• synonyms


noun Australian Slang.
  1. inferior or cheap wine.
Show More

Origin of nelly

First recorded in 1940–45; of uncertain origin


or Nel·ly

  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.
Show More
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nelly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


noun not on your nelly
  1. (sentence substitute) British slang not under any circumstances; certainly not
Show More
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


fem. proper name, also Nellie, diminutive of Nell, a pet form of Ellen, Helen, or Eleanor. Meaning "weak-spirited person" is first attested 1961.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with nelly


see nervous nellie.

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