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Bugbear   Listen
verb
Bugbear  v. t.  To alarm with idle phantoms.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Bugbear" Quotes from Famous Books



... 'sport my oak' and sit down, nothing disturbs or annoys me; and had it not been for the rumbling of carts along Ship-lane, and cries of 'muffins,' I should consider myself in a hermitage. As for temptation, it is all a bugbear. I have seen none here that would not vanish before a ...
— Gwaith Alun • Alun

... entirely to this cause, and to the school of literalism in which he had been trained; but, however this may be, we both of us hated being made to say our prayers—morning and evening it was our one bugbear, and we would avoid it, as indeed children generally will, by every artifice which we could employ. Thus we were in the habit of feigning to be asleep shortly before prayer time, and would gratefully hear my father tell my mother ...
— The Fair Haven • Samuel Butler

... which are, so to say, the beginning and end of all things, the alpha and omega of human philosophy—viz., the grave and the womb;[179] the latter the bait as well as the portal of life, the former the bugbear and the goal of all things living. The idea, no less than the form, is manifestly Indian. Birth and death constitute the axis of existence; the womb is the symbol of the allurement that tempts men to forget ...
— The Sceptics of the Old Testament: Job - Koheleth - Agur • Emile Joseph Dillon

... it would induce white immigration, relieve the congested overproduction of the staples of the Southern States, introduce a higher class of industries, and simplify the so-called problem by removing the bugbear of Negro domination by ...
— Shadow and Light - An Autobiography with Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century • Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

... in political management, and, instead of being dragged down, as was most feared, their enfranchisement has tended to elevate them. Under our system of the Australian ballot, they have found that the contaminating influence of which they had been told was but a bugbear, born of fright, produced by shadows. They learned that to deposit their vote did not subject them to anything like the annoyance which they often experienced from crowds on "bargain days," while their presence drove from the polls ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV • Various

... moving the tongue to cry out or to eat, one creates as many accidents as there are movements of the parts of the tongue, and one destroys as many accidents as there are parts of that which one eats, which lose their form, which become chyle, blood, etc.' This argument is only a kind of bugbear. What harm would be done, supposing that an infinity of movements, an infinity of figures spring up and disappear at every moment in the universe, and even in each part of the universe? It can be demonstrated, moreover, ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz

... before its eyes, it is afraid of death. But its fear is only because of its lack of understanding. If it knew, it would by no means be afraid or shudder at death. Our reason is like a little child who has become frightened by a bugbear or a mask, and cannot be lulled to sleep; or like a poor man, bereft of his senses, who imagines when brought to his couch that he is being put into the water and drowned. What we do not understand we cannot ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. III - Trinity Sunday to Advent • Martin Luther

... has talked to us again about an outbreak and civil war—a ridiculous bugbear which is regularly revived every time the House protests against these abuses, as it was under Craig, under Dalhousie, and still more persistently under the present governor. Doubtless the honourable gentleman, having ...
— The 'Patriotes' of '37 - A Chronicle of the Lower Canada Rebellion • Alfred D. Decelles

... created the gods, fear supports their empire over the minds of mortals. So early are men accustomed to shudder at the mere name of the Deity, that they regard him as a spectre, a hobgoblin, a bugbear, which torments and deprives them of courage even to wish relief from their fears. They apprehend, that the invisible spectre, will strike them the moment they cease to be afraid. Bigots are too much in fear of their God to love him sincerely. They serve him ...
— Good Sense - 1772 • Paul Henri Thiry, Baron D'Holbach

... to you to know at once that there will not be any statistics in this series of talks. We want instead just now to get broad and general, but distinct, impressions. Statistics are burdensome to most people. They are a good deal of a bugbear to the common crowd of us every-day folks. They are absolutely essential. They are of immense, that is, immeasurable, value. You need to have them at hand where you can easily turn for exact information, as you need it, to refresh your ...
— Quiet Talks with World Winners • S. D. Gordon

... sovereign has been so execrated as that of Mary Tudor. For generations after her death her name, with its horrid epithet clinging round it like the shirt of Nessus, was a bugbear in thousands of Protestant homes. It is true that nearly 300 persons were burnt at the stake in her short reign. But she herself was more inclined to mercy than almost any of her predecessors on the throne. Stubbs speaks of her father's ...
— The Reign of Mary Tudor • James Anthony Froude

... be termed the minor morals, the small proprieties, and lesser virtues that lie on the surface of things and give life its polish, Audrey was for ever riding full-tilt against prejudices or raising a crusade against what she chose to term 'the bugbear ...
— Lover or Friend • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... journalists have had the wit to see and the energy to adopt the best feature of the American style; and the result has been a distinct advance in the raciness and readableness of some of our best-known journals. The "Americanisation of the British press" is no bugbear to stand in awe of, if only it be carried on with good sense and discrimination. We can most advantageously exchange lessons of sobriety and restraint for suggestions of candour, humour, and point; and America's share in the form of the ideal English ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... not do less than seat himself at the other side of the table. He was ill at ease, even while he was endeavoring to seem indifferent and at home. I am sorry to say he was haunted by that abominable bugbear which often takes possession of the minds of young men when they find themselves in the presence of those who are adepts in the arts of vice—a fear of being thought "green," "verdant," or being measured ...
— The Young Lieutenant - or, The Adventures of an Army Officer • Oliver Optic

... said Dr. Latimer, "is only a bugbear which frightens well-meaning people from dealing justly with the negro. I know of no place on earth where there is perfect social equality, and I doubt if there is such a thing in heaven. The sinner who ...
— Iola Leroy - Shadows Uplifted • Frances E.W. Harper

... (HEINE tells us) "danced nobly." Pride swells us To think our young guest is a true ATTA TROLL; No Bugbear, though shaggy, a trifle breech-baggy, And not altogether a dandyish doll; No Afghan intrigue, dear, or shy Native league, dear, Has brought Bruin's foot o'er our frontier to dance: He comes freely, boldly—don't look on him coldly, Or make ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100., February 7, 1891 • Various

... impression that the latter should fill the part. Another Bolshevik insurrection was brewing in Petrograd, and on the 7th Kornilov prepared to crush it, sending Krymov forward to Gatchina within twenty miles of the capital. Kerensky now took fright at the bugbear of a military restoration, denounced Kornilov as a traitor, and threw himself on the support of the Soviets. The cry that the revolution was in danger ruined Kornilov's chances; his surrender was arranged by Alexeiev's ...
— A Short History of the Great War • A.F. Pollard

... radio boys took their turn and gave their visitors a radio concert that was wonderful in its variety and beauty. The night happened to be unusually free of the annoying static that is the bugbear of the wireless, and every note of the music was as clear and sweet as though the performers were only a few yards away. Tim and Larry listened as though they were entranced, and when the concert was finished they were as enthusiastic "fans" ...
— The Radio Boys at the Sending Station - Making Good in the Wireless Room • Allen Chapman

... Sauvaire, he had published, in the "Independant," a terrible article on the intrigues of the clergy, in response to a short paragraph from Vuillet, who had accused the Republicans of desiring to demolish the churches. Vuillet was Aristide's bugbear. Never a week passed but these two journalists exchanged the greatest insults. In the provinces, where a periphrastic style is still cultivated, polemics are clothed in high-sounding phrases. Aristide called his adversary "brother Judas," or "slave of Saint-Anthony." Vuillet ...
— The Fortune of the Rougons • Emile Zola

... Cresaps were men of varied descent and nationality. They had the cunning, the boldness, and the resources to undertake successfully the task of conquering commercially the Great West. They were the first men of the colonies to be unafraid of that bugbear of the trader, Distance. We may aptly call them the first Americans because, though not a few were actually born abroad, they were the first whose plans, spirit, and very life were dominated by the vision of an America ...
— The Paths of Inland Commerce - A Chronicle of Trail, Road, and Waterway, Volume 21 in The - Chronicles of America Series • Archer B. Hulbert

... men and good soldiers; and as to the dogs, they were noble animals of the highest blood he ever saw. If, however, I and his friend Hammond, who seemed afraid of being eaten, in preference to the fine beef and venison which we had seen in such profusion on the plain, really felt alarmed at the bugbear legends of our vagabond Indians, before any demonstration of hostility had been made, we were welcome to take two-thirds of the men and mules and make our retreat as best we could, while he would ...
— Memoir of an Eventful Expedition in Central America • Pedro Velasquez

... been a good deal of this kind of thing, and our Aunt Eliza puts her foot down rather strongly, which won't be a bugbear to the boy with Mrs. Brindlock; besides which, there's your old friend, Rev. Dr. Mowry, at ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 93, July, 1865 • Various

... don't try and make a bugbear of aunt Shaw' said Margaret, laughing. 'Edith picked up all sorts of military slang from Captain Lennox, and aunt Shaw never ...
— North and South • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... mark which kept it still fresh, and would continue to do so to the end of time. It was well that there was no spectator there,—for the American would have blushed to have it known how much this old traditionary wonder had affected his imagination. But, indeed, it was as old as any bugbear of his mind—as any of those bugbears and private terrors which grow up with people, and make the dreams and nightmares of childhood, and the fever-images of mature years, till they haunt the deliriums of the dying bed, ...
— Doctor Grimshawe's Secret - A Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... the house in a great panic. I shall never forget the crying of the children. Indians had long been the favorite bugbear of the border country. Many a winter's evening we had sat in the firelight, fear-faced, as my father told of the slaughter in Cherry Valley; and, with the certainty of war, we all looked for the red hordes of Canada to come, in paint ...
— D'Ri and I • Irving Bacheller

... day to discover the transcendent merits discovered by thousands (or at least proclaimed by them), there is every likelihood of my incurring the contempt of connoisseurs, and of being reproached with want of taste in art. This is the bugbear which scares thousands. For myself, I would rather incur the contempt of connoisseurs than my own; the repreach of defective taste is more endurable than the reproach of insincerity. Suppose I am deficient in the ...
— The Principles of Success in Literature • George Henry Lewes

... you will find him to be the bugbear you imagine. He can take defeat like a man. He is devoted to you, he is devoted to me. Your decision no doubt wrecks his fondest hope in life, but it doesn't make a ...
— The Hollow of Her Hand • George Barr McCutcheon

... all constitutional legislators; they know that when the fear of punishment is wanting, nothing else is of avail. And this is doubly so with us who are tyrants; whose power is based upon compulsion; who live in the midst of enmity and treachery. The bugbear terrors of the law would never serve our turn. Rebellion is a many-headed Hydra: we cut off one guilty head, two others grow in its place. Yet we must harden our hearts, smite them off as they grow, and—like lolaus—sear the wounds; thus only shall we hold our own. ...
— Works, V2 • Lucian of Samosata

... later, and won't be such a bugbear as you think. If you were not worried into a morbid condition over all this trouble, you would not look so seriously upon a thing which I regard as a piece of mere night prowling, with ...
— From the Ranks • Charles King

... wherefore fear we death? Did Brutus fear it? or the Grecian friends Who buried in Hipparchus' breast the sword, And died triumphant? Caesar should fear death, Brutus must scorn the bugbear. ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... Dead Man. "When you shall have learned that 'what people say' is the most senseless bugbear in all this wide world of senseless bugbears, you will be far on the road to true greatness. You will have broken the heaviest, most galling, most idiotically useless fetter that weights down humanity. Being a woman you will never be able wholly to free yourself ...
— The Return of Peter Grimm - Novelised From the Play • David Belasco

... blowing over the desert, the party set forth, looking forward with delight to a continuous picnic a month long. Soon every vestige of human habitation disappeared, and we were alone in the midst of one of the loneliest lands in the world. Sahara itself, that bugbear of childhood, could not be much more desert than this. Fort Laramie, distant nearly one hundred miles, two long days' journey toward the north, was our first point of destination. Over ridge after ridge of the vast rolling ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 90, June, 1875 • Various

... her husband's niece, as the probate judge had told her she might if she listened to the seduction of immediate cash. And fortunately the bank officer did not ask for money to pay taxes and interest on the mortgages, which had been the bugbear of her married life. This was the next point touched upon by the ...
— Clark's Field • Robert Herrick

... it Christian Science? Did you dare, Eloise Evringham, did you dare spoil your life—my life—our future, by scaring Dr. Ballard with that bugbear?" The ...
— Jewel - A Chapter In Her Life • Clara Louise Burnham

... fertile Ohio lands were to be their reward. An invitation to other colonies to join in the assertion of English ownership met with scanty response, or none at all. The idea of a union was in the air, but it was complicated with that old bugbear of a regular revenue to be exacted by act of Parliament, which Shirley and the others still continued to press with hungry zeal; while the assemblies were not less set upon making all grants annual, with specifications as to person and object. While the matter hung in the wind, the Virginians ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... Perth paper had had a bad time of it, for further on we find him still more bitter against any communication being opened up with the sister colony. It must he remembered that Western Australia was a free colony, and consequently the bugbear of convict contamination was one that was always raised when the subject of opening up a stock route with the older colonies was ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc

... matter in your charge, Lady Carfax. I can see you're a capable woman. I'm coming back in September to perform that operation. You will have a willing patient ready for me—by willing I mean something gayer than resigned—and my bugbear, Nap—that most lurid specimen of civilised devilry—hunting scalps on the other side ...
— The Knave of Diamonds • Ethel May Dell

... fingers, reached high in air, means. They would be mortified beyond measure if they failed to observe any of the little gentilities of life, while the larger consideration of their visitor's disregard of the matter, would entirely escape them. To such people, social intercourse is a perpetual worry and bugbear. They are on the watch every moment, and if a visitor fails to say, "Pardon me," at the proper place, or stands with his back to his hostess for a moment, or does any other of the things that natural men and women often do, they ...
— Quit Your Worrying! • George Wharton James

... poor wretch! a poor capocchia! hast not slept to-night? Would he not, a naughty man, let it sleep? A bugbear take him! ...
— The History of Troilus and Cressida • William Shakespeare [Craig edition]

... word indicating the degree of strength requisite for accomplishing particular objects; a mere notice of the necessity for exertion; a bugbear to children and fools; only a ...
— Many Thoughts of Many Minds - A Treasury of Quotations from the Literature of Every Land and Every Age • Various

... every way. This idea of the application of scientific procedure to life we see extending to the control of the energies of the human factor. We have already spoken of guarantees that affect the spirit and the morale of labor. We hear of the prevention of unemployment, the removal of the bugbear of "losing the job." Most advance of all is being made in the application of the principles of mental and physical hygiene and of scientific management to the actual details of movement and the whole process of expenditure of energy, counting costs in terms of time and energy, in ...
— The Psychology of Nations - A Contribution to the Philosophy of History • G.E. Partridge

... death, surrounded by its terrors, would not have frighted me or driven me back—would not have received my passing notice; whilst it lasted it prevailed. So, afterwards, when all was calm and over, a crushing sense of wrong and guilt magnified the smallest offence, until it grew into a bugbear to scare me night and day. Leaving Miss Fairman, I rushed into the garden, preparatory to running away from the parsonage altogether. This, in the height of remorseful excitement, presented itself to my mind forcibly as the necessary and only available step to adopt; but this soon ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - April 1843 • Various

... kind of fellow I was, so I didn't talk; and presently I went away." I think that this species of retaliation is perfectly fair in the case of experimental entertainments. Social gatherings must be conducted on a basis of perfect equality, and the idea of duty in connection with them is a bugbear invented in the interests of those who are greedy of society, and not in a position to contribute any pleasure to ...
— From a College Window • Arthur Christopher Benson

... by you, Frank," said the Rector of Wentworth, rather mournfully. He had been waiting at Mrs Hadwin's for the last two hours. He had seen that worthy woman's discomposed looks, and felt that she did not shake her head for nothing. Jack had been the bugbear of the family for a long time past. Gerald was conscious of adding heavily at the present moment to the Squire's troubles. Charley was at Malta, in indifferent health; all the others were boys. There ...
— The Perpetual Curate • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... the 1st of July, Bressant sat at his table, with his books and papers about him. He was in an excellent humor, for he had just arrived at the conclusion that he might, and would, safely encounter his bugbear Cornelia. If the professor invited him to tea, and to spend the evening, he was resolved to accept; and, at that moment, he felt a hand laid upon his shoulder, and, turning quickly round, recognized the sombre figure ...
— Bressant • Julian Hawthorne

... "that your ignorance is even more remarkable than my news. Achille Cazaio is the bugbear of all Poictesme, he is as powerful in these parts as ever ...
— Gallantry - Dizain des Fetes Galantes • James Branch Cabell

... others? May not the intense thrill of a moment more than counterbalance "four lukewarm hours?" Are we not, if we take such things into consideration, back again face to face with something very like the calculus of pleasures—that bugbear of the egoist ...
— A Handbook of Ethical Theory • George Stuart Fullerton

... domestic bugbear it used to be, when one mighty spasm of cleanliness shook the house from garret to cellar and threw its inmates into a fever of discomfort and dismay. The modern house-cleaning season is one of indolence and ease compared with what it ...
— The Complete Home • Various

... rent to old Mr. Henry did not occur to me then— no, nor for years afterward. On the other hand, all that I thought of was this,—that here was as good a chance as there was in Kansas to live without rent, and that rent had been, was still, and was likely to be my bugbear, unless I hit on some such scheme as ...
— The Brick Moon, et. al. • Edward Everett Hale

... nation had remained true to their calling. But when to speak Latin was considered more learned than to speak German, when to amass vast information was considered more creditable than to digest and to use it, when popularity became the same bugbear to the professors which profanity had been to the clergy, and vulgarity to the knights, Luther's work was undone; and two more centuries had to be spent in pedantic controversies, theological disputes, sectarian squabbles, ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... somewhere else," said Anne cheerfully, "abroad if possible; but I have become a bugbear to Daisy, and it is ...
— A Coin of Edward VII - A Detective Story • Fergus Hume

... bugbear returned next morning, as the Frank emerged from breakfast, claiming praise for his devotion in coming through such weather. The wady to the north of the town was now a raging torrent, he informed them. With his own eyes he had ...
— The Valley of the Kings • Marmaduke Pickthall

... the model for E.T.A. Hoffmann's fantastic pictures. Here J.P. Lyser, a painter by profession, but a poet as well, and a musician besides. Here Carl Bauck, the indefatigable, yet unsuccessful composer of songs,—now, in his capacity of critic, the paper bugbear of the Dresden artists. He had just returned from Italy, and believed himself in possession of the true secret of the art of singing, the monopoly of which every singing-master is wont to claim for himself. C.F. Becker, too, the eminent organist and industrious collector, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. September, 1863, No. LXXI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... the Monarch ("knight" was diplomat for "dog"), "There is something in your Treaty, that I relish—like roast hog. Know Morocco is no home for Factories and Colossal Stores; And the omnipresent Bagman is a bugbear to my Moors! ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, July 30, 1892 • Various

... that man is exceedingly fecund and very tough. Never before have there been so many people in the world. In the past centuries the world's population has been smaller; in the future centuries it is destined to be larger. And this brings us to that old bugbear that has been so frequently laughed away and that still persists in raising its grisly head—namely, the doctrine of Malthus. While man's increasing efficiency of food-production, combined with colonisation of whole virgin ...
— The Human Drift • Jack London

... the communion of the Baptists. Like other Nonconformists, these were inclined to the Liberal side in politics, and, at least in the beginning, regarded Buonaparte as a deliverer. From the time of his joining the Spearmen, Thomas Smith became in consequence a bugbear to his brethren in the faith. 'They that take the sword shall perish with the sword,' they told him; they gave him 'no rest'; 'his position became intolerable'; it was plain he must choose between his political and his religious tenets; and in the last years of his life, about 1812, ...
— Records of a Family of Engineers • Robert Louis Stevenson

... whilst the other two that we have been speaking about do partially explain the terrible fact that we go away from God, their explanation is only partial, and this grimmer truth underlies them. There are modern theories, as there were ancient ones, that say: 'Oh! sin is a theological bugbear. There is not any such thing. It is only indifference, ignorance, error.' And then there are other theorists that say: 'Sin! There is no sin in following natural laws and impulses. Circumstances shape men; heredity shapes them. The notion that their actions are ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... in the room. She fidgetted at the sink. The music was a bugbear to her, because it prevented her from saying what was on her own mind. At length it ended, her father was turning over the various books and sheets. She looked at him quickly, ...
— Aaron's Rod • D. H. Lawrence

... this matter in detail, I think it ought now to be manifest to everyone who studies it, that up to the commencement of the present century the progress of science in general, and of natural history in particular, was seriously retarded by what may be termed the Bugbear of Speculation. Fully awakened to the dangers of web-spinning from the ever-fertile resources of their own inner consciousness, naturalists became more and more abandoned to the idea that their science ought to consist in a mere observation of ...
— Darwin, and After Darwin (Vol. 1 and 3, of 3) • George John Romanes

... in many cases. The digestion is poor and slow and constipation accompanies it. Sometimes there is neuralgia of the stomach. The sexual organs are seemingly affected, many men are "almost scared to death" and they use all sorts of quack remedies to restore their sexual vigor. Spermatorrhea is their bugbear. They usually get well if they stop worrying. In women there is the tender ovary and the menstruation may be painful or irregular. The condition of the urine in these patients is important. Many cases are complicated with lithaemia (sand-stone in the urine). ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... throughout the district. In cases of genuine need he could be extremely kind and generous; but he did not lavish these qualities on the first comer, nor did he wear his heart upon his sleeve. His informal ways and unconventional dress were a bugbear to some critics; his old waywardness and love of adventure was still alive in him, and he thoroughly enjoyed the more irregular sides of his work. Mr. Bosworth Smith has preserved some capital stories of the crimes with which he had to deal, and ...
— Victorian Worthies - Sixteen Biographies • George Henry Blore

... clear eyes, that never seemed to be removed from my face, embarrassed me beyond expression. Their owner was a perfect bugbear. Such a formidable memory I never encountered; and in her recitations, which were long and frequent, I do not think she ever misplaced a letter. That girl had algebra written on her face; and when, in a slow, deliberate way, ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol IV, Issue VI, December 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... depth of enthusiasm in his supporters or the depth of antagonism in his opponents which is called forth by every public appearance of Mr. Gladstone. No other man has, in the same measure as he has, won the glory of being the bugbear of cultivated "society" and the object of the reverence and affection of thinking men. But, apart from this, the issues were different. Mr. Smith and Mr. Stuart stood directly as Liberal candidates. ...
— The Contemporary Review, January 1883 - Vol 43, No. 1 • Various

... seem to think much of it, but considered some of it'd—d drum and trumpet lines.' I got him to recite it to me, and I believe that the delight I felt and expressed had an effect in inducing him to print it. The fact is," added he, "Campbell is, in a manner, a bugbear to himself. The brightness of his early success is a detriment to all his further efforts. He is afraid of the shadow that his own fame ...
— Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey • Washington Irving

... are accommodated and fed until it should please them to remove their quarters to the house of some other rich man where better food and better accommodation might be expected. There is nothing that a Corean fears so much as that people should speak ill of him, and especially this is the bugbear under which the nobleman of Cho-sen is constantly labouring, and upon which these black-mailers and "spongers" work. High officials, whose heads rest on their shoulders, "hung by a hair," like Damocles' sword, suffer very much at the hands of these marauders. ...
— Corea or Cho-sen • A (Arnold) Henry Savage-Landor

... lacked nothing for words, though it might perhaps be proved that they were short in numbers. It was considered that the speech in which Mr. Daubeny reviewed the long political life of Mr. Mildmay, and showed that Mr. Mildmay had been at one time a bugbear, and then a nightmare, and latterly simply a fungus, was one of the severest attacks, if not the most severe, that had been heard in that House since the Reform Bill. Mr. Mildmay, the while, was sitting with his hat low down over his eyes, and many men said that he did not ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... said his wife, as if resenting the word. "But you make such a bugbear of the least little matter that there's no encouragement ...
— A Fearful Responsibility and Other Stories • William D. Howells

... stared at this girl who presumed to call him horrid and hard-hearted, and to hold up as an example his bugbear and opponent, Bill Howroyd. Horatia returned his look with a perfectly fearless one. 'So you prefer Bill Howroyd's way? Perhaps you prefer his home to mine? He'll never build himself a Balmoral,' said the millionaire ...
— Sarah's School Friend • May Baldwin

... there is no truer, grander motive for his sustaining the position he has climbed to—when, in short, it is his own glory, not mankind's good, he has ever striven for—woe, woe, woe when the hour of success is come! I cannot stop to name and examine instances, but let me be allowed to refer to that bugbear who is called up whenever greatness of any kind has to be illustrated—Napoleon the Great; or let me take any of the lesser Napoleons in lesser grades in any nation, any age—the men who have had ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 2 • Grace & Philip Wharton

... other. But she had as yet shown no military power outside her own bounds, either by land or sea; and England looked with scorn on the threats of a state which possessed neither army nor fleet. "America," Lord Sidmouth wrote at this time, "is a bugbear: there is no terror in her threats!" Canning indeed saw in the embargo only a carrying out of his policy by the very machinery of the American Government. The commerce of America ceased to exist. Her seamen were driven to seek employment ...
— History of the English People, Volume VIII (of 8) - Modern England, 1760-1815 • John Richard Green

... with the T'ai-p'ing rebellion that we associate likin, a tax which has for years past been the bugbear of the foreign merchant in China. The term means "thousandth-part money," that is, the thousandth part of a tael or Chinese ounce of silver, say one cash; and it was originally applied to a tax of one cash per tael on all sales, said to have been voluntarily imposed on themselves ...
— China and the Manchus • Herbert A. Giles

... withdrew, Fay running after him, for she had made friends with him during her days of solitude, being a fearless child, and not having been taught to make a bugbear of him. "The soot ...
— Love and Life • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Circuit has long been popular with judges. There is a great difference in circuits. The two northern ones, with their vast populations and immense amount of work, are the bugbear of the puisne judge. The scenery of some of the other circuits is flat, and there is not much amusement going on in the assize towns. But the Southern combines several advantages. It is far from heavy as regards work, the country ...
— The Queen Against Owen • Allen Upward

... him very high patronage, precisely because he had asked for none. He was appointed major in the National Guard, although he was utterly incapable of giving the word of command. In 1815 Napoleon, always his enemy, dismissed him. During the Hundred Days Birotteau was the bugbear of the liberals of his quarter; for it was not until 1815 that differences of political opinion grew up among merchants, who had hitherto been unanimous in their desires for public tranquillity, of which, as they knew, business affairs ...
— Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau • Honore de Balzac

... statement of a monk—of a man who resembles an echo—repeating simply what he hears. I understand that Mazarin is at this very moment extremely uneasy as to the state of affairs; that his orders are not respected like those of our former bugbear, the deceased cardinal, whose portrait as you see hangs yonder—for whatever may be thought of him, it must be allowed that ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... mother would expect it, because she had always thought of it as a thing understood; her father would expect it, because Pete's prosperity had given him a new view of Pete's piety and pedigree; and Nancy Joe would expect it, too, if only because she was still haunted by her old bugbear, the dark shadow of Ross Christian. There was only one way to break down these expectations, and that was to speak out. But how was a girl to speak? ...
— The Manxman - A Novel - 1895 • Hall Caine

... 'Do you wish to set everybody to talking about us?' Ah! 'talking about us,' was the bugbear I most dreaded, and he knew it. But I wanted to seem brave; so I said that in private matters we were at liberty to do as we ...
— The New Penelope and Other Stories and Poems • Frances Fuller Victor

... think too highly of the merits and delights of truth; but there is often in men's minds an exaggerated notion of some bit of truth, which proves a great assistance to falsehood. For instance, the shame of some particular small falsehood, exaggeration, or insincerity, becomes a bugbear which scares a man into a career of false dealing. He has begun making a furrow a little out of the line, and he ploughs on in it to try and give some consistency and meaning to it. He wants almost to persuade himself that it was ...
— Friends in Council (First Series) • Sir Arthur Helps

... all this to Lord Etherington?" said Mowbray; "wait until he propose such a terrible bugbear as matrimony, before you refuse to receive him. Who knows, the whim that he hinted at may have passed away—he was, as you say, flirting with Lady Binks, and her ladyship has a good deal of address, as well ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... in the general sense of a disruptive event goes back to Shakespeare! In the first edition of Samuel Johnson's dictionary one meaning of 'bug' is "A frightful object; a walking spectre"; this is traced to 'bugbear', a Welsh term for a variety of mythological monster which (to complete the circle) has recently been reintroduced into the popular lexicon ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0

... he cried; but Panoria, not having before her eyes the fear of the Bonapartes' bugbear, "their ...
— The Boy Life of Napoleon - Afterwards Emperor Of The French • Eugenie Foa

... by these friends of the daughter, he trusts that the mother's interviews with the Doctor, and a knowledge of the kindly influences under which Adele has grown up, may lessen the danger of a religious altercation between mother and child, which has been his great bugbear in view ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 103, May, 1866 • Various

... "author" of the Bible to stand sponsor for the condensation of the "records" of his ancestors which Smith unearthed. It was discovered very soon after the organization of the Mormon church was announced that the word was of Greek derivation, uopuw or uopuwv meaning bugbear, hobgoblin. In the form of "mormo" it is Anglicized with the same meaning, and is used by Jeremy Collier and Warburton.* The word "Mormon" in zoology is the generic name of certain animals, including the mandril baboon. The discovery of ...
— The Story of the Mormons: • William Alexander Linn

... person, she was little less elegant than a countess; yet nothing more than a merchant-captain's wife; and she reared that commander's children in a suburban villa, with the manners which adorn a palace. When they happen to be there. She had a bugbear; Slang. Could not endure the smart technicalities current; their multitude did not overpower her distaste; she called them "jargon"—"slang" was too coarse a word for her to apply to slang: she excluded many a good "racy ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... and able also to take their place with ease in high society? He was very well off certainly at Framley; but he could never hope for anything beyond Framley, if he allowed himself to regard Lady Lufton as a bugbear. Putting Lady Lufton and her prejudices out of the question, was there any reason why he ought not to accept the duke's invitation? He could not see that there was any such reason. If any one could be a better judge on such a subject than himself, ...
— Framley Parsonage • Anthony Trollope

... that became a great bugbear to him was what was known as composition. On Fridays the senior boys were required to bring an original composition, covering at least two pages of letter paper, upon any subject they saw fit. This requirement made that day "black Friday" for Bert ...
— Bert Lloyd's Boyhood - A Story from Nova Scotia • J. McDonald Oxley

... a glance from head to foot, rapid as an instantaneous exposure. "Tramps" were a permanent bugbear to the ladies of Cullerne, and a proper dread of such miscreants had been instilled into Anastasia Joliffe by her aunt. It was, moreover, a standing rule of the house that no strange men were to be admitted on any pretence, unless there was ...
— The Nebuly Coat • John Meade Falkner

... bugbear that woman is!' I observed, rather irritably, as we retraced our steps in the direction of the Man and Plough, the little inn that stood at the junction of the four roads. Everything looked dark and eerie in the faint starlight. Our footsteps seemed to strike sharply against the hard, ...
— Uncle Max • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... FEVER, however, has for many years been the most terrible bugbear, and to prevent its introduction into the seaports of Europe and the United States has been the chief end and aim of the absurd and ridiculous quarantine regulations to which I have referred. It has never been regarded as contagious by well-informed men in countries where it is most prevalent, ...
— Jack in the Forecastle • John Sherburne Sleeper

... Reformation, it is not to be altered without a law.'[1178] Exaggerated dread of Popery suspected latent evils, it scarcely knew what, lurking in this kind of worship. Perhaps, too, it was thought to border upon 'enthusiasm,' that other religious bugbear of the age. A paper in the 'Tatler' speaks of it not with disapproval, but with something of condescension to weaker minds, as 'the rapturous way of devotion.'[1179] In fact, cathedrals in general were almost unintelligible to the prevalent sentiment ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... with a Jackson policy must be either a knave or a fool. He could not place himself in the position from which the other fellow was thinking or acting. He believed that it was his duty to maintain what he held to be the popular cause against the "schemes of the aristocrats," the bugbear of that day. He was a fighter from his youth up and his theory of government was that of enforcing the control of the side for which he was the partisan. Such a man could never be accepted as ...
— Abraham Lincoln • George Haven Putnam

... strange and startling contrasts, both of hues and material. Her hands are always cold and seldom clean; and she has sundry uncomfortable notions about damping the spirits of youth and checking the exuberance of its gaiety which render her a perfect terror and bugbear to the rising generation. When I was a little thing, laughing, prattling, and giggling, as children will, an admonishing look from my aunt, with a gaunt finger held aloft, and a cold "Kate, don't be silly, my dear," ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... urged against this mode of operating, the fear lest the thickened, brawny, and often ulcerated textures in the neighbourhood of a diseased knee-joint, would not make a good covering. This, however, is no longer a bugbear, as we see in cases of resection, where the diseased joint alone is taken away, how very soon all swelling and disease departs, once its ...
— A Manual of the Operations of Surgery - For the Use of Senior Students, House Surgeons, and Junior Practitioners • Joseph Bell

... disquietude was upon the assembly. There was a distinct impression of fear, though a vague notion as to its cause—a sort of extempore superstition—a power which hath most hold on the mind in proportion as its limits and operations are least known or understood. The bugbear owing its magnitude and importance to obscurity and misapprehension, becomes divested of its terrors when it can ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2) • John Roby

... him once for all, through you, that I will come into and go out of this place as often as I like, so long as he keeps Nell here; and that if he wants to be quit of me, he must first be quit of her. What have I done to be made a bugbear of, and to be shunned and dreaded as if I brought the plague? He'll tell you that I have no natural affection; and that I care no more for Nell, for her own sake, than I do for him. Let him say so. I care for the whim, then, of coming to and fro and ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... too," put in Fitzgerald, reaching for a bunch of yellow grapes. "With all due respect to your cause and beliefs, Madame the duchess, your mistress, is a bugbear to me. The very sound of the title arouses in my heart all that ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... the great bugbear and tyrant of printers—that infamous mockery of a legal tribunal, the Star Chamber—was another gigantic obstacle cleared away from the path of journalism. The Newes Bookes, which, in spite of ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, Issue 2, February, 1864 • Various

... nicer feelings. The grossest enormities are constantly committed in this good republic of ours, under the pretence of being done by the public, and for the public. The public have got to bow to that bugbear, quite as submissively as Gesler would have wished the Swiss to bow to his own cap, as to the cap of Rodolph's substitute. Men will have idols, and the Americans have ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... after such a terrifying experience in the French capital, and not knowing when the Apache band might, knowing her part in the affair, avenge themselves upon her for the failure of the snare of "The Red Crawl," residence in France became a bugbear to Ailsa Lorne. Despite the pleadings of Athalie and the baron, whom she had served so well in giving help to Cleek, she was steadfast in her determination to leave it and to return to her native land. She therefore packed up her belongings, journeyed back to London, and set ...
— Cleek, the Master Detective • Thomas W. Hanshew

... enjoy yourself," returned Mrs. Cheyne, quietly, as she drew the girl's face down to hers. "I have given you such a bad impression that you look on me as a sort of moral bugbear. I can be very different, when I like, and I have liked to be agreeable to-night." And then this strange woman took up a rich cashmere shawl from the couch where she was lying, and folded it around Phillis's shoulders. "The evenings are chilly. Jeffreys can bring this back with her;" for ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... either. I recommended them to send him to Tripoli, to the English doctor there, but they heard of the proposal with horror. None of these Berkat people have ever visited Tripoli. The Turks are their bugbear. They were not extremely friendly; rude and ignorant villagers as they were, they could not understand why I wanted to go to Soudan. I observed they were all well clothed and seemed to live in Saharan affluence. The term Berkat, ‮بركت‬, signifies "a ...
— Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846 • James Richardson

... remedy, so far as I can see, is to extend the presidential term to, say, six or seven years, without any chance of a re-election. If this proposal were adopted, the President would be more free and independent, he would not be haunted by the bugbear of losing his position by temporarily displeasing his political friends, he could give his undivided attention, as he cannot do now, to federal affairs, and work without bias or fear, and without interruption, for the welfare of his nation. He would have more chance ...
— America Through the Spectacles of an Oriental Diplomat • Wu Tingfang

... there is no such secret;—it is a bugbear! But the moral perversion of the person who could soberly ask the question that Helwyse asked is not so easily disposed of. It met, indeed, with full recognition. As for the subtile voice, having accomplished its main purpose, it began now to evade the ...
— Idolatry - A Romance • Julian Hawthorne

... the "Human Dog" would immediately roll over on his back, with his legs in the air, and yelp piteously; in fact, he combined the "lay" of insanity with that of starvation in a most ingenious and skilful manner. He was a familiar sight and a bugbear to the police, who were constantly arresting him; but, as he never asked for money, they had great difficulty in doing anything with him. Usually the magistrate sent him to the "Island," for thirty days and then Gottlieb would get him out ...
— The Confessions of Artemas Quibble • Arthur Train

... which can be explained to every speaker in terms of his own language. All the modified vowels, closed "u's" and "e's," half tones, longs and shorts, open and closed vowels, etc., which form the chief bugbear in correct pronunciation, and often render ...
— International Language - Past, Present and Future: With Specimens of Esperanto and Grammar • Walter J. Clark

... Mallaing;) and on the 8th about noon I arrived at Kolor, a considerable town; near the entrance into which I observed, hanging upon a tree, a sort of masquerade habit, made of the bark of trees, which I was told on inquiry belonged to MUMBO JUMBO. This is a strange bugbear, common to all the Mandingo towns, and much employed by the Pagan natives in keeping their women in subjection; for as the Kafirs are not restricted in the number of their wives, every one marries as ...
— Life and Travels of Mungo Park in Central Africa • Mungo Park

... artificial methods of living, the climacteric or change of life, has become the bugbear of womanhood. It seems to be universally assumed that this period in a woman's life must be fraught with manifold sufferings and dangers. It is taken as a matter of course that during these changes in her organism a woman is assailed by the most serious physical, mental, and psychic ailments which ...
— Nature Cure • Henry Lindlahr

... said. "Is it necessary that I enlighten you, madam? He is my bugbear—my death's head! The sight of him poisons my life, and something gnaws at me, driving me nearly mad! To see that man chills me, ...
— Mohun, or, The Last Days of Lee • John Esten Cooke

... it; and I don't know that I understand it now you tell it me," replied the major, just a little crossly, for he did not like poetry; it was one of his bugbear humbugs. "But one thing is plain: you must not expose yourself to what in such a ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... Ashanti invasion, and make security more secure. The political officers of the Protectorate will be the best judges of the steps to be taken; and, if they are active and prudent, we shall hear no more of the Kumasi bugbear. ...
— To The Gold Coast for Gold, Vol. II - A Personal Narrative • Richard Francis Burton and Verney Lovett Cameron

... "and we have M. Fouquet left us still, of whom we have no reason to complain; but, as he is no procureur-general without his gown, we agree with M. de la Fontaine, and pronounce the gown to be nothing but a bugbear." ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... bugbear of the] "logical consequences" [of this conviction,] "I may be permitted to remark [he says] that logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men." [And if St. Augustine, Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards have held in substance the view that men are ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 2 • Leonard Huxley

... that "inconsistency is the bugbear of little minds." The Spanish politician has evidently not a little mind, for he has no fear whatever of inconsistency, nor, in fact, of making a volte-face whenever he sees any reason for doing so. There are Conservatives, Liberals, ...
— Spanish Life in Town and Country • L. Higgin and Eugene E. Street

... 'Dear W. W., let it not trouble you! What it may lead to is a bugbear to you. You can't think how much younger and more agreeable you will be when you have learnt that there can be ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... tea has been a great bugbear with the ill-informed, bit it is not nearly so deleterious as some careless or unscrupulous writers would have us believe. In the first place there is a very insignificant quantity of tannin in properly drawn teas, say in those ...
— Tea Leaves • Francis Leggett & Co.

... that bugbear Love!" he said shortly. "And so you'd lose a good friend for a dead lover? I' faith, I'd befriend thee well if thou ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... during the progress of these negotiations. In Echo Canon, it had an opportunity to inspect the bugbear of the previous autumn,—the Mormon fortifications. As the canon—which is more than twenty miles long—approaches the Weber River, it dwindles in width from five or six hundred yards to as many ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 18, April, 1859 - [Date last updated: August 7, 2005] • Various

... reputation. Few have read his Pilgrim of Glencoe; and all who have, are pained by its manifestation of his failing powers. In fact, his was an unfinished fame—a brilliant beginning, but no continuance. Sir Walter Scott has touched it with a needle, when he says, "Campbell is in a manner a bugbear to himself; the brightness of his early success is a detriment to all his after efforts. He is afraid of the shadow which his own fame casts before him." Byron placed him in the second category of the greatest living English poets; but ...
— English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History - Designed as a Manual of Instruction • Henry Coppee

... spreading consternation as they went. From Lake Champlain to the New England coast, there was not a village which did not believe itself to be the especial object of Burgoyne's vengeance. Indeed, his name became a bugbear, to frighten ...
— Burgoyne's Invasion of 1777 - With an outline sketch of the American Invasion of Canada, 1775-76. • Samuel Adams Drake

... brother Grim so good a fellow. [They fall to the cream. I love a mess of cream as well as they; I think it were best I stepp'd in and made one. [Aside.] Ho, ho, ho,[476] my masters! No good fellowship! Is Robin Goodfellow a bugbear grown, [ROBIN falleth to eat. That he is not worthy to be bid ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th edition) • Various

... human heart, than the pitiable and touching condition of helpless little beings left to the tender mercies of a stepmother; who, with her traditional severity, may be called a kind of standing bugbear of the popular imagination. The Danes have a beautiful ballad, in which the ghost of a mother is roused by the wailings and sufferings of her deserted offspring, to break with supernatural power the gravestone, and to re-enter, in the stillness of the night, the neglected nursery, ...
— Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic - Nations • Therese Albertine Louise von Jacob Robinson

... like what we loathe; but we like to indulge our hatred and scorn of it; to dwell upon it, to exasperate our idea of it by every refinement of ingenuity and extravagance of illustration; to make it a bugbear to ourselves, to point it out to others in all the splendour of deformity, to embody it to the senses, to stigmatise it by name, to grapple with it in thought, in action, to sharpen our intellect, ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... "Don't make such faces, child—you have no beauty to spare," and I can very well remember how both would endeavor to persuade me that I was the most veritable little fright that ever existed, and quite a bugbear to my relations. ...
— A Grandmother's Recollections • Ella Rodman

... What a beast of a word that is—the detective's bugbear. I thought I had it, until you said—Great Scott! I'll tell you why. I see it all. I have him with the goods. His object in coming to see you about the letters was because Freddie wanted them back owing to his approaching marriage ...
— Something New • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... when their valor was needed; and, in our own day, there is on record an instance of a woman commanding a vessel during a long voyage over exceedingly dangerous seas, and bringing it successfully into the desired port. But apart from this, the fact is, the argument is simply used as a bugbear to frighten the timid and deter them from claiming their just position, both social and civil. By law, certain classes of men are exempt from war, except in extreme cases, so that by no means all who vote, now, are expected to fight. Then, ...
— Woman: Man's Equal • Thomas Webster

... extended the same principle to all the officers, General Lee included; such a pardon, I understood, would restore to them all their rights of citizenship. But he insisted that the officers and men of the Confederate army were unnecessarily alarmed about this matter, as a sort of bugbear. He then said that Mr. Breckenridge was near at hand, and he thought that it would be well for him to be present. I objected, on the score that he was then in Davis's cabinet, and our negotiations should be confined strictly to belligerents. ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... auxiliaries which the Revolution of 1688 marshalled on the side of the Throne, the bugbear of Popery has not been the least convenient and serviceable. Those unskilful tyrants, Charles and James, instead of profiting by that useful subserviency which has always distinguished the ministers ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... will be roasted at the stake,—to our country,—and I do not deem it too serious to say, to conscience and to God. We are answerable; and if duty be anything more than a word of imposture, if conscience be not a bugbear, we are preparing to make ourselves as wretched as our country. There is no mistake in this case; there can be none. Experience has already been the prophet of events, and the cries of our future victims has ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick



Words linked to "Bugbear" :   monster, bogeyman, booger, hobgoblin, boogeyman, bugaboo



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