Probably of North Germanic origin, from Old Norse *skjelga ("to squint"; found only in the reflexive skjelgask (“to come askew; squint the eyes”)), from Proto-Germanic *skilgijaną (“to squint”), from Proto-Germanic *skelhaz, *skelhwaz, *skelgaz (“slanted; sloping; squinting”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kel- (“to bend; crook”). Compare Danish skele (“to squint”), Swedish skela (“to squint”), Scots skellie, scalie, skellice (“to squint; look to the side”), German schielen (“to squint”).
skelly (plural skellies)
- (Britain, Scotland, dialect) To squint.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)
Variant of skully.
- skully (the game)
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for skelly in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)