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Tawdry   Listen
noun
Tawdry  n.  (pl. tawdries)  A necklace of a rural fashion, bought at St. Audrey's fair; hence, a necklace in general. (Obs.) "Of which the Naiads and the blue Nereids make Them tawdries for their necks."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Tawdry" Quotes from Famous Books



... At the tawdry concert hall everything was as it should be, and in the brief interval before the arrival of the Poles he received inspiriting news from one of his workers. Money was flowing, buckets of it, but beyond doubt they held the longer purse. Their policy of offering ...
— The Henchman • Mark Lee Luther

... Sunday night on which she had sobbed herself to sleep, the consciousness had continually grown clearer that she could never find in her old mode of life any satisfying pleasure. She had caught a glimpse of something so much better, that her former world looked as tawdry as the mimic scenery of a second-rate theatre. A genuine man, such as she had not seen or at least not recognized before, had stepped out before the gilt and tinsel, and the miserable shams were seen in contrast ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... Yet the speech on the Begums as given by Moore does not cast Webster's best work at all into the shade. Webster did not have Sheridan's brilliant wit, but on the other hand he was never forced, never involved, never guilty of ornament, which fastidious judges would now pronounce tawdry. Webster's best speeches read much better than anything of Sheridan, and, so far as we can tell from careful descriptions, his manner, look, and delivery were far more imposing. The "manly eloquence" of Fox seems to have resembled Webster's more closely than that of any other of his English rivals. ...
— Daniel Webster • Henry Cabot Lodge

... language is exuberant but not exact, and to whom we should never think of referring for precise information or for well-digested thought and experience. His argument continually slides into wholesale assertion and vague declamation, and in his love of ornament he frequently becomes tawdry. For example, he tells us ("Apoc. Sketches," p. 265) that "Botany weaves around the cross her amaranthine garlands; and Newton comes from his starry home—Linnaeus from his flowery resting-place—and Werner ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... terribly greater finding than the first one, because it can go on for ever as it belongs to the part of us which does not die. That is my faith anyhow. To-morrow morning I will go ashore and into one of those big, tawdry Genoa churches, and listen to the music, standing in some quiet corner, and think about you and renew my vows to you. It won't be half bad to keep ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... of Culver Street he turned into Williams Avenue and hurried along through its din and turmoil, and past its tawdry shops until he came to one which he had not seen in many a day. The sight of its dirty window, filled with a disorderly assortment of familiar articles, took him back to the old life in Barrel Alley and the days when his good-for-nothing ...
— Tom Slade with the Colors • Percy K. Fitzhugh

... a strange, rude picture was presented to those eyes accustomed to the interior of lofty cathedrals: the smoky lanterns, the squat ceiling, the tawdry woodwork, the kneeling figures involuntarily jostling one another to the rolling of the ship, the resonant voice of Father Chaumonot, the frequent glitter of a breast-plate, a sword-hilt, ...
— The Grey Cloak • Harold MacGrath

... candles, whose light shone on a crowd of kneeling women, all dressed in black, and with black veils over their heads, the contrast between their sombre appearance and the gilding and paintings on the walls—handsome at a distance, but tawdry on a closer examination—being very striking. The organ is of splendid tone and quality and reverberated grandly through the aisles, and the whole scene was not without a certain impressiveness. I had not thought ...
— A Voyage in the 'Sunbeam' • Annie Allnut Brassey

... said Grace. "I think it is an imposture. This man was not a clergyman when he brought me the certificate; he was a man of business, a plain tradesman, a man of the world; he had a colored necktie, and some rather tawdry chains." ...
— A Perilous Secret • Charles Reade

... was dirty, greasy, and very proper for a Mersy Andrew or Scaramouch, with all its tawdry trappings, as hanging sleeves, tassels, &c. though torn and rent in almost every part; his vest underneath it was no less dirty, but more greatly; resembling the most exquisite sloven or greasy butcher; his horse (worse than ...
— The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of - York, Mariner (1801) • Daniel Defoe

... his imagination, the delicate strength of his fancy, are not to be discovered in the few pictures that bear his name at Manchester. His pictures are to be fairly seen only at Venice, where, in out-of-the-way churches, over tawdry altars, his colors gleam undimmed by time, and the faces of his Virgins look down with a still celestial sweetness. But there is one picture here, by a Venetian contemporary of John Bellini, before which we shall do well to pause. It is a ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... pleased with my own. I have been at mass, at church, and at the presbyterian meeting: an idea struck me at the last, in regard to the drapery of them all; that the Romish religion is like an over-dressed, tawdry, rich citizen's wife; the presbyterian like a rude aukward country girl; the church of England like an elegant well-dressed woman of quality, "plain in her neatness" (to quote Horace, who is my favorite author). There is a noble, graceful simplicity ...
— The History of Emily Montague • Frances Brooke

... distinction of being the only American poet of note who blandly ignores Slavery, and takes part with the aristocrat, as against the lowly. The same spirit runs through all his writings. He has a range of about three notes: a flunkeyish koo-tooing to soap-bubble eminence; a tawdry sympathy with aristocratic woe; and a drivelling contempt for angular Poor Relations, in bombazine gowns. Bombazine, by-the-way, is a cheap, carpetty-looking fabric, built of shoddy, and ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... delicate verses through the heart of a Southern plantation. Here, at length, seems to be one of those thoroughly national subjects for which critics have long been clamorous. The deepest passion is expressed without touching the tawdry properties of the "intense" school of poetry. The language passes from the ease of perfect simplicity to the conciseness of power, while the relation of emotion to character is admirably preserved. The moral—which, let us observe in passing, is decently covered ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 55, May, 1862 • Various

... the great and wonderful things of the Augustan city stand out in high relief, above the varied crowd that fills the streets, with all the dignity that centuries of power can lend. To the tawdry is opposed the splendid, the Roman general in his chiselled corselet and dyed mantle faces the Greek actor in his tinsel; the band of painted, half-clad, bedizened dancing-girls falls back cowering in awestruck silence as the noble ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 1 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... taking Jane by the hand he led her around behind the monster and up the broad tail to the great, horned back. "Now will we ride in the state that our forebears knew, before which the pomp of modern kings pales into cheap and tawdry insignificance. How would you like to canter through Hyde Park on a mount ...
— Tarzan the Terrible • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... native of the New England States, with whom I engaged for bed and board for eight dollars per week, I sallied forth to make my intended observations, preparatory to leaving for the west. Everything wore a novel aspect. The number of foreigners seen in the thoroughfares, the tawdry flimsily-built carriages, which strangely contrast with the more substantial ones seen in England, and the dresses of the people, all seemed strange to me. The habiliments of one or two in particular rivetted my attention. The first was a Kentuckian, who was dressed in a suit of grey home-spun ...
— An Englishman's Travels in America - His Observations Of Life And Manners In The Free And Slave States • John Benwell

... skin and rather large, able hands. She made mental note of the crisp organdie collar and cuffs, and was suddenly conscious that her shoes were too short of vamp, and her heels run down because they were too high. A revulsion of taste flowed over Lilly; she hated suddenly the rather tawdry cape piped in red, and mentally retailored herself with ...
— Star-Dust • Fannie Hurst

... enjoy himself after a day of arduous work, and by way of doing so, he ordered a drink or two that he did not really want. As a rule, he was abstemious, but the hall was very hot. It struck him as glaring and tawdry after the quiet dale where the water sparkled among the stones; and the pallid loungers with their stamp of indulgence differed unpleasantly from the hard, brown-faced ...
— Brandon of the Engineers • Harold Bindloss

... reminding him of all the things that he wanted to forget? The odor of her sachet annoyed him. A bath and boudoir! He realized now that she had always annoyed him with her pretty silly little affectations and her tawdry smatterings of the things that were worth while. He owed her nothing. He had made love to her, of course, because that was what a woman of her type expected from men of his. But there had been no damage done on either side, for he had not believed that she had ever really cared. And ...
— The Vagrant Duke • George Gibbs

... voices mingling two lives in one. They turn and pass proudly down between the aisles of wondering festal faces. Ah! the circle is drawing closer. One more quick whirl to keep them back, O flying skirt and dainty-winged feet! Too late! The music stops. The tawdry walls shut in again, the vulgar crowds return, they stand pale and quiet, the centre of a ring of breathless admiring, frightened, or forbidding faces. Her arms fold like wings at her ...
— Cressy • Bret Harte

... laid over the floor, and, with a few books, a vase of flowers, and one or two prints, the room had a home-like, and even elegant air, that struck us all the more forcibly from its contrast with the usual tawdry, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 79, May, 1864 • Various

... set sparkled with a tawdry garishness apt to fool those uninitiated into the secrets of photography. On the screen, colors which now seemed dull and flat would take on a soft richness and a delicacy characteristic of the society in which Kauf's characters ...
— The Film Mystery • Arthur B. Reeve

... aghast. She had done naught but wonder and stare. The trip had been a great delight, but she had never desired to linger or to dwell there. Certain sordid effects came over her; reminiscences of the muddy streets, the tawdry ...
— The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain and Other Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... think of the Queen's dress? I always thought Miss Dewhurst had better taste. Rather tawdry, ...
— More William • Richmal Crompton

... the miserable, poverty-stricken appearance of the whole district. The people crowd around him, losing all sense of manly dignity or mental degradation in the anxiety for gain. Skinny shrivelled hands touch his clothes in the hope of arresting his progress; worn-out tawdry finery is thrust before him, in the hope of tempting him to purchase. No shop, or rather store, is devoted to any particular object of gain. Butter, dates, olives, broken and pawned articles, are mixed up in the most absurd confusion. With brocaded coats, ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851 • Various

... keep up the laudatory strain, even in joke, the reviewer (his style points to Christopher North) calls a literary friend to his assistance, who takes the opposite view, and declares that the book is 'a tawdry tissue of tedious trumpery; a tessellated texture of threadbare thievery; a trifling transcript of trite twaddle and trapessing tittle-tattle.... Like everything that falls from her pen, it is pert, shallow, and conceited, a farrago of ignorance, ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... proceeds the ranks of the congregation kneel, stand, fall prostrate, and press the brow upon the ground with a rhythm so reverential and so dignified that the watcher forgets for a time the torn or tawdry raiment, the grime of the factory, the dust of the streets, and feels that each fresh attitude of devotion is indeed the true posture of prayer. It is as a sea troubled by the breath of some unseen spirit,—wave upon wave rising, bending, and finally casting itself low in humility ...
— By-Ways of Bombay • S. M. Edwardes, C.V.O.

... un-bend to kiss their children. If one of them lived in my house I should stick pins in him. Morality and goodness that lie no deeper than "behavior" are like the veneering they put on cheap tables—very tawdry and soon peeled off. ...
— A String of Amber Beads • Martha Everts Holden

... state of Indiana; and it was attached to the East District of Texas for the purposes of jurisdiction. Congressman Springer held up this bill for a time, using it as a club for the passage of a measure of his own upon which he was intent. Thus, it may be seen that the tawdry little tragedy in that land which indeed was 'No Man's Land' in time ...
— The Story of the Outlaw - A Study of the Western Desperado • Emerson Hough

... meadow between the barn and the hedge stood a man and a woman, both young. The man was a well-set-up, comely fellow, with a fine head of chestnut hair tied in a queue by a broad bow of black satin. He was dressed with certain tawdry attempts at ostentatious embellishments, which did not prepossess one at first glance in his favour. His coat of a fashionable cut was of faded plum-coloured velvet edged with silver lace, whose glory had long since departed. He affected ruffles, but for want of starch ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... cap, with its full furbelow of the same yellow, ill-washed, homely material, next to her head; over this, as second in degree, a sun-burnt straw hat, with faded pink ribbons, just showed its broken rim and tawdry trimmings; and, to crown all, and serve as a guard to the rest, a really serviceable grey-beaver bonnet, once mine, towered up as high as the celebrated crown in which brother Peter figures in Swift's "Tale of ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... face was black, and the other a deep red, while each of his eyes was surrounded with a circle of white, all of which had got to be a little confused in consequence of a night or two of orgies, succeeded by mornings in which the toilet had been altogether neglected. His dress, too, a blanket with tawdry red and yellow trimmings, with ornamented leggings and moccasins to correspond, had all aided in maintaining the accidental mystification. Mike followed his companion, growling out his discontent, and watching the form of the Indian, as the latter still went loping over the flat, ...
— Wyandotte • James Fenimore Cooper

... refinement when the uses of things are confounded. A pocket-handkerchief, at the best, is but a menial appliance, and it is bad taste to make it an object of attraction. FINE, it may be, for that conveys an idea of delicacy in its owner; but ornamented beyond reason, never. Look what a tawdry and vulgar thing an embroidered slipper ...
— Autobiography of a Pocket-Hankerchief • James Fenimore Cooper

... place the other day, did not present an agreeable spectacle. Brougham, who had thrust himself in among the party, was pitched upon, as having the best gift of the gab, to propose the Duke's health, which he did in a very tawdry speech, stuffed with claptraps and commonplaces. It was a piece of bad taste to select Brougham (who had nothing to do with Dover) for the performance of this office, which would have been more appropriately discharged ...
— The Greville Memoirs (Second Part) - A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 - (Volume 1 of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... Drabdump was sufficiently calm to explain that though she had overslept herself, and though it would have been all the same anyhow, she had come up to time. Bit by bit the tragic story was forced from her lips—a tragedy that even her telling could not make tawdry. She told with superfluous detail how—when Mr. Grodman broke in the door—she saw her unhappy gentleman lodger lying on his back in bed, stone dead, with a gaping red wound in his throat; how her stronger-minded companion ...
— The Big Bow Mystery • I. Zangwill

... leave broad stripes of grime round her neck and wrists, partly concealed by a necklace and bracelets of glass beads; and her green apron was marvellously braided in a large pattern. Martha, in her clean print dress, and white handkerchief pinned round her throat, was a pleasant contrast to the tawdry girl, who looked wildly at Stephen as he entered, as if she scarcely knew what ...
— Fern's Hollow • Hesba Stretton

... with which he spoke surprised Westray. Could it be that Mr Sharnall had motives other than mere kindness? Could it be that the picture was valuable after all? He walked across the room to look closer at the tawdry flowers and the caterpillar. No, it could not be that; the painting was absolutely worthless. Mr Sharnall had followed him, and they stood side by side looking out of the window. Westray was passing through a very brief interval of indecision. ...
— The Nebuly Coat • John Meade Falkner

... a room in Beak street, Regent street; a back apartment looking into a dingy court, furnished with a sort of tawdry, depressing luxury, and lighted by a pair of candles. A richly dressed woman who had once been extremely handsome, and still retained more than a trace of her charms, half reclined on a couch; a fluffy ...
— In Friendship's Guise • Wm. Murray Graydon

... I almost ran until I got to the walk nearest the band, where I tagged along with boys, both big and small. The march was played for some time, and no one could possibly imagine, how those familiar strains thrilled me. But there was an ever-increasing feeling of indignation that a tawdry coated circus band, sitting in a gilded wagon, should presume to play that march, which seemed to belong exclusively to the regiment, and to be associated only with scenes of ceremony ...
— Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888 • Frances M.A. Roe

... worst inn's worst room, with mat half-hung, The floors of plaster, and the walls of dung, On once a flock-heel, but repaired with straw, With tape-tied curtains never meant to draw, The George and Garter dangling from that bed Where tawdry yellow strove with dirty red, Great Villiers lies—alas! how changed from him, That life of pleasure, and that soul of whim! Gallant and gay, in Cliveden's proud alcove, The bower of wanton Shrewsbury and love; Or just as gay at council, in a ring Of mimic ...
— The Age of Pope - (1700-1744) • John Dennis

... his boxing-gloves, and yet forget that, the older they grow, the more plainly may the knuckles inside be felt. Moreover, in the heat of contest, the eye is insensibly drawn to the crown of victory, whose tawdry tinsel glitters through that dust of the ring which obscures Truth's wreath of simple leaves. I have sometimes thought that my young friend, Mr. Biglow, needed a monitory hand laid on his arm,—aliquid sufflaminandus erat. I have never thought it good husbandry to water the tender ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... the windows illustrate the life of the Saviour, and the Revelations of St. John at Patmos. The whole Cathedral impresses the mind greatly with its beauty and solemnity, so essentially different to the too frequently tawdry decorations of most of the Roman ...
— Fair Italy, the Riviera and Monte Carlo • W. Cope Devereux

... Stott's life, I am constrained to pause and apologise. I have become uncomfortably conscious of my own limitations, and the feeble, ephemeral methods I am using. I am trifling with a wonderful story, embroidering my facts with the tawdry detail of ...
— The Wonder • J. D. Beresford

... which he remembered that the early San Francisco pioneers in the first flush of their wealth had imported directly from France, and which for years after gave an unexpected foreign flavor to the western domesticity and a tawdry gilt equality to saloons and drawing-rooms, public and private. But he was observant of a corresponding change in Harcourt, when a moment later he entered the room. That individuality which had kept the former shopkeeper of Sidon distinct from, although perhaps not superior to, his customers—was ...
— A First Family of Tasajara • Bret Harte

... went out into the hall and called from the depths the figure of Bland, fully attired in his flashy garments, and looking tawdry and ...
— Seven Keys to Baldpate • Earl Derr Biggers

... swelled—with such a leap since my departure that I must continually inquire my way; and the very cemetery was brand-new. Death, however, had been active; the graves were already numerous, and I must pick my way in the rain among the tawdry sepulchres of millionaires, and past the plain black crosses of Hungarian labourers, till chance or instinct led me to the place that was my father's. The stone had been erected (I knew already) "by admiring friends"; I could now judge their taste in monuments. Their taste in literature, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... in an April day, when the thin broken clouds are scattered over heaven. Almost in the very entrance of the valley stood 65 a large and gloomy pile, into which I seemed constrained to enter. Every part of the building was crowded with tawdry ornaments and fantastic deformity. On every window was portrayed, in glaring and inelegant colours, some horrible tale, or preternatural incident, so that not a ray of light could enter, 70 untinged by the medium through which it passed. The body of the building was full of people, some of them ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... faded the eyes regarded me wistfully and reproached me, but I would not heed them, but turned my own eyes away. And again I saw the menacing negro faces and the burning sunlight and the strange flag that tossed and whimpered in the air above my head, the strange flag of unknown, tawdry colors, like the painted face of a woman in the street, but a flag at which I cheered and shouted as though it were my own, as though I loved it; a flag for which I would ...
— Captain Macklin • Richard Harding Davis

... ivory for a few glass beads to hang about his neck, to the Christian maiden selling her white body for a score of tiny stones and an empty title to tack before her name—all march, and fight, and bleed, and die beneath its tawdry flag. ...
— Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow • Jerome K. Jerome

... with the saint her host owns, and they will talk together and teach one another. A saint is supposed to know only its own particular work, although one named Santa Rita is said to be a worker of impossibilities. Some of them are only very rudely carved images, dressed in tawdry finery. I have sometimes thought that a Parisian doll of modern make, able to open and close its eyes, etc., would in their esteem be even competent to raise the dead! [Footnote: Writing of Spanish American Romanism, Everybody's Magazine says: ...
— Through Five Republics on Horseback • G. Whitfield Ray

... ponderous motion. It was enough to make a brain dizzy with the clanging thunder of the engines, the whizzing spindles of red and yellow, and the hot daylight glaring over all. The looms were watched by women, most of them bold, tawdry girls of fifteen or sixteen, or lean-jawed women from the hills, wives of the coal-diggers. There was a breathless odor of copperas. As he went from one room to another up through the ascending stories, he had a vague sensation of being followed. Some shadow lurked at times behind the engines, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... of William Morris does the civilized world owe its salvation from the mad rage and rush for the tawdry and cheap in home decoration. It will not do to say that if William Morris had not called a halt some one else would, nor to cavil by declaring that the inanities of the Plush-Covered Age followed the Era of the Hair-Cloth Sofa. These things are frankly admitted, but the refreshing fact remains ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... town again to-day. Called at the houses of a couple of the princes, in which I found everything dirty, with an attempt at tawdry finery. A black houri was set to fan me. We were served with rose syrup. Walked to the prince's garden—a beautiful wilderness of cocoa and betel nuts, sweet orange and mango, with heterogeneous patches of rice, sweet potatoes ...
— The Cruise of the Alabama and the Sumter • Raphael Semmes

... the dwellers therein were housed like cattle and slept like pigs, and looked but once out to the woods and waters of the landscapes round for one hundred times that they looked at their hidden silver in an old delf jug, or at their tawdry coloured prints of St. ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... swelled, with such a leap since my departure, that I must continually inquire my way; and the very cemetery was brand new. Death, however, had been active; the graves were already numerous, and I must pick my way in the rain, among the tawdry sepulchres of millionnaires, and past the plain black crosses of Hungarian labourers, till chance or instinct led me to the place that was my father's. The stone had been erected (I knew already) "by admiring friends"; I could now judge their taste in monuments; ...
— The Wrecker • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... crowded the pavements. The exquisite weather had drawn them out. Belles with their ringlets and sun-shades, and beaux with canes and curled moustaches. Irish women in tawdry finery, and ladies of color with every variety of ornament, and ridiculous imitation of fashion. Now and then a respectable-looking negro would pass, turning out of the way, ...
— Aunt Phillis's Cabin - Or, Southern Life As It Is • Mary H. Eastman

... Gore as an Anglican house more or less on Benedictine lines. It acquired a big house among gardens, built, I believe, by a wealthy manufacturer. It has since been altered and enlarged, but Hugh drew an amusing set of sketches to illustrate the life there, in which it appears a rueful and rather tawdry building, of yellow stone and blue slate, of a shallow and falsetto Gothic, or with what maybe called Gothic sympathies. It is at Mirfield, near Bradford, in the Calder valley; the country round full of high chimneys, and the sky much blurred with smoke, but the grounds and gardens were large, ...
— Hugh - Memoirs of a Brother • Arthur Christopher Benson

... next day a cheap, tawdry and unimposing procession wended its way through the back streets of Paris, its leader seeking to escape even the edges of the mob, lest the people should fall upon the somber little pageant and rend it into fragments. This was the funeral cortege ...
— The Mississippi Bubble • Emerson Hough

... Fleet Street at night, and by a dim lamp I saw pasted up some tawdry nonsense about Wastrels and how London was rising against something that London had hardly heard of. Then I suddenly saw, as in one obvious picture, that the modern world is an immense and tumultuous ocean, full of monstrous and living things. And I saw that across ...
— Tremendous Trifles • G. K. Chesterton

... will be in the pure sea. A farmhouse stands at the end of the village with a farmyard of deep manure and black puddles coming up to the side-door. The church, once interesting, has been restored with more than usual barbarity, blue slates, villa ridge-tiles, the vulgarest cheap pavement, tawdry decorations and furniture, such as are supplied to churchwardens by ecclesiastical tradesmen. But the tower is still grey, and has looked unchanged over the Axe estuary for hundreds of years. Turning up from the main street is a Devonshire lane eight feet wide ...
— More Pages from a Journal • Mark Rutherford

... cried to him at last. "I am a fool, too, that I have ever wasted my thoughts and time upon you. Why can't I make you see? In every other way, heaven knows, you are clever enough! And yet there comes this vulgar, commonplace, tawdry little woman from heaven knows where, and makes such a fool of you that you are willing to fling away your career—to hold your wrists out for John ...
— Peter Ruff and the Double Four • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... the counter finally decided upon the toys, ordered them sent to her home and looking scornfully at the cheap jewelry and tawdry ornaments passed out of the store. She was thinking what a nuisance cousins were, how ridiculous it was in her father to insist each year upon her remembering his poor relations at Christmas, just when she needed all her allowance for herself, and planning ...
— The Girl and Her Religion • Margaret Slattery

... sympathy, to deaden in her that hatred? Her whole soul cried out in denial. By daily life in natural relations with the poor, by a fruitful contact with fact, by the clash of opinion in London, by the influence of a noble friendship, by the education of awakening passion—what had once been mere tawdry and violent hearsay had passed into a true devotion, a true thirst for social good. She had ceased to take a system cut and dried from the Venturists, or any one else; she had ceased to think of whole classes of civilised society with abhorrence and contempt; and there had dawned ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... yellow-washed plaster facade and the lichen-covered tiles of the roof and tower make up a charming mass of varied colouring when viewed against the broad blue band of sea and sky beyond. Within, the church is mean and tawdry, just a ...
— The Naples Riviera • Herbert M. Vaughan

... turned, so as to exhibit a dubious neck—with a large pin of bullion or other metal, and an imaginative waistcoat with exceedingly fanciful glass buttons, and trowsers that cried with a loud voice, "Come look at me and see how cheap and tawdry I am; my master, what a dirty buck!" and a little stick in one pocket of his coat, and a lady in pink satin on the other arm—"How-dy-do—Forget ...
— The History of Pendennis, Vol. 2 - His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy • William Makepeace Thackeray

... no way of regarding the case can any excuse be found for persons who steal and stick into their discourses tawdry little bits of bombast, purple patches of thought or sentiment, which cannot be supposed to do any good to anybody, which stand merely instead of a little stolen gilding for the gingerbread which is probably stolen too. I happened the other day to turn over a volume of discourses ...
— The Recreations of A Country Parson • A. K. H. Boyd

... Broadway late at night, after an evening at some tiresome play and supper at some yet more tiresome and tawdry restaurant. I had been having what is popularly supposed to be a "good time," and I was bored. There had been a recent deep fall of snow. The night was clear and cold. Below Herald Square I met comparatively few pedestrians, and those ...
— Penguin Persons & Peppermints • Walter Prichard Eaton

... of old, with your queenly derision, How you would disdain the belle's tawdry array! Free footsteps untrammelled, cool hand of decision, Sweet laugh like bells pealing, were yours in the day When you reigned over men by the might of your beauty; No fetters were o'er you in body or brain; The world would bow down in the gladness of duty Could you but ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 22, September, 1891 • Various

... instinct with beauty and grace." A dim idea came upon her that when this happy time should arrive, no one would claim her necklace from her, and that the man at the stables would not be so disagreeably punctual in sending in his bill. "'All-beautiful in naked purity!'" What a tawdry world was this, in which clothes and food and houses are necessary! How perfectly that boy-poet had understood it all! "'Immortal amid ruin!'" She liked the idea of the ruin almost as well as that of the ...
— The Eustace Diamonds • Anthony Trollope

... some charming French vignettes!" cried Opportunity, running up to a table where lay some inferior coloured engravings, that were intended to represent the cardinal virtues, under the forms of tawdry female beauties. The workmanship was French, as were the inscriptions. Now, Opportunity knew just enough French to translate these inscriptions, simple and school-girl as they were, as wrong as they could possibly be ...
— The Redskins; or, Indian and Injin, Volume 1. - Being the Conclusion of the Littlepage Manuscripts • James Fenimore Cooper

... to-day, the occasion of our meeting would afford him even greater pleasure than the proceedings which celebrated the centenary of his chief discovery. The kindly heart would be moved, the high sense of social duty would be satisfied, by the spectacle of well-earned wealth, neither squandered in tawdry luxury and vainglorious show, nor scattered with the careless charity which blesses neither him that gives nor him that takes, but expended in the execution of a well-considered plan for the aid of present and future generations of those who are ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... shirt-sleeves, I saw no one about. I was glad to reach my room unobserved. I knew that my feeling was unreasonable, but entering that sedate house, under the blaze of the morning sun, I was ashamed of my tawdry dress. A sense of dissipation and revelry seemed to hang about me—and of ...
— The Jervaise Comedy • J. D. Beresford

... there was a drop-scene on which was daubed a blue lake with very green hills in the distance. As the tobacco smoke grew thicker and the fiddles went on squealing, this tawdry picture began to mesmerize me. I seemed to be looking out of a window at a lovely summer landscape where there were no wars or danger. I seemed to feel the warm sun and to smell the fragrance of blossom from the islands. And then ...
— Greenmantle • John Buchan

... the rich, diamond-studded, gold repeater, and looked at the tawdry, ignorant, vain creature that ...
— The Lost Lady of Lone • E.D.E.N. Southworth

... meant anything, but she proved that she was uninjured by getting on her feet. She stared at her disturber bewilderedly, then, perceiving her bonnet, stooped to pick it up, and stood for a moment trying sleepily to poke it into shape and readjust its tawdry plumage. But all of a sudden she gave a start and began looking around her with recovered energy. She missed something, evidently. Gorham followed the direction of her gaze as it shifted, and as his glance met the line of the road he perceived a little figure standing in the middle of the railway ...
— The Law-Breakers and Other Stories • Robert Grant

... inner meaning of Christian Science, and to make us privy to a lot of chatty stuff about Mrs. Althea Jones, a professional healer, and to supply us with detailed plans and specifications of the apartment house in which she lives, works her tawdry miracles, and has her being. Here, in sober ...
— A Book of Prefaces • H. L. Mencken

... ragged finery which one sees only in East London. Their pale faces were dominated by that most unlovely of human expressions, the cunning and shrewdness of the bargain-hunter who starves if he cannot make a successful trade, and yet the final impression was not of ragged, tawdry clothing nor of pinched and sallow faces, but of myriads of hands, empty, pathetic, nerveless and workworn, showing white in the uncertain light of the street, and clutching forward for food which was already ...
— Twenty Years At Hull House • Jane Addams

... steps of the portal to grant us admittance; and, throwing open the valves, we entered the chapel and were struck by the justness of its proportions, the simple majesty of the arched roof, and the mild solemn light, equally diffused over every part of the edifice. No tawdry ornaments, no glaring pictures, disgraced the sanctity of the place. The high altar, standing distinct from the walls, which were hung with a rich velvet, was the only object on which many ornaments were lavished, and even there the elegance of the workmanship concealed the glare of the ...
— Dreams, Waking Thoughts, and Incidents • William Beckford

... handed down from the Ark. Coats and trousers, equipped for their last adventure with mysterious darns and patches, cheated the eye like a painted beauty at a ball. Women's finery lay in disordered heaps—silk blouses covered with tawdry lace, skirts heavy with gaudy trimming—the draggled plumage of fine birds that had come to grief. But here buyer and seller met on level terms, for each knew to a hair the value of the sorry garments; and they chaffered with crafty eyes, each searching for the ...
— Jonah • Louis Stone

... dismal and tawdry everything seemed to her. Her little white dress, the dress in which she had lain by her mother's side, was soiled and tumbled, and the wreath of roses looked crushed and faded, as Rosalie took it from the ...
— A Peep Behind the Scenes • Mrs. O. F. Walton

... delight to the bay, it had existed since the Neapolitans came to drag the Pacific with their nets. Painters and art students from the attics of the Quarter "discovered" it. When they made a kind of Bohemia about it, "the gang" of tawdry imitators and posing professional Bohemians followed as a matter of course. That invasion put it on the fair way toward failure. But Sanguinetti's saved itself by dropping one degree lower. "South of Market" discovered it. That district is somewhat to San ...
— The Readjustment • Will Irwin

... also? If she knows better how to do this than Protestant churches do, small blame to her for that. For the people delight in these graven images. Listen to the hushed "oh bel!" which falls from them as they peep through grating after grating; and the more tawdry a chapel is, the better, as a general rule, they are contented. They like them as our own people like Madame Tussaud's. Granted that they come to worship the images; they do; they hardly attempt to conceal it. ...
— Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino • Samuel Butler

... up in bed in her nightdress, her hair in disorder, and the room felt hot and stuffy and looked more tawdry than ever. She exclaimed at the sight of his flowers. He deposited the big bunch by the side of her, and seated himself on the edge of the bed. She had been reading a book, and he noticed it was the sort of book that Langton ...
— Simon Called Peter • Robert Keable

... the captive Chief, who seemed equally pleased with him; at the same time be caught the ill-omened look of Black Snake, distorting his face with rage, jealousy and revenge, as it glowed from beneath his tawdry plume of many colors. Hastening his daughter along, who was quickly followed by the wolf as she gave a peculiar call, they ...
— Birch Bark Legends of Niagara • Owahyah

... before the Confucian tablets, are now closed, and their courts are overgrown with weeds. The Buddhist temples are hideous, both outside and inside, built of a crumbling red brick, with very dirty brick floors, and the idols are frightful and tawdry. We went to several which have large monasteries attached to them, with great untidy gardens, with ponds for sacred fish and sacred tortoises, and houses for sacred pigs, whose sacredness is shown by their monstrous obesity. In the garden of the Temple ...
— The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither • Isabella L. Bird (Mrs. Bishop)

... there was a white cloth and a lighted lamp and a small crucifix; and above the crucifix, supported against the stone-work of the bridge, there was a picture of the Virgin with her Child, and there was a tawdry wreath of paper flowers, so that by the light of the lamp you could see that a little altar had been prepared. And on the table there was a plate containing kreutzers, into which the faithful who passed and took a part in the evening psalm of praise, might put an offering for ...
— Nina Balatka • Anthony Trollope

... with some of the best blood of England in his veins, is so far, far below the standard that marks the gentleman. Surely vice is degrading in more ways than one. To the professor, Sir Hastings, with his handsome, dissipated face, stands out, tawdry, hideous, vulgar—why, every word he says is tinged with coarseness; and yet, what a pretty boy he used to be, with his soft, sunny ...
— A Little Rebel - A Novel • Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

... ordinary appearance of modern places of amusement for the people. It was brilliant with false richness and tawdry splendor. There were paintings there, and tables at which wine was sold, gilded chandeliers and glasses that held a quartern of brandy, velvet hangings and wooden benches, the shabbiness and rusticity of an ale-house with the decorations ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... Maiden Goddesses, does tell 'em so, unless it be Doctor Crambo here—If any one calls 'em Whores 'tis he, he that by an assum'd Authority thinks he may say any thing; the Ladies, I dare say for the Poet, were drest in such clean Linnen, and were so far from being Tawdry, that no Scrutineer but our severe Master of Art but wou'd have thought Charitably of 'em. Well, but huge Rampant Whores they must be with him tho, and through that very mouth that simper'd and primm'd before, as if such ...
— Essays on the Stage • Thomas D'Urfey and Bossuet

... alike were scrupulously clean. Sacred vessels, for cooking and washing, were stowed away out of reach of defilement. Above his bed the simple-hearted soldier had nailed a crude coloured print of the Kaiser-i-Hind in robes and crown; and on the opposing wall hung a tawdry looking-glass, almost as ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... with beaming faces and bright attire. The men, women, and children of the people were on foot, a mass of color on the opposite side of the plaza: the women in gaudy cotton frocks girt with silken sashes, tawdry jewels, and spotless camisas, the coquettish reboso draping with equal grace faces old and brown, faces round and olive; the men in glazed sombreros, short calico jackets and trousers; Indians wound up in gala blankets. In the foreground, on prancing silver-trapped horses, ...
— The Doomswoman - An Historical Romance of Old California • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... of pocketbook, since all his money went into it, and a very shabby one at that. He had a cheap wit and swaggeringly condescending air which he practiced on the simple inhabitants of Everdoze, and in his banter he was not always kind. Yet notwithstanding that he was tawdry both in dress and speech the villagers did not venture much into the conversational arena with him because they knew that they were not his equals in banter ...
— Pee-wee Harris • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... her with distaste. Everything was not only cheap, but common and tawdry. Still, the dining-room, like all the other rooms in the chalet, was singularly ...
— The Chink in the Armour • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... of course, be made for tawdry accessories and repeated coats of shiny oleaginous paint—very disagreeable where it has peeled off and almost more so where it has not. What work could stand against such treatment as the Valsesian terra-cotta figures have had ...
— Essays on Life, Art and Science • Samuel Butler

... peculiarities, which one can be much better informed of during one's residence there, than by reading all the books in the world afterward. While you are in Catholic countries, inform yourself of all the forms and ceremonies of that tawdry church; see their converts both of men and women, know their several rules and orders, attend their most remarkable ceremonies; have their terms of art explained to you, their 'tierce, sexte, nones, matines; vepres, complies'; ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... young or old, or child either, all days of my life. Also Mrs. Clerke's kinswoman sings very prettily, but is very confident in it; Mrs. Clerke herself witty, but spoils all in being so conceited and making so great a flutter with a few fine clothes and some bad tawdry things worne with them. But the charge of the barge lies heavy upon me, which troubles me, but it is but once, and I may make Pierce do me some courtesy as great. Being come home, I weary to bed with sitting. The reason ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... so unshapely as that huge wen at the back of her head. "Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens!" He could not help quoting the words to himself. She was dressed with some attempt at being smart, but her ribbons were soiled, and her lace was tawdry, and the fabric of her dress was old and dowdy. He was quite sure that he would feel no pride in calling her Mrs. Gibson, no pleasure in having her all to himself at his own hearth. "I hope we shall escape the bitterness of Miss Stanbury's tongue if we drink tea tete-a-tete," ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... affectation, formality, hypocrisy, and pride are acquired; and where children the most promising are presently transformed into vain, pert misses, who imagine that to perk up their heads, turn out their toes, and exhibit the ostentatious opulence of their relations, in a tawdry ball night dress, is the summit ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... ceiling tawny with smoke. A frugal allowance of wood was smouldering on a couple of fire-dogs on the hearth. And on the chimney-piece above stood a foggy mirror and a modern clock with an inlaid wooden case; Fraisier had picked it up at an execution sale, together with the tawdry imitation rococo candlesticks, with the zinc beneath showing through the lacquer ...
— Cousin Pons • Honore de Balzac

... murderer could be seen from the stream of blood that ran slowly from Mrs. Jasher's breast. Apparently she had been stabbed in the lungs, for the wound was on the right side. There she lay, poor woman, in her tawdry finery, crumpled up, battered and bruised, dead amongst the ruins of her home. Jane ...
— The Green Mummy • Fergus Hume

... most clung, if not to self-interest, to personal crotchets. What is more darling to a man than the child of his intellect or fancy? How the poor poetaster hugs his tawdry verses as if they were the imperial ornaments of genius! Just in the same way does the politician love the policies himself hath devised, pressing them forward at all hazards, while he is blind to the utility of others. This is the basis of that aspect of selfishness which often mars in the approbation ...
— Ginx's Baby • Edward Jenkins

... not uncomfortably furnished, though the articles had originally been of the tawdry fashion which such places affect, and had probably not been new by several stages ...
— A Noble Woman • Ann S. Stephens

... Finally judgment was given to the effect that the nuns should retain a portion, while the part of a finger was granted to the church, which was accordingly done. It was this saint who gave rise to our word "tawdry." She was popularly known as St. Awdrey, and strings of beads sold in her name at fairs, etc., came to be made of any worthless glass or rubbish, and were called tawdry. The crypt is used as a regular church, ...
— Holborn and Bloomsbury - The Fascination of London • Sir Walter Besant

... pillows, lay Madame de Staemer. The theme of the room was violet and silver, and to this everything conformed. The toilet service was of dull silver and violet enamel. The mirrors and some of the pictures had dull silver frames, There was nothing tawdry or glittering. The bed itself, which I thought resembled a bed of state, was of the same dull silver, with a coverlet of delicate violet I hue. But Madame's decollete robe was trimmed with white fur, so that her hair, dressed high upon her head, seemed ...
— Bat Wing • Sax Rohmer

... most of which the Blessed Virgin figured more or less prominently, I took it that the legitimate occupant of the place was a Roman Catholic. The furniture was of the simplest kind, consisting of a table in the centre,—upon which burned the cheap, tawdry, brass lamp that illumined the apartment,—a large, upturned packing-case, covered with a gaudy tablecloth, and serving as a table against the rear wall of the building, and three or four old, straight- ...
— A Pirate of the Caribbees • Harry Collingwood

... them discontented with the fashion of their garments, and still more just now the women, of all ranks, with the fashion of theirs; and with everything around them which they have the power of improving, if it be at all ungraceful, superfluous, tawdry, ridiculous, unwholesome. I would make them discontented with what they call their education, and say to them—You call the three Royal R's education? They are not education: no more is the knowledge which would enable you to take the highest prizes given by ...
— Sanitary and Social Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... the door for Houston, and one of them entered with him. It was a small room, evidently a woman's, and its general squalor and dilapidation were made more apparent by tawdry, shabby bits of finery strewn here and there. Curtains of red damask, faded and ragged, hung at the window, excluding the daylight, and on a small table a kerosene lamp had burned itself out. But Houston took little notice of the room; as his eyes became accustomed ...
— The Award of Justice - Told in the Rockies • A. Maynard Barbour

... Gates is at fall of night, when the shadows cast a seemly cloak over the vulgarity of the modern buildings, and give an air of romance even to the glittering lights of the appalling esplanade, which flaunts its tawdry modernity cheek by jowl with the quay, built by one of the Ptolemies, and in use even ...
— The Hawk of Egypt • Joan Conquest

... enter the theatre noisily, when the play was half over, and even then to pay little attention to the players. In Fielding's farce of "Miss Lucy in Town," produced in 1742, when the country-bred wife inquires of Mrs. Tawdry concerning the behaviour of the London fine ladies at the playhouses, she is answered: "Why, if they can they take a stage-box, where they let the footman sit the two first acts to show his livery; then they come in to ...
— A Book of the Play - Studies and Illustrations of Histrionic Story, Life, and Character • Dutton Cook

... remained, so to say, in the nursery most of the time, speaking when she was spoken to but without any of her characteristic freshness and boldness. She was the schoolgirl that Clowes expected her to be. Her very dress irritated Lawrence, as if he had seen a fine painting in a tawdry frame, or a pearl of price foiled by a spurious setting. He had not felt any glow at all, and was left to suppose his fancy had played him a trick. Disappointing! and now there was no chance of revising his impression, for apparently she ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... was pleased to call his little dog-hole in the Champs Elysees was, in fact, a gorgeous house in the tawdry style of modern Paris—resplendent in gray iron railings, and high gate-posts surmounted by green cactus plants ...
— The Sowers • Henry Seton Merriman

... come noisily from their boarding-houses; as I saw the loafers standing at the street corners, smoking their dirty pipes and gazing at us; as I saw the tawdry girls, bare-headed or in flaunting hats covered with garish flowers, my thoughts, for no conceivable reason, ran upon Winnie more persistently than they had run upon her since I had abandoned all hope ...
— Aylwin • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... amusedly from a one-lunged runabout. The staring so flustered him that even the pride of coming from Chicago and knowing about motors did not prevent his feeling feeble at the knees as he tried to stalk by the grinning motored aristocracy. He would return to the show-tent, to hate the few tawdry drops and flats—the patch of green spattered with dirty white which variously simulated a daisy-field, a mountainside, and that part of Central Park directly opposite the Fifth Avenue residence of the millionaire counterfeiter, who, you remember, always comes out into the street to plot with ...
— The Trail of the Hawk - A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life • Sinclair Lewis

... seemed to me so pathetic, so awry, so obstinate in its honest illusions, so silly in its dishonest pretences. "Have I been content with that?" I thought, staggered. And I was sorry for what I had been. I perceived that the ideals of my life were tawdry, that even the best were poor little things. And I perceived that it was the same with everyone, and that even the greatest men, those men that I had so profoundly admired as of another clay than mine, were as like the worst as one sheep was like another ...
— The Matador of the Five Towns and Other Stories • Arnold Bennett

... axes of much the same pattern as those with which our forbears hewed through Norman mail caught the light of the polished brass lamps and flashed upon the wainscot, while even an odd cross-cut saw had been skillfully impressed into the scheme of ornamentation. But there was nothing pinchbeck or tawdry about them. Whirled high by sinewy hands, or clenched in hard brown fingers while a steady eye stared down the barrel, that a bridge might span a ravine where no bridge had been, or venison help to cut down the grocery bill and leave the more for the breaking ...
— Lorimer of the Northwest • Harold Bindloss

... Atkyns, a single gentleman, not a little finical and ceremonious, and a mighty beau, though of the tawdry sort, and affecting foreign airs; as if he was afraid it would not be judged by any other mark that ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... of the foot-lights, there is always something fascinating in the life of the strange beings who dwell beyond them, and who are never so unreal as in their own characters. In their shabby bestowal in those mean upper rooms, their tawdry poverty, their merry submission to the errors and caprices of destiny, their mutual kindliness and careless friendship, these unprofitable devotees of the twinkling-footed burlesque seemed to be playing rather ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... prison—constructively—and he leaped from squalor into fussy opulence. He wrote for the rabble, and he who writes for the rabble has a ticket to Limbus one way. The Rossettis made their appeal to the Elect Few. Dickens was sired by Wilkins Micawber and dammed by Mrs. Nickleby. He wallowed in the cheap and tawdry, and the gospel of sterling simplicity was absolutely outside his orbit. Dickens knew no more about art than did the prosperous beefeater, who, being partial to the hard sound of the letter, asked Rossetti for a copy of ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Lovers • Elbert Hubbard

... all other passengers, when a man passed along the pavement on the side opposite to Alice's house. His garb was rude and homely, between that of a labourer and a farmer; but still there was an affectation of tawdry show about the bright scarlet handkerchief, tied, in a sailor or smuggler fashion, round the sinewy throat; the hat was set jauntily on one side, and, dangling many an inch from the gaily-striped waistcoat, glittered a watch-chain and seals, which appeared suspiciously out of character ...
— Ernest Maltravers, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... no sense can hit, Scar'd by the jargon of unmeaning wit, The senseless splendour of the tawdry stage[2], The loud long plaudits of a trifling age, Where dost thou wander? Exil'd in disgrace, Find'st thou in foreign realms some happier place[3]? Or dost thou still though banish'd from the town, In ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... food for himself. While it was being brought he sat down in the very chair that he had used so often—for he had been ushered into his old parlor—and gazed about him. There were the same tawdry ornaments on the mantel-piece, and the same books on the dusty shelf. Nothing was altered except the tenant of that room; but how great a change had taken place in him! What a face the dingy mirror offered him in place of that which it had shown him last! When the inn-keeper ...
— Bred in the Bone • James Payn

... where many generations of his family had lived and died. Dear to him were its squares and narrow streets, the ancient stone houses, the many picturesque records of its great age ever, as it seemed to him, frowning with a stern and magnificent serenity amongst the tawdry evidences of later days and the irresistible march of modernity. The wine-shops of a hundred years ago flourished still side by side with the more pretentious cafes, half French, half Russian, which had ...
— The Traitors • E. Phillips (Edward Phillips) Oppenheim

... substitute oaths for adjectives, which is a social habit on too low a plane for criticism here. But on all sides in the social conversation of the young people of this day, it seems to be agreed to give good, plain, strong English the go-by and to indulge in the embroidery of adjectives. Tawdry adjectives such as 'beautiful', 'lovely,' 'horrid', 'awful', and the like worn tinsel. I suppose I might venture the assertion without fear of contradiction, that this is the stock in trade in most young girls in qualifying their conversation. The use ...
— Observations of a Retired Veteran • Henry C. Tinsley

... clothes, the girls suspected, she frequently wore. On Saturday, a half-day, upon which all the girls wore their best clothes to the office, if they had matinee or shopping plans for the afternoon, Miss Cottle often appeared with her frowsy hair bunched under a tawdry velvet hat, covered with once exquisite velvet roses, and her muscular form clad in a gown that had cost its original owner more than this humble relative could earn in a year. Miss Cottle's gloves were always expensive, and always dirty, and her elaborate ...
— Saturday's Child • Kathleen Norris

... astonishing young lady, '"is India's one pure idyll. Elsewhere she offers other things, foolish opulence, tawdry pageant, treachery of eunuchs and jealousies of harems, thefts of kings' jewels and barbaric retributions; but they are all actual, visualized, or part of a past that shows to the backward glance hardly more relief and vitality than a Persian painting"—I should like ...
— The Pool in the Desert • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... lead down into an interior that is small, very usually planned, and much defaced by XVII century gilt—yet is essentially dignified and impressive. Eliminate the tawdry altars, take away the stucco Saints and painted Virgins, let the chapels be mere shadowy corners in the dark perspective, and the little church appears like the meeting-place of the Faithful of an early Christianity. Its nave and each of the narrow side aisles rise to round tunnel-vaults; ...
— Cathedrals and Cloisters of the South of France, Volume 1 • Elise Whitlock Rose

... closed again in the centre, so that they were unable to escape from the rain which deluged the whole affair. The water fell in torrents over the gay bonnets, caps, crinolines, etc., until they became a mass of tawdry, and the bare pates of those under them came ludicrously into view. It required the assistance of a carpenter and his aids to get the poor fellows free from their bondage, and enable them to seek safety in flight. As to the man fastened against the wall, he bore his torture, ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 2, August, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... wear a beautiful dress. I don't like this dress a bit!" said Cherry, plucking nervously at the coarse and tawdry calico frock Mrs. Ginniss had thought it quite a triumph to obtain and to ...
— Outpost • J.G. Austin

... he was brought back again, and if I am not mistaken, this performance was repeated, in the whole, three times. There was, certainly nothing solemn or effective in it; and certainly very much that was droll and tawdry. But this remark applies to the whole ceremony, except the raising of the Host, when every man in the guard dropped on one knee instantly, and dashed his naked sword on the ground; ...
— Pictures from Italy • Charles Dickens

... we arrived at the square, but the whole place was alive with earthly lights. High up to our left hung the church, outlined in fire—tawdry, I dare say, with its fairy lights of electricity, yet speaking to three-quarters of this crowd in the highest language they knew. Light, after all, is the most heavenly thing we possess. Does it matter so very much if it is decked out and arranged in what to superior persons ...
— Lourdes • Robert Hugh Benson

... the Middle Ages, or the place a strange quarter of the Orient, I might not have been so shocked at the knowledge which a tawdry machine, or the mountebank behind it, seemed to have of the affairs of persons against whom no charge of contact with the lower strata of life could be brought. But in our civilization, where nothing but the commonplace is to be ...
— The Blue Wall - A Story of Strangeness and Struggle • Richard Washburn Child

... of fairyland, because he recognises its practical possibilities, and yet does not lose the glamour which was never on sea or land. No artist could give more cultured notions of fairyland. In his work the vulgar glories of a pantomime are replaced by well-conceived splendour; the tawdry adjuncts of a throne-room, as represented in a theatre, are ignored. Temples and palaces of the early Renaissance, filled with graceful—perhaps a shade too suave—figures, embody all the charm of the impossible ...
— Children's Books and Their Illustrators • Gleeson White

... chatting and planning the work for the morrow, and eating hunter's stew, scout style, patent applied for. And notwithstanding the slurs which Roy had cast at the sky it was pleasant to see that vast bespangled blackness over head. In the solemn night the neighboring shacks were divested of their tawdry cheapness, the loose and flapping strips of tar-paper and the broken windows were not visible, and the buildings seemed clothed in a kind of sombre dignity—silent memorials of the boys who had made those old boards and ...
— Roy Blakeley in the Haunted Camp • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... in bad taste. Don't be one of the See-me-with-'em-all-on type. A cheap ornament spoils a handsome costume, better none at all; too many ornaments, even if good, look tawdry. ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... even than its death. They were true poets who wrote the old Vedic hymns and sang those wonderful adorations when the last stars were fading in the splendour of the dawn. Beside the glory of the sun's announcement all royal progresses are tawdry and mean; beside the beauty of the dawn, slowly unveiling the day while the heavens wait in silent worship, all poetry is idle and empty. It is the divinest of all the visible processes of Nature, and the sublimest of all her ...
— Under the Trees and Elsewhere • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... literary reputation; and in this, perhaps, the great Congreve was not far wrong. A touch of Steele's tenderness is worth all his finery; a flash of Swift's lightning, a beam of Addison's pure sunshine, and his tawdry playhouse taper is invisible. But the ladies loved him, and he was ...
— Thackeray • Anthony Trollope

... Night would bring no rest to Cruces, while the crowds were there to be fed, cheated, or amused. Daybreak would find the faro-tables, with their piles of silver and little heaps of gold-dust, still surrounded by haggard gamblers; daybreak would gleam sickly upon the tawdry finery of the poor Spanish singers and dancers, whose weary night's work would enable them to live upon the travellers' bounty for the next week or so. These few hours of gaiety and excitement were to provide the Cruces people with ...
— Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands • Mary Seacole

... which Brown treated the company at his hotel. There were about twenty people present, nearly all men; Joan wondered where they had been collected from, and she did not quite like the look of any of them. Fanny was making a great deal of noise, and how funny and tawdry their faces looked under the bright light. After supper there was a dance, the table was pushed aside, and someone—Joan saw with surprise that it was Daddy Brown—pounded away at a one-step on the piano. Everyone danced, the men, since there were not enough ladies ...
— To Love • Margaret Peterson

... shape. Each season we fix fresh millinery upon her changeless head. We hang around her robes of woven words. Only the promise of her ample breasts we cannot altogether hide, shocking us not a little; only that remains to tell us that beneath the tawdry tissues still stands the changeless statue God carved with ...
— Tea-table Talk • Jerome K. Jerome

... failed to perceive was that the crowd hated excellence. Woodhouse wanted a gently graduated progress in mediocrity, a mediocrity so stale and flat that it fell outside the imagination of any sensitive mortal. Woodhouse wanted a series of vulgar little thrills, as one tawdry mediocrity was imported from Nottingham or Birmingham to take the place of some tawdry mediocrity which Nottingham and Birmingham had already discarded. That Woodhouse, as a very condition of its own being, hated any approach to originality ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... which we kept an eye on the very corners of the globe. Did I look from the smutted window at my side, it was into the struggling throng on the pavement below or, over the line of push-carts displaying tawdry wares, into the park where the riff-raff seemed to reign, because the riffraff was always there, dozing on the benches. Did I look to the other hand, it was through the great murky room, through air charged with tobacco smoke and ...
— David Malcolm • Nelson Lloyd

... I realised this over Rossetti's poem "Cloud Confines." It is made out of a little lump of tawdry material which says nothing, is, indeed, mere twaddle. Yet it is wrought with so marvellous a technique that we seem to catch in it a far-away echo of voices that were heard when the morning stars sang together, and it clings tremulously ...
— Impressions And Comments • Havelock Ellis

... gentility? People in different stations in England entertain different ideas of what is genteel, {314} but it must be something gorgeous, glittering, or tawdry, to be considered genteel by any of them. The beau-ideal of the English aristocracy, of course with some exceptions, is some young fellow with an imperial title, a military personage of course, for what is military ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... agreeable contrast to the flat, unenclosed tracts of corn-land so general throughout Cambridgeshire. After following this lane about a quarter of a mile, we came upon a small, retired ale-house, surrounded by trees. As we approached the door a stout, vulgar-looking woman, dressed in rather tawdry finery, ran out to meet us; on coming nearer, however, she stopped short as if surprised, and then re-entered the house as quickly as she had left it, calling to some one within as she did so. After waiting for a minute ...
— Frank Fairlegh - Scenes From The Life Of A Private Pupil • Frank E. Smedley

... was so big that following fast upon his life came a lamentable decline in art: his personality being so great that his son and a goodly flock of disciples tried to paint just like him. All originality faded out of the fabric of their lives, and they were only cheap, tawdry and dispirited imitators. That is one of the penalties which Nature exacts when she vouchsafes a great man to earth—all others are condemned to insipidity. They are whipped, dispirited and undone, and spontaneity dies a-borning. No man should try ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... that I can still find it valuable without the woman I want." He again laughed bitterly and said to himself, "You poor, blind, groveling beast, you, what a poor excuse for life you have, and what a tawdry substitute you would offer Claire for the vast joy that is hers! Oh, it ...
— Claire - The Blind Love of a Blind Hero, By a Blind Author • Leslie Burton Blades

... peculiar attributes of her sex; at least from those which constitute its peculiar charm; for she had abundance of its foibles,—a coquetry and love of admiration, which age could not chill; a levity, most careless, if not criminal; [69] and a fondness for dress and tawdry magnificence of ornament, which was ridiculous, or disgusting, according to the different periods of life in which it was indulged. [70] Isabella, on the other hand, distinguished through life for decorum of manners, and purity beyond the breath of calumny, was content with the legitimate ...
— The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V3 • William H. Prescott

... pairs of hands attempted to untie the strings and to unwrap the coverings; then, across Mrs. Jones's lap there lay a tawdry dress of pale-blue silk, spotted and soiled. Pinned to it was a note in a scrawling feminine hand: "This will wash and make over nicely, I think, if you can't wear it ...
— The Sunbridge Girls at Six Star Ranch • Eleanor H. (Eleanor Hodgman) Porter

... Biddy. She dropped the pillow and proceeded with her toilet. The dirty skirt with its tawdry flounces was surmounted by a bodice of the ...
— Light O' The Morning • L. T. Meade

... converted into two: one was a bonnet-shape maker's, the other was opened by a tobacconist, who also dealt in walking-sticks and Sunday newspapers; the two were separated by a thin partition, covered with tawdry striped paper. ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... next Saturday at the Haymarket. Carestini sings, Pescetti composes; the house is made up into little boxes, like the playhouses abroad." Dr. Burney gives a comic account of the undertaking. "The opera, a tawdry, expensive and meretricious lady, who had been accustomed to high keeping, was now reduced to a very humble state. Her establishment was not only diminished, but her servants reduced to half-pay. Pescetti seems to have been her prime minister, Carestini her ...
— Handel • Edward J. Dent



Words linked to "Tawdry" :   shoddy, cheap, meretricious, loud, garish, trashy, tatty, tasteless, tawdriness, flashy, tacky, brassy



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