Examples of billie
Examples of billie
Where does billie come from?
The name Billie is a feminine form of Billy, a nickname of William (literally “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 to refer to a policeman’s nightstick dates to 1842. While it was coined in America, billies (or billy clubs), spread to the UK. In the late 1960s and 1970s, billy was used as shorthand for a cop in general in the US—because they carried them. Why billy? It’s probably based on the name Billy, as very common given names can lend themselves to various doo-dads (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 is used in the UK 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 was used to mean “cash” in the 1980s.
2 billies for my tiressss
Y can't I just keep my money in my pocket lmaoooooo
— BABYGOD$ (@BAABYGOD) March 2, 2018
Billies is also associated with drug use. By 1959, Billie Hoke was used as slang for cocaine, though this slang has dropped out. But 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.
Who uses billie?
Billie can either be a given name or a nickname for William. Billie is also the name of a female-owned line of razors.
Calling a cop a billy is unusual 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 UK, but it isn’t widespread.
Using billies to refer to “cash” is still somewhat in use in the United States, particularly in hip-hop, like the appropriately named 2001 track “Got Dough” by Five Deez, where he raps about how he gets women “due to big billies and they greenback motivations.”
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.
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🌘𝕲𝖍𝖔𝖘𝖙 𝖔𝖋 𝕻𝖆𝖑𝖆𝖉𝖎𝖓 𝕻𝖆𝖘𝖙🌑 (@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