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Idiom   Listen
noun
Idiom  n.  
1.
The syntactical or structural form peculiar to any language; the genius or cast of a language. "Idiom may be employed loosely and figuratively as a synonym of language or dialect, but in its proper sense it signifies the totality of the general rules of construction which characterize the syntax of a particular language and distinguish it from other tongues." "By idiom is meant the use of words which is peculiar to a particular language." "He followed their language (the Latin), but did not comply with the idiom of ours."
2.
An expression conforming or appropriate to the peculiar structural form of a language. "Some that with care true eloquence shall teach, And to just idioms fix our doubtful speech."
3.
A combination of words having a meaning peculiar to itself and not predictable as a combination of the meanings of the individual words, but sanctioned by usage; as, an idiomatic expression; less commonly, a single word used in a peculiar sense. "It is not by means of rules that such idioms as the following are made current: "I can make nothing of it." "He treats his subject home.". "It is that within us that makes for righteousness."." "Sometimes we identify the words with the object though by courtesy of idiom rather than in strict propriety of language."
4.
The phrase forms peculiar to a particular author; as, written in his own idiom. "Every good writer has much idiom."
5.
Dialect; a variant form of a language.
Synonyms: Dialect. Idiom, Dialect. The idioms of a language belong to its very structure; its dialects are varieties of expression ingrafted upon it in different localities or by different professions. Each county of England has some peculiarities of dialect, and so have most of the professions, while the great idioms of the language are everywhere the same. See Language.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Idiom" Quotes from Famous Books



... and grown so dear! The backs of tarnished gold, the faded boards, The slightly yellowing page, the strange old type, All speak the fashion of another age; The thoughts peculiar to the man who wrote Arrayed in garb peculiar to the time; As though the idiom of a man were caught Imprisoned in the idiom of a race. A nothing truly, yet a link that binds All ages to their own inheritance, And stretching backward, dim and dimmer still, Is lost in a remote antiquity. ...
— A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass • Amy Lowell

... its different dialects, we must calculate that at the above mentioned period, and in the course of the next following centuries, before the Slavic was by degrees supplanted in the German-Slavic provinces by the German idiom, the number of those who called that language their mother tongue was at least the fifth part greater. Schloezer observes, that, with the exception of the Arabians, no nation on the globe had extended themselves so far. In the South, the Adriatic, the range of the Balkan, and the Euxine, are their ...
— Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic - Nations • Therese Albertine Louise von Jacob Robinson

... baths to be built up; and even to this day those who live in the neighborhood believe that they sometimes see specters, and hear alarming sounds. The posterity of Damon, of whom some still remain, mostly in Phocis, near the town of Stiris, are called Asbolomeni, that is, in the Aeolian idiom, men daubed with soot; because Damon was thus besmeared when he committed ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... extract from it has, however, been added to the Book of Leinster version for the purpose of comparison. In the renderings given of these romances the translation of the prose is nearly literal, but no attempt has been made to follow the Irish idiom where this idiom sounds harsh in English; actives have been altered to passive forms and the reverse, adjectives are sometimes replaced by short sentences which give the image better in English, pronouns, in which Irish is very rich, are often replaced by the persons or things indicated, ...
— Heroic Romances of Ireland Volumes 1 and 2 Combined • A. H. Leahy

... dialects were blended and formed the ancient speech of the Netherlands, which in the Middle Ages, like the other European languages, passed through the different Germanic, Norman, and French phases, and ended in the present Dutch language, in which there is still a foundation of the primitive idiom and the evidence of a slight Latin influence. Certainly, there is a striking similarity between Dutch and German, and, above all, there are a number of root-words common to the two; but there is, however, a great ...
— Holland, v. 1 (of 2) • Edmondo de Amicis

... removed her veil and disclosed a very beautiful face. She was evidently an American woman, and our hero had detected a Yankee pronunciation, but he was thoughtful enough to know that the down east idiom might be assumed. We will here say that his suspicions of the woman had not relaxed, but when he beheld her fair, beautiful face his suspicion was ...
— Cad Metti, The Female Detective Strategist - Dudie Dunne Again in the Field • Harlan Page Halsey

... countries, when they stood in a hostile relation to each other, and even long afterwards, it was not surprising that "the wild Irishman" who expressed himself with difficulty, and often impressed the idiom of his own language upon one with which he was not familiar, should incur, in the opinion of those who were strongly prejudiced against him, the character of making the bulls and blunders attributed to him. Such was the fact, and such the origin ...
— The Ned M'Keown Stories - Traits And Stories Of The Irish Peasantry, The Works of - William Carleton, Volume Three • William Carleton

... 'deliberately falsifying the text by inserting, "say they."' Tischendorf's words are, 'Und deshalb sagen sie habe der Herr den Ausspruch gethan.' He might have spared the 'sagen sie,' because the German idiom 'habe' enables him to express the main fact that the words are not Irenaeus' own, without this addition. But he has not altered any idea which the original contains; whereas our author himself has suppressed ...
— Essays on "Supernatural Religion" • Joseph B. Lightfoot

... slashes which sometimes bridge the creeks. There are still black ash swales and dry beech ridges, but they are not as massive as further south. There are still the haunting deer and the black bear and the ruffed grouse, the "partridge" in the idiom of the country, the "pheasant" of the South and Southwest. There are scores of tiny lakes, deep and pure and tenanted, and babbling streams, and there are the knighted speckled trout, the viking black bass and that ...
— A Man and a Woman • Stanley Waterloo

... expression was not there, and it has been poorly and unintelligibly translated into German eine Gemeinschaft der Heiligen, a communion of saints. If it is to be rendered plainly, it must be expressed quite differently in the German idiom; for the word ecclesia properly means in German eine Versammlung, an assembly. But we are accustomed to the word church, by which the simple do not understand an assembled multitude, but the consecrated house or building, although ...
— The Large Catechism by Dr. Martin Luther

... newcomers with the language, for Chirino speaks of him in terms of highest praise. Henriquez "learned the language in three months and in six wrote a catechism in it, a confessionary, and a book of sermons for all the gospels of the year in the said idiom," [93] but he died on February 3, 1593 at Taytay. How thoroughly Chirino himself had grasped the fundamentals of Tagalog is evident from his three chapters [94] on the language and letters of the natives in which he prints the Ave Maria in Tagalog ...
— Doctrina Christiana • Anonymous

... the psychical energies, (i.e. energies belonging to the soul) are exerted, mingled with bodies, and are not purely psychical, but are also corporeal; for perception is of the animated body, or of the soul corporalized, though in such perception the psychical idiom predominates over the corporeal; just as in bodies, the corporeal idiom has dominion according to interval and subsistence. As the irrational soul, therefore, has its being in something different from itself, so far it is indigent of the subordinate: but a thing of this kind ...
— Introduction to the Philosophy and Writings of Plato • Thomas Taylor

... the same chapter also assigns to Sheba a different origin. It couples him with Dedan, and sees in him a descendant of Ham, a kinsman of Egypt and Canaan. Both genealogies are right. They are geographical, not ethnic, and denote, in accordance with Semitic idiom, the geographical relationships of the races and nations of the ancient world. Sheba belonged not only to south Arabia but to northern Arabia as well. The rule of the Sabaean princes extended to the borders of Egypt and Canaan, and Sheba was the brother ...
— Early Israel and the Surrounding Nations • Archibald Sayce

... and among them a volume in an unknown tongue, and which, although very ancient, had especially escaped destruction. This nobody in the monastery could read, nor could they at that time find any one who understood the writing or the idiom; it was exceedingly ancient, and the letters evidently were most beautifully formed; the inscriptions or titles were written in gold, and encircled with ornaments; bound in oak with silken bands, which still retained their strength and beauty; so perfectly was the volume preserved. But they could ...
— Bibliomania in the Middle Ages • Frederick Somner Merryweather

... when he heard the words pronounced in pure Brazilian, and not in the mixed idiom ...
— Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon • Jules Verne

... silver mines. Mrs. Madison's pretty face was all blushes, smiles, and tears. Mr. Madison rose to reply with unexpected alacrity, and Louis was soon relieved from anxiety, at least, as far as regarded his eloquence, for he thought in the majestic Spanish idiom, and translated as ...
— Dynevor Terrace (Vol. II) • Charlotte M. Yonge

... had many opportunities by which I have profited,' he explained. 'Few men are better acquainted with the similarities and differences, whether of idiom or ...
— St Ives • Robert Louis Stevenson

... tiresome and difficult a Piece of Work it is to translate, nor how little valued in the World. My Experience has convinced me, that 'tis more troublesome and teazing than to write and invent at once. The Idiom of the Language out of which one translates, runs so in the Head, that 'tis next to impossible not to fall frequently into it. And the more bald and incorrect the Stile of the Original is, the more shall that of the Translation be so too. Many of the Quotations in ...
— Franco-Gallia • Francis Hotoman

... happened before the age of five, and very little that happened before seven or eight, and that children of five or six, removed into foreign surroundings, will in a year or so—if special measures are not taken—reconstruct their idiom, and absolutely forget every word of their mother-tongue. This foreign nurse comes into the child's world, bringing with her quite weird errors in the quantities, the accent and idiom of the mother-tongue, and greatly increasing the difficulty and delay ...
— Mankind in the Making • H. G. Wells

... are interesting from the very great similarity that idiom has to our early language; and they, doubtless, influenced ...
— Notes and Queries, No. 28. Saturday, May 11, 1850 • Various

... taught me to read less eagerly, and with a greater degree of attention, which rendered my studies more serviceable. I accustomed myself to reflect on elocution and the elegance of composition; exercising myself in discerning pure French from my provincial idiom. For example, I corrected an orthographical fault (which I had in common with all Genevese) by these ...
— The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... the speech of their native shires. The language of the extreme south, the descendant of the tongue of the West Saxon court, became the dialect of peasants and artisans. That a continuous life was reserved for the idiom of the north country, was due to its becoming the speech of a free Scotland, the language in which Barbour, Archdeacon of Aberdeen, commemorated for the court of the first Stewart king the exploits of Robert Bruce and the Scottish war of independence. The unity of England thus found another notable ...
— The History of England - From the Accession of Henry III. to the Death of Edward III. (1216-1377) • T.F. Tout

... Wednesdays; highly creditable house."—Madame Firmiani is metamorphosed into a house! but the house is not a pile of stones architecturally superposed, of course not, the word presents in Lounger's language an indescribable idiom.—Here the Lounger, a spare man with an agreeable smile, a sayer of pretty nothings with more acquired cleverness than native wit, stoops to your ear and adds, with a shrewd glance: "I have never seen Monsieur ...
— Madame Firmiani • Honore de Balzac

... The stage fare amounted to $6, or 4s. for 34 miles. An extra dollar reserved the box-seat and gave me the double advantage of knowing what was coming in the rut line and taking another lesson in the idiom of the American stage-driver. This idiom consists of the smallest possible amount of dictionary words, a few Scriptural names rather irreverently used, a very large intermixture of "git-ups" and ejaculatory "his," and a general tendency to blasphemy all round. We reached Tom's shanty ...
— The Great Lone Land - A Narrative of Travel and Adventure in the North-West of America • W. F. Butler

... but I'm so sleepy that my eyes are shutting on me. (The idiom is Sadie Kate's.) I must go to bed and get some sleep against the one hundred ...
— Dear Enemy • Jean Webster

... low-ceilinged, but roomy, and the ventilation was excellent, considering. The smoke never got so thick that one couldn't see the way to the door when the students started in to "clean up the place," to use the happy idiom of mine own country. There were marble tables and floors and arches and light, cane-bottomed chairs from Kohn's. It was at once Bohemian and cosmopolitan, and, once inside, it was easy to imagine oneself in Vienna. A Hungarian orchestra occupied an inclosed ...
— The Princess Elopes • Harold MacGrath

... suppose, one of the supreme lyric expressions in the English language of the passion of love. Furthermore, Whitman's free unmetered swing, the glorious length of his stride, fell in with March's rhythmic idiom as though they had been ...
— Mary Wollaston • Henry Kitchell Webster

... more subtle, more beautiful than the theme; but still the theme is there, a precise and definite dogma for fancy to embroider. It is only in Hellas that Shelley's power of narrative (in Hassan's story), his irrepressible lyrical gift, and his passion which at length could speak in its own idiom, combine to make a masterpiece which owes to Godwin only some general ideas. If the transcript became less literal, it was not that the influence had waned. It was rather that Shelley was gaining the full mastery of his own native powers of expression. In these poems he assumes ...
— Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle • H. N. Brailsford

... (Doubleday, Page & Company.) Mr. Ade's new series of thirty fables are a valuable record of the war years in American life. They are written in a unique idiom full of color, if unintelligible to the foreigner. I think one may fairly say that Mr. Ade's work is thoroughly characteristic of a large section of American culture, and this section he has portrayed admirably. Undoubtedly he is ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1920 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... cases of poisoning by these substances, the spectroscope often has obvious advantages over chemical methods, for minute amounts will produce a well-defined spectrum. The spectroscope 'spots' the substance, to use a police idiom, the moment the case is turned over to it. There was no poison there." He had raised his voice to emphasise the startling revelation. "Instead, I found an extraordinary amount of the substance and products of glycogen. The liver, where this substance is stored, is literally surcharged ...
— The Dream Doctor • Arthur B. Reeve

... frightened protest, "People don't do these things." I still cling to this belief, but the fact remains that Miss HOLDING has a haunting trick of persuading one that they might. Minor faults, such as an irritating idiom and some carelessness of form, she will no doubt correct; meanwhile you have certainly got to read—"to suffer" would be the apter word—this remarkable book, whose reception ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, August 4th, 1920 • Various

... that the English left no mark upon the language in Guyenne is almost a conclusive proof that such of the Anglo-Saxon stock as followed the Norman leaders into Aquitaine, and who remained in the country any length of time, were not sufficiently numerous to impose their idiom upon others. They probably did not preserve it long themselves; but, like the English grooms who find occupation in France today, they quickly adopted the language that was generally spoken around them. Patient investigation might, nevertheless, ...
— Wanderings by southern waters, eastern Aquitaine • Edward Harrison Barker

... beguilements of evil spirits better than we have, for the contemplative orders were more kindred to those earlier times than to-day. Monasticism of today takes another turn. Love of God is eternal, but we must love God in the idiom and spirit of our time." And Father Daly believed that there was no surer method of escaping from the danger than by active work, by teaching, which, he argued, was not incompatible with contemplation, not carried to excess; and there were also the poor people, ...
— Sister Teresa • George Moore

... wanted not harmony: but never did exist a more barbarous jargon than the dialect, still venerated by antiquaries, and called Saxon. It was so uncouth, so inflexible to all composition, that the monks, retaining the idiom, were reduced to write in what they took or meant ...
— Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third • Horace Walpole

... from the Latin pando, "to open?" I am not aware of the existence of such a word as pander in old French; but I believe that it was by no means an unusual practice among the writers of Chaucer's time to adapt Latin words to their own idiom. ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 232, April 8, 1854 • Various

... no formal correctness about Ashley's habitual speech. He kept, as a rule, to the idiom of the mess, giving it distinction by his ...
— The Street Called Straight • Basil King

... their names so invoked may make their lovers throw the dice with success; still, according to the double sense of the word, they may be compared to each other, as they are both, according to the Latin idiom, 'invocati.'"] ...
— The Captiva and The Mostellaria • Plautus

... other at once, far better than either could ever understand the other members of the Star staff. Their clothes, their accents, their manners announced that they came from the same world,—that small "larger world," where they all use the same idiom. ...
— One Woman's Life • Robert Herrick

... also observe, that the stress which Mr. Everett lays upon the phrase "no iniquity," shows either great carelessness, or great ignorance of the idiom of the Hebrew Scriptures; because every man, familiar with those writings, knows that this expression is one of those called Hebreisms, which must be understood in a restrained sense. In proof of which, and a decisive one too, I would refer him to the prophecy of Balaam, recorded, Num. ch. xxii. ...
— Five Pebbles from the Brook • George Bethune English

... in his astonishment Eloquent dropped into the Garsetshire idiom he was usually so careful ...
— The Ffolliots of Redmarley • L. Allen Harker

... factory-made humour. Now the English people are apt to turn away from the whole field of slang. In the first place it puzzles them—they don't know whether each particular word or phrase is a sort of idiom already known to Americans, or something (as with O. Henry) never said before and to be analysed for its own sake. The result is that with the English public the great mass of American slang writing (genius apart) doesn't go. I have even found English people of undoubted ...
— My Discovery of England • Stephen Leacock

... too well-mannered, she was too good, both were too affectionate, for them to quarrel easily. But there took place something that could hardly be called estrangement; it was rather what a Frenchman might, with a refinement not possible in our idiom, call an eloignement. In spite of their exertions to come together, they drew apart. This process was interrupted by seasons of renewed tenderness. But Phillida's zeal, favored by Mrs. Frankland's meetings, held her back from those pursuits into which Millard would have drawn her, and only a ...
— The Faith Doctor - A Story of New York • Edward Eggleston

... authors: The greatest critic and most able grammarian of the last age, when he came to apply his learning and criticism to an English author, was frequently at a loss in matters of ordinary use and common construction in his own vernacular idiom."—DR. LOWTH, 1763: ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... Mongolia. I lived in his house some time, and know only too well about his affairs. He is hopelessly in debt. He had a large family once, but now they are all dead except one married daughter and one lama son about seventeen years of age, and good for nothing. His "old woman," as the Mongol idiom has it, is still alive, and fond of whisky, like her husband. If they had only been teetotalers they might have now been comfortable; such, at least, is my impression. I shall say nothing about what I saw ...
— James Gilmour of Mongolia - His diaries, letters, and reports • James Gilmour

... harvest. In my fifteenth autumn, my partner was a bewitching creature, a year younger than myself. My scarcity of English denies me the power of doing her justice in that language, but you know the Scottish idiom: she was a "bonnie, sweet, sonsie lass." In short, she, altogether unwittingly to herself, initiated me in that delicious passion, which, in spite of acid disappointment, gin-horse prudence, and ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... for sea idiom is assuredly proper in a maritime people, especially as many of the phrases are at once graphic, terse, and perspicuous. How could the whereabouts of an aching tooth be better pointed out to an operative dentist than Jack's "'Tis the aftermost grinder ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... imperfection of the form, when measured by classical standards, the difficulty of expressing in an old language the new thoughts of the Reformation. German was regarded even by Gibbon, two hundred and fifty years later, as a barbarous idiom. Luther, especially in his earlier writings, struggled to give form to a language and to express the highest thoughts in it. Where Luther thus struggled with two languages, it is evident that they have no easy task who attempt to reproduce the two ...
— Works of Martin Luther - With Introductions and Notes (Volume I) • Martin Luther

... friend, who possesses that large and ready sympathy easier found in Italy than anywhere else, had translated for me verbatim into French some of the poems written in the Milanese, and then read them aloud in the original, I comprehended the peculiar inflection of voice and idiom in the people, and was charmed with it, as one is with the instinctive wit and ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... and afterwards in the service of the Duke of Orleans, but having lost his hearing gave himself up to literature, writing odes and sonnets; he was of the PLEIADE SCHOOL OF POETS (q. v.), and contributed to introduce important changes in the idiom of the French language, as well as in the rhythm of ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... the teacher explained to me, for the translator to avail himself of the usual word for "hold," as it conveys more the idea of "take hold," "seize," and the young Kafir missionary thoroughly understood all the nicety of the idiom. There was another class for women and children, but it was a small one. Certainly, the young men seemed much in earnest, and the rapt expression of their faces was most striking, especially during the short prayer which ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Vol. XVII, No. 102. June, 1876. • Various

... of this poem, (still preserved at Bivar, the hero's birth-place,) bears the date of 1207, or at latest 1307, for there is some obscurity in the writing. Its learned editor, Sanchez, has been led by the peculiarities of its orthography, metre, and idiom, to refer its composition to as early a date as 1153. (Coleccion de Poesias Castellanas anteriores al Siglo XV. (Madrid 1779-90,) ...
— History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella V1 • William H. Prescott

... Romans was Carchedon among the Greeks. Hannibal was rendered Annibas: Asdrubal, Asdroubas: and probably neither was consonant to the Punic mode of expression. If then a prophet were to rise from the dead, and preach to any nation, he would make use of terms adapted to their idiom and usage; without any retrospect to the original of the terms, whether they were domestic, or foreign. The sacred writers undoubtedly observed this rule towards the people, for whom they wrote; and varied in their expressing of foreign terms; as the usage of the people varied. For ...
— A New System; or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology. Volume I. • Jacob Bryant

... my regret. With Sara's own-made acquisitions, her unaffectedness and no-pretensions are beautiful. You might pass an age with her without suspecting that she knew any thing but her mother's tongue. I don't mean any reflection on Mrs. Coleridge here. I had better have said her vernacular idiom. Poor C. I wish he had a home to receive his daughter in. But he is but as a stranger or a visitor in this world. How did you like Hartley's sonnets? The first, at least, is vastly fine. Lloyd has been in town a day or two on business, and is perfectly well. I am ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... as the Medes and Persians. This opinion, however, appears to us mere conjecture, as in the time of Klaproth the interpretation of cuneiform inscriptions had not been accomplished, and too little was known of the language of the Medes for any one to judge of its resemblance to the Ossete idiom. ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part III. The Great Explorers of the Nineteenth Century • Jules Verne

... yeux rouges et la joue ruisselante: note the absence of a preposition corresponding to the English 'with.' It is a very characteristic French idiom. ...
— Le Petit Chose (part 1) - Histoire d'un Enfant • Alphonse Daudet

... cretins," inquired Petitpois, "who would endanger the ship of the State?" (Achille prides himself upon his knowledge of English idiom.) ...
— The First Hundred Thousand • Ian Hay

... should suppose that he does not speak English fluently, plainly, distinctly, and with a perfect understanding of the meaning, weight, and value of every word, would be greatly mistaken. Not only is his knowledge of English— extending to the most subtle idiom, or the most recondite cant phrase—more extensive than that of many of us who have English for our mother-tongue, but his delivery of Shakespeare's blank verse is remarkably facile, musical, and intelligent. To be in a sort of pain ...
— Miscellaneous Papers • Charles Dickens

... They were equally dull; and other "Lives," highly recommended, were quite as uninspiring as the little volumes from the Protestant library. They were generally translated from the French, without vitality and without any regard for the English idiom. I recall, through the mists, sitting down one Sunday afternoon, to read "The Life of Saint Rose of Lima." As it concerned itself with South America, it seemed to me that there might be in it a good fighter or two; or, at least, somebody might cut off the ...
— Confessions of a Book-Lover • Maurice Francis Egan

... yours, Hotspur dear," she told him in German. "And it will never come off! Catherine, the Saint, the Perfect, the Inviolate, sitting there looking like a—in English, like an idiom! O, Hotspur, dear, it has done me good. I have wished I could want to laugh at her. Now I shan't be so afraid of her ever again. Come! we must go. It's time for our row." And Frieda danced off across a little wood path which was ...
— The Wide Awake Girls in Winsted • Katharine Ellis Barrett

... when it is laid in Westminster. Terms of art, indeed, are different in different places; but they are generally understood in none. The technical style of an Indian treasury is not one jot more remote than the jargon of our own Exchequer from the train of our ordinary ideas or the idiom of our common language. The difference, therefore, in the two cases is not in the comparative difficulty or facility of the two subjects, but in our attention to the one and our total neglect of the other. Had this attention and neglect been regulated by ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... me that he was a foreigner, who had resided a considerable time in Seville, and he believed a Greek. Upon hearing this, I instantly went up to the stranger, and accosted him in the Greek language, in which, though I speak it very ill, I can make myself understood. He replied in the same idiom, and, flattered by the interest which I, a foreigner, expressed for his nation, was not slow in communicating to me his history. He told me that his name was Dionysius, that he was a native of Cephalonia, and had been educated for the church, ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... with the Manilla hemp arter you unrove the hawser?" asked Jorrocks, his curiosity now roused by the matter-of-fact way in which the Irishman told his story—relating it as if every word was "the true truth," according to the French idiom. ...
— On Board the Esmeralda - Martin Leigh's Log - A Sea Story • John Conroy Hutcheson

... American languages which have no words in common (for instance, the Mexican and the Quichua), resemble each other by their organization, and form complete contrasts to the languages of Latin Europe, that the Indians of the Missions familiarize themselves more easily with an American idiom than with the Spanish. In the forests of the Orinoco I have seen the rudest Indians speak two or three tongues. Savages of different nations often communicate their ideas to each other by an ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America • Alexander von Humboldt

... wisdom. It is probably more instructive to entertain a sneaking kindness for any unpopular person, and among the rest, for Lord Braxfield, than to give way to perfect raptures of moral indignation against his abstract vices. He was the last judge on the Scots bench to employ the pure Scots idiom. His opinions, thus given in Doric, and conceived in a lively, rugged, conversational style, were full of point and authority. Out of the bar, or off the bench, he was a convivial man, a lover of wine, and one who "shone perculiarly" ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 2 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Commentators. Bentley has, however, it appears, come to the most reasonable conclusion; who supposes that Terence means by "bene vertere," a literal translation, word for word, from the Greek, by which a servile adherence to the idiom of that language was preserved to the neglect of the Latin idiom; in consequence of which the Plays of Luscus Lavinius were, as he remarks, "male scriptae," written in ...
— The Comedies of Terence - Literally Translated into English Prose, with Notes • Publius Terentius Afer, (AKA) Terence

... for Jehovah holdeth a great slaughter in the land of Edom: her streams shall be turned into pitch, and her dust into brimstone, and her whole land shall become burning pitch." The suppression of Satan's power and the setting up of the Messiah's kingdom might, according to the prophetic idiom, be expressed in awful images of fire and woe, the destruction of the old, and the creation of a new, heaven and earth. But, secondly, this phraseology, as used by the writer of the epistle before us, may have a literal significance, may have been ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... kept as closely as I possibly could to the original. Indeed, the first draft of the translation was absolutely literal, regardless of style or even idiom. While in that state, it was revised by the Russian friend who assisted me in my translation of Krilofs Fables—M. Alexander Onegine—and to his painstaking kindness I am greatly indebted for the hope I venture to entertain that I have not "traduced" the author I have undertaken to translate. ...
— Liza - "A nest of nobles" • Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

... induce the belief that modern Wales may be divided into two parts, in one of which the inhabitants call each other Bach and follow a code of morals that I simply will not stoop to characterise; while the other is at once more Saxon in idiom and considerably more melodramatic in its happenings. It is to the latter province that I must assign A Little Welsh Girl (HODDER AND STOUGHTON), the Romance, with a big R, of Dylis Morgan, who pushed an unappreciated ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, Feb. 19, 1919 • Various

... Schanche, Sigurjonsson has a translator well fitted by artistic family traditions for the task. Herself of Norwegian descent, she has been for upward of thirty years a resident of Philadelphia. She has interpreted the pure idiom of Sigurjonsson's dialogue with real dramatic perception. In editing the volume the Publication Committee has had the valuable assistance ...
— Modern Icelandic Plays - Eyvind of the Hills; The Hraun Farm • Jhann Sigurjnsson

... dangerous ideas, and an impossible style, defeat was inevitable. My English was rotten with French idiom; it was like an ill-built wall overpowered by huge masses of ivy; the weak foundations had given way beneath the weight of the parasite; and the ideas I sought to give expression to were green, sour, and immature as apples ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... very early origin. Legend attributed their foundation to the earlier inhabitants of Greece, driven out by the Dorians. By the sixth century B. C. the Greek colonies were well established on the west and south-west coasts of Asia Minor, and had evolved their own characteristic architectural idiom in the Ionic order and its column, more slender than the Doric, with its moulded base and its strange characteristic capital, unsuitable from the constructional point of view in stone or marble, yet ultimately ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... by our Saviour, cannot be literally obeyed[7]; and were intended rather to cultivate a general feeling, than to be referred to as a precise injunction; and if we allow for the strong imagery of eastern idiom on these occasions, let us do the same for those texts from whence arose the unhappy disputes among Protestants, on what are called the Five Points; which gave great occasion to Popery to exult in the disorder produced ...
— The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel • Jane West

... down his beer mug heavily on the table. In times of excitement his speech suggested the German idiom. Abruptly his air grew mysterious; he glanced around the room, now becoming empty, and lowered ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... lieu of "O rio," (the river); "rua" of "lua" (luna), and so forth. For to- morrow you must use "cedo" as "manhaa" would not be understood, and the prolixity of the native language is transferred to the foreign idiom. For instance, if you ask, "What do you call this thing?" the paraphrase to be intelligible would be, "The white man calls this thing so-and-so; what does the Fiote call this thing?" sixteen words for six. I have elsewhere remarked how Englishmen make themselves unintelligible by transferring to ...
— Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... government of the English Church by bishops. No work of equal dignity and scope had yet been published in English prose. It was written in sonorous, stately and somewhat involved periods, in a Latin rather than an English idiom, and it influenced strongly the diction of later writers, such as Milton and Sir Thomas Browne. Had the Ecclesiastical Polity been written one hundred, or perhaps even fifty, {91} years earlier, it would doubtless have been ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... Erskyll was drumming an impatient devil's tattoo with his fingernails on the gold-encrusted table in front of him. Lanze Degbrend began interpolating sarcastic comments. And finally, Pyairr Ravney, who came from Lugaluru, reverted to the idiom of his ...
— A Slave is a Slave • Henry Beam Piper

... writes he to Sturmius, "are reading together in Greek the Orations of AEschines and Demosthenes. She reads before me, and at first sight she so learnedly comprehends not only the idiom of the language and the meaning of the orator, but the whole grounds of contention, the decrees of the people, and the customs and manners of the Athenians, as you would greatly ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... we have a mere coincidence of idiom; in the former a proverbial allusion.[57] An uncritical pursuit of such mere accidents of resemblance has led Mr. Feis to such enormities as the assertion that Shakspere's contemporaries knew Hamlet's use of his tablets to be a parody of the "much-scribbling ...
— Montaigne and Shakspere • John M. Robertson

... "hope," and other irrational and emotional conceptions, which have no existence, and the fiction of which has no object except to control feminine exuberances; but among ourselves, and in our books, we have an entirely different vocabulary and I may also say, idiom. "Love" them becomes "the anticipation of benefits"; "duty" becomes "necessity" or "fitness"; and other words are correspondingly transmuted. Moreover, among Women, we use language implying the utmost deference for their ...
— Flatland • Edwin A. Abbott

... especially those of the Ante-Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, yet all translations have been revised in accordance with the best critical texts available. The aim in the revision has been accuracy and closeness to the original without too gross violation of the English idiom, and with exactness in the rendering of ecclesiastical and theological technical terms. Originality is hardly to be expected in such a ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... I hear," he volunteered, in an expressive, if inelegant, idiom of the money game; "there's a story going the rounds that Mills and Severance have been gunning together and that some one else got burned. Anyway, I hear they've lined their pockets. ...
— Stories from Everybody's Magazine • 1910 issues of Everybody's Magazine

... science; that the names of things are not the things themselves; that many of the words in our own language convey scarcely any, or at best but imperfect, ideas; that the true genius, pronunciation, melody, and idiom of Greek, are unknown to the best scholars, and that it cannot reasonably be doubted, that if Homer or Xenophon were to hear their works read by a professor of Greek, they would mistake them for ...
— Practical Education, Volume II • Maria Edgeworth

... London', J. Hammond Trumbull's 'Blue Laws, True and False'. Apparently Mark Twain relished it, for as Bernard DeVoto points out, "The book is always Mark Twain. Its parodies of Tudor speech lapse sometimes into a callow satisfaction in that idiom—Mark hugely enjoys his nathlesses and beshrews and marrys." The writing of 1601 foreshadows his ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... is the force of the Hebrew idiom in the last clause of xxxvi. 16; for the different attitude of the princes in 608 see ...
— Jeremiah • George Adam Smith

... were ever so inclined. Not that he asked her to do so. He had only reached the point of inviting her to dine with him at Monte Carlo and look in at the gaming afterward. She declined this invitation gently and without rancor toward him; but, in the idiom she used in talking with him, it gave ...
— The Letter of the Contract • Basil King

... employing it. Speech materials are not inherited; they are painfully acquired. It is well known that an English child brought up in China and hearing no word of English will speak Chinese without a trace of his English parentage in form or idiom. [Footnote: See Baldwin's Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, article "Language."] His own body-and-mind experiences will be communicated in the medium already established by the body-and-mind experiences of the Chinese ...
— A Study of Poetry • Bliss Perry

... that our sentence happens to embody may not only be expressed in different form but that they may be differently grouped among themselves; that some among them may be dispensed with; and that other concepts, not considered worth expressing in English idiom, may be treated as absolutely indispensable to the intelligible rendering of the proposition. First as to a different method of handling such concepts as we have found expressed in the English sentence. If we turn to German, we find that in the equivalent sentence (Der Bauer ...
— Language - An Introduction to the Study of Speech • Edward Sapir

... Hebrew plural of cherub. "We are authorized," says Dr. Campbell, "both by use and analogy, to say either cherubs and seraphs, according to the English idiom, or cherubim and seraphim, according to the Oriental. The former suits better the familiar, the latter the solemn, style. As the words cherubim and seraphim are plural, the terms cherubims and seraphims, as expressing the plural, are quite improper."—"Philosophy ...
— The Verbalist • Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

... number of powerful voices called for action. Early in the period Addison advocated "something like an Academy that by the best Authorities and Rules ... shall settle all Controversies between Grammar and Idiom" (The Spectator, No. 135). He was followed by Swift, who in turn was followed by such diverse persons as Orator Henlay, the Earl of Orrery, and the Earl of Chesterfield. Curiously, Johnson's appears to be the ...
— Reflections on Dr. Swift's Letter to Harley (1712) and The British Academy (1712) • John Oldmixon

... wife, Miss Roxy and Miss Ruey, and Zephaniah Pennel, are incomparably good. Each affords matter enough for a long dissertation on New England and human character. Miss Roxy, especially, is the typical old maid of Yankee-land, and is so thoroughly lovable, in spite of her idiom, her crusty manners, and her eccentricities, that the only wonder is that she should have been allowed to remain single. But the same wonder is often expressed, in actual life, in regard to old maids superior to Miss Roxy ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 57, July, 1862 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... gentle, the child had caught the idiom and pronunciation of the fisherman's family; but even in that respect there was a natural refinement in the tone of her voice; and as Adam was a God-fearing man, and had brought up his sons to fear God also, no coarse language or objectionable expressions were ever heard in his cottage. ...
— Won from the Waves • W.H.G. Kingston

... enshrined in Yiddish idiom is probably due to his being taken by the vulgar for a Jew. At any rate the theory that Aristotle's philosophy was Jewish was advanced by the mediaeval poet, Jehuda Halevi, and sustained by Maimonides. The legend runs that when Alexander went to Palestine, Aristotle was in his train. At ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... Herford in The Manchester Guardian.—'Bell's talk is full of salt and vivacity, a brilliant stream in which city slang reinforces rustic idiom, and both are re-manipulated by inexhaustible native wit. She is the most remarkable creation in a gallery where not a single figure is indistinct or conventional.... Mr. Gibson's essay—for there is confessedly something experimental about it—must ...
— Krindlesyke • Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

... chapter by itself if we were writing a biography, this now very usual episode of the return of the young American from the foreign conditions in which he has learned his professional language, and his position in face of the community that he addresses in a strange idiom. There has to be a prompt adjustment between ear and voice, if the interlocutor is not to seem to himself to be intoning in the void. There is always an inner history in all this, as well as an outer one—such, however, as it would take much space to ...
— Picture and Text - 1893 • Henry James

... comparison, I must be satisfied with observing, on his authority, that the dialects of the Gafots and the Gallas, the Agows of both races, and the Falashas, who must originally have used a Chaldean idiom, were never preserved in writing, and the Amharick only in modern times: they must, therefore, have been for ages in fluctuation, and can lead, perhaps, to no certain conclusion as to the origin of the several tribes who anciently spoke them. It is very remarkable, as MR. BRUCE ...
— History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George W. Williams

... may be remarked, however, that this is a form of expression even in our own country; although there is certainly no trace of the singular custom in question having ever prevailed among our ancestors. Whatever may be the fact as to the Russian idiom, our own undoubtedly refers merely to the application of the hand with the pen in it. Each chief appears to be intimately acquainted with the peculiarities of ...
— John Rutherford, the White Chief • George Lillie Craik

... perhaps, which does not exhibit some proofs of the genius, industry and erudition of the author. By means of his excellent grammars, dictionary and various works on German style, he contributed greatly towards rectifying the orthography, refining the idiom and fixing the standard of his native tongue. His German dictionary— Grammatisch-kritisches Worterbuch der hochdeutschen Mundart (1774-1786)—bears witness to the patient spirit of investigation which Adelung possessed ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... all cases of secret writing—the first question regards the language of the cipher; for the principles of solution, so far, especially, as the more simple ciphers are concerned, depend upon, and are varied by, the genius of the particular idiom. In general, there is no alternative but experiment (directed by probabilities) of every tongue known to him who attempts the solution, until the true one be attained. But, with the cipher now before us, all difficulty ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... end; run out; acabo de hacerlo I have just done it (this idiom is used only with the present and imperfect of acabar); acaba por ...
— Heath's Modern Language Series: Mariucha • Benito Perez Galdos

... is pure when he uses such words only as belong to the idiom of the language. The only standard of purity is the practice of the best writers and speakers. A violation of purity is ...
— Slips of Speech • John H. Bechtel

... holds that, owing to the monosyllabic character of the Chinese language and to the further disadvantage that it lacks wholly or partly several consonants,[43] it will be practically impossible, as the Japanese have already found, to apply the new alphabet to the traditional literary idiom. Neither can it be employed for the needs of education, journalism, of the administration, or for telegraphing. It will, however, be of great value for elementary instruction and for postal correspondence. It is also certain to develop and extend. But its main significance is twofold: ...
— The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference • Emile Joseph Dillon

... and Greeks, English and Russians, may be in abundance, still they rarely congregate in nationalities,—save the Poles, who speak their own language at all times and places, and cling the more fondly to their own idiom since they have been robbed of everything else. After some fifteen minutes of expectation the professor enters. All is still in an instant. He advances with hasty strides and bent-down head to his rostrum, an elevated platform, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 41, March, 1861 • Various

... justify the use of who in sentences like the last one on the ground that it is an idiom. When, as in this book, the object is training in grammar, it is deemed better to adhere to the strictly ...
— Practical Grammar and Composition • Thomas Wood

... indicates the order of generation of ideas. All our errors arise from the constant confusion of these two kinds of abstractions. In this particular, languages and philosophies are alike deficient. The less common an idiom is, and the more obscure its terms, the more prolific is it as a source of error: a philosopher is sophistical in proportion to his ignorance of any method of neutralizing this imperfection in language. If the art of correcting the errors of speech ...
— What is Property? - An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government • P. J. Proudhon

... poor have the advantage of us. You see, we're the dishonest poor. We've been to the same schools and universities and we talk the same idiom and we have the same manners and like the same things as people who spend more in a month or a week than we spend in a year. And we pretend, and they pretend, that they and we are exactly the same. We aren't, you know. We're one vast pretence. Has ...
— Mr. Prohack • E. Arnold Bennett

... is to come often," says Freilgrath, lapsing into his native idiom. "It has done her good already; her eyes have brightened. She stays ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... "I speak them, as the parrot repeats words that he does not understand. But Eve Effingham has used these languages as means, and she does not tell you merely what such a phrase or idiom signifies, but what the greatest writers have thought ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... way to you," said Livingstone, who had listened closely, not merely to the sentiments, but to the words, the tone, the idiom. Could Horace Endicott have ever descended to this view of his world, this rawness of thought, sentiment, and expression? So peculiarly Irish, anti-English, rich with the flavor of the Fourth ...
— The Art of Disappearing • John Talbot Smith

... 4-10. {ins Gesicht} (idiom, the definite article for the possess. pronoun), {in sein Gesicht.}—The meaning is: The cares of official life had gradually taken from him all his individuality, so that he looked now as grim as the lions which support the shield of arms of Bavaria, ...
— Eingeschneit - Eine Studentengeschichte • Emil Frommel

... population arose new languages, as we see in the different dialects of France, Spain and Italy; which, partaking of the native idiom of the new people and of the old Roman, formed a new manner of discourse. Besides, not only were the names of provinces changed, but also of lakes, rivers, seas, and men; for France, Spain, and Italy are full of fresh names, wholly different from the ancient; ...
— History Of Florence And Of The Affairs Of Italy - From The Earliest Times To The Death Of Lorenzo The Magnificent • Niccolo Machiavelli

... cheeks being very red, his eyes very blue, and his hair very white. After having pump-handled Benson's arm for some time, he made an attack on Le Roi, whom he just knew by name, and inquired if he had just come de l'autre cote, meaning the other side of the Atlantic, according to a common New-York idiom; but the Vicomte not unnaturally took it to mean from the other side of the road, and gave a corresponding answer in English as felicitous as Mr. Simpson's French. Then he digressed upon Ashburner, whom he saw to be an Englishman, in so pointed a manner, that Benson ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 2, January, 1851 • Various

... forms of speech used by the samurai, and other superior classes, differed considerably from those of the popular idiom; but these differences could not ...
— In Ghostly Japan • Lafcadio Hearn

... common dealers, sailors, and servants that come from those towns, and the country places in England and Scotland, whose language and manners are strange to them; for the planters and even the native negroes generally talk good English without idiom and tone, and can discourse handsomely upon most common subjects: and conversing with persons belonging to trade and navigation from London, for the most part they are much civilized, and wear the best of clothes according to their station; nay, sometimes too good ...
— Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce • E. R. Billings

... last of her sixteenth birthday sweets when, at a ball at Government House, she met John Michael Levine. It was her debut; she was the fairest creature in the room, and, in the idiom of Dr. Hamilton, the men besieged her as were she Brimstone Hill in possession of the French. The Governor and the Captain General had asked her to dance, and even the women smiled indulgently, disarmed by ...
— The Conqueror • Gertrude Franklin Atherton

... Wait till I get the sassenach into the annals of Tageruach, the hagiographer; I'll give him enough of the Irish idiom to make ...
— Whirligigs • O. Henry

... the vivacious Southerner. Angiolillo spoke Italian, Spanish, and French, but no English; the little French I knew was not sufficient to carry on a prolonged conversation. However, Angiolillo soon began to acquire the English idiom; he learned rapidly, playfully, and it was not long until he became very popular with his fellow compositors. His distinguished and yet modest manner, and his consideration towards his colleagues, won him the ...
— Anarchism and Other Essays • Emma Goldman

... of formulated aim, and such spontaneity of spirit and speech. The language of those times, when words had not yet been divided into nobles, middle-class, and plebeians, was, he said, the richest for poetical purposes. "Our tongue, compared with the idiom of the savage, seems adapted rather for reflection than for the senses or imagination. The rhythm of popular verse is so delicate, so rapid, so precise, that it is no easy matter to defect it with our eyes; but do not imagine it to have been equally difficult for those living ...
— The Book of Old English Ballads • George Wharton Edwards

... and Dore, whose fecundity in their art was equal, and I ventured to assert the great artistic superiority of Gilbert. "You are right!" cried my enthusiastic friend, with more judgment of art than accuracy of English idiom; "Gilbert cocks Dore into ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... translate it at all; he only needed to accept the Logos as a technical expression of Greek philosophy. He would then have seen that it is impossible to prize the Word too highly, if we first learn what the Word meant in the idiom of contemporary philosophy. Not even to a Faust should Goethe have imputed such ignorance as when he continues to speculate without ...
— The Silesian Horseherd - Questions of the Hour • Friedrich Max Mueller

... that Bacon wrote this paper; it has neither his sparkle nor his idiom. I stated my doubts even before I heard that Mr. Spedding, one of Bacon's editors, was of the same mind. (Athenaeum, July 16, 1864). I was little moved by the wide consent of orthodox men: for I knew how ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) • Augustus De Morgan

... sometimes of not being able to do it, will often lead 'em into such Errors and Mistakes, as perhaps they'll ne're get clear of. So that this will be of great use even to School-Boys and Learners: Beside the great Advantage of teaching 'em, perhaps not the worst English; and something of the Idiom of our Tongue. ...
— Prefaces to Terence's Comedies and Plautus's Comedies (1694) • Lawrence Echard

... was out of the common. Instead of using an elegant and refined diction, they employed only a pretentious and conceitedly affected style, which became highly ridiculous; instead of improving the national idiom they completely spoilt it. Where formerly D'Urfe, Malherbe, Racan, Balzac, and Voiture reigned, Chapelain, Scudery, Menage, and the Abbe Cotin, "the father of the French Riddle," ruled in their stead. Moreover, every lady in Paris, as well as ...
— The Pretentious Young Ladies • Moliere

... that you are one of the enlightened ones, I will confess to you that I did keep a little establishment a la Pierre Loti. My Japanese teacher thought it would be a good way of improving my knowledge of the local idiom; and this knowledge meant an extra hundred pounds to me for interpreter's allowance, as it is called. I thought, too, that it would be a relief after diplomatic dinner parties to be able to swear for an hour or so, big round oaths in the company ...
— Kimono • John Paris

... play itself. The recent translation, likewise, of Schiller's History of the Thirty Years' War, diminished the motives thereto. In the translation, I have endeavoured to render my author literally, wherever I was not prevented by absolute differences of idiom; but I am conscious, that in two or three short passages, I have been guilty of dilating the original; and, from anxiety to give the full meaning, have weakened the force. In the metre I have availed myself of no other liberties, than those which Schiller had ...
— The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1838 • James Gillman

... extraterrestrial well, without taint of sin or trace of art. It was an uprising of souls already freed from the slavery of the flesh, an explosion of elevated tenderness and pure joy, it was also the idiom of the Church, a musical gospel appealing like the Gospel itself at once to the most refined ...
— En Route • J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

... the love-intoxicated letters she is believed to have addressed to him? I would not say that every word of the latter is genuine; through the several translations—from the French original (which is lost) into the Scotch idiom, from this into Latin, and then back into French as we now have them—they may have suffered much alteration: we have no right to lay stress on every expression, and interpret it by the light of later events: but in the main they are without doubt ...
— A History of England Principally in the Seventeenth Century, Volume I (of 6) • Leopold von Ranke

... may all be employed to supply the place of the tabooed verb, which is chiefly used of animals and plants. After a few days' illness he kicked, is a vulgar way of putting it and analogous to the English slang idiom. The Emperor becomes a guest on high, riding up to heaven on the dragon's back, with flowers of rhetoric ad nauseam; Buddhist priests revolve into emptiness, i.e., are annihilated; the soul of the Taoist priest wings its ...
— Chinese Sketches • Herbert A. Giles

... his HERMANN before I read either THE MESSIAH or the odes. He flattered himself that some time or other his dramatic poems would be known in England. He had not heard of Cowper. He thought that Voss in his translation of THE ILIAD had done violence to the idiom of the Germans, and had sacrificed it to the Greeks, not remembering sufficiently that each language has its particular spirit and genius.[231] He said Lessing was the first of their dramatic writers. I complained ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... to play a whisper of a tune on his violin. I did not know what she meant by a letter, though I understood her. Madame Tank spoke the language as well as anybody. I thought then, as idiom after idiom rushed back on my memory, that it was an universal language, with the ...
— Lazarre • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... next to impossible for him to get any reliable information about his future son-in-law in a country where, as an American, he has few social relations, belongs to no club, and whose idiom is a sealed book to him. Every circumstance conspires to keep the flaws on the article for sale out of sight and place the suitor in an advantageous light. Several weeks' "courting" follows, paterfamilias agrees to part with a handsome share of his ...
— Worldly Ways and Byways • Eliot Gregory

... termed Nihongi or Chronicles of Japan was issued. It was prepared by imperial command and appeared in A.D. 720 in the reign of the Empress Gensho. It differs from the older book in being composed in the Chinese idiom, and in being much more tinctured with the ideas of Chinese philosophy. These two works, so nearly contemporaneous, both of them composed in so great a degree of the legendary elements of Japanese history, must ...
— Japan • David Murray

... Kitangule ran out of the N'yanza, and the Nile ran into it, even though Snay said he thought the Jub river drained the N'yanza. All these statements were, when literally translated into English, the reverse of what the speakers, using a peculiar Arab idiom, meant to say; for all the statements made as to the flow of rivers by the negroes—who apparently give the same meaning to "out" and "in" as we do—contradicted the Arabs in their descriptions of the direction of the flow ...
— The Discovery of the Source of the Nile • John Hanning Speke

... manner he proceeds to describe. Now the three parts of the sentence which has been given above in the original do, to the best of my judgment, clearly refer to three different species of food; and I would appeal to the candid opinion of any competent Greek scholar, whether, according to the idiom of that language, the second part of it is so expressed, as to connect it with, and make it explanatory of, the first. We want, for this purpose, a relative, either with or without [Greek: esti]; and the change of gender in haematia seems perfectly unaccountable if it is intended ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 19, Saturday, March 9, 1850 • Various

... substantiated my case. Our monarchical institutions may preserve our native tongue for a time, but if it does not become, at no very distant period, as strange a medley as that of the American is at present—to use the expressive but peculiar idiom of that people—"IT'S A PITY." ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... the real man, the true man, is a common idiom for governor or ruler, he being the only "real man" in an autocratic community ...
— The Maya Chronicles - Brinton's Library Of Aboriginal American Literature, Number 1 • Various

... not seem to me probable. She had not the "cut" of a widow in my eyes, and there was not the semblance of a "weed" either about her dress or her looks. The Captain had styled her Madame, but he was evidently unacquainted with her, and also with the French idiom. In a doubtful case such as this, ...
— The Quadroon - Adventures in the Far West • Mayne Reid

... it is over, the diabolical farce is over, and she is "tied," as their idiom has it, "tied to the stone." Oh, she is tied indeed, tied with ropes Satan twisted in his ...
— Things as They Are - Mission Work in Southern India • Amy Wilson-Carmichael

... Idiom and dialect are lacking in this recorded interview. Mrs. White's conversation was entirely free from either. On being questioned about this she explained that she was reared in a home where ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - Volume II. Arkansas Narratives. Part I • Work Projects Administration

... obtained their name from two Quichua words, ari auccan, yes! they fight; an idiom very expressive of their warlike character. They had had long and terrible wars with the Incas before the arrival ...
— The Myths of the New World - A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America • Daniel G. Brinton

... his periods constructed with regard for every comma, Mathias' eyes were directed so frequently towards Paul that Paul could not but think that Mathias was vaunting his knowledge of Greek expressly, as if to reprove him, Paul, for the Aramaic idiom that he had never been able to wring out of his Greek, which he regretted, but which, after hearing Mathias, he would not be without; for to rid himself of it he would have to sacrifice the spirit to the outer form; as well might he offer sacrifice to the heathen gods; and he could ...
— The Brook Kerith - A Syrian story • George Moore

... thou speak not to Jacob, good or bad." (Gen. xxi. 24.) The verb speak (‮תְּדַבֵּר‬) is used for the verb to do. The same idiom prevails amongst the Touaricks. The friendly Touaricks always address me, "Don't be afraid, no person will say (or speak) either good or bad to you." So Jabour's slave brought me word from the Sheikh; "No person is to say anything ...
— Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846 • James Richardson

... day, while Bobbie was running on in his ridiculous fashion, in an idiom all his own that even Mr. Ade could not hope to rival, telling, I believe, about some escapade of his at Asbury Park, where he had "put the police force of two men and three niggers out of business" by ...
— Penguin Persons & Peppermints • Walter Prichard Eaton

... habits, were little able, and less inclined, to encounter the hardships of so severe a climate and so barren a soil, never attempted to mix with the original and more sturdy inhabitants of that unfavoured spot; but left them and their language, which could only be a Celtic idiom, in the primitive state in ...
— Account of the Romansh Language - In a Letter to Sir John Pringle, Bart. P. R. S. • Joseph Planta, Esq. F. R. S.

... plots of almost incomprehensible absurdity, they combine a style more inflated than any balloon in which Madame Blanchard ever sailed through the regions of air—a language, or rather jargon, composed of the pickings of nearly every idiom that ever did live, or is at present in existence, and sentiments which would be often of a highly mischievous tendency, if they were not rendered ridiculous by the manner in which they are expressed. The singularity ...
— The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831 • Various

... not whether the phrase "was graduated," applied not to a vernier, but to a student, be legitimate or not; it is certainly so used by the best American writers. Another common American idiom that sounds queer to British ears is, "The minutes were ordered printed" (for "to be printed"). Misquotations and misuse of foreign phrases are terribly rife; and even so spirited and entertaining a writer as Miss F.C. Baylor will write: "This Jenny, ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... in many ways; it is not so exact in scholarship, nor so faithful to its avowed text, as might be expected from his reputation; but it reveals a profound acquaintance with the vocabulary and customs of the Muslims, with their classical idiom as well as their vulgarest "Billingsgate," with their philosophy and modes of thought as well as their most secret and most disgusting habits. Burton's "anthropological notes," embracing a wide field of pornography, apart from questions ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... held, and one of the clerks was sick and failed to come. Scribes were not plenty on the frontier, and Mentor Graham, the clerk who was present, looking around for a properly qualified colleague, noticed Lincoln, and asked him if he could write, to which he answered, in local idiom, that he "could make a few rabbit tracks," and was thereupon immediately inducted into his first office. He performed his duties not only to the general satisfaction, but so as to interest Graham, who was a schoolmaster, and afterward made himself ...
— A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln - Condensed from Nicolay & Hay's Abraham Lincoln: A History • John G. Nicolay

... the Gul[)i][']sgul[)i]['] or great crested flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus), the Ts[^u]ts[^u] or martin (Progne subis), and the A[']nig[^a]sta[']ya or chimney swift (Chaetura pelasgia). In the idiom of the formulas it is said that these "have just come and are sticking to them" (the players), the same word (dan[^u]tsg[^u][']lani'ga) being used to express the devoted attention of a lover to his mistress. The Watatuga, a small species of dragon-fly, ...
— The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees • James Mooney

... all right, and here, on this new world, in this fresh start, he would show how well he had learned. In the idiom of Ventura Boulevard, he'd hit 'em with the whole deck, deuces wild. He'd give 'em sex and money and superstition and to hell with ...
— The Glory of Ippling • Helen M. Urban

... some time to her own thoughts, as her Italian (not particularly fluent at best) was altogether lacking in idiom, and she missed the point of most that was said. In the first lull, the Count Olisco asked her the usual question put to every stranger, "How do you ...
— The Title Market • Emily Post

... orders, studies Divinity, or neglects it, at pleasure: and if he studies it, he studies it in his own way. He has read a little of heathen Ethics with great care; or he has trained himself to the exactness of mathematical inference. With the purest idiom of ancient Greece he has also made himself very familiar. He is besides a Master of Arts. What need to add that such an one is not therefore a Master of Divinity? possesses no qualification which authorizes him to dogmatize about any one ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon



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