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Fiddling   /fˈɪdlɪŋ/   Listen
Fiddling

adjective
1.
(informal) small and of little importance.  Synonyms: footling, lilliputian, little, niggling, petty, picayune, piddling, piffling, trivial.  "A footling gesture" , "Our worries are lilliputian compared with those of countries that are at war" , "A little (or small) matter" , "A dispute over niggling details" , "Limited to petty enterprises" , "Piffling efforts" , "Giving a police officer a free meal may be against the law, but it seems to be a picayune infraction"






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"Fiddling" Quotes from Famous Books



... off, John?" "Get off! Sure, aw did. It wur noan o' me. It wur a keaw jobber, at did it. . . . Aw'll tell yo what, for two pins aw'd frame that summons, an' hang it eawt o' th' window; but it would look so impudent." Old John's wants were inquired into, and we left him fiddling among his rusty tools. We next went to a place called Hammond's Row—thirteen poor cottages, side by side. Twelve of the thirteen were inhabited by people living, almost entirely, upon relief, either from the parish or from the ...
— Home-Life of the Lancashire Factory Folk during the Cotton Famine • Edwin Waugh

... in a musical country [Italy], where singing, fiddling, and piping are not only the common topics of conversation but almost the principal objects of attention, I cannot help cautioning you against giving in to those—I will call them illiberal—pleasures, though music is commonly reckoned one of ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... butterflies have the power of making a sharp crackling sound by means of hooks on the wings. The katydid, so annoying to some in its persistent ditty, so full of reminiscences to others of us, is a large, green, fiddling grasshopper. ...
— The Log of the Sun - A Chronicle of Nature's Year • William Beebe

... more. I've had a frightful row with Dora. She says I've been fiddling with her things. It's all because she's so untidy. As if her things could interest me. Yesterday she left her letter to Erika lying about on the table, and all I read was: He's as handsome as a Greek god. I don't know who "he" was for she came in at that moment. It's probably Krail Rudi, ...
— A Young Girl's Diary • An Anonymous Young Girl

... that did not look up to the clouds would be anything but a catgut-scraper! Even Elshender's fiddle was the one angel that held back the heavy curtain of his gross nature, and let the sky shine through. He ought to have been set fiddling every Sunday morning, and from his fiddling dragged straight to church. It was the only thing man could have done for his conversion, for then his heart was open, But I fear the prayers would have closed it before the sermon came. He should rather have been compelled to take his fiddle ...
— Robert Falconer • George MacDonald

... now, from the windows of the east wing, there burst, suddenly, the sound of fiddling, a masterly fiddling inspired by infernal passion, controlled by divine technique. It was his uncle, Sir Frederick, and he wished him at the devil. If all accounts were true, Sir Frederick, when not actually fiddling, was going there with a celerity that left ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... is as lovely as an angel," she replied, her eyes fascinated. And her saying was equally true. He was such a demure boy-angel, bright-haired, long and shapely in the limb, as the painters and carvers loved to set in Madonna's court, careful about her throne, or below the dais fiddling, or strumming lutes to charm away her listlessness. Moreover, Angioletto was the name he went by, though he had been christened Dominick. And he came from Borgo San Sepolcro—far cry from windy Chioggia—a place among the brown Tuscan ...
— Little Novels of Italy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... failure at Herat was scarcely calculated to maintain in the astute and practical Afghans any hope of fulfilment of the promises which the western powers had thrown about so lavishly, while it made clear that, for some time at least to come, the Persians would not be found dancing again to Russian fiddling. The abandonment of the siege of Herat rendered the invasion of Afghanistan an aggression destitute even of pretext. The Governor-General endeavoured to justify his resolution to persevere in it by putting forth the argument that ...
— The Afghan Wars 1839-42 and 1878-80 • Archibald Forbes

... certain of, though. With all the Michael Angelos, the Raphaels, the Guidos and the other old masters, the sublime history of Rome remains unpainted! They painted Virgins enough, and popes enough and saintly scarecrows enough, to people Paradise, almost, and these things are all they did paint. "Nero fiddling o'er burning Rome," the assassination of Caesar, the stirring spectacle of a hundred thousand people bending forward with rapt interest, in the coliseum, to see two skillful gladiators hacking away each others' ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... in her cheeks, "will you please stop fiddling around this kitchen? It makes me nervous to see you. I nearly burned myself in the steam of that kettle and I'm liable to drop something ...
— The Camerons of Highboro • Beth B. Gilchrist

... to entertain suspicions when Adele had looked at him reproachfully before tea-time. Now his imagination had ripened into certainty—so he thought. The young people must be for ever separated. He said roughly: "There are other things which are more important than fiddling, one of them is to know ...
— The Silver Lining - A Guernsey Story • John Roussel

... that, No formal invitation, No gold-laced coat, no stiff cravat, No feast in contemplation, No silk-robed dames, no fiddling band, No flowers, no songs, no dancing,— A tribe of red men, axe in hand,— Behold the guests advancing! How fast the stragglers join the throng, From stall and workshop gathered! The lively barber skips along And leaves a chin half-lathered; The smith has flung his hammer ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... blacking-bottle below his daidly, as he was bidden. There being a wire over the cork for some purpose or other, or maybe just to look neat, we had some fight to get it torn away, but at last we succeeded. I had turned about for a jug, and the wife was rummaging for the screw, while Benjie was fiddling away with his fingers at the cork—Save us! all at once it gave a thud like thunder, driving the cork over poor Benjie's head, while it squirted there-up in his eyes like a fire-engine, and I had ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - tailor in Dalkeith • D. M. Moir

... it. I'm in pain too. I've got neuritis in my spine and I can't sleep for it. I haven't had any proper sleep for a week.—Oh my God, my God, my God! do you think I'd grumble if that were all? I can't, I can't lie on my back all my life playing patience or fiddling over secondhand penknives! I was born for action. Action, Val! I'm not a curate. I'd like to smash something—crush it to a jelly." Val mincingly pointed out that such a consummation was not far off, but he was ignored. "Oh damn the war! and damn England ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... back their maxims along with that which will shatter them to pieces—as if he said, 'Oh, yes! go on, talk your fill about making the best of this world, and rejoicing and doing as you like, dancing on the edge of a precipice, and fiddling, like Nero, whilst a worse fire than that of Rome is burning'? Well, I do not think that is the meaning of it. Though there is irony to be found in the Bible, I do not think that fierce irony like that which might do for the like of Dean Swift, is the intention of the Preacher. ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... fiddling while Rome is burning. How can you reconcile it to your conscience to play with cinematographs when a horrible conspiracy is threatening life ...
— Gossamer - 1915 • George A. Birmingham

... is away off. Look here, Paine, I'm through fiddling with the deal. I'm through with that undertaker postmaster or any other go-between. I just wanted you to understand my position; that's why I've told you all this. Now we'll talk figures. I might go on bidding, ...
— The Rise of Roscoe Paine • Joseph C. Lincoln

... the fiddling[9] which it was the pill[10] of the day to cry down. I was much gratified by the show and altogether. I sate by the Duke of Wellington, who was good enough to go out to fetch me a pot of porter. When "See the Conquering ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... give it up any time I like." I repeated my question: "Are you justified in this extravagance?" He replied: "Look here, Guv., excuse me saying so, but you're a bit out of date. It does not pay nowadays, fiddling about over small things. I don't mean anything personal, Guv'nor. My boss says if I take his tip, and stick to big things, I can make big money!" I said I thought the very idea of speculation most horrifying. Lupin said "It is not speculation, it's a dead cert." I advised him, at all ...
— The Diary of a Nobody • George Grossmith and Weedon Grossmith

... 1816, and it is written to his publisher, Murray: "As the news of Venice must be very interesting to you, I will regale you with it. Yesterday being the feast of St. Stephen, every mouth was put in motion. There was nothing but fiddling and playing on the virginals, and all kinds of conceits and divertisements, on every ...
— A Wanderer in Venice • E.V. Lucas

... Landor used to keep five books, and only five, by him, I have heard it said. When he had finished one of these, and finished it completely, he gave it away, and bought another. I do not recommend that, but I do recommend the principle of thorough reading on which it is founded. Do not be fiddling over too ...
— How To Do It • Edward Everett Hale

... Duke of Reisenburg was an enthusiastic lover of music, and his people were consequently music mad. The whole city were fiddling day and night, or blowing trumpets, oboes, and bassoons. Sunday, however, was the most harmonious day in the week. The Opera amused the Court and the wealthiest citizens, and few private houses could not boast their ...
— Vivian Grey • The Earl of Beaconsfield

... to thinking. Many things that had been dark to her suddenly became light. She seemed to see Royal Lee fiddling while the world was in travail, but beside him rose a vision of David in sailor's blue, ready to do his whole duty for ...
— Patchwork - A Story of 'The Plain People' • Anna Balmer Myers

... flinging, And joking and blessing, and kissing and singing, And they were all merry; why not, to be sure, That O'Hanlon got inside of Phadrig Crohoore; And they all talked and laughed, the length of the table, Aiting and drinking while they were able— With the piping and fiddling, and roaring like thunder, Och! you'd think your head fairly was splitting asunder; And the priest shouted, "Silence, ye blabblers, agin," And he took up his prayer-book and was going to begin, And they ...
— Successful Recitations • Various

... seen me, But women hear me play, Sometimes at door or window, Fiddling the souls away— The child's soul and the colleen's ...
— The Book of Hallowe'en • Ruth Edna Kelley

... through it; it had a living, expressive air, and you could see that his eyes took things in. My companion and I wondered greatly who and what he could be. It was fair-time in Chateau Landon, and when we went along to the booths, we had our question answered; for there was our friend busily fiddling for the peasants to caper to. ...
— An Inland Voyage • Robert Louis Stevenson

... readily promised, and ten minutes later the three young aviators were in the chassis of the big monoplane. After a moment's fiddling with levers and adjustments Roy started the motor. Heavily laden as it was the staunch aeroplane shot upward steadily after a short run. As it grew rapidly smaller, and finally became a mere black shoe button in the distance, Miss Prescott turned to old Peter ...
— The Girl Aviators on Golden Wings • Margaret Burnham

... sweet and rich discovery—that the adventures of the last ten days had been so real and meant so much to him. No man of action, leading a deep, full life of actual experience, felt the need of scribbling, painting, fiddling. "Glorious, by Jove!" he exclaimed between great puffs of smoke. "I've struck a fact!" He had been so busily creating these last days that he had lost the yearning to describe merely what others did. The children had caught him body ...
— The Extra Day • Algernon Blackwood

... Androscoggin,—what would his ancestor, the gallant Marquis who came over with Baron Castine to America, what would the whole line of ancestors, from the crusaders down, say to see their descendant in such a place as this? He has always held his head high, though he has earned his bread by fiddling, varied by shoemaking in the winter-time. He has always kept good company, he would tell you, and would rather go hungry any day than earn a dinner among people who do not regard the decencies of life. Even in this place, people come to feel the quality of the old man, ...
— Melody - The Story of a Child • Laura E. Richards

... gave me a momentary uneasiness to see my rustic throne beneath the oak usurped by a noisy group of girls, the silence and decorum of my imaginary realm broken by music and laughter, and, in a word, my whole kingdom turned topsy-turvy with romping, fiddling, and dancing. But I am naturally, and from principle, too, a lover of all those innocent amusements which cheer the laborer's toil, and, as it were, put their shoulders to the wheel of life, and help the poor man along with his load of cares. Hence I saw with no small delight the rustic swain ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 3 • Various

... but the Puritanic precisianism.[346] In some States, notably Iowa, the statute-makers have been constantly engaged in adopting, changing, abrogating and re-enacting the provisions of their divorce laws, and Howard has shown how much confusion and awkwardness arise by such perpetual legislative fiddling over ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... is frankly romantic. Miss KAYE-SMITH in Three against the World (CHAPMAN AND HALL) colours up life with lavish brush. We have a returned convict who fiddles in the rain for the benefit of dancing village children; we have impresarios who stand at the doors of inns and hear him thus fiddling; an untidy heroine who speaks in gasps and gurglings; and a lover who goes to literary parties in London and therefore (the inference is implied by the author) falls in love with two ladies at once. Such a novel is refreshing after the mathematical accuracy with which clerks, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, June 3, 1914 • Various

... me, do. And isn't it magnificent about the Navy? How about those 'Terrible' fellows? Constance, do you realize how all this must strike a man who was scribbling and fiddling about disarmament a year ago? And do you realize who gave that ...
— The Message • Alec John Dawson

... Willie, which produced a thundering laugh; 'but I am teaching the callant a better trade, and that is, feasting and fiddling.' ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... Again the same writer says: "Handell with his lousy crew, a great number of foreign fiddlers, had a performance for his own benefit at the theatre." One of the dons writes of the performance as follows: "This is an innovation; but every one paid his five shillings to try how a little fiddling would sit upon him. And, notwithstanding the barbarous and inhuman combination of such a parcel of unconscionable scamps, he [Handel] disposed of ...
— The Great German Composers • George T. Ferris

... directly and simply: I need not tell the author of "Elder Conklin" that sweetness and simplicity of expression take more out of one than fiddling harmonics on one string. I felt it my duty to write, but it has been a distressing one. It would have been better for me to have lain in the brown grass on the cliff, or to have walked slowly by the sea. It would have been kinder of you to have written to me directly ...
— Oscar Wilde, Volume 2 (of 2) - His Life and Confessions • Frank Harris

... night, there were those who gladly paid the price. Others, in whose veins the blood of martyrs did not flow, substituted rags for leads and pretended that they made a more natural and less woolly curl. Heat, however, will melt the proudest head and reduce to fiddling strings the finest product of the waving-pin; so anxious mothers were stationed over their offspring, waving palm-leaf fans, it having been decided that the supreme instant when the town clock struck ten should be the one chosen for releasing ...
— Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... prison in 1858, Peace resumed his fiddling, but it was now no more than a musical accompaniment to burglary. This had become the serious business of Peace's life, to be pursued, should necessity arise, even to the peril of men's lives. His operations extended beyond the bounds of his native town. The house of a ...
— A Book of Remarkable Criminals • H. B. Irving

... fiddling with the sails; and when those were flattened like a racing yacht's, Dan had to wait on the big topsail, which was put over by hand every time she went about. In spare moments they pumped, for the packed fish dripped ...
— "Captains Courageous" • Rudyard Kipling

... hovered and began to settle nearby, and there was Van Artevelde leaning over its rail and fiddling frantically with whatever it was that stuck up on it—a weird, angled contraption of pipes and belts topped by a whirring blade. A boy stood at his shoulder and tried to help him. As the platform descended to ...
— Wind • Charles Louis Fontenay

... came fiddling out of a barn With a pair of bagpipes under her arm; She could pipe nothing but fiddle-cum-fee, The mouse hath married the bumble-bee. Pipe, cat; dance, mouse; We'll have a wedding ...
— A History of Nursery Rhymes • Percy B. Green

... been in the school house a day in my life. Can't read neither write nor figure. I went to church. Our first preacher was name Prince Jones. The biggest games I played was ball and card. I was one of the best dancers. We danced the old juland dance, swing your partner, promonate. Danced by fiddling. The fiddlers could beat the fiddlers of today. Get your partners, swing them to the left and to the right, hands up four, swing corners, right hands up four promonate all around all the way, git ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Arkansas Narratives Part 3 • Works Projects Administration

... she, 'and in want for the barest necessities; and this man fiddling his time away! I had a struggle persuading him to give up his wretched toy; but I've handled harder cases. You should of seen the light in the mother's wan face when he consented! The twelve dollars won't be much, though it will ...
— Ma Pettengill • Harry Leon Wilson

... leave to go down to see their men. They were guided to their rooms by sounds of music and uproarious laughter. They found Le Duc seated on a three-legged stool on the top of a table fiddling away, while old Francois, three black women, Tom and Brown, were dancing in the strangest possible fashion, whirling round and round, kicking up their heels, and joining hands, while Jack lay on a bed at the farther end of the room, looking as if he longed ...
— From Powder Monkey to Admiral - A Story of Naval Adventure • W.H.G. Kingston

... Is the lad gane daft? God has gien to some men wisdom and understanding, to ithers the art o' playing on the fiddle and painting pictures. There shall be no painting, fiddling Crawford among ...
— Scottish sketches • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... plantation were permitted to "frolic" whenever they wanted to and for as long a time as they wanted to. The master gave them all of the whiskey that they desired. One of the main times for a frolic was during a corn shucking. At each frolic there was dancing, fiddling, and eating. The next morning, however all had to be prepared to report as ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Georgia Narratives, Part 3 • Works Projects Administration

... the key in your cashbox this morning, uncle," said Helen, glancing up from a book, "while you were fiddling with your ...
— Helen with the High Hand (2nd ed.) • Arnold Bennett

... There is no greater mistake. It is the practical, prosaical fanatic who does the work; and the poet, if he tries to do it, is certain to put down his spade every five minutes, to look at the prospect, and pick flowers, and moralise on dead asses, till he ends a Neron malgre lui-meme, fiddling melodiously while Rome is burning. And perhaps this is the secret of Raleigh's failure. He is a fanatic, no doubt, a true knight-errant: but he is too much of a poet withal. The sense of beauty enthrals ...
— Sir Walter Raleigh and his Time from - "Plays and Puritans and Other Historical Essays" • Charles Kingsley

... themselves from the million-eyed world. In a few days the Court came down upon them from London. "Mamma" came with them—and I hope that she, at least, was welcome. Then followed show and ceremony, and amusements of the common, unpoetic, unparadisiacal, Courtly order. There were "fiddling and dancing every night," and feasting, and full-dressing, and all that. Still nothing seems to have interfered much with the Queen's happiness and content, for Lady Lyttleton wrote of her about this ...
— Queen Victoria, her girlhood and womanhood • Grace Greenwood

... casting down my eyes, and fiddling uneasily with one of the buttons of his coat, "it is hardly a question of 'like,' is it? I do not imagine that you like it much yourself?—one cannot always be thinking of ...
— Nancy - A Novel • Rhoda Broughton

... angle of sofas, opening windows because it was 'so stuffy,' and closing them a minute later with complaints about the draught, forcing occupants of arm-chairs to get up because the carpet was caught, fiddling with pictures because they were crooked either with floor or ceiling, and never realising that in the old house these latter were nowhere parallel. But her chief occupation was to prevent the children ...
— A Prisoner in Fairyland • Algernon Blackwood

... any sound except the throbbing of their machinery, and a fairy fiddling of unseen crickets, which seemed to make the silence more intense, under the great sparkling dome that hung over ...
— The Golden Silence • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... see how I'll come out! I'll hold up my head with the best of them. (Puts on his hat with an air, and struts up and down the room.) I'll give my lessons in the great concert-room, and won't I smoke away at the best puyke varinas—and, when you catch me again fiddling at the penny-hop, ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... a millionaire, because I hate both the names Spencer and Grenville—your invitation is meant kindly, but—the city in the summer-time for me. Here, while the bourgeoisie is away, I can live as Nero lived— barring, thank heaven, the fiddling—while the city burns at ninety in the shade. The tropics and the zones wait upon me like handmaidens. I sit under Florida palms and eat pomegranates while Boreas himself, electrically conjured up, blows upon me his Arctic breath. As for trout, you know, yourself, ...
— Options • O. Henry

... fiddling and dancing, however, could quite drown apprehension concerning the safety of the post and the security of the English hold upon the great region over which this fort and its distant neighbors stood ...
— The Old Northwest - A Chronicle of the Ohio Valley and Beyond, Volume 19 In - The Chronicles Of America Series • Frederic Austin Ogg

... at as singular a knot of people as could have been selected from all his heterogeneous auditors. Indeed, considering that we might all be classified under the general head of Vagabond, there was great diversity of character among the grave old showman, the sly, prophetic beggar, the fiddling foreigner and his merry damsel, the smart bibliopolist, the sombre Indian and myself, the itinerant novelist, a slender youth of eighteen. I even fancied that a smile was endeavoring to disturb the iron gravity ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... Ginger, who with averted gaze was fiddling with his clothes in the opposite corner of the ring. He was as removed from communication as if he had been in another world. She continued to stare, wide-eyed, and Ginger, shuffling his feet self-consciously, plucked at ...
— The Adventures of Sally • P. G. Wodehouse

... you, if you don't mind," said the other, coming up beside him. "I'm not in the habit of beating about the bush. When I've got anything to do, I do it without much fiddling. Barry Lapelle is down at my place. He has asked me to represent him in a little controversy that seems to call for physical adjudication. How will day after to-morrow at five ...
— Viola Gwyn • George Barr McCutcheon

... on the judge's bench, was furtive, scared, nervous, fiddling with his papers and clearing his ...
— Tharon of Lost Valley • Vingie E. Roe

... to repent of their movements; for in one corner of the tap-room sat Billy Waters, a well-known character about town, a Black Man with a wooden leg was fiddling to a Slaughterman from Fleet-market, in wooden shoes, who, deck'd with all the paraphernalia of his occupation, a greasy jacket and night-cap, an apron besmeared with mud, blood, and grease, nearly an inch thick, ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... there a few settlers' houses, but not yet a great many. The country was not a lonely one for all that. Every now and then the frightened prairie-chickens ran across the road or rose with their quick, whirring flight; ten thousand katydids and grasshoppers were jumping, fluttering, flying, and fiddling their rattling notes, and the air seemed full of life. They were considerably delayed by Albert's excursions after new insects, for he had brought his collecting-box and net along. So that when, about the middle of the afternoon, as they stopped, in fording a brook, ...
— The Mystery of Metropolisville • Edward Eggleston

... a resolution to rise early in the morning, and so I rose by candle, which I have not done all this winter, and spent my morning in fiddling till time to go to the office, where Sir G. Carteret did begin again discourse on Mr. Holland's proposition, which the King do take very ill, and so Sir George in lieu of that do propose that the seamen ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... was a grand success. Even the intensely critical small fry dancing on the pavement without to the scraping and fiddling of the string band, had to admit that. So far as they were concerned it was all right, but what shall we say of the guests within? They who glided easily over the canvassed floors, bowed, and scraped and simpered, "just like the big folks ...
— Violets and Other Tales • Alice Ruth Moore

... a player of the violin once myself, sir," he remarked in after years to a friend; "but I soon found that fiddling and soldiering didn't agree—so I gave it up, sir! I gave ...
— Boys' Book of Famous Soldiers • J. Walker McSpadden

... lass Will blench to hear the date of it—Forty-five,— Poor souls! Why will the men be fighting so, Running away to find out death, as if It were some tavern full of light and fiddling? And when the doors are shut, what of the girls Who gave themselves away, and still must live? Are not ...
— Emblems Of Love • Lascelles Abercrombie

... 'What! Sapperment! you compose fiddling tunes, young man?' Friedrich Wilhelm was roaring at the shrinking Erbprinz. 'Just like my fool of a son. He blows squeaks on a tube which he calls my beloved flute' (the King gave a rough imitation of his son's refined speech). ...
— A German Pompadour - Being the Extraordinary History of Wilhelmine van Graevenitz, - Landhofmeisterin of Wirtemberg • Marie Hay

... i.e. "um Antwort wird gebeten" (an answer is requested), for which A. Treichel records the following renderings: um Ausdauer wird gebeten (perseverance requested); und Abends wird getanzt (and in the evening there is dancing); und Abends wird gegeigt (and in the evening there is fiddling); und Abends wird gegessen (and in the evening there is eating); und Andere werden gelastert (and others are abused) (392. V. 114). This side of the linguistic inventiveness of childhood, with its double-entendre, its puns, its folk-etymologies, its ...
— The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought • Alexander F. Chamberlain

... he would find Jan Thoreau at home. He remembered Jan quite vividly. The Indians called him Kitoochikun because he played a fiddle. Blake, the Iron Man, disliked him because of that fiddle. Jan was never without it, on the trail or off. The Fiddling Man, he called him contemptuously—a baby, a woman; not fit for the big north. Tall and slim, with blond hair in spite of his French blood and name, a quiet and unexcitable face, and an air that Blake called "damned superiority." ...
— Back to God's Country and Other Stories • James Oliver Curwood

... Buffle, "and that's why I wanted us to get up a Bible-class like the one we have. If everybody will try to see what's good in his neighbor's theories and what's bad in his own, his fortune—his religion, I mean—is a sure thing. Fiddling on one string always makes a thin sort ...
— Romance of California Life • John Habberton

... stand to my credit. I have taken a nap on horseback; I have marched for miles, a musket on my shoulder, in complete slumberous unconsciousness; I have nodded while Phelps was acting, snoozed while Mario was singing, and played the marmot while Remenyi was fiddling; awful confession, I have dozed through an important debate in the House of Commons! I am yawning at present. It is to be hoped the reader is not. And so I burned daylight the while we drove through a country reputed to be pregnant with surprises of scenery ...
— Romantic Spain - A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. II) • John Augustus O'Shea

... Cunningham is not this moment fiddling with my neck, I owe to you. I offer my thanks, and I remain at your service. ...
— The Reckoning • Robert W. Chambers

... laughing all the way, for he just couldn't help it. You see, he had so many years of being one of the Dumps to make up for! He laughed until all his wrinkles were gone, and he was puffed out with happiness. He started bees buzzing, and grasshoppers fiddling, and crickets chirping. ...
— Boys and Girls Bookshelf (Vol 2 of 17) - Folk-Lore, Fables, And Fairy Tales • Various

... prevent his fiddling with the pipes and the ball-cock a little. Then we went down. All chance of further banditry was at an end. Next day was Sunday. The leak was noticed then. It was slow, but steady, and the plumber was sent for on ...
— New Treasure Seekers - or, The Bastable Children in Search of a Fortune • E. (Edith) Nesbit

... that sometimes he tired of cities and came down to Harvey to get the sunshine and prairie grass and the woods and the waters of his childhood into his soul. But the Captain waved the idea aside, "Nothing in the fiddling business, Grant—two dollars a day and find yourself, is all the best of 'em make," protested the Captain. "Let him do like I done—get at something sound and practical early in life and 'y gory, ...
— In the Heart of a Fool • William Allen White

... was not highly esteemed, if we may judge by the following ordinance, made in 1658: "And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any person or persons, commonly called Fiddlers, or minstrels, shall at any time after the said first day of July be taken playing, Fiddling, or making music in any inn, alehouse, or tavern or shall be proffering themselves, or desiring, or entreating any person or persons to hear them play ... shall be adjudged ... rogues, vagabonds, ...
— Famous Violinists of To-day and Yesterday • Henry C. Lahee

... ladder, but by a row in the fair, I was obliged to give it up, for how could I run up the ladder with a patten on my foot, which they put on to make my broken leg as long as the other. Well your hanner, being obliged to give up my bricklaying, I took to fiddling, to which I had always a natural inclination, and played about the streets, and at fairs, and wakes, and weddings. At length some Orange men getting acquainted with me, and liking my style of playing, invited me to their lodge, where they gave ...
— Wild Wales - Its People, Language and Scenery • George Borrow

... vessels coming out. As I turned, deciding to race home and give the word, my engines failed me. I went down and down, holding off from the white caps of the sea for two and one-quarter hours. My next adventure was the sight of some German aeroplanes. After fiddling around, I got my engine started, and flew up to 1,000 feet above the sea. It was lucky that I started the engine when I did, for the sea was becoming unpleasant. But then my magneto failed me, and I realised what was in store on those wind-torn waters. I was ...
— Some Naval Yarns • Mordaunt Hall

... of the scene which he inhabits; and you would not fancy there was a green or habitable spot in a universe thus awfully lighted up. And yet it is by the blaze of such a conflagration, to which the fire of Rome was but a spark, that we do all our fiddling, and hold domestic tea-parties at ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 2 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... couldn't," Lorne went on, "but I'm afraid it's rather futile, the kind of thing we've been trying to do. It's fiddling at a superstructure without a foundation. What we want is the common interest. Common interest, common taxation for defence, common representation, domestic management of domestic affairs, and you've ...
— The Imperialist • (a.k.a. Mrs. Everard Cotes) Sara Jeannette Duncan

... wall, slips up behind the ridge to cross it by some windy pass, obscures your sun. Next you hear the rain drum on the broad-leaved hellebore, and beat down the mimulus beside the brook. You shelter on the lee of some strong pine with shut-winged butterflies and merry, fiddling creatures of the wood. Runnels of rain water from the glacier-slips swirl through the pine needles into rivulets; the streams froth and rise in their banks. The sky is white with cloud; the sky is gray with rain; the sky is clear. The summer ...
— The Land Of Little Rain • Mary Hunter Austin

... possibly in an Apocalyptic hell, and his hosts either bearing him company or wandering aimlessly about in the same stupid, stolid, unmoral, unspiritual condition in which they were the moment they were engulfed in those blue waters. Why, Nero fiddling while Rome was burning is a pleasant ...
— Morality as a Religion - An exposition of some first principles • W. R. Washington Sullivan

... most of the laundering. Osborn said "Clever kid" when he knew, but it did not impress him much; his feeling about it was vague. Did he not work all day himself? All this fiddling donkey-work with which women occupied themselves at home—he dismissed it. Always, when he returned, by the dining-room fire, in an easy chair and a decent frock, sat Marie, sweet and leisured. It was evident that her household duties did ...
— Married Life - The True Romance • May Edginton

... do? What shall I do? Tell me what to do, you fellows.' We didn't take much notice; but his pony tried to bite me in the leg, and I said, 'Pull out a bit, old man, till we've settled the attack.' He kept edging in, and fiddling with his reins and his revolvers, and saying, 'Dear me! Dear me! Oh, dear me! What do you think I'd better do?' The man was in a deadly funk, ...
— This is "Part II" of Soldiers Three, we don't have "Part I" • Rudyard Kipling

... gain, that your heirs may squander and buy a hot place in hell! I am not one of your fashionable fine spoken mealy mouthed preachers: I tell you the plain truth. What are your pastimes? Cards and dice, fiddling and dancing, guzzling and guttling! Can you be saved by dice? No! Will the four knaves give you a passport to heaven? No! Can you fiddle yourself into a good birth among the sheep? No! You are goats, and goat like you may ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... that the English service in the hotel is at ten o'clock. But the announcement is purely speculative. The landlord "hopes" there will be service, and plunges again into the kitchen. Profane sounds of fiddling and dancing reach the ear from an outbuilding where the guides and the maids are celebrating the day by a dance. The spinster is in earnest, but the insuperable difficulty lies in the non-existence of a parson. The ...
— Stray Studies from England and Italy • John Richard Green

... the window. Devereux smiled and nodded, and the doctor stopped short at the railings, and grinned up in return, and threw out his arms to express surprise, and then snapped his fingers, and cut a little caper, as though he would say—'Now, you're come back—we'll have fun and fiddling again.' And forthwith he began to bawl his enquiries and salutations. But Devereux called him up peremptorily, for he wanted to hear the news—especially all about the Walsinghams. And up came Toole, and they ...
— The House by the Church-Yard • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... fond talk and can lead to nothing, fair sir," said he, turning away and fiddling with the keys of his strong boxes. "Yet I have no wish to be hard on you. Take my outside price, ...
— Sir Nigel • Arthur Conan Doyle

... never in the room with the queen! that's the drawing-room, beyond, where the queen sits; we go no farther than the fiddling-room. As to the queen, we don't see her week after week sometimes. The king, indeed, comes there to us, between whiles, though that's all as it happens, now Price is gone. He used to play at backgammon ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 1 • Madame D'Arblay

... he whispered, and stole quickly and softly after the boots and the spur-clank. He peeped into the upper room. The man was there - and it was Jakin, all dripping with moat-water, and he was fiddling about with the machinery which Robert felt sure worked the drawbridge. Robert banged the door suddenly, and turned the great key in the lock, just as Jakin sprang to the inside of the door. Then he tore downstairs and into the little turret at the foot of the ...
— Five Children and It • E. Nesbit

... remembrance of yesterday's disasters, and longing more than ever to do everything in his power to please the lady of the castle. But in spite of his good-will, the sheep strayed away as before, and he spent a toilsome day in vainly running after them, and fiddling away to no purpose. As before they seemed to merge into mist at the close of the day, and it was with a heavy heart he presented himself at the foot of the hill where the lady was awaiting him. Again she gave him a draught of the delicious wine, and again took the fiddle ...
— Up! Horsie! - An Original Fairy Tale • Clara de Chatelaine

... with his music, and therefore had to spread out comparatively few words over a vast expanse of music. The result is that a great part of the time the performers are on the stage is devoted to thought, the orchestra doing a tremendous amount of fiddling, etc., while the actors wander drearily around, with their arms folded across their pulmonary departments, and their minds evidently absorbed in ...
— Second Book of Tales • Eugene Field

... the restraining were the irksome. Indeed Rory was wont to grumble that that young Scot was just going to ruin; he had never been made to mind anybody when he was little, and now he was just growing up clean wild. For since Rory had given up fiddling and dancing and had settled down with Roarin' Sandy's Maggie in the north clearing he had become a very staid householder and frowned upon all youthful frivolity. And though his prophecies were perhaps overpessimistic, there was undoubtedly some cause for disapproval in ...
— The Silver Maple • Marian Keith

... battle, his power to endure privation, and his undoubted valor and bravery, that the Indian was a savage, and entertained the thoughts of a savage. Toward those who, like the French, pampered his appetites and indulged his passions to secure his trade, he entertained no malice. The lazy, fiddling Canadians who dwelt in Kaskaskia and Vincennes, had no ambition to absorb the soil or build up a great commonwealth. The little land they required to raise their corn, their vines and their onions on, aroused no savage jealousies. But from the ...
— The Land of the Miamis • Elmore Barce

... any judicious and kind exertions made on their behalf. There are already several families of them within my knowledge, who reside in houses during the winter, and travel about only in the summer. Their means of subsistence are tinkering, and fiddling at feasts and fairs; by which some, I believe, make a good deal of money, which helps them out in the winter, when there is less work and ...
— A Historical Survey of the Customs, Habits, & Present State of the Gypsies • John Hoyland

... Leh Shin's shop, fiddling sometimes with his ears and sometimes with the soles of his bare feet. He found life just a little dull, and had he been able to express himself as "bored," he would doubtless have done so. Peeling small dry scales of skin off wear-hardened heels is not the most exciting ...
— The Pointing Man - A Burmese Mystery • Marjorie Douie

... experienced. He knew all about trails, and he declined to be hurried over what he considered a bad place. Wes used sometimes to disagree with him as to what constituted a bad place. "Some day you're going to take a tumble, you old fool," Wes used to address him, "if you go on fiddling down steep rocks with your little old monkey work. Why don't you step out?" Only Old Slob never did take a tumble. He was willing to do anything for you, even to the assuming of a pack. This is considered by a ...
— The Mountains • Stewart Edward White

... fiddling, and his singular mixture of gruffness and politeness had bred legends among the women of the neighbourhood. He was a German baron, who had forfeited his title and estates through killing a man in a duel; and never a milder pair of eyes ...
— Jonah • Louis Stone

... nothing less than a side of beef could take out of his mouth the taste of those fiddling little lamb chops and the restaurant fare of the ...
— Half Portions • Edna Ferber

... and that this I had indeed learned well, but on the cobbler's bench. "Surely Yvon has told you, mademoiselle, of our good shoemaker, and how he taught me his trade, that I might practise it at times when there is no fiddling needed?" I spoke cheerfully, but let it be seen that I was not in jest. A little pale, she looked from one of us to the ...
— Rosin the Beau • Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards

... best life of man can only be lived at intervals. The lower operations and the delights that go with them have a medicinal power to restore the vigour that has become enfeebled by a lengthened exercise of the higher faculties. At those "dead points" food and fiddling ...
— Moral Philosophy • Joseph Rickaby, S. J.

... thairm-inspirin', rattlin' Willie! Tho' fortune's road be rough an' hilly To every fiddling, rhyming billie, We never heed, But take it like the unback'd filly, Proud ...
— Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... But the frame that lies so quiet and motionless here, thrills, when awaked to life, with a soul only less marvellous than man's. In short, the coffin is a violin-case, and the mysterious frame the violin. The Doctor must have been fiddling overnight, after getting into bed; to the dissatisfaction, perhaps, of his neighbor on the other side ...
— Idolatry - A Romance • Julian Hawthorne

... at her, even as Mrs. Dearmer did, or label her a wench of Puritan stock, as her aunt, Lady Bolsover, was inclined to do. She must talk to Martin, who had taught her so many things; but even Martin was away fiddling at some festival that rustics might dance. Barbara was disposed to resent his absence at a time when she wanted him ...
— The Brown Mask • Percy J. Brebner

... just look in and inquire," Edwin said awkwardly, fiddling with his hat and a pocket of his overcoat. ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... to know that it isn't right to neglect the boy that's come to do a day's work with you. (Going to the door) Many's the day I put in with the scythe in Ireland, and in England too; I did more than stroll with the fiddle, and I saw more places than where fiddling brought me. (Brian MacConnell comes to the door) I was just going out to you, Brian. I was telling the girl here that it's not right to neglect the boy that's giving you a day's work out of ...
— Three Plays • Padraic Colum

... high, carved mantelpiece, and a bright fire sparkling in the grate. It was not a pretty room—it had more the look of a workshop of some kind; but it was curious and interesting. All round, the walls were hung with clocks and strange mechanical toys. There was a fiddler slowly fiddling, a gentleman and lady gravely dancing a minuet, a little man drawing up water in a bucket out of a glass vase in which gold fish were swimming about—all sorts of queer figures; and the clocks were even queerer. There was one intended to represent ...
— The Cuckoo Clock • Mrs. Molesworth

... men aren't sawing wood. They're fiddling," he explained; "three fiddlers fiddling upon fiddles.... There's going to be a dance, you know," old dog Spot continued. "And of course nobody ...
— The Tale of Buster Bumblebee • Arthur Scott Bailey

... pause here to say a few words about Sinfi Lovell. Some of my readers must have already recognised her as a famous character in bohemian circles. Sinfi's father was a 'Griengro,' that is to say, a horse-dealer. She was, indeed, none other than that 'Fiddling Sinfi' who became famous in many parts of England and Wales as a violinist, and also as the only performer on the old Welsh stringed instrument called the 'crwth,' or cruth. Most Gypsies are musical, ...
— Aylwin • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... to discover the secret. It may be remembered with what courage and determination the founder of the Foley family introduced the manufacture of nails into England. He went into the Danemora mine district, near Upsala in Sweden, fiddling his way among the miners; and after making two voyages, he at last wrested from them the secret of making nails, and introduced the new industry into the Staffordshire district.[4] The courage of John Lombe, who introduced the thrown-silk industry into England, was equally notable. He was a ...
— Men of Invention and Industry • Samuel Smiles

... come to the door and ring, instead of fiddling out there in the cold!" demanded Burns. "Do you think we're heathen, to shut anybody out ...
— Red Pepper's Patients - With an Account of Anne Linton's Case in Particular • Grace S. Richmond

... a doodle doo! My dame has lost her shoe; Master's broke his fiddling stick, And don't ...
— Harry's Ladder to Learning - Horn-Book, Picture-Book, Nursery Songs, Nursery Tales, - Harry's Simple Stories, Country Walks • Anonymous

... profit may arise from a small degree of human reliance on oneself, and such, in particular, is the happy star of this trade of writing, that it should combine pleasure and profit to both parties, and be at once agreeable, like fiddling, and ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... that at the time; for over our heads, sailing very comfortably through the windy stars, was the ship that had passed the summer in landlord's field. Her port-holes and her bay-window were blazing with lights, and there was a noise of singing and fiddling on her decks. "He's gone!" shouted landlord above the storm, "and he's taken half the village with him." I could only nod in answer, not having lungs like ...
— Humorous Ghost Stories • Dorothy Scarborough

... inside the Bell Rock Lighthouse at that time was indeed striking. Outside there was madly raging conflict; inside there were peace, comfort, security: Ruby, with his arms folded, standing calmly in the doorway; Jamie Dove and Joe Dumsby smoking and fiddling in the snug kitchen; George Forsyth reading (the Pilgrim's Progress mayhap, or Robinson Crusoe, for both works were in the Bell Rock library) by the bright blaze of the crimson and white lamps, high ...
— The Lighthouse • R.M. Ballantyne

... come not forward, Which maketh them daily to draw backward; And yet[414] is a thing they cannot forbear; The trimming and pinning up their gear; Specially their fiddling with the tail-pin; And when they would have it pricked[415] in, If it chance to double in the cloth, Then be they[416] wood[417], and sweareth[418] an oath. Till it stand right they will not forsake it, Thus though it may ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume I. • R. Dodsley

... the captain of the flatboat, had sold his cargo and received his money, he invited Brother Twist and myself to go with him to a saloon. There were quite a number of men in the saloon, fiddling, eating, drinking, and otherwise enjoying themselves. Capt. Springer was not used to drinking. He soon got mellow, felt rich, and commenced throwing his money around in a ...
— The Mormon Menace - The Confessions of John Doyle Lee, Danite • John Doyle Lee

... deadening heat was over; September, bright, sunny and tonic, was come to revive the world. Rank foliage was shaking off the summer dust, and a myriad noisy insects were strumming, chirping, fiddling, buzzing, screeping in the dense undergrowth. It was evening when they boarded the train for the West and took the trail that both had taken before, but never with such a background of events or such an eagerness for what was in the future. As the train roared through the ...
— The Preacher of Cedar Mountain - A Tale of the Open Country • Ernest Thompson Seton

... host. The tribe of Benjamin Used to call him Merlin's Ghost At the Mermaid Inn. He was only a crowder, Fiddling at the door. Death has made him prouder. We shall not see ...
— The Lord of Misrule - And Other Poems • Alfred Noyes

... weeks of aimless fiddling before he realized that there was no easy short-cut. Then he went back to the juj juj juj frf frf frf routine and hated it just as ...
— The Fourth R • George Oliver Smith

... of black ants. Some of them are sucking away like old topers. Some of them are setting up on their tails and hind legs, fiddling with their fore-feet and wiping their eyes. Some are rolling around on the ground, contented. There are quantities of big blue-bottle flies over the bark and hanging on the grasses around, too drunk to steer a course flying; so they just buzz away like flying, and all the time sitting still. ...
— Freckles • Gene Stratton-Porter

... a fighting chance for the Atlamalcans. They were so near that by fiddling back and forth they might by a sudden dash close in. Most likely, had the wind been strong they would have tried this, but the breeze remained so soft that quick action was impossible. The situation was so critical that Major Starland warned the others of what was certain to ...
— Up the Forked River - Or, Adventures in South America • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... patent lether boots, told me his name was Bill Astor & axed me to lend him 50 cents till early in the mornin. I told him I'd probly send it round to him before he retired to his virtoous couch, but if I didn't he might look for it next fall, as soon as I cut my corn. The Orchestry was now fiddling with all their might, & as the peple didn't understan anything about it they applaudid versifrussly. Presently, Old Ed cum out. The play was Otheller or More of Veniss. Otheller was writ by Wm. Shakspeer. ...
— The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 1 • Charles Farrar Browne

... sat on his right—he promptly forgot her name each time he heard it—who ate fastidiously and chose birth-control as the subject for conversation. And he dodged it in vain, for her conversation had become a monologue, and he sat fiddling with his food, very red, while the silky voice, so agreeable in pitch and ...
— The Crimson Tide • Robert W. Chambers

... none for me, either, but there's such a thing as havin' what you've said misjudged by wimmen. Where the wimmen ain't strong-headed, you know." He hesitated for a time, fiddling his forefinger under his nose. "There was just one woman I made talk to in my life such as a gent shouldn't have made without backin' it up. If she'd been stronger in her head I reckon she'd have realized that bein' ...
— The Skipper and the Skipped - Being the Shore Log of Cap'n Aaron Sproul • Holman Day

... I know one thing, though, and that is that I'm mighty glad I don't room with Durkin and have to listen to that fiddling of his!" ...
— Left End Edwards • Ralph Henry Barbour

... tears it never dreamt of shedding. Thus, while the patriotic author is weeping and howling in prose, in blank verse, and in rhyme, and collecting the drops of public sorrow into his volume, as into a lachrymal vase, it is more than probable his fellow-citizens are eating and drinking, fiddling and dancing, as utterly ignorant of the bitter lamentations made in their name as are those men of straw, John Doe and Richard Roe, of the plaintiffs for whom they are generously pleased to ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... howling and fiddling as it never had howled and fiddled before. One by one the doctor's friends tired of waiting for him and went to bed. Walker, William Bentley, and Agnes were the last of the guard; the hour was two o'clock ...
— Claim Number One • George W. (George Washington) Ogden

... along the wall, dogs look in at the window. The air is heavy with mosquitoes and tobacco-smoke. But joy reigns. Nobody is too old or too obese to dance. Old Mr. Loutit and lame Jimmy Flett each secures a sonsy partner. There are three fiddlers, and these relieve each other in turn, for fiddling, beating time with your moccasin on the earthen floor, and "calling out" is hard work for one man. There are but two kinds of dances,—the Red River jig, and a square dance which probably had for honourable ancestors the lancers ...
— The New North • Agnes Deans Cameron

... Bramble and I, now that there was no chance of our being seen by the sentinels, ascended the tower. It commanded a view of the town and harbour: we looked down upon the main street—all was mirth and revelry; fiddling and dancing and singing were to be heard from more than one house; women in the street laughing, and now and then running and screaming ...
— Poor Jack • Frederick Marryat

... erected, and where shooting at targets with wooden darts, sham railway-trains and riding-horses, confectionery of every kind, beer of every name, strength, and colour, pipes, cigars, toys, gambling, organ-grinding, fiddling, dancing, &c., goes on incessantly. The great attraction, however, is the shooting at the bird, which occupies the attention of every Saxon, and is looked upon as the consummation of human invention and physical science. A great pole, ...
— Life of John Coleridge Patteson • Charlotte M. Yonge

... with curious interest upon all that pertained to the distinguished foreign mathematicians. Around their camp of tents and pack-mules, peddlers and preachers called together their motley congregations, and the sound of axes clearing the timber was accompanied by fiddling and haranguing, the fighting of dogs, and the coarse tones of religious or business oratory. It was in the height of the era of the great period of the Dissenters in England, and Methodist, Baptist, and Calvinistic ...
— Tales of the Chesapeake • George Alfred Townsend

... in the bosun's head—so hard a jolt for so smoothly delivered a blow! He gazed amazed. Again a deceptive swing or two, a fiddling with one hand and the other, a moment of rapid foot-work, a quick side-step, and biff! Kieran's left went into the ribs—crack! and Kieran's right caught him on the cheek-bone and laid it open as if hit with ...
— Wide Courses • James Brendan Connolly

... they would; blithe they were all therefore; up they came to Grumesby. That heard soon the highest of this land, and to the queen came tiding of Arthur the king, that he was come in safety, and his folk in prosperity. Then were in Britain joys enow! Here was fiddling and song, here was harping among, pipes and trumps sang there merrily. Poets there sung of Arthur the king, and of the great honour, that he had won. Folk came in concourse of many kind of land; wide ...
— Brut • Layamon

... bought the Manhattan, more's the pity, for it carried her to Mediterranean ports, and there she took up with the fiddler. He was a Chevalier or something, and could look a woman through and through. What money he had was made, the Lord knows where, not out of fiddling, I'll be bound, for his was no music to set the tongue lilting. He'd been in the Pacific a while, they say, and was a Jack-of-all-trades in America. That's how he came across these islands, you may imagine—slap in the sea-way to Yokohama as they are. ...
— The House Under the Sea - A Romance • Sir Max Pemberton

... certain drug, and then begged, and generally obtained, the carcases, which cut up served their families for food; the children begged and stole; whilst the men, who it is true professed horse-clipping, farriery and fiddling, not unfrequently knocked down travellers and plundered them. The hand of justice of course soon fell heavily upon them; men of Egypt, as they were called, were seized, hung, or maimed; women scourged ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... an early friend and companion of Jefferson. He was a jovial young fellow noted for mimicry, practical jokes, fiddling and dancing. Jefferson's holidays were sometimes spent with Henry, and the two together would go off on hunting excursions of which each was passionately fond. Both were swift of foot and ...
— Thomas Jefferson • Edward S. Ellis et. al.

... anything about true military tactics, and wishing to learn,—and not too proud to learn, being born with disdain of conventionalities and precedents,—entered the regiment as drummer, in sight of his own subjects, who perhaps looked upon the act as a royal freak,—even as Nero practised fiddling, and Commodus archery, before the Roman people. From drummer he rose to the rank of corporal, and from corporal to sergeant, and so on through all ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume VIII • John Lord

... might have the pleasure every minute of uttering 'Your ladyship,' in order to show what she herself expected. And as she spoke, her fingers were in perpetual motion, either adjusting her tucker, placing her plaits of her robe, or fiddling with a diamond cross, that hung down on her bosom, her eyes accompanying her fingers as they moved, and then suddenly being snatched off, that she might not be observed to think of her own dress; yet was it plain, that her thoughts were employed on only that and her titles. ...
— The Governess - The Little Female Academy • Sarah Fielding

... once a comprehensive code of game laws, and clean her house in one siege, instead of fiddling and fussing with all these matters one by one, through a series of ten long, weary years. The time for puttering with game protection has gone by. It is now time to make short cuts to comprehensive results, and save the game before it ...
— Our Vanishing Wild Life - Its Extermination and Preservation • William T. Hornaday

... of a squeaking fiddle roused Forester from his reverie; he looked up, and saw a thin, pale man fiddling to a set of dancing dogs, that he was exhibiting upon the flags, for the amusement of a crowd of men, women, and children. It was a deplorable spectacle; the dogs appeared so wretched, in the midst of the merriment of the spectators, that ...
— Tales And Novels, Volume 1 • Maria Edgeworth

... his thousand newspapers. You may go and play at whist in his small drawing-rooms, or dance and hear concerts in his grand saloon—and there is not a penny to pay. His fiddlers and trumpeters begin trumpeting and fiddling for you at the early dawn—they twang and blow for you in the afternoon, they pipe for you at night that you may dance—and there is nothing to pay—Lenoir pays for all. Give him but the chances of the table, and he will do all this and more. It is better to ...
— The Christmas Books • William Makepeace Thackeray

... being inconspicuous. He has told us that his usual method in a poor man's cabin was to make them forget that he was there, but in Aran on these visits he always tried to add to the fun, and to his personal prestige with conjuring tricks, fiddling, piping, taking photographs, etc. Some of the Islanders were much attached to him. I suppose that their main impression was that he was a linguist who had committed a crime somewhere and ...
— John M. Synge: A Few Personal Recollections, with Biographical Notes • John Masefield

... illustration, and even absolutely require it. A correct text is the first object of an editor; then such notes as explain difficult or obscure passages; and lastly, which is much less important, notes pointing out authors to whom the Poet has been indebted, not in the fiddling way of phrase here and phrase there (which is detestable as a general practice), but where he has had essential obligations either ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... are perfectly tame. They that ascribe the invention of tillage, architecture, navigation, etc., to wise men, may perchance be in the right, that they were invented by wise men; but they were not invented by wise men, as wise men; for wisdom does not teach our fingers, but our minds: fiddling and dancing, arms and fortifications, were the works of luxury and discord; but wisdom instructs us in the way of nature, and in the arts of unity and concord; not in the instruments, but in the government of life; nor to make us live only, ...
— Museum of Antiquity - A Description of Ancient Life • L. W. Yaggy

... year were, Election,—General Election on Wednesday, and Artillery Election on the Monday following, at which time lilacs were in bloom and 'lection buns were in order; Fourth of July, when strawberries were just going out; and Commencement, a grand time of feasting, fiddling, dancing, jollity, not to mention drunkenness and fighting, on the classic green of Cambridge. This was the season of melons and peaches. That is the way our boyhood chronicles events. It was odd that the literary ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... yours who looks as if she had just come out of the wash, and your sweet-smiling grandmother who is always fiddling with knitting-pins—" ...
— It Might Have Been - The Story of the Gunpowder Plot • Emily Sarah Holt

... "the matches are burning much more rapidly than I anticipated; and if we are not pretty lively we shall be caught by the first explosions. That's your sort; that will do, Parsons, don't stand there fiddling with that match, it is burning all right. Now, lads, away you go; over with you; I ...
— Two Gallant Sons of Devon - A Tale of the Days of Queen Bess • Harry Collingwood



Words linked to "Fiddling" :   unimportant, colloquialism



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