Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FENDIE, adj. Also fendy, fennie(-y), feny. [′fɛndi Sc., but sm.Sc. ′fɛne]

1. Able to look after oneself, managing, thrifty, resourceful, full of shifts and devices (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 101; Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1825 Ib., fenny; Ayr.3 1912; Gall., Dmf. 1950, fennie). Sc. 1814  Scott Waverley xviii.:
Alice . . . was both canny and fendy.
m.Sc. 1836  J. Brown Horae Subsecivae (1882) 90:
The daughter was worthy of the mother, and became “a fendy wife.”
Ayr. 1879  J. White Jottings 276:
He's . . . a richt fenny chiel.
Wgt. 1880  in G. Fraser Lowland Lore 100:
An' losh, what a jargon aboot ilka bargain! The seller aye fennie, the buyers gey smairt.

2. Affording good fare or entertainment; comfortable. Rnf. 1790  A. Wilson Poems 227:
Her blythsome bield, to ilka chield Wha bare a pack, was fenny.
Gsw. 1872  J. Young Lochlomond Side 44:
They've sic a fenny way o' leevin'.

3. Active (in finding food); lively, spry; also more gen., healthy, well, vigorous. Sc. 1725  Ramsay T.T.Misc. (1876) I. 176:
Five hundred flaes, a fendy flock; And are not thae a wakrife menzie.
Ayr. 1900  E.D.D.:
He is braw and fenny the day.
Ayr. 1952  :
She's a lot fennier for her age nor her sister that's no near sae aul'.

4. Of a boat: buoyant, riding the waves (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; 1914 Angus Gl., fendi; Sh.10 1951, “poet.”). Sh. 1922  J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 99:
Dy fendy boo doo'd lift wi' pride, An' flang da sprae o'm far ta lee.

[Fend + -ie.]

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"Fendie adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Mar 2018 <>



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