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Good-for-nothing   /gʊd-fɔr-nˈəθɪŋ/   Listen
Good-for-nothing

noun
1.
An idle worthless person.  Synonyms: goldbrick, good-for-naught, goof-off, ne'er-do-well, no-account.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Good-for-nothing" Quotes from Famous Books



... the last few days, we have all been overwhelmed with unusual cares. The grand ceremonies of the Park and the Academy of Music are over, but have left me in a good-for-nothing condition. Everything went off splendidly, indeed, as you will learn from the papers.... I find it more difficult to bear up with the overwhelming praise that is poured out without measure, than with the trials of my former life. There is something so remarkable in this universal ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume II • Samuel F. B. Morse

... and said, "Look at the lady, you brute, and hold your tongue!" And when he looked at my wife's situation, Captain Sparr became redder for shame than he had before been for anger. "I'm sorry she's married to such a good-for-nothing," muttered he, and fell back; and my poor wife and I walked out of the court, and back to our dismal room ...
— The History of Samuel Titmarsh - and the Great Hoggarty Diamond • William Makepeace Thackeray

... the son of a good-for-nothing, I grant, whom a favourite cousin had unfortunately married, but he was an excellent fellow himself; and when his father died, she had Mrs. Douglas to live in that cottage by the Rectory, and sent the boy to school with us; then she got him into Proudfoot's ...
— The Three Brides • Charlotte M. Yonge

... mother's voice, sternly, "thou good-for-nothing! Thou'st let the syrup burn, and the smell is all over the house. Charles, what dost thou mean by loafing indoors at this hour of the day? Go about ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... You are a widow, rich; as women go, you are not so unpleasant to look at as most of 'em. If it became a clergyman to dwell upon such matters, I would say that your fleshly habitation is too fine for its tenant, since I know you to be a good-for-nothing jilt. However, you are God's handiwork, and doubtless He had His reasons for constructing you. My Lord is poor; last summer at Tunbridge you declined to marry him. I am in his confidence, you observe. He took your ...
— Gallantry - Dizain des Fetes Galantes • James Branch Cabell

... the author's mind. Even after matriculating at the university he abandoned himself so long to the dissipations common to student life before the reaction came that his relatives feared that he was a good-for-nothing. ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... my old friend and comrade," interrupted the Greek youth lightly, "don't put on such a long face. I foresee that you are about to give me a lecture, and I don't want the tone of remonstrance to be the last that I shall hear. I know that I'm a wild, good-for-nothing fellow, and can guess all you would say to me. Let us rather talk of your speedy return to Hellas, for, to tell you the truth, I feel as if the loss of you would leave me like a poor man who has been crippled in the wars. I shall be a mere shadow ...
— The Hot Swamp • R.M. Ballantyne

... workmen, who, in proportion to their skill, finish and perfect their works, small as well as great, by one and the same art; or that God, the wisest of beings, who is both willing and able to take care, is like a lazy good-for-nothing, or a coward, who turns his back upon labour and gives no thought to smaller and easier matters, but to the ...
— Laws • Plato

... tell you what, Hugh, this country is jogging on under two of the most antagonist systems possible—Christianity and the newspapers. The first is daily hammering into every man that he is a miserable, frail, good-for-nothing being, while the last is eternally proclaiming the perfection of the people and ...
— The Redskins; or, Indian and Injin, Volume 1. - Being the Conclusion of the Littlepage Manuscripts • James Fenimore Cooper

... "He comes by this or that naturally, a chip off the old block," meaning that he is only doing what his parents did. This is quite often the case, but there is no reason for it, for a person can break a habit just the moment he masters the "I will." A man may have been a "good-for-nothing" all his life up to this very minute, but from this time on he begins to amount to something. Even old men have suddenly changed and accomplished wonders. "I lost my opportunity," says one. That may be true, but by sheer ...
— The Power of Concentration • Theron Q. Dumont

... happened almost every day. About the same time, the Donatists of Hippo made a great noise over the rebaptizing of another apostate from the Catholic community. This was a good-for-nothing loafer who beat his old mother, and the bishop severely rebuked his ...
— Saint Augustin • Louis Bertrand

... not," retorted the other. "The Commissary swears to his own signature on the identity book. The concierge at the Abbaye swears that he knows Mole, so do all the men of the Surete who have seen him. The Commissary has known him as an indigent, good-for-nothing lubbard who has begged his way in the streets of Paris ever since he was released from gaol some months ago, after he had served a term for larceny. Even your own man Hebert admits to feeling doubtful on the point. You have had the nightmare, citizen," concluded Fouquier-Tinville ...
— The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel • Baroness Orczy

... "I suppose it was because you really have a sort of regard for an idle, good-for-nothing fellow, whose redeeming quality is an attachment to a very kind old uncle, and whose nonsense and good spirits are perhaps a partial compensation for the trouble he gives every body in this tumble-down ...
— The Three Brides, Love in a Cottage, and Other Tales • Francis A. Durivage

... buried and nobody cares very much; They have no use in Greylock for drunkards and loafers and such, But I always liked Dave Lilly, he was pleasant as you could wish, He was shiftless and good-for-nothing, but he ...
— The Haunted Hour - An Anthology • Various

... to think the Private an irresponsible good-for-nothing, look hard at the next Commissionaire you meet on the street. That smart, clean, well-brushed man, with his bronzed face, his bright keen eyes, and general look of self-respect, was once a soldier, and indeed it is soldiering that has made him what you see. Look hard, ...
— The Story of Baden-Powell - 'The Wolf That Never Sleeps' • Harold Begbie

... exclaimed, almost choked with passion,—"I advised you to burthen yourself with that idle and good-for-nothing pauper, who'm you ought rather to send to the workhouse than maintain at your own expense, did I! I advised you to take him as an apprentice; and, so far from getting the regular fee with him, to give him a salary? ...
— Jack Sheppard - A Romance • William Harrison Ainsworth

... it," she insisted, ignoring his criticism as she again smoothed his hand. "You did a fine, noble act, and I am proud of you and I came to tell you so." Then she added suddenly: "You received my message last night, didn't you? Now, don't tell me that that good-for-nothing ...
— Peter - A Novel of Which He is Not the Hero • F. Hopkinson Smith

... spoken of Thomas Lodge as joint author with Greene of a good-for-nothing play. We have one Other play by him, entitled The Wounds of Civil War, and having for its subject "the true tragedies of Harms and Sylla," written before 1590, but not printed till 1594. It is ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... protects me from myself. I mean it. I'm as unruly as the average woman and I make a fool of myself on the slightest provocation. Henri is a loafer, a good-for-nothing, to be sure, but, nevertheless, I have resumed his support. It was easier than refusing it. I help broken miners. I feed hungry dogs. Why shouldn't I clothe and feed a helpless husband? It's a perfectly feminine, illogical thing ...
— The Winds of Chance • Rex Beach

... right," said Leon de Lora; "but good-for-nothing as I may be, I cannot help admiring a woman who is capable, as that one was, of living by the side of a studio, under a painter's roof, and never coming down, nor seeing the world, nor dipping her feet ...
— Honorine • Honore de Balzac

... We are not "lazy, good-for-nothing Indians, fit only for the soldiers' target." We are men and women struggling against clannishness and superstition—against evil without and within—reaching up to you who know the blessedness of ...
— The American Missionary - Volume 50, No. 6, June 1896 • Various

... the anger of his pal, he was unwilling to give up the youngsters without at least a struggle, "what is the use of two such chums as we have been until this moment, to quarrel about a couple of good-for-nothing runaway kids? Let me make you a fair proposition. You said that two is company, while three is a crowd, and as I am sure you will not court the risk to drag two road kids with you past all the Johnny Laws (policemen) who will get wise to you when you have a "family" hoboing with ...
— The Trail of the Tramp • A-No. 1 (AKA Leon Ray Livingston)

... good-for-nothing fellow!" she called out when he came near enough to be unmistakable, and ran down the steps to kiss him. "What in the world are you doing here? When did you come? Why didn't you hollo, instead of letting me stand here guessing? You're not sick, ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... There was a good-for-nothing old pocketknife that had been given to her by Ole the first summer on the mountain. There was a letter from Ole, too, that she had received the last autumn, and that no one knew about. In it he had asked if he might send her and Jacob tickets ...
— Lisbeth Longfrock • Hans Aanrud

... slave mill, we could not clearly make out from his letter. But since he is at Ephesus, I should be obliged if you would trace him in any manner open to you, and with all care either [send him] or bring him home with you. Don't take into consideration the fellow's value: such a good-for-nothing is worth very little; but AEsopus is so much vexed at his slave's bad conduct and audacity, that you can do him no greater favour than by being the means of ...
— The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1 - The Whole Extant Correspodence in Chronological Order • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... you hear us say: 'Gart is a bad man; Gart is a good-for-nothing, a city trickster?' No, we said: 'This thing has never ...
— The Crushed Flower and Other Stories • Leonid Andreyev

... brandy-and-water, had warmed his soul into enthusiasm, and made him generous in his promises towards Captain Shandon. His impetuous wife had rebuked him on his return home. She had ordered that he should give no relief to the Captain; he was a good-for-nothing fellow, whom no money would help; she disapproved of the plan of the Pall Mall Gazette, and expected that Bungay would only lose his money in it as they were losing over the way (she always called her brother's ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... future grub, who, in due course, eats his way through the vegetable kingdom upon which he is quartered, for no merit or exertion of his own; and where his career is only to be noted by the ravages of his insatiable jaws. After a brief period of lethargy or pupa state, this good-for-nothing creature flutters forth, powdered, painted, perfumed, scorning the dirt from which he sprung, and leading a life of uselessness and vanity, until death, in the shape of an autumnal shower, prostrates himself and his ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 - Vol. 53, January, 1843 • Various

... fourteen when she lost her father. He was a rough idle good-for-nothing, and one stormy night on his way home from the tavern he went astray and was found dead in the snow. Her mother had died when she was so small a child that Mary could scarcely remember her face. So it happened that she was left ...
— A Child's Book of Saints • William Canton

... he had the whip-hand of the poor woman, and the taller he grew the more the lazy good-for-nothing used it. Enlistment was his trump card, and he went to the length of buying a drill-book and practising the motions in odd corners of the garden, but always so that his aunt should catch him at it. If ...
— Merry-Garden and Other Stories • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... is the knave of whom I have been speaking. The third is still serving in the army, and, according to common report, is one of the best gentlemen in the world. My, son does not like him so well as his good-for-nothing brother, because he is too serious, and would not become his buffoon. My son excuses himself by saying that when he quits business he wants something to make him laugh, and that young Broglie is not old enough for this; ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... what is called a "good old good-for-nothing darky." The whole district allowed that he had no other merit beyond that of sawing the fiddle; and this merit, which is not one in our own eyes, was highly valued, however, by all the colored people, and even by the whites who lived for a distance of forty miles ...
— Happy Days for Boys and Girls • Various

... scourged with three hundred stripes; but should he intentionally have killed a man, while numbers insist that he ought to be unhesitatingly condemned as guilty, his master will exclaim, "What can the poor wretch do? what can one expect from a good-for-nothing fellow like that?" But should any one else venture to do anything of the kind, ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... press the rich locks about her, and so carefully permit those voluptuous breasts to be seen. She a penitent! She would shake off all pretence to it as easily as she would shake aside that clustering hair. . . . . Titian must have been a very good-for-nothing old man. ...
— Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... head scornfully. She did not exactly dislike the girl, though she did not hold with the way Bunting's daughter was being managed by that old aunt of hers—an idle, good-for-nothing way, very different from the fashion in which she herself had been trained at the Foundling, for Mrs. Bunting as a little child had known no other home, no other family than those provided by ...
— The Lodger • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... off the heads and other good-for-nothing parts which are sold for glue stock. Nothing is wasted in a tannery, let me tell you! After the skins leave this room they will be sent to the beamhouse, where they will be soaked in water until all the dirt and salt is out of them. Usually ...
— The Story of Leather • Sara Ware Bassett

... messengers in all directions to blow the trumpet at the street corners and in the market places and wherever two roads met, and summon everybody to court. Thither, accordingly, came a great multitude of good-for-nothing vagabonds, all of whom, out of pure love of mischief, would have been glad if Perseus had met with some ill-hap in his encounter with the Gorgons. If there were any better people in the island (as I really hope there may have been, ...
— Myths and Legends of All Nations • Various

... alehouse when I should be at home, at a marriage when I should be at a funeral, shooting when I should be keeping my books—in short, it has not a good word to say for me. And as for thee, Fogg, it says thou art an idle, good-for-nothing fellow; or, if thou art good for aught, it is only for something that leads to evil. It says thou drinkest prodigiously, liest confoundedly, and swearest most profanely; that thou art ever more ready to go to the alehouse than to church, and that none of the girls ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... her ladyship retorted with corresponding spirit.' You impudent, good-for-nothing fellow! D'you hear me? You are an impudent, good-for-nothing fellow, Dunborough, for all your airs and graces! Come, you don't swagger over me, my lad! And as sure as you do this that I hear of, you'll smart for it. There are Lorton and Swanton—my lord can do as ...
— The Castle Inn • Stanley John Weyman

... debts, some of his companions and intimates did him harm and injured his consequence. His brother Richard, whose brogue we are given to understand was simply appalling, was a good-for-nothing, with a dilapidated reputation. Then there was another Mr. Burke, who was no relation, but none the less was always about, and to whom it was not safe to lend money. Burke's son, too, whose death he mourned so pathetically, seems to have been ...
— Obiter Dicta - Second Series • Augustine Birrell

... put in Tom. "If he'd stick to it and dig up his good-for-nothing old treasure chest himself instead of barking at the moon, we'd all be better off. But here we are at the good old Fortuna. My, my, how she looms up out ...
— Boy Scouts in Southern Waters • G. Harvey Ralphson

... which might be spent for bringing joy and recreation to the rest of us? Or again, if medical men need a living human victim to experiment upon, in order to conquer some devastating disease, why not pounce upon some good-for-nothing member of the community and force him to undergo the pain? The considerations enumerated in the preceding paragraph, however, bid us halt. Imagine the anxiety and the anguish that would be caused if some commission were free to determine who were ...
— Problems of Conduct • Durant Drake

... that you have accused me at least a hundred times of being lazy and good-for-nothing, because I have not written since we left Dublin; but do not be angry, I was not well during the time we were in Dublin, nor for two or three days after we landed: but three days' rest at Bangor Ferry recovered me completely, ...
— The Life And Letters Of Maria Edgeworth, Vol. 1 • Maria Edgeworth

... their death, far he intimated to the priest that he would not spend a farthing on funeral services. They were accordingly borne to the paupers' graves which he had caused to be prepared for them, and when he saw them both interred, he cried out that he was well rid of such good-for-nothing children, but that he should be perfectly happy only when the remaining five were buried with the first two, and that when he had got rid of the last he himself would burn down his palace as a bonfire ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... good-for-nothing, lazy, lumbering nigger, what are ye idling there for, a-toasting of your crooked black shins? Put up the chunks and hang on the kettle directly," said the nurse ...
— Ishmael - In the Depths • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... good-for-nothing Mark?" demanded the vinedresser, when he returned home at night half tipsy. "Did he dare to venture to the shooting-match? I was told that he was seen sneaking about the outskirts of the village! ...
— Fanny, the Flower-Girl • Selina Bunbury

... a good-for-nothing fellow, and Segur is a brave and honourable man who never uttered such a falsehood; however, you are right; and because you provided for a few dependents, you are most unjustly reported to have disposed of all offices, ...
— Memoirs Of The Court Of Marie Antoinette, Queen Of France, Complete • Madame Campan

... "Thou good-for-nothing imp!" exclaimed Mary Antony, her old face crinkling with delight. "Thou little vain man, in thy red jerkin! Beshrew thine impudence, intruding into a place where women alone do dwell, and no male thing may enter. I would have thee take warning by the ...
— The White Ladies of Worcester - A Romance of the Twelfth Century • Florence L. Barclay

... so much that he soon wrote a comedy called "The Clouds," in which he made fun of him. Of course, he did not call the people in the play by their real names; but the hero was a good-for-nothing young man, who, advised by his teacher, bought fast horses, ran his father into debt, cheated everybody, and treated even the gods ...
— The Story of the Greeks • H. A. Guerber

... he said these awful words, when he realized they were a counsel of perfection, and felt embarrassed at the unapproachable grandeur of his idea. So he hastens to add that, of course, "the true pilot" will be called "a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing." [Footnote: 2 Bk. VI, 488-489.] But this wistful admission, though it protects him against whatever was the Greek equivalent for the charge that he lacked a sense of humor, furnished a humiliating tailpiece ...
— Public Opinion • Walter Lippmann

... thought expedient that I should be stared at alone on horseback; being stared at alone on foot, apparently, is not equally pernicious; and so I lose my most necessary exercise; but I may comfort myself with the reflection that should I ever become a sickly, feeble, physically good-for-nothing, broken-down woman, I shall certainly not be singular in this free and enlightened republic, where (even more than anywhere else in the world) singularity appears to be dreaded and condemned above any or all ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... make some different arrangements for you," he added in a slightly milder tone. "Can't afford to have you get sick and knock your act out. It's too important. I'll fire some lazy, good-for-nothing performer out of a closed wagon and give you ...
— The Circus Boys on the Flying Rings • Edgar B. P. Darlington

... scared, ma!" cried Billy, smiling a stern smile of triumph; "I smashed the nose off him! He wont sass me again for nothing this while! Uncle Teddy, d'ye know it wasn't a dog-fight, after all? There was that nasty, good-for-nothing Joe Casey, 'n Patsy Grogan, and a lot of bad boys from Mackerelville; and they'd caught this poor little ki-oodle and tied a tin pot to his tail, and were trying to set Joe's dog on him, though ...
— Humorous Masterpieces from American Literature • Various

... should have called up to see you before this if it hadn't been for the boy's sickness. But I am a good-for-nothing neighbor, as you have doubtless heard. Nobody expects ...
— The Village Watch-Tower • (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin

... his house. I obtained from my captain a French soldier to serve me, and I was well pleased when I found that the man was a hairdresser by trade, and a great talker by nature, for he could take care of my beautiful head of hair, and I wanted to practise French conversation. He was a good-for-nothing fellow, a drunkard and a debauchee, a peasant from Picardy, and he could hardly read or write, but I did not mind all that; all I wanted from him was to serve me, and to talk to me, and his French was pretty good. ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... yourself, as you call it, at that good-for-nothing young spendthrift's head fast enough if you ...
— Vera Nevill - Poor Wisdom's Chance • Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

... with great fury, and starting up from his chair). Brother, don't speak to me of that wicked, good-for-nothing, insolent, brazen-faced girl. I will put her in a convent before two days ...
— The Imaginary Invalid - Le Malade Imaginaire • Moliere

... night perambulating the streets of Seville, in company with a Spanish friend, a curious investigator of the popular traditions and other good-for-nothing lore of the city, and who was kind enough to imagine he had met, in me, with a congenial spirit. In the course of our rambles we were passing by a heavy, dark gateway, opening into the courtyard of a convent, when he laid his ...
— The Crayon Papers • Washington Irving

... she, Miss Dashwood? Poor thing! she looks very bad. No wonder. Ay, it is but too true. He is to be married very soon—a good-for-nothing fellow! I have no patience with him. Mrs. Taylor told me of it half an hour ago, and she was told it by a particular friend of Miss Grey herself, else I am sure I should not have believed it; and I was almost ready to sink as it was. Well, said ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... 'You miserable, good-for-nothing, nasty fellow,' she began. 'Do you dare accuse Harold of stealing! Stealing! You, who are not fit to tie his shoes! And do you want to know why he was here that morning? I can tell you; but no, I won't tell you! I won't speak ...
— Tracy Park • Mary Jane Holmes

... Spirit makes His abode in him. This then is the great message which was preached with the beginning of this age, and which is to be preached to its very end. It is the only power of God unto salvation, and anything else is a miserable, good-for-nothing substitute and counterfeit, which not alone cannot please God, but upon which the curse of God rests; for anything short of the Gospel of Christ is an insult to God and a denial of His righteousness and love. And this Gospel is to be preached according to the word of ...
— Studies in Prophecy • Arno C. Gaebelein

... love. She was picking salad in the garden; he begged her for a little, and she sent him about his business; las, alas! ever since then his peace has been gone; he cannot sleep, he can only think of her, and follow her about; he has become quite good-for-nothing as to his field work,—yet he hears all the people around laughing and saying, "Of course Vallera will get her." Only she will pay no heed to him. She is finer to look at than the Pope, whiter than the whitest wood core: she is more delectable than ...
— Euphorion - Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the - Renaissance - Vol. I • Vernon Lee

... callay,'" cried Hippy shaking hands all around. "It seems ages since I saw you girls. How well you all look, only you're not looking at me. These other good-for-nothing fellows are getting all the attention. Hello, Miriam," he called to Miriam Nesbit, who ran eagerly across the floor to meet the newcomers. "There's a prize package for you, too. It's outside the door shaking the snow ...
— Grace Harlowe's Senior Year at High School - or The Parting of the Ways • Jessie Graham Flower

... of the Heldenbuch. She had even made considerable proficiency in writing; could sign her own name without missing a letter, and so legibly, that her aunts could read it without spectacles. She excelled in making little elegant good-for-nothing lady-like nicknacks of all kinds; was versed in the most abstruse dancing of the day; played a number of airs on the harp and guitar; and knew all the tender ballads ...
— Humorous Ghost Stories • Dorothy Scarborough

... to account because one of them goes away to another teacher and turns out to be a failure? Or what father, if he have a son who in the society of a certain friend remains an honest lad, but falling into the company of some other becomes a good-for-nothing, will that father straightway accuse the earlier instructor? Will not he rather, in proportion as the boy deteriorates in the company of the latter, bestow more heartfelt praise upon the former? What father, himself sharing ...
— The Memorabilia - Recollections of Socrates • Xenophon

... by her own free will, and perhaps she had sense and quiet resolution enough for both. So I gave the heads of the little history I have told you to my good friend and host, adding that I should like to have a man's opinion of this man; but that if he were not an absolute good-for-nothing, and if Thekla still loved him, as I believed, I would try and advance them the requisite money towards establishing themselves in the hereditary inn ...
— The Grey Woman and other Tales • Mrs. (Elizabeth) Gaskell

... beneficent eye on the lives, and habits, and tendencies of all mankind? Were the Thebans who had large families more useful to their country than the childless Epaminondas; or was Homer less useful to mankind than Priam with his fifty good-for-nothing sons?... Why, sir, the true cynic is a father to all men; all men are his sons and all women his daughters; he has a bond of union, a lien of affection with them all." (Dissert. ...
— Seekers after God • Frederic William Farrar

... season gets colder, or a night-march has miscarried. Then you never wish to see the sun rise again. There was a time when a man who boasted that he had never seen the sun rise was branded as a lazy sloth, an indolent good-for-nothing, who willingly missed half the pleasures of life. After twenty months continuous trekking in South Africa one is not sure that one's opinions on this subject fall into line with those of the majority. For after a ...
— On the Heels of De Wet • The Intelligence Officer

... "You good-for-nothing villain!" Fred grinned. "I'll take you at your word!" and Brown of Lumbwa gasped, the very hairs ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... ever supposed him to be a fool?" asked the girl quickly. "What happened was that you took Vishnepokromov's word—the word of a man who is himself both a fool and a good-for-nothing." ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... peace and happiness and overflowing plenty. Some of them were traders—men who bartered their simple wares, such as red Turkey twill, axes, knives, beads, tobacco, pipes, and muskets, for coconut oil and turtle shell. Others were wild, good-for-nothing runaways from whaleships, who then were generally known as "beach-combers"—that is, combing the beach for a living—though that, indeed, was a misnomer, for in those days, except one of these men was either a murderer or a tyrant, he did not "comb" for his living, but simply lived a life of luxurious, ...
— Rodman The Boatsteerer And Other Stories - 1898 • Louis Becke

... I wouldn't want that good-for-nothing monkey Wango to have a ride on the back of such a nice pony as yours. I'll make Jed sell him to a ...
— Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue and Their Shetland Pony • Laura Lee Hope

... you've come to help an old man die! Yes, I am dying, Job; the old man's near the end. I'll no more hang around the Miners' Home and beg a drink from the stranger. Curse the rum, Job! It's brought me here where you find me, a good-for-nothing, dying without a friend in the world—yes, one friend, Job; ...
— The Transformation of Job - A Tale of the High Sierras • Frederick Vining Fisher

... tired-looking, emaciated horses, appeared on the road. In the wagon were two men and a woman. The man who was driving was carrying on a grumbling monologue. You worked like a dog, he said, to grow crops and then the government seized them to feed to good-for-nothing soldiers. The only crops he'd grow this year would be just enough for his own family. If the government wanted anything from him the government would have ...
— Tom of the Raiders • Austin Bishop

... others will come to the front as our story proceeds. Of the enemies the principal ones were Arnold Baxter, a man who had tried, years before, to defraud the boys' father out of a gold mine in the West, and his son Dan, who had once been the bully of Putnam Hall. Arnold Baxter's tool was a good-for-nothing scamp named Buddy Girk, who had once robbed Dick of his watch. Both of these men were now in jail charged with an important robbery in Albany, and the Rover boys had aided in bringing the men to justice. Dan, the bully, was also under arrest, charged with ...
— The Rover Boys in the Jungle • Arthur M. Winfield

... "Give me my cloak; I will fetch some more apples myself, or else that good-for-nothing wretch will eat them all on the way. I shall be able to find the mountain and the tree. The shepherds may cry 'Stop,' but I shall not leave go till I have shaken down all ...
— Fairy Tales of the Slav Peasants and Herdsmen • Alexander Chodsko

... into her quarrel with La Normande with respect to the ten-sou dab, they had at once made friends again with Lisa, and they now had nothing but contempt for the handsome fish-girl, and assailed her and her sister as good-for-nothing hussies, whose only aim was to fleece men of their money. This opinion had been inspired by the assertions of Mademoiselle Saget, who had declared to Madame Lecoeur that Florent had induced one of the two girls to coquette with Gavard, ...
— The Fat and the Thin • Emile Zola

... tavern, where I knew he was sure to be. I was just about to start, when the sensible old tree let fall a juicy pear right at my feet, as if to say: Take that for your thirst, and for slandering me by comparing me with that good-for-nothing son of yours. I deliberated a moment, took a bite of it, and went into ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IX - Friedrich Hebbel and Otto Ludwig • Various

... "You good-for-nothing rascal you!" broke out the landlord. "I stood and watched you myself, you were looking at the play. Get you gone, you idle vagabond," he added, in high dudgeon, "get you gone, and bring me ...
— Heiress of Haddon • William E. Doubleday

... aunt's favorite subject. I had been in want of just such an article as an "efficient person" ever since I had taken charge of my father's menage; and after undergoing almost martyrdom with slip-shod, thriftless, good-for-nothing "help," as we Americans, with such delicate consideration, term our serving maids, I had come to the conclusion that indifferent "help" was an unavoidable evil, and that the best must be made of the poor, miserable ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 3. March 1848 • Various

... gust of envy, to Bobby] Itll be long enough before youll marry the sister of a duke, you young good-for-nothing. ...
— Fanny's First Play • George Bernard Shaw

... one which he had not seen in many a day. The sight of its dirty window, filled with a disorderly assortment of familiar articles, took him back to the old life in Barrel Alley and the days when his good-for-nothing father had sent him down here with odds and ends of clothing to be turned into money for ...
— Tom Slade with the Colors • Percy K. Fitzhugh

... scolding another, it is common in Malay to adopt an impersonal and not a direct mode of address. Instead of saying, "You are a lazy, good-for-nothing boy, and deserve a good thrashing," the Malay says, "What manner of boy is this? If one were to beat him soundly it ...
— A Manual of the Malay language - With an Introductory Sketch of the Sanskrit Element in Malay • William Edward Maxwell

... at Lahore. He 'vanished—probably to Persia—after his three months' pretence of royalty; and on 25th January, 1628 (18 Jumada I, 1037), Shah-Jahan ascended at Agra the throne which he was to occupy for thirty years'. Shahryar was known by the nickname of Na-shudani, or 'Good-for-nothing' (Lane-Poole, The History of the Moghul Emperors of Hindustan, illustrated by their Coins, p. xxiii). The two nephews of Jahangir, the sons of Daniyal, slaughtered at this time, had been, according to ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... true, sire," replied the Colonel. "It is an old fellow called Pere La Chique, whom we have left at the barracks playing his violin, the old good-for-nothing!" ...
— Legends & Romances of Brittany • Lewis Spence

... rusty, good-for-nothing time-piece!" exclaimed Sir Mungo, while, betwixt jest and earnest, he laid on his hilt his hand, or rather his claw, (for Sir Rullion's broadsword has abridged it into that form,)—"D'ye mean to upbraid ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... the old house should tumble in, it would bury under its ruins a precious lot of good-for-nothing people, unfit to live! Heavens! what a flash of lightning! Oh, Cap, Cap, my darling, where are you in this storm? Mrs. Condiment, mum! if any harm comes to Capitola this night, I'll have you ...
— Capitola the Madcap • Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... Anderson sat on the stoop. Young Eastman and the Van Dorn girl passed after he sat there, and he thought with a loving passion of protection of poor little Charlotte alone at home. "I'll warrant the poor child is watching for that good-for-nothing scoundrel this minute," he told himself. He would have liked to knock young Eastman down; it would have delighted his soul to kick him; he would have given a good deal to have had him at the top ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... cases, Nash, or rather his hero (for Nash does not himself make use of this language which he in no way admired, but only puts it into the mouth of his self-confident good-for-nothing as the finishing touch to his portrait), adopts Lyly's style entirely, alliteration and all: "The sparrow for his lecherie liveth but a yeere, he for his trecherie ...
— The English Novel in the Time of Shakespeare • J. J. Jusserand

... grandmother, 'it seems all right when you put it like that, and I wish I was as happy as you are, my dear;—but I'm a good-for-nothing old woman, I am indeed, and somehow I'm afraid He wouldn't ...
— Poppy's Presents • Mrs O. F. Walton

... man who was as rich as the sea, but as there can never be any perfect happiness in this world, he had a son so idle and good-for-nothing that he could not tell a bean from a cucumber. So being unable any longer to put up with his folly, he gave him a good handful of crowns, and sent him to trade in the Levant; for he well knew that seeing various countries and mixing with divers people awaken the genius and ...
— Stories from Pentamerone • Giambattista Basile

... shoulders and bosom for the heads of tired babies; Meg thin, rickety, and sneak-eyed, with a broken tail that hung at an angle, and but one ear (a black-and-tan had ruined the other)—a sandy-colored, rough-haired, good-for-nothing cur of multifarious lineage, who was either crouching at her feet or in full cry for some hole in a fence or rift in a wood-pile where he could flatten ...
— The Tides of Barnegat • F. Hopkinson Smith

... not to do it again and a lecture from his captain! And Mossieu Daspry pretends that, with kindness and patience, he succeeds in turning Duvauchel and fellows of his kidney into his best soldiers! What humbug! As though there were any way of taming those beggars, short of discipline! A pack of good-for-nothing scoundrels, who would fly across the frontier the moment the first shot ...
— The Frontier • Maurice LeBlanc

... time!" said Raybold, with a laugh. "I like that! But I came here to interrupt your conversation. Do you know who that fellow is you were talking to? He's a common, good-for-nothing tramp. He goes round splitting wood for his meals. Clyde and I kept him here to cook our meals because we had no servant, and he's been in bed for days because he had no clothes to wear. Now you are treating him as if he were a gentleman, and you actually brought ...
— The Associate Hermits • Frank R. Stockton

... misery like this," commented the housekeeper, coming upon that restless figure pacing the darkened hall, moaning, moaning, seeing nothing, hearing nothing, doing nothing but walk and sorrow, sorrow and walk, hour in and hour out. "It's enough to tear a body's heart to hear her, poor dear. And that good-for-nothing Spanish piece racing and shrieking round the tennis court like a she tom-cat, the heartless hussy. Her and that simpering silly that's trotting round after her had ought to be put in a bag and shaken up, that they ought. It's downright scandalous to be carrying ...
— Cleek, the Master Detective • Thomas W. Hanshew

... fear a great greedy pike or some other great fish might be there and swallow him up at a mouthful. He kept away from the shallow places in hot weather, lest the sun should dry them up. When he saw a shadow on the water, he said to himself, 'Halloo! here are the good-for-nothing fishermen with their nets!' and immediately he sculled away and got under the banks, where he sat trembling in all his scales; and when he saw a tempting fly skimming on the water, or a nice fat worm, he did not dare to bite, although he was half-starved. 'No, no,' said the little ...
— The Fairy Nightcaps • Frances Elizabeth Barrow

... that good woman when Gerry began to dilate upon their forlorn condition. "Jimson weeds I call 'em. Of all the shiftless, good-for-nothing lots! They can't be much worse off now ...
— The King's Daughter and Other Stories for Girls • Various

... render the mildest case very difficult to cure by inducing serious complications. It is better to take no medical treatment, but rely solely on the hygienic advice we have given, rather than to resort to any of the so-called "specifics" found in the drug shops, or to any such silly, good-for-nothing trash as the various "Pastilles," "Boluses," "Curative Rings," "Voltaic Belts," or ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... dormitory, you good-for-nothing, and find out on dry bread that a noun's a name of anything, like helefunt, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, November 1885 • Various

... one night a good-for-nothing miner named Duffy was shot in a quarrel over a game of cards. On his dying bed Duffy confessed that he had once been intimate with Crazy Jim and that the ...
— The Young Oarsmen of Lakeview • Ralph Bonehill

... have done," he said, gravely, as he shook hands; "you forget what a sordid, and heartless, and generally good-for-nothing chap I am, Peggy. It's much better ...
— The Eagle's Shadow • James Branch Cabell

... excuse that you were perfect as you were, but the bald truth was that I liked the society of men better, and hated any form of mental exertion unconnected with my profession. I plucked the rarest flower a good-for-nothing man ever found and I didn't even remember to give it fresh water. It is a wonder you didn't wilt before you did. You were wilting—dying mentally—when Masters came along. You found in him all that I had denied you. And now I have ...
— Sleeping Fires • Gertrude Atherton

... beach was not to be found in the heart of town. And she was too tired to walk there—not having had any lunch and being very angry besides. And she would lose her "job"—her miserable, wretched, disgusting, good-for-nothing job (Ikey loved adjectives), if she rode. For any and all women connected with any and all union men had been forbidden to use the company's cars. And business houses—who had anything to gain from it—had ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, July 1908. • Various

... them he made out each single voice. Each root had its own little piece to say to his nose: "Here am I, a big Quamash, rich and ripe," or a tiny, sharp voice, "Here am I, a good-for-nothing, stringy little root." ...
— The Biography of a Grizzly • Ernest Thompson Seton

... best to reclaim young Badman, and was particularly kind to him. But his exertions were thrown away. The good-for-nothing youth read filthy romances on the sly. He fell asleep in church, or made eyes at the pretty girls. He made acquaintance with low companions. He became profligate, got drunk at alehouses, sold his master's ...
— Bunyan • James Anthony Froude

... idea, however essentially false and meretricious and perilous to all that was worth while keeping in life, set her pulses beating now. As a child her pulses used to beat so when she had planned with her good-for-nothing brother some small escapade looming immense in the horizon of her enjoyment. She had ever distorted or inflamed the facts of life by an overheated fancy, by the spirit of romance, by a gift—or curse—of imagination, which had given her also dark visions ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... crayons or charcoal, as if the men were actually engaged, and push and parry, moving their weapons? Davus is a scoundrel and a loiterer; but you have the character of an exquisite and expert connoisseur in antiquities. If I am allured by a smoking pasty, I am a good-for-nothing fellow: does your great virtue and soul resist delicate entertainments? Why is a tenderness for my belly too destructive for me? For my back pays for it. How do you come off with more impunity, since you hanker ...
— The Works of Horace • Horace

... assented Marzio proudly; then catching sight of the expression on the young man's face, he turned sharply upon him. "You are mocking me, you good-for-nothing!" he cried angrily. "You are laughing at me, at your master, you villain you wretch, you sickly hound, you priest-ridden worm! It is intolerable! It is the first time you have ever dared; do you think ...
— Marzio's Crucifix and Zoroaster • F. Marion Crawford

... Sand still cared for each other. He beseeched her to return to him. "I am good-for-nothing," he says, "for I am simply steeped in my love for you. I do not know whether I am alive, whether I eat, drink, or breathe, but I know I am in love." George Sand was afraid to return to him, and Sainte-Beuve forbade her. Love proved stronger than ...
— George Sand, Some Aspects of Her Life and Writings • Rene Doumic

... was called a lazy boy, a good-for-nothing farmer, and he failed as a merchant. He was always dreaming of some far-off greatness, and never thought he could be a hero among the corn and tobacco and saddlebags of Virginia. He studied law for six weeks; when he put out his shingle. People thought he would fail, but in his ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... highness, I dreamed of the only thing which would ever surprise or enrapture me in this comical and good-for-nothing world. I dreamed I had no creditors, and ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... Alice was waiting to breakfast with him. Mrs. Maitland declared, with an approving smile on her placid, aging face, that he was the same good-for-nothing boy. But Alice said, as she sat down to the little table with Philip, "It is different, mother, with us city folks." They were in the middle room, and the windows opened to the west upon the river-meadows and the wooded hills beyond, ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... When it ended, Simon stood up wearing a dark look, and walked slowly backward and forward in the little room. Then he stopped and shook his fist threateningly at the room above. "She shall pay for this," he muttered—" by God in heaven! she shall pay for this. She is a good-for-nothing seducer! Even in prison she does not leave off coquetting, and flirting, and turning the heads of the men! It is disgraceful, thoroughly disgraceful, and she shall pay for it! I will soon find means to ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... Morton's," and he broke out with his ugly laugh, and says he, "You be, be you, you unnatural little vagabond?"—those were his very words, ma'am—"but a father is a father, and if he gives up his rights he must know the reason why." He wanted me, the good-for-nothing, to give him half a sovereign at once, or he would take off the child on the spot, but, by good luck, she had been frightened and run away, the dear, and I had got the door between me and him, so I told him to be off ...
— That Stick • Charlotte M. Yonge

... of sin, such a woman would have done; and if her patience under the long trial of her husband's thoughtlessness and occasional brutality seem excessive, it will only seem so to one who has been unlucky in his experience. Matheo indeed is a thorough good-for-nothing, and the natural man longs that Bellafront might have been better parted; but Dekker was a very moral person in his own way, and apparently he would not entirely let her—Imogen gone astray ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... young horse, and another's gone lame; Our hay's not worth carting; the wheat's much the same; Our pigs and our cattle are always astray; Our milk's good-for-nothing; our hens never lay. ...
— Sagittulae, Random Verses • E. W. Bowling

... again in loyal hands; and there was reason to hope that there would be again a national Church fit for a gentleman. Wycherley became a member of Queen's College, Oxford, and abjured the errors of the Church of Rome. The somewhat equivocal glory of turning, for a short time, a good-for-nothing Papist into a good-for-nothing Protestant ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... the rage of the Bridge Farmer was directed not merely against the teachers at Freising; the priest had enlightened him as to the fact that Matt was deficient in everything except tarot playing and beer-drinking. The ragamuffin, the good-for-nothing! ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... of female voices rose, bewailing the scarcity and dearness of provisions, cursing the emigres and devoting to the guillotine the Commissaries of Sections who were ready to give good-for-nothing minxes, in return for unmentionable services, fat hens and four-pound loaves. Alarming stories passed round of cattle drowned in the Seine, sacks of flour emptied in the sewers, loaves of bread thrown into the latrines.... It was all those Royalists, ...
— The Gods are Athirst • Anatole France

... may go up and look at the black good-for-nothing if you like," she said, grudgingly ...
— The Boss of Little Arcady • Harry Leon Wilson

... flown, the Bob Whites watched the movements of the boys with some anxiety. "They might, you know," whispered Mrs. Bob, "be after that brood of our cousin's beyond the brook; but no, they've stopped—they are throwing something into the water, and there's that good-for-nothing Nip with them, so we may go back to the nest." But they did not go, for there was that pert Jennie Wren fluttering about, as bold as anything, actually peeping into the bait gourd, and, goodness gracious! she has stolen a worm and flown off with it; what impudence! And listen, there's Cardinal ...
— Plantation Sketches • Margaret Devereux

... spirit, sought to make amends by offering him some bread and garlic, but Havilah went away, a melancholy, heavy-shouldered young man, one that, Eliab said, must feel life cruelly, knowing himself as he must have done from the beginning to be what is known as a good-for-nothing. And it was soon after Havilah's departure that Jesus returned to the shepherds and, stopping in front of Eliab and Bozrah, he said: I've come back, mates, to give you my thanks for many a year of good-fellowship. So ...
— The Brook Kerith - A Syrian story • George Moore

... sophistic teaching: "The common meaning of words was turned about at men's pleasure; the most reckless bravo was deemed the most desirable friend; a man of prudence and moderation was styled a coward; a man who listened to reason was a good-for-nothing simpleton. People were trusted exactly in proportion to their violence and unscrupulousness, and no one was so popular as the successful conspirator, except perhaps one who had been clever enough to outwit ...
— A Short History of Greek Philosophy • John Marshall

... and be ready in doing kindnesses. He is a good-for-nothing fellow who eateth by the ...
— Book of Wise Sayings - Selected Largely from Eastern Sources • W. A. Clouston

... mad with terror, Borroughcliffe," cried the colonel, bending his glistening eyes fondly on his niece, "and you will have to furnish my good-for-nothing, gouty old person with a corporal's guard, to watch my nightcap, or the silly child will have an uneasy pillow, till the sun rises once more. But you do ...
— The Pilot • J. Fenimore Cooper

... is a constant vexation to me; and I hate the very sight of the good-for-nothing cripple. Really, it is no small anxiety to keep by one a large sum of money; and happy is the man who has all his cash well invested, and who needs not keep by him more than he wants for his daily expenses. I am not a little puzzled to find in the whole of this house a safe ...
— The Miser (L'Avare) • Moliere

... our government bought Alaska from Russia a few years ago at what seemed at that time an enormous sum for a frozen good-for-nothing country. The transaction was designated 'Seward's Folly', and the country was said to be a fit residence only for polar bears and Eskimos. The whale and seal industries were fast reaching extinction when gold was discovered, and this, too, in such vast quantities ...
— The Trail of a Sourdough - Life in Alaska • May Kellogg Sullivan

... months old, and half grown, an incident took place which defied all explanation. Jack had won the name of being dangerous, for he had crippled one man with a blow and nearly killed a tipsy fool who volunteered to fight him. A harmless but good-for-nothing sheep-herder who loafed about the place got very drunk one night and offended some fire-eaters. They decided that, as he had no gun, it would be the proper thing to club him to their hearts' content ...
— Monarch, The Big Bear of Tallac • Ernest Thompson Seton

... have stopped on the way, you good-for-nothing. Sweet Grass could not have kept you ...
— Timid Hare • Mary Hazelton Wade

... said the Elder, "the God-given power of creation is exercised unthoughtfully, unwisely, and often wickedly. A good-for-nothing scamp may become a father in name; but he who attains to that holy title in fact, must do as God does,—must love, cherish, sustain and make sacrifices for his child until his offspring becomes old enough and strong enough to stand for himself,—Don't ...
— Story of Chester Lawrence • Nephi Anderson

... a town without its pond; Quinnepeg Pond was the name of it, but the young ladies of the Apollinean Institute were very anxious that it should be called Crystalline Lake. It was here that the young folks used to sail in summer and skate in winter; here, too, those queer, old, rum-scented, good-for-nothing, lazy, story-telling, half-vagabonds, that sawed a little wood or dug a few potatoes now and then under the pretence of working for their living, used to go and fish through the ice for pickerel every winter. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860 • Various



Words linked to "Good-for-nothing" :   layabout, bum, do-nothing, worthless, loafer, idler



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