Share this entry

Share this page

willy-willy

Line breaks: willy-willy
Pronunciation: /ˈwɪlɪwɪli
 
/

Definition of willy-willy in English:

noun (plural willy-willies)

Australian
A whirlwind or dust storm.
Example sentences
  • Later on as the willy-willy gallops across the country, whirling a column of dust, trees lash their branches to warn man of the oncoming storm.
  • Hurricanes are called typhoons when occurring in the Pacific Ocean and willy-willies in Australia.
  • Often the topsoil was easy to see because it was blowing around in the air, in willy-willies like mini-tornadoes.

Origin

from Yindjibarndi (an Aboriginal language of western Australia) or Wemba-wemba (an Aboriginal language of SE Australia).

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure