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Cantankerous   Listen
adjective
Cantankerous  adj.  Perverse; contentious; ugly; malicious. (Colloq.) "The cantankerous old maiden aunt."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Cantankerous" Quotes from Famous Books



... squeeze in, or for those who are wedged in the middle of a long car to force their way out. Yet when the necessity arises, no force has to be applied. People manage somehow or other to "welcome the coming, speed the parting guest." Every one recognises that cantankerous obstructiveness would only make matters worse, nay, absolutely intolerable. The first comer makes no attempt to insist upon his position of advantage, because he knows that to-morrow he may be the last comer. The sense of individual inconvenience ...
— America To-day, Observations and Reflections • William Archer

... her face was not quite so soothing as the cut of her costume; anything more cantankerous I have seldom seen; she would scarcely reply to my inquiry after Madame Walravens; I believe she would have snatched the basket of fruit from my hand, had not the old priest, hobbling up, checked her, ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... escort his daughter to the station, an act of parental solicitude she had not expected from him. He took his departure immediately afterwards, being let out of the shop-door by Luke Tulliver, who was in a very cantankerous humour, and took no pains to disguise the state of his feelings. The lawyer Mr. Medler had pried into everything, the shopman told Percival Nowell; had declared himself empowered to do this, as the legal adviser of the deceased; and had seemed as suspicious as if he, Luke Tulliver, ...
— Fenton's Quest • M. E. Braddon

... But coming from a native, to what depths of morbid discontent do they testify! Considering the recent progress of these regions that has led to a security and prosperity formerly undreamed of, one is driven to the conjecture that these words can only have been penned by some cantankerous churl of an emigrant returning to his native land after an easeful life in New York and compelled—"for his sins," as he would put it—to reside at ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... but Mr. OWEN NARES could hardly hope to satisfy the exigent demands of adoration in the part of young Carrington. Who, indeed, could sustain his reputation as a figure of romance when addressed as "Arthur-John"? Mr. FRED KERR, who played Martin Carrington, the cantankerous uncle, cannot help being workmanlike; but he was asked to repeat himself too much. The best performance was that of Miss MARION LORNE, in the part of the hero's one devout lover, Fancy Phipps; her quiet sense of humour, salted with a slight American tang, kept ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 158, February 11, 1920 • Various

... very appealing if you'd see him on his cantankerous days, believe ME. But I'm glad you don't mind him—it's all the nicer for Leslie. She'll have more to do when her boarder comes. I hope he'll be a decent creature. You'll probably ...
— Anne's House of Dreams • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... feature of his new life was the friendship of the bluff, cantankerous, but kind-hearted contractor, his sunny daughter, the manly foreman, and the talkative Murphy. Of Tressa he had so many glowing things to write in his letters to his wife that Helen threatened to rush ...
— The Return of Blue Pete • Luke Allan

... know that doesn't stand to reason. Every day the sun inches a little higher in the heavens. His rays strike us more directly and for a longer time each day. But it's the cantankerous fact, and it simply has to stand to reason. That's the answer, and the sum has to be figured out somehow in accordance with it. Like one time, when I was about sixteen years old, and in the possession of positive and definite information ...
— Back Home • Eugene Wood

... Ground-squirrel demurely squatting on a log, holding in its arms a tiny young Meadow Mouse, from which it picked the flesh as one might pick corn from a cob. Meadow Mice are generally considered a nuisance, and the one devoured probably was of a cantankerous disposition; but just the same it gives one an unpleasant sensation to think of this elegant little creature, in appearance, innocence personified, wearing all the insignia of a grain-eater, yet ruthlessly indulging in such a bloody and ...
— Wild Animals at Home • Ernest Thompson Seton

... a mighty cantankerous, quar'lsome, aggervatin' critter!" Byers broke out irritably. "Ain't ye 'shamed o' this hyar hurrah ye hev kicked up fur nuthin'? accusin' o' Birt ...
— Down the Ravine • Charles Egbert Craddock (real name: Murfree, Mary Noailles)

... didn't use good enough grammar. Emily'd been a schoolteacher in her early life and she'd never got over it. Then she hated to see me eating with my knife. Well, there it was, pick and nag everlasting. But I s'pose, Anne, to be fair, I was cantankerous too. I didn't try to improve as I might have done . . . I just got cranky and disagreeable when she found fault. I told her one day she hadn't complained of my grammar when I proposed to her. It wasn't an overly tactful thing to say. A woman ...
— Anne Of Avonlea • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... moose-fever rather, which will set their blood on fire. Not that we're out chiefly for killing; we're willing to let his mooseship keep a whole skin, and go in peace to replenish the forests, unless he grows cantankerous and charges us." ...
— Camp and Trail - A Story of the Maine Woods • Isabel Hornibrook

... was mild, incorruptible, and placid, as careful of us as a father of his children, and he grew as fond of us as we were of him, so that the final parting, after the journey was done, was really a moving scene. I have found the tribe of cabbies, in all countries, to be, as a rule, somewhat cantankerous and sinister; but Gaetano compensated for all his horse-driving brethren. To be sure, vettura driving is not like cabbing, and Gaetano was in the habit of getting out often and walking up the hills, thus exercising his liver. But he must have been born with a strong ...
— Hawthorne and His Circle • Julian Hawthorne

... though what on earth there was to guard against was more than I could have said just then. Some cross-grained streak in my nature made me both cantankerous and suspicious, and while the mood was on me I would have contradicted or queried the word of ...
— The Lost Valley • J. M. Walsh

... down the street swinging his cane, not as though he needed it for walking, but merely for occupation and companionship. He did not delude the villagers by these sorrowful deceptions, but they made believe he did. There were a few people who did not like him; but they were of that cantankerous minority who put thorns in ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... rail at it for this! And why should any man who writes, even if he write things immortal, nurse anger at the world's neglect? Who asked him to publish? Who promised him a hearing? Who has broken faith with him? If my shoemaker turn me out an excellent pair of boots, and I, in some mood of cantankerous unreason, throw them back upon his hands, the man has just cause of complaint. But your poem, your novel, who bargained with you for it? If it is honest journeywork, yet lacks purchasers, at most you ...
— The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft • George Gissing

... restored to his country for a short period in which he distinguished himself by wholesale assassination of his opponents. He eventually died in Poland as prisoner of Boleslav the Brave. Meanwhile, what with his cantankerous brothers, with Polish ambitions and German ill-will, Bohemia was having ...
— From a Terrace in Prague • Lieut.-Col. B. Granville Baker

... von Fallersleben, 1837. The 'Personen' are the three Marys, who go at break of day to anoint the body of the buried Christ. On the way they are taken in by a peripatetic quacksalver who has a cantankerous wife and a scapegrace clerk ...
— An anthology of German literature • Calvin Thomas

... so Con. For in the presence of woman he was tongue-tied and scarlet. He who would quell with his eye the sonorous youth whom the claret punch made loquacious, or smash with lemon squeezer the obstreperous, or hurl gutterward the cantankerous without a wrinkle coming to his white lawn tie, when he stood before woman he was voiceless, incoherent, stuttering, buried beneath a hot avalanche of bashfulness and misery. What then was he before Katherine? A trembler, with no word to ...
— The Trimmed Lamp • O. Henry

... a mean between ill-temper—whether of the irascible, the sulky, or the cantankerous kind—and something for which we have no name (poor-spiritedness). Friendliness comes between the excessive desire to please and boorishness. It is a social virtue which might be defined as goodwill plus tact. Sincerity [there is no English term quite corresponding to the Greek] is the quality ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... said he, "there's been a cantankerous heifer a breaking into my lot, and I've been a lookin' for her, and I've cotched ...
— The Three Brides, Love in a Cottage, and Other Tales • Francis A. Durivage

... or me up for weeks, with a doctor to look after us and a crowd of sympathetic friends calling to know how our poor back was. But the steeplechase-rider has to be out and about again, "riding exercise" every morning, and "schooling" all sorts of cantankerous brutes over the fences. These men take their lives in their hands and look at grim death between their horses' ears every time they ...
— Three Elephant Power • Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

... interfere with a papal sentence. Litigants of all kinds were only too ready to appeal against the local tribunal, and the Pope gave them every encouragement. St. Bernard indignantly pointed out to Innocent II that every evil-doer and cantankerous person, whether lay or cleric or even from the monasteries, when he is worsted runs to Home and boasts on his return of the protection which he has obtained. It is true, Gregory VIII (1187) tried to check the practice of appeals; but his short reign gave no time for any ...
— 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

... "Jake's a cantankerous cuss, boy. Let 'im gas; 'e don't cut any figger anyway. Say, you keep yer eye peeled on some o' the young heifers on the far side o' the bunch. They're rustlin' some. They keep mouching after new grass. When the moon gits up ...
— The Story of the Foss River Ranch • Ridgwell Cullum

... a little dog with such a very bad name as Hoodie was really not to be envied. She loved her own god-daughter Maudie dearly, and she knew it to be true that she was a very nice child, but her heart was sore for poor cantankerous Hoodie. You see her patience had not yet been tried by her as had been the patience of all those about the little girl, so after all she could not consider herself ...
— Hoodie • Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth

... Now, I know that cantankerous person, the universal objector, has all along been bursting to interrupt me and declare that he himself frequently finds no end of caterpillars, and has not the slightest difficulty at all in distinguishing ...
— Falling in Love - With Other Essays on More Exact Branches of Science • Grant Allen

... host of passengers with him; a fine flock, rather; he hustles them along with his staff like so many goats. But what's this? One of them is bound, and another enjoying the joke; and there is one with a wallet slung beside him, and a stick in his hand; a cantankerous-looking fellow; he keeps the rest moving. And just look at Hermes! Bathed in perspiration, and his feet covered with dust! See how he pants; he is quite out of breath. What is the matter, Hermes? Tell us all about it; ...
— Works, V1 • Lucian of Samosata

... eat his salt, instead of taking to himself a madam, under whom there is no peace night or day? As he sits with his unemployed friends seeking the consolation of the never-failing beeree, the ex-butler narrates her ladyship's cantankerous ways, how she eternally fidgeted over a little harmless dust about the corners of the furniture, as if it was not the nature of dust to settle on furniture; how she would have window panes washed which ...
— Behind the Bungalow • EHA

... "Well! of all the cantankerous,—here! come in, you! She wants to see you," and a man appeared in the doorway—he was shabbily dressed, but it was noticeable that the threadbare clothes were clean. Mrs. Tree looked at ...
— Standard Selections • Various

... contumacious, cantankerous old barnacle," retorted Sartoris, "that's what you are. It'd serve you right if your daughter was to cut the painter and cast you adrift, and leave you ...
— The Tale of Timber Town • Alfred Grace

... mustn't be impatient. This, after all, was only the second day of Helen Brabazon's stay at Wyndfell Hall. Perhaps it was a good thing that her cantankerous old uncle had betaken himself off. Misfortune had a way of turning itself into good fortune where Lionel Varick was concerned; for he was bold and brave, as well as always ready to seize opportunity ...
— From Out the Vasty Deep • Mrs. Belloc Lowndes

... Abbey House and gardens for her life, but Violet will be sole mistress of the estate when she comes of age. As Violet's husband, your position would be infinitely better than it could be as her stepfather. Unhappily, the cantankerous minx has taken it into her head to ...
— Vixen, Volume I. • M. E. Braddon

... write a little, but they prefer to make their mark and get you to attest it with the formula, "the mark of J——N." Their schooling was soon over. When they were nine years of age they were ploughboys, and had a rough time with a cantankerous ploughman who often used to ply his whip on his lad or on his horses quite indiscriminately. They have seen many changes, and do not always "hold with" modern notions; and one of the greatest changes they have seen is in the fairs. They are ...
— Vanishing England • P. H. Ditchfield

... any house, however first-class. He has no business to do so because that outside estimate of his work must of necessity be based on scanty data. The publisher, for all his enthusiasm, takes a chance, sometimes a pretty long one. An author, as I conceive it, must be his own most uneasy, captious, cantankerous critic. He dare not delegate this job to anyone else, for that way lies the pot-boiler and the formal romance, the "made" book. I was busy, and let go the reins. And I place on record here my gratitude to those who knew enough ...
— Aliens • William McFee

... had warned us in the morning that they'd had enough of us, and, with a volley of oaths, advised us to be off. Fred, who was in his shirt-sleeves, listened at first with a look of surprise at such cantankerous unreasonableness; but when the ruffian fell to swear and threaten, he burst into one of his contemptuous guffaws, turned his back and began to feed his horse with a corncob. Thus insulted, the digger ran into the hut ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... "You cantankerous old tyrant," she drawled in a whisper, "you do love to haze me around, don't you? Just to spite you, I'll do it!" She went in and left him standing there, smoking and leaning against the post, calm as the stars above. But under that surface calm, the heart of ...
— Jean of the Lazy A • B. M. Bower

... him so cantankerous?" reflected the nephew. "I don't like the look of it at all." And he dubiously scratched ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 7 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... given in ridicule. It was accepted with pride. The air is rash, reckless, gay, triumphant, noisy, boisterous, careless, heedless, rampant, raging, roaring, rattle, brainish, devil-may-care-ish, plague-take-the-hindmost-ish; but! solemn, stern, hopeful, resolute, fierce, menacing, strong, cantankerous (cantankerous is entirely an American idea), ...
— The Dodge Club - or, Italy in 1859 • James De Mille

... sister is at school with two sisters of Willie Soames, who's going to ride Peace on Earth to-morrow, and one of them told her that Willie had written to her to put every halfpenny she has on Peace on Earth." "I'm sick, sore and tired of backing Peace on Earth. He's a cantankerous beast that seems to take a positive pleasure in losing races." "Well, ...
— The Pleasures of Ignorance • Robert Lynd

... hard-headed, an' tyrannical, an' perverse, an' cantankerous a critter ez ever lived, with no feelin's, nor softness, nor perliteness in him—but he's a square man. He'll do the fair thing—every time," the ...
— The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain and Other Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... powder-flask, and had put large pinches of the best Double Dartford into Mr. Dobbs's tobacco-box; and Mr. Dobbs's pipe had exploded, and set fire to Mrs. Botherby's Sunday cap; and Mr. Maguire had put it out with the slop-basin, "barring the wig"; and then they were all so "cantankerous," that Barney had gone to take a walk in the garden; and then—then Mr. ...
— Humorous Ghost Stories • Dorothy Scarborough

... by everybody else the prettiest point in her prospect, was to Mrs. Deborah not merely an eye-sore, but a heart-sore, not on its own account; cantankerous as she was, she had no quarrel with the innocent buildings, but for the ...
— Aunt Deborah • Mary Russell Mitford

... rage, and as she was not allowed to vent it on the proper object, she turned upon Sheila herself. "The Highlanders are a proud race," she said sharply. "I should have thought that rooms in this house, even with the society of a cantankerous old woman, would have ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873 • Various

... her. And then Fawn will be always afraid of her,—and won't be in the least afraid of us. We shall have to fight him, and he won't fight her. He's a cantankerous fellow,—is Fawn,—when he's not afraid ...
— The Eustace Diamonds • Anthony Trollope

... youth, his fellows had feared his strength; in his old age they feared his wit. "Let Owd Sammy tackle him," they said, when a new-comer was disputatious, and hard to manage; "Owd Sammy's th' one to gi' him one fur his nob. Owd Sammy'll fettle him—graidely." And the fact was that Craddock's cantankerous sharpness of brain and tongue were usually efficacious. So he "tackled" Barholm, and so he "tackled" the curate. But, for some reason, he was never actually bitter against Grace. He spoke of him lightly, and rather sneered ...
— That Lass O' Lowrie's - 1877 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... that cantankerous creature, Who paid, as all must pay, the debt of nature; But, keeping to his general maxim still, Paid ...
— Handy Andy, Vol. 2 - A Tale of Irish Life • Samuel Lover

... personality has never had the gleam of a chance. I have never yet done any single thing because I wanted to do it. Between first my politician-mother and her band of tonsured swindlers, and then my cantankerous brother and his crew of snarling and sour-minded preachers, and all the court liars and parasites and spies that both sides surrounded me with, I have lived an existence that isn't life at all. I purport to be a woman, but I have never been suffered to see a genuine man. ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... penny to hear you," replied the other angrily, "for a more bad-natured, cross-grained, cantankerous person than yourself I never met among womankind. It's what I said to a man only yesterday, that thin ones are bad ones, and there isn't any one could be ...
— The Crock of Gold • James Stephens

... Mr. Samuel—you must forgive me, sir—old Nicky may be cantankerous at times, but he means no harm to any living soul. The passengers make allowances: he's a part of the ferry, as you might say. As for impudence—if he really has been impudent—will you let me talk to him, sir? I'll engage he asks pardon and promises not to offend again. But ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... to haunt the kitchen, where her courtesy won even the cantankerous cook for a friend, and from her the girl learned so much of her art that the cook could teach her no more. In the laundry the good-natured Irish woman who presided over that department of household economy gave her always so warm a welcome ...
— A Captain in the Ranks - A Romance of Affairs • George Cary Eggleston

... very disagreeable. This was somewhat unusual, as he was generally very bland and polite, but to-night he was so cantankerous that I fancied he must have been drinking. To me he was especially insulting, and went so far as to hint that I, unlike other Englishmen, was a coward; that I hadn't courage to resist a man manfully, but would act towards an ...
— Weapons of Mystery • Joseph Hocking

... applications, but although the owner has no objection to his taking them, he considers the trouble is more than they are worth. Of course, he would make something out of their passage, but there would, almost certainly, be some cantankerous beggars among them, and of course the table costs a good deal more when there are passengers, especially as he will have the apprentices to mess with him. I am sure I am glad indeed that we sha'n't be ...
— With Cochrane the Dauntless • George Alfred Henty

... in reply to an observation, "I am a little tired, and naturally; things haven't been going so well as they did; but I could get along well enough if it wasn't for SUMMERS. CONEYBEARE'S cantankerous; STORY is strenuous; TANNER tedious; and DILLON denunciatory. But there's something about SUMMERS that is peculiarly aggravating. In the first place, he is, as far as appearances go, such a quiet, amiable, inoffensive young man. Looking at him, one would think that butter wouldn't ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, August 9, 1890. • Various

... to steal a look, and was not reassured to see in the jurymen's faces doubt replacing mirth. Then Hiram Hopkins's hearty voice, ringing with opposition, struck upon his delighted ear. He remembered Hiram's dislike for the cantankerous Keith. Here perhaps was ...
— The Calico Cat • Charles Miner Thompson

... seemed suddenly to quiver, almost they went forward like those of a startled burro. A voice—obstinate, cantankerous—a voice that could belong to no one on earth but old Mr. Penrose, was engaged outside in a wrangle with ...
— The Dude Wrangler • Caroline Lockhart

... soft voice. And she had worked with even increased energy and devotion. This kissing of the rod, this irrational instinctive humility, was a strange and sweet experience for her. Such was the Hilda of the office; but Hilda at home, cantankerous, obstinate, and rude, had offered a remarkable contrast to her until the moment when it was decided that her mother should accompany Miss Gailey to London. From that moment Hilda at home had been an angel, and the Hilda of the office had shown some ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... know how to describe it.....Your word is my law as much as if I were one of your family ... and it is the same with Don Juan your father, although he may be a bit cantankerous.... What does it signify to me if he be cantankerous or not? If I married you, I have a house thank God.... Yes, and it is not because I say it, but my house is worth more than his, as you know. But we would travel first, in France, Italy, England, ...
— The Grandee • Armando Palacio Valds

... lord. It's no muckle trust I want o' ye: it comes but to this—that I hae rizzons, guid to me, an' no ill to you gien ye kent them, for not answerin' yer lordship's questions. I'm no denyin' a word 'at Johnny Bykes says. I never hard the cratur ca'd a leear. He's but a cantankerous argle barglous body—no fit to be a gatekeeper 'cep it was up upo' the Binn side, whaur 'maist naebody gangs oot or in. He wad maybe be safter hertit till a fellow ...
— Malcolm • George MacDonald

... accompanied by Miss Archer, went to have tea with the Singletons. Even Rosamund was interested in this visit. She did not say much about it. She had been rather silent and, as Jane Denton said, "off color" for the last few days. She had forgotten to be wild or cantankerous. She had even ceased to notice Lucy; and as to her lessons, she had gone through the tasks assigned to her with sufficient promptitude and sufficient correctness to win fairly good remarks from the two governesses and from ...
— A Modern Tomboy - A Story for Girls • L. T. Meade

... rather pluming himself on keeping them very wide open. But it is difficult for saints to see through their own halos; and in practice an aureola about the head is often indistinguishable from a mist. The tea to be scalded in Mr. Constant's pot, when that cantankerous kettle should boil, was not the coarse mixture of black and green sacred to herself and Mr. Mortlake, of whom the thoughts of breakfast now reminded her. Poor Mr. Mortlake, gone off without any to Devonport, somewhere about four in the fog-thickened ...
— The Big Bow Mystery • I. Zangwill

... with a warning cantankerous inflection, firmly and almost brutally reproving this conversational delinquency of George's. "Rule it out, young man! We don't want any of that sort of mountebanking in England. We know what ...
— The Roll-Call • Arnold Bennett

... impressed the conviction that here was a skull denoting, by surplusage of length, great precision of character and disposition to action, and, by deficiency of breadth, a narrow tenacity which might at times amount to wrong-headedness. The thin cantankerous neck, on which little hairs grew low, and the intelligent ears, confirmed this impression; and when his face, with its clipped hair, dry rosiness, into which the east wind had driven a shade of yellow and the sun a shade of brown, and grey, rather discontented eyes, came ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... front door and took off her glove in order more easily to manipulate the latch-key, which somehow, since coming into frequent use again, had never been the same manageable latch-key, but a cantankerous old thing, though still very bright. She opened the door quietly, and stepped inside quietly, lest by chance she might disturb Louis, the invalid—but also because she was ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... doing well," Corliss chuckled, as Tommy dropped out of sight and landed into the bed of the gorge. "The cantankerous brute! he'd argue ...
— A Daughter of the Snows • Jack London

... of bygone superiority. This was chiefly shown in the Renaissance doorway, a rather elaborate piece of work, over which was the date 1602. I ascended the steps with a little misgiving, for I thought that perhaps some cantankerous person whose family had seen better times might be living there, and that my questions as to food and drink might meet with surly answers. I knocked, nevertheless, with my stick upon the old door studded with nail-heads. ...
— Wanderings by southern waters, eastern Aquitaine • Edward Harrison Barker

... his crusty temper and bullying disposition, invariably qualifying the statement with a commendation of his resources and capabilities. The devil of a driver, a hard man to get along with, obstinate, contrary, cantankerous; but brains! No doubt of that; brains to his boots. One would like to see the man who could get ahead of him on a deal. Twice he had been shot at, once from ambush on Osterman's ranch, and once by one of his own men whom he had kicked ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... ermine, addresses another sinner in a wooden pew, and bids him be taken away and hung by the neck until he is dead; and how the sinner in the pew, instead of indignantly remonstrating with the sinner on the bench, 'Why, you cantankerous old absurdity, what are you about taking my life like that?' usually exhibits signs of great depression, and meekly allows himself to be conducted to his cell, from whence in due course he is taken ...
— In the Name of the Bodleian and Other Essays • Augustine Birrell

... Uncle Enoch, "'Specially when ye don't want 'em to be. The off one's stiddy enough. It's this cantankerous skewbald that started the tantrum. Whoa now, blame ye!" Calico's nose was in the air again ...
— Horses Nine - Stories of Harness and Saddle • Sewell Ford

... the couple of years spent by Lady Purbeck with her father can have been very pleasant ones. He was bad-tempered, ill-mannered, cantankerous and narrow-minded, and he must also have been a dull companion; for beyond legal literature he had read but little. Lord Campbell says: "He shunned the society of" his contemporaries, "Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, as of vagrants who ought to ...
— The Curious Case of Lady Purbeck - A Scandal of the XVIIth Century • Thomas Longueville

... an angry leviathan, and came to the surface to blow. But the Boy dashed on, with a fearful joy in his own temerity. "The difference between us, Colonel, is that I'm an unbeliever, and I know it, and you're a cantankerous old heathen, and you don't know it." The Colonel sat suddenly bolt upright. "Needn't look at me like that. You're as bad as anybody—rather worse. Why are you here? Dazzled and lured by the great gold craze. An' you're not even poor. You want more gold. You've got a home to stay in; but ...
— The Magnetic North • Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)

... the Sharks as the Squalidae family, and they are, upon the whole, as unpleasant a family as a Squalid Castaway would desire to meet with in a Squall. They are all carnivorous, cartilaginous, and cantankerous. No fish culturist, from St. ANTHONY to SETH GREEN, has thought it worth while to take them in hand, with the view of reforming them, and their Vices are as objectionable now as they were three thousand years ago. If a sailor falls ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 17, July 23, 1870 • Various

... found out that his kids are Literates—Woooo!" Cardon grimaced. "Or what we've been doing to him. I hope I'm not around when that happens. I'm beginning to like the cantankerous old bugger." ...
— Null-ABC • Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire

... said the lawyer to himself, as he watched her driving away. "She looks well, too, when her eyes flash, and she puts on that haughty air. Odd that she should be so fond of that cantankerous old father. I wonder if the report is true which I heard of an Australian lover turning up for her. Well, there are worse-looking women than Frances Kane. I thought her very much aged when she first came into the office, but when she told me that she didn't ...
— Frances Kane's Fortune • L. T. Meade

... their seat as the collar of his coat. He would take cold without them; to part with them would be the death of him. So! don't go too near—don't let us alarm them; for, in truth, they have had insults, and met with impertinences of late years, and have grown fretful and cantankerous in their old age. Nay, horrid radicals have not hesitated, in this wicked generation, to aim sundry deadly blows at them; and it has been all that the old squire has been able to do to ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, September, 1850 • Various

... those of my lady the Countess herself, for I would have a servant to wait on you. And your father would come and live with us and we would make him happy and comfortable too, and your mother . . . well! your mother would be happy too, and therefore not quite so cantankerous as she sometimes is." ...
— A Bride of the Plains • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... plain speech, and Fergus had often work enough to put a guard upon hand and tongue. But his temperament was eminently self-contained, and on the whole he was an elusive target for the witticisms of his friends. There was no wit, however, and no attempt at it on the part of Donkin, the cantankerous cashier. He seldom addressed a word to Carrick, never a civil word, but more than once he treated his chief to a sarcastic remonstrance on his degrading familiarity with an underling. In such encounters the imperturbable ...
— Stingaree • E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung

... you got much," cried Rosamund, the last stays of her formidable temper giving way; "I think I'll go somewhere else for a little sense and pluck. I think I know some one who will help me more than you do, at any rate... he's a cantankerous beast, but he's a man, and has a mind, and knows it..." And she flung out into the garden, with cheeks aflame, and the parasol whirling like a ...
— Manalive • G. K. Chesterton

... 'But that cantankerous old Price refused us flat. He said we'd been far too idle, me especially, to yield us one single hour extra; and he hammered away about his responsibilities as he has the cheek to call us. Now, I ask you, wasn't that enough to make a fellow just mad? Wouldn't ...
— The Captain's Bunk - A Story for Boys • M. B. Manwell

... opposite. I don't know whether he is cleverer or less clever; there is no scale of measurement between you: but he is wholly void of ambition, and might possibly assist yours. He can do what he likes with Sir Peter; and considering how your poor father—a worthy man, but cantankerous—harassed and persecuted Sir Peter, because Kenelm came between the estate and you, it is probable that Sir Peter bears you a grudge, though Kenelm declares him incapable of it; and it would be well if you could annul that grudge in the ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... to rouse most cities with their interpretation of the day's meaning. Then, less melodiously, dissenters of different sects issue a cantankerous emendation. The steamers, resounding like gigantic tuning-forks, state the old old fact—how there is a sea coldly, greenly, swaying outside. But nowadays it is the thin voice of duty, piping in a white thread from the top of a funnel, that collects the largest multitudes, and night is nothing ...
— Jacob's Room • Virginia Woolf

... Morris. Then "the party,"—by which Barrington Erle probably meant the great man in whose service he himself had become a politician,—required that the candidate should be a safe man, one who would support "the party,"—not a cantankerous, red-hot semi-Fenian, running about to meetings at the Rotunda, and such-like, with views of his own about tenant-right and the Irish Church. "But I have views of my own," said Phineas, blushing again. "Of course you have, my dear boy," said Barrington, clapping him on the back. ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... the most sphinx-like reticence. "But the plain facts, as universally admitted, were these. I break no confidence. Yorke-Bannerman had a rich uncle from whom he had expectations—a certain Admiral Scott Prideaux. This uncle had lately made a will in Yorke-Bannerman's favour; but he was a cantankerous old chap—naval, you know autocratic—crusty—given to changing his mind with each change of the wind, and easily offended by his relations—the sort of cheerful old party who makes a new will once every month, disinheriting the nephew he last dined with. Well, one day ...
— Hilda Wade - A Woman With Tenacity Of Purpose • Grant Allen

... bluff. 'The right to maul your immediate descendants that a-way is guaranteed by the constitootion, an' is one of them things we-alls fights for at Bunker Hill. However, I reckons Billy's merely blowin' his horn; bein' sick an' cantankerous with his game knee.' ...
— Wolfville • Alfred Henry Lewis

... that in studying fashion plates and practising expressions they had been going upon the wrong tack. The card for them to play was 'the poor.' But here a serious difficulty arose. There was only one poor person in the whole parish, a cantankerous old fellow who lived in a tumble-down cottage at the back of the church, and fifteen able-bodied women (eleven girls, three old maids, and a widow) wanted to be 'good' ...
— Novel Notes • Jerome K. Jerome

... not to be imagined that everyone was pleased with these changes; for on board ship, as on shore, there exist discontented spirits, whose acquired habit it is to find fault with the existing state of things, be these what they may. To such cantankerous folks a growl of misery would really seem to be the great paradoxical happiness of their lives, and, in the absence of real hardship, it is part of your thorough-bred growler to prophesy. I have seen a middy of this ...
— The Lieutenant and Commander - Being Autobigraphical Sketches of His Own Career, from - Fragments of Voyages and Travels • Basil Hall

... out the chief figures. "There's Grant... and Stanton, looking more cantankerous than ever. They say he's brokenhearted." But Mr. Hamilton had no eye for celebrities. He was thinking rather of those plain mourners from the west, and of the poorest house in Washington decked with black. This is a true national sorrow, he thought. ...
— The Path of the King • John Buchan

... measure, a 'gigantic scheme of godless education,' and a large majority of Irish Roman Catholic Prelates have solemnly pronounced it 'dangerous to faith and morals.' Neither ministerial allurements, nor ministerial threats can subdue the cantankerous spirit of these bigots. They are all but frantic and certainly not without reason, for the Irish Colleges' Bill is the fine point of that wedge which, driven home, will shiver to pieces their 'wicked political system.' Whatever improves Irish intellect will play the mischief with its 'faith,' though ...
— Superstition Unveiled • Charles Southwell

... elsewhere!" Trembling with anger, and dropping all concealment, Eva springs to her feet: "Yes, elsewhere shall fortune bloom for him than in the neighbourhood of you repulsive envy-ridden creatures!—elsewhere, where hearts still have some warmth in them, in spite of all cantankerous Master Hanses!—Directly, yes, I am coming!" (This to Magdalene, who has been calling to her from her father's door.) "I go home much comforted! It reeks of pitch here till God take pity on us! Kindle a fire with it, do, Master ...
— The Wagnerian Romances • Gertrude Hall

... still cantankerous, as it was perfectly natural that she should be. She wanted to be a Marchioness and sail away to the peerful sky. And she could not cut free from her anchor. The Marquess was winding up ...
— We Can't Have Everything • Rupert Hughes

... Spider, and Pat, and Clam, and Johnny Heinhold, and others, came the tips that Old Scratch liked me and had nothing but good words for the fine lad I was. Which was the more remarkable, because he was known as a savage, cantankerous old cuss who never liked anybody. (His very nickname, "Scratch," arose from a Berserker trick of his, in fighting, of tearing off his opponent's face.) And that I had won his friendship, all thanks were due to John Barleycorn. ...
— John Barleycorn • Jack London

... holds forth as to Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. As was the proper thing I sets silent through them hardships. But I could, it I'm disposed to become a disturbin' element or goes out to cut loose cantankerous an' dispootatious in another gent's game, have showed him the French experiences that Moscow time is Sunday school excursions compared with these trips the boys makes when on the breath of that blizzard they swings south with their herds. Them yooths, some of 'em, is over eight ...
— Wolfville Nights • Alfred Lewis

... local inheritance: droughts, dust, mud, and canker-worms. I cannot but think that all the characters of a region help to modify the children born in it. I am fond of making apologies for human nature, and I think I could find an excuse for myself if I, too, were dry and barren and muddy-witted and "cantankerous,"—disposed to get my back up, like those ...
— The Poet at the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... down by the beach—the one fooling about with his sting and the other helping him. It never occurred to me that the beggars would take advantage of the peculiar position I was in to pick a quarrel. But I suppose the centipede poison and the kicking I had given him had upset the one—he was always a cantankerous ...
— The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... round his neck a handsome silver call and chain. But with all his oddities, his enemies—and he had a few—were obliged to confess that he knew and did his duty as well as any man in the ship. Among his other qualifications, he was a bit of a sea-lawyer; not of the cantankerous sort, however, for it might be more justly said that he preferred sitting on the judicial bench, and he was ever ready to settle all disputes either by arbitration or the rope's-end; indeed, in most cases he had recourse to the latter, as being the most summary mode ...
— Salt Water - The Sea Life and Adventures of Neil D'Arcy the Midshipman • W. H. G. Kingston

... "Well! of all the cantankerous—here! come in, you! she wants to see you!" and Direxia, holding the door in her hand, beckoned angrily to some one invisible. There was a murmur, a reluctant shuffle, and a man appeared in the doorway and stood lowering, his eyes fixed on the ground; a tall, slight ...
— Mrs. Tree • Laura E. Richards

... most likely. A cheery, kindly man, notwithstanding, though given to moods. He and Mrs. Cromwell seem to have rubbed along, on the whole, pretty well together. Old Sam Johnson—great, God-fearing, lovable, cantankerous old brute! Life with him, in a small house on a limited income, must have had its ups and downs. Milton and Frederick the Great were, one hopes, a little below the average. Did their best, no doubt; lacked understanding. Not ...
— They and I • Jerome K. Jerome

... because you don't know her as well as I. Ecod! I know every inch about her; and there's not a more bitter cantankerous toad ...
— She Stoops to Conquer - or, The Mistakes of a Night. A Comedy. • Oliver Goldsmith

... was almost a roar. Spencer's temper, always uncertain, had been severely tried that morning, and was rapidly giving way under the strain of bitter disappointment. "I ran up against Foster in those Senate lobby charges, and of all the cantankerous—" He paused expressively, then added, "I used to have a high regard for his sagacity and business judgment until he lost his head over that Grey woman. Because she don't choose to be decently civil, he's turned surly. You wait! I'll bring them to time, and Kathleen ...
— I Spy • Natalie Sumner Lincoln

... give you, Sergeant, until I count three. Then, if you haven't started, we'll simply have to bring you down like a cantankerous grizzly. Or, if you start and then stop again, we'll shoot just the same. We can't afford to waste any more ...
— Uncle Sam's Boys as Sergeants - or, Handling Their First Real Commands • H. Irving Hancock

... people to the meaning of Irish advance in America, that he is responsible for Fritters, for the alliance, for McMeeter, for the escaped nun, for her vile Confessions, for the kidnapping societies here. You are cantankerous enough to forget that he used his position in London to do us harm, and you won't see that he will do as much with the justiceship. Let these things pass. If you were a good Catholic one might excuse your devotion to Livingstone on the score that ...
— The Art of Disappearing • John Talbot Smith

... in fabula who is not "mafioso"; that the crude banditism which sits in every Corsican's bones has raised him to the elysium of martyrs and heroes and not, where he ought to have gone, to the gallows; that the Maltese are not merely cantankerous and bigoted (Catholic) Arabs, but also sober, industrious, and economical. I have lived with all these races in their own countries and—apart from a fatal monkey-like apprehensibility which passes for intelligence but, as a matter of fact, ...
— Fountains In The Sand - Rambles Among The Oases Of Tunisia • Norman Douglas

... end of a play depends on something very like the unravelling of a tangled skein; and still more often, perhaps, is it brought about through the loosening of some knot in the mind of one or more of the characters. This was the characteristic end of the old comedy. The heavy father, or cantankerous guardian, who for four acts and a half had stood between the lovers, suddenly changed his mind, and all was well. Even by our ancestors this was reckoned a rather too simple method of disentanglement. Lisideius, in Dryden's dialogue,[1] in enumerating the points in which ...
— Play-Making - A Manual of Craftsmanship • William Archer

... I am a sketcher from life. Well, that being the case, though it is painful to dwell upon any case, accept the following sketch from nature; it is a recent event—you may not question the truth—the names I conceal. A sour, sulky, cantankerous fellow, of some fortune, lean, wizened, and little, with one of those parchment complexions that indicate a cold antipathy to aught but self, married a fine generous creature, fair and large in person; neither bride nor bridegroom were in the flower of youth—a flower ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 337, November, 1843 • Various

... good deal of curacoa and seltzer and brandy, and had taken these comforting potations after a bottle of champagne. He was, consequently, rather out of sorts when he was run to ground in his very bedroom by Boltby's clerk. He was cantankerous at first, and told the clerk to go and be d——d. The clerk pleaded Sir Harry. Sir Harry was in town, and wanted to see his cousin. A meeting must, of course, be arranged. Sir Harry wished that it might be in Mr. Boltby's private room. When Cousin George ...
— Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite • Anthony Trollope

... stone school, full of the modern improvements that he detested, the old dominie whom I succeeded taught, and sometimes slept, during the last five years of his cantankerous life. It was in a little thatched school, consisting of but one room, that he did his best work, some five hundred yards away from the edifice that was reared in its stead. Now dismally fallen into disrepute, often indeed a domicile for cattle, the ragged academy of Glen Quharity, where he held ...
— Auld Licht Idyls • J.M. Barrie

... so troublesome, and everybody is so cantankerous. If he wanted to set up some pernicious manufacture, it could not be worse! The Osbornes, after having lived with Tibb's Alley close to them all their lives, object to the almshouses! Mr. Baron wont have the new drains carried through his little strip of land. The Town Council think we are ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... this planet we had trouble catching all of the natives. They were the most cantankerous, persistent race you can imagine. So these museums were set up, to lure them in here. We announced that these places would be set aside and that they would not be bothered as long as they remained in the museums. All in all, we made the museums rather attractive places, ...
— Be It Ever Thus • Robert Moore Williams

... had ever seen or spoken to, a novelist and lecturer with record-breaking best sellers to his account. He once had some business dealings with our firm, and I attended to the details, thereby winning his cantankerous approval. He had very bad manners, of which he was totally unashamed, and very good morals, of which he was somewhat doubtful, as they didn't smack of genius; a notion that he was a superior sort of Sherlock Holmes, having the truffle-hound's flair for discovering ...
— A Woman Named Smith • Marie Conway Oemler

... talked with young Hazlitt, and wound up by inviting the disciple to visit him at Nether Stowey in the Quantocks. Hazlitt went, made acquaintance with William and Dorothy Wordsworth, and was drawn more deeply under the spell. In later years as the younger man grew cantankerous and the elder declined, through opium, into a 'battered seraph', there was an estrangement. But Hazlitt never forgot ...
— Characters of Shakespeare's Plays • William Hazlitt

... about Skeaton-on-Sea and its delights, about the church and its marvellous east window, about the choir and the difficulties with the choir-boys and the necessity for repairing the organ, about the troubles with the churchwardens, especially one Mr. Bellows, who, in his cantankerous and dyspeptic objections to everything that any one proposed, became quite a lively figure to Maggie's imagination, about the St. John's Brotherhood which had been formed to keep the "lads" out of the public-houses and was doing so well, about the Shakespeare Reading Society and a Mrs. Tempest ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... bosom of a director towards his shareholders, he faced them calmly. Soames faced them too. He knew most of them by sight. There was old Scrubsole, a tar man, who always came, as Hemmings would say, 'to make himself nasty,' a cantankerous-looking old fellow with a red face, a jowl, and an enormous low-crowned hat reposing on his knee. And the Rev. Mr. Boms, who always proposed a vote of thanks to the chairman, in which he invariably expressed the ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... might crown and bless him before he was laid in the ancestral tomb. It was a real calamity; though by no means the greatest that had been fished up out of the pit of domestic discord that had been opened anew by the advent of the American; and by the use which had been made of it by the cantankerous old man of the Hospital. Middleton, as he looked at these evil consequences, sometimes regretted that he had not listened to those forebodings which had warned him back on the eve of his enterprise; yet such was the strange entanglement and interest which ...
— The Ancestral Footstep (fragment) - Outlines of an English Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... manners to the breakfast-table—the first time in the whole history of the Home when company manners had graced the initial meal of the day. Being pleasant at supper was easy enough, Aunt Nancy used to say, for every one save the unreasonably cantankerous, and being agreeable at dinner was not especially difficult; but no one short of a saint could be expected to smile of mornings until sufficient time had been given to discover whether one had stepped out on the wrong or the right side ...
— Old Lady Number 31 • Louise Forsslund

... whether it was the sprained ankle or the hot weather I don't know, but the old lady was cantankerous past all believing. ...
— In Homespun • Edith Nesbit

... stars. There would not be a living soul on the shore for hours. From the harbour the nearest way to the House was by the sea gate, but where was the haste—with the lovely night around them, private as a dream shared only by two? Besides, to get in by that, they would have had to rouse the cantankerous Bykes, and what a jar would not that bring into the music of the silence! Instead, therefore, of turning up by the side of the stream where it crossed the shore, he took Clementina once again in his arms unforbidden, and carried her over. Then the long sands lay ...
— The Marquis of Lossie • George MacDonald

... said the barkeeper. "He's the most cantankerous crank in the township. And say, let me give you a pointer. If the subject of 1812 comes up,—the war, you know,—you'd better admit that we got thrashed out of our boots; that is, if you want to get along with Hiram. ...
— In the Midst of Alarms • Robert Barr

... this muddle,' said Sol, in no sweeter tone. 'Ha, ha! Upon my life I should be inclined to laugh, if I were not so much inclined to do the other thing, at Berta's trick of trying to make close family allies of such a cantankerous pair as you and I! So much of one mind as we be, so alike in our ways of living, so close connected in our callings and principles, so matched in manners and customs! 'twould be a thousand pities ...
— The Hand of Ethelberta • Thomas Hardy

... rose with the exasperated air of one whose patience is gone. She made a step as though to shield her husband's sister from the cantankerous old man. "If I hear another word of argument in this house tonight—" she threatened. "Mr. Reinhardt, what are these people ...
— The Bent Twig • Dorothy Canfield

... looked like going to interrupt, SEXTON lapsed into interrogatory, which put him in order; then went on again, patronising JOHN MOWBRAY, posing as champion of privileges of House, and so thoroughly enjoying himself, that only a particularly cantankerous person could have complained. Still, it was a little long. "This isn't SEXTON'S funeral, is it?" HARCOURT ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 100, April 25, 1891 • Various

... young son at college; he pats little dogs which he would kick otherwise; he smiles at old stories which would make him break out in yawns, were they uttered by any one but papa; he drinks sweet port wine for which he would curse the steward and the whole committee of a club; he bears even with the cantankerous old maiden aunt; he beats time when darling little Fanny performs her piece on the piano; and smiles when wicked, lively little Bobby upsets the ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... of course, it is all a trick of yours. You didn't want to sing. We made you. This is your revenge, eh? I didn't know you had it in you to be so—so beastly and cantankerous." ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... now, and the constable on night duty will attend to it. When your mother arrives, tell her the whole story, and send her to Miss Manning. Don't go yourself. You might meet Robert Fenley, and he would certainly be cantankerous. If your mother resembles you, she will have no difficulty in arranging matters ...
— The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley • Louis Tracy

... law-givers might have said, when the State first intervened between individuals to make itself responsible for public order. Peace between the Powers, as between individuals, is, no doubt, a habit to which cantankerous Powers "must accustom themselves." But they will be sure to do so if there is a Law, armed with the force to be their schoolmaster towards peaceable habits. In other words, they will do so because they have surrendered one of the most vital elements ...
— The War and Democracy • R.W. Seton-Watson, J. Dover Wilson, Alfred E. Zimmern,

... glad you've come back, dearie—and I won't ask you any more questions. I'm a cross-grained, cantankerous old thing, but you'll stop along of ...
— Joanna Godden • Sheila Kaye-Smith

... mental reservation. "I know how it is, Cicely. Allyn has been my baby and my boy; but, much as I love him, I can't help seeing that he is cantankerous and cross-grained at times. But it is only at ...
— Phebe, Her Profession - A Sequel to Teddy: Her Book • Anna Chapin Ray

... declared the little old woman, smiling quite cheerfully. "But I tell Jabez Potter he might as well make up his mind to seeing my corner of his hearth empty one of these days. And he'll miss me, too, cantankerous ...
— Ruth Fielding on the St. Lawrence - The Queer Old Man of the Thousand Islands • Alice B. Emerson

... easy-going as you could wish and all probably that Cap'en Jiggins thought her; but, you had only just to try to get her to sail up in the wind's eye or run with the breeze a bit ahead of the beam, and you'd soon have seen for yourself how cantankerous she could be! ...
— Tom Finch's Monkey - and How he Dined with the Admiral • John C. Hutcheson

... late now. Drink as he has brewed. He should have thought twice before he broke my poor mother's heart with his cantankerous ways. Cheveleigh beneath him, forsooth! I'm not going to have it cut up for a lot of trumpery girls! I've settled the property and whatever other pickings there may be upon my little Clara—grateful, and worthy of it! Her husband shall take Dynevor name and arms—unless, ...
— Dynevor Terrace (Vol. II) • Charlotte M. Yonge

... learnt something of the former tenants. She was a good-natured old soul, with an aggrieved tone of voice, due probably to the depressing effects of keeping an empty house for a cantankerous landlord. The former tenant's name was Smith, she said (unmistakably English this!). But his lady was a Roosian, she believed. They had lived in Roosia, and some of the children, having been born there, were little Roosians, and had Roosian names. She could not speak herself, having no ...
— Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... say painting doesn't pay," said the Scotchman, extending his long hands comprehensively, with a quiet chuckle. "And I'm not saying that it does, mind you, when a man has notions like that queer, cantankerous devil Oswyn. He wouldn't make anything pay in this world. But if a man's clever and canny, and has the sense to see on which side his bread's buttered ... why, it's just easier than nothing. And to think that the laddie ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... and it's miles and miles away from any other land; therefore it don't belong to nobody, and accordin'ly I takes possession of it. So you see, Cap'n, you're all wrong about it bein' your'n. It's mine; and if I was measly and cantankerous I'd prob'ly order you to take your schooner outer my harbour at once. But I ain't that sorter man: I'm lib'ral and free-handed to a fault; I ain't no greedy grab-all, not by a long chalk, so you may stay in this here harbour o' mine so long as you've a mind to. But, you understan', you ain't ...
— Turned Adrift • Harry Collingwood

... "A self-willed, cantankerous little imp I call her," was Mrs. Travers's comment, expressed after one of the many trials of strength between them, from which Miss Kavanagh had as usual ...
— Malvina of Brittany • Jerome K. Jerome

... by your impetuosity. You complain of the authorities, you even complain of the government—you are always pulling them to pieces; you insist that you have been neglected and persecuted. But what else can such a cantankerous man ...
— An Enemy of the People • Henrik Ibsen

... I think she isn't cantankerous. Quite selfish people never are; they just grab everything in sight, with a total serenity and regardless of any consequences. That is the reason Mrs. Brenton is such a good subject for ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... notwithstanding that his unerring spear slew two goodly and most furious animals. He is wondrous sullen,-and only the divine Sah- luma is skilled in the art of soothing his troubled spirit. Therefore,—if thou hast aught of crabbed or cantankerous to urge against thy master's genius, thou hadst best reserve it for another time, lest thy withered head roll on the market-place with as little reverence as a dried gourd ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... letter, in which he assured her of his love, could not counterbalance the harshness of its contents. Madame Balzac, be it granted, was cantankerous; but how many sons who have never sponged on their mothers have supported them cheerfully, gladly, for long years out of meagre resources, and have borne with a smile the natural peevishness of old age, ...
— Balzac • Frederick Lawton

... to say we have not got out of the horse as I hoped. Lord Bullfrog, who is a most cantankerous fellow, insists upon having him back, according to the terms of my letter; I must therefore trouble you to hunt him up, and let us accommodate his lordship with him again. If you will say where he is, I may very ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... hardy cantankerous Serb, Whom even the Turk couldn't curb, In having a go With Emperor Joe, Will the plans ...
— War Rhymes • Abner Cosens

... years the pales of Parnassus, and become squatters on the sacred mount, that the claim of poets to be a peculiar people is getting disallowed. Never in this world's history were they so numerous; and although some people deny that they are poets, few are cantankerous enough or intrepid enough to assert that they are vagabonds. The painter is the most agreeable of vagabonds. His art is a pleasant one: it demands some little manual exertion, and it takes him at times into the open air. It is pleasant, too, in this, that lines and colours are so much more ...
— Dreamthorp - A Book of Essays Written in the Country • Alexander Smith

... schooner called to collect copra. The one white man on Oolong was McAllister, petty trader and unintermittent guzzler; and he ruled Oolong and its six thousand savages with an iron hand. He said come, and they came, go, and they went. They never questioned his will nor judgment. He was cantankerous as only an aged Scotchman can be, and interfered continually in their personal affairs. When Nugu, the king's daughter, wanted to marry Haunau from the other end of the atoll, her father said yes; but McAllister said no, ...
— South Sea Tales • Jack London

... the benefit of the drivelling, cantankerous critic, with a squint in his eye, who never looks for anything good in a piece of writing, but is always on the search for a flaw, that I send passages from Tennyson floating through my Marie's brain with good justification. She had received ...
— The Story of Louis Riel: The Rebel Chief • Joseph Edmund Collins

... he feels that way toward me all the time, in spite of all my cantankerous moods?" asked ...
— A Knight Of The Nineteenth Century • E. P. Roe

... British Columbia to visit me at the Great Oaks School. She had gotten into pathetic physical condition. Fifteen years previously she had remarried. Tom, her new husband, had been a gold prospector and general mountain man, a wonderfully independent and cantankerous cuss, a great hunter and wood chopper and all around good-natured backwoods homestead handyman. Tom had tired of solitary log cabin life and to solve his problem had taken on the care and feeding of ...
— How and When to Be Your Own Doctor • Dr. Isabelle A. Moser with Steve Solomon

... remember him as Everard Constable, a touchy, ill-conditioned, cantankerous brute if ever there was one, who does not care a straw for anyone but himself. I can't think what she sees in him. But an Earl's an Earl. I always forget that. I have lived so much apart from the world and its sordid motives and love of wealth ...
— Prisoners - Fast Bound In Misery And Iron • Mary Cholmondeley

... you cantankerous little fabrication of nothings!" Belle said aloud, in a low, throaty, gloating voice. "Take that—and that! And now behave yourself. If you don't, mama spank—but good!" Then, breaking connection, "Thanks a million, Clee; you're tall, solid gold. Do you want to ...
— The Galaxy Primes • Edward Elmer Smith

... engineering Hector and Achilles. Out of these two opinions, of necessity, must the five respectable members on the bench form their judgment; for of themselves they know nothing, having been purposely selected on account of their superior ignorance. Cross-examination makes the matter still worse. A cantankerous waspish counsel, with the voice of an exasperated cockatoo, endeavours to make the opposing engineer contradict himself. He might as well try to overturn Ailsa Crag. He of the impossible gradients is the hero of a hundred committees, quite accustomed to ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 358, August 1845 • Various

... I'd like to hear Madam Farnham hear you call her that; she'd just tear your eyes out. But Lord-a-mercy, she hain't got animation enough for anything of the sort; if she had, a rattlesnake wouldn't be more cantankerous to my thinking. She's got all the pison in her, but only hisses it out like a cat; in my hull life I never did see such ...
— The Old Homestead • Ann S. Stephens

... of Whitefriars, though it is borrowed to a great extent, and rather anticipated in point of time, from Shadwell's Squire of Alsatia, sixty or seventy years after date, is of the finest, whilst Sir Mungo Malagrowther[18] all but deserves the same description. But this most cantankerous knight is not touched off with the completeness of Dalgetty, or even of Claud Halcro. Lord Glenvarloch adds, to the insipidity which is the bane of Scott's good heroes, some rather disagreeable traits which none of them had hitherto shown. Dalgarno in the same way falls short of his best bad ...
— Sir Walter Scott - Famous Scots Series • George Saintsbury

... offer comment, but was struck dumb with astonishment on hearing McKean's voice: it seemed he could talk. He was telling of an old Scotch peasant farmer. A mean, cantankerous old cuss whose curious pride it was that he had never given anything away. Not a crust, nor a sixpence, nor a rag; and never would. Many had been the attempts to make him break his boast: some for the joke of the thing and some for the need; but none had ever succeeded. It was ...
— All Roads Lead to Calvary • Jerome K. Jerome

... Now, I suppose my cantankerous daughter wouldn't have you, Piercy; not if I said anything to her about it. But if ...
— Writing for Vaudeville • Brett Page

... he replied, "you know animals are pretty much like people. There are some good ones and some bad ones. Now, this dog is a snarling, cross-grained, cantankerous beast, and when I heard Joe was coming, I said: 'Now we'll have a good dog about the place, and here's an end to the bad one.' So I tied Bruno up, and to-morrow I shall shoot him. Something's got to be done, or he'll be ...
— Beautiful Joe - An Autobiography of a Dog • by Marshall Saunders



Words linked to "Cantankerous" :   ornery, stubborn, crotchety, obstinate, bloody-minded, UK, Great Britain, ill-natured, U.K., United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom



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