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Fisticuffs   /fˈɪstɪkˌəfs/   Listen
Fisticuffs

noun
1.
A fight with bare fists.  Synonyms: fistfight, slugfest.
2.
Fighting with the fists.  Synonyms: boxing, pugilism.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Fisticuffs" Quotes from Famous Books



... in the police-station cell, the boy began to think. First of all, he was puzzled. He had fared forth peaceably, and spoken to no one except the storekeeper. To force a man into peace by denying him his gun, seemed as unreasonable as to prevent fisticuffs by cutting off hands. But, also, a deep sense of shame swept over him, and scalded him. Getting into trouble here was, somehow, different from getting into trouble at home—and, in some strange way, ...
— The Call of the Cumberlands • Charles Neville Buck

... know about that," said the old man. "She takes after her mother, against whom Tonsard never raised a finger,—he's too afraid she'll be off, hot foot. A woman who knows how to hold her own is mighty useful. Besides, if it came to fisticuffs with Catherine, Godain, though he's pretty strong, wouldn't give ...
— Sons of the Soil • Honore de Balzac

... three months of a partnership dissolved four months later in a bout of fisticuffs, Cerizet and Claparon bought up two thousand francs' worth of bills bearing Maxime's signature (since Maxime was his name), and filled a couple of letters to bursting with judgments, appeals, orders of the court, distress-warrants, ...
— A Man of Business • Honore de Balzac

... a landslide, but they had much trouble before they could separate the central clump of antagonists into its parts. A score of Freshmen had cried out: "It was Coke. Coke punched him. Coke." A dozen of them were tempestuously endeavouring to register their protest against fisticuffs by means of ...
— Active Service • Stephen Crane

... session 1823-4, which found enough calls upon its purse for porter and toasted cheese at Ambrose's, or cranberry tarts and ginger-wine at Doull's. Duelling was still a possibility; so much so that when two medicals fell to fisticuffs in Adam Square, it was seriously hinted that single combat would be the result. Last and most wonderful of all, Gall and Spurzheim were in every one's mouth; and the Law student, after having exhausted Byron's poetry and Scott's novels, informed the ladies of his ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... stones came towards them. Andy ran back at the crowd. In turn he sent four of them reeling with vigorous fisticuffs. Then ...
— Andy the Acrobat • Peter T. Harkness

... ere they hurl the spear, engaged in conflict dire. There was a regular feud for many years between the Okebourne men and the Clipstone 'chaps;' and never did the stalwart labourers of those two villages meet without falling to fisticuffs with right goodwill. Nor did they like each other at all the worse, and after the battle drank deeply from the same quart cups. Had these encounters found an historian to put them upon record, they would have read something like the wars (without ...
— Round About a Great Estate • Richard Jefferies

... disdain. He was much older than the Maypole man, being to all appearance five-and-forty; but was one of those self-possessed, hard-headed, imperturbable fellows, who, if they are ever beaten at fisticuffs, or other kind of warfare, never know it, and go on ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... brutal quality is by no means wholly worked out of the blood even yet. The taste for pugilism, or the pummelling of the human frame into a jelly by the force of fisticuffs, as a form of enjoyment or entertainment, is a relapse into barbarism. It is the instinct of the tiger still surviving in the white cat transformed into the princess. I will not call it, young gentlemen, the fond return of Melusina to the gambols of the mermaid, ...
— Ars Recte Vivende - Being Essays Contributed to "The Easy Chair" • George William Curtis

... pretty for us to be at fisticuffs. We'll leave the fightin' to the young ones. [He glances at ROLF and JILL; suddenly throwing out his finger at ROLF] No makin' up to that young woman! I've watched ye. And as for you, missy, you leave ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... to find fault with my mild temper: 'I would not put up with this! I would not put up with that.' If I had listened to her, Monsieur le President, I should have had at least three bouts of fisticuffs a month...." ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 1 (of 8) - Boule de Suif and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... hear no sense or reason from his father's old friends, but was always seen arm in arm with Sir John Snipe, Warra Mugga, the Maharajah and the rest; drinking at the sign of the "Beerage," gambling and dicing at "The Tape," or playing fisticuffs at the "Lord Nelson," till at last he quarrelled with all the world but his boon companions and, what was worse, boasted that his father's brother's son, rich Jonathan Spare, was of the company. So if he met some dirty dog or other in the street he would cry, "Come and sup to-night, ...
— On Nothing & Kindred Subjects • Hilaire Belloc

... remain in hiding behind the tree. You will hear me knock, accost the ruffians and hold them in conversation. The moment you hear me exclaim loudly, "Hey, Presto! Pots and Pans," you will dart out and engage the villains at fisticuffs. The rest ...
— The Magic Pudding • Norman Lindsay

... this writing there is scarcely a Corporal's guard of the original Bucktail regiment remaining. Slaughtered on the field, perishing in prison, disabled or paroled, they have lost both their prestige and their strength. I remarked among these worthies a partiality for fisticuffs, and a dislike for the manual of arms. They drilled badly, and were reported to be adepts at thieving and ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... violence. It is true that a Greymouth storekeeper when asked "How's trade?" concisely pictured a temporary stagnation by gloomily remarking, "There ain't bin a fight for a week!" But an occasional bout of fisticuffs and a good deal of drinking and gambling, were about the worst sins of the gold-seekers. Any one who objected to be saluted as "mate!" or who was crazy enough to dream of wearing a long black coat or a tall black hat, would find life harassing at the diggings. But, ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... began taking off his coat and spitting on his hands, to show that the matter could only be settled by a bout at fisticuffs. Deerfoot had extended his hand to Fred and he smiled at the combative Irish lad, who put up his fists and began dancing about him in ...
— The Hunters of the Ozark • Edward S. Ellis

... we all know fisticuffs are not what they were; for every strenuous mill of to-day there used to be fifty in the old days, and the green turf which formerly was the scene of terrific combats between fellows of the Upper School now only quaked under the ...
— Acton's Feud - A Public School Story • Frederick Swainson

... Morisco of France; the Moresca of Corsica, danced by armed men to represent a conflict between Moors and Christians—is in all reasonable probability Moorish in origin: never mind if in our own country it is become as English as fisticuffs, as the dance called "How d'ye do" will show—wherein our own folk, after their own manner, have suggested strife, as in the Corsican variety. Holland, as is told by Engel, was infected too; industrious research, ...
— The Morris Book • Cecil J. Sharp

... however, discontinue conversation with Mr. Polly; he would come along to him whenever he appeared at his door, and converse about sport and women and fisticuffs and the pride of life with an air of extreme initiation, until Mr. Polly felt himself the faintest underdeveloped intimation of a man that had ever hovered on the ...
— The History of Mr. Polly • H. G. Wells

... in exclaiming, "Where art thou, strumpet? Of course this is some of thy work." At this Sancho awoke, and feeling this mass almost on top of him fancied he had the nightmare and began to distribute fisticuffs all round, of which a certain share fell upon Maritornes, who, irritated by the pain and flinging modesty aside, paid back so many in return to Sancho that she woke him up in spite of himself. He then, finding himself so handled, by whom he knew not, raising himself up as well as ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... other hand Darry had often boxed during the dog watch, with some of the sailors aboard the old brigantine, and since there were several among the crew who prided themselves on a knowledge of fisticuffs, he imbibed more or less of skill in the dexterity shown in both self ...
— Darry the Life Saver - The Heroes of the Coast • Frank V. Webster

... flew back to the court-yard and class-rooms of the school in the Rue d'Assas, and he saw a heavily built lad, for ever under punishment, standing out face to the wall during playtime, getting and giving mighty fisticuffs, a terrible fellow for plain speaking and hard hitting, industrious, yet a thorn in the side of masters, always in ill-luck, yet ever and anon electrifying the class with some ...
— The Aspirations of Jean Servien • Anatole France

... black eye which he had got in fighting a larger boy for pinching his sister. Theodore told him that he did perfectly right—that every boy ought to defend any girl from insult—and he gave him a dollar as a reward. The vestrymen decided that this was too flagrant approval of fisticuffs; so the young teacher soon found a welcome in the Sunday ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... and the best, the simplest way to correct it is for me to go with this gentleman; and I doubt not I'll be back in time for dinner. Why, Cleena, woman, take care! It's delightful to find you so loyal to your 'black sheep,' but fisticuffs won't ...
— Reels and Spindles - A Story of Mill Life • Evelyn Raymond

... ladies in the privy garden playing at shuttlecock with battledoors of wood, a group of gentlemen walking up and down in front of the Earl's house. They could see the household servants hurrying hither and thither, two little scullions at fisticuffs, and a kitchen girl standing in the door-way scratching ...
— Men of Iron • Ernie Howard Pyle

... conspicuous of these men of might, were Harry Preston, Davy Davis, Phil Sampson, Topper Brown, Johnny and Harry Broome, Ben Caunt, Sam Simmonds, Bob Brettle, Tass Parker, Joe Nolan, Peter Morris, Hammer Lane, and his brothers, with a host of other upholders of fisticuffs, the record of whose battles will not be handed down to posterity in the pages of Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham, though, as a matter of history, it may be noted that the earliest account we have of a local prize-fight is of that which took place in Oct. 1782, for 100 guineas a side, ...
— Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham - A History And Guide Arranged Alphabetically • Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell

... did not mention anyone by name, however. He went on to talk of the town tradespeople, of the public-school boys, who they thought might come in useful if matters were to come to fisticuffs. Nejdanov also inquired about the gentry of the neighbourhood, and learned from Markelov that there were five or six possible young men—among them, but, unfortunately, the most radical of them was a German, "and you can't trust a German, you know, he is sure to deceive you sooner ...
— Virgin Soil • Ivan S. Turgenev

... won't let me go? But no, they wouldn't dare keep me a prisoner, and if it came to fisticuffs," smiling to herself, "I could beat the three of them—poor old bodies! I'll go by strategy, if possible—by main force, ...
— The Unseen Bridgegroom - or, Wedded For a Week • May Agnes Fleming

... make nothing of them, here on this very field many theorists find the real Art of War at home: in these feints, parades, half and quarter thrusts of former Wars, they find the aim of all theory, the supremacy of mind over matter, and modern Wars appear to them mere savage fisticuffs, from which nothing is to be learnt, and which must be regarded as mere retrograde steps towards barbarism. This opinion is as frivolous as the objects to which it relates. Where great forces and great passions ...
— On War • Carl von Clausewitz

... sitting was the stage of the measure alluded to in phrase quoted from LEADER OF OPPOSITION. But, as was testified anew last Thursday, business in House of Commons does not always run through expected courses. In strained temper of the hour anything might happen, even a bout of fisticuffs. What actually did happen was that within space of hour and a-half from SPEAKER'S taking the Chair, a period including the ordinary Question-hour, Home Rule Bill was read a third time and carried over to House of Lords ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, June 3, 1914 • Various

... the club was enlivened by a bout of fisticuffs that was a "celebrated case" of its day. There was then a strict club rule forbidding the introduction of a guest. Manager Bateman, the father of Miss Bateman the actress, saw fit to violate this law. A member of the House Committee, perhaps overzealous in the idea of his duties, carried ...
— Fifth Avenue • Arthur Bartlett Maurice

... freshly run from it and making ugly patches of crimson on the grass and the gravel, would be an ordinary thing; but to me that had never seen blood let in violence, except in such matters as a bout of fisticuffs at school, it was the biggest thing that had ever happened, and I stood staring down at the white face as if I should never look at anything else as long as I lived. I remember all about that scene ...
— Dead Men's Money • J. S. Fletcher

... lads, on!" exclaimed the gallant Saint Albans; the barricades were scaled in an instant, and we were at fisticuffs with our foes. Rulers flew obliquely, perpendicularly, and horizontally—inkstands made ink-spouts in the air, with their dark gyrations—books, that the authors had done their best to fasten on their shelves peacefully ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... wash water "that gnawed the skin and made my face all coppery and inflamed my eyes." This species of wickedness, at last, resulted in the discharge of Leti, "but she decided to leave me a few souvenirs in the shape of fisticuffs and kicks. She had told my mother that I was suffering from nose bleed and punched my nose whenever she was unobserved. During the last week of her stay at the palace I sometimes bled like an ox, and my arms and legs were blue, green and yellow from her kicks and cuffs. I am sure if she could have ...
— Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess • Henry W. Fischer

... National Secretary of the Socialist Party and one of the leading members of the Right Wing, called in the police, who cleared the hall. "The Chicago Tribune" of the same day tells us that everybody was exchanging fisticuffs when the police arrived. Detective Sergeant Lawrence McDonough, head of the anarchist squad, with the aid of a dozen uniformed policemen, seems to have saved the day for the Right Wingers. John Reed, of the Left Wing, was furious, and ...
— The Red Conspiracy • Joseph J. Mereto

... things of the glorious past. Big boys don't fight, and there is a whisper that little boys kick each other's shins when in wrath. That practice can hardly be called an improvement, even if we do not care for fisticuffs. Perhaps the gloves are the best peacemakers at school. When all the boys, by practice in boxing, know pretty well whom they can in a friendly way lick, they are less tempted to more ...
— Adventures among Books • Andrew Lang

... am sorry I spoke harshly to him, since, driven as he was by circumstances, I cannot see how he could have acted otherwise than he did. And I overlooked the economic conditions of his profession. In short, I am not used to fisticuffs; and what I saw shocked me so much that I was unreasonable. But," continued Lydia, checking Mrs. Skene's rising hope with a warning finger, "how, if you tell him this, will you make him understand that I say so as an act of justice, and not in the least ...
— Cashel Byron's Profession • George Bernard Shaw

... any one who would write a prescription for your dog. We were afraid the gentlemen would stand too much upon honor and refuse, and had already made up our minds to use force. But this was quite unnecessary; the doctors got to fisticuffs for the three ducats, and their competition brought down the price to three groats; in the course of an hour a dozen prescriptions were written, of which, of course, the poor beast ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... bombardment; the navy was freely denounced and defended, and Berkley, pleased that he had started a row, listened complacently, inserting a word here and there calculated to incite several prominent citizens to fisticuffs. And the ferry-boat ...
— Ailsa Paige • Robert W. Chambers

... J[i]jil was now called to a much more serious enterprize than heading his truculent highlanders against a neighbouring tribe—though it must be admitted that he was always in his element when fisticuffs were in request. An appeal had come from Algiers. The Moors there had endured for seven years the embargo of the Spaniards; they had seen their fregatas rotting before their eyes, and never dared to mend them; they had viewed many a rich prize sail by, and never so ...
— The Story of the Barbary Corsairs • Stanley Lane-Poole

... the old block, cousin, and he did right. I myself struck a blow at the king's enemies, when I was but eight years old, and got my skull well-nigh cracked for my pains. It is well that the lads were not four years older, for then, instead of taking to fisticuffs, their swords would have been out, and as my boy has, for the last four years, been exercised daily in the use of his weapon, it might happen that, instead of Alured coming home with a black eye, and, as you ...
— A Jacobite Exile - Being the Adventures of a Young Englishman in the Service of Charles the Twelfth of Sweden • G. A. Henty

... in the man loomed large; the unreasoning but magnificent audacity of the bulldog expressed itself in scars, wounds, deep-drinking bouts, fisticuffs, and in twenty-eight duels. ...
— Blood and Iron - Origin of German Empire As Revealed by Character of Its - Founder, Bismarck • John Hubert Greusel

... are weather and season to this incessant panorama of childhood? The pigmy people trudge through the snow on moor and hill-side; wade down flooded roads; are not to be daunted by wind or rain, frost or the white smother of 'millers and bakers at fisticuffs.' Most beautiful of all, he sees them travelling schoolward by that late moonlight which now and again in the winter months precedes ...
— From a Cornish Window - A New Edition • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... the girl in her growth, gave her a hardy constitution; she had life and spirit in abundance, and knew when she was ill-used. Now and then she would seize upon John's commons, snatch a leg of a pullet, or a bit of good beef, for which they were sure to go to fisticuffs. Master was indeed too strong for her, but Miss would not yield in the least point; but even when Master had got her down, she would scratch and bite like a tiger; when he gave her a cuff on the ear, she would prick him with her knitting-needle. John brought a great chain ...
— The History of John Bull • John Arbuthnot

... But quite despaired of me. I treasure all Those little sketches that you sent to me Each Christmas, carrying each some glimpse of home. There's one I love that shows the narrow lane Behind the schoolhouse, where I had that bout Of schoolboy fisticuffs. I have never known More pleasure, I believe, than when I beat That black-haired bully and won, for my reward, Those April smiles from you. I see you still Standing among the fox-gloves in the hedge; And just behind you, in the field, I know There was a patch of aromatic flowers,— ...
— Watchers of the Sky • Alfred Noyes

... results, and let him not raise an outcry at the "decline of morality," if the women also, who have the same desires as the men, seek to satisfy in illegitimate relations the promptings of the strongest impulse of nature. Moreover, the views of Wagner are at fisticuffs with the interests of the capitalist class, which, oddly enough, shares his views: it needs many "hands," so as to own cheap labor-power that may fit it out for competition in the world's market. With such petty notions and measures, ...
— Woman under socialism • August Bebel

... they did so, "God send this CRUMB WELL down." But actual fighting was over, and the country on the surface peaceable again, although a word often was sufficient to draw forth steel among the high folks or set an inn full of villagers to fisticuffs. There was not a Royalist in the country but awaited the moment when he could strike another blow to avenge his dead master and reinstate his young Prince. Among these loyal gentlemen Colonel Myddelton ...
— The Slowcoach • E. V. Lucas

... to W.J. Stillman, at which Whistler (a Confederate) related with satisfaction his fisticuffs with a Yankee on shipboard, William Rossetti remarked: 'I must say, Whistler, that your conduct was scandalous.' Stillman and myself were silent. ...
— Whistler Stories • Don C. Seitz

... seldom rise imperial quarrels; And not so many moons ago Jove boxed with zeal Apollo's laurels. The question ran, Was Arthur Mold Unfairly stigmatised by muffs, Or did he play a dubious prank? Venus herself began to scold, And Gods by dozens on a bank Profanely took to fisticuffs! ...
— More Cricket Songs • Norman Gale

... versatility was astounding; with equal facility and felicity he could conduct a literary symposium and a cock-fight, a theological discussion and an angling expedition, a historical or a political inquiry and a fisticuffs. ...
— The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac • Eugene Field

... perfect gentleman.[1] How proud the old people were of him! How they would sit listening to him, flashing, and telling how Deuceace and he floored a Charley, or Blueun and he pitched a snob out of the boxes into the pit. This was in the old Tom-and-Jerry days, when fisticuffs were the fashion. One evening, after he had indulged us with a more than usual dose, and was leaving the room to dress for an eight o'clock dinner at Long's, 'Buzzer!' exclaimed the old man, clutching ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... employed to remove M. Hardy. As for your other proceedings—they were all bad, uncertain, dangerous. Why? Because they were violent, and violence provokes violence. Then it is no longer a struggle of keen, skillful, persevering men, seeing through the darkness in which they walk, but a match of fisticuffs in broad day. Though we should be always in action, we should always shrink from view; and yet you could find no better plan than to draw universal attention to us by proceedings at once open and deplorably ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... he was to get out of finishing the fight already begun; and it demanded a greater amount of courage on his part to walk up to Taylor and ask him to let the matter end where it was, than to stand up before him for a turn at fisticuffs, even with the almost dead certainty of getting the ...
— That Scholarship Boy • Emma Leslie

... the melee began. It was a strenuous affair while it lasted. When a strong man is full of anger and bitter disappointment, when six young fellows are bored to distraction, nothing is quite so satisfying as an exchange of fisticuffs. Dennison had the advantage of being able to hit right and left, at random, while his opponents were not always sure that a blow landed ...
— The Pagan Madonna • Harold MacGrath

... universities is, and the perfect equality that reigns among them—they all called each other "thou" in my time—the son of a gentleman required some kind of protection against the son of a butcher or of a day-labourer. Boxing and fisticuffs were entirely forbidden among students, so that there remained nothing to a young student who wanted to escape from the insults of a young ruffian, but to call him out. As soon as a challenge was given, all abuse ceased at once, and such was the power ...
— My Autobiography - A Fragment • F. Max Mueller

... letting them know that he is on the look-out and will prevent the elopement; Beckmesser comes to serenade Eva, and David, an apprentice, thinks he has come after his (David's) sweetheart and falls to fisticuffs with him; there is a street row, amidst which Eva escapes into her father's house, while Sachs pulls Walther into his. In the third Act Eva, who has already told Sachs quite plainly enough that if only ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman



Words linked to "Fisticuffs" :   punch, decision, combat, count out, boxing equipment, glove, cut, take the count, spar, gumshield, fight, mouthpiece, boxing ring, sparring, sidestep, boxing glove, pugilism, clinch, hook, prize ring, remain down, in-fighting, clout, boxing, rope-a-dope, below the belt, slugfest, contact sport, slug, punch-up, professional boxing, poke, fistfight, biff, lick, scrap, fighting



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