canny

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See also: Canny

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.
    The politician gave a canny response to the reporter's questions.
    (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?)
    The canny lawyer knew just how to get what he wanted.
  3. Frugal, thrifty.
    canny investments
    • 1751, Allan Ramsay, The Gentle Shepherd, in Poems by Allan Ramsay (1751 edition):
      Whate'er he wins, I'll guide with canny care.
  4. (Scotland, Northumbria) Pleasant, fair, favorable or agreeable to deal with.
    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. (Scotland, Northumbria) Gentle, quiet, steady.
    a canny horse; be canny with this letter

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

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

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

canny (not comparable)

  1. (Northumbria) Very, considerably; quite, rather.
    That's a canny big horse, man!
    a canny long journey; canny near home
  2. (Scotland, Northumbria) Gently, quietly; carefully, skilfully.
    he sits very canny; drive canny

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

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

Anagrams[edit]


Scots[edit]

Alternative forms[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).

Pronunciation[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]