Your Scottish Slang Scots Word O’ The Day: Canny

This entry is part 10 of 29 in the series Your Scots Word Of The Day

Tenth in a series
(can·y) Dialect, chiefly Scot ~adj
1. cautious, careful, hesitant, unwilling to rush into things.
2. frugal, prudent (esp. with money) [a canny Scot – one who has an aversion to separating money from his pocket] (as in “He’s that canny he aye pays for his round wi’ empty lemonade bottles“).

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7 Replies to “Your Scottish Slang Scots Word O’ The Day: Canny”

  1. If I can remember it straight, I think canny, in the sense of being frugal, was a term my grandfather used to use in some of his more famous expressions.
    Some of them are X rated, but would start off with something like, …He’s so canny, he would …
    Which is very similar to your definition.
    Perhaps he was more of a literally soul that I gave him credit for.

  2. In his song “Green Grow The Rashes” Burns uses it in a way that I doubt meant he was being cautious, hesitant, frugal with his “dearie” in his arms but maybe careful–as in full of care/tenderness–and not in a particular rush.

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