Your Scottish Slang Scots Word O’ The Day: Canny

Tenth in a series
canny
(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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Doug
Husband & father with youngins; Presbyterian; Will devops for boardgames; Dadjoke Enthusiast; Longtime WordPress user; The failure mode of “clever” is...

6 Comments

  1. […] My wife called me canny yesterday and explicitly referenced my post on […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by FreeAgent. FreeAgent said: @rchiswell aye, we're a canny lot up here. http://bit.ly/cAjN1E […]

  3. 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.

  4. What is canny?? ??

  5. 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.

  6. Canny lass could, also, imply a lass who knows when not to hold her tongue.😂

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