledge's manner.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Billy, go up to the address he gives you, and get some of these se-gars.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • To Billy Brue was allotted the easiest as being the most probable route.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • It was thus Billy Brue found him at the end of his second day's search.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "That's right," said Billy Brue, with the quick sympathy of the experienced.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson


British Dictionary definitions for billy

billy1

noun plural -lies
  1. US and Canadian a wooden club esp a police officer's truncheon

Word Origin

C19: special use of the name Billy, pet form of William

billy2

billycan (ˈbɪlɪˌkæn)

noun plural -lies or -lycans
  1. a metal can or pot for boiling water, etc, over a campfire
  2. Australian and NZ (as modifier)billy-tea
  3. Australian and NZ informal to make tea

Word Origin

C19: from Scot billypot cooking vessel

bishop

noun
  1. (in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Greek Orthodox Churches) a clergyman having spiritual and administrative powers over a diocese or province of the ChurchSee also suffragan Related adjective: episcopal
  2. (in some Protestant Churches) a spiritual overseer of a local church or a number of churches
  3. a chesspiece, capable of moving diagonally over any number of unoccupied squares of the same colour
  4. mulled wine, usually port, spiced with oranges, cloves, etc

Word Origin

Old English biscop, from Late Latin epīscopus, from Greek episkopos, from epi- + skopos watcher

Bishop

noun
  1. Elizabeth . 1911–79, US poet, who lived in Brazil. Her poetry reflects her travelling experience, esp in the tropics

graham

noun
  1. (modifier) mainly US and Canadian made of graham flourgraham crackers

Word Origin

C19: named after S. Graham (1794–1851), American dietetic reformer

Graham

noun
  1. Martha. 1893–1991, US dancer and choreographer
  2. Thomas. 1805–69, British physicist: proposed Graham's law (1831) of gaseous diffusion and coined the terms osmosis, crystalloids, and colloids
  3. William Franklin, known as Billy Graham. born 1918, US evangelist

Strayhorn

noun
  1. Billy, full name William Strayhorn. 1915–67, US jazz composer and pianist, noted esp for his association (1939–67) with Duke Ellington
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for billy

n.

"club," 1848, American English, originally burglars' slang for "crowbar;" meaning "policeman's club" first recorded 1856, probably from nickname of William, applied to various objects (cf. jack, jimmy, jenny).

bishop

n.

Old English bisceop "bishop, high priest (Jewish or pagan)," from Late Latin episcopus, from Greek episkopos "watcher, overseer," a title for various government officials, later taken over in a Church sense, from epi- "over" (see epi-) + skopos "watcher," from skeptesthai "look at" (see scope (n.1)). Given a specific sense in the Church, but the word also was used in the New Testament as a descriptive title for elders, and continues as such in some non-hierarchical Christian sects.

A curious example of word-change, as effected by the genius of different tongues, is furnished by the English bishop and the French évêque. Both are from the same root, furnishing, perhaps the only example of two words from a common stem so modifying themselves in historical times as not to have a letter in common. (Of course many words from a far off Aryan stem are in the same condition.) The English strikes off the initial and terminal syllables, leaving only piscop, which the Saxon preference for the softer labial and hissing sounds modified into bishop. Évêque (formerly evesque) merely softens the p into v and drops the last syllable. [William S. Walsh, "Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities," Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott, 1892]

Late Latin episcopus in Spanish became obispo. Cognate with Old Saxon biscop, Old High German biscof. The chess piece (formerly archer, before that alfin) was so called from 1560s.

Graham

in reference to crackers, etc., from unsifted whole-wheat flour, 1834, American English, from Sylvester Graham (1794-1851), U.S. dietetic reformer and temperance advocate. The family name is attested from early 12c., an Anglo-French form of the place name Grantham (Lincolnshire).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

billy in Medicine

Bishop

(bĭshəp)
  1. American microbiologist. He shared a 1989 Nobel Prize for discovering a sequence of genes that can cause cancer when mutated.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

billy in Science

Bishop

[bĭshəp]
  1. American molecular biologist who, working with Harold Varmus, discovered oncogenes. For this work, Bishop and Varmus shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

billy in Culture

bishop

In some Christian churches, a person appointed to oversee a group of priests or ministers and their congregations. In the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Roman Catholic Church, bishops are considered the successors of the Twelve Apostles.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.