One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Pale and sickly in appearance.‘his face assumes a peely-wally hue’
white, pallid, pasty, pasty-faced, wan, colourless, anaemic, bloodless, washed out, peaky, peakish, ashen, ashen-faced, ashy, chalky, chalk-white, grey, whitish, white-faced, whey-faced, waxen, waxy, blanched, drained, pinched, green, ghastly, sickly, sallow, as white as a sheet, as white as a ghost, deathly pale, cadaverous, corpse-like, looking as if one had seen a ghostView synonyms
- ‘A cloudless sky allowed a hearty sun to toast our peely-wally skin when we stopped in Glencoe for our picnic.’
- ‘It's quite disheartening for a peely-wally Scot, but it sure is easy on the eye.’
- ‘Among a sea of peely-wally politicians at their HQ on Edinburgh's George IV Bridge Tommy stands out like a peacock among penguins.’
- ‘That's prim as in a sea of peely-wally, defiantly untoned flesh.’
- ‘So, as he exposes his Caledonian features to California's burning rays, he'll be enabling some more movie types to put a peely-wally face to a name.’
Mid 19th century: probably imitative of a whining sound.
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