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”).
- Easy to use, useful.
- Some people regard duct tape as a handy fix-all.
- Nearby, within reach.
- (dialect) dexterous, skilful
- 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.
- handy in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- handy in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- handy at OneLook Dictionary Search
handy (plural handies)