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Obscene   Listen
adjective
Obscene  adj.  
1.
Offensive to chastity or modesty; expressing or presenting to the mind or view something which delicacy, purity, and decency forbid to be exposed; impure; as, obscene language; obscene pictures. "Words that were once chaste, by frequent use grew obscene and uncleanly."
2.
Foul; fifthy; disgusting. "A girdle foul with grease binds his obscene attire."
3.
Inauspicious; ill-omened. (R.) (A Latinism) "At the cheerful light, The groaning ghosts and birds obscene take flight."
Synonyms: Impure; immodest; indecent; unchaste; lewd.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Obscene" Quotes from Famous Books



... peculiar motion into the kozhan and around the fire, passing before the patient, the Chanzhini{COMBINING BREVE} all the while uttering hoarse, animal-like cries. Their utterances are always coarse and obscene, causing much merriment, which is supposed to aid the patient in casting off his illness. After passing through the kozhan the Tsannati{COMBINING BREVE} form in line outside and with their feet keep time to the singing and drumming, while the others break ranks and in a promiscuous ...
— The North American Indian • Edward S. Curtis

... Phlegethon,[69] into a beak, and feathers, and great eyes. He, {thus} robbed of his own {shape}, is clothed with tawny wings, his head becomes larger, his long nails bend inwards, and with difficulty can he move the wings that spring through his sluggish arms. He becomes an obscene bird, the foreboder of approaching woe, a lazy owl, a direful omen ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Vol. I, Books I-VII • Publius Ovidius Naso

... geography; the boy riding, or sailing, or resting from his work or his play, draws one from his pocket; the grocer's boy comes forward to serve you, tucking one under his jacket. In the way of statistics, it might be stated that nineteen tons of obscene publications and plates for the same were seized at one time in New-York City. Should representatives of "our best families" ask, "How does this affect us and ours?" it could be answered that catalogues ...
— A Domestic Problem • Abby Morton Diaz

... examined by Professor Filippi was tattooed on his forearm with a sentimental declaration addressed to the object of his unnatural desires; a criminal convicted of rape was covered with pictorial representations of his obscene adventures. From these few instances, it is apparent that these personal decorations are of the utmost value as evidence of hidden ...
— Criminal Man - According to the Classification of Cesare Lombroso • Gina Lombroso-Ferrero

... divers books for learned patrons, and commencing the publication of his Vie tres-horrifique du grand Gargantua, pere de Pantagruel (Most horrifying life of the great Gargantua, father of Pantagruel), which was immediately proceeded against by the Sorbonne "as an obscene tale." On grounds of prudence or necessity Rabelais then quitted Lyons and set out for Rome as physician attached to the household of Cardinal John Du Bellay, Bishop of Paris and envoy from France ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume IV. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... He obtains from the explosion an immense feeling of relief; and so too with the other great natural passions which our religious or social morality keeps in check. Even the saints have known these revenges of natural instincts too violently denied. Thoughts of obscene words and gestures came unasked to torment the pure soul of Catherine of Siena.[68] St. Teresa complained that the devil sometimes sent her so offensive a spirit of bad temper that she could eat people up.[69] Games and sport of a combative or destructive kind provide an innocent outlet ...
— The Life of the Spirit and the Life of To-day • Evelyn Underhill

... its fiery womb I saw The twisted serpent ringing woe obscene, And far it lit the ...
— The Poet's Poet • Elizabeth Atkins

... journey, he was detained for a little while that he might witness a novel entertainment. He was taken to a garden where a number of young girls, selected for their extraordinary beauty and entirely nude, executed in his presence the most obscene dances. It was two churchmen that are said to have provided the boy-king with this infamous diversion—Cardinal Charles of Bourbon and Cardinal Louis of Guise. ...
— History of the Rise of the Huguenots - Volume 2 • Henry Baird

... something more than the affectation of, she is not worthy the regard even of a man of pleasure, provided he hath any delicacy in his constitution. How inconsistent with good-breeding it is to give pain and confusion to such, is sufficiently apparent; all double-entendres and obscene jests are therefore carefully to be avoided before them. But suppose no ladies present, nothing can be meaner, lower, and less productive of rational mirth, than this loose conversation. For my own ...
— Miscellanies, Volume 2 (from Works, Volume 12) • Henry Fielding

... this be yet another instance of the Jew-Puritan abhorrence of the word God as an obscene or blasphemous term when uttered outside the synagogue or the conventicle? If so, we might read—and ...
— The Age of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... notable advances in international morality accomplished in recent years was an arrangement entered into on April 13th of the present year between the United States and other powers for the repression of the circulation of obscene publications. ...
— State of the Union Addresses of William H. Taft • William H. Taft

... of gamblers and sharpers, carrying all before him with his cue, in the full flush of triumph, and a great heap of five-franc pieces before him, you may conceive with what wrath the proud, hasty, passionate man drove out, cane in hand, the obscene associates, flinging after them the son's ill-gotten gains; and with what resentful humiliation the son was compelled to follow the father home. Then Roland took the boy to England, but not to the old Tower; that hearth of his ancestors was still too sacred for the ...
— The Caxtons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... directed against the Queen in particular; I shudder even now at the recollection of the poissardes, or rather furies, who wore white aprons, which they screamed out were intended to receive the bowels of Marie Antoinette, and that they would make cockades of them, mixing the most obscene ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... most distinguished man in France at the time he lived. Those who hated him have tried to cover his memory with shame, and have represented him as merely a buffoon, but such was not the truth. He did often descend to buffooneries and to almost obscene sayings, and these things have had their influence upon France, and have contributed to make the French people what they are to-day—a nation of professed Catholics, but really a nation of infidels and atheists. But Rabelais was more than a wit. He was a public benefactor. He improved ...
— Paris: With Pen and Pencil - Its People and Literature, Its Life and Business • David W. Bartlett

... expression? Here he was, playing the great man; making himself, however, most particularly agreeable to Messrs. Quirk and Gammon. Slang was of the same school; fat, vulgar, confident, and empty; telling obscene jokes and stories, in a deep bass voice. He sang a good song, too—particularly of that class which required the absence of ladies—and of gentlemen. Hug (Mr. Toady Hug) was also a barrister; a glib little Jewish-looking fellow, creeping into considerable criminal practice. He was a ...
— Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1. • Samuel Warren

... book of the Thousand Nights and a Night has Hachisch- made-words for life. Gallant, subtle, refined, intense, humourous, obscene, here is the Arab intelligence drunk with conception. It is a vast extravaganza of passion in action and picarooning farce and material splendour run mad. The amorous instinct and the instinct of enjoyment, not tempered but heightened ...
— Views and Reviews - Essays in appreciation • William Ernest Henley

... of these; and it goes by the name of the old comedy. In those pieces no person whatever was spared. Though they were so modelled and represented as to deserve the name of regular comedy they were obscene, scurrilous, and defamatory. In them the most abominable falsehoods were fearlessly charged upon men and women of all conditions and characters; not under fictitious names, nor by innuendo, but directly and with the real name of the party, while the execrable calumniator, protected by the ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 4, April 1810 • Various

... triumph, struggling with his cowardice, and shame, and guilt, was so detestable, that they turned away from him, as if he were some obscene and filthy animal, repugnant to the sight. And here that last black crime was busy with him too; working within him to his perdition. But for that, the old clerk's story might have touched him, though ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... watched him pass. He wanted to talk with him. Maybe he had a bottle and Purdy needed a drink. The man was idly twirling the end of his rope and singing a song as he rode. He seemed care-free, even gay. The song that he sang was a popular one on the cattle range, grossly obscene, having to do with the love intrigues of one "Big ...
— Prairie Flowers • James B. Hendryx

... Sex affects the very root of all human life. Its activities are not obscene, but Nature's own means to certain legitimate ends. The sex functions, when properly controlled and led into the proper channels, are a most essential and legitimate form of physical self-expression. The veil of secrecy with which they are so often shrouded tends ...
— Sex - Avoided subjects Discussed in Plain English • Henry Stanton

... Star-chambers, branding-irons, chimerical Kings and Surplices at All-hallowtide, they are gone, or with immense velocity going. Oliver's works do follow him!—The works of a man, bury them under what guano-mountains and obscene owl-droppings you will, do not perish, cannot perish. What of Heroism, what of Eternal Light was in a Man and his Life, is with very great exactness added to the Eternities; remains forever a new divine portion of the Sum of Things; and no owl's voice, this way or that, in the least ...
— The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 • Ministry of Education

... whole scene there is an obscene play upon (a) word which means in Greek both 'sow' and 'a woman's organs ...
— The Acharnians • Aristophanes

... perhaps his nicest heroine,—is heavy on the whole, and in it, the author's gauffre-like lightness of "impropriety" being absent, the tone approaches nearer to that dismallest form of literature or non-literature—the deliberate obscene. ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 - From the Beginning to 1800 • George Saintsbury

... feasts and regale his appetite. He delighted in such delicacies. As to his religion, it was even worse than his morals; or rather, his religion was a mass of the most disgusting immoralities. His notion of a God, and the obscene acts by which that notion was worshiped, are too shocking to be mentioned. The vilest slave that ever breathed the air of a Christian land could not begin to conceive the horrid iniquities of such a life. And yet, in the face of all this, ...
— Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments • Various

... grisettes—must have stirred Manet; recall the Frenchman's Balcony. And the bull-fights? Oh! what an iron-souled master was there—Goya when he slashed a bull in the arena tormented by the human brutes! None of his successors matches him. The same is the case with that diverting, devilish, savoury, and obscene series he called Caprices. It is worth remembering that Delacroix was one of the first artists in Paris who secured a set of these rare plates. The witch's sabbaths and the modern version of them, prostitution and its symbolism, filled the ...
— Promenades of an Impressionist • James Huneker

... accepted his offer. It was in this way that the stranger returned to the hut with me. As soon as I came in I saw a note on the table, a sort of thanks for the bread; it was an extremely ill-mannered epistle, full of obscene expressions. When Solem saw what I was reading, his iron face broke into a smile. I pretended not to understand the note and threw it back on the table; he picked it up and tore it ...
— Look Back on Happiness • Knut Hamsun

... worship among aboriginal tribes are not particularly numerous or striking. Secondly, linga worship, though prevalent in the south, is not confined to it, but flourishes in all parts of India, even in Assam and Nepal. Thirdly, it is not connected with low castes, with orgies, with obscene or bloodthirsty rites or with anything which can be called un-Aryan. It forms part of the private devotions of the strictest Brahmans, and despite the significance of the emblem, the worship offered to it is perfectly decorous.[349] The evidence thus suggests that this cultus ...
— Hinduism And Buddhism, Volume II. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch • Charles Eliot

... is no sound on the earth except the ticking of the grasshopper, or the croaking of obscene frogs ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... the effect that it was an officers' mess, and let us in. I never have seen a more complete mess. Everything in the place was smashed, and the whole room was filthy. The officers had left only a few days before and had taken pains to break everything before they went. Obscene remarks were chalked on the walls, and the pictures were improved with heavy attempts at fun. I always used to think that the term "officer and gentleman" was redundant, but now I begin to understand the need ...
— A Journal From Our Legation in Belgium • Hugh Gibson

... enough may remain to show that the hymns with which Savonarola at this time sowed the mind of Italy often mingled the Moravian quaintness and energy with the Wesleyan purity and tenderness. One of the great means of popular reform which he proposed was the supplanting of the obscene and licentious songs, which at that time so generally defiled the minds of the young, by religious words and melodies. The children and young people brought up under his influence were sedulously stored with treasures of sacred melody, as the safest companions ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... every one saw them devout, charitable, and regular in their religious duties, people were not to be misled by these things, for this was only a cloak intended to deceive the world and conceal their secret rites and obscene orgies. ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... of a minister, of pure life and unquestioned standing, for sending obscene literature through the mail. The sole charge was the publication of an earnest and chastely worded article on marital purity; but the real cause was supposed to be his severe criticism of the Society for the ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 20, July, 1891 • Various

... together for a fresh attack. This time their leading spirit was no longer Staupitz, disagreeably conscious of the difficulties of the enterprise, but the hunchback AEsop, who seemed to burn with a passion for slaughter. Lagardere likened him in his mind to some ungainly, obscene bird of prey, as he loomed out of the mirk waving his gaunt arms and shrieking in his rage and hate. "Kill them! kill them!" he screamed, as he rushed across the intervening space, and the bravos, heartened by his frenzy of fight, streamed after ...
— The Duke's Motto - A Melodrama • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... enemies; he was always friendly and good-tempered, and he was preserved by his solitariness from all grossness and evil. It was a big school, and occasionally he perceived in the talk and behaviour of his companions the signs of some ugly and obscene mystery that he did not understand, and that he had no wish to penetrate. But the result, which in after days surprised him with a sense of deep gratitude and thankfulness, was, that though he spent two years at this school, he ...
— Beside Still Waters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... for war, he is useful at home, if you allow this, that great things may derive assistance from small ones. The poet fashions the child's tender and lisping mouth, and turns his ear even at this time from obscene language; afterward also he forms his heart with friendly precepts, the corrector of his rudeness, and envy, and passion; he records virtuous actions, he instructs the rising age with approved examples, he comforts the indigent and the sick. Whence should the virgin, stranger to a ...
— The Works of Horace • Horace

... into the world, and are eager not altogether to be forgotten; they too, like the ancients, have desired immortality, and, seeing the hills, have sought to establish their mediocrity among them. Therefore, with an obscene and vulgar gesture, they have set up their own image as well as they could, and, in a frenzied prayer to an unknown God, seem to ask, now that everything has fallen away and we can no longer believe in the body, that they may not be too disgusted ...
— Florence and Northern Tuscany with Genoa • Edward Hutton

... tallow dip had aided perusal of the volume o' nights. The red surged up in his thin cheeks as he picked up the thing. There were horrible woodcuts in it, coloured with liberal splashes of red and blue and yellow, and the print contained matter more lurid still. Vice mopped and mowed and slavered, obscene and ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... window interested him pleasantly for a moment.) And the Redcliffe Arms was the true gate to the stucco and areas of Redcliffe Gardens. He looked down into the areas and saw therein the furtive existence of squalor behind barred windows. All the obscene apparatus of London life was there. And as he raised his eyes to the drawing-room and bedroom stories he found no relief. His eyes could discover nothing that was not mean, ugly, frowzy, and unimaginative. He pictured the heavy, gloomy, ...
— The Roll-Call • Arnold Bennett

... folk who meet one's gaze, as they patiently carry on their minute trades in the gloom of their tiny open-fronted houses. Workmen squatted on their heels, carving with their imperceptible tools the droll or odiously obscene ivory ornaments, marvellous cabinet curiosities which have made Japan so famous with the European amateurs who have never seen it. Unconscious artists tracing with steady hand on a background of lacquer or of porcelain traditional ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... Simon, when he has thought proper to read a passage in some bad book, pulling off his spectacles, to talk filthily upon it? Methinks I see him now," added the bold slut, "splitting his arch face with a broad laugh, shewing a mouth, with hardly a tooth in it, and making obscene remarks ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... mean who is the lady singing," said Carminow with sudden stiffness, "she is Miss Grey, who has the room above this. She is a young lady about whom I think even you would not make your obscene jokes ...
— Secret Bread • F. Tennyson Jesse

... its effect on himself, its insight, and its hold on his memory, that Si Sylvanne's talk was real wisdom. Parts of it would not look well in print; but the rugged words, the uncouth Saxonism, the obscene phrase, were the mere oaken bucket in which the pure and precious waters were hauled ...
— Rolf In The Woods • Ernest Thompson Seton

... and the severeness of his industry, he appears to have become a prey to extraordinary visions and imaginations. Among the rest, the devil visited him in his cell, and, thrusting his head in at the window, disturbed the saint with obscene and blasphemous speeches, and the most frightful contortions of the features of his countenance. Dunstan at length, wearied out with his perseverance, seized the red-hot tongs with which he was engaged in some chemical experiment, and, catching the devil by the nose, ...
— Lives of the Necromancers • William Godwin

... latter half of the eighteenth century, not only were religious systems very much at a discount among persons of intelligence, but the Deity himself was relegated to the position of an exploded idea, becoming an object of vituperation, witty or obscene according to the humour of the individual critic. As one of the illuminated, Mr. Verity did not escape the prevailing infection, although an inborn amenity of disposition saved him from atheism in its more blatantly offensive forms. The existence of ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... country houses a notion that English schoolboys are taught to tell the truth, but it cannot be maintained seriously for a moment. Very occasionally, very vaguely, English schoolboys are told not to tell lies, which is a totally different thing. I may silently support all the obscene fictions and forgeries in the universe, without once telling a lie. I may wear another man's coat, steal another man's wit, apostatize to another man's creed, or poison another man's coffee, all without ever ...
— What's Wrong With The World • G.K. Chesterton

... they were no viler nor more terrible than the purposes for which they had been spent. Mrs. Vivie Patton had hinted to Montague of a "Decameron Club," whose members gathered in each others' homes and vied in the telling of obscene stories; Strathcona had told him about another set of exquisite ladies and gentlemen who gave elaborate entertainments, in which they dressed in the costumes of bygone periods, and imitated famous ...
— The Metropolis • Upton Sinclair

... and Prince Maurice, and returned before the close of the year. He had an audience of the King at the palace of Whitehall early in November, and found him as immovable as ever in his apathetic attitude in regard to the affairs of Germany. The murder of Sir Thomas Overbury and the obscene scandals concerning the King's beloved Carr and his notorious bride were then occupying the whole attention of the monarch, so that he had not even time for theological lucubrations, still less for affairs of state on which the peace ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... wasted; a brief word from the leader sufficed. The dying ox was released from the yoke that had galled it so long, and the party proceeded. Before they were a mile off the ox was dead, its eyes were out, its carcass torn open, and the obscene birds were gorging themselves. Before night it was an empty skeleton covered with a dried hide! Not many hours would suffice to remove the hide and leave only the bleaching bones. Such remains are familiar objects ...
— The Settler and the Savage • R.M. Ballantyne

... nauseous weeds each pile surround, And things obscene bestrew the ground; Skulls, bones, in mouldering fragments lie, All ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... awaiting, when she awakes, the wife asleep at his side in a night-cap. Every one who knows Keene's work can imagine how the huge well-fed figure was drawn, and how the coat wrinkled across the back, and how the bourgeois whiskers were indicated. This obscene drawing is matched by many equally odious. Abject domesticity, ignominies of married life, of middle-age, of money-making; the old common jape against the mother-in-law; abominable weddings: in one drawing a bridegroom with shambling side-long legs asks his bride if she ...
— Essays • Alice Meynell

... a great miracle. For above an open grave, freshly dug in the sand, a cloud of vultures and obscene birds hovered, whom two lions, fiercely contending, drove away with their talons, as if from some sacred deposit therein enshrined. Towards whom the two brethren, fortifying themselves with the sign of the holy cross, ascended. Whereupon the lions, as having fulfilled the term of their ...
— Hypatia - or, New Foes with an Old Face • Charles Kingsley

... embroidered moccasins, he was a picturesque and striking object. He was less so as he squatted almost naked by his lodge fire, with a piece of board laid across his lap, chopping rank tobacco with a scalping-knife to fill his pipe, and entertaining the grinning circle with grotesque stories and obscene jests. Though not one of the hereditary chiefs, his influence was great. "He has the strongest head and the loudest voice among the Iroquois," wrote Lamberville to La Barre. "He calls himself your best friend.... He is a venal creature, whom you do well to ...
— Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV • Francis Parkman

... still dragging on a wretched and lingering career. Abhorred and despised by even the few who are cognisant of its miserable and disgraceful existence, stifled by the very filth it so profusely scatters, rendered deaf and blind by the exhalations of its own slime, the obscene journal, happily unconscious of its degraded state, is rapidly sinking beneath that treacherous mud which, while it seems to give it a firm standing with the low and debased classes of society, is nevertheless rising ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... see how close is my parallel. Yet you read out aloud letters written by your mother which, according to your assertion, concern her love affairs, and you do so before this gathering here assembled, a gathering before which you would not dare to read the verses of some obscene poet, even if bidden to do so, but you would be restrained by some sense of shame. Nay, you would never have touched your mother's letters, had you ever been in touch with letters in the wider sense of the term. But you have also dared to submit a letter of your own to be read, a letter written ...
— The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura • Lucius Apuleius

... drew in her breath sharply. Then she burst into a furious torrent of abuse. She shouted at the top of her voice. She called him every foul name she could think of. She used language so obscene that Philip was astounded; she was always so anxious to be refined, so shocked by coarseness, that it had never occurred to him that she knew the words she used now. She came up to him and thrust her face in his. It was distorted with passion, and in ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... dishevelled and lewd, carried wine; and when they spilt it there were stains like the stains of blood. And it seemed to Margaret that a fire burned in her veins, and her soul fled from her body; but a new soul came in its place, and suddenly she knew all that was obscene. She took part in some festival of hideous lust, and the wickedness of the world was patent to her eyes. She saw things so vile that she screamed in terror, and she heard Oliver laugh in derision by her side. It was a scene of indescribable horror, and she ...
— The Magician • Somerset Maugham

... husband, a wailing wife; Oh, a weary way is the way of life! A heartless threat and a cruel blow And grief that the world can never know; A tongue obscene and a will perverse, A horrid oath and a muttered curse, A winter drear and a scanty meal, A heart so hard, oh, a heart of steel! A wizened look and an infant's cry, The cold, cold clutch of Poverty, A withered hand and a blanched cheek, Alone, ...
— The Minstrel - A Collection of Poems • Lennox Amott

... trance, Plague-stricken? Had the very Gods, that saw Thy glory lighten on us for a law, Thy gospel go before us for a guide, Had these waxed envious of our love and awe, Or was it less their envy than thy pride That bared thy breast for the obscene vulture-claw, High priestess, by whose mouth Love prophesied That fate should yet mean freedom? Howsoever, That hour, the helper of men's hearts, we praise, Which blots out of man's book of after days The name above all names abhorred ...
— Songs of the Springtides and Birthday Ode - Taken from The Collected Poetical Works of Algernon Charles - Swinburne—Vol. III • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... some Indian city. Now the nature of the murmur became manifest to him; for he moved with a mighty throng, a people of pilgrims, a nation of worshippers. But these were not of his faith; they bore upon their foreheads the smeared symbols of obscene gods! Still, he could not escape from their midst; the mile-broad human torrent bore him irresistibly with it, as a leaf is swept by the waters of the Ganges. Rajahs were there with their trains, and princes riding upon elephants, and Brahmins robed in their vestments, and swarms of voluptuous ...
— Some Chinese Ghosts • Lafcadio Hearn

... paid to them. For your daily food and your sacred and other feasts of Peter, Paul, and Thomas, and Sergius and Marcellinus, and Leontius, and Antoninus, and Mauricius, and other martyrs, the solemnities are performed; and in place of the old base pomp and obscene words and acts, their modest festivities are celebrated, not with drunkenness and obscene and ludicrous exhibitions, but with hearing divine songs and holy sermons, and prayers and praises adorned with tears. When, therefore, you would dilate on the honor of the ...
— Museum of Antiquity - A Description of Ancient Life • L. W. Yaggy

... at Ashkelon, The obscene Dagon worshipping, Thy face was fair to look upon. Yet thy tongue, sweet to talk or sing, Was deadlier than the ...
— Toward the Gulf • Edgar Lee Masters

... men, gathered in the streets of Paris. Harangues against the king and the aristocrats rendered them delirious with rage. They crowded all the avenues to the Tuileries, burst through the gates and over the walls, dashed down the doors and stove in the windows, and, with obscene ribaldry, rioted through all the apartments sacred to royalty. They thrust the dirty red cap of Jacobinism upon the head of the King. They poured into the ear of the humiliated queen the most revolting and loathsome execrations. There was no hope for Louis but in ...
— Madame Roland, Makers of History • John S. C. Abbott

... appetites and affections of our nature as they are seen to be degraded in insane patients whose system, all out of joint, finds matter for screaming laughter in mere topsy-turvy, makes every passion preposterous or obscene, and turns the hard-won order of life into a second chaos hideous enough to make one wail that the first was ...
— Impressions of Theophrastus Such • George Eliot

... hundred per cent to boot; if you have ever been placed in such circumstances, then, and then only, can you form an idea of the joyful feeling with which we heard that shout. After such a thorough Yankee fashion was it given, that it caused the fog to break for a moment, and roused the obscene inhabitants of the neighbouring swamp from their mud-pillowed slumbers. They set up a screeching, and yelling, and croaking, that was lovely to ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844 • Various

... are YOU,' returned the woman, 'who trouble even this obscene resting-place of the dead, and strip the gibbet of its honoured burden? Where is ...
— Master Humphrey's Clock • Charles Dickens

... lightning-bugs and glowworms of many kinds are the same as in North America; that the beetle, or elator, when placed upon its back, snaps itself up in the air and falls upon its feet, as our species does; that the obscene fungus, or Phallus, taints the tropical forests, as a similar species at times taints our dooryards and pasture-borders; and that the mud-dauber wasps stuff their clay cells with half-dead spiders for their young, just as in North America. Of course there ...
— Under the Maples • John Burroughs

... Grecian navigators, who, after the example of the Argonauts, explored the dangers of the inhospitable Euxine. On these banks tradition long preserved the memory of the palace of Phineus, infested by the obscene harpies; [4] and of the sylvan reign of Amycus, who defied the son of Leda to the combat of the cestus. [5] The straits of the Bosphorus are terminated by the Cyanean rocks, which, according to ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... them. They did not philosophise about it; and though they were filled with terror, I do not think it was terror that held them from speaking about it, but a vague feeling that what they had beheld was obscene, unspeakable, ...
— The Blue Lagoon - A Romance • H. de Vere Stacpoole

... which she had first looked upon that splendid purple-walled canyon rising to the west. It had appealed to her at that time as the gateway to a mystic sanctuary. Now it was but the lair of thieves and murderers, ferocious and obscene. Only one kindly human soul dwelt among those ...
— They of the High Trails • Hamlin Garland

... things, but it is not because of the subject—I care not how obscene my words are—but because I cannot speak of them without betraying my impurity. We discourse freely without shame of one form of sensuality, and are silent about another. We are so degraded that we cannot speak simply of the necessary functions of human nature. In earlier ...
— Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience • Henry David Thoreau

... Of righteous practices they have none. Their women, intoxicated with drink and divested of robes, laugh and dance outside the walls of the houses in cities, without garlands and unguents, singing while drunk obscene songs of diverse kinds that are as musical as the bray of the ass or the bleat of the camel. In intercourse they are absolutely without any restraint, and in all other matters they act as they like. Maddened with drink, they call upon one another, using many endearing epithets. ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... secret ceremonies I conceal, Uncouth, perhaps unlawful to reveal: But such they were as pagan use required, Performed by women when the men retired, Whose eyes profane their chaste mysterious rites Might turn to scandal or obscene delights. Well-meaners think no harm; but for the rest, Things sacred they pervert, and silence is the best. Her shining hair, uncombed, was loosely spread, A crown of mastless oak adorned her head: When to the shrine approached, the spotless maid Had kindling ...
— Palamon and Arcite • John Dryden

... Diogenes; "and especially so, that the idle public has a hankering for such things! But are there no obscene details at all, then? grumbles the disappointed idle public to itself, something of reproach in its tone. A public idle-minded; much depraved in every way. Thus, too, you will observe of dogs: two dogs, at meeting, run, first of all, to ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVI. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Ten Years of Peace.—1746-1756. • Thomas Carlyle

... to his own forms. He was able to assume consistently an appearance of uncouth ignorance in order to retain his hold over his uncultivated flock. He delivered vituperative, even obscene sermons, which may still be read in his collected works. But he was able also on occasions, as when addressing agents of the Federal Government or other outsiders whom he wished to impress, to write direct and dignified English. He was resourceful in obtaining control over the other strong men ...
— The Forty-Niners - A Chronicle of the California Trail and El Dorado • Stewart Edward White

... look up, an object attracted my attention. Against the sky I distinguished the outlines of a large bird. I knew it to be the obscene bird of the plains, the buzzard vulture. Whence had it come? Who knows? Far beyond the reach of human eye it had seen or scented the slaughtered antelopes, and on broad, silent wing was now descending to ...
— The Scalp Hunters • Mayne Reid

... the religion of Jesus. I was with Paris when he gave the fateful apple to Venus, I saw Troy burn, and followed Ulysses on his wanderings. The prototypes of all that is beautiful sank deep into my soul, and consequently at the time when other boys are coarse and obscene, I displayed an insurmountable aversion to ...
— Venus in Furs • Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

... out o' me?" exclaims one, straining his mottled eyes, extending his wearied limbs, gasping as if for breath; then staggering to the counter. Finally, after much struggling, staggering, expressing consternation, obscene jeering, blasphemous oaths and filthy slang, they stand upright, and huddle around the notice. The picture presented by their ragged garments, their woebegone faces, and their drenched faculties, would, indeed, be difficult to transfer ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... of Stalin are with us!" a lumpy man said. "Go and die in a kennel filled with fleas and old newspaper! Go and freeze to the likeness of an obscene statue of a bourgeois deity! Go and hang by the ears from a monument four thousand feet high in the center of ...
— Supermind • Gordon Randall Garrett

... hundred Indians, mostly Cherokees, crossed the Tennessee not thirty miles from Knoxville. They attacked a small station, within which there were but thirteen souls, who, after some resistance, surrendered on condition that their lives should be spared; but they were butchered with obscene cruelty. Sevier immediately marched toward the assailants, who fled back to the Cherokee towns. Thither Sevier followed them, and went entirely through the Cherokee country to the land of the Creeks, burning the towns and destroying ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Four - Louisiana and the Northwest, 1791-1807 • Theodore Roosevelt

... measuring the dark, empty blocks, footsore, into the smaller hours of the night; slyly, insinuatingly, pathetically offering herself—all she possessed—to the hovering beasts of prey. And even these rejected her, with gibes, with obscene jests that sprang to her lips and brought a shudder ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... in your possession, any intoxicating liquors, tobacco or snuff in any form; gamblers' or obscene cards or pictures; concealed weapons; or soil the floors with spittle ...
— The Choctaw Freedmen - and The Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy • Robert Elliott Flickinger

... appears to be widespread. Low writes of the Hudson Bay Eskimo: "During the absence of the men on hunting expeditions, the women sometimes amuse themselves by a sort of female "angekoking." This amusement is accompanied by a number of very obscene rites...." Low, The Cruise ...
— The Dance Festivals of the Alaskan Eskimo • Ernest William Hawkes

... 201]. The Emperor Adrian, in a letter to his brother-in-law, Servianus, in the year 134, as given by Vospicius, says: 'There is no presbyter of the Christians who is not either an astrologer, a soothsayer, or a minister of obscene pleasures.' Tacitus tells us that Nero inflicted exquisite punishment upon those people who, under the vulgar appellation of Christians, were held in abhorrence for their crimes. He also, in the same place, says they were 'odious to mankind;' and calls their religion a 'pernicious superstition' ...
— The Freethinker's Text Book, Part II. - Christianity: Its Evidences, Its Origin, Its Morality, Its History • Annie Besant

... in the old "Syracusan" manner, and is well aware that he can have no answer for her. Again (she proceeds), Euripides discredited war by showing how it outrages the higher feelings: by what method has Aristophanes discredited it? By the obscene allurements of the Lysistrata! . . . Thus she takes him through his works, and finally declares that only in "more audaciously lying" has he improved upon the earlier writers of comedy. He has genius—she gladly grants it; but he has debased his ...
— Browning's Heroines • Ethel Colburn Mayne

... For us to live together any longer would be an obscene joke. Let's end it while we still have some sanity ...
— King Arthur's Socks and Other Village Plays • Floyd Dell

... schoolroom, the pupil finds that, in the newspapers and in the general conversation of adults, this sacred temple is treated as a common sewer, too filthy to be spoken of, and that the books which contain even the most necessary descriptions of it are liable to be condemned as "obscene" in the law courts.[189] It is vain for the physician to explain to young men and women the subtle and terrible nature of venereal poisons, to declare the right and the duty of both partners in ...
— The Task of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... Hitaishi refers also to the Durga festival, in which the weird and often horrible and obscene rites of Skakti worship not infrequently play a ...
— Indian Unrest • Valentine Chirol

... me and, all unresisting, I was dragged amidships beneath the main yard where a noose was for my destruction; and though hanging had seemed a clean death by contrast with that I had so lately escaped at the obscene hands of this loathly blackamoor, yet none the less a sick trembling took me as I felt the rope about my neck, insomuch that I sank to my knees and ...
— Martin Conisby's Vengeance • Jeffery Farnol

... mischief effected by John David Michaelis against the Old. This theologian was profoundly learned in the Oriental languages, but he was a reckless and irreverent critic. He made light of many of the occurrences of the Old Testament, and whenever the students applauded one of his obscene jokes, he was tickled into childishness. He made no claim to an experimental acquaintance with the operations of the Holy Spirit, and used his position as theological professor and lecturer only as the stepping-stone to money and fame. ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... have saved your life," he rang out, with obscene epithets. "I'll give you till sundown ...
— The Virginian - A Horseman Of The Plains • Owen Wister

... violent expressions of reproach and animosity. The young woman took this paper to a United States marshal, who brought it to the attention of the district attorney, with the result that the brother was indicted under some law of libel or of obscene matter, was arrested, tried, and convicted, and sentenced to Atlanta penitentiary for five years. After he had been lodged in his cell, his sister repented of her action, and sought to have him freed; but the law does not recognize such changes of heart, and the brother ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... your obscene altars, worship your loud mills then! Feed to Moloch and Baal the brawn and brains ...
— Dreams and Dust • Don Marquis

... change and terrific upheaval. France and England particularly are the prey of the Demon of Realism,—and all the writers who SHOULD use their pens to inspire and elevate the people, assist in degrading them. When their books are not obscene, they are blasphemous. Russia, too, joins in the cry of Realism!—Realism! ... Let us have the filth of the gutters, the scourgings of dustholes, the corruption of graves, the odors of malaria, the howlings of drunkards, the ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... propensities, or from a supposed necessity of winning the favour of the populace, that he might be able to tell them bold and unpleasant truths. We know at least that he boasts of having been much more sparing than his rivals in the use of obscene jests, to gain the laughter of the mob, and of having, in this respect, carried his art to perfection. Not to be unjust towards him, we must judge of all that appears so repulsive to us, not by modern ideas, but by ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... Thureau's Colonnes Infernales, those hellish legions with an account of whose deeds,' so says this gallant gentleman our friend, 'I will not defile my pen, but whose boasts are like those of Attila the Hun, and who in their malice have invented obscene tortures worthy of Iroquois savages for all who fall into their clutches, be they men, women, or children.... But, by Heaven's mercy, dear Madame,' says M. de Puisaye to me, 'your noble husband was ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... of his way—informed the jury in the course of a summing-up that he "could not read a chapter of Rabelais without being bored to death." The assumption in this obiter dictum seemed to be that Rabelais is an obscene writer. And the implication seemed to be that to a healthily virtuous and superior mind like the Judge's the ...
— Impressions And Comments • Havelock Ellis

... blasphemies obscene, What eager movements urge each threatening mien! Present the spectacle of human kind, Devoid of feeling—destitute of mind; With ev'ry dreadful passion rous'd to flame, All sense of justice lost ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... and evidently much used. It was hung with ex-voto limbs and with many gifts. It was a centre of worship, of a sort of almost obscene worship. Afterwards the black pine-trees and the river of that valley seemed unclean, as if an unclean spirit lived there. The very flowers seemed unnatural, and the white gleam on the mountain-tops was a glisten ...
— Twilight in Italy • D.H. Lawrence

... In one version of the legend the hosts of Demeter were not Celeus and Metaneira, but Dusaules and Baubo. The part of Baubo was to relieve the gloom of the Goddess, not by the harmless pleasantries of Iambe, in the Hymn, but by obscene gestures. The Christian Fathers, Clemens of Alexandria at least, make this a part of their attack on the Mysteries; but it may be said that they were prejudiced or misinformed. {87a} But, says M. Foucart, an inscription has been found in Paros, wherein there is a dedication to ...
— The Homeric Hymns - A New Prose Translation; and Essays, Literary and Mythological • Andrew Lang

... is a powerful agent either for good or evil. If we would improve the morals, choice literature must be selected, whether it be that which realizes the ideal, or idealizes the real. Obscene literature, or books written for the express purpose of exciting or intensifying sexual desires in the young, goads to an illicit gratification of the passions, and ruins the ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... really for bane and torture. For the least offence, or out of mere wantonness, they would drag a patient stark naked across the yard, and thrust her bodily under water again and again, keeping her down till almost gone with suffocation, and dismissing her more dead than alive with obscene and insulting comments ringing in her ears, to get warm again in the cold. This my ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... misconceptions that we saw might arise; the odious imputations on honour and purity that would follow. Could we, the teachers of a lofty morality, venture to face a prosecution for publishing what would be technically described as an obscene book, and risk the ruin of our future, dependent as that was on our fair fame? To Mr. Bradlaugh it meant, as he felt, the almost certain destruction of his Parliamentary position, the forging by his own hands of a weapon that in the hands ...
— Annie Besant - An Autobiography • Annie Besant

... strove to pull him from the place. He, on the other hand, manfully maintained his ground, hurling back every missile, struggling with his assailants, and continuing the while to pour forth a malignant and obscene discourse. At last a young sailor, warm in the Catholic Faith, and impulsive as mariners are prone to be, ascended the pulpit from behind, sprang upon the mechanic, and flung him headlong down the steps. The preacher grappled with his enemy as he ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... masturbation or self-abuse is very likely to be learned in boyhood, perhaps even by boys of six or eight years of age through their associations with obscene playmates. It not infrequently happens, however, that the habit is learned independent of these evil associations. It has been explained above that secretions frequently accumulate under the prepuce and accumulating there serve as a local irritation, causing itching of the organ. This local ...
— The Biology, Physiology and Sociology of Reproduction - Also Sexual Hygiene with Special Reference to the Male • Winfield S. Hall

... very depths of Paris life: prostitutes and criminals, the murderers of to-morrow, who came to see how a man ought to die. Loathsome, bareheaded harlots mingled with bands of prowlers or ran through the crowd, howling obscene refrains. Bandits stood in groups chatting and quarrelling about the more or less glorious manner in which certain famous guillotines had died. Among these was one with respect to whom they all agreed, and of whom they spoke as of a great captain, a hero whose ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... what happened next. Laird Duncan roared something obscene in Scots Gaelic, put his hands on the arms of his wheelchair, and, with a great thrust of his powerful arms and shoulders, shoved himself up and forward, toward Lord Darcy, across the table from him. His arms swung up toward Lord Darcy's throat as the momentum of his body ...
— The Eyes Have It • Gordon Randall Garrett



Words linked to "Obscene" :   dirty, repugnant, repulsive, obscenity, abhorrent, salacious, lewd, indecent, detestable, offensive, raunchy



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