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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.

CADGY, CADGIE, Caidgie, Cagie, Cagy, Caigy, Kadgy, Kedgy, adj. and adv. [′kɑdʒi, ′kedʒi, ′kɛdʒi]

1. adj.

(1) Cheerful, in good spirits; friendly, “affectionately kind, or hospitable” (Lnk., Rxb., Dmf. 1825 Jam.2); “brisk, lively” (Dmf. 1899 J. Shaw Country Schoolmaster 350, kedgy). Known to Abd.22, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1938.Sc. 1788 Scots Mag. 559:
As gin ye'd drunk out o' ae dush Till ye were kedgy.
Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xii.:
The gudeman will be blythe to see you — ye nar saw him sae cadgy in your life.
Abd. 1891 J. Ogg Glints i' the Gloamin' 41:
“Agreed, I'll dee't,” said the kadgy aul' man, As grinnin' he tak's his leave.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost xliii.:
The old man, cagie with what he had gotten, stood in the Causey opposite to Mr M'Vest's door.
Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 19:
Caidgie, friendly. They were unco caidgie-weys aboot yin anither.
Dwn. 1844 R. Huddleston Poems and Songs 79:
Wi' courage bauld charm'd ower their sads, An' cagy shillin's fistin'.

(2) Dotingly amorous (Fif.10 1938).Hdg. 1885 “S. Mucklebackit” Rural Rhymes, etc. 179:
Gentlemen, I'm clean gane gyte an' ramfeezled gin the auld cadgie fule be-na owre the lugs in love.

(3) Eager, willing.m.Sc. a.1846 A. Rodger Poems, etc. (1897) 57:
O leeze me on whisky! it gies us new life, It mak's us aye cadgy to cuddle the wife.

2. adv. Cheerfully (Kcb.1 1938). Also comparative cadgier.Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems and Songs 121:
Oddsaffs! my heart neer did wallop cadgier Than whan the Laird took Harry for a sodger.
Kcb. 1896 S. R. Crockett The Grey Man xxii.:
Walking together very caigy and jocose.

Hence (1) cadgily, cagily, caigily, adv., cheerfully; in friendly manner; (2) caidginess, n., (a) wantonness; (b) gaiety, sportiveness (Sc. 1825 Jam.2); (c) affectionate kindness (Lnk. Ib.).(1) Sc. 1724–1727 Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1733) 84:
My doughter's shoulders he 'gan to clap, And cadgily ranted and sang.
Edb. 1772 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 22:
Auld Reikie gies them shelter, Whare cadgily they kiss the cap, An' ca't round helter-skelter.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie II. i.:
What, noo, was you and the auld leddy after, when ye were linking and slinking sae cagily wi' ane anither in holes and corners?
Kcb. 1901 Crockett Cinderella ix.: 
Ah, Megsy, gin I had my will o't ye should be sittin' caigily at mine!

[O.Sc. has caige, v., ? to act wantonly, with only one rather doubtful example (1603) in D.O.S.T. Cf. Dan. kaad, from O.N. kât-r, contented, cheerful, gay, which may belong to the same root as Lat. gaudere, to rejoice (Falk and Torp). D.O.S.T. gives cady, wanton (of obscure origin), which might link up with this.]

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"Cadgy adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2022 <>



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