ca canny

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Scots ca canny.

Verb[edit]

ca canny

  1. (Scotland) To go carefully or slowly; to take care.
    • 1922, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World:
      …the inevitable result was that the willing horses were overworked. It was a point of honour not to ca’ canny.
    • 1995, Alan Warner, Morvern Callar, Vintage 2015, p. 79:
      I walked away from the fire and tore up green bracken, caw-cannying not to slash my fingers on stalks.

Scots[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From ca ‎(call; drive) + canny ‎(gentle).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

ca canny

  1. to drive gently; (hence), to go easy, to be careful
    • 1836, Michael Scott, The Cruise of the Midge:
      Ca' canny, man,’ said he, as I approached — ‘Ca' canny, Saunders — dinna rive folk alang the road to heaven at that rate, man.’
    • 1868, Alexander Hislop, The Proverbs of Scotland:
      Ca' canny and flee laigh. Ca' canny and ye'll break nae graith.
    • 2008, James Kelman, Kieron Smith, Boy, Penguin 2009, p. 390:
      Some were real fighters and ye could spot them a mile away, so then ye had to caw canny. Ye just caw canny.