Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Priggish.
  • adj. Marked by the use of euphemism: nice-nelly language.

Etymologies

From the name Nelly, nickname for Helen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • And censorship is what this San Francisco episode, and all the other nice-nelly attacks on kids who like to write nasty stories, is all about.

    Asimov's Science Fiction

  • This country can make a damned fool of itself if it tries in a nice-nelly way to eliminate all evidence of the fact that we are animals who inhabit a natural world.

    Centennial

  • It’s been engaged in all sorts of shenanigans-which have been hushed up by nice-nelly types in the League who hope that if you ignore a villain he’ll go away.

    Hokas Pokas

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