willy willy

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See also: willy-willy

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From an unidentified Australian Aboriginal language.

Noun[edit]

willy willy (plural willy willies)

  1. (Australia) A dust devil; a tornado; a tropical cyclone.
    • 2000, Blake Education staff, Terrific Topics: Middle Primary: Book 1, Blake Education, Australia, page 92,
      Hurricanes, cyclones, willy-willies and typhoons are all storms with incredibly strong and powerful winds.
    • 2000, John Marsden, Burning for Revenge, page 29,
      There were sheets of roofing iron torn off by the willy-willy of 1994, tanks with holes in them, a few other cars and tractors, and bits of machinery.
    • 2009, Keith Scott, Colin Pain, Regolith Science, page 384,
      None of the coarser deposits have been observed to move on at any of the lander sites; however, dust accumulates and is removed both seasonally and by local wind gusts and willy willies (dust devils; Greeley et al. 2006).
    • 2013, Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Random House, 2014, Part Five, Chapter 12,
      There was wind behind them and wind coming at them, fire everywhere and wind whipping up willy-willies of swirling red embers, glowing magic cones that turned everything they touched into flame.

Synonyms[edit]