dilly

[dil-ee]
noun, plural dillies. Informal.
something or someone regarded as remarkable, unusual, etc.: a dilly of a movie.

Origin:
1930–35; Americanism; earlier as adj.: wonderful, apparently a shortening of delightful or delicious, with -y1 (now taken as -y2)

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dill1 (dɪl)
 
n
1.  an umbelliferous aromatic Eurasian plant, Anethum graveolens, with finely dissected leaves and umbrella-shaped clusters of yellow flowers
2.  the leaves or seedlike fruits of this plant, used for flavouring in pickles, soups, etc, and in medicine
 
[Old English dile; related to Old High German tilli]
 
'dilly1
 
adj

dilly1 (ˈdɪlɪ)
 
n , pl -lies
slang chiefly (US), (Canadian) a person or thing that is remarkable
 
[C20: perhaps from girl's proper name Dilly]

dilly2 (ˈdɪlɪ)
 
adj , -lier, -liest
slang (Austral), (NZ) silly
 
[C20: perhaps from silly]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dilly
"delightful or excellent person or thing" (often used ironically), 1935, from an earlier adj. (1909), perhaps from the first syllable of delightful or delicious, or related to the nursery word for "duck." Dilly was also slang for a stagecoach (1818), from Fr. carrosse de diligence. The noun is 1935.
Dilly-dally is from 1741, a reduplication of dally.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

dilly definition


  1. n.
    something excellent. : This little car is a real dilly.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
His closet full of identical blue, button-down shirts and khaki slacks
  eliminates sartorial dilly-dally.
If you didn't, then your dilly-dallying has been punished with a further ten
  days of painful anticipation.
There is a tried and tested way to stop the dilly-dallying.
Couldn't even forcefully encourage him not to dilly-dally in the pocket.
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