handy

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See also: Handy and händy

English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English handy, hondi (attested in personal names), 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).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: hăn'di, IPA(key): /ˈhæn.di/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ændi

Adjective[edit]

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. Of a person: dexterous, skilful.
    Synonym: crafty
    She's very handy: she made all her own kitchen cupboards.
  4. (slang) Physically violent; tending to use one's fists.
    • 1974, William Purcell, British Police in a Changing Society, page 68:
      We had a sergeant who was a bit handy with the rougher elements. He dealt with them a little bit differently to what I do.
    • 2012, Tania Carver, Choked:
      The Sloanes said he had nothing on them, that he threatened them, made up a lot of lies. Tried to attack them, got a bit handy.
  5. Of a freight ship: having a small cargo capacity (less than 40,000 DWT); belonging to the handysize class.
Derived terms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]
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.
References[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

hand +‎ -y (diminutive suffix)

Noun[edit]

handy (plural handies)

  1. (vulgar, slang) A hand job.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Clipping of handgun +‎ -y (diminutive suffix)

Noun[edit]

handy (plural handies)

  1. (MLE, slang) A handgun.
    • 2020 July 9, C1 (lyrics and music), “Even Steven”, 1:51–1:57:
      Look left and right, when I cross these roads,
      I don’t wanna get fright
      We got handies and shotties,
      which one should you decide?
Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Scots[edit]

Adjective[edit]

handy (comparative handier, superlative handiest)

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