nixies

nixie

1 [nik-see]
noun
a letter or parcel that is undeliverable by the post office because of a faulty or illegible address.

Origin:
1880–85; nix1 + -ie

Dictionary.com Unabridged

nixie

2 [nik-see]
noun German Folklore.
a female water spirit.

Origin:
1810–20; < German Nixe (Middle High German nickese, Old High German nicchessa; see nix2), perhaps construed at time of borrowing as nix2 + -ie

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nixie (ˈnɪksɪ)
 
n
German myth a female water sprite, usually unfriendly to humans
 
[C19: see nix]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

nixie
"water fairy," 1816 (introduced by Sir Walter Scott), from Ger. Nixie, from O.H.G. nihhussa "water sprite," fem. of nihhus, from P.Gmc. *nikwiz- (cf. O.N. nykr, O.E. nicor "water spirit, water monster," also used to gloss hippopotamus; Grendel's mother in "Beowulf" was a nicor), perhaps from PIE *nigw-
(cf. Skt. nenkti "washes," Gk. nizo "I wash," O.Ir. nigid "washes").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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