Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
CANTY, Cantie, Kanty, adj. and adv. [′kɑnti, ′kɑnt]
(1) Lively, cheerful; pleasant. Gen.Sc.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 58:
Which made surviving Kindred canty, Wha scarcely for him pat on Black, And only in his Loof a Plack. Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. (1817) i.:
Clecking time's aye canty time. Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 9:
Now Lindy is as canty as a midge, An' Nory at it did for blythness fidge. Ags. 1915 V. Jacob Songs of Angus 36:
And, nicht by nicht, we will a' convene And we'll be a cantie three. Edb. 1720 A. Pennecuik Streams from Helicon (1721) 83:
As he lodg'd on the Road, where they sauld Brandy and Ale, And the King was turn'd kanty with the other Gill. Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Raiders xlv.:
And smell the canty smell of the oatmeal fried among it [bacon]. Uls. 1931 “M.A.” in North. Whig (15 Dec.) 10/3:
She's a canty wee body.
Hence, †(a) cantie-smatchet, “a cant term for a louse; apparently from the liveliness of its motion” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2; 1923 Watson W.-B., obs.); (b) cantily, cantilly, adv., cheerfully, joyfully.
(b) Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 376:
Of Lang-kail I can make a Feast, And cantily had up my Crest, And laugh at Dishes rare. Abd.(D) 1920 G. P. Dunbar Guff o' Peat Reek 18:
There the peertrick an' feesant, the meercock an' a' We cantily bag. Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 1:
Yence I cou'd whistle cantilly as they.
(2) Small and neat (Bnff.2, Abd.19, Ags.1, Fif.1 1938).
n.Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
A canty creature! ne.Sc. 1883–1886 D. Grant Chron. of Keckleton (1888) 29:
The dwelling hoose . . . [was] a canty, stob-thack but-an'-ben. Tyr. 1929 “M. Mulcaghey” Rhymes of a Besom Man 28:
My missus has purchased A canty wee hat.
(3) “Comfortable” (m.Dmf.3 c.1920). Known to Ags.17 1938.
Abd. 1938 9 :
“She got a gey canty doonsit,” she made a fortunate marriage.
2. adv. Contentedly, merrily.
Edb. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems 129:
The cottar carle an' a' his wanes Are canty louping. Bwk. 1879 W. Chisholm Poems 74:
The nest they had toiled at baith early an' late, An' biggit fu' canty thegither.
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"Canty adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Feb 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/canty_adj_adv>
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