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[nik-see] /ˈnɪk si/
a letter or parcel that is undeliverable by the post office because of a faulty or illegible address.
1880-85; nix1 + -ie


[nik-see] /ˈnɪk si/
noun, German Folklore.
a female water spirit.
1810-20; < German Nixe (Middle High German nickese, Old High German nicchessa; see nix2), perhaps construed at time of borrowing as nix2 + -ie Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nixie
  • Mail owners can receive change of address and nixie information at no charge.
  • But then he finds a four-leaf clover that enables him to see a water nixie.
British Dictionary definitions for nixie


(German myth) a female water sprite, usually unfriendly to humans
Word Origin
C19: see nix
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
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Word Origin and History for nixie

"water fairy," 1816 (introduced by Sir Walter Scott), from German Nixie, from Old High German nihhussa "water sprite," fem. of nihhus, from Proto-Germanic *nikwiz (cf. Old Norse nykr, Old English nicor "water spirit, water monster," also used to gloss hippopotamus; Grendel's mother in "Beowulf" was a nicor), perhaps from PIE *neigw- "to wash" (cf. Sanskrit nenkti "washes," Greek nizo "I wash," Old Irish nigid "washes").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for nixie



A piece of mail that cannot be delivered because of damage, illegibility, etc (1885+ Post office)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for nixie


in Germanic mythology, a water being, half human, half fish, that lives in a beautiful underwater palace and mingles with humans by assuming a variety of physical forms (e.g., that of a fair maiden or an old woman) or by making itself invisible. One of three attributes may betray the disguises of nixes: they are music lovers and excellent dancers, and they have the gift of prophecy. Usually malevolent, a nix can easily be propitiated with gifts. In some regions, nixes are said to abduct human children and to lure people into deep water to drown. According to some sources, nixes can marry human beings and bear human children.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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