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Bungle   Listen
Bungle

noun
1.
An embarrassing mistake.  Synonyms: bloomer, blooper, blunder, boner, boo-boo, botch, flub, foul-up, fuckup, pratfall.



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"Bungle" Quotes from Famous Books



... bring down the river in the night. Vauquelin was a patriot hero, who had done well at Louisbourg the year before, and who was to do well at Quebec the year after. But, of course, he was not a member of the Bigot gang. So he was set aside in favour of a parasite, who made a hopeless bungle ...
— The Passing of New France - A Chronicle of Montcalm • William Wood

... happens to me to-night, Lang, keep all this business to yourself until my son comes home. Tell him. No one else. We want to get to the bottom of this thing ourselves without any one else butting in to bungle ...
— El Diablo • Brayton Norton

... their side and enjoy the backing of the bourgeois establishment, its organizations and its facilities. Since their object is defense, they have no constructive program. Instead they stumble, fumble and bungle as their system flounders into one disastrous crisis ...
— Civilization and Beyond - Learning From History • Scott Nearing

... a rock and watched Casey distractedly bungle his cooking. She must have had a great deal of initiative for a squaw, for she plunged straight into the subject which most nearly concerned Casey, and she was frank to the point of appalling him with her bluntness. Casey is a rather case-hardened bachelor, ...
— Casey Ryan • B. M. Bower

... without a footstool." Amilcare was to have been the footstool. But then Molly came into play. At first she seemed to make the simple thing simpler. Amilcare was a strong man, but stiff. Grifone was sure he would bungle in his handling of Molly; this truth-telling beauty, this flawless jewel in a cup, would baffle him; he would neither see it the fine nor the delicate tool it was. He worked best with a bludgeon which, as it did brute's work, might be brutishly handled. ...
— Little Novels of Italy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... tongue. She said: "Now I'M going to say something! After professing to snub Mr. Farmerson, you permit him to snub YOU, in my presence, and then accept his invitation to take a glass of champagne with you, and you don't limit yourself to one glass. You then offer this vulgar man, who made a bungle of repairing our scraper, a seat in our cab on the way home. I say nothing about his tearing my dress in getting in the cab, nor of treading on Mrs. James's expensive fan, which you knocked out of my hand, and for which he never even apologised; but you smoked all the way home without having the ...
— The Diary of a Nobody • George Grossmith and Weedon Grossmith

... understand each other, lest we bungle. As the plan was mine, I take the choice of parts. There is a stain upon my conscience, M'sieu." McElroy spoke simply from his heart, as was his wont. "Throughout this long journey it has lain heavy. ...
— The Maid of the Whispering Hills • Vingie E. Roe

... that box hides some great mystery of science. We shall find that the light will open it in some way: either by striking on some substance, sensitive in a peculiar way to its effect, or in releasing some greater power. I only trust that in our ignorance we may not so bungle things as to do harm to its mechanism; and so deprive the knowledge of our time of a lesson handed down, as by a miracle, through ...
— The Jewel of Seven Stars • Bram Stoker

... his German friends will let him forget it. They will find it hard to forgive a bungle that leaves a first-class munition factory absolutely undamaged in the hands of their enemies. I don't envy Schenk his job of persuading them that ...
— Two Daring Young Patriots - or, Outwitting the Huns • W. P. Shervill

... gaucherie [Fr.], act of folly, balourdise^; botch, botchery^; bad job, sad work. sprat sent out to catch a whale, much ado about nothing, wild- goose chase. bungler &c 701; fool &c 501. V. be unskillful &c adj.; not see an inch beyond one's nose; blunder, bungle, boggle, fumble, botch, bitch, flounder, stumble, trip; hobble &c 275; put one's foot in it; make a mess of, make hash of, make sad work of; overshoot the mark. play tricks with, play Puck, mismanage, misconduct, misdirect, misapply, missend. ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... can predict just what another person will do. However, I feel sure you can trust O'Connel. I never knew him to bungle anything yet." ...
— Walter and the Wireless • Sara Ware Bassett

... the past week had so managed to bungle the slinging in of a small torpedo-boat on the "Vortigern", that the boat had broken the crutches in which she rested, and was herself being repaired in the dockyard under ...
— This is "Part II" of Soldiers Three, we don't have "Part I" • Rudyard Kipling

... that hypothesis at all; it's all very well to talk of facing the worst; but in a case of this kind a man's first duty is to his own nerve. Is there any answer to No. 3? Is there any possible good side to such a beastly bungle? There must be, of course, or where would be the use of this double-entry business? And—by George, I have it!' he exclaimed; 'it's exactly the same as the last!' And he hastily ...
— The Wrong Box • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... boulevards and about Paris. Indeed, I have just seen a drunken couple full of wine and friendship, strongly reminding one of a duel ending in a jolly breakfast. And who is to blame for this? Nobody knows. All agree that it is a bungle,—the fault of maladministration and want of tact. Certainly the National Guards at Montmartre had no right to hold the cannons belonging to the National Guards, as a body, or to menace the reviving trade ...
— Paris under the Commune • John Leighton

... scarce knew what was happening—only made out that she distinguished the right one, the one that should have been shown him, as blue or green or purple, and intimated that her other friend, her fellow-Olympian, as Berridge had thought of him from the first, really did too clumsily bungle matters, poor dear, with his officiousness over the red one! She went on really as if she had come for that, some such rectification, some such eagerness of reunion with dear Mr. Berridge, some talk, after all the tiresome music, of questions really urgent; while, thanks to the supreme ...
— The Finer Grain • Henry James

... I turned the garment That no rent should be left behind, My eye caught an odd little bungle Of mending ...
— Separation and Service - or Thoughts on Numbers VI, VII. • James Hudson Taylor

... and speedily too, or the resultant mischief cannot be undone. I appeal to you because you are a woman, and we men are prone to bungle ...
— A Son of the Immortals • Louis Tracy

... Lord! Truly, sir, if it comes to that, I must calculate over again; I think I didn't carry a small figure, sir. Look ye, pudding-heads should never grant premises. —How long before this leg is done? Perhaps an hour, sir. Bungle away at it then, and bring it to me (turns to go). Oh, Life! Here I am, proud as Greek god, and yet standing debtor to this blockhead for a bone to stand on! Cursed be that mortal inter-indebtedness which will not do away with ledgers. I would be free as air; and ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... "There's been a bungle, and the sooner we are rid of it the better. There's a boat at ...
— At the Villa Rose • A. E. W. Mason

... What makes you so white and queer?" his mother asked, trying to pull on her stockings, and in her trepidation jamming her toes into the heel, and drawing her shoe over the bungle thus made at the bottom of ...
— Ethelyn's Mistake • Mary Jane Holmes

... will not make a bungle of things," the Colonel said; "I wonder who has started them upon the war-path?" Then going to the door ...
— Annette, The Metis Spy • Joseph Edmund Collins

... he said firmly, "we're going to move. I'll have enough to buy a young bungle-house up on the hill, even if I don't get anything from Archer. And then I'm going to make up to you for ...
— Rope • Holworthy Hall

... mother that's Lady Gloster still — I'm going to up and see her, without it's hurting the will. Here! Take your hand off the bell-pull. Five thousand's waiting for you, If you'll only listen a minute, and do as I bid you do. They'll try to prove me crazy, and, if you bungle, they can; And I've only you to trust to! (O God, why ain't he a man?) There's some waste money on marbles, the same as M'Cullough tried — Marbles and mausoleums — but I call that sinful pride. There's ...
— Verses 1889-1896 • Rudyard Kipling

... resolution by the language employed by MR. ARROWSMITH in No. 189., where, with little modesty, and less courtesy, he styles the commentators on Shakspeare—naming in particular, KNIGHT, COLLIER, and DYCE, and including SINGER and all of the present day—criticasters who "stumble and bungle in sentences of that simplicity and grammatical clearness as not to tax the powers of a third-form schoolboy to explain." In order to bring me "within his danger," he actually transposes two lines ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 191, June 25, 1853 • Various

... directly Rhetta Thayer's anxious, expectant, appealing brown eyes. "For if he should fail, bungle it, and have to throw down his hand before he'd won the game, it would be Katy-bar-the-door for that man. He'd have to know how far the people of this town wanted him to go before starting, and there's only one boundary—the limit of the ...
— Trail's End • George W. Ogden

... was almost his usual self as he rose and came towards Caffyn; his hand, however, still trembled a little, causing him to bungle in replacing the letter and drop the envelope, which the other obligingly picked up ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... undisturbed of those who are decayed and petrified. I do not know if I make my meaning clear. As our habit, we ignore or minimize all sex difficulties as much as we can; we hesitate and compromise and bungle over every reform because we are afraid of what may happen if we probe down to the real bottom of what needs to be done. We have neither the courage of our bodies or of our souls. This is why so ...
— Women's Wild Oats - Essays on the Re-fixing of Moral Standards • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... the matter, until it is all familiar to her. So of any other ordinary business. Yet when it comes to teaching, anything like definite study or observation of the mode of doing it, is almost unknown! It is really no exaggeration to say that many teachers bungle in their work as egregiously as would a woman who should put yarn into a churn, and expect, after a proper amount of churning, ...
— In the School-Room - Chapters in the Philosophy of Education • John S. Hart

... remains, you see; the evil is as great as ever, greater, indeed. But this is not all. Look at the warp which the plate has got near the opposite edge. Where it was flat before it is now curved. A pretty bungle we have made of it! Instead of curing the original defect, we have produced a second. Had we asked an artisan practised in 'planishing,' as it is called, he would have told us that no good was to be done, but only mischief, by hitting down on the projecting part. He would have taught us how ...
— The Power of Womanhood, or Mothers and Sons - A Book For Parents, And Those In Loco Parentis • Ellice Hopkins

... had used the blue kerchief at her neck for a tourniquet and had checked the hemorrhage, he was still patiently awaiting a better opportunity to employ his knife. It would not do to bungle the affair. And he thought he knew how it could be properly done—if he could get her head in the crook ...
— Barbarians • Robert W. Chambers

... anyone as yet?" remarked the inspector, with an air of dissatisfaction. In criminal mysteries the police often bungle from the outset, and to me it appeared as though, having no clue, they were bent ...
— The Seven Secrets • William Le Queux

... I'm not yet quite ready to spring my trap," she replied. "When the time comes, I must have assistance, but I want to get all my evidence shipshape before I call on the Secret Service to make the capture. I can't afford to bungle so important a thing, you know, and this ten dollar bill, so carelessly given the storekeeper, is going to put one powerful bit of evidence in my hands. That was a bad slip on old Cragg's part, for he has been very cautious in covering his tracks, until now. But I surmise that Mary Louise's pleading ...
— Mary Louise in the Country • L. Frank Baum (AKA Edith Van Dyne)

... said seriously, "Yes; he must go away. And I don't envy you having to tell him. I suppose you will bungle it, of course." ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... his first sight of hero and room simultaneously. The room must, as it were, be an anteroom, anon converted into a presence-chamber by the hero's entry. And let not the hero be in any fear that he will bungle his entry. He has but to make it. The effect is automatic. He will stand out by merely coming in. I would but suggest that he must not, be he never so hale and hearty, bounce in. The young man must not be startled. If the mountain had come to Mahomet, ...
— And Even Now - Essays • Max Beerbohm

... time for it," the president explained. "When the society was instituted, we took a few of them, but merely to get our hands in. We didn't want to bungle good cases, you see, and it did not matter so ...
— Better Dead • J. M. Barrie

... given a man clear-eyed enough to see that a woman by ordinary is nourished much as he is nourished, and is subjected to every bodily infirmity which he endures and frets beneath, I do not often bungle matters. But when a fool begins to flounder about the world, dead-drunk with adoration of an immaculate woman—a monster which, as even the man's own judgment assures him, does not exist and never will exist—why, he becomes as unmanageable as any other maniac when ...
— Domnei • James Branch Cabell et al

... This amusing bungle of the French brother fairly represents my condition during the past few weeks. I have not been altogether sure that I was even "somewheres." Preaching one Sunday in Dover, N.H., the next in Talladega, Ala., the next at Santee Agency, Neb., the ...
— The American Missionary, Vol. 43, No. 9, September, 1889 • Various

... didn't bungle," said the older man. "I never witnessed a finer—ahem! In fact, we all agree on that. My boy, you have a great future before you. You are ...
— From the Housetops • George Barr McCutcheon

... cal'late. And then Bos'n turns up right in your own town, right acrost the road from you! By the big dipper! it's enough to make a feller believe that the Almighty does take a hand in straightenin' out such things, when us humans bungle 'em—it is so! ...
— Cy Whittaker's Place • Joseph C. Lincoln

... Gloster still. I'm going to up and see her, without it's hurting the will. Here! Take your hand off the bell-pull. Five thousand's waiting for you, If you'll only listen a minute, and do as I bid you do. They'll try to prove me a loony, and, if you bungle, they can; And I've only you to trust to! (O God, why ain't he a man?) There's some waste money on marbles, the same as McCullough tried— Marbles and mausoleums—but I call that sinful pride. There's some ship bodies for burial—we've carried 'em, soldered ...
— The Seven Seas • Rudyard Kipling

... condition of all reasoning; and in some cases not even a security. Our most familiar inferences are all made before we learn the use of general propositions; and a person of untutored sagacity will skillfully apply his acquired experience to adjacent cases, though he would bungle grievously in fixing the limits of the appropriate general theorem. But though he may conclude rightly, he never, properly speaking, knows whether he has done so or not; he has not tested his reasoning. Now, this is precisely what forms of reasoning do for us. We do not ...
— A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive • John Stuart Mill

... that period London revolved in its usual course, reproducing its annual number of events—its births, deaths, and marriages; its plans, plots, and pleasures; its business, bustle, and bungle; its successes, sentiments, and sensations; its facts, fancies, and failures—also its fires; which last had increased steadily, until they reached the imposing number of about ...
— Fighting the Flames • R.M. Ballantyne

... knots, by which I can measure the exact places in which the tent-pegs should be struck, for the eye is a deceitful guide in estimating squareness. (See "Squaring.") It is wonderful how men will bungle with a tent, when they are not properly ...
— The Art of Travel - Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries • Francis Galton

... the very edge of the ledge; went down with a cat-jump and landed with all four feet planted close together. He had no mind to go on sliding in spite of himself, and the bluff was certainly steep enough to excuse a bungle. ...
— The Ranch at the Wolverine • B. M. Bower

... manner in which some of the underlings on the stage went through the little they had to say and do: there seemed no reason why the "sticks" should be so provokingly sticky; and it surprised me that a man who could accost one fluently enough at the stage door, should make such a bungle as some of them did in a message of some half dozen words "in character." But when I first became initiated into the mysteries of amateur performances, and saw how entirely destitute some men were of any notion of natural acting, and how they made a point ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 54, No. 338, December 1843 • Various

... heart to refuse it, the poor drunken wretch having a wife and ten children; he withdraws the job from sober, plainly competent, and meritorious Mr. Sparrowbill, generally short of work too; discourages Sparrowbill; teaches him that he too may as well drink and loiter and bungle; that this is not a scene for merit and demerit at all, but for dupery, and whining flattery, and incompetent cobbling of every description;—clearly tending to the ruin of poor Sparrowbill! What harm had Sparrowbill done ...
— Latter-Day Pamphlets • Thomas Carlyle

... lover could be expected to like. You must introduce me to Douglas Dale as your cousin, and by the name of Carton. It is sufficiently like my real name to prevent the servants knowing my name is changed, since they always bungle over the 'Carrington.' As Victor Carrington, Dale might refuse to know me, and certainly would not form any intimacy with me, and that he should form an intimacy with me ...
— Run to Earth - A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... their patients, because they are not willing to take time for thorough preparation. Half-trained lawyers stumble through their cases, and make their clients pay for experience which the law school should have given. Half-trained clergymen bungle away in the pulpit, and disgust their intelligent and cultured parishioners. Many an American youth is willing to stumble through life half prepared for his work, and then blame society because he is ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... sluggish ass, or bullock slow; These mounted on the croup of centaur sit: Those perched on eagle, crane, or estridge, go. Some male, some female, some hermaphrodit, These drain the cup and those the bungle blow. One bore a corded ladder, one a book; One a dull file, ...
— Orlando Furioso • Lodovico Ariosto

... Marmont, impatient at the delay of his two brigades of infantry (which by some bungle in the starting did not reach the foot of the mountain before daylight), had pushed his horsemen up the hill and managed to cut off and silence the outposts without their firing a shot. Encouraged by this he pressed on to the very gates of the town, and had actually entered the ...
— The Laird's Luck • Arthur Quiller-Couch

... see what's the matter with me to-day," he said under his breath. "This is the first time I ever tried to mock anybody and made such a bungle of it.... Perhaps I'm trying to sing too fast," he added. "So I'll sing slower ...
— The Tale of Bobby Bobolink - Tuck-me-In Tales • Arthur Scott Bailey

... lest Nature bungle, That in certain ways she errs: The cobra in the jungle, The crotalus in the sod, Evil and good are hers;— Murderers and torturers! Ye, too, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 96, October 1865 • Various

... treason, and on murther: And whatsoeuer cunning fiend it was That wrought vpon thee so preposterously, Hath got the voyce in hell for excellence: And other diuels that suggest by treasons, Do botch and bungle vp damnation, With patches, colours, and with formes being fetcht From glist'ring semblances of piety: But he that temper'd thee, bad thee stand vp, Gaue thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason, Vnlesse to dub thee with the name of Traitor. If that same ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... of the flesh of citizens, and they never appear in society. The diplomatic impolitely dub them fools. Be they that or no, they augment the number of those mediocrities beneath the yoke of which France is bowed down. They are always there, always ready to bungle public or private concerns with the dull trowel of their mediocrity, bragging of their impotence, which they count for conduct and integrity. This sort of social prizemen infests the administration, the army, the magistracy, the chambers, the courts. They diminish and level ...
— The Girl with the Golden Eyes • Honore de Balzac

... laughing; while the others who were looking on expected to see me bungle as the rest had been doing. My friends collected round me and prepared to help me up. I did not undeceive them, but suddenly jumping on one side I ...
— Charley Laurel - A Story of Adventure by Sea and Land • W. H. G. Kingston

... willing," I said, before I had a chance to bungle it worse, "quite willing to exchange information on your people for the same about my own. However, I doubt that your people will find this planet congenial to an invader who ignores the natives ...
— Valley of the Croen • Lee Tarbell

... cried, "What do you call this? What work is this, Frederick? Has a journeyman been preparing these staves for his 'mastership,' or a stupid apprentice who only put his nose into the workshop three days ago? Pull yourself together, lad: what devil has entered into you that you are making a bungle of things like this? My good oak wood,—and this your masterpiece! Oh! you awkward, imprudent boy!" Overmastered by the torture and agony which raged within him, Frederick was unable to contain himself any ...
— Weird Tales, Vol. II. • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... missed a trail that was to have cut the distance greatly. Billy clung breathlessly to his cramped position and waited. He hoped they wouldn't get out and try to find the way, for then some of them might see him, and he was so stiff he was sure he would bungle getting out of the way. But after a breathless moment the car started on more slowly, and finally turned down a steep rough place, scarcely a trail, into the deeper woods. For a long time they went along, slower and slower, into the blackness of night it seemed. There was no ...
— The City of Fire • Grace Livingston Hill

... what would the world be without us women?" thought Janice—and gave up all idea of running away and leaving Frank to bungle the situation. ...
— How Janice Day Won • Helen Beecher Long

... displeased, that she might refuse to admit there was anything wrong and forbid him to refer to the matter again or even send him away altogether. And he felt he was not strong enough to risk that. No, he must know where he stood first. He must understand his position, so as not to bungle the thing. Hilliard was right. They must find out what the syndicate was doing. ...
— The Pit Prop Syndicate • Freeman Wills Crofts

... fingering his wineglass. "I have always looked upon Oscar Fischer as a brilliant and far-seeing man. He was one of those who set themselves deliberately to win America for the Germans. A more idiotic bungle than he has made of things I could scarcely conceive. He has reproduced the diplomatic methods which have made Germany unpopular throughout the world. He has tried bullying, cajolery, and false-hood, and last of all he has plunged into crime. No German-American ...
— The Pawns Count • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... one of his "filmy" seizures, was "in a frightful sort of dream," and bungled the murder: made an incomplete job of it. Half-strangled men and women have often recovered. In Jasper's opium vision and reminiscence there was no resistance, all was very soon over. Jasper might even bungle the locking of the door of the vault. He was apt to have a seizure after opium, in moments of excitement, and HE HAD BEEN AT THE OPIUM DEN THROUGH THE NIGHT OF DECEMBER 23, for the hag tracked him from her house in town to Cloisterham on ...
— The Puzzle of Dickens's Last Plot • Andrew Lang

... began to put his plan into execution. He set himself conscientiously to hit the notes awry, or to bungle every touch. Melchior cried out, then roared, and blows began to rain. He had a heavy ruler. At every false note he struck the boy's fingers, and at the same time shouted in his ears, so that he was like to deafen him. Jean-Christophe's face twitched ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... "They may bungle through with a few bearings for a while," said Mr. Reisinger, "but they won't last long. It stands to reason that a woman can't do man's work and ...
— Mary Minds Her Business • George Weston

... green he's after. I wonder who told him about the two thousand." He scratched his head in sudden perplexity. "I wonder what's got into Dick Cronk. He's too blamed good, all of a sudden. That brother of his might try the job, but—no, he'd bungle it. Besides, he'd probably stick a knife into Davy if the kid made a motion." He began chewing a fresh cigar; his pop-eyes were leveled with unseeing fierceness at a certain patch in the "main top"; his brain was seeing nothing but that packet of banknotes. How to get it into ...
— The Rose in the Ring • George Barr McCutcheon

... privilege justly. Constantly he rode his district on the business of his beloved Forest. His beautiful sorrel, Star, with his silver-mounted caparisons, was a familiar figure on all the trails. When a man wanted his first Special Privilege, he wrote the Supervisor. The affair was quite apt to bungle. Then California John saw that man personally. After that there was no more trouble. The countryside dug up the rest of California John's name, and conferred on him the dignity of it. John had heard it scarcely at all for over thirty years. Now he rather liked ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White



Words linked to "Bungle" :   trip-up, mistake, bull, do, gaucherie, gaffe, trip, behave, faux pas, go wrong, act, howler, slip, snafu, miscarry, bollix, clanger, solecism, flub, blooper, misstep, fail, spectacle, error, louse up, fault, stumble, blunder



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