Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sawney adj.

also sawny
[sawney n.1 ]

foolish.

[UK]Rochester ‘In Defense of Satire’ in Works of Rochester (1721) 62: Thinks himself a Beau-Garçon, / Goggles his Eyes, writes Letters up and down, / And with his sawney Love plagues all the Town.
[US](con. 1843) Melville White-Jacket (1990) 11: Mark him, as he advances along the files of old ocean-warriors; mark his debased attitude, his deprecating gestures, his Sawney stare, like a Scotchman in London.
[UK]R. Broughton Nancy III 118: The bronze of his face is a little paled by emotion, but there is no sawny sentiment in his tone, none of the lover’s whine.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Oct. 6/4: Potts Point and Toorak will be interested to hear that their sawney friend – ‘Prince Albert Victor, the eldest son of the Prince of Wales models himself on Ouida’s heroes’.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Stragglers’ in Roderick (1972) 92: A sandy, sawney-looking Bourke native takes great interest in this wreck.
[UK]Marvel 8 Dec. 2: Thought I would forget it, did you, coming up to me with that sawny grin!
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 29 May 3/3: There was a young girl called Lorney, / Who made all the boys look sawny.
[UK]Lawrence & Skinner Boy in Bush 90: Crikey! Stop up another night! It ’ud make ye sawney.
[Aus](con. 1830s–60s) ‘Miles Franklin’ All That Swagger 132: Surely you’d never help things on with that sawny bean-pole?
[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 96: I might have knowed you have something bleeding sawney to say, you old twerp, you.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 285: Young Dan was with him. Eighteen he was now. A bit sawny but a nice kid.
[Aus]B. Robinson Aussie Bull 16: Make sure you’ve got the right ‘sawny’ expression on your face.
[UK]R. Puxley Fresh Rabbit 79: The sawney type who ‘wears his best hat to paint the ceiling’.