January 11, 2007


pawky: lively, uninhibited and bold adj.
-- Xenia, Coleman Barks

: drily humorous; sardonic adj. (pawkier, pawkiest) chiefly Scottish & N. English
--Compact Oxford English Dictionary

pawky adj. chiefly Brit.
having or showing a sly sense of humor : a gentle man with a pawky wit.
• shrewd: she shakes her head with a look of pawky, knowing skepticism.

--Oxford American Dictionary Electronic Version 1.0.1 (1.0.1).

Bloggin' John Comments:
OK. So pawky is currently not much a part of American English. But that doesn't mean we Americans should not be making happy use of it. Merriam Webster thinks the word might be of value in the US because it offers an entry for it in its Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary Dictionary (2003):
adj. [obs. E. dialect. pawk trick] chiefly Brit: Artfully shrewd: canny.

Pawky is a word that offers plenty of nuance. Using just the descriptors in the citations above, we can see that it is apt in describing certain edgy human qualities (artfully shrewd, canny,
lively, uninhibited, bold) as well as types of humor (sly sense of humor, dryly humorous, sardonic). What better single word is there to describe the subtleties and excesses of pawky John Stewart?

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