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December 9, 2022

Peely-wally / adjective / pee·ly wall·y

The word peely-wally is an adjective used to describe something or someone as pale, off-color, or even ill-looking. In some cases, the adjective peely-wally is meant to describe someone resembling a “creepy” clown toy from the early 1900s.

In a Sentence

The clown toy was very peely-wally, and I didn't want to play with it because of its odd-looking color and creepy-looking eyes that glowed in the dark.

I can't believe my little brother got another peely-wally-looking action figure for his last birthday!

The girl saw a creepy-looking peely-wally at the carnival and begged her parents to take her home so she would never have to see it again.


Etymologists say that the etymology of the word "peely-wally" is largely unknown. However, they speculate one potential source for the term "peely-wally" could be a clown toy that resembled an elephant or donkey, which were both called peely-wallies in the early 1900s. Historians also say the term may have originated as an adjective to describe pale or off-color objects.


Pale, Clownish


Vivid, Serious


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