Also called billy club. a police officer’s club or baton.
a heavy wooden stick used as a weapon; cudgel.
Scot. Dialect, comrade.
Also called billycan
[bil-ee-kan] /ˈbɪl iˌkæn/ (Show IPA). Australian. any container in which water may be carried and boiled over a campfire, ranging from a makeshift tin can to a special earthenware kettle; any pot or kettle in which tea is boiled over a campfire.
Textiles. (in Great Britain) a roving machine.
a male given name, form of William.
Also, Billye. a female given name.
Elizabeth, 1911–79, U.S. poet.
Hazel (Gladys) 1906–1998, U.S. chemist and businesswoman.
John Peale, 1892–1944, U.S. poet and essayist.
Morris (Gilbert) 1893–1973, U.S. humorist, poet, and biographer.
William Avery (“Billy”) 1894–1956, Canadian aviator: helped to establish Canadian air force.
George William (Johann Gottlob Wilhelm Bitzer”Billy”) 1872–1944, U.S. cinematographer.
Katharine Meyer, 1917–2001, U.S. newspaper publisher.
Martha, 1894–1991, U.S. dancer and choreographer.
Thomas, 1805–69, Scottish chemist.
William Franklin (“Billy”) born 1918, U.S. evangelist.
a male given name: from an Old English word meaning “gray home.”.
William (“Billy”) 1915–67, U.S. jazz pianist and composer: collaborator with Duke Ellington.
Contemporary Examples

Dr. Oz: ER Was My Other Med School Dr. Mehmet Oz March 11, 2009
Billy Sammeth, the Manager Fired by Cher and Joan Rivers, Tells His Side of the Story Kevin Sessums February 13, 2012
The Man Oswald First Tried to Kill Before JFK Bill Minutaglio, Steven L. Davis October 2, 2013
The Man Suing Joan Rivers Jacob Bernstein June 24, 2010
The Worst Awards in Hollywood Sean Macaulay March 6, 2010

Historical Examples

The Three Admirals W.H.G. Kingston
The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
How to Tell Stories to Children Sara Cone Bryant
The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
The Moon Colony William Dixon Bell

noun (pl) -lies
(US & Canadian) a wooden club esp a police officer’s truncheon
noun (pl) -lies, -lycans
a metal can or pot for boiling water, etc, over a campfire
(Austral & NZ) (as modifier): billy-tea
(Austral & NZ, informal) to make tea
(modifier) (mainly US & Canadian) made of graham flour: graham crackers
Martha. 1893–1991, US dancer and choreographer
Thomas. 1805–69, British physicist: proposed Graham’s law (1831) of gaseous diffusion and coined the terms osmosis, crystalloids, and colloids
William Franklin, known as Billy Graham. born 1918, US evangelist
Billy, full name William Strayhorn. 1915–67, US jazz composer and pianist, noted esp for his association (1939–67) with Duke Ellington
(in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Greek Orthodox Churches) a clergyman having spiritual and administrative powers over a diocese or province of the Church See also suffragan related adjective episcopal
(in some Protestant Churches) a spiritual overseer of a local church or a number of churches
a chesspiece, capable of moving diagonally over any number of unoccupied squares of the same colour
mulled wine, usually port, spiced with oranges, cloves, etc
Elizabeth. 1911–79, US poet, who lived in Brazil. Her poetry reflects her travelling experience, esp in the tropics

A curious example of word-change, as effected by the genius of different tongues, is furnished by the English bishop and the French évêque. Both are from the same root, furnishing, perhaps the only example of two words from a common stem so modifying themselves in historical times as not to have a letter in common. (Of course many words from a far off Aryan stem are in the same condition.) The English strikes off the initial and terminal syllables, leaving only piscop, which the Saxon preference for the softer labial and hissing sounds modified into bishop. Évêque (formerly evesque) merely softens the p into v and drops the last syllable. [William S. Walsh, “Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities,” Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott, 1892]

Late Latin episcopus in Spanish became obispo. Cognate with Old Saxon biscop, Old High German biscof. The chess piece (formerly archer, before that alfin) was so called from 1560s.
American molecular biologist who, working with Harold Varmus, discovered oncogenes. For this work, Bishop and Varmus shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.


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    a novella (1924) by Herman Melville.

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    billy (def 1).

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    William (“Peter Porcupine”) 1763–1835, English political essayist and journalist in the U.S. and England. Historical Examples The Bibliotaph Leon H. Vincent The Atlantic Monthly , Volume 2, No. 14, December 1858 Various Beacon Lights of History, Volume IX John Lord My Novel, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth Century Leslie Stephen […]

  • Billycock

    a derby or a hat resembling it. Historical Examples The Innocence of Father Brown G. K. Chesterton Voces Populi F. Anstey Margaret Vincent Sophia Lucy Clifford Dusty Diamonds Cut and Polished R.M. Ballantyne Personal Reminiscences in Book Making R.M. Ballantyne A Boy’s Voyage Round the World The Son of Samuel Smiles Condemned as a Nihilist […]

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