or cur·ly·cue



an ornamental, fancy curl or twist, as in a signature.

Origin of curlicue

First recorded in 1835–45; curly + cue2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curlycue

Historical Examples of curlycue

  • "Something like a smokestack with a curlycue on the end of it," was the reply.

  • There on the floor near the hearth lay a little brown sandal, one of its strings pulled out and making a curlycue on the floor.

  • Then jog, jog, they went along Griffith Street down the curlycue road, the horse's feet going clatter on the cobblestones.


    Dorothy Canfield

British Dictionary definitions for curlycue



an intricate ornamental curl or twist

Word Origin for curlicue

C19: from curly + cue ²
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 curlycue



1843, American English, from curly + cue, perhaps from French queue "tail" or letter Q in its looping script form. Earlier in this sense was curlie-wurlie (1772).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper