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What does billie mean?
Where does billie come from?
The name Billie is a feminine form of Billy, a nickname of William (from Germanic roots literally meaning “will helmet”). As a given name for women, it peaked in popularity in the 1930s.
There are quite a few famous Billies: Billie Jean King, legendary tennis player; Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer of the punk band Green Day; and Billie Eilish, an American indie singer-songwriter. That’s not to mention possibly the most famous Billie of them all, though her birth name was actually Elenora Fagan—jazz singer Billie Holiday, who chose her stage name from an actress she loved, Billie Dove.
The term billy (also spelled billie) to refer to a policeman’s nightstick dates to 1842. While it was coined in America, billies (or billy clubs), spread to the U.K. In the late 1960s and 1970s, billy was used as shorthand for a cop in the U.S.—because they were known for carrying them. Why billy? It’s probably based on the name Billy, as very common given names can lend themselves to various doodads (cf. Jack).
In 19th century Scottish English, a billie referred to a good friend or companion. Originally, the term referred to “a brother in blood or craft,” as the Dictionary of the Scots Language defines it. It’s likely based on Billie as a common nickname for William, itself a common name. While the first uses of billie were between men, it can be used in the U.K. today to refer to a really good friend, particularly a female. This change is probably accounted for by the fact that Billie is a female given name.
In American slang, billies, a riff on (dollar) bills has been used as slang for “cash” since the 1980s.
Doing Valet at the strip , stay with hundreds of ones always 🙄 I just blow the ones and save the big billies lol pic.twitter.com/dxgPFnN1kK
— Jay (@YunggDetailerr) June 13, 2016
Billies is also associated with drug use. By 1959, Billie Hoke was used as rhyming slang for cocaine, though this slang has dropped out. In mid-2000s Australian slang, billie referred to a marijuana pipe, perhaps based on the Australian surf company Billabong or billy, a term for a kettle Down Under.
How is billie used in real life?
Billie can either be a given name or a nickname for William. Calling a cop a billy is rare today, though they still carry billy clubs.
Using billie to refer to a “mate” or “lad” may be found occasionally still in Scotland and elsewhere in the U.K., but it isn’t widespread.
Using billies to refer to “cash” is still somewhat in use in the U.S., particularly in hip-hop, like the appropriately named 2001 track “Got Dough” by Five Deez, where he raps about “big billies.”
The term Billie Hoke, in reference to cocaine, has largely been dropped in modern usage while the Australian billy for “bong” is still getting high, shall we say.
Great to drop in with @CotswoldKidMeat this morning. Super business making most of billies from dairy goat farms. All built on trusted relationships, years of learning the mischievous nature of goats, quality food & bucket load of passion… pic.twitter.com/aoCFzZ4wIy
— NFU Gloucestershire (@NFU_GlOS) December 13, 2018
These silly billies pic.twitter.com/RlUbNcSFmx
— Xena ✨𝕭𝖑𝖚𝖊 𝕭𝖚𝖗𝖓𝖎𝖘𝖍 𝕬𝖑𝖈𝖍𝖊𝖒𝖎𝖘𝖙✨ (@xenadd) December 9, 2018
More clip arts of The Hillbillies and the Farmer, Roscoe, Wilbur, Sheldon and Bessie. pic.twitter.com/RHxoNbUF01
— Joseph Lusker (@JosephLusker) December 15, 2018
More examples of billie:
“Billie Eilish’s latest single, “When The Party’s Over,” was written by her brother Finneas O’Connell.”
—Ashley King, Digital Music News, November 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for billie
I just did one [Geezer] with Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness|Marlow Stern|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
With the help of Billie Jean King, he is now enrolled at California State University in Los Angeles, where he lives.‘To Russia With Love’: Can Johnny Weir Save Russia’s Gays?|Kevin Fallon|October 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I said, “Billie Jean” and “Beat It,” and he said, “OK, that goes on next week.”Quincy Jones Talks Chicago’s Mean Streets, Why Kanye West Is No Michael Jackson, and Bieber|Marlow Stern|September 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Even in their ultimate sorrow, Audra—and Billie—were triumphant.Billie Holiday, Barack Obama, and the Pain of Black Women|Joshua DuBois|June 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Audra McDonald's amazing performance as Billie Holliday in 'Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill' must win her a Tony.Audra for the Win: Why Audra McDonald Must Win Tony for Best Actress|Daniel Gross|June 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
She had cautioned the girls against opening theirs, but Billie had flatly rebelled.
And sure enough they were, for what Billie had seen was the hoof of one of them sticking through the roof.The Broncho Rider Boys with the Texas Rangers|Frank Fowler
But Billie shut his teeth hard whenever he looked up and discovered that the sentry was still munching steadily away.The Broncho Rider Boys on the Wyoming Trail|Frank Fowler
Billie marched to the telephone, and, with heroic decision, put the receiver to her ear.
“You girls have all the luck, anyway,” Chet wrote to Billie.Billie Bradley on Lighthouse Island|Janet D. Wheeler