Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cully n.1

also cullee, culley
[? as ‘fool’ there may be links to Ital. coglione, a dolt, but as ‘man’ it may well come from the Sp. Gypsy chulai or Turkish Gypsy khulai, both meaning man, or poss. fig. use of French couillon, testicles; Grose (ms adds c.1786) suggests ‘from the French word Couillon, a Blockhead’]

1. [mid-17C–19C] a simpleton, a victim.

2. [mid-17C–early 19C] a prostitute’s customer; thus cully-catching, picking up customers.

3. attrib. use of sense 2.

4. [late 17C–19C] a fop, a dandy.

5. [late 17C–1910s] a man, a fellow, a companion; often a term of address.

In compounds

In phrases