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Word of the Day
Sunday, July 10, 2016

Definitions for nixie

  1. a letter or parcel that is undeliverable by the post office because of a faulty or illegible address.

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Citations for nixie
If the envelope of a nixie doesn't give any clue to the whereabouts of either the sender or the addressee, the letter is opened; if there's still no clue, it is just held by the Dead Letter Office. , Talk of the Town section, The New Yorker, August 21, 1937
... the nixie sleuths and the dead-letter experts, with knowledge gained by long experience, are almost uncanny in their ability at getting these waifs and strays either back to their authors or to the persons for whom they were intended when dropped into the corner letter box. Walter E. Roderick, "Uncle Sam's Swivel-Chair Sleuths Solve Millions of Mysteries Every Year," Popular Mechanics, October 1925
Origin of nixie
Nixie entered English in the 1880s. Its root word nix means "nothing," and derives from the German nichts, which also means "nothing."