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Etymology 1[edit]

From German Nixe, feminine of Nix, from Middle High German nickes, from Old High German nihhus (water-elf, crocodile). Cognate with Old English nicor (water-elf, hippopotamus, walrus) (English nicker).


nixie (plural nixies)

  1. A female water-elf.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses:
      Bare from her garters up her flesh appears under the sapphire a nixie’s green.

Etymology 2[edit]

nix +‎ -ie


nixie (plural nixies)

  1. A piece of mail returned as undeliverable.
    • mailers may also receive information on addresses that are undeliverable for reasons other than a customer move (i.e., nixie notifications) — United States Postal Service Address Change Service description