Cilly vs Colly - What's the difference?

cilly | colly |

As nouns the difference between cilly and colly

is that cilly is (cryptography|dated) any predictable facet of the cipher due to operator error or laziness, whose existence helped the allies to break the code while colly is (british|dialect) soot.

As an adjective colly is

(british|dialect) black as coal.

As a verb colly is

(archaic) to make black, as with coal.




  • (cryptography, dated) Any predictable facet of the cipher due to operator error or laziness, whose existence helped the Allies to break the code.
  • * 2000 , Simon Singh, The Code Book
  • Another type of cilly was the repeated use of the same message key, perhaps the initials of the operator's girlfriend...
  • * 2002 , Ronald L Krutz, Russell Dean Vines, The CISSP Prep Guide: Gold Edition?
  • Answer c is a reference to a cilly , which was a three-character message key used in the German Enigma machine.
  • * 2005 , Brian J Winkel, Cipher A Deavours, David Kahn, Louis Kruh, The German Enigma cipher machine
  • Taunt describes the work involved in breaking Enigma messages, cribs, cillies , the Herivel tip, help from Bombes and more.
  • * 2006 , Rebecca Ann Ratcliff, Delusions of intelligence: Enigma, Ultra and the end of secure ciphers?
  • By 1944, cillies had already become rare; hence, Bletchley Park had already found other breaks into the Enigma nets.
  • * 2007 , Friedrich Ludwig Bauer, Decrypted secrets: methods and maxims of cryptology?
  • Cillies resulted from a combination of two different mistakes in a multi-part message by some Enigma operators.




  • (British, dialect) black as coal
  • -


  • (archaic) to make black, as with coal
  • * Ben Jonson
  • Thou hast not collied thy face enough.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Brief as the lighting in the collied night.
  • *
  • Noun

  • (British, dialect) Soot.
  • (Burton)
  • (British, dialect) A blackbird
  • (dated)
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1833 , author=William Craig Brownlee , title=The Whigs of Scotland: Or, The Last of the Stuarts, vol. 2 , page=30 citation , passage=Can a Whig lick the feet o' the tyrant wha usurps oor Lord's throne, and accept o' ane indulgence frae him, hurled to him as a bane to a colly dog , binding himself to think as he thinks, and to preach as he wulls it; and to flatter tyranny in church and state, to win a paltry boon!}}
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1847 , author=Thomas Miller , title=The Boy's Country Book , page=80 citation , passage=On the moors and mountains of Scotland the shepherd sends out his colly with the sheep, far out of his sight, conscious that when he sets out to look for them, they will be found herded safely together.}}
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1861 , author=Francis Galton , title=Vacation Tourists and Notes of Travel in 1860 citation , page=139 , passage=Colly dog's early training is a rude one, but I think that it is mutual, and that the shepherd picks up a good deal of dog during the process. , }}

    See also

    * collywobbles