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Shrewish   Listen
adjective
Shrewish  adj.  Having the qualities of a shrew; having a scolding disposition; froward; peevish. "My wife is shrewish when I keep not hours."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Shrewish" Quotes from Famous Books



... strength; but it was exerted in vain to free himself from his enemies, all of whom seemed to experience a barbarous delight at his struggles, some encouraging him, with loud laughter and in broken English, to continue them, while others taunted and scolded at him more like shrewish squaws than valiant warriors, assuring him that they were great Shawnee fighting-men, and he a little Long-knife dog, entirely beneath their notice: which expressions, though at variance with all his preconceived notions of the stern gravity ...
— Nick of the Woods • Robert M. Bird

... price of success, and Wiley recognized it, but he rebelled against his fate. What fault was it of his that her father and his father had fallen out over the mine? He had shown by the stock that the treachery had been Blount's and neither of them was to blame. What fault was it of his that she had a shrewish mother who was bent upon ruining her life? Had he not endured abuse and suffered grievous wounds before he had asserted his rights? And with Virginia herself, when had there ever been a time when ...
— Shadow Mountain • Dane Coolidge

... mounte! Then mounte! brave gallants all, And don your helms amain; Deathe's couriers, Fame and Honour, call Up to the field againe; No shrewish tear shall fill our eye When the sword hilt's in our hand; Heart-whole we'll parte and no whit sighe For the fayrest of the land. Let piping swaine and craven wight, Thus weepe and puling aye; Our business is like to men to fighte And ...
— With Spurs of Gold - Heroes of Chivalry and their Deeds • Frances Nimmo Greene

... for a lover; but, being glad to get Katharine married, he answered that he would give her twenty thousand crowns for her dowry, and half his estate at his death. So this odd match was quickly agreed on and Baptista went to apprise his shrewish daughter of her lover's addresses, and sent her in to Petruchio to listen ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... boys do? Three midshipmen,—armed only with their tiny dirks,—what chance would they have among so many? There were scores of these sinewy sons of the Desert,—without counting the shrewish women,—each armed with gun and scimitar, any one of whom ought to have been more than a match for a "mid." It would have been sheer folly to have attempted a rescue. Despair only could ...
— The Boy Slaves • Mayne Reid

... height of the prophet's 'wife, but neither so lusty nor so vigorous in appearance, She was but indifferently dressed, and though her features had evidently been handsome in her younger days, yet there was now a thin, shrewish expression about the nose, and a sharpness about the compressed lips, and those curves which bounded in her mouth, that betokened much firmness if not obstinancy in her character, joined to a look which might as well be considered ...
— The Black Prophet: A Tale Of Irish Famine • William Carleton

... of a bar was exposed to much temptation. A weak-minded man, mingling continually in the company of topers, might possibly end by giving way to drink. Now, Josiah was an exceptionally weak-minded man. It had also to be borne in mind that he had a shrewish wife, and that her whole family had come to live with him. Clearly, to place Josiah in a position of easy access to unlimited liquor would ...
— Novel Notes • Jerome K. Jerome

... who procures us a lodging, meanwhile giving us coffee. Attended by two soldiers, carrying our baggage, we retrace our steps to the centre of the town, and take possession of very sorry apartments, the best portion of a gaunt filthy house. We are installed by the mistress, a shrewish person, who, making pretensions to gentility, receives her guests under protest that she does not keep a hotel, but is willing to accommodate strangers,—a phrase repeated a hundred times while we were under her roof, and emphatically when presenting a rather unconscionable bill on ...
— Rambles in the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia - with Notices of their History, Antiquities, and Present Condition. • Thomas Forester

... Spring Is pinched and shrewish and cold; But all together they sing Of a world that can never ...
— Hawthorn and Lavender - with Other Verses • William Ernest Henley

... she sent Osborn off to his work as punctually as before; she wheeled two infants instead of one out in the grey perambulator to the open-air market. And there her bargaining became sharp, thin and shrewish. She fought the merchants smartly, and sometimes she won and sometimes they. During the day Grannie Amber usually came in and lent a hand about the babies' bedtime. At 6.30 Osborn came home, a little peevish until after dinner. After dinner he went out again if the ...
— Married Life - The True Romance • May Edginton

... 822; fretful, fidgety; on the fret. hasty, overhasty, quick, warm, hot, testy, touchy, techy^, tetchy; like touchwood, like tinder; huffy, pettish, petulant; waspish, snappish, peppery, fiery, passionate, choleric, shrewish, sudden and quick in quarrel [As You Like It]. querulous, captious, moodish^; quarrelsome, contentious, disputatious; pugnacious &c (bellicose) 720; cantankerous, exceptious^; restiff &c (perverse) 901.1 [Obs.]; churlish &c (discourteous) 895. cross, cross as ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... a feeling of horror at the sight or thought of Philippina; she was dismayed too when, despite the darkness, she noticed the shrewish look of incorrigible wickedness in Philippina's face. An ineluctable voice put her on her guard. In so far as she could do it without grievously offending Philippina, she withdrew from further association with her. And even if she had not promised her absolute silence, a feeling half of fear and ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... ever so froward a temper?" cried Edward, not without reason. "Why, Warwick, thou art as shrewish to a jest as a woman to advice. Thy kinsman's fortunes shall be my care. Thou sayest thou hast enemies,—I weet not who they be. But to show what I think of them, I make thy namesake and client a gentleman of my chamber. When Warwick is false to Edward, let him think that Warwick's kinsman ...
— The Last Of The Barons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... over and take advantage of the shade it would give as the sun climbed higher, but Grim refused to let them; whereat Ayisha went into a shrewish rage, and ordered her four men to take up her tent and pitch it over by the rock whether Grim permitted it or not. So they obeyed her, ...
— The Lion of Petra • Talbot Mundy

... Exiles, no more the deadly tedium of daily service at the desk of the caisse, no more the shrewish tongue of Mama Therese, the odious oglings of Papa Dupont, the ceaseless ...
— Red Masquerade • Louis Joseph Vance

... criterion for the appreciation of certain women, and the irresistible argument, is the man whom they have loved. Assuredly we may pardon many things recorded of the Grande Mademoiselle, even her shrewish relations with her step-mother, even her haughty contempt for her half-sisters, but we cannot pardon her M. de Lauzun. We are all well acquainted with that individual, with his cunning and supercilious ...
— Political Women, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Sutherland Menzies

... it strange, Jock, that a thing I have wanted so long should just happen by, as it were? And so I'm off for Mauchline to-morrow, with Dickenson, whose silence bespeaks a shrewish disapproval, and will write how Mr. Burns and I get on ...
— Nancy Stair - A Novel • Elinor Macartney Lane

... all extinguish / held by each page in hand, By the which same token / shalt thou understand I present am to serve thee. / I'll tame thy shrewish wife That thou this night enjoy her, / else ...
— The Nibelungenlied - Translated into Rhymed English Verse in the Metre of the Original • trans. by George Henry Needler

... construction. The Cure is a priest whose joys and ambitions are modest and innocent. Having reached the age when indulgence in ease and comfort is excusable, he finds himself suddenly deprived of them through unwittingly offending his landlady. She, an old maid, as inwardly shrewish as outwardly pious, utilizes the Abbe Birotteau and another clergyman, who both lodge with her, to attract the good society folk of Tours to her evening receptions. After due experience of these gatherings, the Abbe plays truant, finding it more agreeable ...
— Balzac • Frederick Lawton

... do have such a lovely voice!" cried Ruth. "You can't make even the Shrew sound shrewish—in her tone, I mean." ...
— The Twenty-Fourth of June • Grace S. Richmond

... dear voice quavered; "he had it in his pocket, my brave, strong, beautiful Billy did, when he asked me to marry him. It was King Cophetua wooing the beggar-maid—and the beggar was an impudent, ungrateful, idiotic little piece!" Margaret hissed, in her most shrewish manner. "She ought to be spanked. She ought to go down on her knees to him in sackcloth, and tears, and ashes, and all sorts of penitential things. She will, too. Oh, it's such a beautiful world—such a beautiful world! Billy loves me—really! Billy's a ...
— The Eagle's Shadow • James Branch Cabell

... returns every night at nine to his old woman, who shrewish by age, cannot bear his infidelities since she herself is unable to pay him in the same coin and has become awfully jealous. Come to-night at half-past nine. I'll receive you. My house is at the corner of the Rue du Bac. You'll recognise it by its ...
— The Queen Pedauque • Anatole France

... knew the horrors of poverty. She was shocked to hear that one of her own sisterhood should be reduced to such straits as these. The lightning had struck uncomfortably near home. Besides she had always been fond of Laura. Yes, she knew Mrs. Farley's, a shrewish Irishwoman, who kept a cheap theatrical boarding house in Forty ——th Street. Ten years ago, in the days when she was a stage beginner, struggling to make both ends meet, she had lived there and as she looked back on those days ...
— The Easiest Way - A Story of Metropolitan Life • Eugene Walter and Arthur Hornblow

... town," and she was never tired of watching the prairie-dogs stand upon their burrows, chip-chip defiance until fear overtook their impertinence, and then dive headlong deep into the earth. "I do think a prairie-dog is the most impudent creature alive and the most shrewish. I never pass but I am scolded by these little scoundrels till my ears burn. What ...
— Her Prairie Knight • B.M. Sinclair, AKA B. M. Bower

... had forgotten his troubles for a time. He had been dozing. The shrewish night wind of autumn whistled over the ledges of Cod Lead Nubble and scattered upon his gray beard the black ashes from the bonfire that the shivering men of Smyrna still plied with fuel. The Cap'n sat upright, his arms clasping his doubled knees, ...
— The Skipper and the Skipped - Being the Shore Log of Cap'n Aaron Sproul • Holman Day

... what did Millicent mean by her shrewish cry that Spencer was paying for Helen's holiday? So engrossed was he in other directions that his early doubts with regard to "The Firefly's" unprecedented enterprise in sending a representative ...
— The Silent Barrier • Louis Tracy

... works of the first class, the Reminiscences are defaced by the shrewish spirit shown in the accounts of Wordsworth and other friends; nor can we depend upon them as records of fact. But our author had had exceptional opportunities to observe these famous men and women, and he possessed no ...
— The English Mail-Coach and Joan of Arc • Thomas de Quincey

... to-night! If your friend Mr. Kendrick is to be there I'll be more shrewish than you ever dreamed—it will be a ...
— The Twenty-Fourth of June • Grace S. Richmond

... poet with a passion for what is heroic in human nature and for what is ardent and unlimited in human speech, than by a poet who saw in Faliero only the politician, and in the opportunities of verse only the opportunity for thin and shrewish rhetoric pulled and lopped into an intermittent ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... frantic, circling in the sun, Wagging and nosing—see! beneath yon tree One little mutt meets his affinity: And, near, another madly wags his tail Inquiringly; but his advances fail, And, 'yap-yap-yap!' replies the shrewish tyke, So off the other starts upon a hike, Rushing at random, crazed with sun and air, Circling and barking out his ...
— The Common Law • Robert W. Chambers

... up her head. "Now then, what do you want now?" she said hurriedly, her bitter tone beginning on the ordinary pitch, but rising rapidly to a shrewish scream. "It's the rent, I suppose; and I suppose we're to have notice to quit? It's all one to me. I've got no money and so I tell you; but what's here you can keep, and you can have the skin off my back too, and I'll throw in the children beside. They can drag a milk-cart as well as dogs. ...
— The Malady of the Century • Max Nordau

... haughty—with these traits she richly endowed her son. His father was handsome, bright, solid, emphatic-looking, but with a yielding disposition; the iron will and sharp tongue of the wife overawed the husband. The shrewish frau had things largely her own way, was able to read a lecture like the wrath of God. However, on the whole, the couple got along passably well—for Karl never took Louise too seriously! When Frau Louise's efforts to make a lackey of him got on his nerves, Karl called his ...
— Blood and Iron - Origin of German Empire As Revealed by Character of Its - Founder, Bismarck • John Hubert Greusel

... huge circumference of a sigh, But past all tinge of apples long ago. His boyish fingers twiddled up and down The filthy remnant of a cup of physic That thicked in odour all the while he stayed. His eyes were sad as fishes that swim up And stare upon an element not theirs Through a thin skin of shrewish water, then Turn on a languid fin, and dip down, down, Into unplumbed, vast, oozy deeps of dream. His stomach was his master, and proclaimed it; And never were such meagre puppets made The slaves of such a tyrant, ...
— Collected Poems 1901-1918 in Two Volumes - Volume I. • Walter de la Mare

... part in the formidable fashion imposed upon men who might at any time have to resist the attacks of Indians. Inside these villages the rough, rude justice of the Puritan days still persisted. The stocks and the pillory and the stool of repentance were things of the present. A shrewish housewife might still be made to stand at her cottage door with {76} the iron gag of the scold fastened upon her shameful face. A careless Sabbatarian might still find himself exposed to the scorn of a congregation, with the words "A wanton gospeller" placarded upon his ignominious breast. Inside ...
— A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume III (of 4) • Justin McCarthy and Justin Huntly McCarthy

... was enjoying the wide view and the solitary road lying white in the sunshine. We jogged along very pleasantly. Once more we stopped at a house where Mifflin pleaded for a chance to exercise his art. I was much amused when he succeeded in selling a copy of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" to a shrewish spinster on the plea that she would enjoy reading the stories to her nephews and nieces who were ...
— Parnassus on Wheels • Christopher Morley

... who hadn't the heart either to let her starve or to treat her kindly. Well, we fixed it up. I left the fort when the time came, and she followed a week later—and that winter I wasn't alone. It was so for three winters. Then, she began to get shrewish and lose her looks, so I gave her money enough to make her independent (my father had left me something), and we separated with mutual satisfaction... ...
— The Wilderness Trail • Frank Williams

... lips that cheers the heart. Italy is also unvirtuous, yet her voice is full of bird-like melody, and her face is a dream of perfect poetry! But England unvirtuous will be like a cautiously calculating, somewhat shrewish matron, possessed of unnatural and unbecoming friskiness, without either laugh, or song, or smile—her one god, Gold, and her one commandment, the suggested eleventh, "Thou ...
— Vendetta - A Story of One Forgotten • Marie Corelli

... had mantled the hallowed grave, her soul rebelled in indignation and dismay. For a year her heart had held out against him, and softened only when she saw that he was breaking under the self-imposed burden,—a shrewish second wife. However, Mrs. Sanford "held the fort," as has been said, and Marion, high-spirited, sensitive, refined, and loving, was entering on ...
— Marion's Faith. • Charles King

... and in fellowship with her a good half of the others, pursued my sweet, sage Ann, the most diligent and best of us all, to drive her out of our midst; but in vain, thanks to Sister Margaret's upright justice. Nay, the shrewish plotters were fain at last to see the scrivener's daughter uplifted to be our head, and this compelled them to bend their ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... resist, can at least retaliate; she, too, can make the man's life extremely uncomfortable, and by that power is able to carry many points which she ought, and many which she ought not, to prevail in. But this instrument of self-protection—which may be called the power of the scold, or the shrewish sanction—has the fatal defect, that it avails most against the least tyrannical superiors, and in favour of the least deserving dependents. It is the weapon of irritable and self-willed women; of those who would make the worst use of power if they themselves had it, and who generally ...
— The Subjection of Women • John Stuart Mill

... done less than usual to deform the proportions and deface the impression of his design. Indeed, the connection of the two serious plots in the first part is a rare example of dexterous and happy simplicity in composition: the comic underplot of the patient man and shrewish wife is more loosely attached by a slighter thread of relation to these two main stories, but is so amusing in its light and facile play of inventive merriment and harmless mischief as to need no further excuse. Such an excuse, however, might otherwise ...
— The Age of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... prospered his shrewish wife had reaped her benefits. Ben was not the selfish type of farmer who insists on twentieth-century farm implements and medieval household equipment. He had added a bedroom here, a cool summer kitchen ...
— Half Portions • Edna Ferber

... think, half the population of his village besides, squatting or standing around him. A slim dark woman, with part of her back and one black shoulder bared, and with a thin gold ring in her nose, suddenly began to talk in a high-pitched, shrewish tone. The man with me instinctively looked up at her. We were then just through the door, passing ...
— Lord Jim • Joseph Conrad

... signior Angelo you must excuse vs all, My wife is shrewish when I keepe not howres; Say that I lingerd with you at your shop To see the making of her Carkanet, And that to morrow you will bring it home. But here's a villaine that would face me downe He met me on the Mart, and that I beat him, And charg'd him with a thousand ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... wondering whether you would both like to go sleighing with me some afternoon?" she ventured, with the humility so prone to assail humankind in a frank and shrewish presence. "The roads are in wonderful condition, and I don't believe you'd take cold. Do you know, I found Grandmother Eaton's foot-warmers, the other day! ...
— Meadow Grass - Tales of New England Life • Alice Brown

... installed, then, solus, you will be roused from your sound night's sleep in the morning at eight bells, or eight o'clock A.M., by the tinkling of a shrewish-sounding hand-bell, which says, as plainly as ever the chimes of Bow hailed Whittington lord mayor of London, "Arise, and shave, and make your toilet, and prepare to come forth; for the cow is milking, and the kettle is screeching, ...
— Impressions of America - During the years 1833, 1834 and 1835. In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Tyrone Power

... Mr. Peaslee, so indignantly that he stopped eating for a moment, knife and fork upright in his rigid, scandalized hands, while he gazed at his thin, energetic, shrewish little wife. "'Settin' round and talkin'!' It's mighty important work, now I tell ye. I guess there wouldn't be much law and order if it wa'n't for the grand jury. They don't take none but men o' jedgment. Takes gumption, I tell ye. Ye have to pay ...
— The Calico Cat • Charles Miner Thompson

... then mounte, brave gallants all, And don your helmes amaine; Deathe's couriers, fame and honor, call Us to the field againe. No shrewish feares shall fill our eye When the sword-hilt's in our hand— Heart-whole we'll part, and no whit sighe For the fayrest of the land; Let piping swaine, and craven wight, Thus weepe and puling crye; Our business is like men to fight, And hero-like ...
— The World's Best Poetry, Volume 8 • Various

... piteous supplication, softening hesitation; worldly goods oblation, gracious acceptation; frantic jubilation, maidenly resignation. Petting, wooing, billing, cooing. Jealous accusation, sharp recrimination, manly expostulation, shrewish aggravation; angry threat, summary dismissal. Fuming on one side, pouting on the other. Reaction, approximation, exclamation, exoneration, reconciliation, osculation, winding up with a grand pas de circomstance, expressive ...
— The Naples Riviera • Herbert M. Vaughan

... diamonds, reconciled Lady Binks to the part of Hippolyta. The superior stature of Miss Mowbray to Lady Penelope, made it necessary that the former should perform the part of Helena, and her ladyship rest contented with the shrewish character of Hermia. It was resolved to compliment the young Earl of Etherington with the part of Lysander, which, however, his lordship declined, and, preferring comedy to tragedy, refused to appear in any other character than that of the magnanimous Bottom; and he ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... little toad!" thought Malcolm, who cared nothing for fluffy hair and curling eyelashes if a shrewish tongue accompanied them. ...
— Herb of Grace • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... itself the outgrowth of a medieval religious guild, regulated the affairs of every one with little regard for personal liberty. It was especially severe on rebellious servants, idle apprentices, shrewish women, the pigs that ran loose in the streets, and (after 1605) persons guilty of profanity. Regular church attendance and fixed hours of work were required. The corporation frequently punished with fines (the poet's father on one occasion) those who did not ...
— The Facts About Shakespeare • William Allan Nielson

... down the steep hill from old Glanum, St. Remy appeared a little oasis of spring in the midst of a winter which had come back for something it had forgotten. All its surrounding orchards and gardens, screened from the shrewish Mistral by the shoulders of the Alpilles, and again by lines of tall cypress trees and netted, dry bamboos, had begun to bloom richly like the earlier gardens on the Riviera. There was a pinky-white haze of apple blossoms; and even the plane trees in the long main street were ...
— The Motor Maid • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... lord hast seen many beauties that he could have for the asking, and they are doubtless meek and gentle creatures with soft and ready answer; but if thy cantankerous untowardness continues he will set thee down as a shrewish wench ...
— Mistress Penwick • Dutton Payne

... a circus in the town about the same time, and rose on my ruins. My house was deserted; my actors grew discontented because they were ill paid; my door became a hammering-place for every bailiff in the county; and my wife became more and more shrewish and tormenting, ...
— Tales of a Traveller • Washington Irving

... She restored him to perfection. Her affectionate faith was a magical inspiration to him; it was, really, the greatest force in the world. Most women would have agreed with him, however tactfully, that he had been careless about the letter. An Adela would certainly have berated him in her shrewish, thin tones. A Lois would have been sarcastic, scornfully patronizing him as a 'boy.' And what would Agg have done?... They might have forgiven and even forgotten, but they would have indulged themselves first. Marguerite was exteriorly simple. She would not perhaps successfully ...
— The Roll-Call • Arnold Bennett

... outright, for it was said that Bigot, in his coltish days, had a shrewish Gascon wife, whom he took leave to send to heaven before her time. I saw ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... the sound of firing in the forward trenches swelled to an uproar augmented by the shrewish chattering of machine-guns. Then a battery hidden somewhere in the blackness in front of them came into action, barking viciously. Shells whined hungrily overhead. The prisoner glanced back: the maimed poplars stood out stark against ...
— The False Faces • Vance, Louis Joseph

... features will however serve my purpose. In the tale of Maruf the Cobbler, which concludes the Bulak and Calcutta printed texts of The Nights, we have an interesting version of Aladdin. The hero runs away from his shrewish wife and under false presences is married to a king's daughter. He confesses his imposture to the princess, who loves him dearly, and she urges him to flee from her father's vengeance and not to return until his death ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... outlaws. Alan-a-Dale, who was in love, became jealous, and the Sheriff came on to the scene, and the outlaws, finding him on their ground, took him prisoner, and Dame Durden, who secretly had been married to the Sheriff, and from whose shrewish tongue the Sheriff had fled, came to free him. She declared that if the Sheriff of Nottingham would acknowledge her, she would get him free from the stocks, into which the outlaws had put him, and would take him home. But the prospect of having to stand ...
— Operas Every Child Should Know - Descriptions of the Text and Music of Some of the Most Famous Masterpieces • Mary Schell Hoke Bacon

... the man replied, "and several times friends of his have been hither to see him. He dwells at my next neighbour's, who is often driven well-nigh out of her mind—for she is a dame with a shrewish tongue and sharp temper—by his inattention. She only asks of him that he will cut wood and keep an eye over her pigs, which wander in the forest, in return for his food; and yet, simple as are his duties, ...
— The Dragon and the Raven - or, The Days of King Alfred • G. A. Henty

... tale in the Nights, and perhaps the finest of all, is that of "Ma'aruf the Cobbler." [455] Ma'aruf, who lived at Cairo, had a shrewish wife named Fatimah who beat him, and hauled him before the Kazi because he had not been able to bring her "kunafah sweetened with bees' honey." So he fled from her, and a good-natured Marid transported him to a distant ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... matron, with the stately head-dress of white linen and the bunch of jingling keys at her girdle, and had a surprise of a different kind. Certainly there were no soft curves in her resolute mouth, and her eyes were as keen as Leif's; yet it was neither a cruel face nor a shrewish one. It was full of truth and strength, and there was comeliness in her broad smooth brow and in the unfaded roses of her cheeks. Ah, and now that the keen eyes had fallen upon Leif, they were no longer sharp; they were soft and deep with mother-love, ...
— The Thrall of Leif the Lucky • Ottilie A. Liljencrantz

... she said softly. "I was shrewish and ill-tempered, and deserve a severe lesson in courtesy. I did not mean to be disagreeable," she added with a little sigh, "but my nerves are all a-quiver to-day and this awful news has weighed upon my ...
— The Bronze Eagle - A Story of the Hundred Days • Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy

... compensating elevation in that of her rival by which the Nibelungen Lied places Chriemhild on a height as lofty and unapproachable as that occupied by the Norse Valkyrie; the Brynhild of Voelsunga Saga is something of a virago, the Gudrun is jealous and shrewish. But for actual material, the compiler is absolutely to be trusted; and Voelsunga Saga is therefore, in spite of artistic faults, a priceless treasure-house for the real ...
— The Edda, Vol. 2 - The Heroic Mythology of the North, Popular Studies in Mythology, - Romance, and Folklore, No. 13 • Winifred Faraday

... said the magistrate to this shrewish supplicant—"tell us what it is you want, and do not ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... had always been sorry that Mrs. Otway and his mother didn't exactly hit it off. His mother had once been a beauty, and was now a rather shrewish, sharp-tongued old lady, who had outlived most of the people and most of the things she had cared for in life. Mrs. Otway irritated Mrs. Guthrie. The old lady despised the still pretty widow's eager, ...
— Good Old Anna • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... consolation in the love of his daughter. Secretly, as though his paternal affection were a crime, he caressed Julia, and his wife was not long in discovering that the father cared more for a loving daughter than for a shrewish wife. She watched him jealously, and had come to regard her daughter as one who had supplanted her in her husband's affections, and her husband as robbing her of the love of her daughter. In truth, Mrs. Samuel Anderson had come to stand ...
— The End Of The World - A Love Story • Edward Eggleston

... was an exquisite voice; not large, but flexible and very warm. The pianoforte accompaniment was rather uneasy and faltering. Now and then, when it became blurred and wavering, the voice was abruptly hard and decisive, once even piercing and almost shrewish. Then the pianist, as if attacked by fear, played louder and hurried the tempo, the little dark woman smiled mischievously, the white-haired woman put her handkerchief to her eyes, and the young man looked as if he wished to commit murder. But ...
— The Woman With The Fan • Robert Hichens

... recommendation, they were all wonderful men with unrivalled powers of preaching, but on closer inquiry there was sure to be some drawback. One was too old, another not old enough; another had twelve children, and the parsonage only allows for eight; one had a shrewish wife, and another was of Liberal tendencies in politics—a fatal objection; one was in money difficulties because he would spend more than he had, which was not surprising when one heard what he did have; and another was disliked in his parish ...
— The Solitary Summer • Elizabeth von Arnim

... Signior Angelo, you must excuse us all. My wife is shrewish when I keep not hours: Say that I linger'd with you at your shop To see the making of her carcanet, And that to-morrow you will bring it home. But here's a villain that would face me down. He met me on the mart; and that I beat him, And charg'd him with a thousand marks in gold; And that I ...
— The Comedy of Errors • William Shakespeare [Collins edition]

... somebody who can put himself above other people. The constitutional thimble-rig is carried on to-day, dear boy, more seriously than ever. The infamous monarchy, displaced by the heroism of the people, was a sort of drab, you could laugh and revel with her; but La Patrie is a shrewish and virtuous wife, and willy-nilly you must take her prescribed endearments. Then besides, as you know, authority passed over from the Tuileries to the journalists, at the time when the Budget changed its quarters and went ...
— The Magic Skin • Honore de Balzac

... hear of her frivolity." A slight, shrewish flavor crept into Eulalie's smooth voice. "The way she used to persecute me ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 6, July 1905 • Various

... "not much of a scholard" used to allow no difficulty to check his fluency. If the right word did not fall to his hand he made shift with another of somewhat similar sound, the result frequently taxing to the uttermost the self-control of the better educated among his hearers. He was ill-mated to a shrewish wife, and one was sensible of a thrill of sympathy when, without a thought of irreverence, and in all simplicity, he rolled out, instead of "Woe is me, that I am constrained to dwell with Mesech!" "Woe is me, that I am ...
— The Parish Clerk (1907) • Peter Hampson Ditchfield

... Mrs. Ellis were at the head of a highly respectable and industrious coloured family. They had three children. Esther, the eldest, was a girl of considerable beauty, and amiable temper. Caroline, the second child, was plain in person, and of rather shrewish disposition; she was a most indefatigable housewife, and was never so happy as when in possession of a dust or scrubbing brush; she would have regarded a place where she could have lived in a perpetual state of house cleaning, as an earthly paradise. Between her and Master ...
— The Garies and Their Friends • Frank J. Webb

... the set are taken up with the adoration of the shepherds; and the twelfth is worthy of special notice as being a piece of broad comedy approaching to downright farce, with dashes of rude wit and humour. The three shepherds, after talking awhile about their shrewish wives, are on the point of striking up a song, when an old acquaintance of theirs named Mak, whose character is none of the best, comes among them. They suspect him of meditating some sly trick; so, on going to bed, they take care to have him lie between ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... Mme. de Marville, who, moreover, had formed a tolerably correct estimate of her husband. A temper naturally shrewish was soured till she grew positively terrible. She was not old, but she had aged; she deliberately set herself to extort by fear all that the world was inclined to refuse her, and was harsh and rasping as a file. Caustic to excess she had few friends among women; ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... a lady of uncertain temper, and she was on this occasion so ill-tempered, and put herself to so much anxiety and agitation, aided and abetted by her shrewish hand-maiden, Miggs, that next morning she was, she said, too much indisposed to rise. The disconsolate locksmith had, therefore, to deliver himself of his story of the night's experiences to his daughter, buxom, bewitching Dolly, the very pink and pattern of good looks, and the despair of the youth ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol III • Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.

... sat in a corner of her father's law library watching, with wide, serious eyes, a scene the like of which was common enough a generation or two ago. The weeping old woman told a halting story of a dissipated son, a shrewish daughter-in-law, and a state of servitude on her own part,—a story pitifully sordid in its details. The farm had come to her from her father's estate. For forty years she had toiled side by side with her husband, getting a simple, ...
— What eight million women want • Rheta Childe Dorr

... Maria, and Othello! I dimly remember my grandfather, Othello,—or "Uncle Tallow,"—a brown man, strong-voiced and redolent with tobacco, who sat stiffly in a great high chair because his hip was broken. He was probably a bit lazy and given to wassail. At any rate, grandmother had a shrewish tongue and often berated him. This grandmother was Sarah—"Aunt Sally"—a stern, tall, Dutch-African woman, beak-nosed, but beautiful-eyed and golden-skinned. Ten or more children were theirs, of whom the ...
— Darkwater - Voices From Within The Veil • W. E. B. Du Bois

... about to proceed on my journey, more in the spirit of youthful bravado, than with any other motive; for the roads, at that period, were considered perfectly safe, by night as well as by day. As I have remarked, the thought of the shrewish and abandoned old woman, of her house and its evil companions, occurred to me, as my horse slowly ascended the rising ground towards the plain. In a few minutes I was in the neighborhood of a habitation which I looked upon rather with detestation than any emotion ...
— Old New England Traits • Anonymous

... and complimented and gone their way, leaving the gunners high up on the bleak hillside to grill or mildew or freeze for weeks and months. Then she spoke. Her voice was higher pitched, it seemed, than ours—with a more shrewish tang to the speeding shell. Her recoil was as swift and as graceful as the shrug of a French-woman's shoulders; the empty case leaped forth and clanged against the trail; the tops of two or three pines fifty yards away nodded knowingly to each other, though ...
— France At War - On the Frontier of Civilization • Rudyard Kipling

... and other the like chimerical errands, that witty Hanbury, then a much more admirable man than we now find him, is prowling about in the German Courts, off and on, for some ten years in all, six of them still to come. A sharp-eyed man, of shrewish quality; given to intriguing, to spying, to bribing; anxious to win his Diplomatic game by every method, though the stake (as here) is oftenest zero: with fatal proclivity to Scandal, and what in London circles he has heard called Wit. Little or nothing ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVI. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Ten Years of Peace.—1746-1756. • Thomas Carlyle

... all fancy fathoms, falser than all songs have sung,— Puppet to a father's threat, and servile to a shrewish tongue! ...
— The World's Best Poetry, Volume 3 - Sorrow and Consolation • Various

... harder to be a nice mother-in-law than to be nice in any other conceivable relation of life. The caricatures have drawn the worst mother-in-law a monster, by way of expressing the fact that the best mother-in-law is a problem. The same is true of the perpetual jokes in comic papers about shrewish wives and henpecked husbands. It is all a frantic exaggeration, but it is an exaggeration of a truth; whereas all the modern mouthings about oppressed women are the exaggerations of a falsehood. If you ...
— All Things Considered • G. K. Chesterton

... I thought over my strange dream. Cleopatra, the enchantress, and the scorn of men: that was not love, it was simple passion of the lowest grade. Lady Jane Grey: she was only proper. Marguerite de Valois: profligate. Elizabeth: a shrewish, selfish old politician. Who of all these had loved? Arria: and Paetus dying, she could not love. Lady Russell: she lived and mourned. I looked but at one side of the argument, and drew my inferences ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... her tone high and shrewish. "You needn't tell me anything about Isabel Minafer, I guess, my dear old Frank Bronson! I know her a little better than you ...
— The Magnificent Ambersons • Booth Tarkington

... the Parade Watt a large circle has been formed, consisting chiefly of Women on chairs and camp-stools, with an inner ring of small children, who are all patiently awaiting the arrival of a troupe of Niggers. At the head of one of the flights of steps leading up to the Parade, a small and shrewish Child-nurse is endeavouring to detect and recapture a pair of prodigal younger Brothers, who ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, August 6, 1892 • Various

... religious in character, there is hardly one without its humorous element. In the play of Noah, for instance, Noah's shrewish wife makes fun for the audience by wrangling with her husband. In the Crucifixion play Herod is a prankish kind of tyrant who leaves the stage to rant among the audience; so that to "out-herod Herod" became a common proverb. In all the plays ...
— English Literature - Its History and Its Significance for the Life of the English Speaking World • William J. Long

... bare as a billiard-ball; but two patches of brindled grey hair stuck out from his brow above a pair of fierce greenish eyes set about with a complexity of wrinkles. Just now, a coating of lather covered his shrewish underjaw. ...
— The Blue Pavilions • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... tyranny and assert their rights and dignity. It was natural for four reasons: firstly, because Mrs Quilp being a young woman and notoriously under the dominion of her husband ought to be excited to rebel; secondly, because Mrs Quilp's parent was known to be laudably shrewish in her disposition and inclined to resist male authority; thirdly, because each visitor wished to show for herself how superior she was in this respect to the generality of her sex; and fourthly, because the company being accustomed to scandalise each other in pairs, were deprived of their usual ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens



Words linked to "Shrewish" :   ill-natured, shrewishness



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