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Crabbed   /kræbd/   Listen
Crabbed

adjective
1.
Annoyed and irritable.  Synonyms: bad-tempered, crabby, cross, fussy, grouchy, grumpy, ill-tempered.



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"Crabbed" Quotes from Famous Books



... were three batches of from six to ten youngsters each during the course of the season. He also did a father's share of work with the children. I think he hated hatching them. He would settle upon the roof above the nest, and chirp in a crabbed, imposed-upon tone until his wife came out. As she flew briskly away, he would look disconsolately around at the bright busy world, ruffle his feathers, scold to himself, and then crawl dutifully in upon ...
— Roof and Meadow • Dallas Lore Sharp

... is plain and spare to the verge of a gaunt severity, and there is not one single picture-frame on the wide expanse of wall. On the table are a few books and some letters, with foreign postmarks, and addressed in the crabbed handwriting of Continental scholars. Over the table a brazen lamp hangs suspended by a slender chain. In a corner are some fragments of stone mouldings and wood carvings like the panel of an ancient pew. There are no shelves and no bookcase. Besides those on the ...
— Hodge and His Masters • Richard Jefferies

... there at any rate who do not agree with it. Long ago I wrote a protest in which I asked why Englishmen had forgotten the great state of Virginia, the first in foundation and long the first in leadership; and why a few crabbed Nonconformists should have the right to erase a record that begins with Raleigh and ends with Lee, and incidentally includes Washington. The great state of Virginia was the backbone of America until it was broken in the Civil War. From Virginia came the first great Presidents and most of the ...
— What I Saw in America • G. K. Chesterton

... religion of the civilized world, hardly excites curiosity enough in them to take it up and read a single verse! I have often offered it to them to read, but they have refused to open the book. A great disadvantage is the crabbed, miserable language into which it is translated. After the bold, impudent, and sublime language of the Koran, they cannot relish the tame and stunted language of the Arabic New Testament. As for the simple and grand truths of the New Testament, these they ...
— Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846 • James Richardson

... peasant mowing the grass in front of the boy's distant parental home. A few days later I discovered the meaning of this series of pictures. Disagreeable family relations had made the boy nervous. It was the case of a strict and crabbed father who lived unhappily with his mother, and whose educational methods consisted in threats; of the separation of his father from his tender and delicate mother, and the remarrying of his father, who one day brought home a young woman as his new mamma. The illness of the fourteen-year-old ...
— Dream Psychology - Psychoanalysis for Beginners • Sigmund Freud

... There's too much sacrifice of love these days. Young fellows instead of having homes of their own are supporting two or three grown-up sisters and getting crabbed and bitter. And girls the Lord meant for wives and mothers stay at home because the old folks don't want to spare them. Nine times out of ten it's like Abraham sacrificing Isaac, and there's a he-goat somewhere round in the bushes that would do just ...
— Other People's Business - The Romantic Career of the Practical Miss Dale • Harriet L. Smith

... are evident; his style is harsh, obscure and crabbed; it is sometimes said that he seems wiser than he really is mainly because his language is difficult; that if his thoughts were translated into easier prose our impressions of his greatness would be much modified. Yet it is to be remembered that he, like ...
— Authors of Greece • T. W. Lumb

... I thought he had turned to face us. But though we were hardly a yard off he did not realize that we were there. He tapped four times on a very low and dirty door in the dark, crabbed street. A gleam of gas cut the darkness as it opened slowly. We listened intently, but the interview was short and simple and inexplicable as an interview could be. Our exquisite friend handed in what looked like a paper or a ...
— The Club of Queer Trades • G. K. Chesterton

... sweethearting went no farther than her artless lips. There was not a spice of mischief in the girl. What she had told La Testolina had been no more than the truth: Master Baldassare was good to her—better than you would have believed possible in such a crabbed old stub of a man. He was more of a father to her than ever Don Urbano had been to anything save his own belly; but it was incontestable that he was not father to anything else. That alone might have been a grievance for Vanna, but there is no evidence ...
— Little Novels of Italy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... the side—the left side," said Anne, gathering up in her agitation the sense of the crabbed writing as best she could. "They have not extracted the bullet, but when they have, he will ...
— A Reputed Changeling • Charlotte M. Yonge

... deep in her loyal, tender heart—began soon after her return from school to cultivate old William Truedale, much to that crabbed gentleman's surprise and apparent confusion. There was some excuse for the sudden friendship, for Brace during preparatory school and college had formed a deep and sincere attachment for Conning Truedale and at vacation time ...
— The Man Thou Gavest • Harriet T. Comstock

... land surveyor, and the town clerk, a close observer of men and their public and private affairs, and kept a careful record of current events in a "crabbed, eccentric but by no means entirely illegible hand" during the long years of his ...
— The Witchcraft Delusion In Colonial Connecticut (1647-1697) • John M. Taylor

... blessing has been said to women. The opinion, surely not the withheld wine, so angered his hostess, that she shivered four hundred wine-pitchers, letting their contents flow over the ground.[30] If the rabbis had such incidents in mind, crabbed utterances were not unjustifiable. Perhaps every rabbinical antagonist to woman's higher education was himself the victim of a learned wife, who regaled him, after his toilsome research at the academy, with unpalatable soup, or, worse still, with Talmudic discussions. Instances are ...
— Jewish Literature and Other Essays • Gustav Karpeles

... reason," he writes, in his crabbed hand and nervous diction, "why men using the sea, and being otherwise fit objects to be impressed into His Majesty's service, should be exempted only because they are Freeholders. Nor did I ever read or hear of such an exemption. Therefore, unless ...
— The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore • John R. Hutchinson

... crabbed old creature!' Egremont exclaimed, as they walked away. 'I should feel relieved if I knew that she went off at once to the ...
— Thyrza • George Gissing

... believed in Mordecai's learning as something marvellous, and was not sorry that his conversation should be sought by a bookish gentleman, whose visits had twice ended in a purchase. He greeted Deronda with a crabbed good-will, and, putting on large silver spectacles, appeared at once to abstract himself in the ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... the lover's blood and whose malignant tongues aim only at the "defilement of separation." Youth is upright as an Alif, or slender and bending as a branch of the Ban-tree which we should call a willow-wand,[FN307] while Age, crabbed and crooked, bends groundwards vainly seeking in the dust his lost juvenility. As Baron de Slane says of these stock comparisons (Ibn Khall. i. xxxvi.), "The figurative language of Moslem poets is often difficult ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... hermit's life thou hast had no knowledge of the robbery, the desecration, the pollution which our Holy Mother Church has undergone from these pestilent heretics, who have thought to denude her of her beauty and her glory, whilst striving to retain such things as jump with their crabbed humours, and may be pared down to please their poisoned and vicious minds. Ah! it makes the blood boil in the veins of the true sons of the Church, as thou wilt find, my youthful friend, when thou gettest amongst them. But it will not always last. The day of reckoning will come—nay, is ...
— The Lost Treasure of Trevlyn - A Story of the Days of the Gunpowder Plot • Evelyn Everett-Green

... armed; but who, notwithstanding their martial equipment, appeared to be very peaceably disposed persons. I was delighted with the novelty of the scene, and could not help galloping and curvetting my horse to the annoyance of my master, who in a somewhat crabbed tone, bid me keep in mind that the beast would not last the journey if I wore it out by unseasonable feats of horsemanship. I soon became a favourite with all the company, many of whom I shaved after the day's march was over. As for my master, it is not ...
— The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan • James Morier

... schoolmaster Mr. Farnaby, and then under the tuition of Dr. Beale, in Jesus College in Cambridge, from whence, being a most excellent Latinist, he was admitted into the Inner Temple; but it seemed so crabbed a study, and disagreeable to his inclinations, that he rather studied to obey his mother than to make any progress in the law. Upon the death of his mother, whom he dearly loved and honoured, he went into France to Paris, ...
— Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe • Lady Fanshawe

... long, silky moustache with his short, crabbed little hand. He remembered that he had heard the carriage ordered for two o'clock—they were all going to a tennis-party some miles distant. Under the circumstances she might walk about the grounds without being noticed. He did not think any of the ...
— Victorian Short Stories, - Stories Of Successful Marriages • Elizabeth Gaskell, et al.

... in the Dairy. H.H. Hobday. A ticklish village amour: a young fellow importuning a buxom dairy-maid, and apparently on the verge of conquest; in the distant door-way stands a mar-loving, wrinkled old woman, whose crabbed face ought not to be ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. XIX. No. 540, Saturday, March 31, 1832 • Various

... crabbed and-severe, Lieutenant Lon Lumbago, an arch scrutineer? Call the roll to-day, would he answer—Here! When the Blixum's fellows to quarters mustered How he'd lurch along the lane of gun-crews clustered, ...
— John Marr and Other Poems • Herman Melville

... procured him no favour in the eyes of the doctor, who grew more and more crabbed and intolerant, the nearer the term of apprenticeship approached. Frau Ilsy, too, was for ever finding some occasion to raise a windy tempest about his ears; and seldom encountered him about the house, without a clatter of the tongue; so that at length the jingling of her keys, as she approached, ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... paper fastened to the ancient Fountain. On the top of the Scroll was written, very clearly—"All those who can read the words beneath shall be rewarded generously," but the lines that followed were in a strange language, and in such crabbed characters that they defied every effort to ...
— Soap-Bubble Stories - For Children • Fanny Barry

... he had dismissed the laborers to ask him what was the matter, when he responded by showing her a leaden tube with a cover, somewhat like the tube in which a soldier on furlough keeps his leave, from which he drew a yellow parchment covered with crabbed handwriting, and carefully unrolling it ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: Spanish • Various

... crabbed old chap," he said aloud, "but there's something about that little girl makes me feel young again . . . and it's such a pleasant sensation I'd like to have it repeated once ...
— Anne Of Avonlea • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... repeatedly and emphatically declared that it was the very last thing he should have expected. He could neither imagine what had made the merchant think of proposing to me, nor what had made me so ready to refuse him. Then they were in the very middle of a crabbed pamphlet, in which Ivan's superior knowledge of German had been invaluable. It ...
— Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... liquor Will end a contest quicker Than justice, judge, or vicar; So fill a cheerful glass, And let good humour pass. But if more deep the quarrel, Why, sooner drain the barrel Than be the hateful fellow That's crabbed when he's mellow. ...
— The Duenna • Richard Brinsley Sheridan

... Whereas we find Bazan still flourishing, and a person of consequence at Court, when Richelieu came to the height of his power. Nevertheless on him there remains no stone; only some sketch of the above, and a crabbed note at the foot of a dusty ...
— In Kings' Byways • Stanley J. Weyman

... a crabbed hand, apparently unused to writing in English, though grammatically correct. And this was ...
— The Aeroplane Boys on the Wing - Aeroplane Chums in the Tropics • John Luther Langworthy

... permitted to see. And when he runs away from the bastinado, breaking in revenge the icon of the Holy Virgin, his father turns him away from home. Complaining not, whimpering not, he goes. And hearing the bulbuls calling in the direction of Najma's house that evening, he repairs thither. But the crabbed, cruel uncle turns him away also, and bolts the door. Whereupon Khalid, who was then in the first of his teens, takes a big scabrous rock and sends it flying against that door. The crabbed uncle rushes out, blustering, ...
— The Book of Khalid • Ameen Rihani

... a lovely girl was too exalted to inspire any other feeling than that of quiet reverence. But as lovers will not always be insulted, at all times and under all circumstances, by the frowns and cold looks of crabbed old age, which should continually reflect dignity upon those around, and treat the unfortunate as well as the fortunate with a graceful mien, he continued to use diligence and perseverance. All this lighted a spark in his heart that changed his whole character, and like the unyielding ...
— The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories • Mark Twain

... care for me a good deal, darling, do you not?' in a most persuasive voice. 'But, for my own comfort, I want you to tell me if you are quite content to accept such a crabbed old ...
— Uncle Max • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... time in sketching an extra-nuptial adventure to the bland and appreciative smiles of the other. Both of them, he thought, were Mr. Gilberts in embryo; the number of their "yes's" would have to be quadrupled, their natures crabbed by twenty years—then they would be no more than obsolete and broken machines, pseudo-wise and valueless, nursed to an utter senility by the women they ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... always away from home, and he died suddenly in California a little more than a year ago. I haven't been able to find out that he left any property, so Merriwell is dependent on the generosity of a rather crabbed and crusty old uncle, whose head is filled with freaks and fancies. He seems to be just the kind of a man who would be easily turned against a nephew who had, as he would consider ...
— Frank Merriwell's Chums • Burt L. Standish

... meetings her words had been even more explicit. She had called him a man of ice. She had taxed him with the narrow limits of his sympathies. "Well," said Reason, "did you not give her cause for all she said and more? Weren't you an odious, crabbed, supercilious cad?" ...
— Flint - His Faults, His Friendships and His Fortunes • Maud Wilder Goodwin

... of paper on which were a few lines in a rather crabbed hand; which Fred would once have said was just like the character of the whimsical old maid herself, but which he now knew must be ...
— Fred Fenton on the Crew - or, The Young Oarsmen of Riverport School • Allen Chapman

... adapted to the apple, like a certain belt along the Hudson River, I have noticed that most of the wild, unbidden trees bear good, edible fruit. In cold and ungenial districts the seedlings are mostly sour and crabbed, but in more favorable soils they are oftener mild and sweet. I know wild apples that ripen in August, and that do not need, if it could be had, Thoreau's sauce of sharp, November air to be eaten with. At the foot of a hill near me, and striking its roots deep in the shale, is a giant ...
— Winter Sunshine • John Burroughs

... none beholden, save to me alone. For it is neither the spear of throughly-begotten Pallas, nor the buckler of cloud-gathering Jove, that multiplies and propagates mankind: but my sportive and tickling recreation that proceeded the old crabbed philosophers, and those who now supply their stead, the mortified monks and friars; as also kings, priests, and popes, nay, the whole tribe of poetic gods, who are at last grown so numerous, as in the camp of heaven (though ne'er so ...
— In Praise of Folly - Illustrated with Many Curious Cuts • Desiderius Erasmus

... Peel bay, a wide stretch of beach, with a gentle slope to the left, dotted over with grey houses; the little town farther on, with its nooks and corners, its blind alleys and dark lanes, its narrow, crabbed, crooked streets. Behind this the old pier and the herring boats rocking in the harbour, with their brown sails half set, waiting for the top of the tide. In the distance the broad breast of Contrary Head, and, a musket-shot outside of it, the little rocky islet whereon stand the ...
— The Little Manx Nation - 1891 • Hall Caine

... genius, on the other hand, struck notes of discord harsher, louder, and more frequent than any poet since Elizabethan times. Whatever we hold about the insight and imagination of Browning, no one can doubt that he often chose to be uncouth, crabbed, grotesque, and even clownish, when the humour was on him. There are high precedents for genius choosing its own instrument and making its own music. But, whatever were Browning's latent powers of melody, his method when he chose to play upon the gong, ...
— Studies in Early Victorian Literature • Frederic Harrison

... did not let her nephew know it. Corporeally she was angular and iron-grey, with a summary tongue and wintry temper, chastened by a fondness for feline favourites. Unluckily, I was always falling foul of the latter, and my aunt continually fell foul of me in consequence. Crabbed age and youth could not live together in our case on account of cats. Age, as represented by the mature virgin, adored the brutes; youth, in the shape of a sprouting hobbledehoy, abhorred them altogether, and one evil minded black Tom in particular. ...
— The Idler, Volume III., Issue XIII., February 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly. Edited By Jerome K. Jerome & Robert Barr • Various

... he had had of the crabbed, clear handwriting, the terse phrases, the daring and independent thought of Archiater, he had been fascinated. Now he had set out to cross the narrow seas and find out what, if anything, remained of the ...
— Masters of the Guild • L. Lamprey

... scale, Could take the size of pots of ale; Resolve, by sines and tangents straight, If bread or butter wanted weight, And wisely tell what hour o' th' day 125 The clock does strike by algebra. Beside, he was a shrewd PHILOSOPHER, And had read ev'ry text and gloss over; Whate'er the crabbed'st author hath, He understood b' implicit faith: 130 Whatever sceptic could inquire for, For ev'ry why he had a wherefore; Knew more than forty of them do, As far as words and terms cou'd go. All ...
— Hudibras • Samuel Butler

... these titles explains the former. In fact, this cast of parts consists of characters, that is, foolish or crabbed old women, antiquated dowagers in love, &c. Commonly, these parts are taken up by actresses grown too old for playing soubrettes; but to perform them well, requires no trifling share of comic humour; ...
— Paris As It Was and As It Is • Francis W. Blagdon

... bed without supper, it is a still less pleasant thing not to sup and not to know where one is to sleep. That was Gringoire's condition. No supper, no shelter; he saw himself pressed on all sides by necessity, and he found necessity very crabbed. He had long ago discovered the truth, that Jupiter created men during a fit of misanthropy, and that during a wise man's whole life, his destiny holds his philosophy in a state of siege. As for himself, he had never ...
— Notre-Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre Dame • Victor Hugo

... have been here a thousand years a million years and yet they are not stale, but are ever fresh, ever serene, ever here to loosen one's crabbed spirit and make one quietly happy. It seems to me I could not live if it were not possible often to come thus alone to ...
— Great Possessions • David Grayson

... is flung out to all however poor. Beside Trinity there are but few chimes of bells in the city, neither do poor children there sing Christmas carols in the streets and thus unlatch the doors of even crabbed hearts. ...
— Seven Little People and their Friends • Horace Elisha Scudder

... the note from Grylls. It was scribbled in a small, crabbed hand on the back of a business letter. On the other side Garth had a glimpse of the time-honoured formula: "Dear Sir: Yours of the first instant to hand, and contents noted. In reply we beg to say——" It gave him a queer, incongruous start: outside, it seemed, people still went to and from their ...
— Two on the Trail - A Story of the Far Northwest • Hulbert Footner

... were to rise up from the grave to-morrow, he wouldn't trust the old blade with a penny piece, but would tell him that his son Josh was too old a soldier to be done again, Sir. That he was a suspicious, crabbed, cranky, used-up, J. B. infidel, Sir; and that if it were consistent with the dignity of a rough and tough old Major, of the old school, who had had the honour of being personally known to, and commended by, their late Royal Highnesses the Dukes ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... honey and flow beyond their proper margins, either surging out in a milky, frothing wave, washing from its place a florid gothic capital, drowning the white violets of the marble floor; or else reabsorbed into their limits, contracting still further a crabbed Latin inscription, bringing a fresh touch of fantasy into the arrangement of its curtailed characters, closing together two letters of some word of which the rest were disproportionately scattered. Its windows were never so brilliant as on days when the sun scarcely shone, ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... their thanks, and as Philibert looked up, he saw pretty Zoe Bedard poring over a sheet of paper bearing a red seal, and spelling out the crabbed law text of Master Pothier. Zoe, like other girls of her class, had received a tincture of learning in the day schools of the nuns; but, although the paper was her marriage contract, it puzzled her greatly to pick out the few chips of plain ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... disproportion betweene Aristotles Categories, and their childish capacities, that what together with the sweetnesse of libertie, varietie of companie, and so many kinds of recreation in towne and fields abroad," they give over any attempt to understand "the crabbed grounds of Arts." Whereupon, the parents, "if they perceive any wildnesse or unstayednesse in their children, are presently in despaire, and out of all hope of them for ever prooving Schollers, or fit for anything else; neither consider the nature ...
— English Travellers of the Renaissance • Clare Howard

... had spoken with prophetic wisdom. Dry Bottom was trying as best it knew how to wallow in the depths of sin. Unlovely, soiled, desolate of verdure, dumped down upon a flat of sand in a treeless waste, amid cactus, crabbed yucca, scorpions, horned toads, and rattlesnakes. Dry Bottom had forgotten its morals, subverted its principles, ...
— The Two-Gun Man • Charles Alden Seltzer

... southern part of Chester County, Pennsylvania, is money, too, but just where nobody knows. A lonely, crabbed man, who died there in a poor hut after the Revolution, owned that he had served the British as a spy, but said that he had spent none of the gold that he had taken from them. He was either too sorry for his deeds, or too mean to do so. He had put it in a crock ...
— Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete • Charles M. Skinner

... characterize them only by painting a hundred individual traits expressive of their peculiarity and their caprice, and this is incompatible with the great epic style. It is by no means accidental that Scherenberg is unable to get away from the most arbitrary crabbed versification in his historical genre poems celebrating Frederick the Great. The capricious heroes with pigtails do not tolerate smooth verses. The favorite verse-form of their day, however, the stiff alexandrine, characterizes ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VIII • Various

... anybody in this world ought to have money it is that good looking brother of ours," remarked Jess with a sigh. "He'd appreciate it so thoroughly. I don't wonder he's crabbed this afternoon. Just think of the chance for a good time he's had to let slip just for lack of a ...
— Two Boys and a Fortune • Matthew White, Jr.

... delights of her love with a rapture which kindles and purifies. So far from making her an inquisitor, he says expressly that she "should be gladsome and not sullen in all her works." (Convito, Tr. I. c. 8.) "Not harsh and crabbed as ...
— Among My Books • James Russell Lowell

... and chivalry. It was a solemn and sombre gathering in which all the arrangements suggested only death and gloom, while the accused waited in suspense, knowing that halter and fagot were prepared for them should their champion fall. In quaint and crabbed Latin the old chronicler, John of Fordun, tells the story of the fight, for which there is neither need nor space here. The glove of each contestant was flung into the lists by the judge, and the dispute committed for settlement to the power of God and their own ...
— Historic Girls • E. S. Brooks

... that we back Ben Muich Dhui in this contest. It is true that Ben Nevis is in all respects a highly meritorious hill. We must do justice to his manly civility and good humour. We have found many a crabbed little crag more difficult of access; and, for his height, we scarcely know another mountain, of which it is so easy to reach the top. He stands majestic and alone, his own spurs more nearly rivalling him than any of the neighbouring hills. Rising straight from ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, No. 382, October 1847 • Various

... of crabbed rules, my dear old Dubbs; why, then," said Kenrick, "we should all be ...
— St. Winifred's - The World of School • Frederic W. Farrar

... de Richelieu loved rallying other people, but could not bear a jest himself, and all men of this humour are always very crabbed and churlish; of which the Cardinal gave an instance, in a public assembly of ladies, to Madame de Guemenee, when he threw out a severe jest, which everybody observed was pointed at me. She was sensibly affronted, but I was ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... much about Carthusian convents as is needful for any of their inmates; when I studied Tromby's ponderous work and God knows how many more—ay, and spent two precious weeks of my life in deciphering certain crabbed MSS. of Tutini in the Brancacciana library—ay, and tested the spleenful Perrey's "Ragioni del Regio Fisco, etc.," as to the alleged land-grabbing propensities of this order—ay, and even pilgrimaged to Rome to consult the present general ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... I speak of men. Jack, I don't mean old folk with balls in their knees. I meant people of our own age that we could make friends of. By the way, that crabbed old doctor had a son, had ...
— The Great Shadow and Other Napoleonic Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... manner did Melchitsedek Pinchas approach Hiram Lyons and Simon Gradkoski, the former a poverty-stricken pietist who added day by day to a furlong of crabbed manuscript, embodying a useless commentary on the first chapter of Genesis; the latter the portly fancy-goods dealer in whose warehouse Daniel Hyams was employed. Gradkoski rivalled Reb Shemuel in his knowledge of the ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... that this Man was never cut out to be a Presbyter, or any Thing that is severe and crabbed. In no Time did he lean to Faction, but did his Business without Offence to any. He put off officious Talk of Government or Politicks, with Jests, and so made his Wit a Catholicon, or Shield, to cover all his weak Places ...
— Characters from 17th Century Histories and Chronicles • Various

... look with alarm at changes whose far-reaching consequences cannot yet be estimated. Scott, meanwhile, is the incomparable painter of the sturdy race which he loved so well—a race high-spirited, loyal to its principles, surpassingly energetic, full of strong affections and manly spirits, if crabbed, bigoted, and capable of queer perversity and narrow self-conceit. Nor, if we differ from his opinions, can anyone who desires to take a reasonable view of history doubt the interest and value of the conceptions involved. Scott was really the first imaginative observer who saw distinctly how ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... integrity of character, and legal ability had secured for him a nomination to the bench of the Supreme Court by President Adams, which, however, the Democratic Senate failed to confirm. Kept in the shade by Henry Clay, he became somewhat crabbed, but his was one of the noblest intellects of his generation. His persuasive eloquence, his sound judgment, his knowledge of the law, his lucid manner of stating facts, and his complete grasp of every case which he examined had made him ...
— Perley's Reminiscences, Vol. 1-2 - of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis • Benjamin Perley Poore

... moments later Coquenil and the commissary and Papa Tignol were standing in the courtyard near two green tubs of foliage plants between which the pistol had fallen. The doorkeeper of the house, a crabbed individual who had only become mildly respectful when he learned that he was dealing with the police, had joined them, his ...
— Through the Wall • Cleveland Moffett

... related in this way," replied her mother. "But with the inheritance all romance disappeared from your aunt's life. She became a crabbed, disagreeable woman, old before her time and friendless because she suspected everyone of trying to rob her of her money. Your poor father applied to her in vain for assistance, and I believe her refusal ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces • Edith Van Dyne

... with all their eccentricities, that we see even more clearly that free-thought was, as it were, a fight between finger-posts. For it is the remarkable fact that it was the man who had the healthy and manly outlook who had the crabbed and perverse style; it was the man who had the crabbed and perverse outlook who had the healthy and manly style. The reader may well have complained of paradox when I observed above that Meredith, unlike most neo-Pagans, did in his way take ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... indeed, have an honoured place in my poor Collection whenever the public taste calls for a new edition. But the original, what would I not give to have it in my hands, to touch the very parchment which came from the press of my revered ancestor, and, gloating on the crabbed letters, confute MacCribb to his face ipso visu et tactu of so inestimable a rarity. Exchanges—or "swaps," as the vulgar call them—are not unknown among our fraternity. Ask what you will for this treasure, to the half of my kingdom: my gold ...
— Old Friends - Essays in Epistolary Parody • Andrew Lang

... poetry is rather psychological than purely literary. He never claimed to be more than an amateur, writing to amuse himself. His style is obscure, crabbed, ungrammatical. Expression only finds a smooth and flowing outlet when the man's nature is profoundly stirred by some powerful emotion, as in the sonnets to Cavalieri, or the sonnets on the deaths of Vittoria Colonna and Urbino, or the sonnets ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... cloth; for your buyer and seller never lacks a reason either for his selling or buying. Presently he is buying again; this time, still with striking of legal attitudes, calling together of relations, and accompaniments of crabbed Latin notarial documents, a piece of ground in the suburbs of Genoa, consisting of scrub and undergrowth, which cannot have been of any earthly use to him. But also, according to the documents, there went some old wine-vats with the land. Domenico, taking a walk after Mass on some ...
— Christopher Columbus, Complete • Filson Young

... come with the abhorred shears and lopped its branches till it must feel like a frustrate thing. The fruit is the fruit of frustration. Were it not for this frustration, it would ultimately return to a state of wildness, and would become a crabbed and barren weed, fit only to ...
— The Pleasures of Ignorance • Robert Lynd

... make a city." And the same compatriot of the dramatist, in dealing with the 'Enemy of the People' declared that "each trait bears the indelible mark of a small society, which stunts and cripples the sons of men, making them crabbed and crooked, when in a richer soil many of them might have shot boldly up ...
— Inquiries and Opinions • Brander Matthews

... in their sermon-books with a keen regard for economy of space and paper. The manuscript sermons of New England divines are models of careful penmanship, and may be examined with interest by a student of chirography. The letters are cramped and crabbed, like the lives of many of the writers, but the penmanship is methodical, clear, and distinct, without wavering lines or ...
— Sabbath in Puritan New England • Alice Morse Earle

... of the war. Bof sides was good to me. I've seen many a scout. The captain would say 'By G——, close the ranks.' Captains is right crabbed. I stayed back with ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - Volume II. Arkansas Narratives. Part I • Work Projects Administration

... sick, and Mr. Assistant Secretary Campbell is crabbed—Congress not having passed his Supreme Court bill. And if it were passed, the President would hardly appoint ...
— A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital • John Beauchamp Jones

... against one man, and he the highest in the land; to blame, of course, in a secondary degree, but not the one primarily at fault for this deplorable state of things. The Emperor, always indolent from the time he came to the throne, had grown old and crabbed and fat, caring for nothing but his flagon of wine that stood continually at his elbow. Laxity of rule in the beginning allowed his nobles to get the upper hand, and now it would require a civil war to bring them into subjection again. They, sitting snug in their strongholds, ...
— The Sword Maker • Robert Barr

... consideration, No worldly matter can rase it out of mind. For once it will be the final restoration Of Adam and Eve, and other that hath sinned; Yea, the sure health and race of mankind. Help have the faithful thereof, though they be infect; They, condemnation, where as it is reject. Merciful Maker, my crabbed voice direct, That it may break out in some sweet praise to thee; And suffer me not thy due lauds to neglect, But let me show forth thy commendations free. Stop not my windpipes, but give them liberty, To sound ...
— Everyman and Other Old Religious Plays, with an Introduction • Anonymous

... aunt and housekeeper, was deaf and crabbed, and very few visitors ever came to the house. This suited Harrington. He was a good citizen and did his duty by the community, but his bump of sociability was undeveloped. He was also a contented man, looking after his farm, improving his stock, and experimenting with new bulbs in undisturbed ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1904 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... was thoroughly interested in the strange boy whose growing musical pinions were ever being clipped by the shears of unsympathetic age and crabbed religion, and the idea of doing something for him to make up for the injustice of his grandmother awoke in her a slight glow of that interest in life which she sought only in doing good. But although ere long she came to love the boy very truly, and ...
— Robert Falconer • George MacDonald

... crabbed, or getting fishy, or even mermaiding in this room, Grace," teased Cleo. "It is so effective I should rather fear the effect taking root. Just look at this real little alligator and he is actually strong enough to sit on! Did you ever see anything so cunning?" The real ...
— The Girl Scouts at Sea Crest - The Wig Wag Rescue • Lillian Garis

... fire-irons, and the empty card-racks over the mantelpiece: the cellaret has lurked away behind the carpet: the chairs are turned up heads and tails along the walls: and in the dark corner opposite the statue, is an old-fashioned crabbed knife-box, locked and ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... was confused by the rapidity with which the discredited past was re-created by Bowman's mere presence. He was at the point of refusing to fetch the beer when he saw that there was no explanation possible; they would regard him as merely crabbed, and Bella would indulge her habit of shrill abuse. It wasn't the drink itself that disturbed him but the old position of "rushing the can"—a symbol of so much that he had left forever. Forever; ...
— The Happy End • Joseph Hergesheimer

... still be seen in London. The pages are so old and the edges have worn so thin in the two hundred and fifty years since they were written, that each page has had to be most carefully framed in strong paper to keep it from getting torn. The ink is faded and brown, and the writing is often crabbed and difficult to read. But it can be read, and it is full of stories. In olden times, probably, the book was bound in a brown leather cover, but now, because it is very old and valuable, it has been clothed with beautiful red ...
— A Book of Quaker Saints • Lucy Violet Hodgkin

... thin, and by no means reassuring of aspect. With his low, narrow forehead, sunken nose, and hard mouth, he looked like a Kalmuck Tartar; a pair of small, wide-awake black eyes, the crabbed irregular outline of his countenance, a voice like a cracked bell—the man's whole appearance, in fact, combined to give the impression that this was a consummate rascal. A honeyed tongue compensated for these disadvantages, and he gained his ends by ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... bestow the said property, namely, the pony, tent, tinker- tools, etc., on Ursula and her husband, partly because they were poor, and partly on account of the great kindness which I bore to Ursula, from whom I had, on various occasions, experienced all manner of civility, particularly in regard to crabbed words. On hearing this intelligence, Ursula returned many thanks to her gentle brother, as she called me, and Sylvester was so overjoyed that, casting aside his usual phlegm, he said I was the best friend he had ever had in the world, and in testimony of his ...
— The Romany Rye • George Borrow

... birth, are uncertain; the better opinion seems to be, that he flourished towards the third century, resided at Rome, and attained the consular dignity. His works are written in prose, intermixed with poetry. His diction has some resemblance to that of Tertullian, but is much more crabbed and obscure: none, but the ablest Latin scholars, can understand him. The Marriage of Mercury and Philology,—or of Speech with Learning, is not uninteresting. His other treatises contain nothing remarkable: that upon music, is hardly intelligible; it is printed separately ...
— The Life of Hugo Grotius • Charles Butler

... when he ought to be listening to the sermon; who puts the black-snake on a clerk's hide when he sends a letter to Oshkosh that ought to go to Kalamazoo, and begs him off when the old man wants to have him fired for it. Altogether he's a hard, crabbed, generous, soft-hearted, loyal, bully old boy, who's been with the house since we took down the shutters for the first time, and who's going to stay with it till we put them up for the ...
— Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son • George Horace Lorimer

... however, was a practised hand at mysteries. He sat down in the library, and with his crabbed handwriting covered two sheets of paper with notes upon the case. I watched as his pencil went swiftly to work, and when he had finished I saw him underline certain words ...
— The Seven Secrets • William Le Queux

... comb it, Jenny, Now, if you like, and comb it all day long; But don't get crabbed, ...
— Collected Poems - Volume Two (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... Holt.' Coming from a street of the town at some distance, we had heard nothing that I remember about her; but the day had not gone by, before it was made fully known to us by such acquaintances as we saw, that we had taken up our abode in the same house with a person of a very crabbed disposition, whom all the neighborhood looked upon as a witch. This was not very agreeable news, but we tried to make the best of it. Our house was near the river-side, and we were surrounded by the families of those who followed the sea, and we endeavored to flatter ourselves with ...
— Old New England Traits • Anonymous

... of it— If Goulburn junior should be bit By some insane Dissenter, roaming Thro' Granta's halls, at large and foaming, And with that aspect ultra crabbed Which marks Dissenters when they're rabid! God only knows what mischiefs might Result from this one single bite, Or how the venom, once suckt in, Might spread and rage thro' kith and kin. Mad folks of ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... all the Endearments I should show, At last she turn'd both Libertine and Shrow, From my Submission grew perverse and proud, Crabbed as Varges, and as Thunder loud; Did what she pleas'd, would no Obedience own, And redicul'd the Patience I had shown. Fear'd no sharp threatnings, valued no disgrace, But flung the wrongs she'd done ...
— The Pleasures of a Single Life, or, The Miseries Of Matrimony • Anonymous

... times, as I sit here before the fire and jot these memories down in crabbed black on white, that I could conjure up for you some speaking picture of this scene primeval in ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... a stolid soul, but I never saw a man in such a fever of excitement. He gripped me by the arm and fairly shook me. 'That old man of yours is a hero,' he cried. 'The Lord forgive me! and I have always crabbed him.' ...
— The Moon Endureth—Tales and Fancies • John Buchan

... harshness, roughness, etc. It is sweetness of disposition, mildness of temper, softness of manner, kindness, tenderness, etc. Those who are of a gentle disposition act and speak without asperity. They are not morose, sour, crabbed, and uneven, but are smooth, mild, and even. Good manners are intimately connected with gentleness, and good manners ...
— How to Live a Holy Life • C. E. Orr

... I, like the fat boy in Pickwick Papers. And I thanked God for the new energy which had sent me to this lovely city by the lake. I thanked Him that I had not been content to remain a burden to Max and Norah, growing sour and crabbed with the years. Those years of work and buffeting had made of me a broader, finer, truer type of womanhood—had caused me to forget my own little tragedy in contemplating the great human comedy. And so I made a little prayer there in ...
— Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed • Edna Ferber

... nieces should fill this office, and he requested his brother-in-law to reflect on it, and to think of him as of a friend of the family, now and in the time to come. Anthony spoke of the seductions of London quite unctuously. Who could imagine this to be the letter of an old crabbed miser? "Tell her," he said, "there's fruit at stalls at every street-corner all the year through—oysters and whelks, if she likes—winkles, lots of pictures in shops—a sight of muslin and silks, and rides on omnibuses—bands ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... remote and rocky hill-side, where it is as yet unobserved by man, may be the choicest of all its kind, and foreign potentates shall hear of it, and royal societies seek to propagate it, though the virtues of the perhaps truly crabbed owner of the soil may never be heard of,—at least, beyond the limits of his village? It was thus the ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 61, November, 1862 • Various

... old woman's fancy for Mr. Conway represents a relation of warm friendship that is of every-day occurrence between youth and age that is not crabbed."—The ...
— Autobiography, Letters and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale) (2nd ed.) (2 vols.) • Mrs. Hester Lynch Piozzi

... pretty nearly." "What is it?" "I do not know anything about it. Mascaret leads a very fast life now, after having been a model husband. As long as he remained a good spouse, he had a shocking temper and was crabbed and easily took offense, but since he has been leading his present, rackety life, he has become quite indifferent; but one would guess that he has some trouble, a worm gnawing somewhere, for he has ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... Sproul, who slept eighteen hours a day in his cabin while he waited for the salmon to run again, a withered Portuguese who sat in the sun and muttered while he mended gear. They were old men, human driftwood, beached in their declining years, crabbed and sour, looking always backward with ...
— Poor Man's Rock • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... my mean task would be As heavy to me as 'tis odious; but The mistress which I serve quickens what's dead And makes my labours pleasures: Oh, she is Ten times more gentle than her father's crabbed; And he's composed of harshness. I must remove Some thousands of these logs and pile them up, Upon a sore injunction: my sweet mistress Weeps when she sees me work; and says such ...
— Mummery - A Tale of Three Idealists • Gilbert Cannan

... to oblige, consented, and plied the ladle actively between the troublesome queries of the little man; but at last, getting confused with some very crabbed questions put to him, Andy became completely bothered, and lifting a brimming ladle of dripping, poured it over the little man's coat instead of ...
— Handy Andy, Vol. 2 - A Tale of Irish Life • Samuel Lover

... fermentation. vinegar, verjuice^, crab, alum; acetic acid, lactic acid. V. be sour; sour, turn sour &c adj.; set the teeth on edge. render sour &c adj.; acidify, acidulate. Adj. sour; acid, acidulous, acidulated; tart, crabbed; acetous, acetose^; acerb, acetic; sour as vinegar, sourish, acescent^, subacid [Chem]; styptic, hard, rough. Phr. sour as ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... which is written in his book is through him but not of him, past criticism and beyond cavil. 'Tis all in ancient and crabbed characters going back to the threshold of my learning, but here upon this passage-top where they are writ large I make them out to say, 'ONLY THE MAN WHO HAS DIED ...
— Gulliver of Mars • Edwin L. Arnold

... not noticed the power of love in an awkward, crabbed, shiftless, lazy man? He becomes gentle, chaste in language, energetic. Love brings out the poetry in him. It is only an idea, a sentiment, and yet what magic it has wrought. Nothing we can see has touched the man, yet he is ...
— How to Succeed - or, Stepping-Stones to Fame and Fortune • Orison Swett Marden

... altogether appreciated—by Gosse, Froude and other "critic flies." When Doctor Samuel Johnson was told that Boswell proposed to write his life, he threatened to prevent it by taking that of his would-be biographer. It were curious to consider what "crabbed old Carlyle" would have done had he suspected the danger of falling into the hands of a literary backstairs Mrs. Grundy like Edmund Gosse! In his "Heroes and Hero Worship" he treated his colossi far otherwise than he in turn has been ...
— Volume 1 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... a tall, crabbed looking man, the dust of the mill seemingly so ground into the lines of his face that it was grey all over and one wondered if it could ever be washed clean again. He only nodded to his niece and her friends, seizing the oars Ben had brought with ...
— Ruth Fielding At College - or The Missing Examination Papers • Alice B. Emerson

... upon them, growing pale over their mystic lore, which seemed the fruit not merely of the Professor's own labors, but of those of more ancient sages than he; and often a whole volume seemed to be compressed within the limits of a few lines of crabbed manuscript, judging from the time which it cost even the quick-minded student ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865 • Various

... many of his friends still supposed him to be in India. There was only one respect in which he broke through this privacy. You know, of course, that the Orvens are, and, I believe, always have been, noted as the most obstinate, the most crabbed of Conservatives in politics. Even among the past-enamoured families of England, they stand out conspicuously in this respect. Is it credible to you, then, that Randolph should offer himself to the Radical Association of the Borough of Orven as a candidate for the ...
— Prince Zaleski • M.P. Shiel

... immortality, for example, to be sold at the price of the reputation, a wise man would not buy it, for an honorable death is preferable to a life of infamy.—Wert thou to eat colocynth from the hand of the kind-hearted, it would relish better than a sweetmeat from that of the crabbed. ...
— Persian Literature, Volume 2, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The - Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan • Anonymous

... us all. The world seems a vast horrible grinding machine, into which what is fresh and bright and pure is pushed at one end, to come out old and crabbed and wrinkled at ...
— Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow • Jerome K. Jerome

... punctuation I have given myself a free hand. I may no doubt have misinterpreted the author's meaning in so doing, but without such punctuation, the number of repellantly crabbed sentences would have been even greater than at present. In dealing with the Essay of 1844, I have corrected some obvious slips without indicating such alterations, because the MS. being legible, there is no danger of changing ...
— The Foundations of the Origin of Species - Two Essays written in 1842 and 1844 • Charles Darwin

... tutorial relation, it would be easy work. But perhaps I frightened him as a little boy, perhaps I bored him; anyhow the advances are all on my side, and there seems a hedge of shyness through which I cannot break. Sometimes I have thought it is simply a case of "crabbed age and youth," and that I can't put myself sufficiently in line with him. I missed seeing him last night—he was out at some school festivity, and this morning he has gone without a word or a sign. I have made friends a hundred times with a tenth of the trouble, ...
— The Upton Letters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... electric light, there was no such concession made, and sconces on the walls held dim iron lamps, so that only those of the most acute vision were able to read. Even then reading was difficult, for the book-stand on the table contained nothing but a few crabbed black-letter volumes dating from not later than the early seventeenth century, and you had to be in a frantically Elizabethan frame of mind to be at ease there. But Mrs Lucas often spent some of her rare leisure moments in the smoking-parlour, playing ...
— Queen Lucia • E. F. Benson

... he went on, "that I need your signature to a writing. It is nothing but a form, and one I fear you cannot read, nor in faith can I," and with a somewhat doubtful smile he drew out a crabbed indenture and spread it before ...
— The Lady Of Blossholme • H. Rider Haggard

... sea-mist overflowed the cliff, wallowing and billowing like an oceanic invasion, over the face of the moor. Whitefoot brought back hidden in his collar the simple message, "I shall be there," signed with the well-known crabbed fist of "Adam Ferris," traditional in his family for some hundreds of years, which seemed completely identical with ...
— Patsy • S. R. Crockett

... baseness Are nobly undergone, and most poor matters Point to rich ends. This my mean task Would be as heavy to me as odious; but The mistress which I serve quickens what's dead, And makes my labours pleasures: O! she is Ten times more gentle than her father's crabbed, And he's compos'd of harshness. I must remove Some thousands of these logs, and pile them up, Upon a sore injunction: my sweet mistress Weeps when she sees me work, and says such baseness Had never like executor. I forget: But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours, ...
— The Tempest • William Shakespeare [Craig, Oxford edition]

... heart by offering to read aloud to him in the evenings when he came home weary from his daily avocations, which were golf. Her own suggestion instantly projected a touching picture on her impressionable imagination of youth, grateful for a roof over its head, in return alleviating the tedium of crabbed age by introducing its uncle, who from his remarks was evidently unacquainted with them, to the best productions of the ...
— Christopher and Columbus • Countess Elizabeth Von Arnim

... Daniel joined us. Daniel and I agreed with each other famously. For he liked me. He took walks with me, and we went bathing together after I had done my morning's writing. We crabbed in the Manasquan ...
— Tramping on Life - An Autobiographical Narrative • Harry Kemp

... good-tempered, quick of perception, and obedient, it can be well understood that he was the pride and hope of his mother and aunt, whose circumstances were of the humblest nature. He attended the village school, where he was the most popular and promising of the threescore pupils under the care of the crabbed Mr. Jenkins. He was as active of body as mind, and took the lead among boys of his own age in athletic sports and feats ...
— Brave Tom - The Battle That Won • Edward S. Ellis

... is not despicable, that the fear of a prediction being this year fulfilled, which was pronounced by a Saxon fortune-teller whom his majesty was weak enough some time ago to consult, dwells on his mind, and augments the sourness of a disposition naturally crabbed. I should have paid no attention to these reports, which savour so much of the nursery, had I not myself observed him displeased at a mourning coat at his levee, and seen his countenance visibly alter on being informed of any man's dying a ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 348 • Various

... fruits of the pear and quince kind, at least eight different sorts; but I found I could make nothing of them, for they were most of them as rough and crabbed after stewing as before, so I laid them all aside. Lastly, I boiled my ram's-horn and cream-cheese, as I called them, together. Upon tasting the latter of these, it was become so watery and insipid, I laid it aside as useless. I then cut the other and tasted ...
— Life And Adventures Of Peter Wilkins, Vol. I. (of II.) • Robert Paltock

... the sheets before him he wrote on a sheet of foolscap "J. W. Hartington" a score of times, imitating the somewhat crabbed handwriting so accurately that even an expert would have had some difficulty in detecting the difference; he then tore the sheet into small pieces, put them into the heart of the fire, and watched them ...
— A Girl of the Commune • George Alfred Henty

... find invaluable help in the study of this character and this development. The man shows himself in them with none the less disguise because he shows himself unwillingly. In these hard, crabbed, formal, painfully truthful letters we see the whole narrow, precise, and fanatical soul of this Puritan of art, who sacrificed himself, his family, his friends, and his country to an artistic sense of duty only to be paralleled among those ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons



Words linked to "Crabbed" :   ill-natured



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