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Practical joke   /prˈæktəkəl dʒoʊk/   Listen
Practical joke

noun
1.
A prank or trick played on a person (especially one intended to make the victim appear foolish).






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Practical joke" Quotes from Famous Books



... just then of the coins; or did he have some knowledge of the practical joke that had been played on old ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts - Or, The Struggle for Leadership • George A. Warren

... shoot, ride or dance, and to engage in all trials of skill and strength, for which his great muscular development suited him admirably. With such tastes, it followed almost as a matter of course that he loved laughter and fun. Good, hearty, country fun, a ludicrous mishap, a practical joke, all merriment of a simple, honest kind, were highly congenial to him, especially in his youth and early manhood. Here is the way, for example, in which he described in his diary a ball he attended in 1760: "In a convenient ...
— George Washington, Vol. II • Henry Cabot Lodge

... At the same time William Philander Tubbs came there from Putnam Hall. He was a dudish fellow who thought more of his dress and his personal appearance than anything else, and was often made the butt of some practical joke. ...
— The Rover Boys in Alaska - or Lost in the Fields of Ice • Arthur M. Winfield

... Peyton, but the beautiful woman was still, at fifty, a spoiled child, far younger in many ways than Margaret herself; she would only laugh, and advise her to get rid of Miss Sophronia by some trick, or practical joke. ...
— Margaret Montfort • Laura E. Richards

... street for favors that mean more than money. Of course, it's the easy thing and the pleasant thing not to refuse, and after all, most men think, it doesn't cost anything but a few strokes of the pen, and so they will give a fellow that they wouldn't ordinarily play on their friends as a practical joke, a nice sloppy letter of introduction to them; or hand out to a man that they wouldn't give away as a booby prize, a letter of recommendation in which they crack him up as having all the qualities necessary for an A1 Sunday-school ...
— Old Gorgon Graham - More Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son • George Horace Lorimer

... right, but thereafter Swift jeered at Dryden's poetry. We may pass over also the Battle of the Books, the Drapier's Letters and a score more of satires and lampoons. Of all these minor works the Bickerstaff Papers, which record Swift's practical joke on the astrologers, are most amusing. [Footnote: Almanacs were at that time published by pretender astrologers, who read fortunes or made predictions from the stars. Against the most famous of these quacks, Partridge by name, Swift leveled his "Predictions for the year ...
— Outlines of English and American Literature • William J. Long

... the glass, ate a liberal mouthful of the left-over stewed onions, as he would not for worlds have his bride catch him tippling. He put out the lamp and went to the bedroom, chuckling to himself like a man about to play a particularly clever and extremely good-humored practical joke. His preparations for the night were, as always, extremely simple merely a flinging off of his outer clothes and, in summer, his socks. From time to time he cast an admiring amorous glance at the lovely childlike face in ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... murdering them?' asked Raphael, throwing on his pelisse. 'Because, if it has really come to a practical joke of that kind, I shall have the greatest pleasure in employing a counter-irritant. Here, boy! My ...
— Hypatia - or, New Foes with an Old Face • Charles Kingsley

... Christmas realised that the appalling creature was but a temporary compound of his playmate and the abject Jonah. Cautiously advancing in a series of contours dislocated with staccato stops and starts and frothy exclamations, he seemed to recognise the whole episode as a practical joke, of which he had been the victim, and to promise retaliation upon Jonah, for no sooner was that meek animal at liberty than he became ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... she by no means understood the danger. She blushed once at finding that she had called him Bertie and, on the same day, only barely remembered her position in time to check herself from playing upon him some personal practical joke to which she ...
— Barchester Towers • Anthony Trollope

... Cyrus and its fellows is altogether past comprehension. There is some coarseness in Scarron—he would not be a comic writer of the seventeenth century if there were none. Not very long after the beginning the tale is interrupted by a long account of an unseemly practical joke which surely could amuse no mortal after a certain stage of schoolboyhood. But there is little or no positive indecency: the book contrasts not more remarkably with the Aristophanic indulgence of the sixteenth century than with the sniggering suggestiveness of the eighteenth. Some ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 - From the Beginning to 1800 • George Saintsbury

... baying of two hounds, entertaining each other with their melancholy music. The master of ceremonies began to be impatient; he thought that, the impertinent private secretary had been indulging in some practical joke or mystification at his expense; but as he drew near to the Spree, he heard the light stroke of oars in the water. Pollnitz hastened forward, and his eyes, accustomed to the darkness, discovered a skiff drawn up ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... a verger here; this gentleman was with me. He did nothing. He is a most respectable and twice wealthy person, a tourist whom I guide. He is innocent—no anarchist, no free-thinker. That other—that pretended brother—has made a practical joke. See, he has run away to escape consequences. There is nothing against this noble senor; you have it on the ...
— The Car of Destiny • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... has known him during his friendly sojourn in this community but will be struck with the conviction that he has acquired that most marvelous faculty of your great American nation, the exhibition of humor and of the practical joke." ...
— The Heritage of Dedlow Marsh and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... candidate, reigned from 1037 to 1040. He gained Godwin to his side, and together they lured the sons of Emma by Ethelred—viz., Alfred and Edward—to town, and, as a sort of royal practical joke, put out Alfred's eyes, causing ...
— Comic History of England • Bill Nye

... she was unable to think of anyone with whom she had ever come in contact, capable of threatening her in this terrible way. She had about decided that the whole thing must be some stupidly conceived practical joke, when she saw her mother cross the hall and ...
— The Film of Fear • Arnold Fredericks

... a practical joke!" I thought, and a bitter feeling of disappointment assailed me, as I asked myself why I had not gone in the second boat to help ...
— Blue Jackets - The Log of the Teaser • George Manville Fenn

... practically sinks this relation to a level with sensualism or folly. I hear almost daily from the lips of professedly religious men and women, language and thoughts on this subject which bespeak a carnal heart and an unsanctified mind. They treat the relation with levity. They make it a practical joke. They look at it through carnal eyes, and listen to its language with carnal ears. Their whole conception and practical understanding of it is sensuous. I have but little confidence in their religion. It is only ...
— Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women • George Sumner Weaver

... original sense of his unfitness for his sacred calling, as he would hardly ham called it: He had allowed his levity to get the better of his sympathy, and his love of teasing to overpower that love of helping which seemed to him his chief right and reason for being a minister: To play a sort of poor practical joke upon that melancholy girl (who was also so attractive) was not merely unbecoming to him as a minister; it was cruel; it was vulgar; it was ungentlemanly. He could not say less than ungentlemanly, for that seemed ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... felt rather sorry for Graham during the next few minutes. It is not pleasant to interview the Doctor when he is feeling very angry. Not that I think he really suspected Graham of playing a practical joke on him, for he must have seen how thoroughly scared he was when he burst into the study. But the fact was that he had been looking out for an opportunity of teaching Graham a lesson for some time, and when it came, he made use of it without asking ...
— Chatterbox, 1906 • Various

... men and women; some the warning that they are obviously caricatured, or set in designed profile, or merely sketched. But they are all alive. The finical estimate of Gray (it is a horrid joy to think how perfectly capable Fielding was of having joined in that practical joke of the young gentlemen of Cambridge, which made Gray change his college), while dismissing these light things with patronage, had to admit that "parson Adams is perfectly well, so is Mrs Slipslop." ...
— Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 • Henry Fielding

... to play a practical joke on the servants, and, though he did not exactly like it, he was in no mood for scolding. After having been carefully brushed and rolled in the snow, Paul offered his escort to Miss Clara; and she had not the heart to tell him that she was not at ...
— Boyhood in Norway • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... he would only say in public that he "regretted the necessity" of such action. Evidently he thought it his duty to support a well-intentioned general against a dangerous agitator. The course which after some consideration he took was of the nature of a practical joke, perhaps justified by its success. Vallandigham was indeed released; he was taken to the front and handed over to the Confederates as if he had been an exchanged prisoner of war. In reply to demands from the Democratic organisation ...
— Abraham Lincoln • Lord Charnwood

... McKelway, who on this occasion and others wrote articles in the Independent and the Outlook justifying the proceedings. Said he: "It is difficult to speak of the Red Shirts without a smile. They victimized the Negroes with a huge practical joke.... A dozen men would meet at a crossroad, on horseback, clad in red shirts or calico, flannel or silk, according to the taste of the owner and the enthusiasm of his womankind. They would gallop through the country, and the Negro would quietly make up his mind that ...
— A Social History of the American Negro • Benjamin Brawley

... it," he said; "that is my own home, and I am too well known there to merit suspicion. It must have been meant for a practical joke," and the detective's thoughts were ...
— Dyke Darrel the Railroad Detective - Or, The Crime of the Midnight Express • Frank Pinkerton

... the Baron away towards the quay, down the Rue Hillerin-Bertin. The unhappy Baron walked on, as a merchant walks on the day before he stops payment; he was lost in conjectures as to the reasons of the depravity buried in the depths of Valerie's heart, and still believed himself the victim of some practical joke. As they crossed the Pont Royal, life seemed to him so blank, so utterly a void, and so out of joint from his financial difficulties, that he was within an ace of yielding to the evil prompting that bid him fling Crevel into the river and ...
— Cousin Betty • Honore de Balzac

... tin star out of the lid of a sardine box and wore it at meals. Don Pablo was so furious that he spoke seriously of challenging Auguste to a duel to the death, and it required a stern order from the countess to make him give up his bloodthirsty design and Auguste his practical joke. ...
— The Malady of the Century • Max Nordau

... the other hand, possibly Nat may have been seized with a sudden desire to tease his comrades in return for many a practical joke of which ...
— Pathfinder - or, The Missing Tenderfoot • Alan Douglas

... the thing was an elaborate practical joke by some one who had seen the manuscript of my narrative. I answered Mr. Wendigee jestingly, but he replied in a manner that put such suspicion altogether aside, and in a state of inconceivable excitement I hurried from Algiers to the little observatory upon the Monte ...
— The First Men In The Moon • H. G. Wells

... final triumph of idiocy. If bad women could be shut up and made to say prayers most of the time, no harm at least would be done,—the good, problematical; but to immure a woman of sweet, natural, God-bestowed impulses is the devil's worst practical joke in this world. Come, little girl, it's late. Think over the scheme; try it as you have a chance; use your power to incite men to make the most and best of themselves. This is better than levying your little tribute of flattery and attention, ...
— An Original Belle • E. P. Roe

... climbed higher, the mountain's top got farther and farther away. But Cody, who had scaled not only its summit, but the flagpole that tipped it, knew its habit of piling one small hill up behind the other, as though, like a grotesque Gulliver playing a practical joke, it delighted in fatiguing and disappointing the Liliputians that swarmed up from its base. Crosby and Bombey and the twins, with the Misses Blind-Staggers,—blinder than ever to-day for the glare on their blue goggles,—had ...
— The Madigans • Miriam Michelson

... been," said Wyn, calmly, "that if one party succeeded in playing a practical joke on the other, and 'getting away with it,' as you slangy boys say, the party falling for the trick should ...
— Wyn's Camping Days - or, The Outing of the Go-Ahead Club • Amy Bell Marlowe

... indignantly. "I'm sure that child must have played some practical joke on him. I want to get to the bottom of it. What a strange little monkey she is! How long will father stand it? What did you think, Eloise, when she swooped upon him ...
— Jewel - A Chapter In Her Life • Clara Louise Burnham

... Wales in England, Doddington set up for a favourite, and carried the distinction to the pitifulness of submitting to all the caprices of his royal highness; among other instances, submitting to the practical joke of being rolled up in a blanket, and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCLXXVI. February, 1847. Vol. LXI. • Various

... oldest item in the archives file was opened today. We are not certain that it does not constitute some sort of barbaric practical joke. Note that the forms involved have been superseded several dozen times over since they were originally printed. ...
— If at First You Don't... • John Brudy

... aloud. The nearer a retort approached to a practical joke, provided it was not at his own expense, the better he ...
— Bred in the Bone • James Payn

... my smart friends trying to play a practical joke on my guest. I fooled him. Don't let it happen again, until you send in the party's ...
— The Voice on the Wire • Eustace Hale Ball

... taught the officious neighbors the great danger of acting as peacemakers. The two stammerers continued to scream as is the custom of deaf persons, until the last drop of water was spilt; and I remember that Eugene, the originator of this practical joke, laughed immoderately the whole time this scene lasted. The water was wiped off; and all were soon reconciled, glass in hand. Eugene, when he had perpetrated a joke of this sort, never failed to relate it to ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... continued to see, although she confined her worship to his talent, and merely patronized the man. Either from sheer mischievousness, or to revenge herself for some real or fancied slight—perhaps, indeed, to mock at his talk of refinement—she perpetrated upon him the practical joke of getting her Irish governess, a Miss Patrickson, to send him notes in English, signed Lady Neville, in one of which an appointment was made to meet him at the Opera. He went to the rendezvous; but no one was there waiting for him. ...
— Balzac • Frederick Lawton

... account of the adventure from the lips of the heroine herself, and she got many presents from her numerous visitors; in the third place, the Council of Ten offered a reward of five hundred ducats to any person giving such information as would lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of the practical joke, even if the informer belonged to the band, provided he was ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... harem, and is threatened with death by its master. It turns out that the pasha is a beautiful woman, the slave of his mysterious lady-love, and she promises him speedy fulfilment of his wishes. Finally, close to the attainment of his end, he discovers that his beauty is a myth, the whole a practical joke perpetrated by his merry companions. So Asher ben Yehuda in quest of his mistress is led from ...
— Jewish Literature and Other Essays • Gustav Karpeles

... called her "comedy of charity." O'Ryan, that great, glowing failure whose name will outlive the fame of the successful in San Francisco, used to play ingenious jokes upon it. O'Ryan was possibly the only man of any time who could draw the sting of a practical joke. ...
— The Readjustment • Will Irwin

... voice was not that of Swing Tunstall. On the heels of this unwelcome discovery Racey made another. The man had dragged out a knife from under his armpit, and was squirmingly endeavouring to make play with it. Racey's intended practical joke on Swing Tunstall was in a fair way to become a tragedy ...
— The Heart of the Range • William Patterson White

... new sort of game, which may be called the extravagance of depression. The placing of the weak lover and his new love in such a place that they actually see the black flag announcing that Tess has been hanged is utterly inexcusable in art and probability; it is a cruel practical joke. But it is a practical joke at which even its author cannot brighten ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... Hertford is my real name; named for a grandfather just as you are, Sandy Morley. You see I've patched the scraps together. It was your grandfather and mine who were good pals way back in the musty ages. Some one played a practical joke on them and the friendship went up in thin air. It's left for you and me to pick up the pieces and—cement them together. I wonder if you ever heard about the bottle of stuff my grandfather gave your ...
— A Son of the Hills • Harriet T. Comstock

... wish to maintain the same precedence in private life that belongs to them as a matter of outward ceremony. This pretension they cannot keep up by fair means; for in wit or argument they are not superior to the common run of men. They therefore answer a repartee by a practical joke, which turns the laugh against others, and cannot be retaliated with safety. That is, they avail themselves of the privilege of their situation to take liberties, and degrade those about them, as they can only keep up the idea of their own dignity by proportionably ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... had told his practical joke broadcast, for the young man heard his name mentioned, and then some one behind him snickered. He paid no attention, however, for the clerk had handed him a small leather bag or purse, together with a morphine-bottle, about the size and shape of an ...
— Laughing Bill Hyde and Other Stories • Rex Beach

... of every company and all occasions. I remember a practical joke of his suggestion played upon Murat Halstead. A party of us were supping after the theater at the old Brevoort House. A card was brought to me from a reporter of the World. I was about to deny myself, when Mark ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... who can feel and understand—who can divine it, as I might say. There are five and thirty doors in my rooms! I had them counted-five and thirty! If they were not old and made of valuable wood I should really believe they had been made as a practical joke ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... nodded approval. "You are right. Mr Timms' account amounts to twenty pounds. To offer twenty pounds to Mr Granby—to whom I owe some eight thousand, more or less—would be a poor practical joke. To give it to Mr Timms will evidently be the saving of his business at a time when it appears to have reached a crisis. Put on your bonnet and shawl, dear, and we will go about ...
— Under the Waves - Diving in Deep Waters • R M Ballantyne

... beating the air, while in every case the effect is invariably one of momentum. Habit has given the impulse: what was wanted was to check the movement or deflect it. He did nothing of the sort, but continued like a machine in the same straight line. The victim, then, of a practical joke is in a position similar to that of a runner who falls,—he is comic for the same reason. The laughable element in both cases consists of a certain MECHANICAL INELASTICITY, just where one would expect to find the wide-awake adaptability ...
— Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic • Henri Bergson

... still, as you are so weak and nervous, you might have spent a bad night, and I am glad it is spared you. I meant no harm, only to worry you girls awhile; but I am very sorry now, and you must forgive me, will you not, for my practical joke?" ...
— Dainty's Cruel Rivals - The Fatal Birthday • Mrs. Alex McVeigh Miller

... who had robbed Tom and later tried to repay him for playing what appeared to be a practical joke on the robber, did not trouble the Swift premises with his presence before morning. Koku, thrusting Eradicate Sampson aside and striding to his bedroom to report this fact, was what awoke ...
— Tom Swift and his Electric Locomotive - or, Two Miles a Minute on the Rails • Victor Appleton

... bright and clean, as if a treasure had lain there, and all the rest of it cankered with rust. Whether this sciencer was some obscure Roger Bacon, and had discovered the use of a volatile anaesthetic centuries ago, or whether he was enjoying a solitary practical joke at the expense of two simpletons, is impossible to say. "It is at your choice to believe either or neither," as Westcote says of the two foregoing stories. "I have offered them to the shrine of your judgment, and what truth soever there is in them, they are not unfit tales for winter nights, ...
— Lynton and Lynmouth - A Pageant of Cliff & Moorland • John Presland

... repeated over the telephone; yet that the call had not emanated from Mrs. Hewett's house was now palpably evident. Days had been when I should have regarded the episode as preluding some outrage, but to-night I felt more disposed to ascribe it to a silly practical joke. ...
— The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... kiss her hand as he passed out, but she snatched it away. "Uncle," she said, coming directly to him, "can it be that you sanction anything so wicked as this? It seems as if you and aunt were permitting my cousin to put upon me a cruel practical joke." ...
— Miss Lou • E. P. Roe

... carry it away for a short distance; and then squatting down with it on the ground close before him, will wait until his master comes quite close to take it away. The dog will then seize it and rush away in triumph, repeating the same manoeuvre, and evidently enjoying the practical joke. ...
— The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex • Charles Darwin

... fact is as an indictment of the male sex, when a woman knows all, there is invariably trouble ahead for some man. There was trouble ahead for Samuel Marlowe. Billie, now in possession of the facts, had examined them and come to the conclusion that Sam had played a practical joke on her, and she was a girl who strongly disapproved of practical humour at ...
— The Girl on the Boat • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... British Museum, bristling with exclusionism, writes that some of these fishes, which had been sent to him alive, were "very young minnows." He says: "On reading the evidence, it seems to me most probably only a practical joke: that one of Mr. Nixon's employees had thrown a pailful of water upon another, who had thought fish in it had fallen from the sky"—had dipped up a ...
— The Book of the Damned • Charles Fort

... Hullah, who wrote some very pretty music to it. I just put down for everybody what everybody at the St. James's Theatre wanted to say and do, and that they could say and do best, and I have been most sincerely repentant ever since. The farce I also did as a sort of practical joke, for Harley, whom I have known a long time. It was funny—adapted from one of the published sketches called the "Great Winglebury Duel," and was published by Chapman and Hall. But I have no copy of it now, nor should I think they have. But both ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 1 (of 3), 1833-1856 • Charles Dickens

... (as every shooter knows) given to running, knew how to take care of himself, and, like many another unwelcome intruder, he came to stay. The flesh is decidedly inferior in flavour to that of the common English brown partridge. I well remember a practical joke being played on a Woodhall keeper. The “Frenchmen,” as they were called, had only just arrived. A party of us were out shooting, and a red-leg was shot. The keeper, seeing the new and handsome-looking bird, was very proud of it, and though he had never yet tasted one, he loudly proclaimed, ...
— Records of Woodhall Spa and Neighbourhood - Historical, Anecdotal, Physiographical, and Archaeological, with Other Matter • J. Conway Walter

... A fresh practical joke now occurred to the duke. He had asked for crawfish for his breakfast on the following morning; he intended to pass the day in making a small gallows and hang one of the finest of these fish in the middle of his room—the red ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... hot haste through Todd's awful list of names, but were again quiet when he dropped his eye-glasses from his eagle's beak, a sure sign he was going to "savage" somebody—"as for his performance in this examination, I can only regard it as a very bad practical joke, or as his ballon d'essai ...
— Acton's Feud - A Public School Story • Frederick Swainson

... of this ... at first Spalton himself laughed, our American spirit of rough joking and horse-play gaining the uppermost in him ... but then he recalled to mind the seriousness of our practical joke, and burned with anger at us over what we had done. And he threatened to "fire" on the spot anyone who ever again molested ...
— Tramping on Life - An Autobiographical Narrative • Harry Kemp

... sides of the way to church to be planted with curious flowers; and when his bride said, 'Dear Captain Murderer, I ever saw flowers like these before: what are they called?' he answered, 'They are called Garnish for house-lamb,' and laughed at his ferocious practical joke in a horrid manner, disquieting the minds of the noble bridal company, with a very sharp show of teeth, then displayed for the first time. He made love in a coach and six, and married in a coach and twelve, and all his horses were milk-white horses ...
— The Uncommercial Traveller • Charles Dickens

... anger, my dear sir," Fergus resumed. "The thing is hardly worth so much indignation. Some animal has been playing the poor fellow an ill-natured trick—putting him up to it for the sake of a vile practical joke. It is exceedingly provoking, but you must forgive him. He is hardly to blame, scarcely accountable, under the natural circumstances.—Get away with you," he added, addressing Gibbie across the table. "Make haste before worse comes of it. You have ...
— Sir Gibbie • George MacDonald

... to presume upon the timidity or ignorance of folks. The most demure may be the most courageous. A gentleman who attempted to play a practical joke in order to test the courage of a servant, was nonplused in a very unexpected ...
— Toasts - and Forms of Public Address for Those Who Wish to Say - the Right Thing in the Right Way • William Pittenger

... reached the age of two and twenty, being esteemed a skillful mechanic. Joining the Barnstable Invincibles, a very disorderly militia company, I was twice elected its captain, which was considered a very good practical joke, the militia there being in very bad odor with everybody but the young damsels of the town. To my military title, then, I owe one of the most fortunate circumstances of my life-that of getting a wife. And this wife, though she bore my title ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... living at Cross Street, Croydon, has been made the victim of what must be regarded as a peculiarly revolting practical joke unless some more sinister meaning should prove to be attached to the incident. At two o'clock yesterday afternoon a small packet, wrapped in brown paper, was handed in by the postman. A cardboard box was inside, which was filled with coarse salt. On emptying this, ...
— The Adventure of the Cardboard Box • Arthur Conan Doyle

... prestidigitation; magic &c 992; conjuring, conjuration; hocus-pocus, escamoterie^, jockeyship^; trickery, coggery^, chicanery; supercherie^, cozenage^, circumvention, ingannation^, collusion; treachery &c 940; practical joke. trick, cheat, wile, blind, feint, plant, bubble, fetch, catch, chicane, juggle, reach, hocus, bite; card sharping, stacked deck, loaded dice, quick shuffle, double dealing, dealing seconds, dealing from the bottom of ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... practical joke. With half a dozen members of the company he formed a little club which often had supper after the play. This club was the fountain-head of a thousand jests and pranks. On one occasion Charles suggested that for the sake ...
— Charles Frohman: Manager and Man • Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman

... and bit his nails. He was a lean creature, unshaven and sidelong, and he had the furtive and self-conscious air of one who perpetrates a practical joke. Miss Gregory watched him with some impatience; she had yet to learn that a Portugee of the Coast will even lose money to inconvenience an ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... and angry when you hinted at doing that, but the moment I left you I saw that you had been only in fun, and I enjoyed the joke against myself, though I thought it was rather too bad of you. And then, as a sort of revenge, but almost before I knew what I was doing, I played that IDIOTIC practical joke on you. I have been MISERABLE ever since. DO come round as early as possible and tell me I am forgiven. But before you tell me that, please lecture me till I cry—though indeed I have been crying half through the night. And then ...
— Zuleika Dobson - or, An Oxford Love Story • Max Beerbohm

... with utmost confidence that the testing of his horsemanship by means of Rocket had been intended only as a practical joke, and that Gowan would never have permitted him to mount the horse had he considered it at all dangerous. Yet the fellow might next undertake jokes containing no element of physical peril and consequently all the more ...
— Out of the Depths - A Romance of Reclamation • Robert Ames Bennet

... we could induce the inhabitants of our West India Colonies to enforce the lex talionis, and institute quarantines, which they might do with the same or better reason, against the importation of pleurises and catarrhs from the colder regions of Europe; a practical joke of this kind has been known to succeed after reason, argument, and evidence, amounting to the most palpable demonstration, had proved ...
— Letters on the Cholera Morbus. • James Gillkrest

... time I have none of those explanations with which people are so generously forthcoming on these occasions. I can only say that I do not think Wilbraham was insane, nor drunk, nor asleep. Nor do I believe that some one played a practical joke.... ...
— The Best British Short Stories of 1922 • Various

... made to the Comstock's delight in humor of a positive sort. The practical joke was legal tender in Virginia. One might protest and swear, but he must take it. An example of Comstock humor, regarded as the finest assay, is an incident still told of Leslie Blackburn and Pat ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... a practical joke?" he said at last, in a way that set about sixteen draughts cutting ...
— My Man Jeeves • P. G. Wodehouse

... as he did everything else: he treated the matter as something in the nature of a practical joke, and wanted to know if Ethan meditated buying a grand piano or adding a "cupolo" to his house; offering, in the latter case, to give his ...
— Ethan Frome • Edith Wharton

... Vincent suddenly recollected that he had a commission of a very important nature in the Rue J. J. Rousseau. This was—to buy a monkey. "It is for Wormwood," said he, "who has written me a long letter, describing its' qualities and qualifications. I suppose he wants it for some practical joke—some embodied bitterness—God forbid I should thwart him in ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... thief—both body and soul, his life and for ever—who stole his ring. It was an awful curse, but none of the guests seemed the worse for it, except the poor jackdaw who had hidden the ring in some sly corner as a practical joke. But, if we are to believe traditionary and historical lore, only too many of the curses recorded in the chronicles of family history have been productive of the most disastrous results, reminding us of that dreadful malediction given by Byron ...
— Strange Pages from Family Papers • T. F. Thiselton Dyer

... however, of her teacher's manner, and the half-sorrowful, half-indignant look she bestowed on the excited girl, calmed her down after a time. Mrs. Willis felt full sympathy for Dora, and could well understand how trying and aggravating this practical joke must be to so proud a girl; but although her faith was undoubtedly shaken in Annie, she would not ...
— A World of Girls - The Story of a School • L. T. Meade

... came back from the Ypres neighborhood a few days ago, told me a delightful story of a practical joke played upon the Germans, who were entrenched only about thirty or forty yards away from his platoon. One bright spirit was lecturing the enemy and making dialectical rings ...
— The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915 • Various

... take that as your punishment, for no other punishment will I give you, except to ask you not to play that kind of practical joke again.' ...
— Hollyhock - A Spirit of Mischief • L. T. Meade

... this as, "Sole-slapping; or What to do in the Children's Hour; complete in Twelve Fortnightly Parts.") The Fairy Godmother Department presents us with what the Quartermaster describes as "Boots, gum, thigh"; and there has also been an issue of so-called fur jackets, in which the Practical Joke Department has plainly taken a hand. Most of these garments appear to have been contributed by animals unknown to zoology, or more probably by a syndicate thereof. Corporal Mucklewame's costume gives him the appearance of a St. Bernard dog with Astrakhan fore ...
— All In It K(1) Carries On - A Continuation of the First Hundred Thousand • John Hay Beith (AKA: Ian Hay)

... any words, this spectacle removed any lingering doubt which John might have had as to the possibility of this being some intricate practical joke. ...
— The Prince and Betty - (American edition) • P. G. Wodehouse

... curiosity," said McElvina, continuing his mirth. The proprietor of the dog, a young Frenchman, dressed very much "en calicot," did not, however, seem quite so much amused with this practical joke; he cocked his hat fiercely on one side, raised his figure to the utmost of its height, and walking up, en grand militaire addressed McElvina, with "Comment, monsieur, vous avez fait une grande ...
— The King's Own • Captain Frederick Marryat

... himself Master of the Ceremonies when anything festive was on foot, and our men, as a matter of course, left everything in his hands; but the men of St. Peter Port knew him not, and would have no authority from him, and as a kind of good-natured revenge for his interference, some of them played a practical joke upon him; but they did not know their man, for no sooner had the joke been carried into effect (gunpowder in his pipe) than Ross seized his stick and knocked two of his tormentors down, the rest quickly fleeing out of doors. His wooden leg greatly handicapped ...
— Jethou - or Crusoe Life in the Channel Isles • E. R. Suffling

... booths, taking a cup of tea with the salesmen, and rummage with our own hands in the cupboards and chests, where many a fantastic piece of old rubbish is huddled away. The bargaining, much discussed, is laughingly carried on for several days, as if we were trying to play off some excellent little practical joke ...
— Madame Chrysantheme Complete • Pierre Loti

... from his father, a retired Confectioner, and he was impatiently waiting for the advent of the Republic to secure a political position deserved by so many revolutionary libations. On the fourth of September, possibly as a result of a practical joke, he had thought that he had been appointed Prefect, but when he wanted to take up his duties, the clerk, who had remained in charge of the office, refused to recognize him, which compelled him to retire. A very good ...
— Mademoiselle Fifi • Guy de Maupassant

... now. And strangely enough, she begun to get back her strength from that very moment—seeing that exclusive and well-known young debby-tant consorting in public with the reprobates. I'm darned if she didn't have the genius after that to treat the whole thing as a practical joke, especially when she finds out that none of them exclusives had had it long enough to look down on another millionaire merely for pinching a penny now and then. Old Angus as a matter of fact had become just a little more important than she had ever been and could have snubbed any one he ...
— Somewhere in Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... Cheon—a compliment fully appreciated by his Chinese mind; then, having disparaged the tattered results to his satisfaction, we went to the house and wrote a letter of thanks to our neighbour, giving him so vivid a word-picture of the reception of his cabbages that he felt inspired to play a practical joke on Cheon later on. One thing is very certain—everyone enjoyed those cabbages including ...
— We of the Never-Never • Jeanie "Mrs. Aeneas" Gunn

... over the slick surface of the jar two or three times, but couldn't find any way to reach the tempting nuts. He stopped and thought about the situation a while, then it seemed to dawn on him that he was the victim of a practical joke. All at once he jumped on the Chief's hand, buried his teeth in his thumb, then hopped to a lumber pile and waited for developments. He got the nuts, jar and all, right at his head. He side-stepped the assault and gloated ...
— I Married a Ranger • Dama Margaret Smith

... brought the company into roars of laughter and even succeeded in bringing occasional smiles to the face of the man who had summoned us—when relating some characteristic story of the queer genius whom the fates (undoubtedly as a practical joke) had made the chief magistrate of the United States of America. All geniuses have weaknesses; Mr. Wading had made a study of the President's, and more than once had lured him into an impasse. The case had been appealed to the Supreme Court, ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... opinion, then, the whole affair is a hoax, perpetrated to vex and annoy you. The old man who employed this chauffeur may not have been old. I have looked upon all sides of the affair, and it begins to look like a practical joke, Mademoiselle." ...
— The Place of Honeymoons • Harold MacGrath

... hand, looking very stern, and asking a few very pointed questions. He fully understood a practical joke had been perpetrated, and woe to the perpetrator if the lieutenant found proof against him. Gordan was stern and as unwavering as the hills in the discharge of ...
— Frank Merriwell's Chums • Burt L. Standish

... murmured softly, "I am alone, he is not here! I shall have time to recover, and then I can return; I am so frightened—I ought not to have come. Perhaps the ladies of the court have arranged this practical joke at my expense. Yes, that is it. It was folly to believe he would dare to ask me to meet him; he is too timid—too humble. Yes, it is a trap laid for me, and I ...
— Frederick the Great and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... Castle, to begin with. I surveyed the massive ruin from the Bridge, and thought what a brief little practical joke I seemed to be, in comparison with its solidity, stature, strength, and length of life. I went inside; and, standing in the solemn shadow of its walls, looking up at the blue sky, its only remaining roof, (to the disturbance ...
— A Week's Tramp in Dickens-Land • William R. Hughes

... explained to Ford, were intended to give "verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative." And the sighing of the bullets gave young Bradshaw exactly what he wanted—the assurance that he was not the victim of a practical joke. He threw his weight forward and, lifting his feet, coasted downhill at forty miles an hour into the main street of Blakeney. Ten minutes later, when the car followed, a mob of men so completely blocked the water-front that Ford was forced to stop. His head-lights illuminated ...
— The Red Cross Girl • Richard Harding Davis

... could be joyful with that black drop at the bottom of every cup, it was proof positive that death was not what it seemed. Otherwise there was no logic in the scheme of being, but it was a cruel fraud by the Creator upon the creature; a poor practical joke, with the laugh all on one side. He had got rid of his fear of it in that light, which seemed to have come to him before the fear left him, and he wanted her to see it in the same light, and if he died before her—But there she stopped him ...
— Questionable Shapes • William Dean Howells

... "If it's practical joke o' mine, Donkin, it's recoiled on my own poor pate," said the old man. "I've a rib stove in, too, if that's any consolation to ye. It's Stingaree, ...
— Stingaree • E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung

... clientele is composed of boys, who are always satisfied if they don't have to pay, and men of letters, who are yet more easily satisfied—for the ugliness of authors' mistresses is proverbial. Unless this is simply a practical joke. But who would be playing one on me—I don't know ...
— La-bas • J. K. Huysmans

... the restaurant who loved a practical joke, bent over the counter, laughing loudly; the waiter stood rooted to the spot, and one of the cooks peeped through the door which communicated with ...
— Married • August Strindberg

... crowd in town for the show, or the races, or a stock sale, or land ballot, or something; but most of them were tired, or at tea—or in the pubs—and the corners were deserted. Observe how fate makes time and things fit when she wants to do a good turn—or play a practical joke. Harry Chatswood, for instance, didn't know anything ...
— The Rising of the Court • Henry Lawson

... de Vargnes, the Examining Magistrate, was the exact opposite of a practical joker. He was dignity, staidness, correctness personified. As a sedate man, he was quite incapable of being guilty, even in his dreams, of anything resembling a practical joke, however remotely. I know nobody to whom he could be compared, unless it be the present president of the French Republic. I think it is useless to carry the analogy any further, and having said thus much, it will be easily understood that a cold shiver passed through me when ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume IV (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... more skeptically still. "In the middle of New York State? And I alone can help him? You sound more and more as if you were playing a rather elaborate and not very funny practical joke. I've driven sixty miles to get here. What is ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science January 1931 • Various

... undertaking only foolhardy. (And by this you must not judge Yorke a villain and a coward; he would have been the first to volunteer and the loudest to urge on the others, but he had heard Fatima's hoofs behind him, and knew we were safe, and, rascal that he was, could not resist his practical joke nor his negro love of producing ...
— The Rose of Old St. Louis • Mary Dillon

... this?' says she. 'Is it a practical joke such as men play in those Griddle-cake and Lamb Clubs? I'm afraid I don't see the point. I heard, vaguely, that you were away. For three months I—we have not seen you or ...
— Roads of Destiny • O. Henry

... dearly loved a practical joke, learning the aspirations of the old sot, promised to confer on him the most eminent office in the world, and accordingly appointed him Kniaz Papa that is, prince-pope, with a salary of two thousand roubles and a palace at St. Petersburg. ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 8 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... disturb the course of ministerial negotiations, and to spread confusion through the political circles. He does not himself pretend that, on these occasions, he was actuated by public spirit; nor does he appear to have had any private advantage in view. He thought it a good practical joke to set public men together by the ears; and he enjoyed their perplexities, their accusations, and their recriminations, as a malicious boy enjoys the embarrassment ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... had made an excellent choice in the horse he had brought for his master's use, and the animal made its way rapidly through the mud and rain; but Norbert by this time was half mad with excitement, and spurred him madly on. As he neared home a new idea crossed his brain. Suppose it was a practical joke on the part of some of the members of the club? In that case, they would doubtless be watching for his arrival, and, after talking to him on indifferent subjects, would, when he betrayed any symptoms of impatience, overwhelm him with ridicule. The fear of this ...
— The Champdoce Mystery • Emile Gaboriau

... after we had left the Island of Ceylon behind us we were all made the victims of a cruel practical joke, of which Lynch and Fogarty were the authors, and for which lynching would hardly have been a sufficient punishment. It was in the early hours of the morning and while we were still "dreaming the happy hours away," that the loud report of a cannon shook the steamer from ...
— A Ball Player's Career - Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson • Adrian C. Anson

... instantly and were bursting with laughter. Of course I didn't notice the performance, but the effort not to notice it almost used me up. This will illustrate how the army "bummer" never let an opportunity slip for a practical joke, cost what it might. This fellow was a specimen of this genus that was ubiquitous in the army. Every regiment had one or more. They were always dirty and lousy, a sort of tramp, but always on hand at the ...
— War from the Inside • Frederick L. (Frederick Lyman) Hitchcock



Words linked to "Practical joke" :   caper, April fool, rag, trick, put-on, joke, antic, snipe hunt, hotfoot, prank



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