Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CANKERT, CANKERED, Canker'd, adj.

1. “Cross, ill-natured” (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 98). Gen.Sc. Sc. 1724–1727  Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1733) 126:
But shou'd my canker'd dady gar Me tak him 'gainst my inclination.
Sc. 1834  H. Miller Scenes and Legends (1850) xviii.:
The cankered wretch raged like a madman.
Ork.(D) 1880  Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 100:
Hid meed me cankered wi' the gluff.
Bnff. 1927 7 :
Yer bairnie's gey cankert this mornin', 'uman.
Ags. 1927  (per Ags.1):
“The cankert dog gets aye the riven skin,” quarrelsome people earn their own troubles.
m.Lth. 1884  J. Plenderleith Kittlegairy Vacancy 28:
Another dour radical sort of body . . . and a cankered body he is.
Gall.(D) 1901  Trotter Gall. Gossip 122:
There wus a rhyme we use't tae say tae the weans tae keep them quait, an hinner them fae gettin red-heidit an canker't.

Hence cankerdly, adv., ill-naturedly. Abd. 1787  A. Shirrefs Jamie and Bess p. viii.:
And, tho' ye think I wad abuse it, Yet, dinna cankerdly refuse it.

2. Of weather: gusty, threatening, stormy (Bnff.2, Abd.2 1938). Bnff. 1844  T. Anderson Poems and Songs 65:
While frae the cauld an' icy north, The cankert hail comes volleying forth, Fleet, on the eddy whirlwind driven.
Abd.(D) 1917  C. Murray Sough o' War (1918) 34:
The snaw's lyin' deep by the dyke faur it driftit, The Spring fan it comes will be cankert an' weet.
Edb. publ. 1779  R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 86:
Whether we see mare winters come Than this that spits wi' canker'd foam.
Wgt. 1803  R. Couper Tourifications Malachi Meldrum II. 79:
As there seems a little cankered cloud getting up, beneath the wind yonder, we hae better be moving on.

3. Bent, twisted. Known to our Abd. correspondents only. Also fig. Abd. 1938 2 :
A cankert runt o' a castock.
Ags. 1845  A. Smart Rambling Rhymes 190:
And she's torn her cheek wi' a cankert preen.
Ags. 1888  W. M. Smart in
Edwards Mod. Sc. Poets XI. 213:
But tho' the wye be cankert, I'll lat the drink abee.

[From Canker, n. O.Sc. has cankerit, cankar(i)t, cancard, adj., from a.1400, affected with canker; malignant; ill-natured (D.O.S.T.); Mid.Eng. cancred, cankerd (14th cent.).]

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"Cankert adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Oct 2018 <>



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