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Multiple Meanings
ornery — as in:  is ornery when he first wakes up

I avoid contact when he’s in an ornery mood.
cranky (easily annoyed and quick to complain and argue)

Much more rarely (and seldom any more), ornery can describe someone as "low down", coarse, or unrefined. Mark Twain often used the word in that manner as in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn where he wrote: "The other fellow was about thirty, and dressed about as ornery." and "The more I studied about this the more my conscience went to grinding me, and the more wicked and low-down and ornery I got to feeling."
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