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Bad luck   /bæd lək/   Listen
Bad luck

noun
1.
An unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes.  Synonyms: ill luck, misfortune, tough luck.
2.
An unpredictable outcome that is unfortunate.  Synonyms: mischance, mishap.
3.
Unnecessary and unforeseen trouble resulting from an unfortunate event.  Synonym: misfortune.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Bad luck" Quotes from Famous Books



... organized a city government when we did. All communities have streaks of bad luck, and it was just after we had elected a mayor, a marshal, and a full quota of officers that Red Hoss Mountain had a spell of experiences that seemed likely at one time to break up the camp. There 's no telling where it all would have ended if we had n't happened to have a corps ...
— Second Book of Tales • Eugene Field

... she began—"Will yer honor plase—no, may it plase yer lord-lieutenantship to let our poor Phin go! Sure, with all these fine soldiers you'll never miss him, and then"—here she stammered and broke quite down. Covering her face with her hands, she cried out, half sorrowfully and half in vexation, "Bad luck to the Blarney Stone! There's no good in it at all, at all—sorra a word more will it give ...
— Stories and Legends of Travel and History, for Children • Grace Greenwood

... at night. They stole, ill-treated, and killed. In rocks, said the Bororos, dwelt their ancestors in the shape of parrots. The Bororos were greatly affected by dreams and nightmares, which they regarded as events that had actually happened and which generally brought bad luck. They were often the communications of evil spirits, or of the souls of ancestors. The Bororos had many superstitions regarding animals, which they individualized in their legends, giving them human intelligence—especially the colibri ...
— Across Unknown South America • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... good and hard, too. But so far Master Jan has never asked for lickings. Have you Jan? That's why he's not afraid of a stick; for I'd never hit a dog or a horse unless really to punish him, so that he'd know it was a thrashing—not just a bit of bad luck for him, or ...
— Jan - A Dog and a Romance • A. J. Dawson

... big share of bad luck already, but I do not believe the future has any such misfortunes in store for us as you anticipate." Said Captain Fox: "If the Merrimac does not sink our ships, who is to prevent her from dropping her anchor in the Potomac, where that steamer lies," pointing to a steamer at anchor ...
— Lincoln's Yarns and Stories • Alexander K. McClure

... hollows, and small glades, till my leg, which had lost all feeling, suddenly gave way, and I lay sprawling on my face, incapable of going a step farther. I had killed four elephants; six had been killed altogether. It was very bad luck, as the herd consisted of eleven; but the ground was very unfavourable, and my leg gave way when it was ...
— The Rifle and The Hound in Ceylon • Samuel White Baker

... at the time we started; but you see we struck bad luck all the way along, and when we pulled into Buffalo Meadows we had cooked the last pound of flour. There wasn't even a bit of meat in the camp when he got shot. I knocked over a deer last night, an' that will keep 'em goin' till I ...
— Dick in the Desert • James Otis

... because I— David, what is it?" A look of dread came into the dancing eyes. "You're looking wretchedly. You're not going to tell me we've had some more bad luck?" ...
— The House of Toys • Henry Russell Miller

... yellow fever—I don't remember myself, but that's whut they tell me. The niggers over on the other side are right smartly worked up over it. They say—the niggers do—that when the Belled Buzzard comes it's a sign of bad luck for somebody, shore!" ...
— The Escape of Mr. Trimm - His Plight and other Plights • Irvin S. Cobb

... deserved punishment. However obvious the fault might seem to a disciplinarian, 'No, I never' exonerated it as something that had not happened. Public schoolboys and private schoolboys of the upper and middle class had their fling and took their thrashings, when they were found out, as a piece of bad luck, but 'our Bert' and 'our Sid' were of those for whom there is no condemnation; if they were punished it was for faults that 'no, they never' committed. Naturally the grown-up generation of Berts and Sids, the voters and householders, do not realise, still less admit, that it ...
— When William Came • Saki

... borrowing medicine that will bring you bad luck if you keep it," and going to a small aperture in the wall of the cell, she threw the tiny packet out of it, and after it a second packet which Leonard recognised as having been taken ...
— The People Of The Mist • H. Rider Haggard

... heart God had in his body, that you should cry for a stinking dog! Bad luck to him who ever prizes you! When there is no man in this land so great, if your father sent to him for ten or fifteen or twenty but would fetch them very gladly, and be only too pleased. But I ought to ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... commanded by Major Johnson Heavysterne, the beau ideal of a militia major—fat, pompous, not much acquainted with military, but, to use his own vocabulary, knowing right smart in the fish and cheese line. But let me deal kindly with the honest old soul; he meant well, but he had bad luck; and he made me, Private William Jenkins, the writer of these disjointed phrases, sergeant-major of the battalion. Whereof, kind reader, more anon: for here I left off my scales and sewed on my chevrons. (That is, she did. Please ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 3, September 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... had a bit of bad luck yourself?" the stranger said quickly. "Well, you know what it is, just as I do, and you'll know why I want to shove along. Good-bye, mate. You've done a real kind act to me. And see, if I don't get back in time, call him Tony, ...
— Colonial Born - A tale of the Queensland bush • G. Firth Scott

... Cormac, "This is a mean victory that Bersi has gained; it is only from my bad luck; and ...
— The Life and Death of Cormac the Skald • Unknown

... for the last two years." "But why don't you go to Carrick and purchase one?" "To Carrick!—Och, 'tis a good step to Carrick, and my toes are on the ground (saving your presence,) for I depindid on Tim Jarvis to tell Andy Cappler, the brogue-maker, to do my shoes; and, bad luck to him, the spalpeen! he forgot it." "Where's your pretty wife, Shane?" "She's in all the woe o' the world, Ma'am, dear. And she puts the blame of it on me, though I'm not in the faut this time, any how: the child's ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume XIII, No. 369, Saturday, May 9, 1829. • Various

... fortune is to be told should drink a little of the tea while it is hot, and then turn out the rest, being careful not to turn out the grounds in doing so, and also not to look at them, as it is bad luck. ...
— Breakfasts and Teas - Novel Suggestions for Social Occasions • Paul Pierce

... threshold with its blood. A cow or sheep, a goose or turkey, or merely a cock or hen, was used according to the means of the family.{72} It seems that the animal was actually offered to St. Martin, apparently as |204| the successor of some god, and bad luck came if the custom were not observed. Probably these rites were transferred to Martinmas from the old Celtic festival of Samhain. Again, in a strange Irish legend the saint himself is said to have been cut up and eaten in the form ...
— Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan • Clement A. Miles

... an endless chain of bad luck had followed us from Chartres—bad weather, torrents of rain, flooded roads, damaging delays on railways already overcrowded with troops and war material, and, above all, we encountered everywhere that ominous ...
— The Maids of Paradise • Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

... bad luck struck us it is risky for people to have to do with us. Our cook's sweetheart was healthy. He is rushing for the grave now. Emily, one of the maids, has lost the sight of one eye and the other is in danger. Wallace carried up coal & blacked the boots ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... in Esthonia. In the story of the "Hunter's Lost Luck" (Kreutzwald), we find a hunter whose usual skill had deserted him selling himself to the Devil with three drops of blood for a magic bullet which should kill the author of his bad luck. His good luck depended on his not shooting at the leader of a flock or herd; but one evening, having drunk too much, he fired at the leader of a troop of foxes, and fell down dead. The villagers took his body home; but when he was put into the coffin, a great ...
— The Hero of Esthonia and Other Studies in the Romantic Literature of That Country • William Forsell Kirby

... summed up philosophically, there is no bad luck in the world except sickness. All other so-called hard luck is simply temporary. If you lose your money, don't worry about it, make some more. If you lose a friend, don't worry; show him his mistake. If you lose an opportunity, ...
— Dollars and Sense • Col. Wm. C. Hunter

... that moment, unusual for him—sitting hatless, drinking brandy, in a public-house. Suppose he were to tell the white-haired landlady all about it—to tell her that a caller had scratched her hand on a nail, had later had the bad luck to put her foot through a rotten stair, and that he himself, in an old house full of squeaks and creaks and whispers, had heard a minute noise and had bolted from it in fright—what would she think of him? That he was mad, of course.... ...
— Widdershins • Oliver Onions

... it more than ever, for that very morning his mistress had taunted him and threatened to leave him if he did not pay for the new dresses she had recently purchased, and for which she was now being dunned by her creditors. Never had he had such a run of bad luck. During the great week of the Fiesta he had tried everything from roulette to monte, but fortune's wheel had turned steadily against him. It was truly the devil's own luck and no mistake. If only the luck would turn, he would quit the game of chance forever—cast off the ungrateful ...
— When Dreams Come True • Ritter Brown

... the whole night. I had thrown with constant bad luck. He had pocketed some hundreds; I had lost more than I could pay. I asked him for a temporary loan of fifty pounds, to make good what I owed, and stake the small remaining sum for the chance of retrieving all. He refused ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 13, No. - 361, Supplementary Issue (1829) • Various

... the thing I wanted you to do. But you see that letter is mighty important. I had to follow. This craft we're sitting on was coming this way. I took passage. She ran into a mess of bad luck. First we were picked up by an ice-floe and carried far into the Arctic Ocean. When at last we poled our way out of that, we were caught by a storm and carried southwest with such violence that we were thrown upon this sandbar. The ship ...
— The Blue Envelope • Roy J. Snell

... "Bad luck," answered Dick. "Of course I am very bucked to be really going, Mabel. It is not enlivening to sit and ...
— To Love • Margaret Peterson

... accumulated bad humor of weeks of futile labor found vent in his disappointment and anger. At last he had found something tangible to curse. The failure of his poison baits he accepted as a sort of climax to his general bad luck. Everything was against him, he believed, and he made up his mind to return to Red Gold City. Early in the afternoon he launched his canoe and drifted down-stream with the current. He was content to let the current do all of the work to-day, and he used ...
— Kazan • James Oliver Curwood

... ——z's daughter, and forgot to mention whose. How should I know what you mean? If I only had my cloth back! I am afraid my mantle has been burned too. That would drive me crazy. I seem doomed to bad luck; not more than three weeks ago a man ran away who owed ...
— Memoirs of Journeys to Venice and the Low Countries - [This is our volunteer's translation of the title] • Albrecht Durer

... just before daylight," said Tom. "So let us hope for the best. We both have had a bit of bad luck. But when I think of Rad, who may lose his eyesight, I can stand my ...
— Tom Swift among the Fire Fighters - or, Battling with Flames from the Air • Victor Appleton

... man of many novel adventures and varied enterprises," I said to Captain Patricio Malone. "Do you believe that the possible element of good luck or bad luck—if there is such a thing as luck—has influenced your career or persisted for or against you to such an extent that you were forced to attribute results to the operation of the aforesaid ...
— Roads of Destiny • O. Henry

... the pretty Southern matron, "is conside'd ve'y bad luck. When I was a young girl I once peeped into the glass over my ole mammy's shoulder, and she said I'd sho'ly be punished befo' the year ...
— Ailsa Paige • Robert W. Chambers

... be lovely for us, too," she replied. "Do you know, we were so frightened about putting in that advertisement you answered! Dan was terribly against it." A troubled little frown knitted her level brows. "But we've had such bad luck on the farm since we were married—the rain spoilt all our crops last year and we lost several valuable animals—so I thought it would help a bit if we took paying-guests this summer. But Dan didn't ...
— The Lamp of Fate • Margaret Pedler

... deer, shot an alligator, and destroyed over thirty of its eggs, which we discovered on the bank of the creek; and returning in the evening shot a nilghau and a black buck, but the tigress had disappeared. She was gone, and we grumbled sorely at our bad luck. That was the only occasion I was ever after tiger on foot. It was doubtless intensely exciting work, and both tigress and cub must have passed close to us several times, hidden by the jungle. We were only about thirty paces from the edge of the brake, and both animals must have ...
— Sport and Work on the Nepaul Frontier - Twelve Years Sporting Reminiscences of an Indigo Planter • James Inglis

... adds the interesting particulars that it was celebrated on the fourth day after the birth of the child, during which time it was deemed essential to keep the fire burning in the house, but not to permit any of it to be carried out, as that would bring bad luck to ...
— Nagualism - A Study in Native American Folk-lore and History • Daniel G. Brinton

... hillbilly family from way out in Oregon was any different? This was probably Bill MacDonald's little racket and it was just Philon's bad luck to stumble on it. MacDonald probably peddled his spurious first editions down on Front Street for a few hundred dollars to old bookstores unable to afford ...
— The House from Nowhere • Arthur G. Stangland

... like a gipsy nor ever," said Aunt Pullet in a pitying tone. "It's very bad luck, sister, as the gell should be so brown; the boy's fair enough. I doubt it'll stand in her way i' life, to be ...
— Tom and Maggie Tulliver • Anonymous

... Assouan and back, and they stayed another day here, and I hired a little dahabieh which they towed down to Keneh where they stayed a day; after which Sheykh Yussuf and I sailed back again to Luxor. As bad luck would have it we had hot weather just the week they were up here: since then it has ...
— Letters from Egypt • Lucie Duff Gordon

... it up. "Well, I must be off. The express for Nice passes at four o'clock. I will be away about three weeks and then you shall see me again. Unless I strike a run of bad luck and get cleaned out, in which case you shall ...
— The Arrow of Gold - a story between two notes • Joseph Conrad

... will say to you as Mercedes said just now to Caderousse, 'Do not give me a title which does not belong to me'; that may bring me bad luck." ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... a thing but smoke was in the insthrument, bad luck to it,—however sir, as ye say ye carry the tabakky about wid ye, take a loan o' the pipe an' welcome, for 'twould never be Pat Crowley, 'ud sit down with that in his pocket, that could make another man happy, and him ...
— Honor Edgeworth • Vera

... Casimir, "what have I told you all along? It has come. It is a clean shave this time; so you may as well bear up and make the best of it. House down, too, eh? Bad luck, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 6 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... misfortune. Sorra a soul but himself and a boy escaped by climbing to a ledge on the topmost peak of one of the icebergs just in the nick of time to see the ship cracked like a walnut between your fingers. And the worst was to come, bad luck!" ...
— We and the World, Part II. (of II.) - A Book for Boys • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... telling them they had a gut which never rotted, and that this was their living principle!" Yet even they were not destitute of religious notions. No tribe was more addicted to the observance of charms, omens, dreams, and guardian spirits, and they believed that illness and bad luck generally were the effects of the anger of a fabulous old woman.[234-1] The aborigines of the Californian peninsula were as near beasts as men ever become. The missionaries likened them to "herds of swine, who neither worshipped the true and only God, nor adored false deities." ...
— The Myths of the New World - A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America • Daniel G. Brinton

... faro. When macco (or whatever they spell it) was introduced, I gave up the whole thing, for I loved and missed the rattle and dash of the box and dice, and the glorious uncertainty, not only of good luck or bad luck, but of any luck at all, as one had sometimes to throw often to decide at all. I have thrown as many as fourteen mains running, and carried off all the cash upon the table occasionally; but I ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and Journals, Vol. 1 • Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero

... will I do for a suit o' clo'es?" observed Phelim. "I could never go near her in these breeches. My elbows, too, are out o' this ould coat, bad luck to it! An' as for a waistcoat, why, I dunna but it's a sin to call what I'm wearin' a waistcoat at all. Thin agin—why, blood alive, sure I can't go to her barefooted, an' I dunna but it 'ud be dacenter to do that ...
— Phelim O'toole's Courtship and Other Stories • William Carleton

... of all for sleeping purposes. An unpainted barn advertises the unthrift of the owner, and the roof is always leaky. The scent of moldy hay is extremely offensive to me—suggests rheumatism and pneumonia. And a white barn stares at you insolently. Whenever I see a white barn I prepare for bad luck. But a red barn, Archie, warms the cockles of your heart. It enfolds you like a canopy of dreams! I wouldn't have the red too glaring;—a certain rustiness ...
— Blacksheep! Blacksheep! • Meredith Nicholson

... interestin'—wasn't it, especially coming from him? Neatly put and self-possessed, I call it. He was worried because he's dreadful superstitions. [Transcriber's note: superstitious?] He claims when them birds gets to hedgin' in on each other's solos like they did last night it's a sign of bad luck or an accident for somebody, sure. That give me an opening to ask him if the accident hadn't happened already, him having a bandage around his head not much different from this one our friend here is wearing. But he couldn't see it that way. A scratch he ...
— Then I'll Come Back to You • Larry Evans

... for them, and not many Indians even at the present time keep hogs. We did better with the turkeys and chickens, but with these we did not have as good luck as white men do. With the cattle we have done very well, indeed, and we like to raise them. We have a few horses also, and have had no bad luck with them. ...
— Geronimo's Story of His Life • Geronimo

... spot. They hauled him home and put him into his bed, and there he lay, very ill indeed. Misfortune seemed to settle like an evil bird on the roof of the log house, and to flap its wings there, warning human beings away. The Russians had such bad luck that people were afraid of them and liked to put them ...
— My Antonia • Willa Cather

... could hardly be colder or more passive than the woman with whom it was Bazarov's bad luck to fall in love. The gradual change wrought in his temperament by Madame Odintsov is shown in the most subtle manner. To Bazarov, women were all alike, and valuable for only one thing; he had told this very ...
— Essays on Russian Novelists • William Lyon Phelps

... opened his fingers, and the crumpled letter fell and was consumed. He pushed himself up from the mantlepiece and turned and went over to Twyning and stood over him again. He patted Twyning's heaving shoulders. "There, there, Twyning. Bad luck. Bad luck. Hard. Hard. Bear up, Twyning. Soldier's death.... Finest death.... Died for his country.... Fine boy.... Soldier's death.... ...
— If Winter Comes • A.S.M. Hutchinson

... however, this temperament is a dangerous gift. It led to reverses, captures, loss of convoys and other "regrettable incidents" being regarded with stoical composure as "part of the game"; and the victims were condoled with on their "shocking bad luck." It would have been difficult to discern from the bearing and demeanour of the typical officer whether he was at the moment a prisoner of war in the Model School at Pretoria, or had just taken part in the magnificent cavalry charge by which Kimberley was relieved. The former plight did not greatly ...
— A Handbook of the Boer War • Gale and Polden, Limited

... a crow flying alone is a token of bad luck. An odd one, perched in the path of the observer, ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 41, Saturday, August 10, 1850 • Various

... do believe that it was just a bit of bad luck, and that there was nothing really wrong in it all, don't you, dear," insisted the woman who, like ninety-nine per cent of humans, forgot the real tragedy of the moment in the recital of her ...
— Leonie of the Jungle • Joan Conquest

... awake most of the night, and I fully decided that this was the last time I would try to sleep until I knew whether they were living or dead. I was up with the dawn the next morning, and on the way, and I thought if I did not meet with any bad luck to detain me I would be in the vicinity of the men I ...
— Chief of Scouts • W.F. Drannan

... preserve us!" Biddy exclaimed, crossing herself. "Don't ye ever be afther wishin' anybody bad luck, Miss Beth; shure ye'll bring it ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... bodies which lay around us and rattled in their throats. Kneeling at my feet to arrange his things, he gave me some advice, "No need to get a hump, mind. Nothing ever happens here. Getting here's by far the worst. On that job you get it hot, specially when you've the bad luck to be sleepy, or it's not raining, but after that you're a workman, and you forget about it. The most worst, it's the open crossing. But nobody I know's ever stopped one there. It was other blokes. ...
— Light • Henri Barbusse

... muttered Montalvo, "for few else could wield such a blade. Go hang it in the doorway, it may be wanted in evidence," but to himself he thought, "Bad luck again, the luck that follows me whenever I pit myself against Lysbeth van Hout." Then he gave an order, and the two prisoners were taken away up ...
— Lysbeth - A Tale Of The Dutch • H. Rider Haggard

... "'Wisha, bad luck to your impudence an' bad manners, you insignificant little spalpeen. How dare you insult your superiors?' ses ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1915 - And the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... said Bagby, awkwardly and shamefacedly; "'t is news that did n't stop travelling, and 't was all over Trenton before he'd been an hour in town. One way or another, he and I have n't got on well, but I did n't wish him or you any such bad luck, and I'm real ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... don't," replied Sarah; "although there are some of them that would not have come in if I had had my say about it; but as Mrs. Raleigh is one of the owners, and such a good friend to you and me, Sammy, it is our duty to let her know what dreadful bad luck ...
— The Great Stone of Sardis • Frank R. Stockton

... But Madame Bad Luck soberly comes And stays—no fancy has she for flitting; Snatches of true-love songs she hums, And sits by your bed, and brings ...
— More Toasts • Marion Dix Mosher

... standing around you: 'That flower is the gift of a man—a rough boor of a man—who was atrociously rude to me once. I don't even value it enough to pick it up.' Whereupon every one—quite rightly, too!—would cry shame on the man who had dared to insult so charming a lady—probably adding that if bad luck befell him it would be no more than he deserved! . . . And I've no doubt he'll get his desserts," he ...
— The Splendid Folly • Margaret Pedler

... said Saltash, and relaxed into his sudden grin. "I should have thought you would be glad to get rid of me before my bad luck ...
— Charles Rex • Ethel M. Dell

... putting a finger on his lips, with the sad smile peculiar to him; "let us talk no more of Mordaunt—it will bring bad luck." And Athos set forward toward Charenton, ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... in a run of bad luck," said Dick. "I really believe we will have all sorts of trouble before we get back ...
— The Rover Boys on Land and Sea - The Crusoes of Seven Islands • Arthur M. Winfield

... "Oh! it's bad luck!" she cried, staring distressfully at the old man. He smiled, and would have certainly been very agreeable to her had not Aunt Anne, who had been finding their boxes and securing a cab, arrived and taken ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... it, and interspersed it with songs, and at the great festivals, religious hymns were sung, adapted to the popular melodies then in fashion, such as 'The song of the armed man,' 'Morencia, give me a kiss,' 'I know not what confuses me,' 'Weep for me, lady,' 'Bad luck to him who married you,' and others in the same style. And Rome, you will ask, and the Church? What did it say about such disorders? The Church lived without artistic perception: it never had any. What are the boundaries between religious and profane music? From the ...
— The Shadow of the Cathedral • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... about this time that Bad Luck, that gaunt specter that lurks unseen in the shadows and hovers over the little lives of men for the working of harm, swooped down upon the camp and in a series of untoward happenings impaired its efficiency and impregnated the atmosphere ...
— The Promise - A Tale of the Great Northwest • James B. Hendryx

... before he wrote laws, and before he philosophized. He began living simply and automatically; he adopted various "taboos" which to him were omens of bad luck, and certain charms, incantations and the like, which made him ...
— Crime: Its Cause and Treatment • Clarence Darrow

... she combed my hair, and how Mauma Amy said it was bad luck to comb hair after dark; it was so thick and long then, and it has come out so since." She drew the long thin brown braid between her fingers. "Why should Tina want to hurt me? The only harm I ever did ...
— Shapes that Haunt the Dusk • Various

... behind. We sat all day on the safer side of the crest, watching a stubbornly contested battle being fought on Hill 2450, which was taken and lost more than once, and in getting shelled continually by field guns. They did not hit many, but, as bad luck would have it, they got our adjutant, Captain W.D. Brown, as game a fellow as ever walked, and he was carried off evidently very badly hit, and died that night in the dressing-station. We were not at the time in touch with Brigade, but the brigade-major was over on the ...
— The Fife and Forfar Yeomanry - and 14th (F. & F. Yeo.) Battn. R.H. 1914-1919 • D. D. Ogilvie

... unasked, the populace might hold me responsible in the event of her death and perhaps demand heavy damages, if, indeed, it did not mob me on the spot. Undoubtedly the Chinese are often deterred from aiding a sufferer because they fear that if death occurs "bad luck'' will follow them, a horde of real or fictitious relatives will clamour for damages, and perhaps a rapacious magistrate will take advantage of the opportunity to make a criminal charge which can be removed only by a heavy bribe. And ...
— An Inevitable Awakening • ARTHUR JUDSON BROWN

... not remarkable, that a young nobleman, with these ideas, should not pitch upon a demoiselle, or a widow, at least? but no, the rogue must have a married woman, bad luck to him; and what his fate is to be, is thus recounted by our ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... we got back we found that the policeman left in charge had been nosing about, and whiling away his time by collecting the boots of every one in the house and fitting them to the footprints on the flower-bed. As bad luck would have it, David's shooting-boots ...
— The Ashiel mystery - A Detective Story • Mrs. Charles Bryce

... hair. Having secured this, he appeared to be quite satisfied, let go, and sheathed his sword. He quickly concealed the stolen locks in his coat, and then made low bows to us, sticking out his tongue, and declaring that unless such a precaution were taken when parting with a beast, bad luck was sure to come to you. This closed the incident. The Jogpa rode away perfectly happy, and we continued our march across the stony plain until we reached the ridge which extended across it, and in its continuation divided the two ...
— An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet • A. Henry Savage Landor

... he said. "Mirrors cost money, and if you pull the sheet in the night, and slide ours off, and it breaks, we got seven years of bad luck coming, and we are nix on changing the luck we have right now. It's good enough for us. Think of them Belgium kids where the kings are making the fathers fight. This goes where it belongs, then you take your drink, and let ...
— Michael O'Halloran • Gene Stratton-Porter

... to play again at cards to the bad luck which befell me on a particular occasion at Ascot on the Cup Day of the year 18—. I was at that time struggling to make my way in my profession, and carefully storing up my little savings for the ...
— The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton) • Henry Hawkins Brampton

... sharp. "Be quiet! You are becoming wearisome. Gentlemen," he bowed slightly toward LeFleur and Creighton, "one cannot fight bad luck, and this time Fate smiles upon you. It was a good idea if it had worked," he added musingly. "Young Ralestone seems to have gathered all the aces into his hand. Even," the drawl became a sneer, "even the guardianship ...
— Ralestone Luck • Andre Norton

... music at temperance meetings," says Dr. SALEEBY, "than I knew the world could contain." The temperance people are certainly having persistent bad luck. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, May 2, 1917 • Various

... purchased Dreadnought, one of the highest class dogs seen for many years, but had very bad luck with him, an accident preventing him from being shown and subsequently causing his early death. We must not forget Duchess of Durham or Dukedom; but to enumerate all Mr. Redmond's winners it would be necessary to take the catalogues of all the important shows held ...
— Dogs and All About Them • Robert Leighton

... man to whom the shepherd in Wilsdruf had sold them did actually appear with the horses, thin and staggering, tied to the tailboard of his cart, and led them to the market-place in Dresden. As the bad luck of Sir Wenzel and still more of honest Kohlhaas would have it, however, the man happened to be the knacker ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... father again. "This is magic! This bear is bewitched! It will bring us bad luck! It must not ...
— The Story of a Plush Bear • Laura Lee Hope

... thing!" he flung out in an access of pain. "Or throw it down the khud. I said it would bring bad luck." ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... rose quickly, and, arming himself with a still burning torch, jumped into the passage, where bad luck awaited him. My good master was no longer there; he had taken to his heels. But M. d'Anquetil was still there with Catherine, and he it was who received the burning torch on his forehead, an outrage he could not stand. He drew his sword, and drove it to the hilt in ...
— The Queen Pedauque • Anatole France

... great effort I managed to get my horse near the fire, and after thawing out a moment unsaddled the tired animal, who galloped off gladly to join his comrades, and thus I became once more a unit in the economic force. But bad luck had crossed its fingers at me that day without doubt, and I had to be taught another lesson. I tell of it briefly as a warning to other women; of course—men always know better, instinctively, as they know how to fight. I presume you will agree that ignorance is punished ...
— A Woman Tenderfoot • Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

... Missouri with but slight detention till we got within fifty miles of Fort Buford. Here we struck on a sandbar with such force of steam and current as to land us almost out of the water from stem to midships. This bad luck was tantalizing, for to land on a bar when your boat is under full headway down-stream in the Missouri River is no trifling matter, especially if you want to make time, for the rapid and turbid stream quickly depositing sand under ...
— The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete • General Philip Henry Sheridan

... times that our family had, and that's why you forget that the times were ever better. No, you wasn't born then, but the time was when good luck seemed to follow your father and me everywhere and always. Yes, and the good luck has not all left us yet, though we had the bad luck to lose your father so long ago. We could not hope to be rich or happy while the whole country was in such distress as it's been sometimes, yet there were always many that were worse off than we, and ...
— Fairies and Folk of Ireland • William Henry Frost

... was a great wan to play it. I'd think nawthin' iv histin' th' ball two hundherd feet in th' air, an' wanst I give it such a boost that I stove in th' ribs iv th' Prowtestant minister—bad luck to him, he was a kind man—that was lookin' on fr'm a hedge. I was th' finest player in th' ...
— Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War • Finley Peter Dunne

... accumulating beyond his oft-tried powers of evasion. He stammered a disconnected tale of bad luck, wiping his face repeatedly. Koppy waved ...
— The Return of Blue Pete • Luke Allan

... that if thirteen sit down to table, one is sure to die within a year? Somebody has said there is one case when he believed this omen to be true, and that is when thirteen sit down to dinner and there is only enough for twelve. There was no end to bad omens. It was bad luck to see the new moon for the first time over the left shoulder, but if seen over the right it was the reverse. It is well known that the moon has been supposed to exercise considerable influence over our planet, among the chief of which are the tides, and it was believed also to have a great ...
— Life in Canada Fifty Years Ago • Canniff Haight

... a week past the new lodger had formed the staple subject of conversation in this household. Mrs. Ede, Kate's mother-in-law, was loud in her protestations that the harbouring of an actor could not but be attended by bad luck. Kate felt a little uneasy; her puritanism was of a less marked kind; perhaps at first she had felt inclined to agree with her mother-in-law, but her husband had shown himself so stubborn, and had so persistently declared that he was not going to keep his rooms empty any ...
— A Mummer's Wife • George Moore

... 'Bad luck, Biddy,' McKeith said behind her. 'If there had been the proper amount of rain in these last three or four months, we'd have had the one thing that's wanting now to make this the ideal camp I've had on the top of my fancy—a running creek of pure water. But never mind—the ...
— Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land • Rosa Praed

... mistaken there. What with anxiety about him, and bad luck, I've wished I were rid of him a thousand times. It was only to be for three months, and here it's eight ...
— At the Back of the North Wind • George MacDonald

... from a severe overdose of C.B. So did his cobber Smoky. They had had the awful misfortune to be detected at an early hour one morning making their way to their lines. It had been sheer bad luck that had done it. If Smoky had not insisted on appropriating from the supply depot some "tinned cow" and a few small jars of beef extract, all would have gone well. Creaking boards had started the ...
— The Tale of a Trooper • Clutha N. Mackenzie

... I'll tell the devil he may just kiss my toe and bad luck to him for all the trouble I have had to get out of his clutches,' and the priest noticed his last sigh was one of complete ...
— The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent • S.M. Hussey

... spot where Remus had a seance with the spiritual authorities and was advised against building Rome where he proposed, being shown only six vultures as against twelve that Romulus saw in favor of his chosen site. The fact gave the Aventine Hill the fame of bad luck, but any one may safely visit it now, after the ...
— Roman Holidays and Others • W. D. Howells

... manufacture. This is the staple production of Norrland, where the short summers are frequently insufficient to mature the grain crops. The inns were all comfortable buildings, with very fair accommodations for travellers. We had bad luck with horses this day, however, two or three travellers having been in advance and had the pick. On one stage our baggage-sled was driven by a poike of not more than ten years old—a darling fellow, with a face as round, fresh and sweet as a damask rose, the bluest of eyes, ...
— Northern Travel - Summer and Winter Pictures of Sweden, Denmark and Lapland • Bayard Taylor

... and lake, The sunshine and the rain. With cheerful, constant hardihood He meets the bad luck and the good, The pleasure ...
— The Youth's Companion - Volume LII, Number 11, Thursday, March 13, 1879 • Various

... talk. An' when Simm Bruce busted in some of the gang haw-hawed him an' said as how he'd get the third cut from Jean Isbel's bowie. Bruce was half drunk an' he began to cuss an' rave about Jean Isbel bein' in love with his girl.... As bad luck would have it, a couple of more fellars come in an' asked Meeker questions. He jest got to thet part, 'Greaves, it's the half-breed, an' he's goin' to cut you—FIRST FOR ELLEN JORTH,' when in walked ...
— To the Last Man • Zane Grey

... "and to top the bad luck, I left mine in the boat. I laid it on a seat after I had fired ...
— The Boy Aviators' Polar Dash - Or - Facing Death in the Antarctic • Captain Wilbur Lawton

... pikler of me in the cloak. I think it is like a hunchback. The moustache is clearly visible to the naked eye—O diable! what do I hear in my lug? A mosquito—the first of the season. Bad luck to him! ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Congress is not apparent unless it is to add a terror to death and make honorable and self-respecting members rather bear the ills they have than escape through the gates of death to others that they know a good deal about. If a member of that kind, who has had the bad luck to "go before," could be consulted he would indubitably say that he was sorry to be dead; and that is not a natural frame of mind in one who is exempt from the necessity ...
— The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays - 1909 • Ambrose Bierce

... Finding a spider in your paper was neither good luck nor bad luck for you. The spider was merely looking over our paper to see which merchant is not advertising, so that he can go to that store, spin his web across the door and lead a life of undisturbed ...
— Toaster's Handbook - Jokes, Stories, and Quotations • Peggy Edmund & Harold W. Williams, compilers

... not greatly feared by aviators, and they consider it merely an extraordinary piece of bad luck to be hit by one. The aviators fear most of all the fire of large bodies of infantry, and in flying over a regiment at an altitude of 1000 yards they realize that they run serious risk of ...
— The Note-Book of an Attache - Seven Months in the War Zone • Eric Fisher Wood

... And then, as bad luck would have it, 'Tonio came cantering up from the rear, his big, lop-eared mule protesting to the last, and 'Tonio ...
— Tonio, Son of the Sierras - A Story of the Apache War • Charles King

... could see the outflow of the Beardmore Glacier stretching away to our left like a series of huge tumbling waves. As we advanced southwards hopes ran high, for we still had the dogs and five ponies to help us. Scott expected to camp on the Beardmore itself after the next march, but bad luck, alas, was against us. The land visible extended from S.S.W. through S. to N.W. More wonderful peaks or wedge-shaped spines of snow-capped rock. The first and least exciting stage of our journey was practically complete. A fifth pony was ...
— South with Scott • Edward R. G. R. Evans

... the song which indicated that we had caught something; then we imitated the cry of the crow and the magpie, which indicated that we had had extra good luck. If we imitated the hooting of an owl, it showed that we had had bad luck, and none of us had caught anything. We were always anxious to catch some wild game, because we sold the skins to the traders, and with the money we bought knives and brass earrings and beads ...
— The Vanishing Race • Dr. Joseph Kossuth Dixon

... kind of a man he was. He was home-like, although he'd had bad luck in such investments. But he never talked about them times on the ranch. It seemed like he'd forgotten about it. I wondered how, with his ideas of yards and chickens and notions of lattice-work, he'd seemed to have got out ...
— Stories from Everybody's Magazine • 1910 issues of Everybody's Magazine

... themselves in a cloud of smoke, and pitch their lead and old iron about in all directions. If you happen to be in the way, you are hit; possibly, killed; if not, you escape. In sea-actions, if by good or bad luck, as the case may be, a round shot, fired at random through the smoke, happens to send overboard your fore-mast, another to unship your rudder, there you lie crippled, pretty much at the mercy of your foe: who, accordingly, pronounces ...
— White Jacket - or, the World on a Man-of-War • Herman Melville

... dawned upon me that the unexpected return of this son was the cause of my own. Who could have imagined, whilst fancy was leading us a giddy dance, that my destined husband was slowly traveling on foot through Russia, Poland, and Germany? His bad luck only forsook him at Berlin, where the French Minister helped his return to his native country. M. de l'Estorade, the father, who is a small landed proprietor in Provence, with an income of about ten thousand livres, has not sufficient European fame to interest the world in the wandering ...
— Letters of Two Brides • Honore de Balzac

... poor man, sir," he said. "I have had bad luck whenever I've made a try to start at anything. I thought there seemed a chance for me here. I went to Sir Timothy and I ...
— The Evil Shepherd • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... John ——. will you please get me a job as I have had bad luck an it left me in pour shape I am a molder and machinists but I will work as helpe a while jest I an wife sen transpertation for two ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 4, 1919 • Various

... this season and cut quite a figure—a prince with real money in his purse, you know. I wonder why it is that our American girls can't marry the princes who have money instead of those who have none. Not that I wish any of our girls such bad luck as Brabetz! I'll stake my head he'll never forget me!" Chase concluded with a sharp, reflective laugh in which his hearers joined, for the escapade which inspired it was being slyly discussed in every embassy in Europe by this time, but no one seemed especially loth ...
— The Man From Brodney's • George Barr McCutcheon

... used to work his dog wi' whistlin' instead of shoutin' to it as most shepherds do. You can see his whistle hangin' on that nail—that's where he hung it 'isself for twenty-five years. You see, he was kind o' superstitious and used to say it was bad luck to keep yer whistle in yer pocket when you went to bed. So he always hung it on that nail, the last ...
— Mad Shepherds - and Other Human Studies • L. P. Jacks

... it isn't, we would break the place up altogether. We know enough to do it now; but none of the poor beggars who have been ruined will come forward, and, indeed, haven't any idea, I think, that they have lost their money in anything but a run of bad luck. ...
— Colonel Thorndyke's Secret • G. A. Henty

... perfectly natural for the prehistoric potters to have desired to placate the presiding divinity, not so much perhaps out of gratitude for the clay as to avert his displeasure and fend off bad luck in baking pottery. It is well known that the best pottery of the Incas was extremely fine in texture. Students of ceramics are well aware of the uncertainty of the results of baking clay. Bad luck seems to come most unaccountably, even when the greatest pains ...
— Inca Land - Explorations in the Highlands of Peru • Hiram Bingham

... window; she drove me off with a torrent of abuse, screaming that the sight of me was a consumption to her. To this misshapen hag I shouted: "Ho! tell me, cross-grained hunchback, is there no other face to see here but your ugly visage?" "No, and bad luck to you." Whereto I answered in a loud voice: "In less than two hours may it [5] never vex us more!" Attracted by this dispute, a neighbour put her head out, from whom I learned that my father and all the people in the house had died of the plague. As ...
— The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini • Benvenuto Cellini

... or two, Melindy and I began to have bad luck with the turkeys. I found two drenched and shivering, after a hail-and-thunder storm, and setting them in a basket on the cooking-stove hearth, went to help Melindy "dress her bow-pot," as she called arranging a ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 2, December, 1857 • Various

... long ago, if I'd known. But I was always broke. Then there was the talk about me. Panhandle Smith! So the years sped by. It's over now, and I've found you and my people all well, thank God. Nothing else mattered to me. And your trouble and Dad's bad luck do not scare me.... Now tell ...
— Valley of Wild Horses • Zane Grey

... and false pretence, prevarication and fishing for clues are ubiquitous in the mental manifestations of mediums. If it be not everywhere fraud simulating reality, one is tempted to say, then the reality (if any reality there be) has the bad luck of being fated everywhere to simulate fraud. The suggestion of humbug seldom stops, and mixes itself with the best manifestations. Mrs. Piper's control, "Rector," is a most impressive personage, who discerns in an extraordinary degree his sitter's inner needs, and is ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... bring er axe in de house on his shoulder. Dat was er sho' sign er bad luck. En nebber lay no broom crost de bed. One time er likely pair er black folks git married, en somebuddy give 'em er new broom. De 'oman she proud uv her nice, spankin' new broom en she lay hit on de bed fer de weddin' crowd ter see it, wid de udder things been give 'em. Fo' thee years go by her ...
— Slave Narratives, Administrative Files (A Folk History of - Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves) • Works Projects Administration

... "Humph! bad luck to them," muttered Mike Brady; "it's not the first time that my windpipe has been pretty near spiflicated by the knives o' the ...
— The Young Fur Traders • R.M. Ballantyne

... land. Frequently a Sawtooth man would file upon land before any other man had claimed it. Sometimes a Sawtooth man would purchase a relinquishment from some poor devil of a claim-holder who seemed always to have bad luck, and so became discouraged and ready to sell. An intelligent man like Bill Warfield could acquire much land in this manner, ...
— Sawtooth Ranch • B. M. Bower

... had commenced to come back. There had been no rain, but little by little in a certain place yellow, ill-smelling little streams began to flow sluggishly into the trenches. Seeped, rather than flowed. At first the Belgian officers laid it to that bad luck that had so persistently pursued them. Then they held a conference in the small brick house with its maps and its pine tables and its picture of an American harvester on the ...
— The Amazing Interlude • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... regalized the family, which, like the Bruces, was of Norman origin, and originally Fitzalan by name—to Charles Edward, and the Cardinal York, who died but yesterday, as it were, but had a wonderful run of bad luck. They had capital cards, but they knew not how to play them. With them, to play was to lose, and the most fortunate of their number were those kings who played as little as they could, such as James I. and Charles II. Those who lost the most were those who played ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., February, 1863, No. LXIV. • Various

... December they left this ill-fated river, and steered due north, but bad luck followed them, the torment of mosquitoes and sandflies, added to bad feed, caused their horses to ramble incessantly, and whilst the brothers were away on these hunting excursions, the party at the camp allowed their solitary mule to stray away with his pack on; and despite all efforts he was ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc

... and bone man, and treated as if he were unclean? He earned his living as honestly as any one else. Why should his children be jeered at like outcasts—and his home called the Crow's Nest? And why did the bad luck follow him?—and fate? There was a great deal now that he did not understand, but which must be cleared up. Misfortune, which had so often knocked at his door without finding him at home, had now at last got its foot well inside ...
— Ditte: Girl Alive! • Martin Andersen Nexo

... the teamsters was drawing into camp. "Hello, Fred!" he said, upon coming up with his fellow workman, "you in too? I had a bit of bad luck. I run smash on to an iron stake right there in the ground and crumpled my ...
— Dennison Grant - A Novel of To-day • Robert Stead



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