Nelly vs Nell - What's the difference?

nelly | nell | Derived terms |

Nelly is a derived term of nell.

As a noun nelly

is (cockney rhyming slang) life or nelly can be (derogatory|slang) an effeminate homosexual man.

As an adjective nelly

is (slang) unmanly, effeminate.

As a contraction nell is




Etymology 1

Shortened from Nelly Duff'', for ''puff'', i.e. breath of ''life


(-) (not used in the plural)
  • (Cockney rhyming slang) Life.
  • Usage notes
    * Used principally in the phrase (not on your nelly).

    Etymology 2

    From the woman's name, Nelly


  • (derogatory, slang) An effeminate homosexual man.
  • (British, slang) A silly person.
  • A common name for the giant petrels, Macronectes giganteus'' and ''Macronectes halli
  • Hyponyms
    * (petrel) Antarctic giant petrel, northern piant petrel, southern giant fulmar, southern giant petrel


  • (slang) Unmanly, effeminate.
  • nell


    Proper noun

    (en proper noun)
  • A diminutive of the female given names Eleanor, Ellen and Helen.
  • * : Act i, Scene 2:
  • O Nell', sweet ' Nell , if thou does love thy lord,
    Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts;

    Derived terms

    * Nellie * Nelly English diminutives of female given names