dunny

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From dun ‎(dusky brown) + -y ‎(forming adjectives of lesser degree).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

dunny ‎(comparative dunnier, superlative dunniest)

  1. Somewhat dun, dusky brownish.
    • a. 1529,, J. Skelton, "Tunnyng of Elynour Rummyng in Certayne Books", ll. 400 f.:
      I were skynnes of conny,
      That causeth I loke so donny.

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably from dun ‎(to ring) + -y ‎(forming adjectives of lesser degree).[2]

Adjective[edit]

dunny ‎(comparative dunnier, superlative dunniest)

  1. (Britain dialect) Somewhat deaf, hard of hearing.
    • 1708, J. Kersey, Dictionary Anglo-Britannicum:
      Dunny, somewhat deaf, deafish.
  2. (Britain dialect, pejorative euphemistic) Slow to answer: stupid, unintelligent.
    • a. 1791,, F. Grose, Olio, p. 105:
      What the devil are you dunny? won't you give me no answer?
Derived terms[edit]

Noun[edit]

dunny ‎(plural dunnies)

  1. (Britain dialect, pejorative euphemistic, obsolete) A dummy, an unintelligent person.
    • 1709, British Apollo, Vol. II, No. 29, p. 3:
      Should a School-boy do so, he'd be whip'd for a Dunny.

Etymology 3[edit]

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Wikipedia

A clipped form of English cant dunnakin ‎(outhouse) + -y ‎(forming affectionate diminutives). Dunnakin, dunnekin, &c.[3][4] are of uncertain etymology,[5] but probably from some form of English cant danna ‎(shit) + ken ‎(pejorative slang for house). The Scottish and North English senses may derive from Etymology 4 below, either under influence from English cant or as its original source.

Noun[edit]

dunny ‎(plural dunnies)

  1. (Britain slang, obsolete) Alternative form of danna: shit. [From 1859.]
  2. (Australia and New Zealand slang, also dated Scotland and Northern England slang) An outhouse: an outbuilding used as a lavatory. [From 1933.]
    • 2008, Judith L. McNeil, No One's Child, page 95:
      There was one leaning dunny down the back and, if you stayed very quiet, on a very still day you could hear the white ants as they chewed the wood.The bottom boards were already eaten through, and I avoided using the dunny at all costs.
    • 2010, Christopher Milne, "The Boy Who Lived in a Dunny" in The Day Our Teacher Went Mad and Other Naughty Stories for Good Boys and Girls, p. 108:
      ‘Until you wake up to yourself, you can live in the old dunny for all I care.’
      ‘All right, I will,’ said Tony.
  3. (Australia and New Zealand slang) Any other place or fixture used for urination and defecation: a latrine; a lavatory; a toilet.
    • 2010, Kathleen M. McGinley, Out of the Daydream, page 47:
      The dunny was another place to go to get out of class. You got to go there by raising your hand in class and asking Miss if you could go to the lav.
  4. (Scotland, Northern England, slang, dated) A passageway, particularly those connecting an outhouse to the main building.
Alternative forms[edit]
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

A clipped form of English dungeon + -y ‎(forming affectionate diminutives).[6]

Noun[edit]

dunny ‎(plural dunnies)

  1. (Scotland, Northern England, slang, dated) A cellar, basement, or underground passage.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "dunny, adj.¹", in the Oxford English Dictionary (1897), Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ "dunny, adj.² and n.¹", in the Oxford English Dictionary (1897).
  3. ^ "Dunnakin" in Humphry T. Potter's New Dictionary of All the Cant and Flash Languages (1790).
  4. ^ "Dunegan" in Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.
  5. ^ "dunny, n.²", in the Oxford English Dictionary (1972), Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  6. ^ "Dunny, n.", in the Scottish National Dictionary (2005), Glasgow: University of Glasgow Press.