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EtymologyEdit

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NounEdit

high nelly (plural high nellies)

  1. (Ireland, formerly derogatory, now nostalgic) An old-fashioned utility bicycle, especially one with a step-through frame and high handlebars providing an erect riding posture
    • 1989: Hugh Fitzgerald Ryan Reprisal: a novel, Wolfhound Press: →ISBN; p.208:
      there's an old bike out the back of the barracks. You're welcome to it. It's a bit of a high-nelly, and it needs new tyres, but it will get you around.
    • 1989 (Fall) Aidan Higgins. "Two from Ronda Gorge" in Four Quarters [issn 0015-9107] Vol.3 [2nd series] No.2 p.53:
      Now Julia Mahon. with two buckets of pigswill slung over the handlebars of her High Nelly, is off again to talk to her mother in St Michael's cemetery.
    • 2014 April 1: "Philo’s old high nelly to be lovingly restored"
      A HIGH Nellie bike once used by Irish rock icon Phil Lynott is being lovingly restored by a group of Carlovians, who are hoping to auction it to raise funds for a local cancer support group. Philomena Lynott found her much-loved 1930s bicycle rusting away in the garden shed and decided to put it to better use.
    • 2014 July 6: Tom Prendeville, "High Nelly bicycles making a comeback on the roads again" Sunday Independent
      Before the age of the motorcar, practically everyone in Ireland owned a High Nelly.

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