American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Chiefly British Shrewd and cunning, often in a humorous manner.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Arch; humorously sly.
- Crafty; shrewd; clever.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Scot. Arch; cunning; sly.
- adj. cunning and sly
- From pawk + -y. (Wiktionary)
- From English dialectal pawk, a trick. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“But there are records of Antony which represent him as a far more genial and human personage; full of a knowledge of human nature, and of a tenderness and sympathy, which account for his undoubted power over the minds of men; and showing, too, at times, a certain covert and "pawky" humour which puts us in mind, as does the humour of many of the Egyptian hermits, of the old-fashioned Scotch.”
“In consequence the movie is visually remarkable as it tries to keep up with the frenetic activities of secret agent Ethan Hunt Tom Cruise accepting an impossible mission for the fourth time and his new trio of likable operatives: beautiful, resourceful Paula Patton, pawky computer wizard Simon Pegg and constantly fretting analyst Jeremy Renner.”
“But these voices add a wonderful, pawky, startling texture to the account.”
“Edwin Gray, head of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, proved unexpectedly pawky in warning of the dangers, but Congress repeatedly refused his pleas for more funds to police the thrifts.”
“My Commonwealth readers will no doubt chalk that opinion up to my pawky colonial ways.”
“Balfour, in whom the pawky Lowland lad, proud and precise, but”
“Ye see, "says he, shaking his pawky old head," the day ye find a priest sittin 'in the court at Trinity is a day ye'll be able to skate over Dublin Bay from Bray to Balbriggan - an' as for seein 'St Stephen's Green from the court, well, I doubt if even ould Faylen could see that far from heaven, where he's been this five-and-thirty years, God rest his soul.”
“A good story is told of a pawky old Scot, who like many others, finds himself rather short of cash just now.”
“But all that," said Sonachan, a pawky, sturdy little gentleman with”
“The Stickit Minister' and its companion stories; plenty of humour, too, of that dry, pawky kind which is a monopoly of 'Caledonia, stern and wild'; and, most plentiful of all, a quiet perception and reticent rendering of that underlying pathos of life which is to be discovered, not in Scotland alone, but everywhere that a man is found who can see with the heart and the imagination as well as the brain.”
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visions of witfulness and vision - a wise guise
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Selections from Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure and Preposterous Words by Josefa Heifetz Byrne (University Books, 1974). Definitions in the comments when not available elsewhere.
Adjectives, words that describe people
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