(also billycan /ˈbɪlɪkan/)
noun (plural billies)British
A tin or enamel cooking pot with a lid and a wire handle, for use when camping.
- And he sang as he watched and waited ‘til his billy boiled
- In my memory and imagination, I always associate them with many picnics in many places, boiling the billy in their shade, by beach, river, lake, lagoon or creek.
- By 1.30 we were back at the saddle where Jeanie had the billy boiling, and thus refreshed we bid au revoir to the Matuki and the friendly keas and set off down the valley again.
mid 19th century: perhaps from Aboriginal billa 'water'.
noun (plural billies)
1 short for billy goat.
- More mild mannered than full-sized goats, these little billies and nannies have become the latest must-have pets for Christmas.
- It was a young billy, useless for milking, but pretty.
- Some of the younger billies were locking horns in mock fights watched over by the full-bearded patriarch of the herd, a venerable old fellow like something out of the Book of Revelations.
2 (also billy club) North American A truncheon.
- The Gangs of New York ‘sports set’ featuring a billy club, a shiv and a board with a nail driven through it.
- And since our image is the most intimate part of our message that dissent exists and we are its faces they can disempower democratic assembly without swinging a single billy club.
- However, I saw a San Antonio police officer yesterday who had three sets of handcuffs, three loaded Glock magazines, one Glock pistol, radios, telephones, a billy club, sunglasses and heaven knows what he was carrying I couldn't see.
mid 19th century: from Billy, pet form of the given name William.