billy (n.)

"club," 1848, American English, originally burglars' slang for "crowbar;" meaning "policeman's club" first recorded 1856, probably from nickname of William, applied to various objects (compare jack, jimmy, jenny). But compare French bille "a short, stout stick" (see billet (n.1)). Billy-goat as a familiar name for a male goat is from 1826.

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