Also a derogatory term for Irish in the late 1800's/ early 1900's. It was derived from the name of coal ships, and from the fact many Irish worked out West in coal mines. It's a fairly common Irish and Irish-American name.

Col"lier (?), n. [OE. colier. See Coal.]

1.

One engaged in the business of digging mineral coal or making charcoal, or in transporting or dealing in coal.

2.

A vessel employed in the coal trade.

 

© Webster 1913.

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