See also: Billy



  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪli

Etymology 1Edit

  • Of obscure origin. Perhaps from the name Billy, a diminutive of William, or a variant of bully (companion, mate, comrade). Compare Scots billie (a comrade; companion). Compare also Middle Low German billig (equitable, reasonable, lawful, fitting, according to natural law, just).
  • (condom): From the E-Rotic song Willy, Use a Billy... Boy.


billy (plural billies)

  1. A billy club.
  2. A billy goat.
    • 1970 August, Valerius Geist, Mountain Goat Mysteries, Field & Stream, page 62,
      Then, during three days, I was amazed to see nannies with kids attack and chase off large billies.
    • 1992, Dwight R. Schuh, Mountain Goat (Oreamnos americanus), in Bowhunter's Encyclopedia, page 276,
      In fact, distinguishing between billies and nannies isn't necessarily a sure thing.
    • 2002, Douglas H. Chadwick, A Beast the Color of Winter: The Mountain Goat Observed[1], page 159:
      It isn't just billies that enter the bleak season with rut-depleted fat reserves, but rams, bull elk, buck deer, and others.
    1. A male goat; a ram.
  3. (Tyneside) A good friend.
    • 1786 July 31, Robert Burns, “On a Scotch Bard Gone to the West Indies”, in Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire: Printed by John Wilson, OCLC 922031953; reprinted Kilmarnock: James McKie, March 1867, OCLC 367976637, page 184:
      Fareweel, my rhyme-compoſing billie! / Your native ſoil was right ill-willie; / But may ye flouriſh like a lily, / Now bonilie! / I'll toaſt ye in my hindmoſt gillie, / Tho' owre the Sea!
  4. (slang) A condom.
  5. A slubbing or roving machine.
    • 1840, The Citizen, page 347,
      [] at the time there existed in Dublin and its immediate neighbourhood, “forty-five manufacturers, having twenty-two billies, giving employment to 2885 work people, on whom depended for support 7386 individuals, manufacturing 29,312 pieces of cloth, of various qualities, valued at £336,380.”
    • 1967, Jennifer Tann, Gloucestershire Woollen Mills: Industrial Archaeology[2], page 126:
      On the second floor there were 2 billies, 1 carding and 1 scribbling machine.
  6. (UK, slang, obsolete) A silk handkerchief.
    • 1859, Ducange Anglicus, The Vulgar Tongue (page 54)
      All fighting coves you too must know, / Ben Caunt as well as Bendigo, / And to each mill be sure to go, / [] And you must sport a blue billy, / Or a yellow wipe []
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Uncertain, but probably extracted from Scots billypot (a type of cooking pot).


billy (plural billies)

  1. (Australia, New Zealand) A tin with a swing handle used to boil tea over an open fire; a billycan; a billypot.
    Let's get the billy and cook some beans.
    • 1889, Ernest Giles, Australia Twice Traversed, 2004, page 239,
      We had been absent from civilisation, so long, that our tin billies, the only boiling utensils we had, got completely worn or burnt out at the bottoms, and as the boilings for glue and oil must still go on, what were we to do with billies with no bottoms?
    • 1895, Banjo Paterson (lyrics), “Waltzing Matilda”‎[3]:
      Oh there once was a swagman camped in the billabong,
      Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
      And he sang as he looked at the old billy boiling,
      'Who'll come a'waltzing Matilda, with me.'
    • 1942, Emily Carr, “Loyalty”, in The Book of Small:
      Mother prepared a splendid picnic. [] Rugs, food and the black billy for making tea, were packed into the old baby buggy and we trundled it straight down Simcoe Street.
    • 2011, Rod Moss, The Hard Light of Day: An Artist's Story of Friendships in Arrernte Country, unnumbered page,
      Over the fence, in a shallow gully 100 metres away, this guy and his wife were living on the dirt in the open weather with just a blanket, billies, a dog and a transistor radio. They didn't even have water.
  2. (Australia, slang) A bong for smoking marijuana.
Derived termsEdit