Has there ever been a cannier promoter of his own work than Philip Roth, announcing his retirement?
But they'll find they'll have to seek out a cannier bit nor this.
Probably there was not, even in Thrums, a cannier man than Dunwoodie.
Their first impulse was to run back to camp and shout the good news; but the cannier second thought prevailed.
1630s, Scottish and northern English formation from can (v.1) in its sense of "know how to," + -y (2). "Knowing," hence, "careful." A doublet of cunning that flowed into distinct senses. Often used superciliously of Scots by their southern neighbors (and their American cousins).
The Canny Scot is so well known as scarcely to require description. He carries caution, cunning, and selfishness to excess. Deceitful when a purpose is to be accomplished, he is not habitually deceitful. One thing he never loses sight of--his own interest. But of his own interest he is not the most enlightened judge. ["The Natural History of Scotsmen," in "The Argosy," December 1865]Related: Cannily; canniness.