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Thorny   /θˈɔrni/   Listen
Thorny

adjective
(compar. thornier; superl. thorniest)
1.
Bristling with perplexities.
2.
Having or covered with protective barbs or quills or spines or thorns or setae etc..  Synonyms: barbed, barbellate, briary, briery, bristled, bristly, burred, burry, prickly, setaceous, setose, spiny.  "Bristly shrubs" , "Burred fruits" , "Setaceous whiskers"



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"Thorny" Quotes from Famous Books



... our story is ended. If you have followed us thus far, neglect not to receive what we have faintly endeavored to inculcate; and ever remember, while treading life's thorny vale, that "a kind word is of more value ...
— Town and Country, or, Life at Home and Abroad • John S. Adams

... is made in the shape of a horned toad, the lizard so familiar to anyone who has visited the Southwest of the United States. The head with its spikes, and the tail as well, are well rendered; the thorny prominences of the body are represented by ...
— Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) • Carl Lumholtz

... too," says Mrs. Monkton, who has now grown rather pale. "But there is still one more thing to know—that in making such a marriage as we have described, a woman lays out a thorny path for her husband. She separates him from his family, and as all good men have strong home ties, she naturally compels him to feel many a ...
— April's Lady - A Novel • Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

... if I never again meet these individual mountains, I carry with me their memory, eternal and incomparably glorious. Let us peep into this nook: I got plentiful blackberries there in the spring, together with stains and thorny scratches. I haul myself over the ferry and back, for old acquaintance' sake; the current is so lazy, it seems incredible that the same waters are almost impassable at some seasons. I succeed in wrecking a whole armada of floating leaves with stems like a bowsprit. A few beetles take passage ...
— In the Footprints of the Padres • Charles Warren Stoddard

... she would keep his home for him. The brave red roses, the bold laughing red roses, their crimson challenge was shrivelled to darkened shreds, each golden heart was a pinch of black dust; only the thorny stems remained to show what queen ...
— Judith of the Cumberlands • Alice MacGowan

... to answer Christie's praises of Pandora. He did not wish to throw cold water on the child's delight, nor to damage her newly found friend in her eyes. But neither did he wish to drag her into the thorny path wherein he had to walk himself—to hedge her round with perpetual cautions and fears and terrors, lest she should let slip some word that might be used to their hurt. An ...
— All's Well - Alice's Victory • Emily Sarah Holt

... spotted snakes with double tongue, Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen Newts and blind-worms do no wrong Come not near our Fairy Queen. Philomel, with melody Sing in our sweet lullaby Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby; Never harm, nor spell, nor charm, Come our lovely lady nigh; So ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... best that can be said on the thorny subject of the return of the refugees, is that latterly the rate of return has been steadily increasing. Last month the military authorities allowed us to grant 400 ordinary permits (this number is over and above permits given to officials or persons specially ...
— Lord Milner's Work in South Africa - From its Commencement in 1897 to the Peace of Vereeniging in 1902 • W. Basil Worsfold

... growth, but wholly free from under-wood. Along the left-hand fence ran a thick belt of underwood, sumac and birch, with a few young oak trees interspersed; but in the middle of the swampy level, covering at most some five or six acres, was a dense circular thicket composed of every sort of thorny bush and shrub, matted with cat-briers and wild vines, and overshadowed by a clump of tall and leafy ashes, which had not as yet lost one atom of their foliage, although the underwood beneath them was ...
— Warwick Woodlands - Things as they Were There Twenty Years Ago • Henry William Herbert (AKA Frank Forester)

... deviated from custom or tradition to make each new candidate for a living shrink from any publicity that could be avoided. Society frowned upon the woman who dared to strike out in new paths, and thus made them even more thorny ...
— Women Wage-Earners - Their Past, Their Present, and Their Future • Helen Campbell

... fond May last the bond, They wove that morn together, And ne'er may fall One drop of gall On Wit's celestial feather. May Love, as twine His flowers divine. Of thorny falsehood weed 'em; May Valor ne'er His standard rear Against the cause of Freedom! Oh the Shamrock, the green, immortal Shamrock! Chosen leaf Of Bard and Chief, Old ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... a wide belt of thorny shrubs, interlaced and fastened together by cords, extended from the bank of the river, about a thousand yards above Seringapatam; and, making a wide sweep, came down to it again opposite the other ...
— The Tiger of Mysore - A Story of the War with Tippoo Saib • G. A. Henty

... The thorny place is one who hears, And does the truth receive; But finds that cares of life and wealth, His ...
— The Parables Of The Saviour - The Good Child's Library, Tenth Book • Anonymous

... Russian authorities, with a view to his acceptance of the Bulgarian crown. By the vote of the Bulgarian Chamber, it was offered to him on April 29, 1879. He accepted it, knowing full well that it would be a thorny honour for a youth of twenty-two years of age. His tall commanding frame, handsome features, ability and prowess as a soldier, and, above all, his winsome address, seemed to mark him out as a natural leader of men; and he received a warm welcome from ...
— The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) • John Holland Rose

... how long it would be before her troubles commenced. As he gazed at these two little orphans he thought of his own child, and of the rough and thorny way they would all three have to travel if they were so unfortunate as to outlive ...
— The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists • Robert Tressell

... of both was odd enough, and altogether unsuited for traversing such a thorny jungle as that through which they were passing. It consisted merely of a shirt and cotton drawers—while each of them carried in hand a large parcel. Although the night had been dry throughout, the garments of both pedestrians appeared saturated ...
— The Tiger Hunter • Mayne Reid

... about 4 P.M., and they invariably, retire to the thickest and most thorny jungle in the neighbourhood of their feeding-place by 7 A.M. In these impenetrable haunts they consider themselves ...
— The Rifle and The Hound in Ceylon • Samuel White Baker

... Street extended to it from the Tot Hill, while a thicket of brambles and briers edged it like a natural prison wall. Nor had man forgotten such defences, she found when they had passed a gap in the thorny hedge; a fence of stone rose sheer before them and extended on either hand as far as eye could reach. In the fence was a great gate of black oak, which a black-robed Benedictine ...
— The Ward of King Canute • Ottilie A. Liljencrantz

... Benishaela there are many gardens, which bear witness to the extreme fertility of the soil; though unfortunately there is not a single well among them. Almonds and apricots are the chief productions, and the raised ground enclosing them is often covered with small branches of the thorny "Sidr." Near the village we saw several "Sidr" trees, as well as tamarisks (Atel) and sycamores. The most numerous class are the thorny Opuntias, which grow round some of ...
— The Caravan Route between Egypt and Syria • Ludwig Salvator

... nothing to carry out his large, beneficent purposes. Indeed, they would add to his pleasures and enhance his reputation. She was but a woman, and saw no other path of escape from the conditions of her lot except the thorny one of self-abnegation. ...
— The Earth Trembled • E.P. Roe

... thickety groves, extending from the main chaparral out for considerable distance on the prairie, but not of as rank a growth as on the alluvial river bottoms. These thickets were composed of thorny underbrush, frequently as large as fruit trees and of a density which made them impenetrable, except by those thoroughly familiar with the few established trails. The road from Agua Dulce to the ranchita was plain and well known, yet passing through several arms of the main body of the chaparral. ...
— Cattle Brands - A Collection of Western Camp-fire Stories • Andy Adams

... The thorny question of etiquette was the next matter to receive Washington's attention. Personally he favored the easy hospitality to which he was accustomed in Virginia, but he knew quite well that his own taste ought not to be decisive. ...
— Washington and His Colleagues • Henry Jones Ford

... of peace and he cultivated none but those of war; he was by choice a warrior and a sailor, a wanderer to other lands, a plougher of the desolate places of the "vasty deep," yet withal a lover of home, who trod at times, with bitter longing for his native land, the thorny paths of exile. To him physical cowardice was the unforgivable sin, next to treachery to his lord; for the loyalty of thane to his chieftain was a very deep and abiding reality to the Anglo-Saxon ...
— Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race • Maud Isabel Ebbutt

... is known and may be faced without disguise the men are all activity. Knives are out cutting away rebellious thorny stems that will not keep down for trampling, and a lane is made through the bush that keeps us from the body, while minutes that seem hours elapse. That will do ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... gratefully over a sinner saved, a poor Son plucked as brand from the burning?"God, the Most High, give His blessing on it, then!" concludes the paternal Majesty: "And as He often, by wondrous guidances, strange paths and thorny steps, will bring men into the Kingdom of Christ, so may our Divine Redeemer help that this prodigal son be brought into His communion. That his godless heart be beaten till it is softened and changed; and so he be snatched from the claws of Satan. This ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. VIII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... impression that the blunt and downright O'Moy was gifted with any undue measure of shrewdness, it must nevertheless be said that he was quick to perceive what fresh thorns the occurrence was likely to throw in a path that was already thorny enough in all conscience, what a semblance of justification it must give to the hostility of the intriguers on the Council of Regency, what a formidable weapon it must place in the hands of Principal Souza and his partisans. In itself this was enough to trouble a ...
— The Snare • Rafael Sabatini

... slow. The bush was thick and close, thorny plants and innumerable creepers continually barred his way, and the necessity for constantly looking up through the trees to catch a glimpse of the sun, which was his only guide, added to his difficulty. At length, when his watch ...
— By Sheer Pluck - A Tale of the Ashanti War • G. A. Henty

... Catholic theologians are one of another. In this case, where the writer had from the nature of his task to make so much use of rhetorical arguments, allusions, irony, and unusual forms of expression, there was more than usual chance of fault being found, especially as every possible thorny subject is introduced somehow, and that in terms meant to please not Roman theologians, but Oxford students. Evidently there was danger here that critics should or might be severe, or at least insist on certain changes ...
— Ten Reasons Proposed to His Adversaries for Disputation in the Name • Edmund Campion

... no ordinary man. Susan had given his quick intelligence a glimpse of a way to please her. He looked at the end, and crushed his will down to the thorny means. ...
— It Is Never Too Late to Mend • Charles Reade

... befallen her a lesson, taught her he was sure by the pitying angels of God; to think no sorrow too trivial to be despised, to be tender even to the scratched finger, the bruised shins of the poor men and women scrambling painfully along the tough and thorny path ...
— Mrs. Day's Daughters • Mary E. Mann

... at hand now, and though she averted her thoughts, she knew it. But the wind is tempered to the shorn. Even as the prospect of future ill can dominate the present, embitter the sweetest cup, and render thorny the softest bed, so, sometimes, present good has the power to obscure the future evil. As Anne sank back on the settle, her trembling limbs almost declining to bear her, her eyes fell on her companion. Failing to rouse her, he had ...
— The Long Night • Stanley Weyman

... there, and "seventeen flag stones were stuck in the ground in commemoration of their death," and by the margin of the lake in the island of Inish-Eogan there stands this remarkable monument to this hour. The line of the Fir-Bolg camp can still be traced with wonderful accuracy. Caher-Speenan, the thorny fort, was a part of this camp, and still exists. More to the south-east, on the hill of Tongegee, are the remains of Caher-na-gree, the pleasant fort, and still further to the east are Lisheen, or little ...
— Folklore as an Historical Science • George Laurence Gomme

... tender profuse apologies for its homeliness, on the plea that it is refreshing at times to lay aside ceremonial magnificence and unbend in rural simplicity, though it is not humanly possible to unbend oneself upon the thorny bosoms of chairs and couches severely upholstered with the prickling ...
— Baboo Jabberjee, B.A. • F. Anstey

... cases out of ten, a strong but not too thick tweed coat is the best for rough work. In a very thorny country, a leather coat is almost essential. A blouse, cut short so as to clear the saddle, is neat, cool, and easy, whether as a riding or walking costume. Generally speaking, the traveller will chiefly spend his life ...
— The Art of Travel - Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries • Francis Galton

... left in the capable hands of J. H. E. Bernstorff, who aimed at steering clear of all foreign complications and preserving inviolable the neutrality of Denmark. This he succeeded in doing, in spite of the Seven Years' War and of the difficulties attending the thorny Gottorp question in which Sweden and Russia were equally interested. The same policy was victoriously pursued by his nephew and pupil Andreas Bernstorff, an even greater man than the elder Bernstorff, who controlled the foreign policy of Denmark from 1773 to 1778, and again ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 2 - "Demijohn" to "Destructor" • Various

... precipices making the traveller's brain whirl when he looked into them. There impetuous torrents roared and flashed down their beds of black stone, threatening destruction to those who would cross them. Now the path was lost in the matted thorny underwood and the pitchy shades of the jungle, deep and dark as the valley of death. Then the thunder-cloud licked the earth with its fiery tongue, and its voice shook the crags and filled their hollow caves. At times, the sun was so hot, that ...
— Vikram and the Vampire • Sir Richard F. Burton

... drawn out from a man's body until he was cut open. And when Ferdia heard mention of the Gae-Bulg, he made a stroke of his shield downwards to guard the lower part of his body. And Cuchulain thrust his unerring thorny spear off the centre of his palm over the rim of the shield, and through his breast covered by horny defensive plates of armour, so that its further half was visible behind him after piercing the heart in his chest. Ferdia gave an upward stroke of his shield to guard the upper part of ...
— Heroic Romances of Ireland Volumes 1 and 2 Combined • A. H. Leahy

... work, or the children at play, or sometimes the drovers taking their lunch of tortillas and wine, while their animals munched their midday meal hard by. The scenery was often fine. On the third day the fertile soil, watered by many rivers, was exchanged for a sandy plain, broken by a thorny mimosa scattered over the surface. This plain lay between the Cordillera of the Andes and the Coast Range. As the road advanced farther inland, the panorama of the Cordilleras became more and more striking. In the glow of the sunset, the peaks of the abrupt, jagged walls and ...
— Louis Agassiz: His Life and Correspondence • Louis Agassiz

... true, my poor poetical fury, he will pen all he knows. A sharp thorny-tooth, a satirical rascal, By him; he carries hay in his horn: he will sooner lose his best friend, than his least jest. What he once drops upon paper, against a man, lives eternally to upbraid him in the mouth of every ...
— The Poetaster - Or, His Arraignment • Ben Jonson

... covered on the bottom with stones among which grew dwarfish, thorny shrubs. A high rock full of crevices and fissures formed its southern wall. The Arabs discerned all this by the light of quiet but more and more frequent lightning flashes. Soon they also discovered ...
— In Desert and Wilderness • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... in their view of the tactics to be followed by the Opposition. Mr Blake wished to throw the chief emphasis upon the question of Riel's insanity, leaving aside the thorny question of the division of responsibility. Mr Laurier wanted to go further. While equally convinced that Riel was insane, he thought that the main effort of the Opposition should be to divert attention from Riel's ...
— The Day of Sir Wilfrid Laurier - A Chronicle of Our Own Time • Oscar D. Skelton

... when they smoke with a stranger, and which imprecates on themselves the misery of going barefoot forever if they prove faithless to their words—a penalty by no means light for those who rove over the thorny plains of this ...
— First Across the Continent • Noah Brooks

... was sticking right through him, however, so he found a rock deeply set in the bank and pressed the sharp point of the stake upon the surface of this rock until he had driven it clear through his body. Then, by getting the stake tangled among some thorny bushes, and wiggling his body, he managed ...
— The Magic of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... little ragamuffin?' exclaimed my father when he saw me, for by that time so torn had become my garments by the thorny shrubs, that they literally were in shreds. 'You are no child of mine; get out with you, you little ill-conditioned cub.' I ought not to have been surprised at this greeting, though it was not pleasant to ...
— The Log House by the Lake - A Tale of Canada • William H. G. Kingston

... counter-outpouring of his generosity, promises to send Ulysses to his own land, though "this should be further off than Euboea, the most distant country." Thus overflows the noble heart of the king, but he clearly needs his other half, in the thorny journey of life. ...
— Homer's Odyssey - A Commentary • Denton J. Snider

... exclaimed the delighted Grubb, scampering towards the thorny barrier, and clambering up, he ...
— The Sketches of Seymour (Illustrated), Complete • Robert Seymour

... and claws Of Harpies blind that fain would soil it, shall 260 In all the throbbing exultations share That wait on freedom's triumphs, and in all The glorious agonies of martyr-spirits,— Sharp lightning-throes to split the jagged clouds That veil the future, showing them the end,— 265 Pain's thorny crown for constancy and truth, Girding the temples like a wreath of stars. This is a thought, that, like the fabled laurel, Makes my faith thunder-proof; and thy dread bolts Fall on me like the silent flakes of snow 270 On the hoar brows of aged ...
— The Vision of Sir Launfal - And Other Poems • James Russell Lowell

... the dirty half-drowned Hollander would not remove into the pleasant plains of Italy, the rude Thracian would not change his boggy soil for the best seat in Athens, nor the brutish Scythian quit his thorny deserts to become an inhabitant of the Fortunate Islands. And oh the incomparable contrivance of nature, who has ordered all things in so even a method that wherever she has been less bountiful in her gifts, there she makes it up with ...
— In Praise of Folly - Illustrated with Many Curious Cuts • Desiderius Erasmus

... whither shall I bend My weary way? thus worn with toil and faint How thro' the thorny mazes of this wood Attain my distant dwelling? that deep cry That rings along the forest seems to sound My parting knell: it is the midnight howl Of hungry monsters prowling for their prey! Again! oh save me—save me gracious Heaven! ...
— Poems • Robert Southey

... be sorry to be the very innocent cause of leading you into thorny paths. I truly think you will find more happiness here in your ...
— Without a Home • E. P. Roe

... English ammunition scattered over the sterile floor of his literary magazine, he could not have the effrontery, impudence, or presumption to enter the list of philosophical and scientific disputation with one who has traversed the thorny paths of literature, explored its mazy windings, and who is thoroughly and radically fortified, as being encompassed with the impenetrable shield of genuine science. This red, hot, fiery, unguarded locust, ...
— The Hedge School; The Midnight Mass; The Donagh • William Carleton

... tell of deserts lonely, lying pathless, deep and vast, Where in utter silence ever Time seems slowly breathing past— Silence only broken when the sun is flecked with cloudy bars, Or when tropic squalls come hurtling underneath the sultry stars! Deserts thorny, hot and thirsty, where the feet of men are strange, And eternal Nature sleeps in solitudes ...
— The Poems of Henry Kendall • Henry Kendall

... Guaira Falls on the Rio Parana) has not been determined Climate: varies from temperate in east to semiarid in far west Terrain: grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere Natural resources: iron ore, manganese, limestone, hydropower, timber Land use: arable land 20%; permanent crops 1%; meadows and pastures 39%; forest and woodland 35%; other 5%; includes irrigated NEGL% Environment: local flooding in southeast (early September ...
— The 1992 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... soldier of literature and art is the more useful. I joined the plodders and have aimed at permanent good name rather than brilliancy. I have no doubt I did this because instinct told me (for I never thought about it) that this would be the easier and less thorny path. I have more of perseverance than of those, perhaps, even more valuable gifts— facility and readiness of resource. I hate being hurried. Moreover I am too fond of independence to get on with the leaders of literature ...
— The Note-Books of Samuel Butler • Samuel Butler

... round the castle and all over it, so that there was nothing of it to be seen, not even the flag upon the roof. But the story of the beautiful sleeping "Briar-rose," for so the princess was named, went about the country, so that from time to time kings' sons came and tried to get through the thorny hedge into ...
— Household Tales by Brothers Grimm • Grimm Brothers

... wife! How long would a man brace up under the servant question? How long would he endure the insolence and the flings of cruel and covert enemies because the children needed all he could give them, and, only along the thorny road of continual harassment and trial might he attain the earnings needed to render them happy and comfortable? If a man is insulted he settles the insult with a blow straight from the shoulder and that is the end of it; he would never be able to endure, ...
— A String of Amber Beads • Martha Everts Holden

... marked exactly alike. They had a transparent dorsal and two pectoral fins, which were all I observed, and a long thin snout or beak; the mouth was just at the end of it, on the top: some of them were thorny on the back; we caught also some crabs; a very minute blue fish; a black and red insect resembling a flea; a species of Diphyes; a very small kind of polypus; and one or two small jellyfish. A land bird flew ...
— Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 2 (of 2) • George Grey

... a little boy. One day, he asked Mingo what part of the world he came from; and the poor old man told how he was playing with other children among the bushes, on the coast of Africa, when white men pounced upon them suddenly and dragged them off to a ship. He held fast hold of the thorny bushes, which tore his hands dreadfully in the struggle. The old man wept like a child, when he told how he was frightened and distressed at being thus hurried away from father, mother, brothers and sisters, and sold into slavery, in a distant land, where he could never see ...
— Isaac T. Hopper • L. Maria Child

... and thorny road you are now pursuing certainly will lead you to endless woe and misery. And who is this pretended prophet, who dares to speak in the name of the Great Creator? Examine him. Is he more virtuous ...
— Tecumseh - A Chronicle of the Last Great Leader of His People; Vol. - 17 of Chronicles of Canada • Ethel T. Raymond

... friends in youth; But whispering tongues can poison truth; And constancy lives in realms above; And life is thorny; and youth is vain; And to be wroth with one we love, Doth work like madness ...
— Early Reviews of English Poets • John Louis Haney

... thoughts, I have too much matter of importance upon my hands, to give the reader the least reason to believe that I am driven to such paltry shifts, in order to eke out the volume. Suffice it then to say, our adventurer passed a very uneasy night, not only from the thorny suggestions of his mind, but likewise from the anguish of his body, which suffered from the hardness of his couch, as well as from the natural inhabitants thereof, that did not tamely suffer his intrusion. In the morning he was waked by ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... of them. On every side, as far as the eye can see, undulations of earth stretch away like the waves of the ocean, and on them no vegetation flourishes save buffalo-grass, sage-brush, and the cactus, blooming but thorny. ...
— Last of the Great Scouts - The Life Story of William F. Cody ["Buffalo Bill"] • Helen Cody Wetmore

... belov'd of heaven, on earth bestow'd To raise the pilgrim, sunk with ghastly fears, To cool his burning wounds, to wipe his tears, And strew with amaranths his thorny road. Alas! how long has superstition hurl'd Thine altars down, thine attributes revil'd, The hearts of men with witchcrafts foul beguil'd, And spread his empire o'er the vassal world? But truth returns! she spreads resistless day; And mark, the monster's cloud-wrapt fabric falls— He shrinks—he ...
— Poetic Sketches • Thomas Gent

... from its Gethsemane, And now on Golgotha is crucified; The spear is twisted in the tortured side; The thorny crown still works its cruelty. Hark! while the victim suffers on the tree, There sound through starry spaces, far and wide, Such words as in the last despair are cried: "My God! my ...
— The Second Book of Modern Verse • Jessie B. Rittenhouse

... divine goodness that He will turn the eyes of His mercy upon the Bride of Christ and His Vicar, and upon me, freeing me from my defects and ignorance; but upon His Bride, by giving her the refreshment of peace and renewal, with much endurance (for in no way without toils can be uprooted the many thorny faults that choke the garden of Holy Church), and that God will give him grace in those parts where he wants to be a manly man, and not to look back, for any toil or persecution that may befall him from his wicked sons; constant and persevering, let him not avoid ...
— Letters of Catherine Benincasa • Catherine Benincasa

... he pointed to the thorny Crown, 'I seem to get ashamed of thinking this hardness. Only think, Dr. May, from the very first moment the policeman took me in charge, nobody has said a rough word to me. I have never felt otherwise than that they meant justice to have its way as far as they knew, but they were all ...
— The Trial - or, More Links of the Daisy Chain • Charlotte M. Yonge

... would hardly do, I am afraid. If you knew the discomforts that must assail one unaccustomed—I cannot tell—but I doubt if you would go. All the doors to bliss have their defences of swamps and thorny thickets through which alone they can be gained. You would need to be a fisherman's sister—or wife—I fear, my lady, to get through to ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 20, August 1877 • Various

... curving bend of coarse meadow the grass has kept something of its greenness, and the season of blossoming stays by the beautiful stream. There is a wanton tangling and mingling of the waste-loving flowers, such as the yellow toad-flax, the bristling viper's bugloss, the thorny ononis that spreads a hue of pink as it creeps along the ground, sky-blue chicory on wiry stems, large milk-white blooms of datura, and purple heads of centaurea calcitrapa, whose spines are avoided like those of ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... The lower ichthyolite bed occurs exactly one hundred and fourteen feet over the great Conglomerate; and three hundred and eighteen feet higher up I found a second ichthyolite bed, as rich in fossils as the first, with its thorny Acanthodians twisted half round, as if still in the agony of dissolution, and its Pterichthyes still extending their spear-like arms in the attitude of defence. The discovery enabled me to assign to their true places the various ichthyolite beds of the district. Those in the immediate neighborhood ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... rifles and started off to try to intercept the boat as she was pulling down the outer and eastern shore. But before we had made two hundred yards, we came to a dead stop, our progress being barred by a dense thicket of thorny and stunted undergrowth. We turned aside and skirted the thicket for a quarter of a mile, then tried again, with the same result—it was absolutely impossible to force our way through ...
— Yorke The Adventurer - 1901 • Louis Becke

... the hands of the messengers, provoked to fury, of the grim king of the dead. Clubs with heavy hammers and mallets, sharp-pointed lances, heated jars, all fraught with severe pain, frightful forests of sword-blades, heated sands, thorny Salmalis—these and many other instruments of the most painful torture such a man has to endure in the regions of Yama, O Bharata! The ungrateful person, O chief of Bharata's race, having endured such terrible treatment in the regions of the grim king of the dead, has to ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... of this good lesson keep, As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother Do not as some ungracious pastors do, Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven, Whilst, like a puffed and wreckless libertine, Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads And recks ...
— Shakspere, Personal Recollections • John A. Joyce

... piece of the cemetery which seems to contradict my charitable interpretation. It is not far from San Nicoletto. No enclosure marks it from the unconsecrated dunes. Acacia-trees sprout amid the monuments, and break the tablets with their thorny shoots upthrusting from the soil. Where patriarchs and rabbis sleep for centuries, the fishers of the sea now wander, and defile these habitations of ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... thorny Roses, prate ye still of ruth And would me my brief hour of bliss deny? And yet all happy things to love are sooth, But I, ah me, this destiny so high Weighs on my spirit like a drowsy spell, I cannot joy like those, nor stay, I fail Before the greatness of my high behest, Ah, high is holiness, ...
— Atma - A Romance • Caroline Augusta Frazer

... religion. The other line is concerned with the practical task of reconciling actual difficulties, bringing nations together for various purposes—arbitration, international trade, boards of conciliation and the like. This is the slow and thorny path, and on account of its very difficulty is apt to engross the thoughts and energy of the best brains which devote themselves to the cause. But the first line, of self-cultivation and the promotion of a favourable ...
— The Unity of Civilization • Various

... lowering front, unmindful of the hints of Dr. Mather, who is aware of an unsettled dispute between the captain and the governor, relative to the authority of the latter over a king's ship on the provincial station. Into this thorny subject, Sir William plunges headlong. The captain makes answer with less deference than the dignity of the potentate requires: the affair grows hot; and the clergymen endeavor to interfere in the blessed capacity of peacemakers. The governor ...
— Biographical Sketches - (From: "Fanshawe and Other Pieces") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... back upon its hinges with a clang, Jake's woolly head, surmounted by the veriest wisp of a ragged red handkerchief, disappeared behind the thick and impenetrable hedge of thorny cactus and spike- guarded prickly-pear that inclosed the plantation, separating it from the main-road forming its boundary and leading, some four miles or so beyond, over mountain and gully to Saint George's, the capital town of Grenada, the most ...
— The White Squall - A Story of the Sargasso Sea • John Conroy Hutcheson

... of adobe or sun-dried brick of earth, in a very primitive fashion. We seemed to be transported as by magic to the Holy Land as it was in the lifetime of our Saviour. The architecture of the buildings, the habits and raiment of the people, the stony soil of the hills, covered by a thorny and sparse vegetation, the irrigated fertile land of the valleys, the small fields surrounded by adobe walls—all this could not fail to remind one vividly of descriptions and pictures of Old Egypt ...
— Tales of Aztlan • George Hartmann

... scratch to teach us that good and evil are very near together in this world, and that we must be careful, while seeking the one, to avoid the other. In every field of life those who seek the fruit too rashly are almost sure to have a thorny experience, and to learn that prickings are provided for those ...
— Success With Small Fruits • E. P. Roe

... are like yon crimson gem, The pride of all the flowery scene, Just opening on its thorny stem; An' she has ...
— Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... direction of the village, until I stopped at a point where another foot-track crossed it. The brambles grew thickly on either side of this second path. I stood looking down it, uncertain which way to take next, and while I looked I saw on one thorny branch some fragments of fringe from a woman's shawl. A closer examination of the fringe satisfied me that it had been torn from a shawl of Laura's, and I instantly followed the second path. It brought me out at last, to my great relief, ...
— The Woman in White • Wilkie Collins

... They can't find words to tell the exhilaration of the climb, the bracing air, the far outlook, and, yet more, the wondrous presence of the Chief Climber, even though there's a bit of smarting of face and hands where the thorny tanglewood tore a bit as you ...
— Quiet Talks on Following the Christ • S. D. Gordon

... into their life of sorrow, and they would never more see the sunshine undimmed by remembered cares. They had entered the thorny wilderness, and the golden gates of their childhood had forever ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... as if there was going to be trouble between the two boys, for Thorny was naturally masterful, and illness had left him weak and nervous, so he was often both domineering and petulant. Ben had been taught instant obedience to those older than himself, and if Thorny had been a man Ben would have made no complaint; but it was hard to be "ordered round" ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, May, 1878, No. 7. - Scribner's Illustrated • Various

... from my brow The thorny crown of lost delight, The solemn grandeur of the night Flashed on me ...
— The Poets and Poetry of Cecil County, Maryland • Various

... home secured, John established in his profession, her aunt content. Then she thought of the sermon in St. Stephen's Church with its call to a higher life, of Mother MacAllister's words concerning One Who had Himself trod a thorny path and Whose true disciple ...
— 'Lizbeth of the Dale • Marian Keith

... not through this mutual confidence alone that they are one as God wants them to be one? Is it not in this unity of thoughts, fears and hopes, joys and love, which come from God, that they can cheerfully cross the thorny valley, and safely reach the ...
— The Priest, The Woman And The Confessional • Father Chiniquy

... of an approach to the pattern. (There are important suggestions in the book as to the employment of melon-forms.) Whoever has picked the fruit from the tender twigs of the pomegranate tree, which are close set with small altered leaves, will never dream of attributing the derivation of the thorny leaves that appear in the pattern to pomegranate leaves at any stage of ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 460, October 25, 1884 • Various

... reason why you have not reached the soft exuberance of Livy, after you have thoroughly regretted imitating the calm solemnity of Sallust, and been satisfied with only the few flowers you have plucked with a discriminative hand out of the gardens of Quintus Curtius more frequently than the thorny thickets of Cornelius Tacitus": "Non reposcent a te rationem, cur lacteam Livii ubertatem non sis assecutus; postquam et te omnino piguerit Sallustii sobrietatem imitari, et satis tibi fuerit pauculos tantum flores ex Quinti Curtii pratis, soepius quam ex Cornelii Taciti senticetis arguta ...
— Tacitus and Bracciolini - The Annals Forged in the XVth Century • John Wilson Ross

... Trustingly and tenderly, Voice grown weak and eyes grown dim,— "Let me hide myself in Thee." Trembling though the voice and low, Rose the sweet strain peacefully Like a river in its flow; Sung as only they can sing Who life's thorny path have passed; Sung as only they can sing Who behold the promised rest,— "Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself ...
— The World's Best Poetry Volume IV. • Bliss Carman

... rattling shallows, and many a rock-walled well, Where the silver-scaled sea-farers, and the crook-lipped bull-trout dwell. But most when their hearts were merry 'twas the joy of carle and quean To ride in the deeps of the oak-wood, and the thorny thicket green: Forth go their hearts before them to the blast of the strenuous horn, Where the level sun comes dancing down the oaks in the early morn: There they strain and strive for the quarry, when ...
— The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs • William Morris

... man as can slide down a thorny locust and never get scratched!" he shouted. This was equivalent to setting his triggers; then he launched himself nimbly and with enthusiasm into the thick of the fight. It was Mr. Bunker's unfortunate privilege to sustain the onslaught ...
— The Prodigal Judge • Vaughan Kester

... who once on earth endured— Beating storm and thorny way, Have the prize they sought secured, And have ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... you the intrinsic merit of such ironwork without going fully into the theory of curvilinear design; only let me leave with you this one distinct assertion—that the quaint beauty and character of many natural objects, such as intricate branches, grass, foliage (especially thorny branches and prickly foliage), as well as that of many animals, plumed, spined, or bristled, is sculpturally expressible in iron only, and in iron would be majestic and impressive in the highest degree; and that every piece of metal work you use might be, rightly treated, not ...
— The Two Paths • John Ruskin

... of the other ladies suffered considerably from the sharp spikes. It took all Madeline's watchfulness to save her horse's legs, to pick the best bits of open ground, to make cut-offs from the trail, and to protect herself from outreaching thorny branches, so that the time sped by without her knowing it. The pack-train forged ahead, and the trailing couples grew farther apart. At noon they got out of the foothills to face the real ascent of the mountains. The sun beat down hot. There was little breeze, and the dust rose thick and hung in ...
— The Light of Western Stars • Zane Grey

... positively be chained, and my hands bound," said he to himself, "let it be at least with this fresh young girl, who can conceal the thorny crown of wedlock under freshly-blown rosebuds. My heart has nothing more to do with this old love; it has grown young again under the influence of new feelings, and I will not let this youthfulness be destroyed by the icy-cold smiles of duty. Elise has promised to ...
— The Merchant of Berlin - An Historical Novel • L. Muhlbach

... no thorny crown of pain, Bound round man's brow for sin; True souls from it all strength may gain, High manliness ...
— Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known Characters • George Milligan, J. G. Greenhough, Alfred Rowland, Walter F.

... pou'd a rose, Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree; And my fause luver stole my rose, But ah! he left ...
— The World's Best Poetry, Volume 3 - Sorrow and Consolation • Various

... have an outlet. He circled round it, clambering over fallen trees and forcing his way through thorny vines, till he saw, amid roots of alder-bushes, a streamlet flow from the lakeside. This he hopefully followed. Not far had he gone before a dull roar met his ears, breaking the sullen silence of the woods. It was the sound of ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 1 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... way, of from seven to twelve feet, according to the degree of fertility of the soil, so that there are from 800 to 1,000 vines in one orlong of land; to each vine is allotted a prop of from ten to thirteen feet high, cut from the thorny tree called dadap, or where that is scarce, from the less durable boonglai; these props take root, thus affording both shade and support to the plant. The plant may be raised from seed pepper, but the plan is not approved ...
— The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom • P. L. Simmonds

... replied, with a singular imbecility of manner and appearance, 'but I meant the path was rough. It lies, all the way, by glade and dingle, and the dingles are both deep and thorny.' ...
— Prince Otto • Robert Louis Stevenson

... I called Lucien's attention to a small thorny shrub, a kind of mimosa, called huizachi by the Indians, who use its pods for dyeing black cloth, and for making a tolerably useful ink. The plain assumed by degrees a less monotonous aspect. Butterflies began to hover round us, ...
— Adventures of a Young Naturalist • Lucien Biart

... black sterile rocks, which are piled together in an extraordinary confusion; even to the environs of the town of Saint Croix, scarcely any thing is seen, on the greater part of these dry and burnt lands, but low plants, the higher of which are probably Euphorbia, or thorny Cereus; and those which cover the ground, the hairy lichen, Crocella tinctoria, which is employed in dying, and which this island furnishes in abundance. Seen from the sea, the town, which is in the form of an amphitheatre, ...
— Narrative of a Voyage to Senegal in 1816 • J. B. Henry Savigny and Alexander Correard

... it were, but poorer were the love. Lord, I would have me love thee from the deeps— Of troubled thought, of pain, of weariness. Through seething wastes below, billows above, My soul should rise in eager, hungering leaps; Through thorny thicks, through sands unstable press— Out of my dream to him who slumbers not ...
— A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul • George MacDonald

... understandest not how it is to be repaired. The essieu is left on the spot, as the load is too heavy for the horses. Thy courage has evaporated. Thou beginnest to run. The heaven is cloudless. Thou art thirsty; the enemy is behind thee; a trembling seizes thee; a twig of thorny acacia worries thee; thou thrustest it aside; the horse is scratched, till ...
— Early Israel and the Surrounding Nations • Archibald Sayce

... contemplation, he racked his hide-bound skeleton over to the place and began to browse. Presently the rocks began to clatter on the upper trail, and an old cow that had been peering over the brow of the hill came back to get her share. Even her little calf, whose life had been cast in thorny ways, tried his new teeth on the tender ends and found them good. The orehannas drifted in one after the other, and other cows with calves, and soon there was a little circle about the tree-top, munching at the ...
— Hidden Water • Dane Coolidge

... future saint; from the nuns, for sending such a love of a plaything; and, finally, from papa, for sending such substantial board and well-bolted lodgings, 'from which,' said the malicious old fellow, 'my pussy will never find her way out to a thorny and dangerous world.' Won't she? I suspect, son of somebody, that the next time you see 'pussy,' which may happen to be also the last, will not be in a convent of any kind. At present, whilst this ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... sisters clashed like two thorny bushes of one family in a gale the whole afternoon. The two daughters sewed silently, and Sylvia knitted a stocking with scarcely a word until she arose ...
— Pembroke - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... responsibility of refusing what the government asked. He thought that this rebellion had given a most convenient opportunity for settling the question of the Canadian constitution, which had long been a thorny one and inaccessible; that if we postponed the settlement by giving the assembly another trial, the revolt would be forgotten, and in colder blood the necessary powers might be refused. He thought that when once you went into a measure of a despotic character, ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... cross-ways, guarded by a colossal image of Christ, she hesitated between two roads running among thorny slopes. ...
— An Iceland Fisherman • Pierre Loti

... further the hills to the south became loftier; the banks drew closer in on both sides of him; the boulders in the arid bed were larger. Cactus and Spanish bayonet harassed him like malignant creatures; skeleton ocatillas and bristling yuccas imposed thorny barriers before him. The sun poured its full flood of white-hot rays upon him. He wound his way in and out among the obstacles, keeping his intent eyes upon the glaring rocks, save only when he lifted them to look for lurking savages. The shadows of noonday lengthened into the shades ...
— When the West Was Young • Frederick R. Bechdolt

... without a companion but a single outcast, one would rather hear the sound of that wretch's voice than be doomed to the silence of such inhuman solitude. During the day he kept entirely aloof,—generally at sea fishing,—affording me time for a long siesta in a nook near the shore, penetrated by a thorny path, which Gallego could not have traced without hounds. On the fourth night, when the pirate left our hut for his accustomed excursion, I resolved to follow; and taking a pistol with renewed priming, I pursued ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... sophisters yet more deplorably unprofitable. The boy we would breed has a great deal less time to spare; he owes but the first fifteen or sixteen years of his life to education; the remainder is due to action. Let us, therefore, employ that short time in necessary instruction. Away with the thorny subtleties of dialectics; they are abuses, things by which our lives can never be amended: take the plain philosophical discourses, learn how rightly to choose, and then rightly to apply them; they are more easy to be understood than one of Boccaccio's novels; a child from nurse is much ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... fountains, blossoms for the bride, political sentiment for the North of Ireland and little sharp stobbers for the manicure lady. Speaking as an outsider I would say that there ought to be other varieties of wood that would serve as well and bring about the desired results as readily—a good thorny variety of poison ivy ought to fill the bill, I should think. But it seems that orange wood is absolutely essential. A manicure lady could no more do a manicure properly without using an orange wood stobber at certain ...
— Cobb's Anatomy • Irvin S. Cobb

... which it would be impossible to describe in human language. Capable of understanding the advantages of tribulation, she blessed God with the Psalmist, that He had humbled her; that He had led her through the thorny ways of the cross, to a higher experimental knowledge of the sacred maxims of the Gospel, in which she found strength and support for her soul, not only under the pressure of spiritual trial, but amidst the multiplied difficulties and embarrassments ...
— The Life of the Venerable Mother Mary of the Incarnation • "A Religious of the Ursuline Community"

... low brushwood scattered over portions of the dreary plains of the Kandahar table-lands, we find leguminous thorny plants of the papilionaceous sub-order, such as camel-thorn (Hedysarum Alhagi), Astragalus in several varieties, spiny rest-harrow (Ononis spinosa), the fibrous roots of which often serve as a tooth-brush; plants of the sub-order Mimosae, as the sensitive mimosa; ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... lifetime! These revolutions of mind are not to be measured by time. It had come to this that the late fellow of Oriel, so aristocratic in his tastes, so temperate in his likings, had entered certain devious paths, where hidden pitfalls and thorny enclosures warn the unwary traveller of unknown dangers, and in which he was walking, not blindfold, but by strongest will and intent, led by impulse like a mere boy, and not daring to raise his eyes to the future. "And what Grace would have said!" And for the first time in his ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... remains of which are to be seen in many places. In the grass itself, and round the edge of these groups so artistically assorted by the hand of Nature, lies slyly hidden the "wait-a-bit" bush,[49] according to the literal translation from the Dutch, whose thorny entanglements no one ...
— South African Memories - Social, Warlike & Sporting From Diaries Written At The Time • Lady Sarah Wilson

... her white fingers. "See," she said, "some of us are like that it takes a blow to find the sweetness in our souls. Some of us need dry, hard places, like the poppies "—pointing to a mass of brilliant bloom—"and some of us are always thorny, like the cactus, with only once in a while a ...
— Lavender and Old Lace • Myrtle Reed

... content to keep behind, to let him go first, to see him forge ahead of her, and of everybody, being only in sight and within reach. But she could do nothing except writhe and rebel against the network of female custom, or tear herself in the thorny ...
— The Manxman - A Novel - 1895 • Hall Caine

... book as being fair in its judicial criticism, a great point where so thorny a subject as the Great Schism and its issues are discussed. The art of reading the times, whether ancient or modern, has descended from Mr. W. H. Hutton to his pupil." Pall ...
— The Church and the Empire - Being an Outline of the History of the Church - from A.D. 1003 to A.D. 1304 • D. J. Medley

... from groups of mhowa trees and left behind a wide shallow stream, its bed dotted with pools fringed by great kowa trees, and its banks lined by a thick green cover of jamun and karonda. Thorny babul thrust their spiked branches out over the roadway, white with tufts of cotton torn by its thorns from bales, loose pressed, on their way to market in buffalo carts; "Babul the thief," the natives called ...
— Caste • W. A. Fraser

... mother's ruse! Snana entered the thorny enclosure, which was almost a rude teepee, and, tucked away in the further-most corner, lay something with a trout-like, speckled, tawny coat. She bent over it. The fawn was apparently sleeping. Presently ...
— Indian Child Life • Charles A. Eastman

... person may contrive to be chosen as representative by a thousand electors. It requires an able man to convince a committee of ten persons, themselves more or less specialists, that his is the best brain among them. Where national education, a thorny subject in Ireland, is concerned, I think the educationalists in provinces might be asked to elect representatives from their own profession on a Council of Education to act as an advisory body to the Minister of Education. County Council elections are not exactly means by which miracles of ...
— National Being - Some Thoughts on an Irish Polity • (A.E.)George William Russell

... leased lands and fenced lands. The frontier still was offering opportunity for the bold man to reap where he had not sown. Lands leased to the Indians of the civilized tribes began to cut large figure in the cow trade—as well as some figure in politics—until at length the thorny situation was handled by a firm hand at Washington. The methods of the East were swiftly overrunning those of the West. Politics and graft and pull, things hitherto unknown, soon wrote their hurrying story also over all this newly won region from which the rifle-smoke ...
— The Passing of the Frontier - A Chronicle of the Old West, Volume 26 in The Chronicles - Of America Series • Emerson Hough

... merely to annoy the vampires and to whet their diabolical ingenuity for the contrivance of new devices. Since the law of 1872 went into effect, however, the scoundrels have been compelled to travel a thorny road. Scores of arrests have been made, and in many cases the criminals have been sentenced to ...
— The Lock and Key Library/Real Life #2 • Julian Hawthorne

... because nothing half so silly, as to be concerned about such problems. But such respectability and the duties of society haunt and burden their poor devotees; and what seems at first the very primrose path of life, proves difficult and thorny like the rest. And the time comes to Pepys, as to all the merely respectable, when he must not only order his pleasures, but even clip his virtuous movements, to the public pattern of the age. There was some juggling ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 3 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... into saints in a single night, in the way that Jack's beanstalk grew from earth to sky. Sainthood comes slowly, like the blossom on a century plant; there must be a hundred years of thorny ...
— Ole Mammy's Torment • Annie Fellows Johnston

... pioneers struggling for this righteous cause. I think the greatest reforms, the greatest progress ever made for any reforms in our country have been along the lines on which they worked. Miss Anthony's has been a long life. She has trod the thorny way, has walked through briars with bleeding feet, but it is through a sweet and lovely way now and the hearts of the whole country are with her. A few days ago some one said to me that every woman should stand with bared head before Susan B. Anthony. 'Yes,' I answered, 'and every man as well.' ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V • Ida Husted Harper

... graceful Acacia pendula also grew on the grassy plain. I found the red rock to be the common one of the country, in a state of decomposition. It was hollowed out by some burrowing animal, whose tracks had opened ways through the thick thorny scrub, enabling us to lead our horses to near the top. From the apex, I obtained an extensive view of the country then before us, in many parts clear of wood to the verge of the horizon, and finely studded with isolated hills of picturesque form, and patches of wood. Looking backward, or in ...
— Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia • Thomas Mitchell

... the roots, but it had bent down with it the bough of another stubb, a stout, tough-looking bough, belonging evidently to a hazel growing farther from the edge of the shaft. Could he reach that he might better his position, but the long, tough, thorny brambles that hung down swaying about were in his way, unless he could make ...
— Son Philip • George Manville Fenn

... or the first mile of a walk. The first step is undertaken lightly, pleasantly, and with your soul in the sky; it is the five-hundredth that counts. But I know, and you know, and he knew (worse luck) that he was saying a thorny and catching thing when he made up that phrase. It worries one of set purpose. It is as though one had a ...
— The Path to Rome • Hilaire Belloc

... desert, until the Gray Mountains loomed on the horizon. On, over the tumbled rocks, interspersed with the strange red thorny vegetation common ...
— The Martian Cabal • Roman Frederick Starzl

... a burden across the wild, barren places where no green thing grows, he is fed with a few dates, beans, or cakes. Sometimes he finds a dry, thorny plant to browse upon, but when other food is gone he ...
— Friends and Helpers • Sarah J. Eddy



Words linked to "Thorny" :   thorniness, armed, thorn, hard, difficult



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