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See also: Cully



Origin uncertain. Short for cullion? Compare Irish cuallaí (companion)


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈkʌli/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌli


cully (plural cullies)

  1. (now rare) A person who is easily tricked or imposed on; a dupe, a gullible person.
    • 1911 March 20 (Gregorian calendar), Joseph Addison; Richard Steele, “MONDAY, March 9, 1910–1911”, in The Spectator, number 9; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, [], volume I, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, OCLC 191120697:
      I have learned that [] I am not the first cully whom she has passed upon for a countess.
    • 2012, Faramerz Dabhoiwala, The Origins of Sex, Penguin 2013, p. 158:
      One [attitude] was a fascination with street-walkers and courtesans as self-confident entrepreneurs, able to outwit their simple cullies.
  2. (slang) A companion.
  3. (historical, archaic) A male client of a prostitute; a john, a gonk.
    • 2006, Laura J. Rosenthal, Infamous Commerce: Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture, Cornell University Press, page 2.
      The assumption tends to be the opposite: Whores constantly seek sexual encounters to fulfill their burning desires and also sometimes manage to wheedle gold out of their cullies.


cully (third-person singular simple present cullies, present participle cullying, simple past and past participle cullied)

  1. To trick, to impose on, to dupe.