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Flippancy   Listen
Flippancy

noun
1.
Inappropriate levity.  Synonym: light-mindedness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Flippancy" Quotes from Famous Books



... walked on ignoring his flippancy, ignoring everything concerning him until, crossing the street, she became aware that ...
— Ailsa Paige • Robert W. Chambers

... that she might have been privately a little shocked by such aged flippancy, but she was at the ...
— T. Tembarom • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... indignation of the true, virtuous, upright citizens of the commonwealth is aroused into vigilance for the dear-bought liberties of themselves and fathers, and that spirit of intolerance and persecution which has driven this people time and time again from their peaceful homes, manifests itself in the flippancy of rhetoric for female insult and desecration, it is time that I forbear to hold my peace, lest the thundering anathemas of nations, born and unborn, should rest upon my head, when the marrow of my bones shall be ill prepared to ...
— The Story of the Mormons: • William Alexander Linn

... France in her name: Lorraine. Her friend was a mondaine. She had the social gift, a subtle understanding of things worldly, the glissey mortel n'appuyez jamais attitude toward life. By a touch of flippancy, an adroit turn of mind, she kept the knowing mastery over people which has mystified and delighted in all great hostesses since the ...
— The Woman Who Toils - Being the Experiences of Two Gentlewomen as Factory Girls • Mrs. John Van Vorst and Marie Van Vorst

... him, nor did Margaret Fuller, but Miss Evans says: "Mr. Lewes is kind and attentive, and has quite won my regard, after having had a good deal of my vituperation. Like a few other people in the world, he is much better than he seems. A man of heart and conscience wearing a mask of flippancy." ...
— Lives of Girls Who Became Famous • Sarah Knowles Bolton

... them at dinner—the last at their rustic board. Miss Hargrove was very pale, but she was a spirited girl, and was bent on proving that there was nothing weak or hysterical in her nature. Neither was there the flippancy that a shallow woman might have manifested. She acted like a brave, well-bred lady, whose innate refinement and good sense enabled her speedily to regain her poise, and take her natural place among her friends. ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... contend; the commonest type of Morality presents in brief glimpses the entire story of the hero's life, that is of the life of every man. It shows how he yields to temptation and lives for the most part in reckless sin, but at last in spite of all his flippancy and folly is saved by Perseverance and Repentance, pardoned through God's mercy, and assured of salvation. As compared with the usual type of Mystery plays the Moralities had for the writers this advantage, that they allowed some independence in the invention ...
— A History of English Literature • Robert Huntington Fletcher

... find persons of quality introducing materialism as a new fashion, and atheism as the liveliest of condiments. The perfume of good manners only made what he took for bad principles the worse, and heightened his impatience at the flippancy of pretensions to overthrow the beliefs of a world ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... rose and sank, exploring those stupid columns, and he was evidently stroking his beard; as if this world were a very easy affair to her. Of course all the rest of the company would soon be down, and the opportunity of her saying something to efface her flippancy of the evening before, would be quite gone. She felt sick with irritation—so fast do young creatures like her absorb misery through invisible suckers of their own fancies—and her face had gathered that peculiar expression which comes with a mortification ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... wedding ever imagined could be turned from sacrament to circus by the indecorous behavior of the groom and the flippancy of the bride. She, above all, must not reach up and wig-wag signals while she is receiving, any more than she must wave to people as she goes up and down the aisle of the church. She must not cling to her husband, stand pigeon-toed, or lean against him ...
— Etiquette • Emily Post

... clever Branwell was already remarkable in Haworth. It is true that to be sometimes the worse for drink was no uncommon fault fifty years ago in Yorkshire; but the gradual coarsening of Branwell's nature, the growing flippancy, the altered health, must have given a cruel awakening to his sisters' dreams for his career. In 1836 this deterioration was at the beginning; a weed in bud that could only bear a bitter and poisonous fruit. Emily hoped the ...
— Emily Bront • A. Mary F. (Agnes Mary Frances) Robinson

... the name of a shephearde in Virgile; but here is meant a person unknowne and secrete, against whome he often bitterly invayeth. Underfonge, undermyne, and deceive by false suggestion." The immoral flippancy of the remarkable dialogue between the disreputable Parolles and the otherwise sweet and maidenly Helena, in Act I. Scene i. of All's Well that Ends Well, has often been noticed by critics as a peculiar lapse in dramatic congruity on the part of Shakespeare. This is evidently one ...
— Shakespeare's Lost Years in London, 1586-1592 • Arthur Acheson

... little affinity with them, and bore them still less resemblance, but who could not fail to admire their excellence, were wont to liken both the great Huguenot warrior and the chancellor to that Cato whose grave demeanor and imposing dignity were a perpetual censure upon the flippancy and lax morality of his countrymen. Although not above the ordinary height of men, his appearance was dignified and commanding. In speech he was slow and deliberate. His prudence, never carried to the extreme of ...
— History of the Rise of the Huguenots - Volume 2 • Henry Baird

... festival flippancy. "While I must hurry off my supper so as to buy the fish, and Milly and Leah must sweat in the kitchen, you can squat yourselves down and ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... 'fluent' versifiers are the persons who talk with elaborate flippancy of the 'simple common-places' of this noble poet! The reviewer adds: 'LONGFELLOW has a perfect command of that expression which results from restraining rather than cultivating fluency; and his manner is adapted to his theme. He rarely, if ever, mistakes 'emotions for conceptions.' His words ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... humanity, a sort of dry and flat Sahara appears, these cities crowded with petty grotesques, malformations, phantoms, playing meaningless antics. Confess that everywhere, in shop, street, church, theatre, barroom, official chair, are pervading flippancy and vulgarity, low cunning, infidelity—everywhere the youth puny, impudent, foppish, prematurely ripe—everywhere an abnormal libidinousness, unhealthy forms, male, female, painted, padded, dyed, chignon'd, ...
— The French in the Heart of America • John Finley

... dared any such flippancy with Rue Carew, and the girl, who knew she was exquisitely gowned, felt an odd little pang in her heart as this young man's praise of the Princess Mistchenka fell so easily and gaily from his lips. He might have noticed her ...
— The Dark Star • Robert W. Chambers

... undone; Show us the prowess of your arm this night; I never saw a tilt by candle-light!" Gaily she spoke, and seemed all unconcerned; And yet a curious watcher might have learned From a slight quaver in her laughter free To doubt the frankness of her flippancy. Gawayne, bewildered, looked the other way, And wondered what she meant; for in that day The ready wit of man was under muzzle, And woman's heart was still an unsolved puzzle; And Gawayne, though in valor ...
— Gawayne And The Green Knight - A Fairy Tale • Charlton Miner Lewis

... follies, and their faults beside, Our enterprising Bards pass nought untried; 450 Nor do they merit slight applause who choose An English subject for an English Muse, And leave to minds which never dare invent French flippancy and German sentiment. Where is that living language which could claim Poetic more, as philosophic, fame, If all our Bards, more patient of delay, Would stop, like Pope, to polish by the ...
— Byron's Poetical Works, Vol. 1 • Byron

... a comparatively simple process to affix the regulation labels of philosophy; to say that Mr. Carlyle is a Pantheist in religion (or a Pot-theist, to use the alternative whose flippancy gave such offence to Sterling on one occasion[1]), a Transcendentalist or Intuitionist in ethics, an Absolutist in politics, and so forth, with the addition of a crowd of privative or negative epithets at discretion. But classifications of this ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I - Essay 2: Carlyle • John Morley

... much his friend, had been appointed to act as his counsel. When later that morning he visited his client to lay out a line of defence he found Ranson inclined to treat the danger which threatened him with the most arrogant flippancy. He had never seen him in a ...
— Ranson's Folly • Richard Harding Davis

... said Mr. Vere, "by the flippancy of speech, and pertness of argument, by which you have disgusted Sir Frederick, and given me ...
— The Black Dwarf • Sir Walter Scott

... diversion of tearing them to pieces, still flattering herself that her present wit and drollery would prevail with Ormond, as she had found it prevail with most people against an absent friend. But Ormond thought upon this occasion she showed more flippancy than wit, and more ill-nature than humour. He was shocked at the want of feeling and reverence for age with which she, a young girl, just entering into the world, spoke of a person of Lady Annaly's years and high character. In the heat of attack, and in her eagerness to carry her point against ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... he had heard and witnessed, that he judged them by the narrow standard of a life spent cut off from the practical ways of the world. He repeated to himself Beatrice Cary's assurance—"All men do not carry their heart on their sleeve." He told himself that behind the jarring flippancy there still could lurk a hidden depth and greatness. Nevertheless the received impression was stronger than all argument. The climber, apparently unhurt, had sustained a ...
— The Native Born - or, The Rajah's People • I. A. R. Wylie

... her present situation with a sang-froid equaling that of a camp harpy, a few of whom Pierce had seen; then, too, she was, or had been, married to a no-account foreigner to whom she referred with a calloused and most unwifely flippancy; moreover, she bore herself with a freedom, a boldness, quite irreconcilable to the modesty of so- called "good women." Those facts were enough to classify her definitely, and yet despite them she was anything but common, and ...
— The Winds of Chance • Rex Beach

... a Country Town, is a very serious volume. It has taken four people to write it, and even to read it requires assistance. Its dulness is premeditated and deliberate and comes from a laudable desire to rescue fiction from flippancy. It is, in fact, tedious from the noblest motives and wearisome through its good intentions. Yet the story itself is not an uninteresting one. Quite the contrary. It deals with the attempt of a young doctor ...
— Reviews • Oscar Wilde

... a history, touching and teaching, is no theme for flippancy; so, by your leave, I will unwind my story tenderly, and with reverential regard for its smooth ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 12, October, 1858 • Various

... had, as she said, been watching Mary Corbet those last few weeks; and had determined to speak to her plainly. Her instinct had told her that beneath this flippancy and glitter there was something that would respond; and she was anxious to leave nothing undone by which Mary might be awakened to the inner world that was in such danger of extinction in her soul. It cost the old lady a great effort to break through her ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... me," she said, wounded at what appeared to be his flippancy. He did not mind the entreaty, but the tone with its delicate note of pathos was like a reproach. He could not explain; he could not tell her that he had penetrated her mood and understood. He said nothing except to offer her his arm, for, by her own ...
— The Awakening and Selected Short Stories • Kate Chopin

... of a mosquito!) Frederick Myers ejaculated, "How august, how limitless a thing was Tennyson's own spirit's upward flight!" The Duke of Argyll, again, during the space of forty years, had found him "always reverent, hating all levity or flippancy," and was struck by his possessing "the noblest humility I have ever known." Lord Macaulay, who "had stood absolutely aloof," once having been permitted to glance at the proof-sheets of Guenevere, ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... Holbach was an amiable and good man, the constant friend of the Encyclopaedists. At his house they often met, so that it came to be known among them as the Cafe de l'Europe, and its master as the "maitre d'hotel" of Philosophy. But these nicknames were used in good part. Holbach had none of the flippancy of Helvetius. His book, the "System of Nature," is a solemn, earnest argument, proceeding from a clear brain and a pure heart. Our nature may revolt at his theories, but we cannot question his honesty or his benevolence. The book, published, as the fashion was, under a false name, yet expresses ...
— The Eve of the French Revolution • Edward J. Lowell

... he could have expected when he expressed that desire, having been written in very early youth, when the mind was scarcely free in any measure from trammels and Popes, and, what is worse, when flippancy of language was too apt to accompany immaturity of opinion. The miscellaneous verses are, still more than the chief poem, 'childish things' in a strict literal sense, and the whole volume is of little interest even to its writer except for personal reasons—except ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1 of 2) • Frederic G. Kenyon

... then the poem falls to earth like a stone, and presently appears some wretched pun or jest or scurrility. Our present remedy lies in a book of selections, in which we can enjoy the poetry without being unpleasantly reminded of the author's besetting sins of flippancy ...
— Outlines of English and American Literature • William J. Long

... she ran her eye over the article she saw that it was quite in harmony with the general tone and policy of the paper which catered to the jaded throngs of the Tenderloin. Truth had been cunningly distorted; flippancy, sensationalism, and a salacious double ...
— The Auction Block • Rex Beach

... who never eat but when they are hungry, never drink but when thirsty, never laugh without a jest, and never speak but when they have something to say. But here, it is all run, ride, and drive—froth, foam, and flippancy—no steadiness—no character." ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... flippancy, that he was nothing to me either, since I had no ray of a guess of what he was about; yet the verse, from then to now, a longer interval than the life of a generation, has ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... it crossed my mind to wonder whether there was any capacity in the nature of such as she for suffering at all comparable to that which I was describing. My companion's sympathy was subtle and soothing. There was in my tale an element of the grotesque which might have tempted a vulgar nature to flippancy. No smile crossed my companion's lips. He turned away his head, on pretense of watching the receding figure of the old peasant-woman. When he looked at me again, his deep dark eyes were suffused with a moisture which enhanced the mystery of their tenderness. ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery - Riddle Stories • Various

... lids sank and the heads reappeared; I had marked three, the whisperers, and I did not scruple to take a very steady look at them as they emerged from their temporary eclipse. It is astonishing what ease and courage their little phrases of flippancy had given me; the idea by which I had been awed was that the youthful beings before me, with their dark nun-like robes and softly braided hair, were a kind of half-angels. The light titter, the giddy ...
— The Professor • (AKA Charlotte Bronte) Currer Bell

... vain, and shed tears of helpless despondency on the blank unfinished paper. I can write fast enough now. Am I better than I was then? Oh no! One truth discovered, one pang of regret at not being able to express it, is better than all the fluency and flippancy in the world. Would that I could go back to what I then was! Why can we not revive past times as we can revisit old places? If I had the quaint Muse of Sir Philip Sidney to assist me, I would write a Sonnet to the Road between W—m and Shrewsbury, and immortalise ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... politely blank at this unseasonable flippancy. Father Riley smiled with rare sweetness and murmured, "So cynical, even for a Unitarian!" as if ...
— The Seeker • Harry Leon Wilson

... distress the mother of a little son. For all unexpectedly, suddenly, her house built of cards of carelessness, flippancy, thoughtlessness, had fallen round her. She struggled among the ...
— The Very Small Person • Annie Hamilton Donnell

... her flippancy with the tone in his voice, the look in his eyes. "I don't go about looking ...
— Sally Bishop - A Romance • E. Temple Thurston

... Greek under James Wilson, at that period one of the tutors, and some time later an associate judge of the Supreme Court. This great statesman and lawyer of after-days was a most delightful teacher. He took a fancy to my Jack, and, as we were inseparable, put up with my flippancy and deficient scholarship. Jack's diary says otherwise, and that he saw in me that which, well used, might make of me a man of distinction. At all events, he liked well to walk with us on a Saturday, or to go in my boat, which was for us a great honour. My father approved of James Wilson, and liked ...
— Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker • S. Weir Mitchell

... Heresiography is none the less instructive because it is a vulgar catch-penny little book, made up, like Peter Pindar's razors, to sell. To me it seems that to dismiss even the wildest and foolishest opinion which makes way, as if it were a mere absurdity that does not deserve notice, is to show a certain flippancy and shallowness. Do not all thoughtful men pass through certain stages of intellectual growth, and are not the convictions of our youth held very differently from those which we find ourselves swayed by in our later years? The ...
— The Coming of the Friars • Augustus Jessopp

... all useless in restraining a man from proceeding to ruin unless some steadying agency is allied with them. After much sad brooding, I cannot but conclude that a fervent religious faith is the only thing that will give complete security; and it will be a bitter day for England and the world if ever flippancy and irreligion ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... but a weapon-like kinship. There was a tiny touch of irony in his manner towards her, contrasting sharply with Winifred's heavy, unleavened solicitude and care. The child flickered back to him with an answering little smile of irony and recklessness: an odd flippancy which made Winifred only the ...
— England, My England • D.H. Lawrence

... then enunciated called forth from Professor Henry Ware, Jr., a sermon in the college chapel on the personality of God, which he sent with a friendly note to Mr. Emerson. The gay and Skimpolesque reply of the sage is an illustration of that flippancy with which he chose to toy in a literary way with momentous questions, and which was so exasperating to the earnest men of positive religious convictions with whom he had been ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... other was taken back and puzzled by the flippancy of the man from whom he had expected at ...
— The Clue of the Twisted Candle • Edgar Wallace

... distinguishes this scene from the similar scene in Job is its irreverence. Indeed one might almost call it flippancy, and few would deny that at times this flippancy is painful to them. The only excuse that I can find for it is that, rightly or wrongly, Goethe meant us to be pained. I believe that here Mephistopheles represents especially that element in human nature which is perhaps the meanest and most ...
— The Faust-Legend and Goethe's 'Faust' • H. B. Cotterill

... and favorite companion, the commodore chose Master Robert Juet, of Limehouse, in England. By some his name has been spelt Chewit, and ascribed to the circumstance of his having been the first man that ever chewed tobacco; but this I believe to be a mere flippancy; more especially as certain of his progeny are living at this day, who write their names Juet. He was an old comrade and early schoolmate of the great Hudson, with whom he had often played truant and sailed chip boats in a neighboring pond, when they were little boys; from whence, it is said, the ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... perfect, the June sunshine, the wealth of lovely foliage, the bird songs, and right at hand the homes and haunts of the inspired singers whom I especially reverenced. I was most fortunate in my companionship, the bearing of the youth was marked by no flippancy, he venerated as I did the lofty spirits into whose retreats we had penetrated. He was familiar with their masterpieces and we felt for them a like appreciation. His soldierly garb accorded perhaps ill with the peaceful suggestions of the hour and place, but in his mind ...
— The Last Leaf - Observations, during Seventy-Five Years, of Men and Events in America - and Europe • James Kendall Hosmer

... CHRIST's sake——LORENZO, take your fingers out of that plate!' was a grace once said in our hearing, but evidently not in that of the spoilt boy, 'growing and always hungry,' who could not wait to be served. We should prefer to such insensible flippancy the practice of an old divine in New-England, who in asking a blessing upon his meals, was wont to name each separate dish. Sitting down one day to a dinner, which consisted partly of clams, bear-steak, ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, January 1844 - Volume 23, Number 1 • Various

... flood-gates of your loyal wrath, and let your vengeance fall upon his devoted head. Then it was that the overflowings of your 'native malignancy' hurled the tears of loyalty down your pallid cheeks. Then it was that your natural flippancy gave rapid birth to the most gross, unqualified and unjustifiable abuse I ever heard heaped, not only upon a member of Parliament, but even upon the commonest member of society. 'Am I,' said you, 'the son of a U. E. Loyalist, who fought and bled for his country, to sit within ...
— The Story of the Upper Canada Rebellion, Volume 1 • John Charles Dent

... some money to the waiter, put the bill in his pocket, and we went out. I was quite stupified by the flippancy and ease with which he had sold my venerable ...
— The Magic Skin • Honore de Balzac

... exhibition of flippancy, though many years after, when he learned that his former love, who had married, as he had bade her do, and suffered, was face to face with starvation, it is said, on the authority of one of his ex-valet's memoirs, that he sent her a box of candied ...
— Mr. Bonaparte of Corsica • John Kendrick Bangs

... everything gloomy enough? [Sits down.] I couldn't bear it upstairs one second longer. Esther and Emily are coming down, too. It's too much for them—and they've had personal experience. [Trying to mask her agitation by a pretense at flippancy.] I hereby become a life-member of the birth-control league. Let's let humanity cease—if God can't manage its continuance ...
— The First Man • Eugene O'Neill

... charms of a perfect face, a low and modulated voice and a mind that never mistook flippancy and triviality for wit, he met her everywhere on common ground, and she wondered why she had not seen the attractions of this grave, quiet young man long before! Surely such a conquest—and she was not certain yet that it was achieved—was worth a ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... speculation, or turning on the Mecklenburg or Eisenach or any other in its stead, the Correspondence naturally avails nothing. Seckendorf has his orders from Vienna: Grumkow has his pension,—his cream-bowl duly set,—for helping Beckendorf. Though angels pleaded, not in a tone of tragic flippancy, but with the voice of breaking hearts, it would be to no purpose. The Imperial Majesties have ordered, Marry him to Brunswick, "bind him the better to our House in time coming;" nay the Royal mind at Potsdam gravitates, of ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. IX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... relentless earnestness. People who did not like him, or his views, and who, perhaps, had winced under his irony, naturally put down his strong language, which on occasion could certainly be unceremonious, to flippancy and arrogance. But within the circle of those whom he trusted, or of those who needed at anytime his help, another side disclosed itself—a side of the most genuine warmth of affection, an awful reality of devoutness, which it was his great and habitual effort ...
— The Oxford Movement - Twelve Years, 1833-1845 • R.W. Church

... all. But it was a symbol, and the people always go by a sure instinct for symbols; for the Chinaman, for instance, at the last General Election, or for President Kruger's hat in the election before; their poetic sense is perfect. The Chinaman with his pigtail is not an idle flippancy. He does typify with a compact precision exactly the thing the people resent in African policy, the alien and grotesque nature of the power of wealth, the fact that money has no roots, that it is not a natural and familiar power, but a sort of airy and evil magic calling monsters from ...
— Tremendous Trifles • G. K. Chesterton

... talk went on like a rattle of small artillery, always slightly sententious, with a sententiousness that was only emphasised by the continual crackling of a witticism, the continual spatter of verbal jest, designed to give a tone of flippancy to a stream of conversation that was all critical and general, a canal of conversation rather ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... did not like this. It savoured of flippancy, and he was about entering upon a discussion to prove that Sadness had no soul, when Joe, with blood-shot eyes and dishevelled clothes, staggered in ...
— The Sport of the Gods • Paul Laurence Dunbar

... ignorance of the persons and things talked about. The tone of conversation, however, was as uncongenial as were the subjects. Edwin had a cynical air, partly real, partly affected; and the girls' remarks were characterized by the same sort of flippancy which had often jarred upon her ...
— Lucy Raymond - Or, The Children's Watchword • Agnes Maule Machar

... a six-hundred-ton rocket to get a full-sized man to the moon," he said with sudden flippancy, "but a guy my size could do the same job of stranglin' in a fifty-ton job. Counting how much easier it'd be to get back, with atmosphere deceleration, I could make a trip, land, take observations, pick up mineral specimens, ...
— Space Platform • Murray Leinster

... in excuse of my own flippancy, to assume the same detachment, and to regard this ballet-theme as having practically no relation whatever to Biblical history, but being just one of many themes out of Oriental lore, mostly secular, that lend themselves ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, July 1, 1914 • Various

... the first of the French writers of comedy to treat love seriously,[107] but, though he freed the theme from the malice or flippancy with which it had been treated by his predecessors, he was nevertheless a stranger to that intense and passionate love that we have come to associate with the romantic drama. Some have gone so far as to say that it is not amour at all that he portrays, but only amour-propre. It is ...
— A Selection from the Comedies of Marivaux • Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux

... it wasn't any pipe-dream!" said Morgan, so earnestly that the flippancy of his slangy speech did not seem out of place. "It was a woman's voice, but it wasn't the voice of ...
— The Bondboy • George W. (George Washington) Ogden

... at first that he was joking, but the way he looked at me showed that he was in deadly earnest. For all his flippancy there was something back of his eyes, a trace of fear that kept peeping out every now and then, that told me he went in danger of his life. I hated to have to refuse him, but I had very good reasons, which I intended ...
— The Lost Valley • J. M. Walsh

... relations at our last parting and the solemnity of the present occasion, she greeted me with a flippancy that was laughable. "Oh, here's Miss Jenkins! Welcome to our happy home, and I certainly wish ...
— The House of the Misty Star - A Romance of Youth and Hope and Love in Old Japan • Fannie Caldwell Macaulay

... sophistry about the character of God if it were put into plain words. "Ye must ken," said a godly old Scotchman, "that the Almighty may often have to do in His offeeshial capacity what He would scorn to do as a private individual!" I quote this not with flippancy but with stern indignation. That is baldly what such ...
— The Gospel of the Hereafter • J. Paterson-Smyth

... think that the disagreeable situation that has arisen is improved by flippancy," said Mrs. Riversedge; "a good maid is ...
— The Chronicles of Clovis • Saki

... the wild confusion of the dressing-room, Millicent had been able to commune with herself, and to foresee and take arms against the peril of an anti-climax. By sheer force, ingenuity, vivacity, flippancy, and sauciness, she lifted her lines to the level, and above the level, of the rest of the piece. She carried the audience with her; she knew it; all her colleagues knew it, and if they chafed they chafed in secret. The performance went better and better as the end approached. The audience had ...
— Leonora • Arnold Bennett

... eloquent orations about the merits or demerits of socialism, without any effort being made to define clearly for what end it is useful or useless. It is meaningless to claim that socialism is good, if we do not know for what it is good, and the whole flippancy of the discussion too often becomes apparent when we stop and inquire what purposes the speaker wants to see fulfilled. We find a wobbling between two very different possible human purposes, with the ...
— Psychology and Social Sanity • Hugo Muensterberg

... exhausted my ammunition! You wish to imitate the sparrow? But the sparrow does not, slyly and meanly mischievous, make a cult of sprightliness is not funny with authority, is not the pedant of flippancy! You percher among low bushes, who never care to fly, you wish to imitate—[Turning to one of the exotic COCKS cackling behind him.] Silence, Cock of Japan! or I shall spoil ...
— Chantecler - Play in Four Acts • Edmond Rostand

... reading men, and he was both delighted and surprised at the rare pleasure he received from the vigour and liveliness of their conversation. These were the men whom he had despised as slow, yet what a contrast between their way of talking and the inanities of Fitzurse or the shallow flippancy of Bruce. As he sat there and listened, his very face became softer in its lines from the expression of a real and intelligent interest, and they all thought that he was a better fellow, on closer acquaintance, than they had been accustomed ...
— Julian Home • Dean Frederic W. Farrar

... cost its author great pains; it is filled with detail, and with considerable gossip concerning the hero, which is piquant, and, if true, important. The style is meant to be lively, and in some passages is pleasant enough; but it is marked with a flippancy, which, after a few pages, becomes very disagreeable. It abounds with the slang usually confined to sporting papers. According to the author, a civil man is "as civil as an orange," a well-dressed man ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 5, March, 1858 • Various

... opportunity of throwing scorn upon Yule and all his works would be a much more profitable conquest. He succeeded in transferring his services to the more flourishing paper, and struck out a special line of work by the free exercise of a malicious flippancy which was then without rival in the periodical press. When he had thoroughly got his hand in, it fell to Mr Fadge, in the mere way of business, to review a volume of his old editor's, a rather pretentious and longwinded but far from worthless ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... withdrew. Then Mrs. Duncan resumed her questioning with manifest eagerness, but with as much of seriousness as Duncan himself had shown. There was no touch of flippancy, or even of lightness in either her words or her tone. For Mrs. Will Hallam was a woman of deep and tender feeling, a woman to whom all holy things ...
— A Captain in the Ranks - A Romance of Affairs • George Cary Eggleston

... panorama insists on prominence. He attempts the most nonchalant air, tells Mr. B. to proceed and state his case. This was not the first time that he had been requested to perform this incipient step of the law's demand, and he does it with such astuteness and flippancy, and how he had been wronged and persecuted by the plaintiff, that tears, unbidden, are ready to glisten in your eyes. Injured innocence and your sworn duty to your profession inspire courage and induce you to take his case. Later on the tyro will ...
— Shadow and Light - An Autobiography with Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century • Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

... The flippancy and profligacy of Philip the Handsome, the extortion and insolence of his Flemish courtiers, had not been forgotten in Spain, nor had Philip the Second forgiven his grandfather for having been a foreigner. And now his mad old grandmother, Joanna, who had ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... death-bed of his wife. Ladies have often been recommended to the baths to be cured of sterility; and, from what we have seen, we think there are far more unpromising places. Doctors, whose names only are known, but who were probably men of learning, have written on these salutary springs, and modern flippancy has at present forborne them. We have no Quack to patronize them; the "numen aquae" is not violated in print at least by jobbing apothecaries; but there is Gentile di Foligno, and Ugolino di Monte Catino, and Savonarola, and Bandinelli (1483,) and Fallopio ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845. • Various

... of course, proper subjects for conversation at all times, or at any time in a spirit of levity and flippancy. ...
— Plain Facts for Old and Young • John Harvey Kellogg

... But beneath his flippancy and beneath his felicity there was a lancinating qualm, which, if he had expressed it ...
— Mr. Prohack • E. Arnold Bennett

... as he noted her. Every thought fled to this window to peer forth, fearful, lustful, hateful, as the case might be. He had loved to play with her in the former days, to work upon her passions and watch the changes, to note her features mirror every varying emotion from tenderness to flippancy, from anger to delight, and, at his bidding, to see the pale cheeks glow with love's fire, the eyes grow heavy, the dainty lips invite kisses. Cherry was a perfect little spoiled animal, he reflected, ...
— The Spoilers • Rex Beach

... irritable flippancy. Ferrier's hazel eyes, set and almost lost in spreading cheeks, ...
— The Testing of Diana Mallory • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... urged you upon my uncle, sir, it was that I commiserated you." There was a slight severity in her tone, as if to reprove the mixture of mockery and flippancy in which he ...
— Captain Blood • Rafael Sabatini

... been a nice Christmas Day in any way. Nan had toothache and Susan had red eyes, and assumed a weird and gruesome flippancy of manner to deceive us into thinking she hadn't; and Jims had a bad cold all day and I'm afraid of croup. He has had croup twice since October. The first time I was nearly frightened to death, for father and mother ...
— Rilla of Ingleside • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... the matter with me," she retorted, with a return of her habitual flippancy. "What should be ...
— A Bride of the Plains • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... had come to have high hopes of it; it looked most imposing in proof—it was so much longer than 'Illusion;' he had worked up a series of such overwhelming effects in it; its pages contained matter to please every variety of taste—flippancy and learning, sensation and sentiment, careful dissection of character and audacious definition and epigram—failure seemed to him almost impossible. And when he could feel able to lay claim legitimately to the title of genius, surely then the memory ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... lilies, she lay quiescent in his arms in that little arbour beside the river. The rhythmic lapping of the waves was the only sound that stirred the balmy air. He seldom spoke then, for his voice would shake whenever he uttered a word: but his impenetrable armour of flippancy was pierced through and he did not speak because his lips were pressed to hers, and his love had soared beyond the ...
— The Elusive Pimpernel • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... forced to submit to daily encroachments upon regularity of procedure, which found encouragement from the King. His personal dignity was injured, and his temper was daily chafed, by the insults of those who carried their insubordination and their flippancy to the Council Chamber, where he could ill brook their presence; and they did so under cover of the secret sympathy of the King. Day by day he found his own influence more surely undermined; and it was none the less irksome because he saw the work of his life ...
— The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon V2 • Henry Craik

... King's name on the field of battle, is "a tower of strength;" it is the title of legitimacy. The ambition to please the people, to captivate jurors, spectators, and loungers about the court room, may mislead a young man into pertness, flippancy, and impudence, things which often pass current for eloquence and ability with the masses; but the ambition to please the Bar can never mislead him. Their good graces are only to be gained by real learning, by the strictest integrity and honor, by a courteous demeanor, and by attention, accuracy ...
— An Essay on Professional Ethics - Second Edition • George Sharswood

... not to be believed that in coming straight from the Bois de Boulogne, straight from the killing of a man, he should be sincerely expressing his nature in alluding to the fact in terms of such outrageous flippancy. Not quite to such an extent was he the incarnation of Scaramouche. But sufficiently was he so ever to mask his true feelings by an arresting gesture, his true thoughts by an effective phrase. He was the actor always, a man ever calculating the effect he would produce, ever ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... him that the praise of even this common man, proud of his own vanity, should be undeserved by him. He was troubled, too, at the flippancy with which Euphra spoke; yet not the less did he feel that ...
— David Elginbrod • George MacDonald

... is lengthy and it will no doubt be reprinted in book form. I repeat what I said in my first paragraph as to the major part of it, but I assert that the objectionable part of the manifesto is so objectionable in its flippancy, in its perversity, in its injustice, and in its downright inexactitude as to amount to a scandal. Mr. Shaw has failed to realize either his own importance or the importance and very grave solemnity of the occasion. The present is no hour for that ...
— New York Times, Current History, Vol 1, Issue 1 - From the Beginning to March, 1915 With Index • Various

... waters issuing from under the sanctuary—you see I have remembered the words—the trees for medicine and healing, even the fish,—why I never thought there could be anything like that in the Bible! You chose it purposely, of course?" The young man did not reply for an instant. A hint of flippancy in the speech of his companion seemed to create a barrier ...
— Ringfield - A Novel • Susie Frances Harrison

... a blue serge suit and a black hat, without flippancy; she is a powerfully built lady and generally more or less flushed, and she is aunt, apparently, to a great number of objectionable-looking people. I go in terror of her. Yet the worm will turn at last, and so will the mild, pacific literary man. Her last outrage was too much ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... least in the world," returned Quinton Edge, and Esmay smiled involuntarily at frankness so unblushing. Whereupon and curiously enough, Quinton Edge became suddenly of a great gravity, the flippancy of his accustomed manner falling from him as a cloak drops unnoticed from a man's shoulders. He rose to his feet, strode to a window, and stood there for perhaps a minute looking out upon the moonlit waters of the Lesser river. When he turned again to the girl there were lines of hardness about ...
— The Doomsman • Van Tassel Sutphen

... concluded with this amiable remark, I looked round for Cousin John, and rode away from her in disgust at her flippancy, and sick at heart to think of such a man as Captain Lovell wasting his smiles on such a creature. To be sure, he only said three words to her, for when I looked round again at the carriage he was ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... and stamping the genius of the Scottish people with the sign manual of dogmatism, otherwise called the perfervidum Scotorum, it has also assisted to secure for Scottish preachers a world-wide reputation for eloquence and power. Flippancy and sciolism may pass muster at the bar, or even in the Senate House; but to be effective, the pulpit must possess in a high degree the qualities of earnestness and an ability to "prove all things." Few men have been more strongly fortified with these essentials to success than Dr. William ...
— Western Worthies - A Gallery of Biographical and Critical Sketches of West - of Scotland Celebrities • J. Stephen Jeans

... Annan came mincing in about nine o'clock, disposed for flippancy and gossip; but neither Neville nor Rita encouraged them; so after a while they took their unimpaired cheerfulness and horse-play elsewhere, leaving the two occupants of the studio to their ...
— The Common Law • Robert W. Chambers

... staring at her, she seemed so accurate, according to his own mental gauging, and so unmoved in her flippancy, "that's pretty nearly it." ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... disposed to say flippantly that it must be, a dull life, not only for the women but the men; and that a man might well want five wives if he had to marry them before he could even look at them. But he will be wise not to be satisfied with such flippancy, for the complete veiling of the Moslem women of Jerusalem, though not a finer thing than the freedom of the Christian woman of Bethlehem, is almost certainly a finer thing than the more coquettish compromise ...
— The New Jerusalem • G. K. Chesterton

... and Mr. Kennaston, also, were somewhat unenthusiastic in their parting. Kennaston could not feel quite at ease with Margaret, brazen it as he might with devil-may-carish flippancy; and Kathleen had by this an inkling as to how matters stood between Margaret and Billy, and was somewhat puzzled thereat, and loved the former in consequence no more than any Christian female is compelled to love the woman who, either unconsciously or with deliberation, purloins her ancient ...
— The Eagle's Shadow • James Branch Cabell

... but it was not infectious as respected the occasion of it. He shook his head mournfully, and said, "The flippancy of rude health—the inconsiderate ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... judgment upon the Encyclopaedia. Luckily he had Warrington to laugh at him and to keep down his impertinence by a constant and wholesome ridicule, or he might have become conceited beyond all sufferance; for Shandon liked the dash and flippancy of his young aide-de-camp, and was, indeed, better pleased with Pen's light and brilliant flashes, than with the heavier metal which his elder ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... look on his face that mingled astonishment and injury, sank back in his chair. He never attempted anything that even faintly suggested flippancy, and he was unappreciative of ...
— The Just and the Unjust • Vaughan Kester

... swaggering conqueror, the arrogant Berliner type of all that is unpleasant, modern and insolent now overruns Germany. The ingenuousness, the naive quality that made dear the art of the Fatherland, has disappeared. In its place is smartness, flippancy, cynicism, unbelief, and the critical faculty developed to the pathological point. I thought of Schubert, and sighed in the presence of all this wit and savage humor. Bayreuth is full of doctrinaires. They eagerly dispute Wagner's meanings, and my venerable notions of the Ring were not only ...
— Old Fogy - His Musical Opinions and Grotesques • James Huneker

... to exercise her really considerable powers of verbal delineation. Charging her palette with lively colours, she sprang to the task—and that with a sprightly composure and deftness of touch which went far to cloak malice and rob flippancy of offence. ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... like long living with children, gives one a wholesome dread of cynicism and flippancy. Children's games are more serious than young men's love-affairs, and they must be treated so. It is not exactly that life is to be "taken seriously." It is to be taken for what it is—an extraordinary Pantomime. The people who will not laugh with Pierrot because his jokes are so silly, and the ...
— Visions and Revisions - A Book of Literary Devotions • John Cowper Powys

... and display which is very repulsive in the character of a child. Little girls who are in the constant habit of attending these parties, soon exchange the natural manners and frank simplicity so delightful at their age, for the confidence and flippancy of women long hacked in the ways of ...
— Life in the Clearings versus the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... &c. &c. except Octavius Gilchrist."—"He did not think there was a man in the kingdom who would pretend ignorance, &c. &c. except Octavius Gilchrist."—"He did not conceive that one man in the kingdom would utter such stupid flippancy, &c. &c. except Octavius Gilchrist."—"He did not think there was one man in the kingdom who, &c. &c. could so utterly show his ignorance, combined with conceit, &c. as Octavius Gilchrist."—"He did not believe there was a man in the kingdom so perfect in Mr. Gilchrist's ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 6 (of 6) - With his Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... for your flippancy this morning, but you have only to sing to take the words out of my mouth, ...
— In the Courts of Memory 1858-1875. • L. de Hegermann-Lindencrone

... agreeable way than they do later in the season. I was at two parties last week, each time, I am ashamed to say, after acting. I can't say that I find society pleasant; it reminds me a good deal of a "Conversation Cards," the insipid flippancy, of whose questions and answers seems to me to survive in these meetings, miscalled occasionally conversaziones. Dancing appears to me rational, and indeed highly intellectual, in comparison with such talk; and that I am as fond of as ever, but that has not begun yet, and I find these ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... lay so much stress on Puritanism," he said. "What has Puritanism resulted in? Its whole struggle has come to an end in doubt and agnosticism and flippancy. Intellectual curiosity has taken the place of spiritual stress; ethical casuistry or theological amusements seem to me to ...
— The Puritans • Arlo Bates

... of recent tears. Susie was absent, having no heart for food or company, and preferring to sit beside her mother for the brief time which remained to her. Even Meeteetse Ed shared in the general depression, and therefore it was in no spirit of flippancy that he observed as he replaced his cup violently ...
— 'Me-Smith' • Caroline Lockhart

... from all. It is a fact, and a strange one, that among his contemporaries Hermiston's son was thought to be a chip of the old block. "You're a friend of Archie Weir's?" said one to Frank Innes; and Innes replied, with his usual flippancy and more than his usual insight: "I know Weir, but I never met Archie." No one had met Archie, a malady most incident to only sons. He flew his private signal, and none heeded it; it seemed he was abroad in a world from which the very hope of intimacy was banished; and he looked ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XIX (of 25) - The Ebb-Tide; Weir of Hermiston • Robert Louis Stevenson

... disgusted and shocked at his mother's flippancy. Modern colleges are atheistic, but they do exalt three gods,—food, cleanliness, and exercise. Now here was Peter's mother ...
— Birthright - A Novel • T.S. Stribling

... not fond of these nicknames," Miss Scudamore said. "There is a flippancy about them of which I do ...
— The Young Buglers • G.A. Henty

... has been already prepared in Dublin by the Board under discussion, and, entrenched behind this, the Right Honourable gentleman winds up the debate. Sometimes his solemnity wrings laughter from men, sometimes his flippancy wrings tears from the gods, but it does not in the least matter what he says. The division bells ring; the absentees come trooping in, learn at the door of the lobby, each from his respective Whip, whether his spontaneous, independent judgment ...
— The Open Secret of Ireland • T. M. Kettle

... a lover's intrigue. He is in great repute for his smile that is transcendent in its beauty, but one can never tell what note it rings, whether true or false; its condiment may be of malice, hate, reserve, flippancy, deception. And one looks on and fears to take part in his mirth, for the reason one knows not what lies beneath ...
— Mistress Penwick • Dutton Payne

... more serious tone, and latterly Kitty had been so absent at times that she would fall into a puzzled silence in the midst of her narration; or else she would meet a long procession of skilfully marshalled questions with a flippancy that no one but a martyr could have suffered. But Mrs. Ellison bore all and would have borne much more in that cause. Battled at one point, she turned to another, and the sum of her researches was often a clearer perception of Kitty's state of mind than the young ...
— A Chance Acquaintance • W. D. Howells

... which he makes, in this dedication, to proper spirit, as he calls it, and fellow-dignity; for we never, in so few lines, saw so many clear marks of the vulgar impatience of a low man, conscious and ashamed of his wretched vanity, and labouring, with coarse flippancy, to scramble over the bounds of birth and education, and fidget himself into the stout-heartedness of being familiar with ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... and looked at her closely. The sweater and the sunshine had brought a faint tinge of wild-rose color to the transparency of her skin. The flippancy and boldness so prominent in her eyes the day before had disappeared. She looked more as she had when she was asleep in the moonlight. A wave of kindness and ...
— Penny of Top Hill Trail • Belle Kanaris Maniates

... when the article was shown her, with the easy flippancy that is the stock in trade of her type of society woman; but the arrow had ...
— Poor, Dear Margaret Kirby and Other Stories • Kathleen Norris

... of yourself, won't you?" There was genuine concern in the big man's voice as he went on with specious flippancy. "Miss Copley left a dagger kicking around; let's hope she hasn't dropped an automatic or a machine-gun here and there. If Mr. Monk got the idea ...
— The Monk of Hambleton • Armstrong Livingston

... forgotten it," rejoined Gabriel coolly, for he was hurt by the piece of flippancy and was thinking the ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... respond to this flippancy, though the pupils of her gray eyes grew large with anger. She walked the length of the room ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... ... mocked Him." That was the real spirit behind the eager curiosity. And I, too, may mock my Lord! I may bow before Him, and array Him in apparent royalty, while all the time my spirit is full of flippancy and jeers. I may lustily sing: "Crown Him Lord of all," while I will not recognize His rights on a single square foot of the soil of my inheritance. And this it is to be the kinsman of Herod. And this, too, will be the issue; the heavens will be as brass, and the Lord will answer ...
— My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year • John Henry Jowett

... all, best understood. She knew that in those tripping melodies and crashing chords were Cyril's joy at the presence of Marie, his wrath at the flippancy of Bertram, his ecstasy at that for which the rug and curtains stood—the little woman sewing in the radiant circle of a shaded lamp. Billy knew that all this and more were finding voice at Cyril's finger tips. The others, too, understood in a way; ...
— Miss Billy's Decision • Eleanor H. Porter

... a wedding reception, and among the serious presents some grinning Philistine drew his attention to an uncouth club—"a wife-beater" he called it. The flippancy had jarred upon John terribly: this intrusive reminder of the customs of the slums. It grated like Billingsgate in a boudoir. Now that savage weapon recurred to him—for a lurid instant he saw Winifred's husband ...
— The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes • Israel Zangwill



Words linked to "Flippancy" :   levity, flippant



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