ornery

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Contracted or dialectal pronunciation of ordinary.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

ornery (comparative ornerier, superlative orneriest)

  1. (Appalachia) Cantankerous, stubborn, disagreeable.
    • 1990. John Updike, Rabbit at Rest
      “Grandpa, what’s ‘ornery’?” / “Oh, you know. Mean. Contrary. Rebellious.”
    • 1939. From the Script of Stagecoach (1939)
      Curley: "I ain't sayin' I don't share your sentiments, Buck, but you're a born fool. First place Luke would kill the Kid in a gun-fight. Second place if Luke did get shot he's got two brothers just as ornery as he is, and if Ike Plummer didn't kill the Kid then Hank Plummer would."
  2. (humorous, Southern US) Mischievous, prankish, teasing, disagreeable but in a good way.
  3. (obsolete) Commonplace, inferior.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]