Last modified on 28 February 2014, at 16:37

Talk:cunning

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I and my family have lived in New England for generations. Cunnin is definitely an "Old Yankee" word for adorable. So put it back.—This unsigned comment was added by 68.109.28.69 (talk) at 14:47, 24 January 2013‎ (UTC).

If you look at the entry, you'll see that it's already back- as it has been since it passed verification 5 years ago. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:44, 24 January 2013 (UTC)


I'm removing the following adjective bullet as I've lived in New England my whole life and never heard this word used in this way: " Cute, appealing. (Rarely used., mostly in New England, pronounced by dropping the g: "cunnin")" Slang and extremely uncommon usage such as this does not belong here, but rather in the urbandictionary. —This unsigned comment was added by VirtualX (talkcontribs) at 19:15, 17 October 2007 (UTC)‎.

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cunning

Adjective sense 3. # Cute, appealing. (Rarely used., mostly in New England, pronounced by dropping the g: "cunnin") - Algrif 13:57, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Wow! That is a lot of redundant senses! Is there really more than one? --Connel MacKenzie 05:00, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
It's definitely old-fashioned American slang to use "cunning" in the sense of "cute", as in "what a cunning dress/baby/puppy!". Finding this usage on the Internet is difficult (it helps if you eliminate the words "linguist" and "stunt" from the search field), but see for example [1], [2], [3]. The bit about "mostly in New England, pronounced by dropping the g" is probably unverifiable original research and ought to be eliminated. Angr 17:24, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I searched g.b.c. for "cunnin" and found many cites. A few were of poems about babies. A couple were very explicitly about the "cunning" selfishness of babies. I didn't find any instance that was unambiguously about "cute" (but my search was not very thorough). I wonder whether any somewhat positive adjective applied to babies, puppies, or kittens comes to mean "cute". DCDuring 18:48, 17 January 2008 (UTC)



My mother and her sisters often voiced this exact usage (even the dropped 'g), much to the perplexity of my erudite Texas-born wife. Mom's family were east-coast NYC/NJ area mid-upper-class, men-folk university educated in the 1895-1930 era, 2nd generation americans of German-Irish heritage. They summered in Eastern Pennsylvania, not New England.