My grandson, Lachlan, is sometimes described by islanders as "cunning." You may be thinking, does that mean he is wily, tricky, and sly? Well, he may be that...but not in a mean or nasty sense. At any rate, that is not what my neighbors mean by "cunning."
Cunning, on Ocracoke is often used in its early sense to mean clever, cute, appealing, and even "displaying keen insight."
So, if you hear an Ocracoker calling someone cunning, be assured it is a compliment.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1921 letter written by a former
slave, Harrison Williams, to Ocracoke native, Martha Ann Howard Wahab.
You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112113.htm.