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2017 Word of the Year

nelly

[nel-ee] /ˈnɛl i/
noun, Australian Slang.
1.
inferior or cheap wine.
Origin of nelly
1940-1945
First recorded in 1940-45; of uncertain origin

Nellie

or Nelly

[nel-ee] /ˈnɛl i/
noun
1.
a female given name, form of Helen.
2.
(often lowercase) Slang.
  1. Offensive. a fussily effeminate male.
  2. Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a male homosexual.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nelly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Of course, as fast as I can lay hands on them, I'm destroying every likeness of the old nelly.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • Why, nelly doesn't leave the house; I've stopped her attendance even at Barnard.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • Is Mr. Bellmer handsome—handsome enough to be nelly's partner?

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • nelly, next week it will be a year since our first betrothal; do you remember?

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • Grand and beautiful as she is to others, to him she is still his little nelly.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
British Dictionary definitions for nelly

nelly

/ˈnɛlɪ/
noun
1.
(sentence substitute) (Brit, slang) not under any circumstances; certainly not
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
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Word Origin and History for nelly

Nelly

fem. proper name, also Nellie, diminutive of Nell, a pet form of Ellen, Helen, or Eleanor. Meaning "weak-spirited person" is first attested 1961.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for nelly

nellie

adjective

  1. Homosexual; effeminate; gay, swish: Well, his backstroke is a little Nellie/ what in the past would have been described as a Nelly queen
  2. Overfastidious; finicky; schoolmarmish: ''As follow'' is Nellie usage and probably incorrect (1960s+)

Related Terms

nervous nellie

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with nelly

Nellie

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Nearby words for nelly

Difficulty index for nelly

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for nelly

0
10
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