from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • v. To make foul or dirty; grime, as with the smut of coal; blacken.
  • n. The black grime or soot of coal or burned wood.


  • He's the raven master who looks after nine very large, very important colly birds -- black ravens.

    CNN Transcript Dec 11, 2009

  • Not as I could find i 'my heart to let him stay i' the coal-hole more nor a minute, but it was enough to colly him all over, so as he must be new washed and dressed, and it was as good as a rod to him -- that was.

    Silas Marner (1885)


The word 'colly' comes from 'coal'.