nelly

[nel-ee]

Origin of nelly

First recorded in 1940–45; of uncertain origin

Nellie

or Nel·ly

[nel-ee]
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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nelly

Contemporary Examples of nelly

Historical Examples of nelly

  • Of course, as fast as I can lay hands on them, I'm destroying every likeness of the old Nelly.

  • Why, Nelly doesn't leave the house; I've stopped her attendance even at Barnard.

  • Is Mr. Bellmer handsome—handsome enough to be Nelly's partner?

  • Nelly, next week it will be a year since our first betrothal; do you remember?

  • Grand and beautiful as she is to others, to him she is still his little Nelly.


British Dictionary definitions for nelly

nelly

noun not on your nelly
  1. (sentence substitute) British 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

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

Idioms and Phrases with nelly

Nellie

see nervous nellie.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.