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or Nelly

[nel-ee] /ˈnɛl i/
a female given name, form of Helen.
(often lowercase) Slang.
  1. Offensive. a fussily effeminate male.
  2. Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a male homosexual. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Nellie
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I hope the rest of the initiation wont be as bad as this, said Nellie.

    The Girls of Central High Gertrude W. Morrison
  • Nellie was huddled against her mother, who sat, idle, with little Benny in her arms.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • Grace Ballou and Nellie Ewing had been fellow-students with them one year ago.

    Out of a Labyrinth Lawrence L. Lynch
  • What had Nellie ever put into it that it should be half hers?

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • Nellie Agnew was the first to enter the dressing room assigned to the Central High girls.

  • This had been equally true of the elder Malls, was true today of Nellie and her husband.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • Tom looked so well that Nellie was very pleased to meet him.

    Brave Tom Edward S. Ellis
Slang definitions & phrases for Nellie



  1. Homosexual; effeminate; gay, swish: Well, his backstroke is a little Nellie/ what in the past would have been described as a Nelly queen
  2. Overfastidious; finicky; schoolmarmish: ''As follow'' is Nellie usage and probably incorrect (1960s+)

Related Terms

nervous nellie

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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Idioms and Phrases with Nellie


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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