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Cant   /kænt/   Listen
Cant

verb
(past & past part. canted; pres. part. canting)
1.
Heel over.  Synonyms: cant over, pitch, slant, tilt.  "The ceiling is slanting"



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"Cant" Quotes from Famous Books



... Fish may be free from taint in this regard; but many historians of to-day are, I fear, imbued with that most dangerous tincture of historical cant which lays it down as a maxim that contemporary ...
— Shandygaff • Christopher Morley

... current operates the sluggish press-magnet, causing its armature to be attracted, thus lifting the platen and its projecting arm. As the arm lifts upward, the pin moves along the under side of the lower arm of the rocking-lever, thus causing it to cant and shift the type-wheels to the right or left, as desired. The principles of operation of this apparatus have been confined to a very brief and general description, but it is believed to be sufficient for the scope ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... other animal or vegetable beings, either in their mature or their embryon state. Unless the fruits, which surround the seeds of some vegetables, or the honey stolen from them by the bee, may be said to be an exception to this assertion. See Botanic Garden, P. I. Cant. I. l. 278. Note. Hence, from the necessity of our nature, we may be supposed to have a right to kill those creatures, which we want to eat, or which want to eat us. But to destroy even insects wantonly shews an unreflecting ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. II - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... her hare, I meen my dollys hare I gess she thort it waz 1 of her kittns. Tabbys got tu kittns. They has not got thay ize open yet, so I tryd tu pick um opn, but arnt Prudence sed that wood be cruil. If thay cant git thay ize opn thayselfs why aint I good tu pick um ...
— Randy and Her Friends • Amy Brooks

... hands, Religion plead her stronger bands; Bid parents, children, wife, and friends, If they come 'thwart his private ends— Unmoved he hears the general call, And bravely tramples on them all. Who will, for him, may cant and whine, And let weak Conscience with her line Chalk out their ways; such starving rules Are only fit for coward fools; 340 Fellows who credit what priests tell, And tremble at the thoughts of Hell; His spirit dares contend with Grace, And meets Damnation face to face. Such ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... and certain other writings of his, should be something more than a fair Spanish scholar, and a good master of the language into which he would render them, as they abound not only with idiomatic phrases, but terms of cant or Germania, which are as unintelligible as Greek or Arabic to the greater part of ...
— The Sleeping Bard - or, Visions of the World, Death, and Hell • Ellis Wynne

... belly ought to swear its life against your back, for you are killing the one to cover the other." I blushed, but still could not help laughing. "You are mistaken Whiteley," said the other, "there is not a man in your company eats better than John." "Where does he get it?" said W. "he cant have above half a guinea a week for his salary, and the clothes now on his back must cost at least twenty half guineas, or perhaps half a year's pay." "Go on Whiteley," said the other, "discharge all your Irish nonsense upon his ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 5, May 1810 • Various

... to say something on the "condition-of-women" question, but it is one on which so much cant has been talked, that one feels a sort of reluctance to approach it. I have always been accustomed to think that the necessity of earning one's living is not, in itself, an evil; though I feel it may become a heavy evil if health fails, if employment lacks, if the demand upon our efforts, ...
— Stories of Authors, British and American • Edwin Watts Chubb

... almost indecent to talk of literature as a fine art. They have the same distaste for the word "art" as others have for the name of God. It has indeed been misused in certain aesthetic circles and discussed almost unctuously, so that it is often associated with long hair and cant, and seems nonsensical if not disreputable to plain and honest men. I remember an Oxford don, chiefly noted for his cricket and his knowledge of Homer, and in later life for his dyspepsia, abusing a distinguished Austrian critic who visited the ...
— Personality in Literature • Rolfe Arnold Scott-James

... notice that this refusal may be, and often in fact is, accompanied with lip recognition of the preciousness of the neglected things. That Pharisee who put up the pillow of his pious sentiment—a piece of cant, because he did not feel what he was saying—to deaden the cannon-ball of Christ's word, is only a pattern of a good many of us who think that to say, 'Blessed is he that eateth bread in the Kingdom of God,' with the proper unctuous ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... the Bible has authority with the people; otherwise they would never trouble themselves about so troublesome a book.' I cannot suspect you of such hypocrisy; but I must confess I regard your language as cant. As I listen to you I seem to see a hybrid between Prynne and Voltaire. So far from its being true that you have renounced the 'letter' of the Bible and retained its 'spirit,' I think it would be much more correct to say, comparing your infidel ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... was always a great frolic and brought the people from far and near to lend a helping hand in building the new house. In handling logs, lumbermen have tools made for that purpose—cant-hooks, peevy irons, lannigans, and numerous other implements with names as peculiar as their looks—but the old backwoodsmen and pioneers who lived in log houses owned no tools but their tomahawks, ...
— Shelters, Shacks and Shanties • D.C. Beard

... very religious fellow, though he does not "cant" at all. When I was going away to Dartmouth, and he saw me off (for we were great friends), one of the last things he said to me was, "I say, don't leave off saying your prayers, ...
— A Great Emergency and Other Tales - A Great Emergency; A Very Ill-Tempered Family; Our Field; Madam Liberality • Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing

... that "the fiscal party in Alexandria was an overmatch for those who wished to testify the American sentiment." Indeed, he thinks it certain, he says in the same letter, "that Genet will be misled if he takes either the fashionable cant of the cities or the cold caution of the government for the sense of the public,"—falling himself, before he reaches the end of the sentence, into the cant of assuming neutrality in the government to be only a "mask" behind which to hide its "secret Anglomany." ...
— James Madison • Sydney Howard Gay

... with his hand. "I cannot forget my father's account of the times when Red-nosed Noll ruled the roost, and that arch-traitor Hutchinson held the castle, and insulted all the Cavaliers in the town and neighbourhood by his preaching, and his cant, and his strict rules and regulations; and now, forsooth, every man and woman in the place thinks fit to stand up for the usurper William, and not an expression of sympathy do I hear for the cruel fate of our ...
— John Deane of Nottingham - Historic Adventures by Land and Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... right to the actors, but of its age or derivation nothing can be ascertained, Modern lexicography of the best repute does not acknowledge it, and for a long time it remained unnoticed, even by the compilers of glossaries of strange and cant terms. Thus, it is not to be found in "Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," published in 1796. This is a coarse, but certainly a comprehensive work, and from its omitting to register "gag," we may assume that the word had ...
— A Book of the Play - Studies and Illustrations of Histrionic Story, Life, and Character • Dutton Cook

... wife, spouse, my dear, joy, jewel, love, sweet-heart, and the rest of that nauseous cant, in which men and their wives are so fulsomely familiar—I shall never bear that. Good Mirabell, don't let us be familiar or fond, nor kiss before folks, like my Lady Fadler and Sir Francis; nor go to Hyde Park together ...
— The Way of the World • William Congreve

... sympathizes by inspiration with his kind. He has a key to every heart. He can divine, in the flash of a single thought, all that they require, all that they wish. Such a man speaks to their very core. All feel that a master hand tears off the veil of cant, with which, from necessity, they have enveloped their souls; for cant is nothing more than the sophistry which results from attempting to account for what is unintelligible, or ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4 • Charles Dudley Warner

... Scottish Gipsy shavies, or shavers, leaves us but little room for doubt. I am not aware to what extent the term "little shavers" is applied to children in England, but in America it is as common as any cant word can be. ...
— The English Gipsies and Their Language • Charles G. Leland

... raising a revenue, the principle of which has, in effect, been disclaimed in your name, and which produces you no advantage,—no, not a penny. Or, if you choose to go on with a poor pretence instead of a solid reason, and will still adhere to your cant of commerce, you have ten thousand times more strong commercial reasons for giving up this duty on tea than for abandoning the five others that you ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... this morning we found it was blowing a bliz. so it was almost a case of having to remain in camp, but on second thoughts we thought it best to kick off as we cant afford to lay up on account of food, so thought it best to push on. I wonder if the Pole Party have experienced this. If so they could not travel as it would be in their face, where we have got it at our back. We have lost the outward bound track, so have ...
— The Worst Journey in the World, Volumes 1 and 2 - Antarctic 1910-1913 • Apsley Cherry-Garrard

... scene is strictly historical. The army knew in what manner the emperor had rewarded Marshal Lefebvre, and it became a cant-phrase for soldiers who wished to borrow money of their comrades: "Have ...
— Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia • L. Muhlbach

... fourth in Blackwood, and so the new work is well introduced. Both Tennyson and Thackeray, it is said, got well taken notice of in this way by their comrades. But there was no plan at the bottom of it—nothing to constitute them a name. The Apostles were always inveighing against cant—always affecting much earnestness, and a hearty dislike of formalism, which rendered them far from popular with the high and dry in literature, politics, or religion. They were eyed with terror by the conservatives as something foreign—German, radical, ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 440 - Volume 17, New Series, June 5, 1852 • Various

... released their holds and the aeroplane lurched forward just clear of the bulwarks. Margaret Bunce clutched the rail nervously. One or two of the men had been somewhat slow in letting go, causing the aeroplane to cant over in a manner that was alarming to the onlookers. But long practice with the aeroplane in all kinds of gusty weather had developed in Smith an instinct for the right means of meeting an emergency of this nature. Like ...
— Round the World in Seven Days • Herbert Strang

... theories; these numerous theories, each of which may have a strong influence for a season, only to be overthrown and replaced by others.[2] It must be acknowledged that educational literature, as such, is not of a high order. It has its cant like religious literature. Many of its faults, however, are the result of honest effort, on the part of teachers, to remedy existing defects, and the authors are, therefore, not harshly to be blamed. It is also to be remembered that the habit of giving reproof and advice is ...
— Pedagogics as a System • Karl Rosenkranz

... like a chicken or squall like a cat, and because with his charming strains he does not mingle all sorts of discords and incongruous sounds—for assigning to the Robin the highest rank as a singing-bird. Let them say of him, in the cant of modern criticism, that his performances cannot be great, because they are faultless; it is enough for me, that his mellow notes, heard at the earliest flush of morning, in the more busy hour of noon, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 12, October, 1858 • Various

... contented, by a trifling improvement of outward appearance, I cannot help thinking that the object is very cheaply purchased, even at the expense of a smart gown, or a gaudy riband. There is a great deal of very unnecessary cant about the over- dressing of the common people. There is not a manufacturer or tradesman in existence, who would not employ a man who takes a reasonable degree of pride in the appearance of himself and those about him, in preference to a sullen, slovenly fellow, who works doggedly on, regardless ...
— Sunday Under Three Heads • Charles Dickens

... ceremonials of their station; whilst the insignificant fluttering of soldiers may be termed active idleness. More confined to the society of men, the former acquire a fondness for humour and mischievous tricks; whilst the latter, mixing frequently with well-bred women, catch a sentimental cant. But mind is equally out of the question, whether they indulge the horse-laugh or ...
— A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - Title: Vindication of the Rights of Women • Mary Wollstonecraft [Godwin]

... Scandal; when the hells yawn for their prey, and opera-singers and fiddlers—creatures hatched from gold, as the dung-flies from the dung-swarm, and buzz, and fatten, round the hide of the gentle Public In the cant phase, it was "the London season." And happy, take it altogether, happy above the rest of the year, even for the hapless, is that period of ferment and fever. It is not the season for duns, and the debtor glides about with a less anxious eye; and the weather is ...
— Night and Morning, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... is all a variorum, We regard not how it goes; Let them cant about decorum Who have characters to lose. A ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... field. They do not grumble, perhaps, so much as the British "full private;" indeed they have little cause, for the commissariat arrangements, even in remote departments, are admirable, and the Union grudges no comfort, or even luxury, to her armies. But they become "demoralized" (the word is a cant one now) surprisingly fast, and recover from such, depression very, very slowly. When the moment for action arrives, such men get fresh heart in the first excitement, but they lack stability, and if any sudden check ensues, involving ...
— Border and Bastille • George A. Lawrence

... children they had certainly done this; they had implanted in their minds a deep and strong feeling that one of the things to be most desired in life is honesty; clean, frank, wholesome honesty, free from cant and hypocrisy and double dealing. And Walter knew in his heart that what he was going to do was not honest to Bauer, even after he had juggled with his conscience and proved to himself that Bauer had no real rights in the matter. He knew perfectly well that ...
— The High Calling • Charles M. Sheldon

... northern people, by whose sacrifices in the Union cause the war was brought to a successful termination. It will not be submitted to, and Governor Hoadley, from his former position, ought to be one of the first to demand and insist upon a remedy, and not seek to avoid or belittle it by cant phrases." ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... cant, ere we were born, For feasts of death, and hatred's harvest wain Piled high, for princes from proud mothers torn, And soft despairs hushed in ...
— Ionica • William Cory (AKA William Johnson)

... rich, graphic, natural, and original pages. We have often heard fault found with them by the artificial, as fault is always found with things fresh and natural; but for ourselves we would not willingly lose a single line she has ever written. No affectation, no cant, no sickly feeling, no weakness, no inflation, no appealing for petty sympathy, no writing for the sake of seeming fine, does she ever indulge in. She coins words at will, for she writes from her heart and is no purist; but we feel them to ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 5, November, 1863 • Various

... one evening a fortnight later, Festing threw down the cant-pole he had been using to move a big birch log, and lighting his pipe, stopped and looked about. A shallow creek flowed through a ravine at the edge of the tall wheat, and below the spot where he stood its channel was spanned by the stringers of an unfinished bridge. The creek had shrunk ...
— The Girl From Keller's - Sadie's Conquest • Harold Bindloss

... of the London Times Mr. Davis denounces as 'a foreigner's slander against the government, the judiciary, and people of Mississippi;' 'very well for the high Tory paper as an attack upon our republican government;' as 'untrue;' 'the hypocritical cant of stockjobbers and pensioned presses' 'reckless of reputation;' 'hired advocates of the innocent stock dealers of London 'Change;' 'a calumnious imputation.' These are pleasant epithets which Mr. Jefferson Davis applied to the London Times and the London 'Change. But Mr. Jefferson Davis was ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 2, August, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... Tacitus as an able but dissolute man, who under a better system might have been a good speaker. A writer of some mark was CREMUTIUS CORDUS, whose eloquent account of the rise of the Empire cost him his life: in direct defiance of the fashionable cant of the day he had called Cassius "the last of the Romans." The higher spirits seemed to take a gloomy pleasure in speaking out before the tyrant, even if it were only with their last breath; more than one striking instance ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... cant word of the time for a spy, under the gaolers. The spy, who was pale, turned paler, and asked him ...
— A Tale of Two Cities - A Story of the French Revolution • Charles Dickens

... him, is one of general skepticism and sneering acquiescence in the world as it is; or if you like so to call it, a belief qualified with scorn in all things extant. The tastes and habits of such a man prevent him from being a boisterous demagogue, and his love of truth and dislike of cant keep him from advancing crude propositions, such as many loud reformers are constantly ready with; much more of uttering downright falsehoods in arguing questions or abusing opponents, which he would die or starve rather than use. It was not in our friend's nature to be able ...
— The History of Pendennis, Vol. 2 - His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy • William Makepeace Thackeray

... the last days of his royal brother, we have the characteristic queerness of his English, and a scarcely less characteristic passage of Pecksniffian cant:— ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... "The cant of the impressionist school," he said sadly; "on the contrary, the business of the artist is to paint what he knows to be there," and he gazed complacently at his own canvas, which had the appearance of a spirited drawing of a fortified place, ...
— Colonel Quaritch, V.C. - A Tale of Country Life • H. Rider Haggard

... taught him at Edward's court was no doubt that of drawing, for we find that 'He was buried with much pomp at Thetford Abbey under a tomb designed by himself and master Clarke, master of the works at King's College, Cambridge, & Wassel a freemason of BuryS. Edmund's.' Cooper's Ath. Cant., i. p. ...
— Early English Meals and Manners • Various

... guardianship of the few sound and enlightened judges who thoroughly comprehend him, to the humble but honest admiration of professional performers, to the practice and imitation of effeminate amateurs, to the cant of criticism of the worthies on the free list, and to the instinctive applause of the popular voice. Even with these humbler hands to build up his monument, the great master of music has a perpetual possession within the hearts of men, that the poet and the painter may well envy. Every chord ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845. • Various

... you here, Jarvis, I shall go distracted. This morning he began to speak to me about my soul—the brave boy that he used to be, talking of my soul to ME! Listen to what I tell you and be reasonable. I know perfectly well, and so do you, that before he took up with this sickening cant he was in love with you and you were in love with him. I saw it all and said nothing. I understand there's no more flirting now. Ah, well, his blood is red yet; I've not forgotten what five-and-twenty is, and he'll come if you whistle. You can't marry him, of course, ...
— More Pages from a Journal • Mark Rutherford

... fact, we ought, perhaps, to make a special order by itself from the New Testament writings. They are so full of life, light, and love—they are so strong yet so tender—so pure yet so free! They have no cant of piety, no formalism, but breathe throughout a heavenly atmosphere. Their inspiration is of the highest kind ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... of Childbearing is evidently weighing on the minds of men, in these days. The thing must be done—they cant do it themselves, and they are mightily afraid we won't, if we have half a chance to do anything else. If a woman was by way of being a Dante or a Darwin, she had better give it up—for Roger—and take to replenishing the earth. She can't do both—that is the main assumption; and ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... though late in life. But, what are fifty years? They mark the prime of a healthy man's existence. He has by that time seen the world, can decide, and settle, and is virtually more eligible—to use the cant phrase of gossips—than a young man, even for a young girl. And may not some fair and fresh reward be justly claimed as the crown ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... the average man, of whom he is thus the bard, is a rather sophisticated average man, without very deep thoughts or feelings, without a very fertile or fresh imagination or fancy, with even a touch—a little touch—of cant and "gush" and other defects incident to average and sophisticated humanity. But this humanity is at any time and every time no small portion of humanity at large, and it is to Moore's credit that he sings its feelings and its thoughts so as always to get ...
— Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 • George Saintsbury

... may have remarked elsewhere, they often seem to confuse it with "priggishness," "cant," and other amiable cosas de Inglaterra. (The late M. Jules Lemaitre, as Professor Ker reminds me, even gave the picturesque but quite inadequate description: "Le snob est un mouton de Panurge pretentieux, ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... a very celebrated preacher named De Coq. I went to hear him, and, though much struck with his fluency of language, did not much admire his style of preaching; there was too much of cant and declamation, and at times he made a most intolerable noise, roaring as if he were addressing an army. This man, however, succeeded in drawing tears from the audience; but this did not surprise me, for it is astonishing how easily this is accomplished. ...
— Travels in France during the years 1814-1815 • Archibald Alison

... and praised by Charles II, and his court, and the one that best represents the spirit of the victorious party, is the satirical poem of Hudibras by Samuel Butler. The object of the work is to satirize the cant and excesses of Puritanism, just as the Don Quixote of Cervantes burlesques the ...
— A General History for Colleges and High Schools • P. V. N. Myers

... glad, at last, to come to the conclusion that we would fain draw from all these descriptions—why does this immorality exist? Because the people MUST be amused, and have not been taught HOW; because the upper classes, frightened by stupid cant, or absorbed in material wants, have not as yet learned the refinement which only the cultivation of art can give; and when their intellects are uneducated, and their tastes are coarse, the tastes and amusements of classes still more ignorant must be coarse and vicious ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... the channel of the river be reduced to a size proportionate to its constant supply. Dear reader, you are very difficult to please. My descriptions you call slow, my imaginings frivolous, science dry. Jokes are feeble and personalities tedious morality is stale, religion is cant. What, how can I write? You have had a taste of all and if you are not content the fault is—well, let me be on the ...
— Three Months of My Life • J. F. Foster

... well again by and by." Upon which my father, turning indignantly round, replied with a firm and rather strong voice, "stand back, and keep your peace for once, Dr. Hill, and do not expose yourself—I am neither low-spirited, nor so weak as to be put off by your common-place cant. Have the modesty, at any rate, to listen with patience to what I am going to say to Mr. Grant, who appears to be a sensible, honest man, or else be so obliging as to leave the room." Then, turning back to Mr. Grant, he said, "I have, sir, contrived so to live as not to fear to die. You are ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 1 • Henry Hunt

... everything has been done, thus far, which can be done to make the earth more gladsome, and the hearts of the children of men more thankful to the Giver and Bestower of all our blessings. Away, then, with this cant, prejudice, and sneering about 'book farming.' As well cry out against book geography, or book philosophy, or book history, or book law. Chemistry, botany, entomology, and pomology unite the results of their researches in their various directions, and, while seeking apparently ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 5, May, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... nature, involving any serious tendency—in fact, all that exceeded a misdemeanor—in the regular chronological succession according to which they came before the magistrate. Here, in this vast calendar of guilt and misery, amidst the aliases or cant designations of ruffians, prostitutes, felons, stood the description, at full length, Christian and surnames all properly registered, of my Agnes—of her whose very name had always sounded to my ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... contrary, In Scripture, charity is compared to fire, according to Cant 8:6: "The lamps thereof," i.e. of charity, "are fire and flames." Now fire ever mounts upward so long as it lasts. Therefore as long as charity endures, it can ascend, but ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... heard the Cant of flattering Friend Admire my Forehead's Apollonic Bend, Then to the Glass I've wreathed my sad Regard - The Looking-Glass is candid to ...
— The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Jr. (The Rubiyt of Omar Khayym Jr.) • Wallace Irwin

... retainers of the aspiring prelate, no less than in himself, a most entire and absolute conviction of the reason and piety of their own party, and a disdain of their antagonists: nor is there less cant and grimace in their style, when they address each other, than when they compose manifestos for the perusal of the public. The spirit of revenge, violence, and ambition, which accompanied their conduct, instead of forming a presumption of hypocrisy, are the surest pledges of their sincere ...
— The History of England, Volume I • David Hume

... konshens, Are is the same to us as milk to babies, Or water is to fish, or pendlums to clox, Or roots and airbs unto an Injun doctor, Or little pills unto an omepath, Or Boze to girls. Are is for us to brethe. What signifize who preaches ef I cant brethe? What's Pol? What's Pollus to sinners who are ded? Ded for want of breth! Why Sextant when we dye Its only coz we cant brethe no more—that's all. And now O Sextant? let me beg of you To let a little are ...
— The Wit of Women - Fourth Edition • Kate Sanborn

... and Bob Stratton and Jim Gladys took charge of it. Mike and Bob were running the cant-hooks, while Jim stood on top of the great pile of logs already decked. A slender, pliable steel chain, like a gray snake, ran over the top of the pile and disappeared through a pulley to an invisible horse,—Jenny, ...
— The Blazed Trail • Stewart Edward White

... This was a cant term that made some figure in the time of the Civil War, and during the Interregnum. It was formed of the initial letters of the names of five eminent Presbyterian ministers of that time, viz. Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spenstow; who, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 14, - Issue 389, September 12, 1829 • Various

... without knowing something more about pictures than their market values. He was, as it were, the missing link between the artist and the commercial public. Art for art's sake and all that, of course, was cant. But aesthetics and good taste were necessary. The appreciation of enough persons of good taste was what gave a work of art its permanent market value, or in other words made it "a work of art." There was no real cleavage. And he was sufficiently accustomed to sheep-like and unseeing ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... the devil take such cant! Say, once and always, Luca was a wittol, I am his cut-throat, you are ...
— Browning's Heroines • Ethel Colburn Mayne

... able to afford style. Every individual arrived with his hands in his pockets; a hand came out occasionally for a purpose, but it always went back again after service; and if it was the head that was served, just the cant that the dilapidated straw hat got by being uplifted and rooted under, was retained until the next call altered the inclination; many' hats were present, but none were erect and no two were canted just alike. We are speaking impartially ...
— The Gilded Age, Complete • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

... in a sufficiently genial fashion, nevertheless with a certain reserve. He was not quite certain if Baltic's conversion was genuine, and if he found proof of hypocrisy, was prepared to fall foul of him forthwith. Sir Harry was not particularly religious, but he was honest, and hated cant with all ...
— The Bishop's Secret • Fergus Hume

... slang are often confused in the popular mind, yet they are not synonymous, though very closely allied, and proceeding from a common Gypsy origin. Cant is the language of a certain class—the peculiar phraseology or dialect of a certain craft, trade or profession, and is not readily understood save by the initiated of such craft, trade or profession. It may be correct, according to the rules of grammar, but it is not universal; it is confined to ...
— How to Speak and Write Correctly • Joseph Devlin

... contains much that is autobiographical, and helps us to understand Carlyle's childhood and youth; but it is so mixed up with fantasy and humour that it is difficult to separate fiction from fact. Its chief aim seems to be the overthrow of cant, the ridiculing of empty conventions, and the preaching of sincerity and independence. But not yet was Carlyle's generation prepared to listen to such sermons. Jeffrey was bewildered by the tone and offended at the style; publisher after ...
— Victorian Worthies - Sixteen Biographies • George Henry Blore

... puts his arms behind his back and bubbles out, 'Hold not out your hand to me lest I spit on it. 'Tis like your snivelling cant to write sweet psalms for smuggling rogues and try to frighten honest ...
— Moonfleet • J. Meade Falkner

... however, too late in the day for me to think of again taking the part of a bold Grenadier. I had become somewhat of a Character, and (my old proficiency with the Sticks remaining by me) had earned among the Gentlemen of the Army the cant name of Mother Drum—that by which, to my sorrow, I am now known. And as Mother Drum, suttler and baggage-wagon woman in the train of the great John Churchill, I drank and swore, and sold aquavitae, and plundered when I could, and was flogged when I was taken in the fact (for the Provost-Marshal ...
— The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 1 of 3 • George Augustus Sala

... just as I had satisfied a natural want for which I had risen. To rush to her, to embrace her tenderly, to fasten the door, and compel her, not much against her will, to come towards the bed, to beg her to lie on her belly on the bedside, to cant her petticoats up, to kneel and gamahuche her cunt from behind until she begged me to rise and fuck her, was but the work of a minute or two. And then my stiff-standing pego, aided by the mouthful of thick saliva occasioned by the gamahuche, was ...
— The Romance of Lust - A classic Victorian erotic novel • Anonymous

... strawberries." "I have not touched one, you covetous little creature!" "Indeed—indeed, Cecilia, I am not covetous. I have not eaten one of them—they are all for your friend Leonora. See how unjust you are." "Unjust! that's a cant word you learned of my friend Leonora, as you call her, but she is not my friend now." "Not your friend now!" exclaimed Louisa. "Then I am sure you must have done something very naughty." "How!" said Cecilia, ...
— The Bracelets • Maria Edgeworth

... agriculture—and the amenities of society and manners, were allowed to develop themselves in their own way, without reference to rule and preconcerted dogmas. Hence the peculiarities which mark the institutions of America—their utter freedom from cant and the shows and pageantry of state. Bank, titles, and caste were abolished; and the enormous gulfs which separate the European man from the European lordling were bridged over by Equality with the ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 4, October, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Your very words, Scrooge. Decrease the surplus population. (SCROOGE hangs his head in shame.) Man, if man you be in heart, forbear that wicked cant. Will you decide what men shall live, and what men shall die? It may be that in the sight of Heaven you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions ...
— The White Christmas and other Merry Christmas Plays • Walter Ben Hare

... ordered as sovereign cures for love. Twenty replies to madame Grimaldi were written and torn, as not sufficiently expressive of a resentment that was rather vociferous than eloquent, and her confessor was at last forced to write one, in which he prevailed to have some holy cant inserted, though forced to compound for a heap of irony that related to the antiquity of her family, and for many unintelligible allusions to vulgar stories which the Ghibelline party had treasured up against the Guelfs. The most lucid part ...
— Hieroglyphic Tales • Horace Walpole

... are marked by a fiery yet careful style, Oriental richness of imagery, and originality and independence of thought. He wrote as social reformer, and attacked with unrivaled power of sarcasm all manner of cant, sham, and red-tape. His works betray the disappointment of a defeated idealist. He was a man of marked individuality, and strongly attracted or repelled others. For the last few years of his life he ceased to write, and lived ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 11 • Various

... mon. S. Augustini, Cant., 96-99, "Et haec sunt primitiae librorum totius ecclesiae ...
— Old English Libraries, The Making, Collection, and Use of Books • Ernest A. Savage

... somewhat nearer to those old people who were perhaps a little too dumpish in their repentance and their faith and their hope that morning, than it did to those who took to the table with a light heart. I know all your flippant cant about gospel liberty and against Highland introspection, as you call it—as well as all your habitual neglect of a close and deep self-examination, as Paul called it; but I tell you all to-night that it would be the salvation of your soul ...
— Bunyan Characters (Second Series) • Alexander Whyte

... Leyden I Desir'd him to come and spend with me the time of his vacations here, which proposal I hope he will accept and be here next week. What happy triumvirat would be ours if you were to join: but that is impossible at present; however those who cant enjoy reality are fond of feeding their fancies with agreable Dreams and charming pictures; that helps a little to sooth the sorrow of absence and makes one expect with more pati[ence] till fortune allows him to put in execution the cherish'd systems he has been fed upon fore some ...
— Baron d'Holbach - A Study of Eighteenth Century Radicalism in France • Max Pearson Cushing

... might find that the bright wit that I fancy I flash around makes you feel tired. Jones's eyeglass would drop out of his eye because he would know it only made him look foolish, Brown would see the ugliness of his cant, and Robinson would sorry that he had been born a bully and as prickly as a hedgehog. It would do us all good to get this objective view ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... not abruptly, but piecemeal, those outward symbols—his sombre clothes. First 'twas his hat he exchanged for a feather-trimmed beaver of more sightly hue; then those stiff white bands that reeked of sanctity and cant for a collar of fine point; next it was his coat that took on a worldly edge of silver lace. And so, little by little, step by step, was the metamorphosis effected, until by the end of the week he came forth a very butterfly of fashion—a ...
— The Tavern Knight • Rafael Sabatini

... their houses with bric-a-brac, they assume a cynical criticism, or gossip pedantically, whether they know what they are talking about or not. In short, the contemplation of Art is a fashion, concerning which it is not well to be ignorant, and about which there is an amazing amount of cant, pretension, and borrowed opinions. Artists themselves differ in their judgments, and many who patronize them have no severity of discrimination. We see bad pictures on the walls of private palaces, as well as in public galleries, for which fabulous prices ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume I • John Lord

... the debate that followed this harangue. Party speeches were delivered, which clothed the question in cant, and veiled its simple meaning in a woven wind of words. The motion was lost; Ryland withdrew in rage and despair; and Raymond, gay and exulting, retired to dream ...
— The Last Man • Mary Shelley

... has no surer or more deadly weapon than that which it wields to-day against our professions of love for the souls of our fellow-men, while we content ourselves with expressions only of that love. It is hollow, superficial, and full of cant. If our religion does not take a deeper form, and go out in active sympathy and work, it will surely perish, and deserves to perish. Men ask for results, and it is right they should. The tree is known by its fruits. We cannot gather grapes of thorns, or figs ...
— Three Years on the Plains - Observations of Indians, 1867-1870 • Edmund B. Tuttle

... istis articulis praenotatis fecit Bonifacius, Cant. Arch. suorum suffraganeorum sibi subditorum universorum, praelatorum pariter et cleri procuratorum, convocationem isto anno apud Londonias semel et secundo, propter gravamina et oppressiones, de die in ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 183, April 30, 1853 • Various

... oneself? . . . Like putting one's bills away for months on end, and then one day becoming insane and paying the whole lot. I've been putting this off, Derek, for what I'm going to write will hurt you . . . almost as much as it hurts me. I'm not going to put in any of the usual cant about not thinking too hardly of me; I don't think somehow we are that sort. But I can't marry you. I meant to lead up to that gradually, but the pen sort of slipped—and, anyway you'd ...
— Mufti • H. C. (Herman Cyril) McNeile

... of a native scholar, is truly remarkable. The spirit of Niebuhr seems to have reached the shores of India, and this ballad theory comes out more successfully in the history of Buddha than in the history of Romulus. The absence of anything like cant in the mouth of a Brahman speaking of Buddhism, the bete noire of all orthodox Brahmans, is highly satisfactory, and our Sanskrit scholars in Europe will have to pull hard if, with such men as Babu Rajendralal in the field, they are not ...
— Chips From A German Workshop - Volume I - Essays on the Science of Religion • Friedrich Max Mueller

... floor a minute. "Let me tell you folks something. I laugh at the cant they've wrapped the church up in. But I don't laugh at the system of ethics Christ taught. I'm here to tell you folks, He put out the finest, most workable system of ethics the world has ever known. And folks can't live together ...
— Judith of the Godless Valley • Honore Willsie

... "if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be that, in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the ...
— A Christmas Carol • Charles Dickens

... inclination, slope, slant, crookedness &c adj.; slopeness^; leaning &c v.; bevel, tilt; bias, list, twist, swag, cant, lurch; distortion &c 243; bend &c (curve) 245; tower of Pisa. acclivity, rise, ascent, gradient, khudd^, rising ground, hill, bank, declivity, downhill, dip, fall, devexity^; gentle slope, rapid slope, easy ascent, easy descent; shelving beach; talus; monagne ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... enough in avoiding the cant of pretended regret for what must have given him pleasure. Archdale had no complaints to make on that score, but he distrusted Edmonson more and more, and perceived more clearly that he was attracted by Elizabeth. He wondered if she encouraged ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 3 • Various

... rendered to historical truth. It might be—he wasn't clear; it might be—the question was deep, too deep, probably, for his wisdom; at any rate he had to control himself not to interrupt angrily such dry, interested palaver, the false voice of commerce and of cant. He stared tragically out of the window and saw the stupid rain begin to fall; the day was duller even than his own soul, and Jersey Villas looked so sordidly hideous that it was no wonder Mrs. Ryves couldn't endure them. Hideous as they were ...
— Sir Dominick Ferrand • Henry James

... but is overcoming it. To tell you the truth, I think she will benefit by this trial. I don't like the words that are so often used in cant; I don't believe that misery does any good to most people—indeed, I know very well that it generally does harm. But Mrs. Abbott seems to be an exception; she has a good deal of character; and there were circumstances—well, I will only say that she ...
— The Whirlpool • George Gissing

... got enough for one while, but it was nothing to the dose that was thrust down their throats in the evening. A keener, cleverer, bolder, and more heart- stirring harangue than that which Mr. C. delivered from Haworth pulpit, last Sunday evening, I never heard. He did not rant; he did not cant; he did not whine; he did not sniggle; he just got up and spoke with the boldness of a man who was impressed with the truth of what he was saying, who has no fear of his enemies, and no dread of consequences. His sermon lasted an hour, yet I was sorry when it was done. ...
— The Life of Charlotte Bronte - Volume 1 • Elizabeth Gaskell

... may, so far as humanity is concerned, this hypersensitive effeminacy has but a noxious influence; and all the more for the twofold reason that it is sometimes sincere, though more often mere cant and hypocrisy. At the best, it is a perversion of the truth; for emotion combined with ignorance, as it is in nine hundred and ninety-nine cases out of a thousand, is a serious obstacle in the path ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... himself or herself bare to me in a spiritual sense, and would be revealed disinterestedly, would have no axe to grind and no contemptible small ends to gain, and no tradesman's commercial morality and no grafting conventionality, no moral cant based on self-interest—some being so near the 'limit' that he was intellectually and morally fearless and did not need to pose, from whom some truth could be derived, whose sincerity and power of straight-seeing ...
— An Anarchist Woman • Hutchins Hapgood

... it's nonsense, sir. I think he do, because if he didn't he'd on'y have to give his head a cant on one side and send that there lantern a-flying; and he never do. Now steady: it's a bit steeper here. See your ...
— First in the Field - A Story of New South Wales • George Manville Fenn

... country life, and an eyesore on our roads. Vagabondage is not a heritage with him, as it is with the genuine Gipsies. He has taken to it from choice, and the true-bred Romany will always regard him with contempt, as a mere migratory gaol bird, who knows no tongue of the roads beyond the cant or 'kennick' of thieves—a Whitechapel argot, familiarity with which at once tells its own tale. Fortunately, our existing law is sufficient to keep the nuisance in check, if only it be resolutely administered. The tramp, however, trades upon spurious sympathy. There will always ...
— Gipsy Life - being an account of our Gipsies and their children • George Smith

... were coming in regularly, and the railways became choked with the logs dumped down on them from the sleighs. There were not enough men to roll them down to the river, nor to "deck" them there in piles. Work accumulated. The cant-hook men became discouraged. What was the use of trying? They might as well take it easy. They did take it easy. As a consequence the teamsters had often to wait two, three hours to be unloaded. They were ...
— Blazed Trail Stories - and Stories of the Wild Life • Stewart Edward White

... disfigure his fine work on the English language by traducing all who now write that tongue. "None seek the audience, fit, though few, which contented the ambition of Milton, and all writers for the press now measure their glory by their gains," and so indefinitely onward,—which is simply cant. Does Sylvanus Cobb, Jr., who honestly earns his annual five thousand dollars from the "New York Ledger," take rank as head of American literature by virtue of his salary? Because the profits of true literature are rising,—trivial ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 54, April, 1862 • Various

... examples of elaborate criticism, in the most masterly style. In his review of the 'Memoirs of the Court of Augustus,' he has the resolution to think and speak from his own mind, regardless of the cant transmitted from age to age, in praise ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... indulged immoderately in the use of ardent spirits, with which they were copiously supplied by the white people. During these drinking fits, there is always one at least of the party who remains sober, in order to secure the knives, &c. Hence the Americans derive the cant phrase of "doing the sober Indian," which they apply to any one of a company who will not drink fairly. One of the Indians had a pony which he wished to sell, having occasion for some articles, ...
— A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America • S. A. Ferrall

... all cant, but am satisfied that the chief reason why France does not succeed better in her revolutions is, because she lacks the steadiness which a sincere devotion to religion gives to a nation. The country needs less ...
— Paris: With Pen and Pencil - Its People and Literature, Its Life and Business • David W. Bartlett

... possessed of any one of the Christian virtues. Charity and kindness of heart exist, they would have us to believe, in an inverse ratio to income, and the warmest men, in city parlance, are invariably those of the coldest feelings. The sickly cant of this style of writing in a country where charity, both public and private, is so extensive and practical; and its probable ill effects in rendering the poorer classes discontented, are too evident for it to be necessary to dwell upon them. It would be far better if the writers ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 57, No. 352, February 1845 • Various

... Jove! Been to school, too. New York is bounded on the North, South, East and West by the state of Divorce! Come, come, Mrs. Karslake, I like your country. You've no fear and no respect—no cant and lots of can. Here you all are, you see—your former husband, and your new husband's former wife—sounds like Ollendoff! Eh? So there you are, you see! But, jokin' apart—why do you marry him? Oh, well, marry him if you must! You can run ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: The New York Idea • Langdon Mitchell

... never mention her;' well, I grew so plaguy tired of it, I used to say to myself, I'd sooner see it, than heer tell of it, I vow; I wish to gracious you would 'never mention her,' for it makes me feel ugly to hear that same thing for ever and ever and amen that way. Well, they've got a cant phrase here, 'the schoolmaster is abroad,' and every feller tells you that fifty times ...
— The Clockmaker • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... cant phrase, from what rise I know not, but it is made use of when one thinks it is not worth while to give a distinct answer, or think themselves foolishly ...
— The Proverbs of Scotland • Alexander Hislop

... be said in favor of toasted cheese for supper. It is the cant to say that Welsh rabbit is heavy eating. I like it best in the genuine Welsh way, however—that is, the toasted bread buttered on both sides profusely, then a layer of cold roast beef with mustard and horseradish, and then, on the top of all, ...
— The Complete Book of Cheese • Robert Carlton Brown

... say this, too: love is of the body; not the body, but of the body. Ah! the misery that would be saved if we confessed that! Ah! for a little directness to liberate the soul! Your soul, dear Lucy! I hate the word now, because of all the cant with which superstition has wrapped it round. But we have souls. I cannot say how they came nor whither they go, but we have them, and I see you ruining yours. I cannot bear it. It is again the darkness ...
— A Room With A View • E. M. Forster

... Ob'ject object' Ac'cent accent' | Con'vict convict' | Out'leap outleap' Affix affix' | Con'voy convoy' | Per'fect perfect' As'pect aspect' | De'crease decrease' | Per'fume perfume' At'tribute attribute'| Des'cant descant' | Per'mit permit' Aug'ment augment' | Des'ert desert' | Pre'fix prefix' Au'gust august' | De'tail detail' | Pre'mise premise' Bom'bard bombard' | Di'gest digest' | Pre'sage presage' Col'league colleague'| Dis'cord discord' | Pres'ent present' ...
— Enquire Within Upon Everything - The Great Victorian Domestic Standby • Anonymous

... home, dont be fritened about me because I know the way. Ive got to go. something is calling me. dont be cross. I love you, but I cant stay. Im leaving my foolscap book for you, you can keep it always but I must go back ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 to 1922 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... utter, because the British public would not stand them. But the British public has stood some very severe things about the Bible, which is even yet reckoned of higher sanctity than Shakespeare. And certainly there is as much cant about Shakespeare to be cleared away as about the Bible. However this is scarcely the place to do it. It is clear enough, however, from his usage of Painter, that Shakespeare was no more original in plot than any of his fellows, and it is only the unwise and rash who could ask ...
— The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1 • William Painter

... confidences, and I will frankly confess that if it were not for Euphemia I do not think I should wash at all. There is a vast amount of humbug about washing. Vulgar people not only profess a passion for the practice, but a physical horror of being unwashed. It is a sort of cant. I can understand a sponge bath being a novelty the first time and exhilarating the second and third. But day after day, week after week, month after month, and nothing to show at the end of it all! Then there is shaving. I have to get shaved because Euphemia ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... the 'bonmots,' the little adventures, which may do very well in one company, will seem flat and tedious, when related in another. The particular characters, the habits, the cant of one company, may give merit to a word, or a gesture, which would have none at all if divested of those accidental circumstances. Here people very commonly err; and fond of something that has entertained them in one company, ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... say, the Holy Spirit indwelling. That would sound like cant at this day. But the old fellows that used to say that had some glimpses of the truth. They knew that it is the still, small voice that the soul heeds, not the deafening blasts of doom. I suppose I should have to ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells



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