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See also: Handy and händy


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English, alteration of earlier hendi (handy, skillful), from Old English hendiġ (skillful) (as in listhendiġ (skilled in art)), from Proto-Germanic *handugaz (handy, skillful, nimble), from *handuz (hand), equivalent to hand +‎ -y. Cognate with Middle Low German handich (skillful, apt), Middle High German handec, hendec (manual, hand-held), Old Norse hǫndugr (efficient), Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌿𐌲𐍃 (handugs, wise, clever). Akin to Dutch handig (handy), Norwegian hendig (handy), Swedish händig (handy).



handy (comparative handier, superlative handiest)

  1. Easy to use, useful.
    Some people regard duct tape as a handy fix-all.
  2. Nearby, within reach.
    Synonym: at hand
    You wouldn’t have a screwdriver handy, would you?
    I keep a first-aid kit handy in case of emergency.
  3. (dialect) dexterous, skilful
    Synonym: crafty
    She's very handy: she made all her own kitchen cupboards.
  4. Of a freight ship: having a small cargo capacity (less than 40,000 DWT); belonging to the handysize class.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From hand +‎ -y (diminutive suffix).


handy (plural handies)

  1. (vulgar, slang) A hand job.



handy (comparative handier, superlative handiest)

  1. handy
  2. dexterous, skilful
  3. amenable (of an animal)