canny

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Northern English dialect from can (to know), from Middle English can, first and third person singular of cunnen, connen (to be able, know how to), from Old English cunnan (to know how to, be able to). Compare Scots canny, Old English cann (knowledge, assertion). More at can, cunning.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

canny (comparative cannier, superlative canniest)

  1. Careful, prudent, cautious.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ramsay to this entry?)
  2. Knowing, shrewd, astute.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)
  3. Frugal, thrifty.
  4. (Scotland, Northumbrian) Pleasant, fair.
    She's a canny lass hor like!
    • 1783, Robert Burns, "Green Grow the Rashes O", Songs and Ballads
      But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,
      My arms about my dearie O;
      An' warl'y cares, an' warl'y men,
      Mae a' gae tapsalteerie O!
  5. (Northumbrian) Very or much.
    That's a canny big horse, man!

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

  • uncanny (Note: In common modern usage, "canny" and "uncanny" are no longer antonyms.)

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  • The New Geordie Dictionary, Frank Graham, 1987, ISBN 0946928118
  • Newcastle 1970s, Scott Dobson and Dick Irwin, [1]
  • Northumberland Words, English Dialect Society, R. Oliver Heslop, 1893–4[2]
  • Todd's Geordie Words and Phrases, George Todd, Newcastle, 1977[3]

Anagrams[edit]


Scots[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the verb can (to know), from Middle English can, first and third person singular of cunnen, connen (to be able, know how to), from Old English cunnan (to know how to, be able to). More at can, cunning.

Pronunciation[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

canny (comparative mair canny, superlative maist canny)

  1. careful, cautious, prudent or steady
  2. comfortable, gentle or cozy
  3. attractive or pleasing
  4. skilful, safe to work or deal with
  5. fortunate, lucky
  6. frugal, sparing
  7. (archaic) with supernatural or occult powers

Adverb[edit]

canny (comparative mair canny, superlative maist canny)

  1. carefully, cautiously

Related terms[edit]