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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CANSE, Cance, Cansh, v. “To speak in a pert and saucy style, as displaying a great degree of self-importance” (Dmf. 1825 Jam.2, canse). Not known to our correspondents. [kɑns]w.Dmf. 1903 J. L. Waugh Thornhill xx.:
Weel, 'aith, an' ye wad think to see them gaun cancin' alang the street cheek by jowl that they were aye the best o' freens.

Hence (1) cansie, “pert, speaking from self-conceit” (Dmf. 1825 Jam.2), conceited; (2) canshie, “cross, ill-humoured; merely a variety of Cansie” (Bwk. Ib.).(1) w.Dmf. 1917 J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 30:
He took it into his heid that the parish wad think . . . that he was cansie, an' tryin' to bring up Mary abune her station.

[Cf. Gael. cainnt, talk, cainnteach, talkative, and can, to say, sing (MacLennan); Lat. canere, to sing.]

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"Canse v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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