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

  • n. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for an effeminate homosexual man.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An effeminate homosexual man.
  • n. A silly person.
  • n. A common name for the giant petrels, Macronectes giganteus and Macronectes halli
  • adj. Unmanly, effeminate.
  • n. Life.


Probably from Nelly, nickname for Helen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Shortened from Nelly Duff, for puff, i.e. breath of life (Wiktionary)
From the woman's name, Nelly (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • There's an Australian expression'not on your nelly' (or nellie) meaning 'no way, absolutely no'.

    September 9, 2013