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Magpie   /mˈægpˌaɪ/   Listen
Magpie

noun
1.
Long-tailed black-and-white crow that utters a raucous chattering call.
2.
Someone who collects things that have been discarded by others.  Synonyms: pack rat, scavenger.
3.
An obnoxious and foolish and loquacious talker.  Synonyms: babbler, chatterbox, chatterer, prater, spouter.



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"Magpie" Quotes from Famous Books



... the darkness, and proceeds on her road to Vannes. On awakening next morning, Comorre finds his wife fled, and pursues her on horseback. The poor fugitive, seeing her ring turn black, turned off the road and hid herself till night in the cabin of a shepherd, where was only an old magpie in a cage at the door. Comorre, who had given up the pursuit, was returning home that road, when he heard the magpie trying to imitate her complaints, and calling out "Poor Triphyna!" he therefore knew his wife ...
— Brittany & Its Byways • Fanny Bury Palliser

... Speke Hall, the home of Mr. Norreys, on the banks of the Mersey, a beautiful house of magpie architecture, and furnished with a remarkable underground passage to the shore of the Mersey, the scene of ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... greatest punctuality as the meal was placed on the table. He acquired the habit, afterwards, of rambling about the street near our house, and one day he was stolen, so we gave him up for lost. But two days afterwards he stepped through the open doorway at dinner hour, with his old gait, and sly magpie-like expression, having escaped from the house where he had been guarded by the person who had stolen him, and which was situated at the further ...
— The Naturalist on the River Amazons • Henry Walter Bates

... chatted like a magpie, and little Maud fidgeted, till Tom proposed to put her under the big dish cover, which produced such an explosion that the young lady was borne screaming away by ...
— McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... the earth among fallen dead branches, or are torn away from the old abandoned nest of a crow or some other bird. The Squirrel firsts builds a rather hollow floor by intermingling the fragments of wood which it has brought. In this state its dwelling resembles a magpie's nest. But the fastidious little animal wishes to be better protected and not thus to sleep in the open air. Over this foundation he raises a conical roof; the sticks which form it are very skilfully disposed, ...
— The Industries of Animals • Frederic Houssay

... place which possesses a climate so temperate and equable as to bring together the birds and fruits of the East and West, North and South; for there I saw and heard the Indian bulbul and the hoopoe, the European nightingale, the cuckoo, and the magpie, and I know that the fruits range from apples ...
— Persia Revisited • Thomas Edward Gordon

... replied Nancy, mimicking the Irishman, "and I'll be as silent as a magpie, any how. And, Mr Fitzpatrick, you'll just be plased to keep your two eyes upon your prisoner, and not be staring at me, following me up and down, as you do, with ...
— Snarley-yow - or The Dog Fiend • Frederick Marryat

... roaring in the wind all night, The rain came heavily and fell in floods; But now the sun is rising calm and bright. The birds are singing in the distant woods; Over his own sweet voice the stock dove broods. The jay makes answer as the magpie chatters, And all the air is filled ...
— An Autobiography • Catherine Helen Spence

... weavers, and in their old home the noise of the loom and the whistle of the shuttle was heard from morning till night. The grandmother, old and blind, slept in an armchair, on the back of which perched a magpie. Father Brainstein, when he did not have to ring the bells for a christening, a funeral, or a marriage, kept reading his almanac behind the small round ...
— The Conscript - A Story of the French war of 1813 • Emile Erckmann

... be the same; but their number, and the extreme rapidity with which they continued their course, convinced him that they must have gone with a speed equal to that of the most distinguished race-horse. Among our acquisitions to-day were a mule-deer, a magpie, a common deer, and buffalo: Captain Lewis also saw a hare, and killed a rattlesnake near the ...
— First Across the Continent • Noah Brooks

... birds, at other times solitary, should thus combine daily in large numbers, including in their bands scores of widely different species, and in size ranging from those no larger than a wren to others as big as a magpie. It is certainly very advantageous to them. As Belt remarks, they play into each other's hands; for while the larger creepers explore the trunks of big trees, others run over the branches and cling to the ...
— The Naturalist in La Plata • W. H. Hudson

... another, and shouting with delight? What is this thing? Is it some new species of bird, thus covered with feathers and down? In a few minutes the little figure is surrounded by a crowd of boys and women, who begin to pluck him of his borrowed plumes, while he chatters to them like a magpie, whistles like a song-bird, croaks like a raven, or in his natural character showers a mass of funny nonsense on them, till their laughter makes their sides ache. The little wretch is literally covered with ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 1 • Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

... or entertained. With an open mind I go, reeking naught of the pro's and con's of the subject of the debate. I go as to a gladiatorial show, eager to applaud any man who shall wield his sword brilliantly. If a 'stranger' indulge in applause, he is tapped on the shoulder by one of those courteous, magpie-like officials, and conducted beyond the precincts of the Palace of Westminster. I speak from hearsay. I do not think I have ever seen a 'stranger' applauding. My own hands, ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... they turned in to the Vicus Patricius, and soon found themselves before the dwelling of Aulus. A young and sturdy "janitor" opened the door leading to the ostium, over which a magpie confined in a cage greeted them ...
— Quo Vadis - A Narrative of the Time of Nero • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... the tiny feet of the little lady. Trembling with joy, and with heart fluttering more than the bridge of wings, she crossed the River of Heaven, and was in the arms of her husband. This she did every year. The lover-husband stayed on his side of the river, and the wife came to him on the magpie bridge, save on the sad occasion when it rained. So every year the people hope for clear weather, and the happy festival is celebrated alike by old ...
— Japanese Fairy World - Stories from the Wonder-Lore of Japan • William Elliot Griffis

... arrived at Ludlow long before Vanrenen crossed the Wye Bridge at Hereford. Medenham stopped the car at "The Feathers," that famous magpie among British Inns, where Cynthia admired and photographed some excellent woodcarving, and saw an iron-studded front door which has shut out revellers and the night on each alternate round of the clock ...
— Cynthia's Chauffeur • Louis Tracy

... the bill. In short space after it cometh to full maturity, and falleth into the sea, where it gathereth feathers, and groweth to a fowl, bigger than a mallard, and lesser than a goose; having black legs, and a bill or beak, and feathers black and white, spotted in such manner as our magpie, called in some places a Pie-Annet, which the people of Lancashire call by no other name than a tree-goose; which place aforesaid, and all those parts adjacent, do so much abound therewith, that one of the best may be bought ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 201, September 3, 1853 • Various

... magpie as they proceeded to the street. It was evident that he had taken a great fancy to Ralph. The latter liked him in return. For the son of a wealthy railroad magnate, Clark was decidedly democratic. The one subject he seemed glad to avoid was any ...
— Ralph on the Overland Express - The Trials and Triumphs of a Young Engineer • Allen Chapman

... there falls eddying from a poplar's peak a magpie—half white, half black, like a shred ...
— Under Fire - The Story of a Squad • Henri Barbusse

... scarcely four by the village clock, The dew is heavy, the air is cool— A mist goes up from the glassy pool, Through the dim field ranges a phantom flock: No sound is heard but the magpie's mock. ...
— A Celtic Psaltery • Alfred Perceval Graves

... in the wind all night; The rain came heavily and fell in floods; But now the sun is rising calm and bright; The birds are singing in the distant woods; Over his own sweet voice the Stock-dove broods; The Jay makes answer as the Magpie chatters; And all the air is fill'd with pleasant ...
— Poems In Two Volumes, Vol. 1 • William Wordsworth

... the house, ravens, jackdaws, canaries, magpies, and even parrots, have shown unmistakable signs of uneasiness and distress. The raven has croaked in a high-pitched, abnormal key; the jackdaw and canary have become silent and dejected, from time to time shivering; the magpie even has feigned death; the parrot has shrieked incessantly. Owls, too, are sure predictors of death, and may be heard hooting in the most doleful manner outside the house of anyone doomed to ...
— Animal Ghosts - Or, Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter • Elliott O'Donnell

... 'tis boldness gains the day. When you come back, come to my place, d'ye hear? There'll be drinking going on three days at home; there'll be some necks broken, I can tell you; my wife's a devil of a woman; our yard's on the side of a precipice.... Ay, magpie, have a good time till your tail gets pinched.' And with a sharp whistle, Efrem plunged into ...
— The Diary of a Superfluous Man and Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... cute little self. May I look now?" Iff poked his head over the edge of the upper berth and beamed down upon Staff like a benevolent, blond magpie. "Haven't you heard the rumour that I'm ...
— The Bandbox • Louis Joseph Vance

... running a race with a full stomach—much less winning it? If we would win we must voyage light; besides, what need is there to carry salt salmon and dried flesh with us when the woods are swarming with such as these, and when we have a man in our company who can bring down a magpie ...
— The Norsemen in the West • R.M. Ballantyne

... there was a very old inn bearing the name The Magpie and Stump. It was a quaint old structure, and the court-leet and court-baron held sittings in it. In 1886 it was destroyed by a fire, and is now replaced by a very modern structure of the same name. Further on there are immense red-brick mansions called Carlyle ...
— Chelsea - The Fascination of London • G. E. (Geraldine Edith) Mitton

... listen, but all seems still. You can hear the twittering of birds, perhaps the harsh call of a jay, or the laughing chatter of a magpie, but those familiar sounds would not have startled the rabbits; and if you are new to such woodland matters, you will conclude that some one of the nearest fur-coated fellows must have caught sight of you, called out danger, and sent the colony flying. But if you are ...
— Diamond Dyke - The Lone Farm on the Veldt - Story of South African Adventure • George Manville Fenn

... senseless. The notion of marriage puts them in such an incomprehensible state! Look at my daughter. She chatters like a magpie and skips about like a kid. She has two glow-worms under her eyelids! As to Jeanne, that's another affair; she has the matrimonial melancholy, and has the air of a young victim. Leave them alone; it will all ...
— Serge Panine, Complete • Georges Ohnet

... The American magpie talks beautifully; but I regret to say that I do not understand a word of its language. One summer we had several fine specimens in the great flying-cage, with the big and showy waterfowl, condor, griffon vulture, ravens ...
— The Minds and Manners of Wild Animals • William T. Hornaday

... to it, Mas' Don. Why, that little beggar's ten times worse than the old magpie we used to have in the yard. They're so quick, too. Now, just ...
— The Adventures of Don Lavington - Nolens Volens • George Manville Fenn

... as I was kept awake most of the night by a bird in a tree near the window which kept saying, "Whip-poor-will" over and over again at intervals. I understand that's its name, and it is hated by the ranchers. No, it is not the bright little black and white bird like a small magpie which pecks around, that ...
— Round the Wonderful World • G. E. Mitton

... eleven o'clock, and with the mounting sun the silence has become complete save when it is broken by the heavy, quick flap of the wood-pigeon or the remonstrance of a surprised magpie. Service is just beginning all over England in churches and the chapels belonging to a hundred sects. In the village two miles away the Salvation Army drum is beating, but it cannot penetrate these recesses. Stay! a faint vibration from it comes over the hill, but ...
— More Pages from a Journal • Mark Rutherford

... it was little Anne Arnould. The Princess sent for the child, who came readily, and was not in the least abashed by the presence of the great lady, but sang like a nightingale and chattered like a magpie. The wit and beauty of the girl charmed the Princess, and she threw a costly necklace about her throat. "Come, my lovely child," said she; "you sing like an angel, and you have more wit than an angel. Your fortune is made." As a result of the praises so loudly chanted ...
— Great Singers, First Series - Faustina Bordoni To Henrietta Sontag • George T. Ferris

... Magpies.—To see one magpie alone bodes bad luck; two, good luck; three, a "berrin;" four, a wedding. This is our version of the saying: ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 62, January 4, 1851 • Various

... magpie, and Maud fidgeted, till Tom proposed to put her under the big dish-cover, which produced such an explosion, that the young lady was borne screaming away, by the much-enduring Katy. It was altogether ...
— An Old-fashioned Girl • Louisa May Alcott

... and black ears, and just the right blackness and tanness on them; but one is very queer, great splotches of black on his nose and his hind quarters, and all the rest of him white. So they named him "Magpie," right off; but I haven't come to the names yet. He is not very pretty, but he looks very bright, and I shouldn't wonder if he was terribly clever, to make up for not being so handsome as the others. And the other different one is a perfect beauty, though you may not think so when ...
— The Merryweathers • Laura E. Richards

... with gunpowder like a sailor-boy's, and a stink fit to knock you down coming out. 'Twas all the Doctor could do to stand his ground, and East and I, who were looking in under his arms, held our noses tight. The old magpie was standing on the window-sill, all his feathers drooping, and looking disgusted ...
— Tom Brown's Schooldays • Thomas Hughes

... mots [Fr.]; copia verborum [Lat.], cacoethes loquendi [Lat.]; furor loquendi [Lat.]; verbosity &c (diffuseness) 573; gift of the gab &c (eloquence) 582. talker; chatterer, chatterbox; babbler &c v.; rattle; ranter; sermonizer, proser^, driveler; blatherskite [U.S.]; gossip &c (converse) 588; magpie, jay, parrot, poll, Babel; moulin a paroles [Fr.]. V. be loquacious &c adj.; talk glibly, pour forth, patter; prate, palaver, prose, chatter, prattle, clack, jabber, jaw; blather, blatter^, blether^; rattle, rattle on; twaddle, twattle; babble, gabble; outtalk; talk oneself out of ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... said nothing. After her first feeling of intense disappointment, a new idea had come to her, and she hastened to act upon it. As quickly as she could with her torn fingers she unfastened her gown and slipped out of it, and then, unheeding Mrs. Nitschkan, who was scolding her like a magpie, she threw it over Seagreave, tucking it about him as best she could. The breath of the snow-damp air upon her shoulders and arms was like a bath of ice water, but she scarcely noticed it, for she ...
— The Black Pearl • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... them. The people brought numbers of their eggs on board. Very large pigeons were also met with in great plenty; likewise beautiful parrots and parroquets; a new species, apparently, of the coote, and also of the rail, and magpie; and a most beautiful small bird, brown, with a yellow breast and yellow on the wing; it seemed to be a species of humming bird: there was also a black bird, like a sheerwater, with a hooked bill, which burrows in the ground. ...
— The Voyage Of Governor Phillip To Botany Bay • Arthur Phillip

... his head on one side like a great wise magpie, and "H'm—ha!" said he whimsically, "aho! Gabord the soldier, Gabord, thou hast a good heart—and the birds fed the beast with plums and froth of comfits till he died, and on his sugar tombstone they carved the words, 'Gabord had a ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... is in earnest. It was he who gave her this social triumph—he made her Queen of the Carnival. He even bought her dresses. It was that which caused her to send for me this afternoon. Heaven knows I was in no mood to listen, but she chattered like a magpie. As if ...
— The Net • Rex Beach

... the front seat next to Boyd, he watched the unhappy San Francisco agent manipulating the wheel. In the back seat, Queen Elizabeth Thompson and Lady Barbara, the nurse, were located, and Her Majesty was chattering away like a magpie. ...
— That Sweet Little Old Lady • Gordon Randall Garrett (AKA Mark Phillips)

... any rate so turned out that Mr. Corkscrew's letter was read in full conclave in the board-room of the office, just as he was describing the excellence of his manoeuvre with great glee to four or five other jolly souls at the 'Magpie ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... "Ah! a magpie, and alone!" cried Kenric, seeing the bird in his path. "That is ill luck indeed! Give me some salt from your wallet, Lulach, for if this sign reads true then it were unwise in me to go farther without ...
— The Thirsty Sword • Robert Leighton

... injured by some awkward individual. She had been quite pleased with Mme. de Lorcy, her sympathy and her kindly services, and she had bestowed her most amiable attentions upon her. Mme. de Lorcy had done her best to respond to her advances; but she found herself revolted by this old magpie whose prattling never ceased, and whose chief delight was in the recital of the secret chronicles of every capital of Europe; Mme. de Lorcy, in fact, soon grew disgusted with her cosmopolitan gossip ...
— Samuel Brohl & Company • Victor Cherbuliez

... much out of order, and being, moreover, fearful and ridiculously jealous of me, had promised the Queen to go; and all that we could get out of him was that he would defend me in Parliament better than I could defend myself. It is to be observed that though he chattered to us like a magpie in private, yet in public he was as mute as a fish. A surgeon who was in the Archbishop's service, going to visit him, commended him for his courage in resisting the importunities of his nephew, who, said he, had a mind to bury him alive, and encouraged him to rise with ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... the defence!" said the Swallow, quite delighted, as were all the other creatures, at the Magpie's accomplishment; "you must save the prisoner from ...
— Dot and the Kangaroo • Ethel C. Pedley

... Like the Magpie, the Jay has considerable talent for mimicry, and in a state of domestication may be taught to articulate words like a Parrot. At certain times I have heard this bird utter a few notes resembling the tinkle of a bell, and which, if syllabled, might ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859 • Various

... Some know her only through her cathedral, where were crowned all but six of the kings of France, and where the stained-glass windows, with those in the cathedrals of Chartres and Burgos, Spain, are the most beautiful in all the world. Children know Rheims through the wicked magpie which the archbishop excommunicated, and to their elders, if they are rich, Rheims is the place from ...
— With the Allies • Richard Harding Davis

... "come along with us to-night, old man; we've got a little spree on, haven't we, Crow? We're going to get tea and shrimps at the Magpie, and then going in a body to the Serio-Comics, and finish up with a supper somewhere or other. Going to make a regular night ...
— My Friend Smith - A Story of School and City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... "What a magpie it is!" said Annie, impatiently. "But, of course, you have heard all about the turn father's affairs have taken since this bad rheumatic attack, which he does not believe he can shake off. It need not be any secret that my sisters ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Sarah Tytler

... where pheasant rare, With brilliant plumage caught the public gaze, Or magpie won applause by vulgar phrase Picked up from idle crowd that thronged the fair, A pensive nightingale, unnoticed there, In silence sat and heard men's lavish praise Of these, yet all unmindful dreamed of lays, In freedom she might ...
— The Loom of Life • Cotton Noe

... his own pain by his anger; but he gave no pain to those who had provoked him. He was able to hurt none but himself; by transferring the same ridicule from one to another, he reduced himself to the insignificance of his own magpie, who from his cage calls ...
— Lives of the English Poets: Prior, Congreve, Blackmore, Pope • Samuel Johnson

... volumes rest Like treasures in the Franchemont chest, While gripple owners still refuse To others what they cannot use; Give them the priest's whole century, They shall not spell you letters three; Their pleasure in the books the same The magpie takes in pilfered gem. Thy volumes, open as thy heart, Delight, amusement, science, art, To every ear and eye impart; Yet who, of all who thus employ them, Can like the owner's self enjoy them? But, ...
— Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field • Walter Scott

... between the gregarious man and the man who lives closest to nature. Toussaint Louverture, after he was caught, died without speaking a word. Napoleon, transplanted to a rock, talked like a magpie—he wanted to account for himself. Z. Marcas erred in the same way, but for our benefit only. Silence in all its majesty is to be found only in the savage. There is never a criminal who, though he might let his secrets fall with his head ...
— Z. Marcas • Honore de Balzac

... old cave in the fir-wood that slopes down the hills to the sea Still is haunted, perhaps, by young pirates as wicked as we: Though the fir with the magpie's big mud-plastered nest used to hide it so well, And the boys in the gang had to swear that they never ...
— Collected Poems - Volume One (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... to you a new character—Mr. Fry. Mr. Fry is a real character, unlike those of romance and melodrama, which are apt to be either a streak of black paint or else a streak of white paint. Mr. Fry is variegated. He is a moral magpie; he is, if possible, as devoid of humanity as his chief; but to balance this defect, he possesses, all to himself, a quality, a ...
— It Is Never Too Late to Mend • Charles Reade

... staring at them, his gaze was elsewhere. Olivier felt it: he stopped in the middle of his prattle, and had no desire to go on. But, after a moment's embarrassment, Antoinette recovered her gaiety: she chattered merrily, like a magpie, laid her head on her father's shoulder, or tugged his sleeve to make him listen to what she was saying. M. Jeannin said nothing: his eyes wandered from Antoinette to Olivier, and the crease in his forehead grew deeper and deeper. In the middle of one of ...
— Jean Christophe: In Paris - The Market-Place, Antoinette, The House • Romain Rolland

... course observe everything, or try to. We could spend our lives looking on. Consider our museums for instance: they are a sign of our breed. It makes us smile to see birds, like the magpie, with a mania for this collecting—but only monkeyish beings could reverence museums as we do, and pile such heterogeneous trifles and ...
— This Simian World • Clarence Day Jr.

... birds are really, for the most part, strangers acclimatized by long sojourn. Some of them—the turtledove, the magpie, the kingfisher, the partridge, and the sparrow-may be classed with our European species, while others betray their equatorial origin in the brightness of their colours. White and black ibises, red flamingoes, ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 1 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... Beggar cocked his head on one side, like a rogue of a magpie. Quoth he, "I am an ill jug to pour heavy things into, good friend, and, if I mistake not, thou hast few serious words ...
— The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood • Howard Pyle

... left for Normandy? I was afraid she wouldn't go, as M. Bradamanti expects the lady who came last night; I couldn't see her, but this time I'll try to unmask her. But who can this lady of M. Bradamanti's be? A lady or a common woman? I'd like to know, for I am as curious as a magpie. It is not my fault—I'm made so. It is my character. Ah, hold! an idea, a famous one too—to find out her name! I'll try it. But who comes there? Ah! it is my prince of lodgers. Hail, Mr. Rudolph," said Mrs. Pipelet, ...
— The Mysteries of Paris V2 • Eugene Sue

... owing to bad observation, to the post hoc, ergo propter hoc; and bad observers are almost all superstitious. Farmers used to attribute disease among cattle to witchcraft; weddings have been attributed to seeing one magpie, deaths to seeing three; and I have heard the most highly educated now-a-days draw consequences for the sick closely ...
— Notes on Nursing - What It Is, and What It Is Not • Florence Nightingale

... on the branch of a tree," called another, "and it rocks like a child's cradle. Come and build beside it," but the magpie said "No." ...
— The Book of Nature Myths • Florence Holbrook

... reduced 'gentlemen' it is often said that their education becomes their curse. Here is another little subterfuge. This is one of those taking expressions which are repeated from parrot to magpie till they seem to acquire axiomatic force. It is such men's ignorance—their technical ignorance—that is their curse. Education of any kind never was, and never can be, a curse to its possessor; it is a curse only to the person whose interest lies in exploiting its possessor. Erudition, even ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... watched you. We know how you went to the Babylonian. We know your guilt. And now the good gods have stricken you mad and delivered you to justice." She waved her bony fists in the prostrate man's face. "Run, Phormio! don't stand gaping like a magpie. ...
— A Victor of Salamis • William Stearns Davis

... a three-legged chicken has come out of the shell, or a magpie has come before you in your path? Or maybe ...
— Three Wonder Plays • Lady I. A. Gregory

... form could be discerned in the dark, then slowly, by degrees, a little man, four and a half feet high at the most, frail, ragged, his face withered and yellow, his eye gleaming like a magpie's, and his ...
— Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories • Edited by Julian Hawthorne

... attained intentions which varied from hour to hour, a will so little in accordance with desire that I had rather give up a cherished plan than fight for it, and a secretive faculty equalled only by the magpie, and you will not wonder when I affirm that I lived alone in a household of a dozen friendly persons. As a set-off and consolation to myself I had very strongly the power of impersonation. I could be within my own little entity a dozen different people in a day, and live a life ...
— Lore of Proserpine • Maurice Hewlett

... children, and servants, and indeed all of the people in the Castle, came into the garden to see it fall. As soon as it was cut down, my two little brothers ran immediately towards a magpie's nest in the tree, which had for a long time been a coveted object, but had hitherto been out of their reach. Now they seized upon the nest and busied themselves examining ...
— The Basket of Flowers • Christoph von Schmid

... to turn away from Belle. But the latter caught him by the coat sleeve and held on while she chattered like a magpie to the young college man. She smiled and shook her bobbed curls and altogether acted in a ...
— The Campfire Girls of Roselawn - A Strange Message from the Air • Margaret Penrose

... magpie tell such lies to a woman? Ah me! ah me! ah me! oh, doctor! doctor! what shall I do? what shall I do?" and poor Lady Scatcherd, fairly overcome by her sorrow, burst out crying like a ...
— Doctor Thorne • Anthony Trollope

... of a two days' moon was driving across the window; then stars, darkness, dawn and sunrise painted the open square; till rustling, and turning towards the light, she awoke. At the top of the window a magpie wiped his beak on a branch, bent head, and tail bent to balance him —then dropped like a mottled pebble out of sight. She sat up, drew the table prepared overnight towards her, lit the lamp for the chocolate —thinking of the dim Julien who might pay his ...
— The Happy Foreigner • Enid Bagnold

... then a very long pause, which threatened to be final, when, mercifully, a bird about the size of a magpie, but of a metallic blue colour, appeared on the section of the terrace that could be seen from where they sat. Mrs. Thornbury was led to enquire whether we should like it if all our rooks were blue—"What do you think, William?" she asked, touching her husband ...
— The Voyage Out • Virginia Woolf

... a person "chatters like a magpie," or we may call him or her a "magpie." A person who talks without thinking, merely repeating what other people have said, ...
— Stories That Words Tell Us • Elizabeth O'Neill

... Australian wattle, are sights almost as familiar in New Zealand as in their native lands. The sombre pines of California and the macro carpa cypress cover thousands of acres. The merino sheep brought from Spain, via Saxony and Australia, is the basis of the flocks. The black swan and magpie represent the birds of New Holland. The Indian minah, after becoming common, is said to be retreating before the English starling. The first red deer came from Germany. And side by side with these strangers and with the trees and plants which colonists call specifically "English"—for ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... for she was partial to artists, and regretted that they were generally so miserably poor. As Jory was smoking, she took his cigarette out of his mouth and set it in her own, but without pausing in her chatter, which suggested that of a saucy magpie. ...
— His Masterpiece • Emile Zola

... when Mr. Pickwick hunts up Perker's clerk Lowten, and joins the jovial circle at the Magpie and Stump, he finds on his right hand "a gentleman in a checked shirt and Mosaic studs, with a cigar in his mouth," who expresses the hope that the newcomer does not "find this sort of thing disagreeable." "Not in the least," replied Mr. ...
— The Social History of Smoking • G. L. Apperson

... vulture would have capitally typified many of the wars of the state, their sole purpose being so many carcases—whilst, for the courts of law, the magpie would have been the very bird of legal ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... only recall the harsh and noisy parrots, so similar in their peculiar utterance. Or, take as an example the web-footed family: Do not all the geese and the innumerable host of ducks quack? Does not every member of the crow family caw, whether it be the jackdaw, the jay, or the magpie, the rook in some green rookery of the Old World, or the crow of our woods, with its long, melancholy caw that seems to make the silence and solitude deeper? Compare all the sweet warblers of the songster family—the nightingales, the thrushes, the mocking-birds, the robins; ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 1 • Charles Dudley Warner

... hand; and, when she met me alone, which was but seldom, the irksome monotony of her appeal. I loved Kitty Mannering, honestly, heartily loved her, and with my love for her grew my hatred for Agnes. In August Kitty and I were engaged. The next day I met those accursed "magpie" jhampanies at the back of Jakko, and, moved by some passing sentiment of pity, stopped to tell Mrs. Wessington everything. She knew ...
— The Best Ghost Stories • Various

... else. I am glad that we know nobody, and have no friends, and that I shall have so few presents. You won't give me many jewels, will you?" she said suddenly, insistently, turning to him. "I shouldn't know what to do with them. I used to have a magpie's wish for them; and now—I don't know, but they don't give me pleasure. Not these, of course—not these!" she added hurriedly, taking them up and beginning to fasten ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... deponent, he, this deponent, did again distinguish himself, and that the cheering at that time, accompanied with clapping of hands and stamping of feet, was in this deponent's case thundering and awful. And this deponent further saith, that his white-and-black or magpie waistcoat, did create a strong sensation, and that during the hours of promenading, this deponent heard from persons surrounding him such exclamations as, "What is it! Is it a waistcoat? No, it's a shirt"—and the like—all of which this deponent ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 1 (of 3), 1833-1856 • Charles Dickens

... troops. Theodotus is a little old man, whose features are as cramped and wizened as his limbs, except his tall straight forehead, which occupies more space than all the rest of his face. He maintains an air of magpie keenness and profundity, listening to what the others say with the sarcastic vigilance of a philosopher listening to the exercises of his disciples. Achillas is a tall handsome man of thirty-five, with ...
— Caesar and Cleopatra • George Bernard Shaw

... together, but Billy sat quite erect none the less, her eyes large and wakeful, her lips as if ready for an excited smile. She still felt all the grateful solemnity of that sadness, which was after all wonderfully beautiful. The mists on the meadow became transparent, the sky turned almost white, a magpie began to chatter in the thicket, and a crow flew through the glassy twilight, very black and heavy. A dream-world, and Billy felt that surrender which we have in dreams, for dreams give us all possible miracles ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... Bridegroom, well dost thou remember, Thou hast hoped it all thy life-time, Hoped to bring the Maid of Beauty, Thou a thousand times hast said it, Better far than any other, Not one like the croaking raven, Nor the magpie from the border, Nor the scarecrow from the corn-fields, Nor the vulture from the desert. What has this one done of credit, In the summer that has ended? Where the gloves that she has knitted, Where the mittens she has woven? Thou hast brought her empty-handed, Not a gift she ...
— The Kalevala (complete) • John Martin Crawford, trans.

... the little thing home, and in time it grew to be between three and four feet high, a grandfather of bears. The magpie protested against his introduction to the establishment, and used to pluck billfulls of hair from his stomach under pretence of lining a nest, which was never made. But in spite of this, the good gentle beast lived nigh as long as the magpie—long enough to ...
— The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn • Henry Kingsley

... two; we have love, house enough, With the field there, This house of four rooms, that field red and rough, Though it yield there, For the rabbit that robs, scarce a blade or a bent; If a magpie alight now, it seems an event; And they both will ...
— Introduction to Robert Browning • Hiram Corson

... hideous, unearthly cry of the laughing-jackass, called often the bushman's clock; the screaming cry of thousands of parrots flying here and there through the forest; there was the cackle of the wattle-bird, the clear notes of the magpie, and the confused chattering of thousands of leather-heads; while many other birds added their notes to the discordant chorus, and speedily banished sleep from the eyes of their hearers. The stockmen started to their feet, and hurried off to bring in the oxen and ...
— The Gilpins and their Fortunes - A Story of Early Days in Australia • William H. G. Kingston

... talked gayly, and without effort, for he was very happy. Lady Belgrade chattered, because she was spiritually a magpie. And as both constantly appealed to "Mr. Scott," or to Salome, it was impossible for either of the lovers to relapse into awkward silence. The conversation ...
— The Lost Lady of Lone • E.D.E.N. Southworth

... of symbolical representation, closes one open and easily accessible avenue of instruction and emolument against the students of the fine arts. It was not yet permitted to write upon the plastered doorway of an alehouse, or the suspended sign of an inn, "The Old Magpie," or "The Saracen's Head," substituting that cold description for the lively effigies of the plumed chatterer, or the turban'd frown of the terrific soldan. That early and more simple age considered ...
— Bride of Lammermoor • Sir Walter Scott

... influence of three systems of construction. First in dignity, as in age, stands the cottage or old English style, claiming descent from the heavy Tudor mansions of rude stone, rough hewn timber, and white concrete filling, usually termed "magpie work," from the startling contrast between their white panels and tarred timbers. Of these old mansions numerous examples still remain: they were, for the most part, erected during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but in a few instances a much earlier ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, November 1885 • Various

... heart of the man and the fancy of the poet are the two grand considerations for which I live: if miry ridges and dirty dunghills are to engross the best part of the functions of my soul immortal, I had better been a rook or a magpie at once, and then I should not have been plagued with any ideas superior to breaking of clods and picking up grubs; not to mention barn-door cocks of mallards, creatures with which I could almost exchange lives at any time. If you continue so deaf, I am afraid a visit will be no great ...
— The Letters of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... on, sitting in silence himself, and watching her. She continues her rapid, nervous talk a moment more, her color coming and going all the time, and then she stops as suddenly. "Of course you can answer no questions when I keep chattering like a magpie." ...
— A War-Time Wooing - A Story • Charles King

... Copsychus saularis, Linn. Called by the Europeans in Ceylon the "Magpie Robin." This is not to be confounded with the other popular favourite, the "Indian Robin" (Thamnobia fulicata, Linn.), which is "never seen in the unfrequented jungle, but, like the coco-nut palm, which the Singhalese assert will only flourish within the sound of the human ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... the most boyish-looking man in the force. He had a perfectly smooth face, ruddy complexion, and fair hair. He was of middle height, and was rather inclined to stoutness. He was so fond of talking that his comrades nicknamed him "Magpie." A colonist by birth, he could speak the Kaffir language like ...
— Stories by English Authors: Africa • Various

... for the Roxton barber, like every other barber, could chatter like a magpie; it was in this wise that Trenholme was able to defy the laws forbidding trespass, and score off the seemingly uncivil owner of ...
— The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley • Louis Tracy

... Magician magiisto. Magisterial majstrata. Magistrate magistrato. Magnanimous grandanima. Magnet magneto. Magnetise magnetizi. Magnetism magnetismo. Magnificent belega. Magnify pligrandigi. Magnitude grandeco. Magpie pigo. Mahogany mahagono. Mahomet Mahometo. Mahometan Mahometano. Maid frauxlino. Maiden virgulino. Maidenly virga. Maid-servant servistino. Mail posxto. Mail (armour) masxo. Maim vundegi. Mainly ...
— English-Esperanto Dictionary • John Charles O'Connor and Charles Frederic Hayes

... and hills of home, and its ruddy woods, lay spread around him in the quiet sunshine of a beauteous autumn day; the nest of the stork was empty, but ripe fruit still clung to the wild apple tree, although the leaves, had fallen; the red hips gleamed, and the magpie whistled in the green cage over the window of the peasant's cottage that was his home; the magpie whistled the tune that had been taught him, and the grandmother hung green food around the cage, as he, the grandson, had been accustomed ...
— What the Moon Saw: and Other Tales • Hans Christian Andersen

... slipped the ropes over them, and dragged them home. As we approached the camp we formed in line abreast, and began to sing. When we reached the camp every one was in bed. We sang the song which indicated that we had caught something; then we imitated the cry of the crow and the magpie, which indicated that we had had extra good luck. If we imitated the hooting of an owl, it showed that we had had bad luck, and none of us had caught anything. We were always anxious to catch some wild game, because we sold the skins to the ...
— The Vanishing Race • Dr. Joseph Kossuth Dixon

... bring it down, but that pair of chattering magpies appeared to be debating whether to continue their work or move elsewhere. One would hop down to the place where the shell had hit and, cocking his head this way and that, would let loose a flow of magpie talk that would bring his mate to him and then they would both investigate, flying to the shattered place, clinging to the bark and picking out splinters and pieces of wood. Then they would go up aloft and ...
— The Emma Gees • Herbert Wes McBride

... know where it is, now. About half an hour ago, when I went into the dining-room, to ... put ... down ... some plates, I saw the great magpie, which builds its nest up in the large elm-tree, at the end of the garden, sitting on the window-ledge. It flew away as soon as it saw me; but it had something white and shining in its beak. Oh! yes, I remember now! ...
— Fanny, the Flower-Girl • Selina Bunbury

... executed that robbery were two cool, level-headed, and daring scoundrels, known as 'Chuckle-luck' and 'Magpie.' They were killed soon after this occurrence, by a member of their own band, whose name was Seward. A reward of a thousand dollars had been offered for their capture, an this tempted Seward to kill them, one night when they ...
— The Old Santa Fe Trail - The Story of a Great Highway • Henry Inman

... the magpie's nest Dwells the dove at rest. This young bride goes to her future home; To meet her a ...
— Chinese Literature • Anonymous

... called the "Magpie and Stump," referred to in the twenty-first chapter of Pickwick,—where that hero spent an interesting evening on the invitation of Lowten (Mr. Perker's clerk), and heard "the old man's tale about the queer client,"—is ...
— A Week's Tramp in Dickens-Land • William R. Hughes

... little birds! I am going to take a bride. The starling shall saddle the horses, for he has a grey mantle; the beaver with the cap of marten fur must be driver, the hare with his light foot shall be outrider; the nightingale with his clear voice shall sing the songs, the magpie with his steady hop ...
— The Development of the Feeling for Nature in the Middle Ages and - Modern Times • Alfred Biese

... don't you perceive that if we continue to hide ourselves as we do now the enemy will never guess where we are. But if you chatter like any magpie, of course ...
— Yr Ynys Unyg - The Lonely Island • Julia de Winton

... the same token, my lord, I knew one that went abroad in his sleep, bent his bow, shot at a magpie, killed her, fetched his arrow, came home, locked the doors, ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. IX • Various

... deck, the immigrants cluster, chattering a magpie chorus in many tongues. The four-and-twenty blackbirds which were baked in a pie without impairment to the vocal cords have nothing on them. Most of the women were crying when they came aboard at Naples ...
— Europe Revised • Irvin S. Cobb

... morning is always charming,—amid these scenes of primaeval nature it seemed exquisitely so. The BARITA? or GYMNORHINA, the organ-magpie, was here represented by a much smaller bird, whose notes, resembling the softest breathings of a flute, were the only sounds that met the ear. What the stillness of even adds to such sounds in other climes, is felt more intensely in the stillness of morning in this. "The rapture of repose that's ...
— Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia • Thomas Mitchell

... we," began Keith, but Malcolm clapped a sooty hand over his mouth and pulled him toward the door of their room. "Come on," he said. "We've barely time to dress for dinner. Don't you know enough to keep still, you little magpie?" he exclaimed, as the door banged behind them. "The only way to keep a secret is not to act ...
— Two Little Knights of Kentucky • Annie Fellows Johnston

... I shall see." And the fellow to whom I addressed myself stepped forward, and began to squint into the muzzle of one of the fieldpieces, slewing his head from side to side, with absurd gravity, like a magpie peeping into a marrow—bone. "Him most be load— no daylight come troo de touch—hole—take care make me try him." And without more ado he shook out the red embers from his pipe right on the touch—hole of the gun, when the fragment of ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... indebted to the Italians for the idea of newspaper. The title of their gazettas was, perhaps, derived from gazzera, a magpie or chatterer; or, more probably, from a farthing coin peculiar to the city of Venice, called gazetta, which was the common price of newspapers."—D'Israeli's Curiosities of ...
— The History of Tasmania, Volume I (of 2) • John West

... how I can climb," said Miette proudly. "When I lived at Chavanoz, I used to go right up to the top of old Andre's walnut-trees. Have you ever taken a magpie's nest? ...
— The Fortune of the Rougons • Emile Zola

... wherever she is. I think with satisfaction that I helped to make her life uneasy when I was young, and worse later on. She gave away to the idle poor some of her small income, and hid the rest, like a magpie, in her Bible or rolled in her stockings, or in even queerer places. The worst of her was that she could tell what people said by looking at their lips; this I hated. But as I grew and became intelligent, her ways of hiding her money proved useful, to ...
— The Autobiography of a Quack And The Case Of George Dedlow • S. Weir Mitchell

... breeding, fierce and pugnacious, driving such birds as approach its nest with great fury to a distance. The Welsh call it "pen y llwyn," the head or master of the coppice. He suffers no magpie, jay, or blackbird, to enter the garden where he haunts, and is, for the time, a good guard to the new-sown legumens. In general he is very successful in the defence of his family; but once I observed in my ...
— The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 2 • Gilbert White

... that Solinus may have been perfectly accurate in these statements. That other writers have alluded to the time when bees were first introduced into Ireland, and that the migration of some birds thither, among others the magpie, took place at a comparatively modern period. He does not add, however, that Solinus states that the very dust of Ireland was so distasteful to the bees, where they are now as much at home as in Hymettus, that if it is scattered about their hives ...
— The Purgatory of St. Patrick • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... spy-glass; and as it will probably remain there undisturbed by Indians, it will furnish matter of speculation to some future traveler. In our excursions about the island, we did not meet with any kind of animal; a magpie, and another larger bird, probably attracted by the smoke of our fire, paid us a visit from the shore, and were the only living things seen during our stay. The rock constituting the cliffs along the shore where we were encamped, is a talcous ...
— The Life and Adventures of Kit Carson, the Nestor of the Rocky Mountains, from Facts Narrated by Himself • De Witt C. Peters



Words linked to "Magpie" :   hoarder, Pica pica, corvine bird, verbaliser, speaker, Pica pica hudsonia, pica, verbalizer, utterer, genus Pica, talker



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