Denotation vs. Connotation


[der-ee] /ˈdɛr i/
noun, plural derries.
a meaningless refrain or chorus in old songs.
Also called derry-down
[der-ee-doun] /ˈdɛr iˌdaʊn/ (Show IPA)
Origin of derry
1545-55; of obscure origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for derry down
Historical Examples
  • If "derry down," which has been said to be druidical, were judged of by the last song it went with, how old would be the Druids?

  • This was a negotiation which was better left to Honeypot and derry down.

    Patsy S. R. Crockett
  • They were strong on singing, and a boy volunteered to give them a song he had heard, which had a chorus of derry down.

  • The details they left to the horses, and especially to Stair's wise "derry down."

    Patsy S. R. Crockett
British Dictionary definitions for derry down


noun (pl) -ries
(Austral & NZ) have a derry on, to have a prejudice or grudge against
Word Origin
C19: probably from derry down, a refrain in some folk songs, alluding to the phrase have a down on; see down1


noun (pl) -ries
(slang) a derelict house, esp one used by tramps, drug addicts, etc
Word Origin
C20: shortened from derelict


a district in NW Northern Ireland, in Co Londonderry. Pop: 106 456 (2003 est). Area: 387 sq km (149 sq miles)
another name for Londonderry
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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