Definition of Ned Kelly in English:

Ned Kelly


  • 1A person of reckless courage.

    • ‘I'm not a Ned Kelly and probably no-one you know is that sort of character.’
    • ‘At Glenferrie Oval, a record crowd of 36,000 shoehorned into the ground known as the Sardine Can to see Ron Barassi, a Ned Kelly figure after leaving Melbourne over summer, make his debut as Carlton's captain-coach.’
  • 2A person who shows a lack of scruples in business.


  • as game as Ned Kelly

    • informal Audaciously bold.

      • ‘But today his name is used everywhere by Australians of all kinds, who praise a man's courage by saying: ‘He's as game as Ned Kelly.’’
      • ‘‘Good on you Ned’ is a compliment, ‘as game as Ned Kelly’ an old saying.’
      • ‘From hip to shoulder he was covered with blood from the spur, an’ although he could scarcely raise a trot you could see he was still as game as Ned Kelly.’
      • ‘We know that by the time of the first world war, there was a saying among the Diggers in the trenches, ‘Oh he was as game as Ned Kelly’.’


Late 19th century: from the name of Ned Kelly (see Kelly, Ned).