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Chaff   /tʃæf/   Listen
Chaff

noun
1.
Material consisting of seed coverings and small pieces of stem or leaves that have been separated from the seeds.  Synonyms: husk, shuck, stalk, straw, stubble.
2.
Foil in thin strips; ejected into the air as a radar countermeasure.



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"Chaff" Quotes from Famous Books



... us all! Who else like you Could sift the seed corn from our chaff, And make us, with the pen we knew, Deathless ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 20, July, 1891 • Various

... there rose so wild a yell Within that dark and narrow dell, As all the fiends from heaven that fell Had pealed the banner-cry of hell! Forth from the pass in tumult driven, Like chaff before the wind of heaven, The archery appear: For life! for life! their flight they ply— And shriek, and shout, and battle-cry, And plaids and bonnets waving high, And broadswords flashing to the sky, Are maddening in the rear. Onward they drive in dreadful ...
— The Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... become the object of a passion to a man of splendid genius, who has made her his own and in doing so has made her the world's. There is no better reading at Venice therefore, as I say, than Ruskin, for every true Venice-lover can separate the wheat from the chaff. The narrow theological spirit, the moralism a tout propos, the queer provincialities and pruderies, are mere wild weeds in a mountain of flowers. One may doubtless be very happy in Venice without reading ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James

... men, and nations, have passed by, Like leaves upon an autumn's dreary sky; Like chaff upon the ocean billow proud, Like drops of rain on summer's fleecy cloud; Like flowers of a wilderness, Vanished ...
— Victor Roy, A Masonic Poem • Harriet Annie Wilkins

... tenant, farmer or grantee of landed estate.—By this division it fancies that it has respected lawful ownership by overthrowing illegitimate property, and that in the feudal scheme of obligations, it has separated the wheat from the chaff.[2221] ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 2 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 1 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... days grew shorter and the evenings cool, the smoke of the big thrasher streaked the harvest field, and the wagons went jolting between humming separator and granary, until the later was gorged to repletion and the wheat was stored within a willow framing beneath the chaff and straw that streamed from the chute of the great machine. Winston had around him the best men that dollars could hire, and toiled tirelessly with the grimy host in the whirling dust of the thrasher and amid the sheaves, wherever another ...
— Winston of the Prairie • Harold Bindloss

... adverse comments on the absent bridegroom flowed pretty freely. This should have been the merriest time of the evening—the merriest time, in fact, of all the three festive days—the time when one was allowed to chaff the bride and to make her blush, to slap the lucky bridegroom on the back and generally to allow full play to that exuberance of spirits which is always bubbling up to the surface out of a Magyar ...
— A Bride of the Plains • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... he went with a friend to call on an older acquaintance, named Smoot, who was almost as dry a joker as himself, but Smoot had more of this world's goods than the young legislator-elect. Lincoln began at once to chaff his friend. ...
— The Story of Young Abraham Lincoln • Wayne Whipple

... but was silent. He knew that if he protested again the young Philadelphians would chaff him without mercy, and he knew at heart also that Tayoga's statement about him was true. He remembered with pride his defeat of St. Luc in the great test of words in the vale of Onondaga. But Wilton's mind quickly turned to another subject. He seemed to exemplify ...
— The Shadow of the North - A Story of Old New York and a Lost Campaign • Joseph A. Altsheler

... were left galloping, Joris and I, Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky; The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh, 'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff; 40 Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white, And "Gallop," gasped Joris, "for Aix is ...
— Browning's Shorter Poems • Robert Browning

... annually. If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself; and my shortcomings and inconsistencies do not affect the truth of my statement. Notwithstanding much cant and hypocrisy—chaff which I find it difficult to separate from my wheat, but for which I am as sorry as any man—I will breathe freely and stretch myself in this respect, it is such a relief to both the moral and physical ...
— Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience • Henry David Thoreau

... The boys turned to chaff Chris, but he had slipped away at the first words of the explanation. Soon he reappeared with an armful of dry wood. His face was still ashen, but his teeth ...
— The Boy Chums in the Forest - or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades • Wilmer M. Ely

... of pages of such "chanting" with its grain of wheat hid in a bushel of chaff. We refer to it here not because it is worth reading but to record the curious fact that many European critics hail it as typical American poetry, even while we wonder why anybody should regard it ...
— Outlines of English and American Literature • William J. Long

... is not binding) and other minor ceremonies with zest. After all had been well and duly gone through, the bride and bridegroom were conducted to an inner apartment. Susil underwent the customary "chaff" from the ladies, which he bore with great good humour and was at last left alone with his young companion for life; while some of the fair guests sang wedding songs to the intense delight of their friends. Nor were the men-folk idle. They sat down to a sumptuous feast prepared ...
— Tales of Bengal • S. B. Banerjea

... was usually freed from chaff by the simple process of throwing it into the air when a brisk wind was blowing, but we saw several hand winnowing machines which were exceedingly ingenious and very effective. The wheat was ground between two ...
— Across Mongolian Plains - A Naturalist's Account of China's 'Great Northwest' • Roy Chapman Andrews

... many times the good and bad will hold; But what consumes the chaff will only cleanse ...
— Dynevor Terrace (Vol. II) • Charlotte M. Yonge

... dispense with them. Our food was abominably bad; the sheep we purchased were little better than London cats; and as no flour-mill is to be found in Abyssinia, far less any bakers, we were obliged to purchase the grain, beat it to remove the chaff, and grind it between two stones—not the flat grinding-stones of Egypt or India, but on a small curved piece of rock, where the grain is reduced to flour by means of a large hard kind of pebble held in the hand. It was brown bread with a ...
— A Narrative of Captivity in Abyssinia - With Some Account of the Late Emperor Theodore, - His Country and People • Henry Blanc

... a little, "I knew I ought not; but they said I was afraid of a gun, and that I had no money. Now I see that was chaff, but I didn't ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... none my fortunes be, This or that man's fall I fear not; Him I love that loveth me, For the rest a pin I care not. You are sad when others chaff, And grow merry as they laugh; I that hate it, and am free, Laugh and weep as ...
— Pastoral Poems by Nicholas Breton, - Selected Poetry by George Wither, and - Pastoral Poetry by William Browne (of Tavistock) • Nicholas Breton, George Wither, William Browne (of Tavistock)

... anxious to learn, and flushed so pink, that his education was cut short, and he was left to his own devices by every one except the Senior Subaltern, who continued to make life a burden to The Worm. The Senior Subaltern meant no harm; but his chaff was coarse, and he didn't quite understand where to stop. He had been waiting too long for his company; and that always sours a man. Also he was in love, ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... fingers with it, after I'd taken Tod Sloan's bridle off," she answered, "There was a sticky mess of hay and chaff on them from the bit, and I remember wiping it off ...
— Ambrotox and Limping Dick • Oliver Fleming

... anecdotal conversation. What a marvelous memory! He knew something of every country from the inside. He had been brought at various times during his long diplomatic career into contact with most of the interesting people in the world. He knew well how to separate the grain from the chaff according to the tastes of his listener. The pathos of his present position appealed to her irresistibly. The possibilities of his life had been so great, fortune had treated him always so strangely. The greatest of his schemes ...
— The Yellow Crayon • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... lamp of evil-doers put out"? And how often doth "ruin" overwhelm them? How oft are they as stubble before the wind, And as chaff ...
— The Sceptics of the Old Testament: Job - Koheleth - Agur • Emile Joseph Dillon

... spears went everywhere through the host, urging them to fight, and roused the dread battle-cry. So they were rallied and stood to face the Achaians: and the Argives withstood them in close array and fled not. Even as a wind carrieth the chaff about the sacred threshing-floors when men are winnowing, and the chaff-heaps grow white—so now grew the Achaians white with falling dust which in their midst the horses' hooves beat up into the brazen heaven, as fight was joined again, and the charioteers wheeled round. Thus bare they ...
— The Iliad of Homer • Homer (Lang, Leaf, Myers trans.)

... amid mild chaff, to be greeted in Rommany by the suspected policeman, and to accept a glass of the ale, which had rained as it were from heaven into this happy family. These basketmakers were not real Gipsies, but churdi or half-bloods, ...
— The English Gipsies and Their Language • Charles G. Leland

... betimes the luxury of it. But we had much discourse for all that, and I learnt many interesting things from this old trader, who seemed taciturn in our little crowd, but was, in reality, a tower of intelligent silence beat about by a flood of good-humoured chaff and loquacity. ...
— Through the Mackenzie Basin - A Narrative of the Athabasca and Peace River Treaty Expedition of 1899 • Charles Mair

... was not Captain Dacres who had anticipated that pleasure, for while responding with the best grace he could command to the chaff and banter which began to be darted at him, he was consigning Miss Fisher, and more especially the effusive Doady, to every depth between this world and the ...
— Tales from Many Sources - Vol. V • Various

... came half a dozen great boatloads of armed Spaniards, who landed upon the Turtle's Back and sent the Frenchmen flying to the woods and fastnesses of rocks as the chaff flies before the thunder gust. That night the Spaniards drank themselves mad and shouted themselves hoarse over their victory, while the beaten Frenchmen sullenly paddled their canoes back to the main island again, and the Sea ...
— Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates • Howard I. Pyle

... itself a fresh channel, and when the waters sank we saw, to our astonishment, that the old river-bed had become merely that of an insignificant stream.... The stream rolled over and tore up the soft, wet ground like chaff, so that it was dangerous to go near the brink. While we were all quiet, we heard under our feet a sudden gurgling and stirring, which betrayed the working of the disturbed water. Suddenly our jagger, ever on the look-out, called loudly, and pointed to a singular and unshapely object, ...
— The Christian Foundation, April, 1880

... themselves and came towards the group of likely youths. These wavered a little, were silent, sniggered, stood their ground—the khaki-clad figures passed among them. Hackneyed words, jests, the touch of flattery, changing swiftly to chaff—all the customary performance, hollow and pathetic; and then the two figures re-emerged, their hands clenched, their eyes shifting here and there, their lips drawn back in fixed smiles. They had failed, and were trying to hide it. They must not show contempt—the young ...
— Tatterdemalion • John Galsworthy

... comfortably filling his pipe, "the daughter, Miss Kirkby, was awfully good fun; so fresh, so perfectly natural and innocent, don't you know, and yet so extraordinarily sharp and clever. She had some awfully good chaff over that Scotch scenery before those Scotch tourists, do you remember? And it was all so beastly true, too. Perhaps ...
— A Protegee of Jack Hamlin's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... it would do him good to have his tongue slit," said Crayshaw, "but there's no need. When I torment him and chaff him, ...
— Fated to Be Free • Jean Ingelow

... of Audrey, Sara, and Garth had joined the main party now, and Garth was shaking eager, outstretched hands and laughingly tossing back the shower of chaff which greeted ...
— The Hermit of Far End • Margaret Pedler

... or the cover is drawn without a find, you are always sure of having your spirits raised by the cheerful sunrise: by the time you get home, tired and spattered, the ladies are down stairs ready to make pretty exclamations over the brush or to chaff you pleasantly for your want of success; and then there is just time to get your hair brushed and your clothes changed before the mingled aromas of fried sausage and old Java put the keen edge on your already ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - February, 1876, Vol. XVII, No. 98. • Various

... by Jove, your Ladyship means!" shouts Mr. Slang. "No, no, old birds are not caught with chaff. Thrum, old boy, let's have some ...
— Men's Wives • William Makepeace Thackeray

... preparations for the future were seriously begun; and now the drama proceeded apace, with Barnes, the moving spirit. Despite his assertion that he was no scholar, the manager's mind was the storehouse of a hundred plays, and in that depository were many bags of gold and many bags of chaff. From this accumulation he drew freely, frankly, in the light-fingered fashion of master playwrights and ...
— The Strollers • Frederic S. Isham

... left galloping, Joris and I, Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky; The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh; 'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff; Till over by Delhem a dome-spire sprung white, And "Gallop," gasped Joris, "for Aix ...
— Our Boys - Entertaining Stories by Popular Authors • Various

... mystic light was not seen, darkness brooded over the sanctuary as at other times. Moreover, among the emblems of Dionysus was the winnowing-fan, that is the large open shovel-shaped basket, which down to modern times has been used by farmers to separate the grain from the chaff by tossing the corn in the air. This simple agricultural instrument figured in the mystic rites of Dionysus; indeed the god is traditionally said to have been placed at birth in a winnowing-fan as in a cradle: in art he is represented as an infant so cradled; and from these traditions ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... The peasants chaff Slimak for living in exile like a Sibiriak.[1] It is true, they say, that he lives nearer to the church, but on the other hand he has no one to open his ...
— Selected Polish Tales • Various

... few months to England, to allay the threatened famine there; and the animals in the country were starving from the deficiency of all kinds of grain. The pastures, we could ourselves see, were dry, and in many parts burnt to chaff, while the present summer beginning with oppressive heat, and the preceding one having been equally unfavourable to the pasturage, the scarcity of food was severely and fatally ...
— A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - 2nd edition • W. A. Ross

... details of his early lack of financial success being published, and the whole dismissed with the comprehensive remark: "a very prolific person, this friend of yours, Punch!—editor of thirteen periodicals, and lessee of a theatre into the bargain, and all total failures!" After heavy-handed chaff he proceeds to abuse Mark Lemon, up and down, in similar terms; and with a view to show that others write verse as bad as his, reprints the weakest lines in his "Fridolin" and "The Rhine-boat." In the course of his ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... might not feel uncomfortable and "out of it." He would lie back in the carriage, his big face flushed and his eyes bright with pleasure, an arm round each of his companions, and when he was not kissing them, he would be bawling out some song, or, at stations, hanging half out of the window to chaff the porters and the station-master. "Get all you can," he would say, "and do without ...
— The Foolish Lovers • St. John G. Ervine

... percolate; others softening marble, for pillows and pin-cushions; others petrifying the hoofs of a living horse, to preserve them from foundering. The artist himself was at that time busy upon two great designs; the first, to sow land with chaff, wherein he affirmed the true seminal virtue to be contained, as he demonstrated by several experiments, which I was not skilful enough to comprehend. The other was, by a certain composition of gums, minerals, and vegetables, outwardly applied, ...
— Gulliver's Travels - into several remote nations of the world • Jonathan Swift

... tea, ignoring them, while Bill entertained the Gilsons and Saxtons with Rabelaisian stories of threshing-time when shirts prickly with chaff and gritty with dust stuck to sweat-dripping backs; of the "funny thing" of Milt and Bill being hired to move a garbage-pile and "swiping" their employer's "mushmelons"; of knotting shirts at the swimming-hole so that the bawling youngsters had to "chaw beef"; of drinking beer in the livery-stable ...
— Free Air • Sinclair Lewis

... man of action, Mr. Crow began operations at once. He went home and for nearly an hour worked over the list of subscribers to the fund, aided by his wife and daughters. Among them they separated the wheat from the chaff. At least twenty per cent. of the contributors were set aside in a separate group and labelled "no good." Ten per cent. were designated as "fairly good," and the remainder as "good." It must not be assumed that the division had anything to do with ...
— Anderson Crow, Detective • George Barr McCutcheon

... your King I have got five hundred men like these. We will die, but we will never surrender. And tell your King another thing; that I will have him chained with my dog inside of half an hour." And when the King heard that he did not dare to meet them, and his army fled before them like chaff before the wind, and within twenty-four hours he had that King chained with his dog. That is the kind of zeal we want. "We will die, but we will never surrender." We will work until Jesus comes, and then we ...
— Moody's Anecdotes And Illustrations - Related in his Revival Work by the Great Evangilist • Dwight L. Moody

... recognized as the product of a long line of erroneous theory and zigzag development, but the wheat has largely been sifted and the chaff thrown to the winds of antiquity. Its therapeutic and psychological value is duly recognized ...
— Three Thousand Years of Mental Healing • George Barton Cutten

... he observed, "that king's chaff is better than other folk's corn; but I think that canna be said o' king's soldiers, if they let themselves be beaten wi' a wheen auld carles that are past fighting, and bairns that are no come till't, and wives wi' their rocks and distaffs, the very wally-draigles ...
— Rob Roy, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... of Americans have been driven at bay by an overwhelming number of Mexicans or greasers, who have suddenly found themselves attacked by a party of howling Comanches. The latter have scattered the Mexicans like chaff, the Americans acting the part of spectators until the rout was complete, when the Comanches turned about and sailed into the Americans. The Kiowas, Comanches, Apaches, Mexicans and Americans afforded just the elements for a complication ...
— The Cave in the Mountain • Lieut. R. H. Jayne

... the senses, gratification of the palate, in short, all the grosser tastes. All that is not only like savages, but like animals. They are merry and contented at the prospect of a savory meal, and they are fond of playing tricks on each other—both sexes chaff and tease constantly. I believe that the development of our larger brain is the intellectual work of man during hundreds and thousands of years, and it would gratify me to see it raised to a still greater state ...
— The Malady of the Century • Max Nordau

... flower and dust, in chaff and grain, He binds Himself and dies! We live by His eternal pain, ...
— Giant Hours With Poet Preachers • William L. Stidger

... all that. Pretends to turn up his nose at the theatre and says people make too much fuss about art [the Count is extremely indignant]. But thats only his modesty, because art is his own line, you understand. Mind you dont chaff him ...
— Fanny's First Play • George Bernard Shaw

... caught with such chaff, I told him, through Bombay, if he would consider the ten brass wires final, I would give them, and then go to his palace, not otherwise. He acceded to this, but no sooner got them, than he broke his faith, and said ...
— The Discovery of the Source of the Nile • John Hanning Speke

... and insufficient. However, sir, I accept your remarks in the same friendly spirit as, I am sure, you have offered them. Permit me, at the same time, as one many years your senior, to say that, in considering your proposals, I shall separate the chaff—of which there is a good deal—from the wheat—of which there is some little; the latter I shall gather into my mind's garner, and I trust it will fall on good soil." I took the old gentleman's hand and shook it warmly, and, as he retired, I made up my mind ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... impossible a few hours before, seemed now a faint reflection of what must soon be reality. I looked round for her, but I could not see her. I started to walk across the room, threading my way through the merry company, who danced no longer, but stood about in groups, bandying chaff and compliments. Engrossed with one another, they hardly remembered to give me passage. Presently I came on William Adolphus, making himself very agreeable to ...
— The King's Mirror • Anthony Hope

... yet laitered a beaker to drain, Then reeled to the linhay for more, When the candle-snoff kindled some chaff from his grain - Flames spread, and red vlankers, wi' might and wi' main, And round beams, thatch, and ...
— Wessex Poems and Other Verses • Thomas Hardy

... midst of the company, and told them that Thundel, a savage giant with two heads, had heard of the death of his two kinsmen, and was come to take his revenge on Jack; and that he was now within a mile of the house; the people flying before him like chaff before the wind. At this news the very boldest of the guests trembled; but Jack drew his sword, and said: "Let him come, I have a rod for him also. Pray, ladies and gentlemen, do me the favour to walk into the garden, and you shall soon behold the giant's ...
— Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know • Various

... went about, pretending to examine the several Madonnas, and speaking rubbish about them, while he stood stoopingly in the midst of them like the little withered old man he looked. When I had emptied myself of my chaff, I perceived that the ...
— Questionable Shapes • William Dean Howells

... newspaper writer commented that a "consensus of opinion among biologists" would probably rate Dr. Loeb as a man of lively imagination rather than an inerrant investigator of natural phenomena, he felt called to chaff the consensus idea. ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... took more than a fair share of the blame, saying he ought to have been more careful; but he was rather distressed when he found that he had a black eye, and that it could not be well before the cricket match, when the boys would be sure to chaff him. ...
— Golden Moments - Bright Stories for Young Folks • Anonymous

... amused Keith's acquaintance hugely. Whenever he appeared he was deluged with chaff, all of which he took, good naturedly. He was considered, in a moment of aberration, to have bought an exceedingly doubtful equity. Some thought, he must have a great deal of money, arguing that only the ...
— The Gray Dawn • Stewart Edward White

... mood was one to which chaff did not commend itself. He snatched his hand from beneath the Doctor's fingers, and picked up some letters ...
— Mount Music • E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

... speedily to pay his humble homage at his august master's throne, of which he begged leave to be counted the most loyal and constant defender. Such a WARY old BIRD as King Padella was not to be caught by Master Hogginarmo's CHAFF and we shall hear presently how the tyrant treated his upstart vassal. No, no; depend on's, two such rogues do not trust ...
— The Rose and the Ring • William Makepeace Thackeray

... was commissioned by the Emperor to decorate with the Iron Cross of the first class, discomfited the Chancellor's attempt to chaff him. "I am authorized," said Bismarck, "to offer you one hundred thalers instead of the cross." "How much is the cross worth?" asked the soldier. "Three thalers." "Very well, then, your highness, I'll take the cross and ninety-seven thalers." ...
— Toasts - and Forms of Public Address for Those Who Wish to Say - the Right Thing in the Right Way • William Pittenger

... in diameter and usually of plaited rattan strips with a rim of thicker rattan. It is held in both hands and by a series of shuffling motions, which are better seen than described, accompained[sic] by a peculiar movement of the thumb of the left hand, the chaff and the little broken fragments of rice are thrown off into another receptacle for the ...
— The Manbos of Mindano - Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume XXIII, First Memoir • John M. Garvan

... as he made it, that it was not a very able retort, but he was feeling too limp for satisfactory repartee. Criticisms in the Bureau, dealing with his alleged solidity of skull, he did not resent. He attributed them to man's natural desire to chaff his fellow-man. But to be unmasked by the general public in this way was another matter. It struck at ...
— The Man with Two Left Feet - and Other Stories • P. G. Wodehouse

... to escape and subsequently to be placed under the protection of Augustus. Cato thought that a proper man ought to study oratory, medicine, husbandry, war, and law, and was at liberty to look into Greek literature a little, that he might cull from the mass of chaff and rubbish, as he affected to deem it, some serviceable maxims of practical experience, but he might not study it thoroughly. Varro extended the limit of allowed and fitting studies to grammar, logic, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, music, medicine, ...
— The Story of Rome From the Earliest Times to the End of the Republic • Arthur Gilman

... could not be rallied. The moment was full of significance, and I beheld these failures with breathless suspense. In five minutes the pursuers would gain the creek, and in ten, drive our dismayed battalions, like chaff before the wind. I hurried to my horse, that I might be ready to escape. The shell and ball still made music around me. I buckled up my saddle with tremulous fingers, and put my foot upon the stirrup. But a cheer recalled me and a great clapping of hands, as ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... thus cruelly taunting his sensitive rival, I shall simply say that Liszt had not the slightest recollection of ever having imitated Chopin's playing in a darkened room. There may be some minute grains of truth mixed up with all this chaff of fancy—Chopin's displeasure at the liberties Liszt took with his compositions was no doubt one of them—but it ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... disputatious and learned associates that not one of them stood up to plead for the life of Socrates now? Why, the first breath of adversity had blown them away as though they were but mist; and, with these false friends scattered like the coward chaff they were, grim old Socrates ...
— Second Book of Tales • Eugene Field

... The Trinity, truly received, would harmonize science, faith, and vital piety. The Trinity, as it now stands in the belief of Christendom, at once confuses the mind, and leaves it empty. It feeds us with chaff, with empty phrases and forms, with no real inflowing convictions. It seems to lie like a vessel on the shore, of no use where it is, yet difficult to remove and get afloat; but when the tide rises, and the vessel floats, it will be able to bear to and fro ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... by hand with flails, or, if the family had a cow or two (and the tax lists indicate that they did), the grain was separated by driving the livestock around and around over the unbundled straw. Finally, the chaff was removed by throwing the grain into the air while the breeze was flowing. The grain was then ...
— The Fair Play Settlers of the West Branch Valley, 1769-1784 - A Study of Frontier Ethnography • George D. Wolf

... boat came alongside just then, and the men passed down their "dunnage" into her amid a brisk fire of good-humoured chaff from their shipmates, and such enquiries as: "Hello, Jim, haven't you got so much as a monkey or a parrot to cheer us up with?" and so on. Then they followed their belongings down the side, and ...
— A Middy in Command - A Tale of the Slave Squadron • Harry Collingwood

... of a knife, flicked out its internal arrangements with a third, and case it into a blood-dyed tank. The headless fish leaped from under his hands as though they were facing a rapid. Other Chinamen pulled them from the vat and thrust them under a thing like a chaff-cutter, which, descending, hewed them into unseemly red gobbets ...
— American Notes • Rudyard Kipling

... Adrian," he said. "Mr Fordyce and I croak too much. Still, you will find a grain or two of sense among the chaff, as Jack ...
— The Right Stuff - Some Episodes in the Career of a North Briton • Ian Hay

... he had been in trouble. He had a red cotton handkerchief tied under his chin, and the genial humor that usually makes his aged face its dwelling-place had given way to an expression of grim melancholy. The young men about the office were inclined to chaff him, but his look of sullen ...
— Uncle Remus • Joel Chandler Harris

... ever been a result of persecution that the persecuted cause has made progress—naturally so, for trial and suffering winnow out the chaff and leave the good seed to flourish with increased vigour. Few false professors attended those midnight meetings, which were so full of joy and danger, and none of these ever got the length of Ranavalona's fiery stakes or ...
— The Fugitives - The Tyrant Queen of Madagascar • R.M. Ballantyne

... the letter, which generally contained a request of some kind. This request would be surrounded and enveloped in so many words, and often inserted amidst so many odd reasons and excuses, that Mr. Horner (the steward) would sometimes say it was like hunting through a bushel of chaff to find a grain of wheat. Now, in the second column of this book, the grain of meaning was placed, clean and dry, before her ladyship every morning. She sometimes would ask to see the original letter; ...
— My Lady Ludlow • Elizabeth Gaskell

... And the cricket drew forth a feeler and said: 'Take this, my preserver, 'twill bring you aid; should any thing ever prove troublesome, burn this in the fire and I will come.' Then Rasalu laughed with a great big laugh, 'I thank you, weakling! But none of your chaff! You couldn't help me I'll go bail.' So he rode on careless o'er hill and dale, a glittering knight in his shining mail, till he came to the city of King Surkap, whom he'd sworn to kill with his sword so sharp. Now as he rode through ...
— The Adventures of Akbar • Flora Annie Steel

... loose women. She had striven with all her might that such a one should not be allowed to take her daughter from her, and had striven in vain. He had succeeded;—but his character was not changed by his success. Did she not know him to be chaff that must be separated by the wind from the corn and then consumed in the fire? His character was not altered because that human being whom she loved the best in all the world had fallen into his power. He was not the less chaff,—the ...
— John Caldigate • Anthony Trollope

... he, "a stranger in this great city—to set me a-finding what I never knew? A grain of wheat in a barn full of chaff, mayhap—a needle in a truss of hay—anything I might find but what was sheer impossible. And now am I like to be thrown to the dogs, ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2) • John Roby

... give me the shivers. My heart yearns toward that beautiful young creature, and I believe she is as innocent as my baby. It is a burning shame to send her here, unless there is no doubt of her guilt. Judge Dent is too shrewd an old fox to be baited with chaff, and I am satisfied from what he told you, that he believes her statement. There is nothing I would not do to comfort her, but I would rather have my ears boxed than witness her suffering. The day I carried to her a change of clothes, until her own ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... resolved this charming day In the open field to stray, And have no roof above my head But that whereon the gods do tread. Before the yellow barn I see A beautiful variety Of strutting cocks, advancing stout, And flirting empty chaff about; Hens, ducks, and geese, and all their brood, And turkeys gobbling for their food; While rustics thrash the wealthy floor, And tempt all to ...
— The Age of Pope - (1700-1744) • John Dennis

... the joyous chaff as it fluttered round her, not half understanding it any more than if it had been a strange tongue, and not always guessing the cause of the fits of laughter, chiefly at Lord Ivinghoe's misadventures, over which his little sister and his father were well pleased to tease ...
— Modern Broods • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... essentially expressive of national character. English humour, like American and French, has its own flavour; it lacks the high and extravagant fantasy that is so exhilarating in America; it avoids the subtlety of France; it is essentially a laughing humour. The Englishman, who cannot stand chaff himself, always laughs at others. It is curious that while an Englishman's conventions rest upon dislike of what is odd and fantastic—precisely the two most well-known sources of humour—he yet ...
— George Du Maurier, the Satirist of the Victorians • T. Martin Wood

... condition to which hardly any series of misfortunes could have reduced the Duchess of Omnium,—but inclined to quiescence by feelings of penitence. She was less disposed than heretofore to attack him with what the world of yesterday calls "chaff," or with what the world of to-day calls "cheek." She would not admit to herself that she was cowed;—but the greatness of the game and the high interest attached to her husband's position did in some ...
— The Prime Minister • Anthony Trollope

... discernment &c (intelligence) 498; acuteness, penetration; nuances. dope [Slang], past performances. V. discriminate, distinguish, severalize^; recognize, match, identify; separate; draw the line, sift; separate the chaff from the wheat, winnow the chaff from the wheat; separate the men from the boys; split hairs, draw a fine line, nitpick, quibble. estimate &c (measure) 466; know which is which, know what is what, know 'a hawk from a handsaw' ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... not drink. He was a very safe man in the field. He did not lie outrageously in selling his horses. He did not cheat at cards. As long as he had a drop of drink left in his flask, he would share it with any friend. He never boasted. He was much given to chaff, but his chaff was good-humoured. He was generous with his cigars. Such were his virtues. That he had no adequate means of his own and that he never earned a penny, that he lived chiefly by gambling, that he had no pursuit in life but pleasure, that he never went ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... overdone. Macgregor, after all, was not quite sure about Christina. She laughed at so many things. He was to meet her at seven, and of late he had lost sleep wondering how she would receive his first appearance in the kilt. He dreaded her chaff more than any horrors of war ...
— Wee Macgreegor Enlists • J. J. Bell

... is not the sinners' end— Like the light chaff are they, Which when the softest winds arise, Are quickly ...
— Lays from the West • M. A. Nicholl

... happens to be reading worthy of careful consideration?" Not necessarily, by any means. The production of thought parallels the production of grain. An acre of ground, that yields thirty bushels or eighteen hundred pounds of wheat, may easily grow two whole tons of straw and chaff. These latter are absolutely necessary to the formation of the wheat kernel; yet the consumer usually has little use for them; he gets past them to the grain with the least possible delay, often ...
— How To Study and Teaching How To Study • F. M. McMurry

... through the depths of the sea, reining back its foaming waves as a rider his white-maned steed; giving to the thirsty—water from the rock, to the hungry—bread from the skies, and scattering the foes of Israel before them, as chaff is driven by the wind. I have heard of the sun's fiery chariot arrested in its course by the voice of a man, speaking with authority given to him by an inspiring Deity. Tell me what is the name of ...
— Hebrew Heroes - A Tale Founded on Jewish History • AKA A.L.O.E. A.L.O.E., Charlotte Maria Tucker

... home from school Look in at the open door; They love to see the flaming forge, And hear the bellows roar, And catch the burning sparks that fly Like chaff from a threshing-floor. ...
— The Golden Treasury of American Songs and Lyrics • Various

... through them for increasing the happiness of others! These humble but portly representatives of political literature are the log-books of the ship of state. They chart and chronicle the currents and winds along its course, so that from the mass of chaff a grain of guidance may be painfully winnowed out for the benefit of its next voyage, or for the voyages of other craft floundering on the same perilous and baffling sea. Everything comes pat to a log-book. As endless is the medley of memoranda in blue-books. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Vol. XVII, No. 102. June, 1876. • Various

... said George. "Sometimes, when I listen to the preachers, I get so befuddled and mixed up that there's nothing but a big pile of chaff, with now and then a few stray grains of truth, and the parson keeps the air so full of the dust and dirt that you'd rather he wouldn't hunt for the grain of truth at all. Then I'm an infidel. And again I see something like that last night, and I believe it must be true. And then ...
— That Printer of Udell's • Harold Bell Wright

... foam, and far as the eye could pierce through the gloom, not another prahu was in sight. The tempest had scattered far and wide the barks of the fierce warriors as the summer breeze would the light chaff. The working of the vessel, as she was tossed up and down by the waves, caused her to leak most alarmingly, and all hands were set to work to bale her out. In this we of course very willingly joined, ...
— Mark Seaworth • William H.G. Kingston

... the utmost pains with his charger. As long as the war lasted, he looked upon him as his fellow-helper in all emergencies and fed him carefully with hay and corn. But when the war was over, he only allowed him chaff to eat and made him carry heavy loads of wood, subjecting him to much slavish drudgery and ill-treatment. War was again proclaimed, however, and when the trumpet summoned him to his standard, the Soldier put on his charger ...
— Aesop's Fables • Aesop

... honourable Roman, when he reflected on the fearfully rapid decline of the nation since that great age. Then the Italian slaves stood like a wall against the veterans of Hannibal; now the Italian militia were scattered like chaff before the bludgeons of their runaway serfs. Then every plain captain acted in case of need as general, and fought often without success, but always with honour; now it was difficult to find among all the officers of rank a leader of even ordinary efficiency. Then ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... it almost makes me laugh To see men leaving the golden grain, To gather in piles the pitiful chaff That old Peter Lombard thrashed with his brain, To have it caught up and tossed again On the horns of the Dumb ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1 - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook • The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.

... lovely in temper, rigid in etiquette, learned in precedence, an oracle in court traditions, a terror to the young maids-of-honor, and always quarrelling with her own sisters, younger, fairer, poorer than herself. Her mind and will were as active as in her girlhood, but they ground chaff instead of wheat. Whether her sisters should dine at the Queen's table, when she never had; who should be her trainbearer at the royal marriage; whether the royal Spanish father-in-law, on the same occasion, should or should not salute the Queen-mother; who, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Number 9, July, 1858 • Various

... have kind impulses in this direction. When the boys come into my yard for leave to gather horsechestnuts, I own I enter into Nature's game, and affect to grant the permission reluctantly, fearing that any moment they will find out the imposture of that showy chaff. But this tenderness is quite unnecessary; the enchantments are laid on very thick. Their young life is thatched with them. Bare and grim to tears is the lot of the children in the hovel I saw yesterday; yet not the less they hung it round with frippery romance, like the children of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... is fair—and though I buy this Knowledge at the vast Price of all my Repose; yet I must own, 'tis a better Bargain than chaff'ring of a Heart for feign'd Embraces—Thou hast undone me—yet must have my Friendship; and 'twill be still some Ease in this Extreme, to see thee yet ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn - Volume IV. • Aphra Behn

... with the man who has daily inured himself to habits of concentrated attention, energetic volition, and self-denial in unnecessary things. He will stand like a tower when everything rocks around him, and his softer fellow-mortals are winnowed like chaff ...
— Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life's Ideals • William James

... and fled panic-struck in all directions, at the first sight of their terrible foe. Two Spaniards lost their lives and two thousand Netherlanders. It was natural that these consummate warriors should despise such easily slaughtered victims. A single stroke of the iron flail, and the chaff was scattered to the four winds; a single sweep of the disciplined scythe, and countless acres were in an instant mown. Nevertheless, although beaten constantly, the Netherlanders were not conquered. Holland and Zealand ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... believe it reached him afore he saw my uncle at all; so she was brought home* that day, and, on the Thursday night after, I, my father, uncle, and several other friends, went there and made the match. She had sixty guineas, that her grandfather left her, thirteen head of cattle, two feather- and two chaff-beds, with sheeting, quilts, and blankets; three pieces of bleached linen, and a flock of geese of her own rearing—upon the whole, among ourselves, it wasn't aisy ...
— The Ned M'Keown Stories - Traits And Stories Of The Irish Peasantry, The Works of - William Carleton, Volume Three • William Carleton

... interpretations. No doubt, on the whole, Nature protects her best. But it would not be difficult to bring together an array of facts as striking as those produced by the evolutionists in favor of their theory, to show that sexual selection is by no means always favorable to the elimination of the chaff, and the preservation of the wheat. A natural attraction, independent of strength or beauty, is an unquestionable element in this problem, and its action is seen among animals as well as among men. The fact that fine progeny are not infrequently the offspring ...
— Louis Agassiz: His Life and Correspondence • Louis Agassiz

... Nicholas. But there was no need of words to tell what was in the mind of Nicholas II; that had been made quite evident by the new laws and the new Ministry. Before the Duma lay the heavy task of continuing the Revolution, despite the fact that the revolutionary army had been scattered as chaff is ...
— Bolshevism - The Enemy of Political and Industrial Democracy • John Spargo

... the introduction that Wm. Gatewood writes a more cautious letter upon the subject than his son Silas. "It is not a very easy matter to catch old birds with chaff," and I presume if Silas had the writing of his letter over again, he would not be so free in telling all he knew, and even more, for the sake of making out a strong case. The object of his writing such a letter will doubtless be understood ...
— Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself • Henry Bibb

... morning, his five tentmates fell to catechising him as to his pensive mood, and their catechism was largely intermingled with chaff. ...
— On the Firing Line • Anna Chapin Ray and Hamilton Brock Fuller

... natives joined the movement, and troops had to be sent to suppress the rising. Having assumed the title of King of the Tagalogs, he pretended to have direct heavenly support, telling the ignorant masses that he was invulnerable and that the soldiers' bullets would fly from them like chaff before ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: you shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you have them, they ...
— Familiar Quotations • John Bartlett

... upon the pale-faces as the natural friends and benefactors of his species. Until within the last few years, no pen has ventured to write impartially of the Indian character, and no one has attempted to separate the wheat from the chaff in the generally received accounts which have come down to us from our forefathers. The fact is that the Indian is very much what his white brother has made him. The red man was the original possessor of this continent, ...
— Canadian Notabilities, Volume 1 • John Charles Dent

... ancient controversies. The "drum ecclesiastic" of the seventeenth century would sound a mere lullaby to us. Here and there a priest or a belated dissenting minister may amuse himself by threshing out once more the old chaff of dead and buried dogmas. There are people who can argue gravely about baptismal regeneration or apostolical succession. Such doctrines were once alive, no doubt, because they represented the form in which certain still living ...
— Social Rights and Duties, Volume I (of 2) - Addresses to Ethical Societies • Sir Leslie Stephen

... Hardly had the crowd begun to assemble next night before he appeared once more upon the barrel and began to read with the same monotonous vigour, tripping over words! muddling up sentences, but still boring along through chapter after chapter. Laughter, threats, chaff—every weapon short of actual violence—was used to deter him, but all with the same want of success. Soon it was found that there was a method in his proceedings. When silence reigned, or when the conversation was of an innocent nature, the reading ceased. A single word of blasphemy, ...
— The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... white sunlight. Under the gas-lamps who shall tell diamond from paste? Bring it into the sunlight: does it stand that test? Then it is good. And the children! they are the waiting earth on which we fling our store. Is it chaff and dust or living seed? Wait and watch. I shower my thoughts over our Paul, Mrs. Kelver. They seem to me brilliant, deep, original. The young beggar swallows them, forgets them. They were rubbish. Then ...
— Paul Kelver • Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome

... may tell you much that is clearly and ludicrously irrelevant, or untrue, on account of inaccuracy of observation, confusion of cause and effect, or a mental color-blindness produced by the disease itself. But these things can all be brushed aside like the chaff from the wheat if checked up by the picture of the disease ...
— Preventable Diseases • Woods Hutchinson



Words linked to "Chaff" :   plant substance, bait, plant material, bran, ride, taunt, tease, rally, foil, tantalise, tantalize, rag, cod, razz, twit



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