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[wey-lee] /ˈweɪ li/
adjective, Scot.
fine; splendid.
Origin of wally
First recorded in 1490-1500; wale2 + -y1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for wally
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • wally straightened up with a fresh chunk of cake in his hand.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • wally and Jack hurried in from the kitchen and made for the doorway where he stood.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • wally and Jack were sliding their chairs back from the table preparing to follow him.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • wally, coming again alongside, turned his head, and regarded him attentively.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • "I wish dad wasn't so—" began wally moodily, and let it go at that.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for wally


adjective (Scot, archaic)
fine, pleasing, or splendid
robust or strong
Word Origin
C16: of obscure origin


adjective (Central Scot, dialect)
made of china: a wally dug, a wally vase
lined with ceramic tiles: a wally close
See also wallies
Word Origin
from obsolete dialect wallow faded, adjectival use of wallow to fade, from Old English wealwian


noun (pl) -lies
(slang) a stupid person
Word Origin
C20: shortened form of the given name Walter
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 wally

term of admiration, Scottish, early 16c., of unknown origin. As a masc. proper name, a diminutive of Walter, and this might be the source of the teen slang term "unfashionable person" (1969).

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



  1. Stupid person; moron
  2. An awkward person; klutz
  3. An unfashionable person: The Arnolds call anyone who wears conventional clothes, a Wally
  4. The penis; dork, prick: No wonder men are in awe of their wallies. First thing in the morning, a penis is a pretty magnificent sight

[1990s+ Students fr British rock groups; origin unknown; perhaps fr the nickname for Walter or Wallace, suggesting, as Clyde does, someone like a wally; perhaps, improbably, fr British wally, ''pickle''; wally in current senses appears to be borrowed from British use; however, it is attested in the US in the early 1900s meaning ''A small-town sport,'' and in 1915–22 in college (Bryn Mawr) and flapper slang meaning ''a goof with patent-leather hair'']

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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