About a month ago, I looked up the definition of thingy with a thought to answering this question. The following example sentence from 1947 appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary. It seems to be from a Scottish newspaper. I preface the sentence with the OED definition of thingy.
orig. and chiefly Sc. A little thing. Also more generally: a thing (usually with some suggestion of small size).
1947 Forfar Dispatch 9 Jan. Inahent the coonter she's no' near sic a nochtie, shilpit, wee thingie. (Emphasis added.)
What does this sentence mean? I forgot about this mystery sentence until Should Scots language questions be considered in the English language community? appeared on ELU Meta. The consensus seems to be that questions about Scots language are on topic, as long as they show adequate research. So, here goes.
First, we all know that wee means small. As for shilpit, Merriam Webster says:
pinched and starved in appearance
WordSense.eu says nochtie means
good for nothing; insignificant
no' near sic probably means not such a
I am having trouble with finding out what coonter means. The first time I googled coonter, I found a definition that said counter. However, I cannot reproduce that search result. The OED has no listing for coonter, and wonders if I mean cooter, counter or booster. As for inahent. the OED asks me if I mean inbent, incent, indent, intent, or intuent, and Google is sure I mean inherent.
My guess is that the sentence means:
Behind the counter, she isn't so insignificant.
That is, however wee, puny and insignificant she may seem, she is pretty shrewd when she is selling you something. Is this correct?