1

nelly

noun nel·ly \ˈnelē\

Definition of nelly

plural

-es

  1. 1 :  giant petrel

  2. 2 :  sooty albatross

  3. 3 or nellie slang, disparaging :  an effeminate homosexual

not on your nelly

sometimes capitalized second N perhaps from the phrase not on your Nelly Duff, rhyming slang for British slang puff breath, life British slang

British slang

  1. :  certainly not

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of nelly

perhaps from Nelly, nickname for Helen


First Known Use: 1823


2

nelly

adjective nel·ly \"\
variants: or

nellie

\"\

Definition of nelly

slang, disparaging

  1. :  conspicuously effeminate

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of nelly

1nelly


First Known Use: 1966


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up nelly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a brief usually trivial fact

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ