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Black sheep   /blæk ʃip/   Listen
Black sheep

noun
1.
A reckless and unprincipled reprobate.  Synonym: scapegrace.
2.
Sheep with a black coat.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Black sheep" Quotes from Famous Books



... black sheep, Have you any wool? Yes, marry, have I, Three bags full; One for my master, And one for my dame, And one for the little boy Who ...
— Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes • Charles Madison Curry

... originality, mannerism. aberration; irregularity; variety; singularity; exemption; salvo &c. (qualification) 469. nonconformist; nondescript, character, original, nonesuch, nonsuch[obs3], monster, prodigy, wonder, miracle, curiosity, flying fish, black sheep, black swan, lusus naturae[Lat], rara avis[Lat], queer fish; mongrel, random breed; half-caste, half-blood, half-breed; metis[Lat], crossbreed, hybrid, mule, hinny, mulatto; tertium quid[Lat], hermaphrodite. ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... the very person!" exclaimed Elizabeth. "Oh yes, she is excessively rich, has not a relative in the world, gives half her income away, and, as dear Mrs. Godfrey expresses it, spends a good deal of her time in trying to wash her black sheep white, and weeping over ...
— Herb of Grace • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... injury to her parent orb. But there is another inhabitant of the skies whose purposes have not been similarly free from popular suspicion. Needless to say I refer to the black sheep of the sidereal family, that "celestial vagabond" ...
— A History of Science, Volume 3(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... are! And what can you make of it? There you are face to face with the fact that a man who was a black sheep twenty or thirty years ago has been all this time making believe to be a white sheep so successfully as never was. Or, stranger still, that a woman who has brought up a family of model daughters—daughters whom it ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... characteristic of the Italian peoples, so far from losing power, was actually gaining it, and that not only among the lower classes. As Lucretius mockingly said, even those who think and speak with contempt of the gods will in moments of trouble slay black sheep and sacrifice them to the Manes. This feeling of fear or nervousness, which lies at the root of the meaning of the word religio,[571] had been quieted in the old days by the prescriptions of the pontifices and their jus divinum, but it was always ready to break out again; as we ...
— Social life at Rome in the Age of Cicero • W. Warde Fowler

... scorn which a tale-bearer deserves. The tales at last reached the ears of the masters, but in so indefinite a form that they could take no notice of them, much less report them to the Doctor; but they had the bad effect of making them look upon poor Ellis as a black sheep, and of inducing them to treat him with suspicion. Wrong motives were assigned to all he did, and, with one exception, no one spoke kindly or encouragingly to him. The exception was Monsieur Malin. Ellis's clever contrivance with the kite and carriage had won his regard; and though, ...
— Ernest Bracebridge - School Days • William H. G. Kingston

... Bancrofts wanted someone of higher standing, but was I wrong about J. Forbes-Robertson? I think not!) "The mother came to see me the other day. I was extremely sorry to hear the bad news of Tom." (Tom was the black sheep of our family, but a fascinating wretch, all the same.) "I rejoice to think of your coming back," he writes another time, "to show the stage what an actress should be." "A thousand thanks for the photographs. I like the profile best. It is ...
— The Story of My Life - Recollections and Reflections • Ellen Terry

... all very dark, darker than the brown baby. I believe you would call them black, but they are not really quite so. Their lips are thick, their noses broad, and instead of hair, their heads are covered with wool, such as you might see on a black sheep. This wool is braided and twisted into little knots and strings all over their heads, and bound with bits of red string, or any gay-looking thread. They think it looks beautiful, but I am afraid we should not ...
— The Seven Little Sisters Who Live on the Round Ball - That Floats in the Air • Jane Andrews

... natural," said Mr. Pyecroft, with an air of pious remorse. "Matilda has been ashamed to speak of me. To be utterly frank—and it is meet that one who has been what I have been should be humble and ready to confess—for many years I was the black sheep of the family, my name unmentioned. But sometime since I was snatched a brand from the burning; I have remained silent about myself until I could give to my family, which had properly disowned me, a long record to prove my reformation. I am now striving by my devotion to make some amends ...
— No. 13 Washington Square • Leroy Scott

... Chrysostom. He's a gentleman, at any rate.' At this Mrs. Ponto looked at Miss Wirt. After their eyes had met and they had wagged their heads at each other. They looked up to the ceiling. So did the young ladies. They thrilled. It was evident I had said something terrible. Another black sheep in the Church? thought I with a little sorrow; for I don't care to own that I have a respect for the cloth. 'I—hope there's ...
— The Book of Snobs • William Makepeace Thackeray

... laughed Kat, spinning about on her heels, and finishing up with a hearty hug for Kittie, and the penitent remark: "You are getting lots better than I, that's a fact; and I must begin to brush up and sober down, or I'll be the black sheep of the flock,—as if I wasn't always that. But you really are getting terrible good, Kittie; I've seen it for a long time and it makes me uncomfortable; spin around and be gay like ...
— Six Girls - A Home Story • Fannie Belle Irving

... only other kinsman whom we have been able to trace was Rodger Baskerville, the youngest of three brothers of whom poor Sir Charles was the elder. The second brother, who died young, is the father of this lad Henry. The third, Rodger, was the black sheep of the family. He came of the old masterful Baskerville strain and was the very image, they tell me, of the family picture of old Hugo. He made England too hot to hold him, fled to Central America, and died there in 1876 ...
— The Hound of the Baskervilles • A. Conan Doyle

... there are black sheep in the Romish fold as elsewhere; perhaps even the simplicity, learning and devotion to duty of the individual I here write of, are rare. Yet one cannot help feeling how much more money the Government would have at command with which to remunerate good workers in ...
— East of Paris - Sketches in the Gatinais, Bourbonnais, and Champagne • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... question was asked by the kinsfolk whose acquaintance Edgar had made during his visit there. But they had never held themselves in the least responsible for this eccentric son of their brother David, the actor—the black sheep of the family. Surely it was none of their business to follow him upon any chase his foolish fancy ...
— The Dreamer - A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe • Mary Newton Stanard

... but there could be no doubt of the vineyards increasing in their acreage; and the farmhouses which had been without windows in their outer walls, now sometimes opened as many as two to the passing train. Flocks of black sheep and goats, through the optical illusion frequent in the Spanish air, looked large as cattle in the offing. Only in one place had we seen the tumbled boulders of Old Castile, and there had been really no greater objection to La Mancha than that it was flat, ...
— Familiar Spanish Travels • W. D. Howells

... colours, all ages, and nearly all bearing the sad marks of poverty or sin. They all sung, cried out if anything affected or pleased them in the sermon, and listened with interest to the plain yet fervent words of the man who has gathered together this flock of black sheep and is so ...
— Shawl-Straps - A Second Series of Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag • Louisa M. Alcott

... have had time, which no other country has had, to perfect your social system. Let the Radicals and the uninformed of other lands rail as they will, your English aristocracy is the finest body of thinkers and livers in the world. One hears ever of the black sheep, the few luridly glaring failures, but never of the hundreds of great and noble ...
— The Reason Why • Elinor Glyn

... chapter we saw the Pazzi family as very black sheep, although there are plenty of students of Florentine history who hold that any attempt to rid Florence of the Medici was laudable. In this chapter we see them in a kindlier situation as benefactors to the city. For it happened that when Pazzo de' Pazzi, ...
— A Wanderer in Florence • E. V. Lucas

... stay for a few days at a friend's house. There was to be a dance, and the hostess, being Lottie's godmother, pointedly included her in the invitation; so Mrs. Blake and Addie did what they could to improve their black sheep's appearance. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, October, 1877, Vol. XX. No. 118 • Various

... OMEGA WITH YPOGEGRAMMENI}), and thereafter with sweet wine, and for the third time with water, and sprinkle white meal thereon.... and promise thou wilt offer in thy halls(13) a barren heifer, the best thou hast, and fill the pyre with treasure, and wilt sacrifice apart to Teiresias alone a black sheep without spot, ...
— On The Structure of Greek Tribal Society: An Essay • Hugh E. Seebohm

... Benedict, at Montpellier, partly a monastery and partly a college. The Prior is strictly questioned about the conduct of the students. He gives a good character to most of them: but the little flock contained some black sheep. Peter is somewhat light-headed ("aliquantulum est levis capitis") but not incorrigible; he has been guilty of employing "verba injuriosa et provocativa," but the Prior has corrected him, and he has taken the correction patiently. Bertrand's ...
— Life in the Medieval University • Robert S. Rait

... they told him of the mysterious beings of the Alpine country; of the singular fighting snakes in the deep lakes; of the people of night; of the hordes of spectres, who carry sleepers through the air, towards the wonderful floating city of Venice; of the wild shepherd, who drives his black sheep over the meadow; it is true, they had never been seen, but the sound of the bells and the unhappy bellowing of the flock, ...
— The Ice-Maiden: and Other Tales. • Hans Christian Andersen

... robbed me of a living profit, in order that he might secure a double gain? I think not. There is not even the live and let live principle in that. No—no, sir. If he has joined the church, my word for it, there is a black sheep in the fold; or, I might say, without abuse of language, a wolf therein disguised in ...
— All's for the Best • T. S. Arthur

... are. There may be one or two sneaks who would sell out, as there are black sheep in every flock. I don't believe Flemming would be above ...
— Frank Merriwell's Races • Burt L. Standish

... The family never speak of him. He was the black sheep of the flock, you know. But why do you ask? Was it his ghost ...
— Kate Danton, or, Captain Danton's Daughters - A Novel • May Agnes Fleming

... talked over, and it was agreed that Sister Roberga should be transferred to Shuldham where, as is reported, the Prioress is very strict, and knows how to hold her curb. This is practically a sentence of expulsion. We four all agreed that she was the black sheep in the Abbey, and that several of the younger Sisters—in especial Sister Philippa—would conduct themselves far better if she were removed. Sister Ismania was sent to tell her the sentence. She tossed her head and pretended not to care; but I cannot believe she will not feel ...
— In Convent Walls - The Story of the Despensers • Emily Sarah Holt

... has its quota of black sheep," replied Uncle John, "and from what we have learned of Maurie's character he is not at all particular ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces in the Red Cross • Edith Van Dyne

... is not to be despised; it will store no clover or linden honey for the "grand seignior and the ladies of his seraglio," but plenty of the rank and wholesome poor man's nectar, the sun-tanned product of the plebeian buckwheat. Buckwheat honey is the black sheep in this white flock, but there is spirit and character in it. It lays hold of the taste in no equivocal manner, especially when at a winter breakfast it meets its fellow, the russet buckwheat cake. Bread with honey to cover it from the same stalk is double good fortune. ...
— Birds and Bees, Sharp Eyes and, Other Papers • John Burroughs

... own anxieties I wondered who the stranger could be, and why the little house was to be an observatory. Then I remembered the vicinity of the big gaol, and thought that madame might have an interest in one of the black sheep incarcerated there. ...
— Fifty-Two Stories For Girls • Various

... do better yourself, and that's not saying much. She's a nice girl, really she is, but she is the black sheep of the ...
— The Human Drift • Jack London

... the one to Hecate, the other to Hebe, the goddess of youth, and sacrificed a black sheep, pouring libations of milk and wine. She implored Pluto and his stolen bride that they would not hasten to take the old man's life. Then she directed that AESON should be led forth, and having thrown him into a deep sleep by a charm, had him laid on a bed of herbs, ...
— TITLE • AUTHOR

... seem to matter much," she answered, with a little pout. "I said 'Baa, baa, black sheep, ...
— A Daughter of To-Day • Sara Jeannette Duncan (aka Mrs. Everard Cotes)

... helplessness and grief combined, the look of a man to whom obstacles had been nothing, at last confronted with crowning defeat. Hare realized that this son was Naab's first-born, best-loved, a thorn in his side, a black sheep. ...
— The Heritage of the Desert • Zane Grey

... mama sings Ba ba black sheep, the stars seem to shine through her voice so everything has to be still, and when she has finished singing her song goes up off the earth, higher and higher... till it is only as big as a tiny silver bird with nothing ...
— Sun-Up and Other Poems • Lola Ridge

... hold them in the hollow of our hand," said he, and both his wife and himself took pains on our own thoroughfare to cut the Honourable George dead, though I dare say the poor chap never at all noticed it. They spoke of him as "a remittance man"—the black sheep of a noble family. They mentioned sympathetically the trouble his vicious ways had been to his brother, the Earl. Indeed, so mysteriously important were they in allusions of this sort that I was obliged to caution them, lest they let out ...
— Ruggles of Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... granddaughter. Rodney Walter, Henry's agent, is making love to Judy, and she prefers him to the young and unsophisticated Bobbie Forrester, who also loves her. It is Judy's eighteenth birthday, and her relations feel that it is time to tell her about Aunt Catherine, the black sheep of the family, who is supposed to have run off with another woman's husband. It is the day of the village bazaar, and amid a lot of hustle and bustle Catherine enters—the prodigal daughter most inopportunely ...
— Why the Chimes Rang: A Play in One Act • Elizabeth Apthorp McFadden

... remembered, old, sober, and slow-minded herders of the plains that I could not help saying to myself, Why, how this man reminds me of Tio Isidoro, or of Don Pascual of the "Three Poplar Trees," or of Marcos who would always have three black sheep in a flock. And just as they reminded me of these men I had actually known, so did they bring back the older men of the Bible history—Abraham and ...
— A Shepherd's Life • W. H. Hudson

... high caps of black sheep-skin, while the Women wear high white turbans. The tents are adorned with beautiful carpets, not only the floors, but the sides, and it is the chief employment of the women to weave them. As for the men, they spend most of their time in sauntering about among the tents; ...
— Far Off • Favell Lee Mortimer

... the Faubourg St. Germain,—loyal to its black sheep as are ever the aristocracies of the old world,—Florac was now looked at askance; and in the world of the boulevards strange stories were told as to the expedients by which he now made—it could not be called earned—a living. The playing of those games ...
— The Uttermost Farthing • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... the old bachelor, as they sauntered through the Green Park, where many poor children were disporting happily, and errand-boys were playing at toss-halfpenny, and black sheep were grazing in the sunshine, and an actor was learning his part on a bench, and nursery-maids and their charges sauntered here and there, and several couples were walking in a leisurely manner; "yes, depend on it, my boy; for a poor man, ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... means; one or two courtesy lords of high descent, but burdened with numerous offspring; together with a riding-master who wrote novels, and an elderly clergyman appointed by the Bishop of Gibraltar. I dare say there may have been a few black sheep in the colony; but the picture which Mrs. Annie Edwardes gave of it in her novel, "Susan Fielding," was exaggerated, though there was truth in the incidents which she introduced into another of her works, "Ought We to Visit Her?" On the ...
— My Days of Adventure - The Fall of France, 1870-71 • Ernest Alfred Vizetelly

... extraordinary story of this kind is that of a flamen of Jupiter,—a story which many years ago I told in detail in the Classical Review. Here I may just be allowed to reproduce it in outline. In the year 209 a young C. Valerius Flaccus, the black sheep of a great family, was inaugurated against his will as Flamen Dialis by the pontifex maximus P. Licinius.[724] It was within the power of the head of the Roman religion to use such compulsion, but it must have been difficult and unusual to do so without the consent of the victim's relations. In ...
— The Religious Experience of the Roman People - From the Earliest Times to the Age of Augustus • W. Warde Fowler

... we shall not be following their example," said I. "We have a good number of black sheep on board, but still, I think, there are enough honest men to keep ...
— Old Jack • W.H.G. Kingston

... caliphs; but the noblest conquest of Khulagu could not be overlooked by his ambitious successor. The whole course of the Tigris and Euphrates, from the mouth to the sources of those rivers, was reduced to his obedience; he entered Edessa; and the Turcomans of the black sheep were chastised for the sacrilegious pillage of a caravan of Mecca. In the mountains of Georgia the native Christians still braved the law and the sword of Mahomet; by three expeditions he obtained the merit of the ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... at an auction-room are always somewhat of a family party, but, as a rule, an ugly one. It is quite different with the regular group of orchid-buyers. No black sheep there. A dispute is the rarest of events, and when it happens everybody takes for granted that the cause is a misunderstanding. The professional growers are men of wealth, the amateurs men of standing at least. All know ...
— About Orchids - A Chat • Frederick Boyle

... next time. I don't think she would have, because we made a rule, when we were poor and honest, not to bother Father if we could possibly help it. And we keep it up still. But Archibald didn't know that. Then this cousin, who is, I fear, the black sheep of the Bastables, and hardly worthy to be called one, used to pull the girls' hair, and pinch them at prayers when they could not call out or do anything ...
— New Treasure Seekers - or, The Bastable Children in Search of a Fortune • E. (Edith) Nesbit

... My father and my aunt Mary are always delicately pointing out the difference between Ralph and myself. I wish I were a good young man, like Ralph. It seems to pay best in the long-run; but I may as well inform you, Colonel Middleton, of the painful fact that I am the black sheep ...
— The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers • Mary Cholmondeley

... a girl like you can run with the black sheep of every rich family in town and make a noise like a million dollars with the horsy way she dresses, it ain't my ...
— Gaslight Sonatas • Fannie Hurst

... After the jars are ready test the rubber rings. This may seem a useless precaution, but it is a necessary one, for there is no one detail in the business of canning that is more important. Even in the best boxes of rubbers there is occasionally a black sheep, and one black sheep may cause the loss ...
— Every Step in Canning • Grace Viall Gray

... Madelon knew too well already. It would have been more to the purpose, perhaps, if she had told her she was not so very bad after all, but Soeur Lucie never thought of that; perhaps she did not care much about the child; by this time Madelon was beginning to be established as the black sheep of the little community, and Soeur Lucie only expressed the general sense; but being very good-natured, she said in a kind way what other ...
— My Little Lady • Eleanor Frances Poynter

... the rest, and Shack was invited to join them, much to the secret satisfaction of the "black sheep" of Carson, Max found that they were all opposed to his being the one to go forth. They claimed that he would be needed right along in order to continue ...
— Afloat on the Flood • Lawrence J. Leslie

... to invent a heroine for this hero. In order to make the construction compact, I made her Jack's cousin, the daughter, of Lord Vivian's younger brother, who came into being for that purpose. This brother (Murdock) was a black sheep; and his daughter, Madeleine, was adopted by Lord Vivian, because I now perceived that Lord Vivian's conscience was going to trouble him with regard to his dead wife and her possible child, and that he would make a pilgrimage ...
— Confessions and Criticisms • Julian Hawthorne

... stick, and they all signed Satan's book together,—when W. B——, aged forty, testified that Satan assembled a hundred fine blades near Salem Meeting-House, and the trumpet sounded, and bread and wine were carried round, and Satan was like a black sheep, and wished them to destroy the minister's house, (by thunder probably,) and set up his kingdom, and "then all would be well,"—when one woman summoned her three children and some neighbors and a sister and a domestic, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. September, 1863, No. LXXI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... leave the iron-works. If they refused, they were given up to the authorities. Hoeflinger was the most bitter foe of those malefactors. One day he again discovered that screws had been loosened and that some parts of the idol were even missing. In this way the black sheep among the workingmen were trying to take revenge. In the lower strata of the force there was a tendency toward disorganization. A group of secret anarchists and born marauders hoped to bring about general disorder during ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... second-hand victuals to give away, but I daresn't. You see I read the Bible sometimes, and it's the most awfully oncomfortable book that ever was written. You know what the Lord says in it—or you ought to—about what we do for the least of these his brethren; that means such as you, only you're a sort of black sheep in the family; and if words have any sense at all, the Lord takes my givin' you a dinner the same as if I gave it to him. Now s'pose the Lord came to my house, as he did to Mary and Martha's, and I should git him up a slimpsy dinner of second-hand victuals, and stand ...
— A Knight Of The Nineteenth Century • E. P. Roe

... black sheep in every fold," returned the colonel with a cold smile. "It would be unprofessional, I suppose, to name your client, ...
— The Colonel's Dream • Charles W. Chesnutt

... before, he was too weak, too delicate, too tenderly nurtured, and far, far too young for the battle of life in a public school. For even at Saint Winifred's, as there are and must be at all great schools, there were some black sheep in the flock undiscovered, and therefore ...
— St. Winifred's - The World of School • Frederic W. Farrar

... We are of different stuff. And after all, Janet and I are your only black sheep. Jock has his convictions in a strong, practical working order, as real to him as ever his drill and order-book were. Good old fellow, he strikes me a good deal more than all ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... should be made. Few novels are written in which there is nothing more than a story. Nearly all contain some teaching; and it is a safe conclusion that the authors have taught "on purpose." In "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep," Kipling has shown the imperative necessity of a "real, live, lovely mamma;" in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Irving has placed before us a charming picture of rural life in a dreamy Dutch village ...
— English: Composition and Literature • W. F. (William Franklin) Webster

... was telling me the other day of a certain "black sheep" who had run into difficulty; how his family after a great deal of trouble managed to raise L200 between them, and sent him off to America with the money to start afresh in a new country. In a month's time he was back again, penniless as ever, and cursing his luck and bad fortune. ...
— Lazy Thoughts of a Lazy Girl - Sister of that "Idle Fellow." • Jenny Wren

... all dust and bits of black hair come off it on me. I don't think it looks like a wolf. Well, if I've gotter be a wolf folks might just as well know what I am. This looks like as if it came off a black sheep or sumthin'. You don't want folks to think I'm a sheep 'stead of a wolf, do you? You don't want me to be made look ridiclus before all these folks, ...
— More William • Richmal Crompton

... have all the rest," I answered. "I am the only black sheep and they are all backsliding down on me. I am getting, and will get, the blame of it all as a ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... gold spoon and fork laid daily at his table for the sudden coming of a Divine Guest! Our personal lesson is to be tolerant of all manner of innocent enthusiasms, to hear both sides and bear with all opinions,—sometimes finding to our astonishment that black sheep may after all be whiter than they looked, and that uncharitable prejudice is but another name for ignorant folly. Before taking leave of my Mormon guest, I ought to report that he was teetotal, handsome, taciturn rather than talkative, a hunter among the Rockies, an author himself, ...
— My Life as an Author • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... as if he had been pricked by an awl; since it was not among the police that he felt called upon to separate the black sheep from ...
— The Penalty • Gouverneur Morris

... finally blurted out: "Acton, would you lend me seven pounds? I'm in a hole, the deuce of a hole; in fact, I'm pretty well hopelessly stumped. I'll tell you why if you ask me, but I hope you won't. I've been an ass, but I've collared some awful luck, and I'm not quite the black sheep I seem. I don't want to ask Phil—in fact, I couldn't, simply couldn't ask him for this. I'll pay you back beginning of next term if I can raise as much, and if not, as much as I can then, and the ...
— Acton's Feud - A Public School Story • Frederick Swainson

... moral to your finger-tips with the morality of the law and the small places. Perhaps I was tempted for that reason to give you a wrong impression of myself. But you must understand this. Though I have had my standard and lived up to it all my life, I am something of a black sheep. A man stole my wife. I did not trouble the ...
— The Evil Shepherd • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... Lionel took his way to Deerham Court, absorbed in thought. His own strong impression had been, that Mr. Fred Massingbird was the black sheep with regard ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... it," answered Scrogie, a little discountenanced—"a mere accident—no one can guard every point.—Egad, but I had like to have been baffled again, for Bulmer sent the lad Jekyl, who is not such a black sheep neither but what there are some white hairs about him, upon a treaty with Tyrrel, that my secret agent was not admitted to. Gad, but I discovered the whole—you will ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... on which a small ring glistened, sharply against the cream jug. "If I were every body's pet lamb or black sheep, I couldn't have more shepherd's crooks about me. Have you joined the laudable band, Mr. Mann, and am I requested ...
— Mae Madden • Mary Murdoch Mason

... better be weepin' fur them black sheep o' his congregation an' fur Lee-yander's short-comin's, fur ez fur ez I kin hear he air about ez black a sheep ez most pastors want ter wrestle with fur the turnin' away from thar sins. Yes'm, Sister Sudley, that's jes what p'inted out my jewty plain afore my ...
— The Moonshiners At Hoho-Hebee Falls - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... recall a minute of the time between midnight and eight a.m. in which he did not think of the young woman who had flown away with his tranquillity. All night long he tossed and thought. He counted ten thousand black sheep jumping over a pasture fence, but, after the task was done and the sheep had scattered, he was as far from sleep as ever. Her face was everywhere. Her voice filled his ear with music never-ceasing, but it was not the lulling ...
— Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... much more the frothy foolery and maudlin gossip of the empty of this empty generation. "What was it to me if the grown children of our idle community, the male babblers, and the female cutters-up of character, voted me, in their commonplace souls, the blackest of black sheep? I was still strong in the solid respect of ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, - Issue 348, December 27, 1828 • Various

... better than mine, better than anybody's in the community, I suppose, for he is the one friend of the black sheep of the camp—Flint Buckner—and the only man Flint ever talks with or allows to talk with him. He says he knows Flint's history, and that it is trouble that has made him what he is, and so one ought to be as charitable toward him as one can. Now none but a pretty large heart could find space to ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... I was born amongst the mountains. I looked after the cows, and slept in hay-cocks, and cut the trees in winter. They used to call me a 'black sheep,' a ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... inborn preference for the hedonistic view of life. Fortunately he had plenty of money, for he was a cousin of Raphael Leon on the mother's side, and the remotest twigs of the Leon genealogical tree bear apples of gold. His real name was Abrahams, which is a shade too Semitic. Sidney was the black sheep of the family; good-natured to the core and artistic to the finger-tips, he was an avowed infidel in a world where avowal is the unpardonable sin. He did not even pretend to fast on the Day of Atonement. Still Sidney Graham was ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... minutes later he was summoned into the small cabin. Propped up in the skipper's berth, Sailing-Master Ned Rackham had a pinched and ghastly look. He was a young man, with clean-cut, handsome features, and a certain refinement of manner when he cared to assume it. The rumor was that he was the black sheep of an English house of some distinction and that he had enlisted in the Royal Navy under ...
— Blackbeard: Buccaneer • Ralph D. Paine

... night school, then to a teacher by the name of Nelse Otom. I was the first nigger to join the church on this side of the Mason and Dixie line. During slavery we all joined the white folk's church set in the back. After slavery in 1866 they met in conference and motioned to turn all of the black sheep out then. There was four or five they turned out here and four or five there, so we called our preacher and I was the first one to join. Old master asked our preacher what we paid him to preach to us. We told him old shoes and ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves: Volume II, Arkansas Narratives, Part 2 • Works Projects Administration

... as the other. Margaret MacLean had wrestled with the vocabulary on memorable occasions—to no avail; and although she had long since discovered it was a matter of words and not meanings with him, it troubled her none the less. And because Michael came the nearest to being the black sheep of this sanitary fold she showed for him ...
— The Primrose Ring • Ruth Sawyer

... like an accurate estimate of the number of those who abandoned their Christian profession. The immoral conduct of one bad man is more conspicuous than the unobtrusive holiness of ninety-nine good men; more especially, when a professor becomes profane. Thus Bunyan argues, 'One black sheep is quickly espied among five hundred white ones, and one mangey one will soon infect many. One also, among the saints, that is not clean, is a blemish to the rest, and as Solomon says, 'One sinner destroyeth much good.' p. 527. It is more congenial to our fallen ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... the speech should be printed, and that it should be sent to every parish in France. That was the form in which acceptance, entire and unreserved acceptance, was expressed. Robespierre thus obtained all that he demanded for the day. The Assembly would be unable to refuse the sacrifice of its black sheep, when ...
— Lectures on the French Revolution • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... the highest bidder. Of course, such retaliation carried with it injustice; and men of high principle, like Jules Janin, resented this prejudiced condemnation of a class for no better reason than its having black sheep, which existed in every circle, trade and profession. Now, Janin had an easy task in convicting of inconsistency an accuser who, since it suited his purpose, was fain to belong to the press brotherhood. The real derogation, ...
— Balzac • Frederick Lawton

... been a black sheep,—a very black sheep indeed: one who had dyed himself certainly to a most sable hue; and though, for such prodigals, there may be a late repentance and much killing of fatted calves, still Mrs. Challoner was right in refusing to intrust herself ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... a number of French novels, Ely's Socialism, Sir Thomas More's Utopia, St. Pierre's Paul and Virginia, and a dozen other volumes; there were Balzac and Hugo, and Dante's Divine Comedy. Amid this array, like a black sheep lost among the angels, was a finger-worn and faded little volume bearing the name Camille. Something about this one book, so strangely out of place in its present company, aroused Philip's curiosity. It bore the name, too, which he had found worked in the corner of Jeanne's handkerchief. ...
— Flower of the North • James Oliver Curwood

... not many yards distant from me, "I doubt his having had a call. There wasn't life enough in it for me. I shouldn't be surprised if he's a black sheep after all. I wish I had put a question or two to him. I think I could have shown Satan in his ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 - Vol. 53, January, 1843 • Various

... alone, Gracie, the black sheep, having been sent to school at the close of the Christmas holidays, and Jeanie being confined to the house with a severe cold. Olive, having become more and more her father's constant companion, disdained shopping ...
— The Bars of Iron • Ethel May Dell

... about. There is no one to explain fully to the English people that while in England educated society keeps pretty well to itself, there are in America no hurdles—or none that a lively animal may not easily leap—to keep the black sheep away from the white, or the white from straying off anywhere among the black, so that a large part of the English people has imbibed the notion that there are really no refined or cultured ...
— The Twentieth Century American - Being a Comparative Study of the Peoples of the Two Great - Anglo-Saxon Nations • H. Perry Robinson

... son, was a black sheep. He had been mixed up in all kinds of scandals before. His own father had turned him out of doors, and he was married to a woman whose father died in prison. Could a better combination of circumstances for a newspaper be conceived? The crime was discovered too late for the morning papers ...
— The Third Degree - A Narrative of Metropolitan Life • Charles Klein and Arthur Hornblow

... to keep the village seat of learning open more than half the year, the boy educated himself at the fountain head of wisdom and knowledge the other half. His mother, who owned him for a duckling hatched from a hen's egg, and was never quite sure he would not turn out a black sheep and a crooked stick to boot, was obliged to confess that Tony had more useless information than any boy in the village. He knew just where to find the first Mayflowers, and would bring home the waxen beauties when other people ...
— A Village Stradivarius • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... it, by jing!" he exclaimed. "They'll be wantin' t' know soon's ever I get home what we done about it, an' fur once they'll suck their thumbs. Look out fur that boy, though; he's a black sheep that lives around in any flock; ain't got no home. I'll help ...
— The Wind Before the Dawn • Dell H. Munger

... on the whole. The Ida Ludingtons have been good babies, good children, good girls, good women, and, I hope, will prove to have been respectable old women. In the spirit land, when we all meet together, there will be no black sheep among us, nor even anybody that we shall need to send to Coventry: But I do not see why special affinities should not assert themselves there as here, and cliques form among us. You will belong to them all, of course, but ...
— Miss Ludington's Sister • Edward Bellamy

... less, that a dark-looking scrap, With a sort of Blackheath, and Black Forest, mayhap, Is consider'd as rather Rembrandty; And that very black cattle and very black sheep, A black dog, and a shepherd as black as a sweep, Are the pets ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... have it in my own way. You have two other daughters, mother—Violet and Lucy. Unless they change, they are exactly what you would have them. Be satisfied. Devote your energies to them and count me a black sheep. You can make me a little allowance, if you like—a hundred a year or so—but whether I have it or not, I am either going to make bows in Mademoiselle Rignaut's workshop, or I am going to be secretary to a very delightful lady—a Mrs. Christophor, ...
— The Mischief Maker • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... "Black Sheep," by Edna Hyde, is an excellent specimen of blank verse by our gifted laureate. Line 14 seems to lack a syllable, but this deficiency is probably the result ...
— Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... come out to India followed by regrets and affection. He had been a black sheep at home, and had rather been hustled away than otherwise. If he had been a more admirable kind of fellow, Walderhurst would certainly have made him an allowance; but his manner of life had been such as the Marquis had no patience with in men of any class, and especially abhorred in men ...
— Emily Fox-Seton - Being The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... very first. Hardly two years ago Peter Schermerhorn died at the age of ninety-eight. He was the black sheep of an otherwise respectable family, went off and spent his portion in riotous living, afterward bought a tract of ground above Harlem, turned hermit, raised geese and ducks and pigs, married and had three ...
— A Modern Cinderella • Amanda M. Douglas

... been a "sport" in the Barthop family; a black sheep, but clever, and a well known collector. Accidental circumstances had greatly enriched him, and as he detested his brother and successor, he had left his pictures to the nation and all of his fortune which ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... as I do that she has always looked upon me as a black sheep. But she is going to change her mind about me, and I'll bet you a fiver that before I leave Marumbah, I'm going to be 'Tommy' to her, as I was in ...
— Tom Gerrard - 1904 • Louis Becke

... appears, slowly feeling his may, the veterinarian GRUNERT. He is a small man in a coat of black sheep's fur, cap and tall boots. He taps with the handle of his whip against the door post in order to call attention ...
— The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume II • Gerhart Hauptmann

... saw you approaching, we two agreed to stand out from among the black sheep. The rest of the craft in there are one and all slavers, and if you take or destroy them they will only get their due," said the ...
— The Three Lieutenants • W.H.G. Kingston

... Bonney—pious Brother Bonney—after a long pause, as if inquiring whether all the whites members had been served, and fully assuring himself on that important point, then raised his voice to an unnatural pitch, and looking to the corner where his black sheep seemed penned, beckoned with his hand, exclaiming, "Come forward, colored friends! come forward! You, too, have an interest in the blood of Christ. God is no respecter of persons. Come forward, and take ...
— My Bondage and My Freedom • Frederick Douglass

... few paces, and turned up a lane to the left, whose finger-post directed the road 'to Tollarton.' He seemed less disconcerted than Sponge, who kept inwardly anathematizing, not only 'Obin and Ichard,' but 'Diddle, diddle, doubt'—'Bah, bah, black sheep'—the whole tribe of nursery ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... boy!' exclaimed Miss Wren, attracted by the sound of his chattering teeth, 'I wish they'd all drop down your throat and play at dice in your stomach! Boh, wicked child! Bee-baa, black sheep!' ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... who had formed the group near his berth, on his first visit to the deck. On the fourth day out, he saw one of these men talking cautiously to the second lieutenant. Following up this clew he satisfied himself that Mr. Galvinne was the black sheep in the officers' quarters. Corny came on deck that day, for the sea was comparatively smooth, and took ...
— Stand By The Union - SERIES: The Blue and the Gray—Afloat • Oliver Optic

... The moment his bad humors were over, she looked on him as reformed; and when he uttered worldliness, she persuaded herself he was but jesting. But alas! she had no adequate notion—not a shadow of one—of the selfishness of the man-child she had given to the world. This matter of the black sheep in the white flock is one of the most mysterious of the facts of ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... sheep that spoilt the chances of the fold—the black sheep with the black marks. Perhaps those great rings round her eyes were the black marks incarnate, so morbidly did the poor child grieve over her sins ...
— Ghetto Comedies • Israel Zangwill

... unanimous indignation of the whole civilized world, the English at the same time call forth amazement at their traits, instincts and aspirations which positively make them a monster in the family of cultured and civilized European nations. As the proverb says, there is no family without a black sheep. Every monstrosity, however, is to be explained—Jews come ...
— The History of a Lie - 'The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion' • Herman Bernstein

... drunk healths and so forth, which it became no man to drink or to pledge, far less one that is in point of office a servant of the public, I understand that he lost the music bells in Edinburgh, for playing "Ower the Water to Charlie," upon the tenth of June. He is a black sheep, and deserves ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... morning Aunt Fanny had a hard time of it. Her mistress was petulant; there was no sunshine in the bright August day as it appeared to her. Toward dawn, after she had counted many millions of black sheep jumping backward over a fence, she had fallen asleep. Aunt Fanny obeyed her usual instructions on this luckless morning. It was Beverly's rule to be called every morning at seven o'clock. But how was her attendant to know that the graceful young creature who had kicked the counterpane to ...
— Beverly of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... country?[38] Can the ministers of that religion professed by the vast majority of the people, have faithfully discharged their sacred obligations, if men be found, professing the religion of Christ and understanding its precepts, willing to enrol themselves as the hired bravoes of a "Black Sheep Society," and to butcher their neighbours for a petty reward? The Roman Catholic religion condemns murder as strongly as the Protestant religion; yet how happens it, that a whole community professing that faith winks at the crimes of the guilty? This total demoralization ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844 • Various

... said David, struggling to keep the wrath from his words and voice. "I know, Phares, you can't understand why everybody should not be as good as you. I wish I were—mother should have had a son like you. I'm the black sheep of ...
— Patchwork - A Story of 'The Plain People' • Anna Balmer Myers

... Miss Fanny Merton, first introduced to Brookshire by Brookshire's favorite, Diana Mallory, was constantly to be seen in the black sheep's company. They had been observed together, both in London and the country—at race-meetings and theatres; and a brawl in the Dunscombe refreshment-room, late at night, in which Birch had been involved, brought out the scandalous fact ...
— The Testing of Diana Mallory • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... that, but to find that the black sheep who got it all sailed for India within a week of my uncle's death! Lady Devine got a letter from him on the day of the funeral to say that he had taken his passage in the Hydaspes for Calcutta, and never meant ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... course had been before the all-important news had been received from Mrs Arabin. Mr Harding was very anxious. "Firstly," as he said, "for the welfare of the poor man, of whom I cannot bring myself to think ill; and then for the honour of the cloth in Barchester." "We are as liable to have black sheep here as elsewhere," the archdeacon replied. "But, my dear, I do not think that the sheep is black; and we never have had black sheep in Barchester." "Haven't we though?" said the archdeacon, thinking, however, of sheep who were black with a different kind of blackness from this which was now attributed ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... that is all until you come. But hasten, my beloved! I am already aged with this long waiting for you. Do not ask me about father. He is a good shepherd, but I am a small black sheep determined not to be made white according to his plan. And he has come to that place where he would be ready to take even you as an under-shepherd of this factious ewe lamb. Besides, could we not make a providential ...
— The Jessica Letters: An Editor's Romance • Paul Elmer More



Words linked to "Black sheep" :   sheep, scapegrace, reprobate, miscreant



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