Nelly vs Selly - What's the difference?

nelly | selly |

As a proper noun nelly

is a spelling variant of nellie, a diminutive of the female given names eleanor and helen.

As an adjective selly is

rare; wonderful; admirable.

As an adverb selly is


As a noun selly is

a marvel; wonder; something wonderful or rare.



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.
  • selly


    Alternative forms

    * (l), (l) (Scotland)


  • Rare; wonderful; admirable.
  • Adverb

  • Wonderfully.
  • Noun

  • A marvel; wonder; something wonderful or rare.
  • *1995 , Robert J. Blanch, Julian N. Wasserman, From Pearl to Gawain :
  • The line is a masterstroke of noncommitment, for the event is a "selly " in the sight of some unidentified readers.