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Fool's errand   /fulz ˈɛrənd/   Listen
Fool's errand

A fruitless mission.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Fool's errand" Quotes from Famous Books

... was a fool's errand. Casey was out of jail and gone before either of us arrived. So there we were, holding the bag, as you might say, and our ten ...
— The Trail of the White Mule • B. M. Bower

... you drag me up here for on a fool's errand? I was led to believe that our generous host was the instigator of the unfavorable answer to your uncle's negotiations last summer. Now I have the same answer repeated from the lips of the girl's parents. ...
— A Texas Matchmaker • Andy Adams

... London. He had devoted himself unflinchingly to his business since his return to England, and had so planned and organized his affairs as to be able now to absent himself for some little time from the City. He was going upon what most men would have called a fool's errand—his quest of Marian's husband; but he was going with a steady purpose in his breast—a determination never to abandon the search till it should result in success. He might have to suspend it from time to time, should he determine to continue his commercial career; ...
— Fenton's Quest • M. E. Braddon

... deck. "Your lieutenant brought us news that you were dismasted and lying helpless in some little inlet, and here you are with what I can see is a French equipment and a couple of prizes! I can almost accuse you of having brought us here on a fool's errand." ...
— By Conduct and Courage • G. A. Henty

... the comfortable reply, followed by the yell of an aroused baby and the noises of the older children. We retreated at once, and opened a battery of reproaches on the old woman for having brought us on a fool's errand. "There is Ohlsen's," she replied, very quietly, "I think I can get you a bed there." Whereupon we entered another house in the same unceremonious manner, but with a better result. A plump, good-natured housewife jumped out of bed, ...
— Northern Travel - Summer and Winter Pictures of Sweden, Denmark and Lapland • Bayard Taylor

... Wamba, "fool as I am, I shall not do your fool's errand. Cedric hath another javelin stuck into his girdle, and thou knowest he does not always miss ...
— Ivanhoe - A Romance • Walter Scott

... than every thing else was, the provoking time of the year,—which, as I told you, was towards the end of September, when his wall-fruit and green gages especially, in which he was very curious, were just ready for pulling:—'Had he been whistled up to London, upon a Tom Fool's errand, in any other month of the whole year, he should not have ...
— The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman • Laurence Sterne

... who it was that sent us to Durnover granary on a fool's errand that day," said Donald, in his undulating tones. "Did ye ever ...
— The Mayor of Casterbridge • Thomas Hardy

... forcibly, and in giving to Captain Poe, his engineer, directions to destroy the foundries, workshops, and railway buildings at Atlanta, he had added, "Beauregard still lingers about Florence, afraid to invade Tennessee, and I think slightly disgusted because Sherman did not follow him on his fool's errand." [Footnote: Id., p. 680.] The irony fitted Hood better than Beauregard, for the latter had not taken personal direction of the active army; but the relations between the two Confederate generals were very imperfectly known to us, and we naturally assumed ...
— Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V2 • Jacob Dolson Cox

... peasants and me; & if that business cometh to naught then shalt thou fare to the Uplands, & good feeling again cause with Ivar Hakonson & so bring it about that he goeth not to war against me.' Fin answered: 'What will be my reward an I go on this fool's errand, for alike Throndhjem folk and Upland folk are so hostile to thee that no messenger of thine could fare to them ...
— The Sagas of Olaf Tryggvason and of Harald The Tyrant (Harald Haardraade) • Snorri Sturluson

... sheriff of the county, and also the officer in charge at the Gridley police station, giving the officials a hint of the joke at the second lake, so they wouldn't rush away on a fool's errand in case the wild story reached ...
— The High School Boys' Fishing Trip • H. Irving Hancock

... sat down under the rocks and groaned, and for one I wished heartily that we had never started on this fool's errand. As we were sitting there I saw Umbopa get up and hobble towards the patch of green, and a few minutes afterwards, to my great astonishment, I perceived that usually very dignified individual dancing and shouting like a maniac, and ...
— King Solomon's Mines • H. Rider Haggard

... you saw me change the boxes, for I did it when I was nearest buying the bee-brooch at the end, and you were too puzzled, and the other Johnny too keen. It was the cheapest shot in the game; the dear ones were sending old Theobald to Southampton on a fool's errand yesterday afternoon, and showing one's own nose down Regent Street in broad daylight while he was gone; but some things are worth paying for, and certain risks one must always take. Nice boxes, aren't they? I only wished they contained ...
— Raffles - Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman • E. W. Hornung

... condition. She had strength enough, however, to restore Daphne, which she did with many groans. "I've been trying to do this for the last quarter of an hour, child," she panted. "I was beginning to think I'd forgotten the spell altogether. And now he's gone off on a fool's errand to rescue you! But I may still be in ...
— In Brief Authority • F. Anstey

... and that spy Concho haunting the plains for the last half-hour. What an air of mystery! Something awful, something deliciously dreadful, has happened! Either my amiable drunkard has forgotten to despatch Concho on his usual fool's errand, or he is himself lying helpless in some ditch. Was there ever a girl so persecuted? With a father wrapped in mystery, a lover nameless and shrouded in the obscurity of some Olympian height, and her only confidant and messenger a Bacchus instead ...
— Two Men of Sandy Bar - A Drama • Bret Harte

Words linked to "Fool's errand" :   mission, commission, charge

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