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Witticism   Listen
noun
Witticism  n.  A witty saying; a sentence or phrase which is affectedly witty; an attempt at wit; a conceit. "He is full of conceptions, points of epigram, and witticisms; all which are below the dignity of heroic verse."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Witticism" Quotes from Famous Books



... man, I'm afraid you'll have to go. The fact is, we should have to higher you before we could hire you;" and the clerk laughed at his witticism. ...
— Ben, the Luggage Boy; - or, Among the Wharves • Horatio Alger

... were deported to Nizhni by boat, and Rostopchin had said to them in French: "Rentrez en vousmemes; entrez dans la barque, et n'en faites pas une barque de Charon." * There was talk of all the government offices having been already removed from Moscow, and to this Shinshin's witticism was added—that for that alone Moscow ought to be grateful to Napoleon. It was said that Mamonov's regiment would cost him eight hundred thousand rubles, and that Bezukhov had spent even more on his, but that the best thing about Bezukhov's action was that he himself was going to don a uniform ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... through the medium of my risible muscles, due homage to this witticism of Vincent's, he shut up his folio, called for his hat, and we sauntered down into the street. As we passed by one of the libraries, a whole mob of the dandies of the last night were lounging about the benches placed before ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... laughed so much at what they thought a charming witticism on their father's part, that they could hardly hear his voice when he spoke again to say they must be ready in an hour; and then away he went, to ...
— Hatty and Marcus - or, First Steps in the Better Path • Aunt Friendly

... to grinning those days at her flutterings. On more than one occasion he told her, none too flatteringly, that she made him think of an officious hen with a brood which a high rate of mortality and prowling night-raiders had left bereft of all save two of her hatch. But this particular witticism did not bother her in the least, perhaps because she realized how pat the comparison was. Instead of silencing him she showed him the letter which she constructed some days later—constructed most painstakingly, the second week in December. She deigned to read it aloud to ...
— Then I'll Come Back to You • Larry Evans

... above all, let no example, no fashion, no witticism, no foolish desire of rising above what knaves call prejudices, tempt you to excuse, extenuate or ridicule the least breach of morality, but upon every occasion shew the greatest abhorrence of such proceedings, and hold virtue and religion ...
— The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant • John Hamilton Moore

... household. The girl's small delicate head, with its coronal of wild roses, looked strange and incongruous among the rough specimens of manhood about her, and sometimes as the laughter became boisterous, or some bucolic witticism caught her ear, a faint flush coloured the paleness of her cheeks and a little nervous tremor ran through her frame. She drew as closely as she could to the old farmer, who sat rigidly upright and quiet, eating nothing but a morsel of bread with a ...
— Innocent - Her Fancy and His Fact • Marie Corelli

... adorning it splendidly at the dedication with various objects and with images, in particular, which he asked from Caesar, implying that he would send them back. Though asked for them later, he did not return them, excusing himself by a witticism. Pretending that he had not enough assistants, he said: "Send some men and take them." Caesar shrank from seizure of sacred things and hence allowed them to remain ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol. III • Cassius Dio

... among the first mathematical astronomers of the age, and yet they do not seem to do his ability entire justice. Indeed, for fifteen years previous to the time of my visit his published writings had been rather meagre. But I believe he was justly credited with an elaborate witticism to the following effect: "In view of the fact that the only human being ever known to have been killed by a meteorite was a monk, we may concede that after four hundred years the Pope's bull against the comet has been justified ...
— The Reminiscences of an Astronomer • Simon Newcomb

... him, Edward. He was on one occasion the hero of our rhymes, in the hey-day of our youthful spirits; and I recollect taking him one evening to a poetical tea-party, where he fell asleep while I was writing, without even waiting to hear my effusion: and this reminds me of a witticism of yours respecting him. You had already seen him, I know not where or when, in an old black frock- coat, which, indeed, he constantly wore; and you said, "He would be a lucky fellow if his soul were half as immortal as his coat," so little opinion had you of him. I loved him, however: ...
— Peter Schlemihl etc. • Chamisso et. al.

... them. Mrs. Marshall-Smith, trying one topic after another, expressed an impatience with the slow progress of a Henry James novel she was reading, and Mr. Sommerville, remarking with a laugh, "Oh, you cannot hurry Henry," looked to see his mild witticism rewarded by a smile from the critic. But Morrison shook his head, "No, my dear old friend. Il faut hurler avec les loups—especially if you are so wrought up by their hurlements that you can't hear yourself think. I'm just giving myself up ...
— The Bent Twig • Dorothy Canfield

... gravely, and not until he had made several sales did he venture on a joke or a witticism, although he had a plentiful stock of cheap wit, such as crowds ...
— Golden Days for Boys and Girls - Volume VIII, No 25: May 21, 1887 • Various

... was a diplomatic appointment: he afterwards attained to the rank of an ambassador, whose duty it is, according to a witticism of Sir Henry Wotton's 'to lie abroad for the good of his country;' and no man was in this respect more competent to fulfil these requirements than Chesterfield. Hating both wine and tobacco, he had smoked and drunk at Cambridge, ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 1 • Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

... the wolves at any rate," replied the giant, with a wide grin at his witticism. "And if Yellow Franz is the particular wolf you're after, my friend, why here I am," he concluded, addressing the ...
— The Mad King • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... way. Even if readers enjoyed having paragraphs close in this cracking manner, it must be borne in mind that not all conclusions are capable of such a statement, and, what is worse, that the tendency to seek for epigrams leads to untruth and a degenerated form of witticism. Such forced sentences are only half truths, or they are a bit of cheap repartee. Such a close is effective, if the whole truth can be so expressed; but to seek for such sentences is dangerous. The best rule is the one already stated; ...
— English: Composition and Literature • W. F. (William Franklin) Webster

... fashionable in Venice to write this definition in several glass windows. These incidents reaching the ear of King James, he was much displeased with the behaviour of his embassador on that occasion, and from an innocent piece of witticism Sir Henry was like to pay very dear, by losing his master's favour. Upon this our author wrote two apologies, one to Velserus, which was dispersed in Germany and Italy, and another to the King; both which were so well ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume I. • Theophilus Cibber

... organization of animals, then almost effaced in France, aided by the richest osteological collections which then existed in Europe, M. G. Cuvier passed an active and a comparatively long life, in a region abounding in fossil bones, without having established any other principle in osteology than a witticism which he had been unable for a moment to take seriously himself, because he had not yet investigated or sufficiently studied the science of organization, which I even doubt, to speak frankly, if he ever did. Otherwise, he would himself soon have perceived the falsity of his assertion ...
— Lamarck, the Founder of Evolution - His Life and Work • Alpheus Spring Packard

... that he is "skilled and well-informed in the science of medicine." There is, too, a professional tone about many of the quips and gibes in which Zabara indulges concerning doctors. Here, for instance, is an early form of a witticism that has been attributed to many recent humorists. "A philosopher," says Zabara, "was sick unto death, and his doctor gave him up; yet the patient recovered. The convalescent was walking in the street when the doctor met him. 'You ...
— The Book of Delight and Other Papers • Israel Abrahams

... all that—and be an egoist all the same. I venture to think that you don't find me a bore, and don't think me a bad fellow, but still you suppose that I—what's the saying?—would sacrifice friend or father for the sake of a witticism." ...
— A House of Gentlefolk • Ivan Turgenev

... your blooming little erraw,' Mr. Hayes burst in, adopting one of Lord Southminster's favourite witticisms—the sort of witticism that improves, like poetry, by frequent repetition. 'Policemen, you may go into the next room and wait: this is a family affair; we have no ...
— Miss Cayley's Adventures • Grant Allen

... this witticism, the supers laughed, and poor Dubois would have been utterly done for if ...
— A Mummer's Wife • George Moore

... why they laughed. Mr. Scales said he was just departing and had slipped in for a moment to thank all of them for their kindness of last night—'or rather this morning.' The girls laughed again at this witticism. Nothing could have been more simple than his speech. Yet it appeared to them magically attractive. A customer entered, a lady; one of the assistants rose from the neighbourhood of the stove, but the daughters of the house ignored the customer; it was ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... at 'Edward' a week, and I should be dumb not to have inquired the road I was to journey; and if dumb there would be an end to my calling." After simpering in a small way, like one whose modesty prohibited a more open expression of his admiration of a witticism that was perfectly unintelligible to his hearers, he continued, "It is not prudent for any one of my profession to be too familiar with those he has to instruct; for which reason I follow not the line of ...
— The Last of the Mohicans • James Fenimore Cooper

... at his own witticism and then grew morose again. "The way things is, there ain't ...
— Anything Once • Douglas Grant

... Withdrawal reenpasxo. Wither velki, sensukigxi. Withhold fortiri. Within en, interne (adv.). Without sen. Withstand kontrauxstari, kontrauxbatali. Witness atesti. Witness atestanto. Witness, eye okulvidanto. Witticism spritajxo. Wittiness spriteco. Witty sprita, spritema. Wizard sorcxisto. Woe ve. Woful cxagrenega, malgxoja. Wolf lupo. Woman virino. Womb utero. Wonder miri. Wonder mirego, miro. Wonder, a mirindajxo. Wonderful mirinda—ega. ...
— English-Esperanto Dictionary • John Charles O'Connor and Charles Frederic Hayes

... that's what these brilliant anecdotes never tell. And I think it would be very interesting to know what the victim of a witticism ...
— Five O'Clock Tea - Farce • W. D. Howells

... known to be could be guilty of such conduct,—men who had jeoparded their lives for years on end rather than hurt one hair on a Native's head,—a cry of execration, loud and deep, and even savage, arose from the Press, and was apparently joined in by the Church itself. The common witticism about the "Gospel and Gunpowder" headed hundreds of bitter and scoffing articles in the journals; and, as we afterwards learned, the shocking news had been telegraphed to Britain and America, losing ...
— The Story of John G. Paton - Or Thirty Years Among South Sea Cannibals • James Paton

... Sydney's handwriting never was good. I remember I used to tell him, when he answered my invitations, that I should have imagined that a fly dipped in ink had crawled over the paper." He laughed for a moment at his former moss-encrusted and ducal witticism, and ...
— The King's Men - A Tale of To-morrow • Robert Grant, John Boyle O'Reilly, J. S. Dale, and John T.

... Minister's enemies said that he won the King's heart by taking private lessons from some obscure Briton, and attributing his extraordinary progress to the skill of his royal master. But Decazes had a more effective retort than witticism. He opened the letters of the Ultra-Royalists and laid them before the King. Louis found that these loyal subjects jested upon his infirmities, called him a dupe in the hands of Jacobins, and grumbled at him for so long delaying the happy hour when Artois should ascend the throne. Humorous ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... brought back an earthen vessel filled with wine. The wife, on seeing this, said: "What hast thou done with the golden cup?" He quietly replied: "Thou art surely thinking of an ideal gold cup," on which the lady sorely repented her witticism.[35] ...
— Flowers from a Persian Garden and Other Papers • W. A. Clouston

... they do not meet to make and repeat maxims in the manner of La Rochefoucauld as though there did not exist a mean, invented by the eighteenth century, between a superfluity and absolute blank. If a few men of character indulge in witticism, at once subtle and refined, they are misunderstood; soon, tired of giving without receiving, they remain at home, and leave fools to reign over their territory. This hollow life, this perpetual expectation ...
— The Girl with the Golden Eyes • Honore de Balzac

... and silently given, I often catch myself endeavouring to sport a bad pun, when I have got the ear of a fair damsel] The only effect which the witticism produced in the present instance, however, was an enormous groan, in which the fellows on the dickey participated. Even the postilion who stood near, set up a crowing laugh—and the very horses by their snorting and neighing, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, - Issue 275, September 29, 1827 • Various

... have only to sharpen our wits to trip your seductive rattler whenever we may choose to think proper; and evidently, if we condescended to it, we could do better than he. The critic who has hatched a witticism is impelled to this opinion. Judging by the smiles of the ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... or nearly the same, sound, though quite different in their derivation and signification, it is almost more difficult to avoid, than to fall on such a verbal play. It has, however, been feared, lest a door might be opened to puerile witticism, if they were not rigorously proscribed. But I cannot, for my part, find that Shakespeare had such an invincible and immoderate passion for this verbal witticism. It is true, he sometimes makes a most lavish use of this figure; at others, he has employed it very sparingly; and at times (for example, ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... at what he considered his own witticism concerning the little weakness of Miss Tranter, and ...
— The Treasure of Heaven - A Romance of Riches • Marie Corelli

... the day, Mr. Codlin pitched the show in a convenient spot, and the spectators were soon in the very triumph of the scene. The child, sitting down with the old man close behind it, was roused from her meditation by a loud laugh at some witticism of ...
— Ten Girls from Dickens • Kate Dickinson Sweetser

... think you are breaking your promise—besides being a goose!" she retorted smartly. Nevertheless, for some occult reason they both seemed relieved by this exquisite witticism, and trotted on amicably together. When Paul lifted his eyes to hers he could see that they were suffused with a tender mischief, as of a reproving yet secretly admiring sister, and her strangely delicate complexion had taken ...
— A Ward of the Golden Gate • Bret Harte

... matter unpleasing to a royal ear.[5] But the merry monarch saw no good reason why the muse of comedy should be compelled to "dwell in decencies for ever," and did not feel at all degraded when enjoying a gross pleasantry, or profane witticism, in company with the mixed mass of a popular audience. The stage, therefore, resumed more than its original licence under his auspices. Most of our early plays, being written in a coarse age, and designed for the amusement of a promiscuous and vulgar audience, were dishonoured ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... allowed that amid such free conversation it was difficult for Joe to shine as an orator. But as he had no such ambition, perhaps the interruptions only served him. But Miss Thoroughbung's witticism did throw a certain damp over the wedding-breakfast. It was perhaps to have been expected that the lady should take her revenge for the injury done to her. It was the only revenge that she did take. She had been ill-used, she thought, and ...
— Mr. Scarborough's Family • Anthony Trollope

... was inclined to witticism rather than to enthusiasm, said of the Napoleon of 1811: "His genius controlled every one's thoughts. I believed that he was born to rule Fortune, and it seemed to be natural enough that people should prostrate themselves before his feet; that became, in my eyes, the normal way of the world." ...
— The Happy Days of the Empress Marie Louise • Imbert De Saint-Amand

... His witticism, which he hardly seemed aware of until it was uttered, afforded him the next instant an enjoyment so hilarious that I saw his waist shake like a bowl of jelly between the flapping folds of his alpaca coat. While he stood there with his large white cravat twisted awry by the swelling ...
— The Romance of a Plain Man • Ellen Glasgow

... fashions in furbelows or commodes, and make love either lightly or with serious intent. One may be sure that at my Lady Dunstanwolde's many dishes of Bohea were drunk, and many ogling glances and much witticism exchanged. There was in these days even a greater following about her than ever. A triumphant beauty on the verge of becoming a great duchess is not like to be neglected by her acquaintance, and thus her ladyship held assemblies both gay and brilliantly varied, which were ...
— A Lady of Quality • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... had been dispelled. She bestowed honors and benefits with frankness and cordiality. She ever sought to base her authority on the affections of the people,—the only support even of absolute thrones. She was ever ready with a witticism, a smile, and a pleasant word. Though she gave vent to peevishness and irritability when crossed, and even would swear before her ministers and courtiers in private, yet in public she disguised her resentments, and always appeared dignified and graceful; ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume VIII • John Lord

... cannot be classed a witticism from the Bench, but the judge clearly gave the opening for the ...
— Law and Laughter • George Alexander Morton

... When you fleece you're sorry When you're fleeced you're sick Where Beauty was, nothing ever ran quite straight Whole world was in conspiracy to limit freedom With the wisdom of a long life old JoIyon did not speak Witticism of which he was not the author was hardly to his taste Wonderful finality about a meal You have to ...
— Quotations from the Works of John Galsworthy • David Widger

... heartily at the small witticism. People whose lives are anything but a joke are usually content ...
— The Vultures • Henry Seton Merriman

... standard measure was made. Another inscription, engraved in 1635 on the opposite side, says: "The S. P. Q. R. pay honor to the memory of the noble and courageous woman who voluntarily put an end to her life" (and here follows a witticism of doubtful taste on the bread which she denied herself, and on the breadstuffs, for the measurement of which ...
— Pagan and Christian Rome • Rodolfo Lanciani

... discipline had cured the family of Paris; the same year Fleeming was to write, in answer apparently to a question of Frank Scott's, "I could find no national game in France but revolutions"; and the witticism was justified in their experience. On the first possible day they applied for passports, and were advised to take the road to Geneva. It appears it was scarce safe to leave Paris for England. Charles ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... sung by Carlyle as a life-lengthener. In Russia, however, the same fatality which has pursued its political rulers has also pursued its spiritual rulers; and as most conquerors have died an unnatural death, so most writers have died an unnatural death, or only after an unnatural life. The witticism of Mark Twain, that the bed must be a most fatal place, since most people die in bed, is not applicable to Russian emperors and Russian writers. Few of them can be said to have died in their beds. Griboyedof is assassinated; Pushkin and Lermontof are murdered; Gogol is found dead from bodily ...
— Lectures on Russian Literature - Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenef, Tolstoy • Ivan Panin

... space be in divident between them." This agreement, we know, was carried out, but whether it led to an exchange of companies, or what effect it had upon the players, we cannot say. Possibly to this period of joint management may be assigned the witticism of Dick Tarleton recorded as having been uttered "at the Curtain" where the Queen's Men were then playing.[100] It may even be that as one result of the affiliation of the two houses the Queen's Men were transferred to ...
— Shakespearean Playhouses - A History of English Theatres from the Beginnings to the Restoration • Joseph Quincy Adams

... livelong day, disporting their bodies in the dust. These, of all sizes, from the "piccaninny" to the "good-sized chunk of a boy," and of every shade of slave-colour, from the fair-skinned quadroon to the black Bambarra, on whom, by an American witticism of doubtful truthfulness; "charcoal would make a white mark!" Divesting them of dust, you would have no difficulty in determining their complexion. Their little plump bodies were nude, from the top of their woolly heads to their long projecting heels. ...
— The Quadroon - Adventures in the Far West • Mayne Reid

... occasion to the witticism that the most beautiful thing in the work is the last note. To this I see no reason to demur; it contains nothing more entrancing than the rise to the fifth of the ...
— Wagner's Tristan und Isolde • George Ainslie Hight

... pronunciation I had been trying to filch for weeks—some delicate little jewel of a word, faint as a perfume, expressive as only a tiny Parisian word can be—and he did so in the politest manner in the world, adding some little witticism which I do not recall. Whereupon I went home and instantly ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Volume 11, No. 26, May, 1873 • Various

... of a Cabinet Minister, and his fame will spread from planet to planet. Why, to-morrow, Sir, that commonplace phrase, 'Quite permiscuous! Who'd ha' thought of it?' will be upon the lips of every inhabitant; it will receive brevet-rank as a witticism of the first order, it will enrich the language, and enjoy an immortality, which will endure—ah, till the introduction of a newer catchword! I assure you the most successful book—the wittiest comedy, ...
— Punch Among the Planets • Various

... vanquished—began to be echoed throughout the colonies. We have seen that even Washington himself seriously thought of retreating behind the Alleghanies, which was virtual surrender. Even he, if report be true, began to think of the halter, and Franklin's little witticism, on signing the Declaration, of, "Come, gentlemen, we must all hang together or we shall hang separately," was getting uncomfortably ...
— The Campaign of Trenton 1776-77 • Samuel Adams Drake

... servants heard, and caught their lord's witticism: the serjeants and soldiers repeated the colonel's words, and the nicknames spread through the regiment, and through the garrison; wherever I turned, I heard them echoed: poor Jacob was called young Shylock by some, and by others the Wandering Jew. It was a bitter jest, and soon became ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... right, but, by God, I've got you! And I mean that he's goin' to, that he's got to, make a choice between them and you. So we'll just wait and find out which he loves best, his beau or his dough!" And he laughed harshly at the feeble witticism, as he added, in his guttural undertone: "And I guess we get the worth of our ...
— Phantom Wires - A Novel • Arthur Stringer

... more than once took occasion to reason gravely with his companion upon these improprieties; all of which remonstrances, Master Bates received in extremely good part; merely requesting his friend to be 'blowed,' or to insert his head in a sack, or replying with some other neatly-turned witticism of a similar kind, the happy application of which, excited considerable admiration in the mind of Mr. Chitling. It was remarkable that the latter gentleman and his partner invariably lost; and that the circumstance, so ...
— Oliver Twist • Charles Dickens

... over Mr. Wimper's desk, George regarded P. Sybarite with an indulgent and compassionate smile and wagged a doggish head at him. From these symptoms inferring that his fellow-employee was in the throes of a witticism, P. Sybarite cocked an apprehensive eye and tightened his thin-lipped, ...
— The Day of Days - An Extravaganza • Louis Joseph Vance

... Scipio Africanus, by a species of witticism which was much more common to the Provinces than it is to the States of America, and which filled so many of the meaner employments of the country, in name at least, with the counterparts of the philosophers, heroes, poets, and princes of Rome. To him it was a matter of small moment, whether ...
— The Red Rover • James Fenimore Cooper

... said by whose arrangement it was that Jesus was hung between the two thieves. It may have been done by order of Pilate, who wished in this way to add point to the witticism which he had put into the inscription above the cross; or the arrangement may have been due to the Jewish officials, who followed their Victim to Golgotha and may have persuaded the soldiers to give Him this place, as an additional ...
— The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ - A Devotional History of our Lord's Passion • James Stalker

... Scotchman, or he may want your blood before you get to the cigarettes. North Britons are very jealous of the reputation of their national poet, and permit no jokes upon the subject. You see, in letting off your witticism at a Scotchman, you would have to explain that it was a joke. You might also hint that it was "hard lines" for the Railway Companies concerned; but this will provoke gloom rather than gaiety amongst those who have invested ...
— Punch, or The London Charivari, Vol. 100., Jan. 17, 1891 • Various

... signifies the country without elbow room. Moses Ansell chuckled softly and beatifically when he emitted the remark that surprised all who knew him. But then it was the Rejoicing of the Law and the Sons of the Covenant had treated him to rum and currant cake. He often thought of his witticism afterwards, and it always lightened his unwashed face with a happy smile. The recollection usually caught him when he ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... disposed of the famous "Oldenbarneveld's teeth" at auction in the public square, and chased many a poor cock and hen, with their feathers completely plucked from their bodies, about the street, crying "Arme haenen, arme haenen"—Arminians or poor fowls—according to the practical witticism much esteemed at that period. Certainly the unfortunate Barneveldians or Arminians, or however the Remonstrants might be designated, had been ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... mania for travelling, which supplies our continental neighbours with such abundant matter for wonderment and witticism, is of no very recent date. Now more than ever, perhaps, does this ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX. - March, 1843, Vol. LIII. • Various

... Laughter. There are three sources from which laughter rises out of dialogue. First, from the word that is a witticism, existing for its own sake. Second, from the word that is an intensely individual expression of character—the character-revealing phrase. Third, the word that is funny because it is spoken at the right instant ...
— Writing for Vaudeville • Brett Page

... poor nobles, and make officers and canons. We must, perforce, 'monsieur' them, and salute them a league off as if they were their masters. The secretary even of the wife is very important. The secretary is more important than the mistress nowadays"; and the old officer laughed at his provincial witticism. ...
— The False Chevalier - or, The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette • William Douw Lighthall

... upon their talk. They looked at each other, and burst into a frank laugh, full of confidence and comradeship, which the good lady heard in her dreams and waked, saying, "What are you laughing at? I did not catch that last witticism." ...
— The Bread-winners - A Social Study • John Hay

... traders, with pockets instinctively buttoned up, and glaring each upon the other with most uncommunicative aspects; not brothers at a banquet, but combatants and wrestlers, watching for solecisms in the other's talk, or toiling to drag in some laboured witticism of their own, after the classical precedent of Hercules and Cerberus: those feasts of reason, how vapid! those flows of soul, how icily congealing! those Attic nights, how dim and dismal! Once more; and, remember me, I speak in a personated character of ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... wished to put a joke or witticism into circulation, he was in the habit of connecting it with some celebrated name, on the chance of reclaiming it if it took. Thus he assigned to Talleyrand, in the "Nain Jaune," the phrase, "Speech was given to man to disguise his ...
— Familiar Quotations • John Bartlett

... that in this witticism lay one of the causes of the French Revolution may seem at first glance an outrageous overstatement. Yet it is certain that, but for that imprudent phrase, the need would never have arisen that sent Rohan across the Park of Versailles on that August night to an assignation that in the sequel was ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... play-actor!" said Tozer, in consternation, drawing aside the curtain to look out. "I'll tell you what, old woman, the girl's in love; and that's what it is." He thought this was a capital joke, and followed his witticism ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... every qualification. Personable and of a good figure, a clever billiard-player, a passable amateur actor, he danced well, and excelled in most physical exercises; he could, moreover, sing a ballad and applaud a witticism. Supple, envious, never at a loss, there was nothing that he did not know—nothing that he really knew. He knew nothing, for instance, of music, but he could sit down to the piano and accompany, after a fashion, a woman who consented after much pressing ...
— Two Poets - Lost Illusions Part I • Honore de Balzac

... been offered, but all of them leave the subject dark somewhere." And John laughed as he saw that the boys appreciated his little attempt at witticism. ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: Adventures on Strange Islands • Roger Thompson Finlay

... camp in order to speak to the men before their departure. It is said that months before he had been fond of telling humorous stories, and had delighted in making the soldiers laugh. He certainly had a sense of humour, and now and then could not refrain from some witticism which set the highly strung lads in roars of laughter. But the close of his address did not ...
— Tommy • Joseph Hocking

... introspective, the beautiful voice would take on a grave music and Oscar would begin a story, a story with symbolic second meaning or a glimpse of new thought, and when all were listening enthralled, of a sudden the eyes would dance, the smile break forth again like sunshine and some sparkling witticism would ...
— Oscar Wilde, Volume 2 (of 2) - His Life and Confessions • Frank Harris

... Dunbar was the centre of a distinguished group standing under the chandelier. He was gently fanning his hostess, who stood beside the Governor, and evidently he was narrating some spicy incident, or uttering some pungent witticism, whereat all laughed heartily. The light fell full on his fine figure, which rose above all surrounding personages, and was faultlessly apparelled in evening dress; and Leo's heart filled with tender pride, at the consciousness that ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... expression of his features. By observing O'Connell's face, as he spoke, one could be sure of the tone and temper of what was coming. Was he about to make an adversary ridiculous by an anecdote or a witticism? His eyes, his lips, his whole face suddenly became expressive of humour. Did he intend to turn from pleasantries to solemn warning, or fierce denunciation? (a usual habit of his); the dark cloud was sure to cast its shadow ...
— The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902) - With Notices Of Earlier Irish Famines • John O'Rourke

... the mirth that buzzed around me. I think I never laughed so much in my whole life together as I did at that dinner-table. Nearly opposite to me sat the red-haired merchant Wadel, with his long, dryly comical face, firing off one witticism after another, and at my side whispered the hump-backed clerk Gram, who was famed for his cleverness, and feared for his biting tongue. His sharp remarks upon the different people who sat at the table, grew in ill-nature as he ...
— The Visionary - Pictures From Nordland • Jonas Lie

... it will be settled one way or another," said the jailer, with a superior's self-assured witticism. "Now, then, get along! ...
— Resurrection • Count Leo Tolstoy

... co-translators of the Psalms of David into English metre, "mistaking vulgarity for simplicity, they turned into bathos what they found sublime." And Tate and Brady's version, the "Dry Psalter" of "Samuel Oxon's" witticism, was little better. Think of the poetical beauties of the following lines, sung with vigour ...
— The Parish Clerk (1907) • Peter Hampson Ditchfield

... a word for everybody; and, turning rapidly from one to another, gave utterance to some hasty witticism, which was sure to be followed by peals of laughter. To the females as well as to the men, he addressed his discourse. Heaven only knows what he said to them, but he caused smiles and blushes to mantle their ingenuous faces. I am, indeed, very much inclined ...
— Typee - A Romance of the South Sea • Herman Melville

... that-a-way?" asked Tom, derisively. "I bet if you had her alone she wouldn't be so hard to manage—would you, Rita?" Tom thought himself a rare wit, and a mistake of that sort makes one very disagreeable. Rita's face burned scarlet at Tom's witticism, and Mrs. Bays promptly ...
— A Forest Hearth: A Romance of Indiana in the Thirties • Charles Major

... that the boy had something on his mind!" said the doctor to Mr Cookson, "but that is impossible. At his age we possess no minds worth speaking about to have anything upon;" and so he lost the scent after hitting it off to go on the trail of a witticism, which after all ...
— Dr. Jolliffe's Boys • Lewis Hough

... Bermingeham family. There are several other attractive churches, including the Unitarian church of the Messiah, which is supported on massive arches, for it is built over a canal on which are several locks: this has given cause for a favorite Birmingham witticism: ...
— England, Picturesque and Descriptive - A Reminiscence of Foreign Travel • Joel Cook

... must be prepared for slight variations in the form of the same key-syllable. Consider these words: wise, wiseacre, wisdom, wizard, witch, wit, unwitting, to wit, outwit, twit, witticism, witness, evidence, providence, invidious, advice, vision, visit, vista, visage, visualize, envisage, invisible, vis-a-vis, visor, revise, supervise, improvise, proviso, provision, view, review, survey, vie, envy, clairvoyance. Perhaps the last six should be ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... answer back, if anyone starts to have any fun with you," replied Lieutenant Ulwin. "Remember, a club is where all men stand on an equal footing. If an admiral gets after you, you will do well to swallow any witticism he may try on you. But with any officer below an admiral you don't have to be ...
— The Submarine Boys for the Flag - Deeding Their Lives to Uncle Sam • Victor G. Durham

... ease of a Celimene, pretending to ignore that Calyste was there. La Palferine had the cleverness to depart after a brilliant witticism, leaving the two lovers ...
— Beatrix • Honore de Balzac

... such a discipline had cured the family of Paris; the same year Fleeming was to write, in answer apparently to a question of Frank Scott's, 'I could find no national game in France but revolutions'; and the witticism was justified in their experience. On the first possible day, they applied for passports, and were advised to take the road to Geneva. It appears it was scarce safe to leave Paris for England. Charles Reade, with keen dramatic gusto, had just smuggled himself ...
— Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin • Robert Louis Stevenson

... distressingly new. But, alas! they marked the beginning of the end. Jane ceased to wait upon the table with that solemnity which is essential to the manner of a "treasure"; she smiled occasionally, and where hitherto she had treated the conversation at the table with stolid indifference, a witticism would invariably now bring the new ...
— Paste Jewels • John Kendrick Bangs

... "The Art of Love" has nothing of his own; he borrows all from a greater master in his own profession, and, which is worse, improves nothing which he finds. Nature fails him; and, being forced to his old shift, he has recourse to witticism. This passes, indeed, with his soft admirers, and gives him the preference to Virgil in their esteem; but let them like for themselves, and not prescribe to others, for our author needs not ...
— Discourses on Satire and Epic Poetry • John Dryden

... up to receive me, were thrown into an awful flutter. They had never seen the like of Sing, and thought that I was introducing a wolf into the fold. I reassured them as to his dogginess, and the watchman, after studying his black tongue, ventured a witticism. He wanted to know if I fed him ...
— Dear Enemy • Jean Webster

... Red River. You may find Legree to be a Garrison, Phillips, Smith, or runaway husband from some Abby Kelly. [Here Rev. Mr. Smith protested against Legree being proved to be a Smith. Great laughter. [Footnote: This gentleman was soon after made a D.D., and I think in part for that witticism.]] I move that you bring him back to lecture on the cuteness there is in leaving a Northern church, going South, changing his name, buying slaves, and calculating, without guessing, what the profit is of killing a negro with inhuman labor above the gain of treating ...
— Slavery Ordained of God • Rev. Fred. A. Ross, D.D.

... cold affected witticism of the critic, whom I intimately knew—and I believe he meant little harm! His friends imagined even that this was the solitary attempt at wit he had ever made in his life; for after a lapse of years, he would still recur to it ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... Lord Chesterfield:(624) the first part is very pretty, till it runs into witticism. I have marked ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... enough to have dominion over you. She sees, and exults in your giddiness; she sees and smiles; then presently, with a sudden movement, she lays her blushing fingers upon your arm, and cries out, “Yumourdjak!” (Plague! meaning, “there is a present of the plague for you!”) This is her notion of a witticism. It is a very old piece of fun, no doubt—quite an Oriental Joe Miller; but the Turks are fondly attached, not only to the institutions, but also to the jokes of their ancestors; so the lady’s silvery laugh rings joyously in your ears, and the mirth of her women ...
— Eothen • A. W. Kinglake

... too late, but Aunt Hester smiled; as for Nicholas, he pouted—witticism of which he was not the author was hardly to his taste. Just then Marian Tweetyman arrived, followed almost immediately by young Nicholas. On seeing his son, ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... Disraeli the remark that his religion was "the religion of all sensible men." and upon being asked what this religion might be, that Oriental is said to have replied, "All sensible men keep that to themselves." Now Disraeli could no more have made such a witticism than he could have flown through the air; his mind was far too extravagant for such pointed phrases. Froude quotes the story (page 205 of this book) but rightly ascribes it to Rogers, a very different man from Disraeli— an Englishman ...
— Froude's Essays in Literature and History - With Introduction by Hilaire Belloc • James Froude

... between a fine young English Cantab, "all of the modern style," and his family at home, are uncommonly amusing. Harry Fludyer at Cambridge is the title of the book, published by CHATTO AND WINDUS. Well, to quote the ancient witticism in vogue tempore EDOUARDI RECTI et DON PAOLO BEDFORDI (the great Adelphoi, or rather the great "Fill-Adelphians," as they were once called), "Things is werry much as they used to was" at Cambridge, and ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., December 27, 1890 • Various

... Christ into a Heathen's mouth; and much more in his prophane allusion to the scripture, in the other text,—"Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's;" which, if it be not a profanation of the bible, for the sake of a silly witticism, let all men, but his own party, judge. I am not malicious enough to return him the names which he has called me; but of all sins, I thank God, I have always abhorred atheism; and I had need be a better Christian ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) - The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian • John Dryden

... that I am sure. I've no grounds for the faith, but I am sure, I almost know. Nijeradze! Don't clown!" he cried abruptly, growing pale, "I've restrained myself several times already at your fool pranks. I have until now held you as a man of conscience and feeling. One more inappropriate witticism, and I'll change my opinion of you; ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... nor the puncher smiled at this ancient witticism. But Knowles burst into a hearty laugh, which was caught up and reenforced by the hitherto ...
— Out of the Depths - A Romance of Reclamation • Robert Ames Bennet

... staring stupidity of his lamentable condition, "Sir! I am far from convinced that a Christian is permitted to read either newspapers, or any other works of merely political and temporary interest." This witticism quite enchanted his enlightened auditors, and they prolonged their festivities to an "early hour next morning." Having returned to London with a thousand subscribers on his list, the "Watchman" appeared in all his glory; but, alas! not on the ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... the Author-Reader netted altogether the enormous sum of $228,000. Supposing gold to have been then at par, that lump sum would have represented in our English currency what if spoken of even in a whisper would, according to Hood's famous witticism, have represented something like "the roar of a Forty Thousand Pounder!" Even as it was, then, gold being at 39 1/2 per cent, premium, with 1/4 per cent, more deducted on commission—virtually a ...
— Charles Dickens as a Reader • Charles Kent

... fermata if you wish," retorted the doctor, and the witticism was received with a yell, in the Doric mode. You see Rheinberger had not quite sapped the sense of humor ...
— Old Fogy - His Musical Opinions and Grotesques • James Huneker

... us of a woman named Dobbs, who was killed in a preaching-house at Nashville, by the fall of a chandelier on her head. Brett's Patent Brandy poet, who would as soon make a witticism on a cracked crown as a cracked bottle, has sent us ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, July 24, 1841 • Various

... his unnecessary existence. "Hardly knew what I was about when I shoved you away from the door. Me and my friend was afraid of missing the train, so we pushed—instinct of self-preservation, I suppose," and he chuckled as if he had got off some witticism. "Anyhow, I apologise. Nothing intentional, ...
— The Powers and Maxine • Charles Norris Williamson

... own independence. "The Great Expounder of the Constitution," as he was called, was then in the prime of life, and had not began those indulgences which afterward exercised such injurious effects upon him. He would also occasionally indulge in a grim witticism. On one occasion, when a Senator who was jeering another for some pedantry said, "The honorable gentleman may proceed to quote from Crabbe's Synonyms, from Walker and Webster"—"Not from Walker and Webster," ...
— Perley's Reminiscences, Vol. 1-2 - of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis • Benjamin Perley Poore

... manners were somewhat less decorous and elegant, owing to the fact that Reginald and Willie had been industriously circulating the episode of the morning, with such additions as they thought would add point and piquancy, among the rest of the boys, and there was no end of innuendo and witticism indulged in, that caused the young gentlemen to retire in groups and laugh; and we could hear such remarks as, "Dick, there was a whale hooked on this coast this afternoon, did you know it?" Or, "I think Jack Deadeye is the most comical character ...
— Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad • Various

... had appeared at the doorway, a worn, and troubled spectre of dismay, now put in a confirmatory word. "You are quite right, Simeon. That house reeks with the talk of wine-bibbers and those who make life a witticism. Such ...
— The Tyranny of the Dark • Hamlin Garland

... "joke proof," as they had never been known to see the point of any witticism, and if it chanced to be explained to them they would stare placidly at the speaker ...
— Randy and Her Friends • Amy Brooks

... worry and grow thin like a dime." He recognized the current witticism of the year as it issued stridently from one of the ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... plundered him of all his flocks and herds, horses, tents, and even most of his clothing,—then described the march of Ibrahim Pasha's army in their disastrous attempt upon Kerak: also some of the valiant achievements of his kinsman Gublan; and then proceeding to witticism, gave me his etymological origin of the name of Hhesban—namely, that, on the subsiding of the great deluge, the first object that Noah perceived was that castle, perched as it is upon a lofty peak; whereupon he exclaimed, Hhus'n ban—"a ...
— Byeways in Palestine • James Finn

... went in the strength of that witticism for forty weeks or at least until some fiend of candor, a brother, ...
— The Amateur Garden • George W. Cable

... maliciously to the fact that a certain antiquated nobleman had given her a New Year's present of bon bons, every 'sugared particle' being folded in a five-pound Bank of England note. The paper added some rough witticism, and informed the nobleman that his 'assiduities' would be ineffectual, saying that 'the lady, with true Yankee shrewdness, accepts all offerings at her shrine, but ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I. February, 1862, No. II. - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... At this would-be witticism on the part of the tyrant of the school there was a fresh roar of laughter, which made the unfortunate against whom it was directed writhe with annoyance, and hurry off to conciliate his schoolfellow ...
— Glyn Severn's Schooldays • George Manville Fenn

... up. Thinkright asked me to tell ye they'd be here for supper. They hain't had nothin' but trash on the road, I guess. Miss Lacey looks kind o' peak-ed;" and so saying, the old man drove on to the barn, his eyes closed tight as he slapped his knee in enjoyment of this second witticism, possibly even better than ...
— The Opened Shutters • Clara Louise Burnham

... moves in three months. "I don't know what his name really was," she confessed—there was no one else to talk to, no one she cared for, so she talked, sub voice, to herself—"but it must have been Ikey. I'm sure it was Ikey—and that I look just like him." And deriving much comfort from this witticism, ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, July 1908. • Various

... cook who presided autocratically over the kitchen of the basement restaurant, long since migrated somewhere to the north. She had exacted her share of the homage and the substance of her clients. After her departure there was still the attempt to keep up the ancient fire of witticism, and "la la la la!" was still uttered in what was thought to be the best Parisian accent, and the judgments of magazine editors, and the achievements of the painters who sold their portraits, and the writers whose novels crept into the lists of ...
— Fifth Avenue • Arthur Bartlett Maurice

... This witticism was lost on me. I didn't see the connection between my uncle borrowing my gold watch (if I had had one), and the situation at Messrs. Merrett, Barnacle, and Company's. But it would never do ...
— My Friend Smith - A Story of School and City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... 'flirtation'; from Davies and Marlowe's Epigrams under 'gull'; from Roger North under 'sham' (Appendix); the third quotation from Dryden under 'mob'; one from the same under 'philanthropy', and again under 'witticism', in which he claims the authorship of the word; that from Evelyn under 'miss'; and from Milton under 'demagogue'. There are also notices of the same kind in Todd's Johnson. The work, however, is one which ...
— English Past and Present • Richard Chenevix Trench

... be brief enough—or long enough—for the matter of that," said the woman, rising. The Colonel accepted this implied witticism with a smile. ...
— Openings in the Old Trail • Bret Harte

... chuckled gleefully over this witticism, which was evidently one which he relied upon for the making of conversation. "How do you do, Captain?" he said, to a man who was passing. "Mr. Montague, let me introduce ...
— The Moneychangers • Upton Sinclair

... in the privilege of a faint little laugh at this witticism of his master, but apparently the applause did not please Gonzague, who gave him a gesture of dismissal. "Send the girl to me at once," he said; and with a still more humble salute Peyrolles quitted the apartment. When Gonzague was alone he sat for a few minutes ...
— The Duke's Motto - A Melodrama • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... prefaced by an anonymous letter to the publisher, concluding as follows:— 'Dr. Goldsmith 'belonged to a Club of' Beaux Esprits, 'where Wit sparkled sometimes at the Expence of Good-nature. It was proposed to write Epitaphs on the Doctor; his Country, Dialect and Person, furnished Subjects of Witticism. — The Doctor was called on for' Retaliation, 'and at their next Meeting produced the following Poem, which I think adds one Leaf to his immortal Wreath.' This account seems to have sufficed for Evans, Percy, and the ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith • Oliver Goldsmith

... holy Church itself is propped on very in different columns," answered the smith, in a rude witticism on the affection of ...
— Rienzi • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... confoundedly, or be as stupid and restive as an old battered post-horse.' Among the many clubs of the time Boswell instituted a jovial society called the Soaping Club which met weekly in a tavern. The motto of the members was 'Every man soap his own beard,' a rather recondite witticism which their founder declares equivalent to the reigning phrase of 'Every man in his humour.' It may be suggested here that in this company of feeble Bacchanalians Boswell had copied the Rabelaisian fay ce que vous voudras of the Franciscans ...
— James Boswell - Famous Scots Series • William Keith Leask

... shouted suddenly; then, with conspiratorial quiet, he said, "You won't be no book, Nicky boy. Covers aren't hard enough. Not the right type face. Get it?" he roared, and dug Paresi viciously in the ribs. "Type face, it's a witticism." ...
— Breaking Point • James E. Gunn

... annoyed, for he felt certain that he had angered the former minister, and he was delighted. It was a kick from an ass. The witticism of a fool. ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... Mrs. Whiffler, as being deeply responsible for the twins, their charms and singularities, has taken no share; but she now relates, in broken English, a witticism of little Dick's bearing upon the subject just discussed, which delights Mr. Whiffler beyond measure, and causes him to declare that he would have sworn that was Dick's if he had heard it anywhere. Then he requests that Mrs. Whiffler will tell Saunders what ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... in these scenes? With whom has the wit to deal? First of all, with his interlocutors themselves, when his witticism is a direct retort to one of them. Often with an absent person whom he supposes to have spoken and to whom he is replying. Still oftener, with the whole world,—in the ordinary meaning of the term,—which he takes to task, twisting a current idea into a paradox, or making use ...
— Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic • Henri Bergson

... month passed by, and every day brought its own misery. Mrs. Van Kirk's patronizing manners, and ostentatious kindness, often tested his patience to the utmost. If he was guilty of an innocent witticism or a little quaintness of expression, she always assumed it to be a mistake of terms and corrected him with an air of benign superiority. At times, of course, her corrections were legitimate, as ...
— Tales From Two Hemispheres • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... maintain intellectual unity and protest against innovation. Bonaparte, aware of all this, had thought of re-establishing its ancient privileges; but it had in his eyes one fatal defect—esprit. Kings of France could condone a witticism even against themselves, ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... whooped, howled, and also even sand, in a deep-voiced chorus: 'Schmul Leeb Kohn! Schmul Leeb Kohn! Schmul Leeb Kohn!' and made it splendidly audible above the banging of desk-boards and the rest of the roaring cyclone of fiendish noises. [A gallery witticism comes flitting by from mouth to mouth around the great curve: 'The swan-song of Austrian representative government!' You can note its progress by the applausive smiles and nods it ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... opening my mouth to get off a witticism about who took the shoes, when Holmes, observing me, gave me a warning kick under the table, ...
— The Adventures of the Eleven Cuff-Buttons • James Francis Thierry

... much oftener have I erred through levity and want of thought! How many resolutions have I taken at random! how many judgments have I pronounced for the sake of a witticism! how many mischiefs have I not done without any sense of my responsibility! The greater part of men harm one another for the sake of doing something. We laugh at the honor of one, and compromise the reputation of another, like an idle ...
— An "Attic" Philosopher, Complete • Emile Souvestre

... his face, uncertain whether he had not missed a clever witticism of his own kind. But O'Malley did not meet his glance. His eyes were far away upon the snowy summit of Olympus where a flock of fleecy clouds hung hovering like the hair ...
— The Centaur • Algernon Blackwood

... lively, his caustic mind unearthed quickly the ridiculous far below the surface where it strikes all eyes." And again, "the playfulness of Chopin attacked only the superior keys of the mind, fond of witticism as he was, recoiling from vulgar joviality, gross laughter, common merriment, as from those animals more abject than venomous, the sight of which causes the most nauseous aversion to certain sensitive and delicate ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... conceit, quip, quirk, crank, quiddity, concetto^, plaisanterie [Fr.], brilliant idea; merry thought, bright thought, happy thought; sally; flash of wit, flash of merriment; scintillation; mot [Fr.], mot pour rire [Fr.]; witticism, smart saying, bon-mot, jeu d'esprit [Fr.], epigram; jest book; dry joke, quodlibet, cream of the jest. word-play, jeu de mots [Fr.]; play of words, play upon words; pun, punning; double entente, double entendre &c (ambiguity) 520 [Fr.]; quibble, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... hiatus in the Journals at the point of Monk's reception and speech in the House; but the speech was printed separately, and is given in the Parl. Hist. III. 1575-7. The original authority for Henry Marten's witticism is, I believe, ...
— The Life of John Milton, Volume 5 (of 7), 1654-1660 • David Masson

... she chose, two fellow-students were playing draughts. Madeleine had only been there for a few minutes, when their talk, which went on unrestrainedly between the moves of the game, leapt, with a witticism, to the unlucky pair in whom she was interested. To her astonishment, she now heard Louise's name, coupled with ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... banished by the dinner hour. I recognize your feeble witticism about her plain face, and forgive you because I thought it plain also at first, but when she came to speak and smile it ceased to be plain. I do not say she has had trouble, but she has had some experience in her past history which neither ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... Raffles, and he sometimes wrote jocosely W.A.G. after his signature, observing when he did so, that he was once taught by Leonard Lamb of Finsbury who wrote B.A. after his name, and that he, Raffles, originated the witticism of calling that celebrated principal Ba-Lamb. Such were the appearance and mental flavor of Mr. Raffles, both of which seemed to have a stale odor of travellers' rooms in the commercial hotels ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... he hesitated; then opening his mouth slowly, he gave voice to the single witticism of ...
— The Romance of a Plain Man • Ellen Glasgow

... course been called handsome in his childhood,—what heir to a Throne ever lived that was not beautiful, to his nurse at least?—and in his early youth he had been grossly flattered for his cleverness as well as his good looks. Every small attempt at witticism,—every poor joke he could invent, adapt or repeat, was laughed at approvingly in a chorus of admiration by smirking human creatures, male and female, who bowed and bobbed up and down before the lad like strange dolphins disporting themselves on dry ...
— Temporal Power • Marie Corelli

... life. It was a time of swift and pitiless change, of action rather than reflection, of the turning of many separate currents into one headlong stream. "We must, indeed, all hang together," runs Franklin's well-known witticism in Independence Hall, "or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." Excellently spoken, Doctor! And that homely, cheery, daring sentence gives the keynote of much of the Revolutionary writing that has survived. It may ...
— The American Spirit in Literature, - A Chronicle of Great Interpreters, Volume 34 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Bliss Perry

... inclined to be facetious, my friend; that is all right, I appreciate a little witticism myself occasionally. By the way," he continued, evidently determined to get into conversation with Houston, "I suppose you young gentlemen are out here on business, looking for valuable investments in ...
— The Award of Justice - Told in the Rockies • A. Maynard Barbour



Words linked to "Witticism" :   caricature, laugh, bon mot, substance, repartee, cartoon, mot, subject matter, jeu d'esprit, irony, fun, jest, joke, bite, pungency, humor, caustic remark, wittiness, sarcasm, imitation, impersonation, esprit de l'escalier, play, gag, libation, topper, wit, satire, jape, content



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