b. Thrifty, careful, frugal.Sometimes used by others of Scottish people to characterize a quality regarded as particularly Scottish.
c. Cautious and careful in worldly or business matters; worldly-wise, shrewd.Often used by others of Scottish people, in earlier use sometimes disparagingly, perhaps after Scott's usage in quot. 1816.
a. Sc. In accordance with what is right or natural; safe; spec. safe to be involved with. Chiefly in negative constructions. Cf. uncanny adj. 4.In quot. 1795: safe from supernatural power.
†3. Sc. Wily, sly, cunning. Obsolete.
4. Skilful, clever, dexterous. In earlier use chiefly Sc.
a. Chiefly Eng. regional (north-eastern). Pleasant, nice, agreeable; neat, attractive, comely; good, worthy, satisfactory. Often a general epithet of approbation or satisfaction, as in Canny Newcastle, the Canny Town, etc. Although now largely associated with north-east England, this sense, especially in earlier use, is also attested elsewhere in northern England and in Scots.
b. Eng. regional (northern). Of amount, distance, time, etc.: considerable, fair.
6. Chiefly Sc. Quiet, easy; snug, comfortable; pleasant, cosy.
a. Chiefly Sc. Gentle, quiet, calm, steady; careful and cautious in motion or action; free from commotion or agitation.
b. to call canny (usually as to ca' canny ): to go or proceed cautiously, quietly, gently, warily, or with care. Only in the infinitive and imperative. Cf. call v. 27b, ca'canny n.
2. Eng. regional (northern). As an intensifier: very, considerably; quite, fairly.
canny moment n. Sc. now rare the moment of childbirth.
canny wife n. now hist. and rare a midwife; cf. wise woman n. 2. [Compare French sage-femme , in the same sense (13th cent. in Old French), and earlier sage woman n. at sage adj. and n.2 Compounds 2.]
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