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[nik-see] /ˈnɪk si/
a letter or parcel that is undeliverable by the post office because of a faulty or illegible address.
Origin of nixie1
First recorded in 1880-85; nix1 + -ie


[nik-see] /ˈnɪk si/
noun, German Folklore.
a female water spirit.
1810-20; < German Nixe (Middle High German nickese, Old High German nicchessa; see nix2), perhaps construed at time of borrowing as nix2 + -ie Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nixie
Historical Examples
  • "Oh, we shall want to talk to you; nixie is such a nice dog," laughed Barbara.

    The Wyndam Girls Marion Ames Taggart
  • Get into the house, nixie, you crazy pup; you've lost your walk.

    The Wyndam Girls Marion Ames Taggart
  • Here the nixie waved her tail triumphantly, and flirted it in the hunter's face in a way that was too provoking to be endured.

    Five Mice in a Mouse-trap Laura E. Richards
  • "You mustn't let nixie bother you; he'll try to be friendly," warned Tom.

    The Wyndam Girls Marion Ames Taggart
  • Her face was flushed and her nixie eyes were dancing to the mischief she contemplated.

    An Orkney Maid Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • Tom and nixie departed, followed by praise from all the Wyndhams.

    The Wyndam Girls Marion Ames Taggart
  • Next day his body was found floating on the lake by some woodcutters, and the nixie of the Mummel-lake was seen no more.

  • It took all of Tom's ability to keep her and nixie from under people's feet.

    The Wyndam Girls Marion Ames Taggart
  • nixie was away to the westward by train, whilst I followed the currents of the ever-restless sea.

  • And later in the week nixie went out of town for the summer.

British Dictionary definitions for nixie


(German myth) a female water sprite, usually unfriendly to humans
Word Origin
C19: see nix
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 nixie

"water fairy," 1816 (introduced by Sir Walter Scott), from German Nixie, from Old High German nihhussa "water sprite," fem. of nihhus, from Proto-Germanic *nikwiz (cf. Old Norse nykr, Old English nicor "water spirit, water monster," also used to gloss hippopotamus; Grendel's mother in "Beowulf" was a nicor), perhaps from PIE *neigw- "to wash" (cf. Sanskrit nenkti "washes," Greek nizo "I wash," Old Irish nigid "washes").

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



A piece of mail that cannot be delivered because of damage, illegibility, etc (1885+ Post office)

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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