Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DUNNY, n. The underground cellars and passages usual in old tenement buildings, a basement (Gsw.1 1933). m.Sc. 1922  J. Buchan Huntingtower vii.:
That's a tough lot for ye, Mr McCunn. Used a' their days wi' sleepin' in coal-rees and dunnies and dodgin' the polis.
Slg. 1932  W. D. Cocker Poems 23:
Doon in the darkness o' a dunny They ryped the corp's pooch for his money.
Arg. 1918  N. Munro Jaunty Jock (1935) ii.:
Flat on flat it [land or tenement in Edinburgh] rose for fourteen stories, poverty in its dunnies, (as they called its cellars) poverty in its attics.
Gsw. 1947  Forward (4 Jan.) 3:
Broken-down sewage system which periodically overflows into the dunnies and back-courts.

[Curtailed form of Eng. cant dunnekin (1791), dunnyken, a privy.]

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"Dunny n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2019 <>



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