- Also called billy club. a police officer's club or baton.
- a heavy wooden stick used as a weapon; cudgel.
- Scot. Dialect. comrade.
- 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.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- US and Canadian a wooden club esp a police officer's truncheon
C19: special use of the name Billy, pet form of William
- a metal can or pot for boiling water, etc, over a campfire
- Australian and NZ (as modifier)billy-tea
- Australian and NZ informal to make tea
C19: from Scot billypot cooking vessel
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 billycan
"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).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper