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Tattoo   Listen
noun
Tattoo  n.  (pl. tattoos)  An indelible mark or figure made by puncturing the skin and introducing some pigment into the punctures; a mode of ornamentation practiced by various barbarous races, both in ancient and modern times, and also by some among civilized nations, especially by sailors.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Tattoo" Quotes from Famous Books



... but a flimsy barricade against a mob, especially if that mob be led by five-and-twenty stout-bodied seaman. We had shut it merely to gain time, and when the cudgels outside began to play tattoo upon its upper panels I looked for no more than a minute's ...
— Sir John Constantine • Prosper Paleologus Constantine

... banter there is a brave heart. He is a rare man who, having brain and heart to guide, follows the heart." He picked up the pipe and began to play a tattoo on the sill. "As for me, I know nothing of women, save what I have read in books, and save that I have been too long ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... boy, and he beat a tattoo on the sides of the horse with his feet. But as Dick had on soft slippers, he did not hurt the White Rocking Horse in the least, nor did he chip off any paint. "Here I go! Here I go!" shouted Dick. "Oh, what a ...
— The Story of a White Rocking Horse • Laura Lee Hope

... playing the devil's tattoo with his pencil, scowling somewhat nervously. "Did you want to ...
— Queed • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... it?" said a voice at my elbow. It was old Blake. His mahogany face shone with the effects of the first soap and water he had been able to use for weeks, for we had been very short of water; and even his arms showed the tattoo-marks that were usually hidden by the grime inseparable to ...
— A Rip Van Winkle Of The Kalahari - Seven Tales of South-West Africa • Frederick Cornell

... the gate. Sunfish scrambled with his feet for secure footing, found it and waded up to the front door. The water was a foot deep on the porch. Thurston beat an imperative tattoo upon the door with the butt of his quirt, and shouted. And Mona's voice, shorn of its customary assurance, ...
— The Lure of the Dim Trails • by (AKA B. M. Sinclair) B. M. Bower

... shrilled from behind the house and a leaden tattoo began on the door. "Other window!" whispered O'Neill. The foreman got there before him and, shoving his Colt out first to clear the way, yelled with rage and pain as a pole hit his wrist and knocked the weapon out ...
— Bar-20 Days • Clarence E. Mulford

... prisms in the chandelier over our heads clinked together, as if they had been swept by a finger. More of the flowers came. We were pelted with them. And into the quiet that followed there came a light, fine but steady tattoo on the table in our midst. Then at last silence, and the medium in deep trance, and Mrs. Dane rapping on ...
— Sight Unseen • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... being placed upon the body, were, by a single blow of the hammer, made to leave their indelible impression. I observed a few the handles of which were mysteriously curved, as if intended to be introduced into the orifice of the ear, with a view perhaps of beating the tattoo upon the tympanum. Altogether the sight of these strange instruments recalled to mind that display of cruel-looking mother-of-pearl-handled things which one sees in their velvet-lined cases at ...
— Typee - A Romance of the South Sea • Herman Melville

... her ease when the rapid tattoo of hoofs was heard, and a horse and rider drew up abruptly at the corral. One of the punchers from the rear dining-room went out to meet him and presently appeared sheepishly in the doorway ...
— The Free Range • Francis William Sullivan

... nickname from the national salutation, 'Aku, ku, ku?' ('How d'ye do?')] or Egbas of Yoruba, the region behind Lagos, the Eyeos of the old writers, so called from their chief town, 'Oyo,' are known by their long necklaces of tattoo. They are termed the Jews of Western Africa; they are perfect in their combination, and they poison with a remarkable readiness. The system of Egba 'clanship' is a favourite, sometimes an engrossing, topic for invective with the local ...
— To The Gold Coast for Gold, Vol. II - A Personal Narrative • Richard Francis Burton and Verney Lovett Cameron

... that he wished to see her, she thought her heart could beat no faster, but his words made that small organ tattoo against her sides like the flutter of a bird's wing in fright. She could do something for him! Oh, ...
— Rose O'Paradise • Grace Miller White

... positively ached, until tears of weakness dribbled down his face and splashed on to the pavement. As for his head, it throbbed as if a giant hammer were within it, and some demon were rattling the interior of his skull and were dancing a tattoo upon his ear-drums. ...
— With Joffre at Verdun - A Story of the Western Front • F. S. Brereton

... been a cue, the sounds again burst forth—no longer muffled nor faint. They roared; they seemed to pelt through air and drop upon us; they beat about our ears with thunderous tattoo like covered caverns drummed upon by Titans with trunks ...
— The Metal Monster • A. Merritt

... contribute personally to the further upbuilding of anybody's reputation. His eyes with this resolve shining in them rested intently on de Spain, and at his side the long fingers of his right hand beat a soft tattoo against his pistol holster. De Spain's question seemed to arouse him. "What's your name?" he demanded bluntly. His voice was heavy and his deafness was reflected in ...
— Nan of Music Mountain • Frank H. Spearman

... one lacks the music of the agongs,[27] for only bamboo guitars, flutes, and the bolang-bolang are permitted at this time. The last named instrument is made by placing a board on a rice mortar; the women gather around it with their wooden pestles and beat a rythmical[sic] tattoo. This concludes the festival proper, but many guests will remain for two or three days to enjoy ...
— The Wild Tribes of Davao District, Mindanao - The R. F. Cummings Philippine Expedition • Fay-Cooper Cole

... offered my card and he had refused to give me a false name, I saw her eyes glow and her head lift itself unconsciously; when I described him in converse with the wily brunette, a slight frown crossed her face, and her little foot tapped an impatient tattoo quite unconsciously; when I pictured him as following the two women toward the Wooded Island, her head was lifted again and her lip curled scornfully. But when I had reached the point where the two figures, springing suddenly from ...
— Against Odds - A Detective Story • Lawrence L. Lynch

... eyes had grown bright with interest. She leaned forward, listening with eager attention. As Jack ceased, apparently she was about to speak, but there came a tattoo of knuckles on the door which caused her ...
— The Radio Boys on the Mexican Border • Gerald Breckenridge

... party. Here was a jealous woman who evidently knew a good deal. Putting two and two together is the very essence of scientific thought and Dr. Starr was no beginner. Sophy's foot was beating a rapid tattoo on the floor. On her face the color kept ...
— The Peace of Roaring River • George van Schaick

... fists beat such a tattoo on his spine that the Deacon felt as if at least one of his vertebrae ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... allowed for; stead of being fixed so I could take my own time if I wanted to, and see all the fun, and have Mary Jane at my back to save me and set me free when the close-fit come, here was nothing in the world betwixt me and sudden death but just them tattoo-marks. If they didn't ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... a rest-cure. Likewise Ratty 'ad got too fa-amous as a timber-scrounger oop th' line, and it was thought that if 'e was left in th' middle of a forest, wheer it didn't matter a dang if he scrounged wood fra' revally to tattoo, it might reform him. But it was deadly dull. We tried a sweepstake f'r th' one as could recognise most Chinks at sight, and a raffle for who could guess how many trees in a circle; but there wasn't much spice in it. So at last Ratty suggested we should try ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, June 11, 1919 • Various

... cunning. The Balows and Sibnowans are amiable tribes, decidedly warlike, but not predatory; and the latter combines the virtues of the Dyak character with much of the civilization of the Malays. The Dyak Laut do not tattoo, nor do they use the sumpitan; their language assimilates closely to the Malay, and was doubtless originally identical with that of the inland tribes. The name of God among them is Battara (the Avatara of the Hindoos). They bury their dead, and in the graves deposit ...
— The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido - For the Suppression of Piracy • Henry Keppel

... retreating, boys, The last tattoo is beating, boys, So let every man Finish his can, And drink to our next ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... and all six men began a hunt that was necessarily brutal in its haste, for some indication of identity. They examined the men's pockets, their bloodstained clothes, the machine, the framework. They turned the bodies over and flung them aside. There was not a tattoo mark. . . . Everything was elaborately free of any ...
— The World Set Free • Herbert George Wells

... talento. talk : interparolad'i, -o; konversacio. tallow : sebo. talon : ungego. tame : dresi; malsovagxa. tan : tan'i, -ilo. tankard : pokalo. tap : krano; frapeti. tape : katunrubando. tar : gudr'o, -umi. tart : torto; acida. task : tasko. taste : gust'o, -umi. tattoo : tatui. tax : imposto. tea : teo. teach : instrui, lernigi. tear : sxiri. tear : larmo. tease : inciteti. tedious : teda, enuiga. tell : rakonti, diri. temper : humoro, karaktero. temperate : ...
— The Esperanto Teacher - A Simple Course for Non-Grammarians • Helen Fryer

... me merry, merry men," boomed the voice of Gerald Moore, with a slightly Celtic roll of the "r's," as he drummed impatiently on the shutter of the cabin window, while his companion, Jack Blake, performed a similar tattoo on the adjoining window. "Faith, and it was daylight hours ago, and ye ...
— The Boy Scouts on the Yukon • Ralph Victor

... came out of the darkness and at that instant I made a discovery. Leith was not alone. Keeping time with the clatter of the shoes was a softer tattoo that told me that a barefooted runner was racing beside ...
— The White Waterfall • James Francis Dwyer

... busy with the search, was sprawling in one of the big leather-covered chairs, on the arms of which his dirty finger-nails were beating an impatient devil's tattoo. He was at no pains to conceal the intense disappointment which he would experience, were ...
— I Will Repay • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... without being interrupted. At every instant there came shouts from this or that direction or from every direction at once. Applause was intermingled with hissing, violent discussions were in progress between individual members of the audience, sticks were brandished threateningly, others beat a tattoo on the floor, and the interrupters were greeted with yells of 'Put him out!' ...
— The Crowd • Gustave le Bon

... grew more oppressive. The air was nauseous with the dank mucky odour that cooked out of the mangrove swamp. Rowelled by the squeaky music to recollection of old-world ports and places, Borckman lay on his face on the hot planking, beat a tattoo with his naked toes, and gutturally muttered an unending monologue of curses. But Van Horn, with Jerry panting under his hand, placidly and philosophically continued to smoke, lighting a fresh cigar when ...
— Jerry of the Islands • Jack London

... her underlip, she entered her room, flung herself into a chair, and beat a tattoo with her foot. The door opened softly, and Burden stole in. She was very pale, there were dark marks under her eyes, and she trembled so violently that the brushes rattled together as she took them from ...
— Nell, of Shorne Mills - or, One Heart's Burden • Charles Garvice

... which they chiefly fail is in working their wells, for which they lack patience. Their women, whom they do not confine, will, it is said, do more field-work than the men; indeed, one often finds women at work in the crops when the men are lying down. Like the women of low Hindu castes they tattoo their bodies, a practice disapproved by Musalmans in general. Abul Fazl writes that the Meos were in his time famous runners, and one thousand of them were employed by Akbar as carriers of ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV of IV - Kumhar-Yemkala • R.V. Russell

... bricks, with here and there vast circular craters as though a gigantic oak-tree had been torn out of the earth by the roots. And now the weird silence was broken by sounds as of some one playing a lonely tattoo with his fingers upon a hollow wooden board, but the player was invisible, and as we looked at each other the sound ceased as suddenly as it began. Our practised ear told us that somewhere near us a machine-gun ...
— Leaves from a Field Note-Book • J. H. Morgan

... when MYalu squatted in the general hut in company with Yabolo, Sakamata, and other renegade chiefs, smouldering with bitter resentment, came the pulse of a distant drum, the furious tattoo and long pause, tattoo and long pause, which accompanies the mighty shout at the coronation of a new King-God, "The Fire is lighted!" news that had throbbed from that point within the forest from village to village to the slopes of the Gamballagalla and to the Wamungo country. The perceptible ...
— Witch-Doctors • Charles Beadle

... a sudden detour before descending. Indeed, the thing came so painfully near to our perch that the wind was perceptible, and when the giant coal-scuttle had passed and dropped, my heart was hammering out a tattoo. ...
— Mr. Hawkins' Humorous Adventures • Edgar Franklin

... those sisters (and many and many a wife and mother from Callender House to Carrollton), the vast, stealthy, fireless bivouac at fall of night, in ear-shot of the enemy's tattoo, unsheltered from the midnight storm save by raked-up leaves: Saw, just in the bivouac's tortuous front, softly reddening the low wet sky, that huge, rude semicircle of camps in the dark ridged and gullied forests about Shiloh's log meeting-house, where the ...
— Kincaid's Battery • George W. Cable

... lost in my eyes the legendary light in which I had enveloped it; and when George suggested to me carelessly one spring afternoon that I should stop by his house and have a look at his uncle's classical library, I felt my cheeks burn, while my heart beat an excited tattoo against my ribs. The house I knew by sight, a grave, low-browed mansion, with a fringe of purple wistaria draping the long porch; and it was under a pendulous shower of blossoms that we found the General seated ...
— The Romance of a Plain Man • Ellen Glasgow

... importance; other things began to have their share. But I could not stand, though the blood was returning, warm and tingling, in my legs and hands. She looked at me with a sharp frown puckering her brows a little; beat a hasty tattoo with one of her feet, and cast a startled glance towards the forward door that led on deck. Then she walked to the other side of the table, and sat looking at me in the glow of ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... seaman found straggling after the beating of the tattoo; or who may be found in a convict's hut, is to be detained; and information of him immediately given ...
— A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson • Watkin Tench

... the knocker and knocked sharply. There was no response, and he repeated the summons, but again without effect. Thereupon, with a muttered exclamation, he grasped the knocker a third time and executed a veritable tattoo upon the door. When this had proceeded for about ...
— Tales of Chinatown • Sax Rohmer

... lay and pressed her palms to her eyeballs, so firmly that when she removed them, the room was a blur. Maurice, standing at the window, beat a tattoo on the pane. Then, with his back to her, he began to speak. He blamed himself for what he called the folly of the past weeks. "I gave way when I should have been firm. And this is the result. You have ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... Something struck me on the back of the head, partially stunning me and knocking me to the deck. My first thought was that something had carried away aloft; but even as I went down, and before I struck the deck, I heard the devil's own tattoo of rifles from the boats, and twisting sidewise, I caught a glimpse of the sailor who was standing guard. Two big niggers were holding his arms, and a third nigger from behind was braining him ...
— South Sea Tales • Jack London

... was inwardly in ecstasies. So much so, that she could not wait to beat the tattoo and effect any alterations. But having succeeded, while conversing with her cousins, in devising a stanza in her mind, she promptly inscribed it on the first piece of paper that came to hand. "I have," she remarked, with a precursory smile, "stuck to ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... negroes brought from the White Nile, remark: "As to their psychology, what struck us first was the exaggeration of their modesty; not in a single case would the men allow us to examine their genital organs or the women their breasts; we examined the tattoo-marks on the chest of one of the women, and she remained sad and irritable for two days afterward." They add that in sexual and all other respects these people are highly moral. (Lombroso and Carrara, Archivio di Psichiatria, 1896, vol. ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... ever passed the mill without a visit, and of course Charles Stuart always explored it all with a fine air of proprietorship. So they scrambled over the silent place with its sweet smell of running water and fresh sawdust. They beat a clamorous tattoo upon the big circular saw, they went down to the lower regions and explored the dark hole where the big water-wheel hung motionless, with only the drip, drip of water from the flume above. They rode on the little car that brought the logs up from the pond, and in as many ...
— 'Lizbeth of the Dale • Marian Keith

... pole. Kohokumu caught the line that was fast to the butt of the pole and under-handed it in until a two-foot ukikiki, battling fiercely to the end, flashed its wet silver in the sun and began beating a tattoo on the inside bottom of the canoe. Kohokumu picked up a squirming, slimy squid, with his teeth bit a chunk of live bait out of it, attached the bait to the hook, and dropped line and sinker overside. ...
— On the Makaloa Mat/Island Tales • Jack London

... of Bottazzi and Madame Bottazzi. Galeotti then raised the drum in his hand, high above his head and against the curtain, and requested 'John' to beat it. 'John' pushed a hand against the drum and beat a muffled tattoo. All this was utterly out of the psychic's reach. The strife over the drum would seem to argue a complete and powerful figure ...
— The Shadow World • Hamlin Garland

... from the sea a sudden gust of wind that caught her by the skirts and drew her back, that set the branches tossing and swept the dead leaves racing about her ankles. And at the same instant from just above her head there beat upon the air a violent, joyous tattoo—a sound that was neither of the sea nor of the woods, a creaking, swiftly repeated sound, like ...
— The Red Cross Girl • Richard Harding Davis

... one who knows her. You do, don't you, Mike?" added Donald, and the dog beat a tattoo on the rug ...
— 'Smiles' - A Rose of the Cumberlands • Eliot H. Robinson

... pleasant. Her light, gray-green eyes had a petulant look; her thin, red lips a petulant droop. She was restless; something about her moved always. Either her long slender fingers adjusted her hair or her long slender feet beat a tattoo. And ever her figure shifted from one fluid pose to another. She wore jewels in her elaborately arranged hair, jewels about her neck, on her wrists, on her fingers. Her green draperies were embroidered in beads. She was, in fact, ...
— Angel Island • Inez Haynes Gillmore

... tattoo of her necklace, Miss Thompkins moved away in the direction of Madame Piriac, ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... contempt—all were portrayed on de Marmont's mobile face: they glowed in his dark eyes and breathed through his quivering nostrils. Now he rested his elbow on the table and his chin in his hand, his nervy fingers played a tattoo against his teeth, clenched together like those of some young feline creature which sees its prey coming along and is snarling ...
— The Bronze Eagle - A Story of the Hundred Days • Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy

... preparation made from the kernel of the candle-nut, mixed with cocoa-nut oil, is rubbed, and the mark thus made is indelible. The operation is performed by a class of men whose profession it is, and they tattoo as much at a time as the person on whom they are operating can bear; which is not much, the pain and inflammation caused by tattooing being very great, sometimes causing death. Some of the chiefs were tattooed with an ornamental stripe down the legs, which gave them the appearance ...
— The Coral Island - A Tale Of The Pacific Ocean • R. M. Ballantyne

... for of all the boys who had climbed over it, not one had ever stood on his head upon each of the big balls which ornamented the posts, hung by his heels from the arch, gone round and round like a wheel with the bar for an axis, played a tattoo with his toes while holding on by his chin, walked about the wall on his hands, or closed the entertainment by festooning himself in an airy posture over the side of the lantern frame, and kissing his hand to the audience ...
— Under the Lilacs • Louisa May Alcott

... of his reflections the drub of the muffled telephone beat its insistent tattoo. His dream vanished, and his senses became alert. He leant forward in his chair and picked ...
— The Man in the Twilight • Ridgwell Cullum

... dressed it!" and others looked up and said: "Oh, how you make me think of my mother!" and others said: "Tell the folks at home I died thinking about them;" and another looked up and said: "Miss, won't you sing me a verse of 'Home, Sweet Home,' before I die?" And then the tattoo was sounded, and the hats were off, and the service was read: "I am the resurrection and the life;" and in honor of the departed the muskets were loaded, and the command given: "Take aim—fire!" And there was a shingle ...
— New Tabernacle Sermons • Thomas De Witt Talmage

... drum's sad roll has beat The soldier's last tattoo; No more on Life's parade shall meet That brave and fallen few. On Fame's eternal camping-ground Their silent tents are spread, And Glory guards, with solemn round, ...
— Outlines of English and American Literature • William J. Long

... anyone at home, the whole community being away in the forest peeling bark from the birch trees for the making of canoes. But the same kind of thing had happened before, so Katherine was not at a loss. Picking up a tin pan, she commenced beating a military tattoo upon it with a thick stick; while Phil, with a trumpet improvised from a roll of birchbark, produced an ear-splitting din which must have carried far through the quiet woods. It was not long before their customers arrived on the scene, and then the business of barter began. A very long business ...
— A Countess from Canada - A Story of Life in the Backwoods • Bessie Marchant

... shouts of drivers, and the rattling of wheels, as the heavy wagon trains toil to the place of rest. All through the evening prevails that peculiar, cheerful din of a camp, as peculiar and characteristic as the roar of a great city; gradually the noises decline, the bugles and drums sound the tattoo, the fires grow dim, and the vast mass of hardy, resolute humanity is asleep—all except the two or three score of sick and dying men, wasted by fever, who have been jolted all day over the rough roads in the ambulances, and now ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No. 6, December 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... with water, but the shells were not falling on board now. The two German destroyers were sweeping down on the helpless boat ahead, the missiles from their light guns playing a regular tattoo on her. It was an even chance we wouldn't find ...
— The Boy Allies with Uncle Sams Cruisers • Ensign Robert L. Drake

... walls and the dim kerosene lamp, even Sam's unmelodious snore in the back room, sent no gloom to his soul. It had been a happy evening. It had cost him a hard struggle to restrain the emotion which he had felt at times; and when he withdrew, soon after the trumpets sounded tattoo, and the ladies fell to discussing him, as women will, there was but one ...
— The Deserter • Charles King

... solicitous father; but to see such love thrown before a marble-faced man, whose expression never changed except when speaking of his imbecile machines! "How can he! How can he!" muttered Jack, riding through the woods. His face was sombre, almost stern; and always he beat the devil's tattoo on his ...
— Lorraine - A romance • Robert W. Chambers

... Wellington Barracks the drums and fifes sounding the tattoo shrilled through the open window with a startling clearness like a sharp summons, and diminished as the band marched away across the gravel and again grew loud. Feversham did not change his attitude, but the look upon his face was now that of a man listening, and listening thoughtfully, just as ...
— The Four Feathers • A. E. W. Mason

... doubtful if the virago heard the request. She was not given to curbing her temper, and leaning back in the chair, her body rigid, she beat a tattoo with her high-heeled shoes and clenched her fists till the ...
— Madame Flirt - A Romance of 'The Beggar's Opera' • Charles E. Pearce

... the invention displayed is truly remarkable; but at a distance they give a dingy, dusky appearance to the men, as if they were daubed with an inky sponge. Nature having denied them beards, they tattoo curly locks along their faces, always bordered by a vandyke fringe, which must task their utmost ingenuity. Tanee, who has followed us with some of his warriors, is the very exquisite of a Kenowit. He is made like a Hercules, and is proud of showing his strength ...
— Sketches of Our Life at Sarawak • Harriette McDougall

... like a real synagogue!" cried the irritated Topolski and began to read on. But no one listened any longer. The directress left with the counselor and, one by one, the others quietly slipped out after her. The rain began to pour heavily and beat so noisy a tattoo upon the tin roof of the theater that it drowned out all other sounds. It became so dark, that Topolski could ...
— The Comedienne • Wladyslaw Reymont

... bringing General William Howe, General Henry Clinton, and General John Burgoyne, with several thousand troops to carry on the war. Every morning Miss Newville heard the drums beating the reveille and in the evening the tattoo. Many officers called at the hospitable home of Honorable Theodore Newville to enjoy the society of his charming daughter, who received them with grace ...
— Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times - 1769 - 1776 A Historical Romance • Charles Carleton Coffin

... captains, colonels, generals, all are subject to the orders of their superior officers. All must obey the general in command. You march, drill, eat, sleep, go to bed, and get up by order. At sunrise you hear the reveille, and at nine o'clock in the evening the tattoo. Then the candle, which has been burning in your tent with a bayonet for a candlestick, must be put out. In the dead of night, while sleeping soundly and dreaming of home, you hear the drum-beat. It is the long roll. There is a rattle of musketry. The pickets are at it. Every ...
— My Days and Nights on the Battle-Field • Charles Carleton Coffin

... the night were coming apace, The tattoo had beat; the tattoo had beat. The noble one sprang from his dark lurking-place, To make his retreat; to make ...
— Selections From American Poetry • Various

... the docks we shot Into the screaming night; We steered by lightning's light; The paddles beat a mad tattoo; The gridded walking-beam Pumped up, pumped down, Against the misty gleam; Faster and faster jets the stand-pipes' steam. And the white water whirls Astern in phosphorescent whorls— It swirls And then leads backward ...
— Carolina Chansons - Legends of the Low Country • DuBose Heyward and Hervey Allen

... of the Welcome Hotel has invented an ingenious system of calling sleepy guests. The other night a man left instructions that he wished to be called early. Next morning he was disturbed by a loud tattoo upon the door. "Well?" he demanded sharply. "I've got a message for you, sir." Yawning until he strained his face, the guest jumped out of bed and unlocked the door. The bellboy handed him an envelope and then went away ...
— Jokes For All Occasions - Selected and Edited by One of America's Foremost Public Speakers • Anonymous

... about our heads. It was bumpers and no heeltaps, and we were full to the throat. Then to the nard; and enter to us guitar and light fantastic toe. Thereafter, one shinned up the ladder, on post-prandial japery intent, another beat the devil's tattoo, a ...
— Works, V2 • Lucian of Samosata

... in the pine-scented shipyard, amid the tattoo of the mallets; Or he leaned on the rail of the bridge, letting his thoughts flow with the whispering river; He hearkened also to ancient tales, and made them young again with ...
— The Poems of Henry Van Dyke • Henry Van Dyke

... they tumbled; whistles sounded distantly; a trench mortar crashed; then the accentless tattoo of machine guns ...
— Barbarians • Robert W. Chambers

... which seemed to rest upon the hill top. Its oppressive blackness suggested weight, so that one trembled for the stability of the chalky scarp which must uphold that ebon canopy. Paul moved further along the aisle to a spot where the foliage was unbroken, as rain began a rapid tattoo upon the leafy roof. In the following instant the hillside was illuminated wildly as lightning wrote its message in angular characters across the curtain of darkness. Life cowered affrighted to the bosom of mother earth. The raindrops ceased, ...
— The Orchard of Tears • Sax Rohmer

... you could thrust your hand into. Little John stooped and peered through the hole to see what food lay within reach, when crack! went the steward's keys upon his crown, and the worthy danced around him playing a tattoo that made Little John's ears ring. At this he turned upon the steward and gave him such a rap that his back went nigh in two, and over went the fat fellow ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... asking the Injuns to go on the warpath," Gene announced disgustedly, coming out upon the porch where the rest of the boys were foregathered, waiting for the ringing tattoo upon the iron triangle just outside the back door which would be the supper summons. "They're too lazy to take the trouble—and, besides, they're scared of dad. I was talking to Sleeping Turtle just now—met him down there past the Point ...
— Good Indian • B. M. Bower

... the rear of our champing steeds, began to pound them over the haunches. For small boys they delivered sturdy blows. Now, if there is anything that will make a burro move dexterously out of his tracks, it is to get behind him with a club and beat a steady tattoo on his hams and legs. No sooner did the boys begin to apply their clubs in good earnest than our burros began to print tracks in quick succession on the dusty road, and we went gayly through the town, the lads making a merry din with their shouts and whacks, mingled with the patter ...
— Birds of the Rockies • Leander Sylvester Keyser

... hailing the youthful navigator. The forward end of the one by twelve inch board was reluctantly headed for shore, and slowly idled in. As the child reached land, he was grasped by the angry and anxious mother, who beat a merry tattoo on a tender portion ...
— The Story of Paul Boyton - Voyages on All the Great Rivers of the World • Paul Boyton

... paint and tattoo their faces, hands and wrists, in lines, triangles and circles. On their bodies also stripes of irregular design and varying colors are often used, all having a symbolic meaning originally, now lost, however, at least to all the younger members of the tribe. Painting ...
— The Lake of the Sky • George Wharton James

... above all the device of rhyme, is essentially immature and childish: the use by poets of rhythmical beat and verbal assonance is simply the endeavour to captivate what is a primeval and even barbarous instinct. The pleasure which children take in beating their hands upon a table, in rapping out a tattoo with a stick, in putting together unmeaning structures of rhyme, is not necessarily an artistic thing at all; what lies at the root of it is the pleasure of the conscious perception of similarity and regularity. This same tendency is to be seen in our buildings, in the love of ...
— The Silent Isle • Arthur Christopher Benson

... and the soldier's drill, And the tattoo's nightly sound; We shall hear no more, with a joyous thrill, Peace, ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... a friendly smile at Magee, and took the chair he offered. One small slipper beat a discreet tattoo on the polished floor of Baldpate's office. Again she suggested to Billy Magee a house of wealth and warmth and luxury, a house where Arnold Bennett and the post-impressionists are often discussed, a house the head of ...
— Seven Keys to Baldpate • Earl Derr Biggers

... the oak, and I were silence personified. A dead branch would crack, or the trunks of smaller and ignorant pines would knock together, and the Duke would look around the corner and say "Chut!" in a low voice, thinking I was playing a tattoo ...
— In the Courts of Memory 1858-1875. • L. de Hegermann-Lindencrone

... toward the foot of the bed, where he regarded his mother with stolid eyes, and beat a tattoo on the bed-rail ...
— The Wind Before the Dawn • Dell H. Munger

... of animation, looks much like what he did in the railway-carriage—the same strong-looking man with well-marked cheek-bones, very thick brown hair and bushy brows, a skin rather tanned, and a scar on the bridge of the nose; very strong hands with a tattoo-mark showing on the wrist and an abnormal crop of hair on the back, running on to the fingers, but flawed by a scar or two. Add to this the chief thing you would recollect him by, an Elizabethan beard, and you will have all the particulars about him that a navy-blue ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... class dragged unmercifully for three persons. Eleanor beat a nervous tattoo on the seat-arm, Miss Madison stared fixedly at the clock, and Betty blushed and twisted and wished she could have seen Miss Mansfield before class. The delayed interview was beginning to seem very formidable. But it wasn't, after ...
— Betty Wales Freshman • Edith K. Dunton

... justice that is to be, and should not talk lightly of the laws. But still you say reason: give me your arm, sergeant, and lead the way to the east wing; my eyesight is good for nothing in such a dark night. A soldier should always visit his guard before the tattoo beats." ...
— The Pilot • J. Fenimore Cooper

... each other. Then I took a step forward. The glittering head rose higher. Off in the ferns there beat a warning tattoo—the loud whir of the snake's tail ...
— Roof and Meadow • Dallas Lore Sharp

... shut his eyes. He was not devout himself, but in the darkness of the night, with the rain beating a tattoo on the canvas walls of the tent, he felt very solemn. This was war, red war, and he was in the midst of it. War meant destruction, wounds, agony and death. He might never again see Pendleton and his father ...
— The Scouts of Stonewall • Joseph A. Altsheler

... much the superior of the fat boy in physical strength, but he knew nothing of the tricks of the boxer. Therefore Stacy had played a tattoo on the face of the Indian before the latter woke up to the fact that he was getting ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in the Grand Canyon - The Mystery of Bright Angel Gulch • Frank Gee Patchin

... a tattoo on the side of the boat and wriggled and whined in his anxiety to reach ...
— The Fur Bringers - A Story of the Canadian Northwest • Hulbert Footner

... estimable. This is the rule in Polynesia, with few exceptions; the higher the family, the better the man—better in sense, better in manners, and usually taller and stronger in body. A stranger advances blindfold. He scrapes acquaintance as he can. Save the tattoo in the Marquesas, nothing indicates the difference of rank; and yet almost invariably we found, after we had made them, that our friends were persons of station. I have said 'usually taller and stronger.' I might ...
— In the South Seas • Robert Louis Stevenson

... partisanship by Mr. Hawkins, and the address to the jury by Sir John Coleridge, followed in due course, and then a few family witnesses, including Lady Radcliffe, were heard, who deposed, among many other matters, to the famous tattoo marks on Roger's arm; and, finally, the jury declared that they were satisfied. Then the Claimant's advisers, to avoid the inevitable verdict for their opponents, elected to be non-suit. But, notwithstanding ...
— Celebrated Claimants from Perkin Warbeck to Arthur Orton • Anonymous

... that they might have the benefit of their services in working their vessels along the Slave Coast. And in order to prevent any Kruboy being carried off as a slave by mistake, which would have prejudiced these useful allies, the slavers persuaded them always to tattoo a band of basket-work pattern down their foreheads and out on to the tip of their broad noses: this is the most extensive bit of real tattoo that I know of in West Africa, and the Kruboys still ...
— Travels in West Africa • Mary H. Kingsley

... furiously does the man also scratch his though he takes much more pains over his hair, combing and smoothing it in order to divide it well in front and display the tattoo which ...
— My Friends the Savages - Notes and Observations of a Perak settler (Malay Peninsula) • Giovanni Battista Cerruti

... ship rides gently at her anchor. The Loo rock rises fifty feet perpendicular from the water, at so short a distance, that we can hear the drum beat tattoo in the small, inaccessible castle, on its summit. This rock is the outpost of the city of Funchal. The city stretches along the narrow strip of level ground, near the shore, with vine-clad hills rising steeply behind. On the slopes of these eminences are many large houses, surrounded ...
— Journal of an African Cruiser • Horatio Bridge

... is a tattoo mark. It is too indefinite for a gilded device. And I should say further that the tattooing is done in vermilion, as carbon tattooing would ...
— The Vanishing Man • R. Austin Freeman

...Tattoo, the exhibitor explained. That was done when we were Iying becalmed off Odessa in the Black Sea under Captain Dalton. Fellow, the name of Antonio, done that. There he is himself, ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... rifle fire answered the tattoo of the machine-gun, and the sharp ping of bullets striking on the dome could be plainly heard. An occasional shot kicked up a spurt of white dust from the concrete, but the machine-gun kept up a steady rattle of fire and the soldiers kept their heads almost at the level of the water. ...
— Astounding Stories, February, 1931 • Various

... great excitement to Kathleen, who had lifted the big glass jar into the lantern light and was trying to get a glimpse of the exquisite moth, whose wings of olive green, rose, and bronze velvet were already beating a hazy death tattoo ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... approaches to the fort could be carefully watched. This it was impossible to do by the ordinary system of guard duty; but I suggested a plan which enabled us to have an ample number of sentinels, without exhausting the men. It was done by placing each man on guard for a single hour, between tattoo and reveille, allowing him to sleep for ...
— Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and Moultrie in 1860-'61 • Abner Doubleday

... "on whose left hand was written the name of Meskitu."(443) These were the names of the owners, not of the slaves themselves. This renders it probable that the branding and the like was always an incised mark, a species of tattoo, which of course was indelible. That the same person who tattooed men should brand animals, or even shear them, is not an insuperable objection. But there is no reason to suppose that the brander ...
— Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, Contracts and Letters • C. H. W. Johns

... From tea to tattoo was playtime for the garrison. Many smartly dressed soldiers, with passes earned by good behavior, went out to find amusement in the city. Visitors, some of them tourists from America, made the rounds under the guidance of old soldiers. The sergeant followed such a ...
— Greyfriars Bobby • Eleanor Atkinson

... short breaths and then reflected a minute or two, during which I clinked a soft tattoo with my iron wristlets, and eyed him joyously. He was there—a free lordling, I was here—a chained rebel, ...
— The Yeoman Adventurer • George W. Gough

... Khasis tattoo; the only people in the hills who tattoo are certain tribes of the Bhoi country which are really Mikir. These tattoo females on the forehead when they attain the age of puberty, a straight horizontal line being drawn from the ...
— The Khasis • P. R. T. Gurdon

... handkerchief. As she did so her eyes fell upon a tattoo-mark, an anchor inside a true-lover's knot. It was an ordinary enough tattoo-mark, but the sight of it struck at Mollie for she had seen it before. The odd impression of last night, which she had forgotten in the ...
— The Happy Adventurers • Lydia Miller Middleton

... weave the hair on pieces of hide in the form of buffalo horns, projecting on either side of the head. The young men twine their hair in the form of a single horn, projecting over their forehead in front. They frequently tattoo their bodies, producing figures in the form of stars. Although their heads are thus elaborately adorned, their bodies are almost ...
— Great African Travellers - From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley • W.H.G. Kingston

... which the secretary said some very, very beautiful things about the charm of Montgomery life. However, it was clear to me that my companion was not interested. After he had looked at his watch several times, and drummed a long tattoo upon the table, he ...
— American Adventures - A Second Trip 'Abroad at home' • Julian Street

... last resorted to to ease conscience and evade the law. In this case, strange to say, it had its effect. After some parleying, it was agreed to share the booty equally between the guard and ourselves. They helped us cut brush and cover it nicely, and after tattoo all were to return and divide up. We did not know the guards personally, but knew their command. And so we returned to the camp to await the return of our pickets and night. It was soon noised in camp that there was ...
— History of Kershaw's Brigade • D. Augustus Dickert

... your laughing!" cried Doughby—"Steward, another glass—d'ye hear, you cursed neger, where are you hidden? Don't you hear when a gentleman speaks to you? D'ye want me to tattoo your black brainpan? You laugh," he continued to Richards and myself, relapsing into his whimpering tones; "but if you only knew—none of the women will have me—this is the seventh who has ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 57, No. 351, January 1845 • Various

... little from their finery! The eyebrows and eyelids are dyed black while the children are very young, and they frequently paint themselves with dark-blue streaks of a finger's breadth over the eyebrows, and with spots on the forehead. The adult women tattoo their breasts, foreheads, noses, or temples with red, white, or yellow colours, according as they are particularly attached to one or the other deity. Many wear amulets or miniatures hung round their necks, so that I at first thought they were Catholics, ...
— A Woman's Journey Round the World • Ida Pfeiffer

... creature, its broad, snake-like head thrust forward, its tiny golden eyes fixed before it, a curious snarl—like a grin—now and then contorted the immobility of its powerful jaws. The sinewy tail beat a restless tattoo on the floor ...
— "Unto Caesar" • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... our faces with burnt cork, and played at the West Coast in one of the back passages, and at James being the captain of a slave ship; because he tried to catch us when we beat the tom-toms too near him when he was cleaning the plate, to make him give us rouge and whitening to tattoo with. ...
— Last Words - A Final Collection of Stories • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... The rolling tattoo of goat-skin drums filled the royal reception-hall of King M'tesa, as the great tyrant entered with his chiefs. M'tesa, his dark, cruel heavy face in vivid contrast with his spotless white robe, sat heavily down on ...
— The Book of Missionary Heroes • Basil Mathews

... third speed, and the motor was taking about all the gasolene it could use. She adjusted the spark to give the best service, and now, as an additional means of inducing speed, she cut out the muffler. The explosions of the motor played a tattoo ...
— The Motor Girls • Margaret Penrose

... anything like the variety of blank verse in this regard, and no other metrist makes so splendid a use of its freedom. He never forgets the pattern; yet he never stoops to teach it by the repetition of a monotonous tattoo. Hence there are, perhaps, fewer one-line quotations to be found in the works of Milton than in the works of any other master of blank verse. De Quincey speaks of the "slow planetary wheelings" of Milton's verse, and the metaphor is a happy one; the verse revolves ...
— Milton • Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

... the arm that rested across her forehead, realized how her last night's breach of authority had impressed each one of them. And secretly rejoicing at her triumph, she kept up a brisk tattoo. ...
— The Poor Little Rich Girl • Eleanor Gates

... man!" said Lady Gorgon, cursing Mr. Scully in her heart, and beginning to play a rapid tattoo with her feet, "that miscreant, that traitor, that—that attorney has ...
— The Bedford-Row Conspiracy • William Makepeace Thackeray

... at Hood upon America's lack of mirth; the American people had utterly lost their capacity for laughter, the old man averred. Deering's fork beat a lively tattoo on his plate ...
— The Madness of May • Meredith Nicholson

... himself, "that it is not like that of Notre Dame de Poitiers, where the interior is gaudy with childish colouring and raw tones; for there, instead of expressing regret and tranquillity, it rouses a suggestion of the childish glee of an old savage in his second childhood, who laughs when his tattoo marks are renewed, and his skin rough-cast ...
— The Cathedral • Joris-Karl Huysmans

... impossible for them to exchange a single word just then, owing to the riot of sound that came from beyond. The thunder bellowed, the wind roared, trees could be heard at intervals crashing to the ground, and the rain beat a terrible tattoo on the rock that ...
— The Outdoor Chums at Cabin Point - or The Golden Cup Mystery • Quincy Allen

... be strong like you, Brick," said Goosey. "Some of us kids have been talking about it and one fellow says he's noticed that strong men like sailors and railroad men always have tattoo marks like you got. A brakeman told him that's what made him strong. Some of us want ...
— The Boy Scout Treasure Hunters - The Lost Treasure of Buffalo Hollow • Charles Henry Lerrigo

... heirloom myself, I can therefore readily sympathise with those who own a similar treasure—such, for example, as the famous, or rather infamous, Drummer of Cortachy Castle, who is invariably heard beating a tattoo before the death of a member of ...
— Scottish Ghost Stories • Elliott O'Donnell

... her chair and showed them a scornful shoulder, compressing indignant lips to a straight, unlovely line, and beating out the devil's tattoo with her slipper. ...
— Alias The Lone Wolf • Louis Joseph Vance

... keen morning air, the swift hoofs beat their tattoo along the road, keeping time to the pulsing of two hearts that are moved with the same eager desire—to conquer space, to devour the distance, to attain the ...
— The Blue Flower, and Others • Henry van Dyke

... started from incipient slumber; he thought he heard the cow in her stall, clattering her chain. Surprised, he collected his wits. "Of course," he then said to himself, "it is the tattoo. I ...
— 'Jena' or 'Sedan'? • Franz Beyerlein

... Hurstmonceux had a ghost, who inhabited the Drummers' Hall, a room between the towers over the porter's lodge, and sent forth a mysterious tattoo. Sometimes he left his hall, this devilish musician, and strode along the battlements drumming and drumming, a terrible figure nine feet high. Most people were frightened, but there were those who said that the drummer ...
— Highways & Byways in Sussex • E.V. Lucas

... and Kosti was summoned to carry on board the chest which the servants had brought. Having seen it carried safely inside the spacer, the aliens departed, but Van Rycke was frowning and Jellico's fingers were beating a tattoo on his belt as they came up ...
— Plague Ship • Andre Norton

... who live in tents, and are regarded with contempt even by the peasantry. Their women tell fortunes, tattoo, {189} and sell small-wares; the men work in iron (quincaillerie). They are all adroit thieves, and noted as such. The men may sometimes be seen going around the country with monkeys; in fact, they appear to be in all respects the same people ...
— The English Gipsies and Their Language • Charles G. Leland

... think the fleur-de-lis is only a fancy kind of an emblem, but it ain't. He told me the old monks that used to carve things—no matter what they carved you could always find a cross, or something like a cross in it. 'Cause they think that way, see? The same as sailors always tattoo fishes and ships and things on their arms. He said some places in the Black Forest the toymakers are French peasants and you can always tell if a fancy thing is carved by them on account of the shape ...
— Tom Slade with the Boys Over There • Percy K. Fitzhugh

... that he has always said that I was like a mother to him because I nursed him through the mountain fever, and he has always confided in me ever since; but the other night while he was at the Gordons', the same night he came here after tattoo, somebody went to his room and stole from his trunk over one hundred and fifty dollars in greenbacks and a beautiful scarf-pin that his ...
— 'Laramie;' - or, The Queen of Bedlam. • Charles King

... intellectually, it can only be by means of continual occupation—no matter with what so long as it is some form of practical or mental activity. You may see that this is so by the way in which people who have no work or nothing to think about, immediately begin to beat the devil's tattoo with their knuckles or a stick or anything that comes handy. The truth is, that our nature is essentially restless in its character: we very soon get tired of having nothing to do; it is intolerable boredom. This impulse to activity should be ...
— Counsels and Maxims - From The Essays Of Arthur Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer



Words linked to "Tattoo" :   armed services, prickle, pattern, drumbeat, figure, stain, armed forces, decoration, military, bugle call, military machine, war machine, prick, design



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