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Piquant   /pˈikənt/   Listen
Piquant

adjective
1.
Having an agreeably pungent taste.  Synonyms: savory, savoury, spicy, zesty.
2.
Engagingly stimulating or provocative.  Synonym: salty.  "Salty language"
3.
Attracting or delighting.  Synonym: engaging.  "A piquant face with large appealing eyes"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Piquant" Quotes from Famous Books



... plums, because the pudding falls to pieces if you do. In The Way of all Flesh, however, a compere is always present whose business it is to say good things. His perpetual flow of asides is pleasant because the asides are piquant and, in their way, to the point. Butler's mind, being a good mind, had a predilection for the object, and his detestation of the rotunder platitudes of a Greek chorus, if nothing else, had taught him that a corner-man should have something ...
— Aspects of Literature • J. Middleton Murry

... do this with a penurious man than I could with a sulky one. I know but of one fault he had, besides an extreme cautiousness in his writings, and that one was national, a matter of words, and amply overpaid by a stream of conversation, lively, piquant, and liberal, not the less interesting for occasionally betraying an intimacy with pain, and for a high and somewhat strained tone of voice, like a man speaking with suspended breath, and in the habit of subduing his feelings. No man felt more kindly ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... the woods," she suggested, with a smile which lay strangely on her piquant features. "It will look better than standing like posts ...
— The Desired Woman • Will N. Harben

... was so open, cheerful, hospitable, in the appearance of its smooth, broad avenues and pretty little parks, with the bronze statues which all looked noble—in the moonlight; it was such a combination and piquant contrast of shabby ease and stately elegance —negro cabins and stone mansions, picket-fences and sheds, and flower-banked terraces before rows of residences which bespoke wealth and refinement. The very aspect of the street population was novel; compared to New York, the city was as silent as a ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... the first time dropped before his. She knew perfectly well what she ought to have done and she was singularly indisposed to do it. It was a most piquant adventure, after all, and it almost helped her to forget the trouble which had been sitting so heavily in her heart. Still avoiding his eyes, ...
— The Zeppelin's Passenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... any company, by any means. What she lacked in regularity of feature, she made up for in charm of expression, a delightful speaking voice, and a ready tongue. Bright eyes given to laughter, the gleam of white teeth, curving red lips mobile and piquant, a dimpled cheek, laughter creases at the corners of the full-lidded, soft eyes, that had a roguish trick of quizzing—eyes that had borrowed their hue from the summer sky, with lashes like her sister's, and an indefinable little nose, made up a whole which was positively unfair to the rest ...
— Banked Fires • E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

... fair indeed! No form like hers can I recall. Virtue she hath, and modest heed, Is piquant too, and sharp withal. Her cheek's soft light, her rosy lips, No length of time will e'er eclipse! Her downward glance in passing by, Deep in my heart is stamp'd for aye; How curt and sharp her answer too, To ecstasy ...
— Faust Part 1 • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... seemed to amuse the King. One had to captivate him by some piquant detail; without that, he would escape you, give you no time to speak. The success generally began by the first words, no matter how vague, of any conversation; these he found means to make interesting; ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XXI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... are made extremely piquant and entertaining, by her life-like portraiture of people and events; and every page attests the scrupulous justice with which she sought to penetrate through surfaces to reality, and, forgetting personal prejudices, to apply universally the ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. I • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... Hillocks received the compliments of the third with much modesty, and added piquant details regarding the utter confusion ...
— Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush • Ian Maclaren

... made her appearance in the hall frequented by the inmates of the prison. More than a hundred persons had gathered there. They were now scattered about in little groups; and the conversation was very animated. Here sat an ancient dowager, delighting some gentlemen with piquant anecdotes of the Court of Louis XV.; there, stood a jovial priest, composing rhymes for the amusement of a half-dozen young girls; at a little distance were several statesmen, earnestly discussing the recent acts of the Convention—all doing their best to kill time, as travellers detained ...
— Which? - or, Between Two Women • Ernest Daudet

... she received his advice in silence. Not a feature of the piquant, yet proud, arresting face, not a curve of the slim figure, did his old ...
— Winnie Childs - The Shop Girl • C. N. Williamson

... exactly an incurable philanderer, was nevertheless insufficiently commonplace to contemplate marriage, in the Pauline sense, as a necessity. He was much more disposed, at least for the present, to regard it merely as a piquant possibility, towards which his very attitude of indecision lent him an extra weapon of power in his ...
— Too Old for Dolls - A Novel • Anthony Mario Ludovici

... an extremely modern story founded on old Norwegian folk-lore—the folk-lore which Asbjoernsen and Moe collected, and Dasent translated for our delight in childhood. Old and new are curiously mixed; but the result is piquant and not in the least absurd, because the story rests on problems which are neither old nor new, but eternal, and on emotions which are neither older nor newer than the breast of man. To be sure, the true devotee of Ibsen will not be content with this. You will be told by Herr Jaeger, Ibsen's biographer, ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... Letty that great ladies should be so beautiful. Not that this one was beautiful of face—she wasn't—only piquant—but the general effect was beautiful. It showed what money and the dressmaker could do. If she, Letty could have had a dress and a hat like this!—a blue or a green, it was difficult to say which—with these strips of jade and ...
— The Dust Flower • Basil King

... flower, as dainty as the rose, as piquant as the daisy. The unmistakable mark of the high bred glowed in her face, the fine traces of blue blood graced her every movement, her every tone and look. At the time that she, as well as every one else in Tinkletown, for that ...
— The Daughter of Anderson Crow • George Barr McCutcheon

... one. The beauty of expression and finely-chiselled features of a Spaniard steal upon us like a soft moonlight, while a Frenchwoman, however plain, has so graceful a manner of saying agreeable things, so charming a tournure, such a piquant way of managing her eyes, and even her mouth, that we think her a beauty after half an hour's acquaintance, and even lose our admiration for the quiet and high-bred, but less graceful Anglaise. The beauty ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon de la Barca

... agreed the little man. "But say, then! It has been an experience, hein? Piquant, picturesque, moving, too. For I am not like you; I do not see these dramas ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... Thereupon Mrs. Travis again opened her little bag, and took out a cabinet photograph. It represented a young woman in tights, her arms folded, one foot across the other; the face was vulgarly piquant, and wore a smile which made ...
— The Emancipated • George Gissing

... rank and fashion of Brighton; you will see costumes a ravir, dresses that are artistic and elegant; you will see faces beautiful and well-known; you will hear a charming ripple of conversation; you will witness many pleasant and piquant adventures; but if you want to dream; if you want to give up your whole heart and soul to the poetry of the sea; if you want to listen to its voice and hear no other; if you want to shut yourself away from the world; if you want to hear the music of the winds, their ...
— The Tragedy of the Chain Pier - Everyday Life Library No. 3 • Charlotte M. Braeme

... ear-pieces, to defy the winter cold. The child's general appearance was somewhat rotund. Painters would probably have said there was a little too much breadth, perhaps, in the picture. Her pointed cap, however, with the little bow of ribbon on the top, gave her a piquant air, and did away with the heavy appearance of her costume to some extent; in fact, Edith looked like a fat little witch. But if she looked fat before being wrapped up in the sledge furs, she looked infinitely fatter when thus placed, and nothing of ...
— Ungava • R.M. Ballantyne

... was coming up the walk. Eyes whose glance had long been his dearest torture met Guy Fernald's and fell. Lips like which there were no others in the world smiled tremulously in response to his eager exclamation. And over the piquant young face rose an exquisite colour which was not altogether born of the wintry air. The girl who for two years had been only "elusive" had taken the significant step of coming to North Estabrook in response ...
— On Christmas Day in the Morning • Grace S. Richmond

... believed in none of those things, and, in short, was quite as bad or worse than she herself was. She walked her horse on slowly, thinking. Somehow it seemed to her that life in his cabin would be far more piquant and amusing than in Stephen's. Yet he neither drank nor gambled, and as for the dance halls and theatre,—well, he had told her he liked dancing; and what a waltz that had been they had had together! But life with Stephen! He would be too good for her, and too stupid. She had a vague ...
— A Girl of the Klondike • Victoria Cross

... the suspicion of pride and self-will in aquiline nose and firmly-moulded chin, the short, roughened hair, which was such a cross to its owner, but which gave her a gallant, boyish air, which one spectator at least found irresistibly piquant. He saw the firelight play upon the pretty pink dress and the rings on the restless hands, saw the brown eyes sparkle with laughter, and grow suddenly soft and wistful. It seemed to him that they were turned towards himself, that her thoughts were meeting his half-way, ...
— More about Pixie • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... It is there preceded by another, from The Westminster Review, written fourteen years earlier, on The Genius of Cruikshank. This contains a descriptive catalogue of Cruikshank's works up to that period, and is interesting from the piquant style in which it is written. I fancy that these two are the only efforts of the kind which he made,—and in both he dealt with the two great caricaturists of his time, he himself being, in the imaginative part of a caricaturist's work, equal in ...
— Thackeray • Anthony Trollope

... seemed narrow by comparison. And there was a redness in his cheeks which made his head seem almost like an apple grown prematurely ripe upon that blossom laden tree. He wore the negligee scout attire and his happy-go-lucky nature was made the more piquant by the easy, humorous fashion in which he sat upon the limb, ...
— Pee-Wee Harris Adrift • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... A DECIDED CHARACTER; and whether sharp or sweet, savoury or plain, they should carry out their names in a distinct manner, although, of course, not so much flavoured as to make them too piquant on the one hand, or too mawkish on ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... would like to treat his guests to-day to some special amusement, and so he said to me last night, 'Robeckal, do you know of anything new and piquant!' ...
— The Son of Monte-Cristo, Volume II (of 2) • Alexandre Dumas pere

... knew, nor just what secret nerve in her was satisfied by it. By leaning sideways, he could see that her eyes were fixed on the grey-white stretch to be travelled: her warm breath came back to him; and the coil of her hair, with its piquant odour, was so close that, by bending, he could have touched it with his lips. But he was still in too detached a mood to be happy; he felt, throughout, as if all this were happening to some one else, not ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... story, showing the advantage that every boy must necessarily gain from association with intelligent, progressive young people, no matter what their color or condition in life may be. The incidents are fresh and natural, the conversations bright and piquant, and the interest well sustained, while incidentally there is a ...
— In Blue Creek Canon • Anna Chapin Ray

... the little parlour, whose French windows opened upon the garden; and it was on those occasions that I found her most amusing. She knew everyone and everything connected with fashionable life. Private and piquant, and I am sure authentic, anecdotes of every noble family, she possessed in an exhaustless profusion. Nor was this knowledge confined to the nobility: she knew more of the sayings and doings of some of the princes of the blood than any other person living, out of their domestic circle, ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... . I could give Mark Twain an example of the American specimen. It is a piquant story. I never published it because I feared my readers might think that I was giving them a typical illustration of American character instead of ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... strong passions, and of the best kind, for they do not return often. Nature, in endowing you with an ordinary state, gave you something with which to rise above it. You are distinguished, and, without being beautiful, you attract attention. There is something piquant in you; one might obstinately endeavor to turn your head, but it would be at one's own expense. Your will must be awaited, because you cannot be made to come. Your cheerfulness embellishes you, and relaxes your nerves, which are too highly strung. You have your own opinion, and you leave ...
— Women of Modern France - Woman In All Ages And In All Countries • Hugo P. Thieme

... be simply heart-broken if your spring of divertissement should ever run dry—especially if you held me in any way responsible. Charlie serious! Good heavens! And yet, on second thought, would it not have a certain piquant lure, gained from its utter strangeness, which would be simply overwhelming? Try it and see. No ...
— White Ashes • Sidney R. Kennedy and Alden C. Noble

... was resumed in this singular way; there was something piquant in not seeing his companion, her presence manifested only by her sweet breath, the slight rustling of the glazed cloth which afforded her such scanty room, and the prattle which flowed from ...
— The Son of Clemenceau • Alexandre (fils) Dumas

... of Uriah Heep to "Always be obliging." Certainly, no pleasanter company could be found, whether for man or woman; whatever the hour, however mixed the company, Jasper Vermont had always a smile, a jest, or a new and piquant scandal. In the smoking-room he would rival Mortimer Shelton in apparently good-natured cynicism. In a duchess's boudoir he would enliven the afternoon tea hour with the neatest of epigrams and the spiciest slander of her Grace's dearest friend. Nothing ...
— Adrien Leroy • Charles Garvice

... might have been only six or seven and twenty: and certainly his manner was not middle-aged! Val's language was refined enough for a curate, and even Rowsley in his young sister's presence never went beyond a sarcenet oath; but Hyde's frank fury was piquant to Isabel's not very decorous taste. When he came in, her pain and faintness began to diminish as if a stream of warm fresh life were flowing into ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... piquant than concord. Stephen's letter was concerning nothing but oneness with her: the review was the very reverse. And a stranger with neither name nor shape, age nor appearance, but a mighty voice, is naturally rather ...
— A Pair of Blue Eyes • Thomas Hardy

... despondent and succeeded in getting work, at first giving sixpenny lessons and afterwards getting paragraphs on street incidents into the newspapers under the signature of "Eye-Witness." These paragraphs, it was said, were so interesting and piquant that they were soon taken. This alone showed the young man's practical and intellectual superiority over the masses of needy and unfortunate students of both sexes who hang about the offices of the newspapers and journals, unable to think of anything better than everlasting entreaties for ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... gentlewoman by birth, though penniless. He borrows clothes for her (by onerous contract with the haberdashers, it is said, being poor to a degree); he easily gets her introduced to the Ducal Soirees; bids her—She knows what to do? Right well she knows what; catches, with her piquant face, the dull eye of Eberhard Ludwig, kindles Eberhard Ludwig, and will not for something quench him. Not she at all: How can SHE; your Serene Highness, ask her not! A virtuous young lady, she, and come of a stainless ...
— History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 7 • Thomas Carlyle

... astonishment and anger. She had been represented at the Swedish court as a model of gentleness, amiability, and grace; he found her rude and contradictory, fitful and childish. The Princess Ulrica soon led the thoughts of the count in another direction, and managed to retain him at her side by her piquant and intellectual conversation; she brought every power of her mind into action; she was gracious in the extreme; she overcame her proud nature, and assumed a winning gentleness; in short, she flattered the ambassador with ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... After the return home, during the long winter evenings, Toepffer took either his pen or his pencil, and, with his pupils, re-gathered from their memoranda and drawings their summer impressions and adventures. Then he made his paper laugh with the spirited and piquant sketches which all know who have peeped into the "Voyages en Zig-Zag." Thus his fireside amusements have become those of the world. The "Voyages en Zig-Zag," before his death, were already classic in France. The richest luxury ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 97, November, 1865 • Various

... intelligent mind could invent; and Nora had calmly walked over them or around. Nora's mind was Celtic: French in its adroitness and Irish in its watchfulness and tenacity. And now she had set her arts of persuasion in motion (aided by a piquant beauty) to lift a corner of the veil from ...
— The Place of Honeymoons • Harold MacGrath

... wreath of gilded bay-leaves, and must have looked like a Roman Empress. I think that purple suits me, for every one declared that they never saw me looking better." Dear little lady! I am sure that she never did, and that the piquant little face on the frontispiece, with its roguish eyes, looked charming under her gold wreath. Again, "I wore a lovely dress of pink crape spangled in silver, sent me by Madame Le Clerc." She gives a fuller account of her dress at the great ball given her to celebrate ...
— Here, There And Everywhere • Lord Frederic Hamilton

... day" who might chance to have been his contemporary at Oxford or Cambridge. In Dr. Carrlyon's reminiscences and in the quoted letters of a certain young Parry, another of the English student colony at Gottingen, we get a piquant picture of the poet-philosopher of seven-and-twenty, with his yet buoyant belief in his future, his still unquenched interest in the world of things, and his never-to-be-quenched interest in the world of thought, his even then inexhaustible flow of disquisition, his generous admiration ...
— English Men of Letters: Coleridge • H. D. Traill

... method of education, are admirably delineated; and the introduction of the two young ladies from London, who represent the modern institutions of professional nursing and schools of cookery, is very happily effected. The story possesses abundant humour and piquant descriptions of character. ...
— Captain Bayley's Heir: - A Tale of the Gold Fields of California • G. A. Henty

... anticipations, the good Bonzig ran away—all but "piquant sa tete" down the narrow staircase, and whistling "Mon Aldegonde" at the very top of his whistle; and even outside ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... clear and mellow as the robin's song that woke me this morning, will be the index of an unfailing spring of mirthfulness—of that breezy, piquant, laughing philosophy which gives to some women an indescribable charm, enabling them to render gloom and despondency rare inmates of the home over which they preside. When I recall what dark depths of perplexity and trouble my mother often hid with her light ...
— A Day Of Fate • E. P. Roe

... Mildred sit with me at the little metal table while he served the little brown cakes and the dark-red soup and the fragrant amber drink. Mildred got up and brought a great metal bowl filled with tiny purple fruits that had a delicious, piquant tang. ...
— Astounding Stories, April, 1931 • Various

... accomplishments, and her beauty. Her portraits, though all professedly by Holbein, or copied from pictures by him, are singularly unlike each other. The profile in the picture which is best known is pretty, innocent, and piquant, though rather insignificant: there are other pictures, however, in which we see a face more powerful, though less prepossessing. In these the features are full and languid. The eyes are large; but the expression, though remarkable, is not pleasing, ...
— The Reign of Henry the Eighth, Volume 1 (of 3) • James Anthony Froude

... fame of the pine lured a young engineer through Kentucky to catch the trail, and when he finally climbed to its shelter he found not only the pine but the footprints of a girl. And the girl proved to be lovely, piquant, and the trail of these girlish foot-prints led the young engineer a madder chase than "the ...
— Through stained glass • George Agnew Chamberlain

... off in a huff, and she thought she could employ him better. So she coughed first and then stepped out into the yard. Hugh presently came sauntering down the walk, and Lucy sang among the clothes-lines as blithely and unconcerned as though her lips had never tasted any flavor more piquant than ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 10, August, 1858 • Various

... of the Rural's mouth did not lessen as she replied with the evasion Brook Center found piquant, "Next day ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1919 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... womanly characteristics were brought into conversational contact with the materials furnished by such minds as those of Richelieu, Corneille, the Great Conde, Balzac, and Bossuet, it is no wonder that the result was something piquant and charming. Those famous habitues of the Hotel de Rambouillet did not, apparently, first lay themselves out to entertain the ladies with grimacing "small-talk," and then take each other by the sword-knot to discuss matters of real interest in a corner; they rather sought to present their ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... the letter so long as she held him to it, like a debt of honour, not legally binding but morally, and he was prepared, with gentlemanly tack, to keep faith without further discussion of the subject. The arrangement did not trouble him at all. It was original, and therefore somewhat piquant, and so ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... mantelpiece and stared long and hungrily at a photograph in a silver frame. So closely did he concentrate upon it that he induced a sort of auto-hypnosis, so that Phil Abingdon seemed to smile at him sadly. Then a shadow appeared to obscure the piquant face. The soft outline changed, subtly; the lips grew more full, became voluptuous; the eyes lengthened and grew languorous. He found himself looking into the face ...
— Fire-Tongue • Sax Rohmer

... Miss Comstock next proceeded to give a piquant account of Mr. Ashly Crane's dealings with the girl, who in a way ...
— Clark's Field • Robert Herrick

... is a story of the Riviera and Monte Carlo—and a clever and rather complicated plot. The girl is particularly unusual and piquant, the man more than ever loverlike ...
— Aunt Jane of Kentucky • Eliza Calvert Hall

... face; I remarked its colour—a chestnut brown—and a tendency upon its part to form into ringlets when unconfined, the resultant effect being somewhat attractive. At the moment of my entrance her side face was presented to me; a piquant and comely profile I should term it, without professing in the least to have judgment in ...
— Fibble, D. D. • Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

... tude des Canadiens-franais, M. Drummond a trouv le moyen d'viter un cueil qui aurait sembl invitable pour tout autre que pour lui. Il est rest vrai, sans tomber dans la vulgarit, et piquant ...
— The Habitant and Other French-Canadian Poems • William Henry Drummond

... literature which the war has brought forth, one of the most piquant is a little pamphlet entitled, Southern Hatred of the American Government, the People of the North, and Free Institutions, recently published by R.F. Wallcut, of Number 221 Washington street, Boston. It ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. II. July, 1862. No. 1. • Various

... wafted through the air; and it reminded me of my other meetings with the beautiful woman who was now leading us from the house of Fu-Manchu; who, with her own lips, had told me that she was his slave. Through the horrible phantasmagoria she flitted—a seductive vision, her piquant loveliness standing out richly in its black setting of murder and devilry. Not once, but a thousand times, I had tried to reason out the nature of the tie which bound ...
— The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... out with a kind of savagery that he could not explain. "Yes. She's young, and she finds even my age spicy. There'd be something quite amusingly piquant for her in marrying a man ...
— The Pretty Lady • Arnold E. Bennett

... before only in flashes to a vision astray in the confusion of the senses. He had felt that her response to his passion was far more vital and enduring than dwelt in the capacity of most women; he had appreciated her gifts of mind, her piquant variousness that scotched monotony, the admirable characteristics that would give a man repose and content in his leisure, and subtly advance his career. But in those long reveries, at the head of his forlorn caravan or in the desolate months of convalescence, ...
— Rezanov • Gertrude Atherton

... to the feast to some of them, others dull their uneasy conscience with it. And yet all they eat and drink has been made by the poor man; even the choicest dainties have passed through his dirty hands and have a piquant flavor of sweat and hunger. They look upon it as a matter of course that it should be so; they are not even surprised that nothing is ever done in gratitude for kind treatment— something to disagree with them, a little poison, ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... intelligence, in case he was unaware of it. But he never gave them the opportunity. Honestly, he had forgotten the speaker's name at first, and only recognized him when he was introduced by young Copperhead; and then the situation was piquant and amused him, especially the evident confusion and consternation of ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... conversation was remarkably suggestive, alluring forth one's own ideas and fantasies from the shy places where they usually haunt. She was indeed an admirable talker, considering how long she had held her tongue for lack of a listener,—pleasant, sunny and shadowy, often piquant, and giving glimpses of all a woman's various and readily changeable moods and humors; and beneath them all there ran a deep and powerful under-current of earnestness, which did not fail to produce in the listener's mind something like a temporary faith in what she herself believed ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... trees bending over it, the bunches of water flag growing here and there, and the scattered patches of broad lily pads with now and then a white blossom, made a most picturesque background for the girl who sat in the stern. Her piquant face, shaded by a broad sun-hat, was fairer to his eyes than any of the lilies she plucked, and as she drew one sleeve up a little to reach for them, the round arm and dimpled hand she thrust into the water looked tempting enough to kiss. The miller had shut the gate ...
— Uncle Terry - A Story of the Maine Coast • Charles Clark Munn

... said, 'and all you eat must be excellent.' I had a cap on my head, and another lay on the table; I questioned him on the value which he attached to the two articles, and asked which he preferred. 'Both are superb,' he replied, 'but the one you prefer is undoubtedly the best.' After this piquant specimen of the civility of the country, it may be supposed that I was not sorry to end the conference, and to get rid of such an excessively well bred child. I took care, however, to send a cup of tea to his mother, who, the tutor informed ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... of poodles. Our pity for foreigners was nourished by the manner of the Count's dress, which would have been a commonplace on a boulevard, but astounded Muirtown on its first appearance, and always lent an element of piquant interest to our streets. His perfectly brushed hat, broadish in the brim and curled at the sides, which he wore at the faintest possible angle, down to his patent leather boots, which it was supposed he obtained in Paris, and wore out at the rate of a pair a month—all was ...
— Young Barbarians • Ian Maclaren

... is the right sort of memories to put into print; memories that are fresh and bright, piquant, and yet never ill-natured, crowded with personal lights and anecdotes; in fine, a volume of which one says: 'I would have liked to meet all those people and write about them as Mr. Coleridge ...
— Great Testimony - against scientific cruelty • Stephen Coleridge

... (who is abroad) in a spirit of most charming abandon, revealing such a familiarity with the scenes and subjects that she writes about that no one can doubt she has been among them taking notes, while her style indicates her femininity, though there are many who doubt it. There has nothing more piquant, spicy, and unconventional ever been published in Boston, and Peppermint 'takes ...
— A Romantic Young Lady • Robert Grant

... ruddy, in a dark-gray morning coat and top hat, he looked very handsome, even with his crippled arm. And quite like a bridegroom! For a moment he made her wish she had taken Marie's advice about her hair. She was in a brown traveling suit with a piquant hat that made her look quite Parisienne—though her low tan shoes, tied with big silk bows at her ...
— The Triflers • Frederick Orin Bartlett

... hopelessly unhappy marriage no lot which interests us. Disagreeable husbands die at an auspicious moment, and everybody is finally made happy in his or her own way, which includes the possession of plenty of money. The conversations are piquant, and the interest of the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XXVI., December, 1880. • Various

... woman denied. Only I heard the words themselves, cold, earnest words, fall one by one from her lips like a sentence of doom—and there was life in the thing, life and death! When she had finished, the whole court was in a state of tension. Everyone was leaning forward. It would be the most piquant, the most wonderful cross examination every heard—the woman lying to save her honor and to achieve her vengeance; the man on trial for his life. Wingrave stood up. Lady Ruth raised her veil, and looked at him from the witness box. There ...
— The Malefactor • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... passed swiftly through my brain as I stood feasting my sight on her bright, piquant face; while she on her part gazed back into my eyes, not only with fearless curiosity, but with a look of recognition and pleasure at the encounter so unmistakably friendly that, encouraged by it, I took her arm in my hand, moving at the same time a little nearer to her. At that moment a swift, ...
— Green Mansions - A Romance of the Tropical Forest • W. H. Hudson

... spirited, though I had to twist it about a little to bring her in guilty. Cleopatra, of course, I have taken from Shakespeare. What a wench she was! I could not quite make Julia a queen; but it was impossible to pass over so piquant a character. You will recognise in the two or three ladies of the empire how faithfully I have studied my Gibbon. Poor dear old Belisarius! I have done the best I could with Joanna, but I could not bring myself to care for her. In our days she would simply have gone to Broadmore. I hope you ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... he had ever known. Her image, as she stood there at the altar with flashing eyes and flaming cheeks and scathing tongue defying him, was ever before his mind's eye. There was something about that girl so spirited, so piquant and original that she impressed even his apathetic nature as no other woman had ever been able to do. But what most of all attracted him to Capitola was her diablerie. He longed to catch that little savage to his bosom and have her at his mercy. The aversion she had exhibited toward him ...
— Capitola the Madcap • Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... not enjoy her lunch. It was a simple yet elegant meal, excellently cooked and daintily served, but the piquant sauce of her own conversation was notably lacking. She had prepared a long succession of eulogistic comments on the wonders of her town garden, with its unrivalled effects of horticultural magnificence, and, behold, her theme was shut in on every ...
— The Toys of Peace • Saki

... rather a piquant titillation of my bitter humour, when I disentangled from Wetter's confident and eloquent description of the Ideal Ambassador a tolerably accurate, if somewhat partial, portrait of himself. I was rather surprised at his desire ...
— The King's Mirror • Anthony Hope

... my face. "Not at all, I sit here as safe as if I were at White's, and a devilish deal better satisfied. Situation piquant! Company of the best! Gad's life, I ...
— A Daughter of Raasay - A Tale of the '45 • William MacLeod Raine

... to scandal. It was a favourite recreation of the youth of quality to disfigure or mutilate the images of the gods in the streets by night.(15) Ordinary love affairs had for long been common, and intrigues with married women began to become so; but an amour with a Vestal virgin was as piquant as the intrigues with nuns and the cloister-adventures in the world of the Decamerone. The scandalous affair of 640 seq. is well known, in which three Vestals, daughters of the noblest families, and their ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... pretty girl despite the layers of grease paint necessary to accentuate the lights and shadows of her piquant face. Her manner with men was free without being bold. With a big parasol over her shoulder, she adapted her step to ...
— Cap'n Abe, Storekeeper • James A. Cooper

... downy cheek (if you looked close you could see the infinitesimal down against the light like an aura on the edge of the silhouette), even to let the gaze dwell on it, what an enchantment!... She considered herself piquant and comely, and she was not deceived. ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... freely to each other now, and playfully said a great many things to Mona, who, though she did not understand them, laughed with us and gave us much pleasure with her easy, unembarrassed manner and piquant ways. And she not only jabbered away with hands and face in the manner we had taught her, but she did not cease also to make life bright for us by repaying us in our own coin and talking to us in her natural, delicious ...
— Daybreak: A Romance of an Old World • James Cowan

... thrown around her the glamour of position and reputed wealth—advantages which have their value among the most democratic folk, although slight outward deference may be paid to their possessors. It was the charming little face itself, with its piquant smiles and still more piquant pouts, which won Albert's boyish admiration. The fact that she was the banker's daughter only fired his ambition to be and to do something to make ...
— Taken Alive • E. P. Roe

... the backways of Holborn, for quaint waterside alleys and old-world churches in out-of-the-way turnings—for everything, in fact, that has the charm of natural growth. If I had my way, I would not give up Booksellers' Row for a thousand improvements in the Strand. Where shall you find a more piquant peace than in the shady quadrangles that branch out of the bustle of Fleet Street, and flash a memory of Oxford spires or Cambridge gardens on the inner eye? What spot in the world has inspired a nobler sonnet than Wordsworth's on Westminster Bridge? Who would exchange our happy incongruity ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... between them; and as she did so Mr. Cannon turned and thanked her with a confidential smile, to which she responded. They were not now employer and employee, but exclusively in the social world; nevertheless, their business relations made an intimacy which it was piquant to feel in the home. Moreover, Sarah Gailey was opposite to them, and Hilda could not keep out of her dark eyes the intelligence: "If she is here, if you are all amicable together, it is due to me." Delicious and somehow perilous secret!... Going back to her seat, she arranged more safely ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... entertaining with great hospitality. The Baptists, Episcopalians, and Methodists hold services on alternate Sundays in the court-house. All the planters and many others near the lake shore keep a boat at their landing, and a raft for crossing vehicles and horses. It seemed very piquant at first, this taking our boat to go visiting, and on moonlight nights it was charming. The woods around are lovelier than those in Louisiana, though one misses the moaning of the pines. There is fine fishing and hunting, but these cotton estates ...
— Famous Adventures And Prison Escapes of the Civil War • Various

... the portrait of Catherine Parr. But there is a larger portrait of the former among the Windsor drawings, a study evidently made for an oil painting (Plate 37). By this it seems that she had auburn hair, hazel eyes, a fair complexion, and a piquant smile. There is a painting which accords with this drawing in the Duke of Buccleuch's collection, but it is said to ...
— Holbein • Beatrice Fortescue

... usual philanthropic resolutions were passed. Victor Hugo, of France, excused himself from attendance on the score of ill-health; but the country was represented by Emile de Girardin. The congress is to meet next year simultaneously with the great World's Exposition at London. The most piquant incidents of the session were the speech of George Copway, a veritable American Indian Chief, and the presence, in one of the visitors' tribunes, of the famous General Haynau, whose victories and cruelties ...
— International Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science, Vol. 1, - No. 3, Oct. 1, 1850 • Various

... mother-country, have modified it so that it is, as it were, a mirror of the difference between American and English life. In America there is more hurry and bustle and less dignity. It is this difference which makes Americans and the American way of speaking appear interesting and piquant to English people. But this is no good reason for the adoption of American mannerisms into the English language. A typically American word is boom, meaning a sudden coming into popularity of something. Thus one may speak of a "boom" ...
— Stories That Words Tell Us • Elizabeth O'Neill

... with this fifth new boy the devil's agents knew instinctively that they would have a great deal of trouble. But they meant to bait their hook very carefully, and they did not at all despair. Their task was made peculiarly piquant by its very difficulty, and by the fact that Charlie was one in whom their declared enemy, Walter Evson, was so nearly concerned. They were determined by fair means or foul to win him over, and make him their proselyte, until he became as much a child of sin as they were themselves. ...
— St. Winifred's - The World of School • Frederic W. Farrar

... instant the piquant face and figure of Millicent Jaques rose before her mind's eye. She pictured to herself the cool effrontery with which the actress would crush these waspish women by creating a court of every eligible man in the place. It was not a healthy thought, but it was the offspring of sheer vexation, ...
— The Silent Barrier • Louis Tracy

... the long brown distinguishing braid down her back, or whether he suddenly found something peculiarly provocative in the reddish brown eyes between their thickset hedge of lashes, and with the trim figure and piquant pose, and was seized with that hysteric desperation which sometimes attacks timidity itself, I cannot say! Enough that he suddenly put his arm around her waist and his lips to her soft satin cheek, peppered and salted as it was by sun-freckles and mountain air, and received a sound box on ...
— Under the Redwoods • Bret Harte

... other place—not a word of New York, and less of Boston. There everything looks and goes south-west, while we all tend eastward." In reply to questions, Bart told them of Columbus and Cincinnati, giving fresh and graphic descriptions, for he observed closely, and described with a racy, piquant exaggeration what he saw. Breaking off rather abruptly, he seemed vexed at the length of his monologue, and went on ...
— Bart Ridgeley - A Story of Northern Ohio • A. G. Riddle

... royal over it. I verily believe that Aunt would like me to dress in the fashions in vogue in her youth. There is always a certain flavour of old-fashionedness about my gowns and hats. Connie used to say that it was delicious and gave me a piquant uniqueness—a certain unlikeness to other people that possessed a positive charm. That is only Connie's ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1902 to 1903 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... only a very brief missive—piquant, amusing, innocently audacious in closing—a mere reminder that he had promised to write to her; and she ended it by asking him very plainly whether he had not missed her, in terms so frank, so sweet, so confident of his inevitable answer, that all the enchantment ...
— The Younger Set • Robert W. Chambers

... the wisest voice, "Can't you let him alone?" But the contrasts in the case of Gargantua, the general tenor (that good prince profiting by his own experience for his son's benefit) in that of Pantagruel, are not too "improving," and are made by their historian's "own sauce" exceedingly piquant. Much as has been written on the subject, it is not easy to be quite certain how far the "Old" Learning was fairly treated by the "New." Rabelais and Erasmus and the authors of the Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum are such a tremendous overmatch for any one on the other ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 - From the Beginning to 1800 • George Saintsbury

... continually sailing about the rugged shores, and the frozen cranberry marshes of Fort Pond Bay, lying to the westward, are their favorite feeding-grounds. The birds are always as fat as butter when making their flight, and their piquant, spicy flavor leads to their being barbecued by the wholesale at the seat of shooting operations. One of the gunner's cabins has nailed up in it the heads of 345 ducks that have been roasted ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 421, January 26, 1884 • Various

... I had aimed at nothing, and I had exactly hit it. But after sitting down, I was conscious of an enjoyment in speaking to a public assembly, and felt as if I should like to rise again. It is something like being under fire,—a sort of excitement, not exactly pleasure, but more piquant than most pleasures. I have felt this before, in the same circumstances; but, while on my legs, my impulse is to get through with my remarks and sit down again as quickly as possible. The next speech, I think, was by Rev. Dr. ———, the celebrated Arctic gentleman, in reply to a toast complimentary ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... a fascinating little story, with its piquant contrasts and its wild love-at-all-costs? And how many such stories are hidden about the country, lying carelessly in rustic memories, if one only knew where to ...
— The Quest of the Golden Girl • Richard le Gallienne

... c'est piquant! There's no need to take offence; so much the better! 'Tis all the same to a gentleman. To-morrow an elegant lady of fashion, to-day a Cinderella, one as beautiful as a young goddess, the other as villainous as Macbeth's ...
— A Hungarian Nabob • Maurus Jokai

... if the gravy is required to be slightly thickened, add a small teaspoonful of potato-flour mixed smooth in cold water. For cutlets or other dishes requiring sharp sauce, make exactly as above, and just before serving add a little of any good piquant ...
— Nelson's Home Comforts - Thirteenth Edition • Mary Hooper

... not unpleasant. It is slightly bitter, aromatic, and similar to the worst kind of green tea. When mixed with the ashes of the musa root it is somewhat piquant, and more pleasant to European palates than it is without that addition. The smell of the fresh dried leaves in a mass is almost overpowering; but this smell entirely goes when they are packed in the sacks. All who masticate coca have a very bad breath, pale ...
— Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests • J. J. von Tschudi

... highly coloured as sacred pictures. He talked of Rossini, quoted Racine, and spoke of "the Bois" for the Bois de Boulogne. He talked of divine love in words which were somewhat disconcerting, of present-day vices with piquant details, and of society in society language. Occasionally, expressions which were in vogue and which had only recently been invented, expressions only known among worldly people, would slip into his spiritual consultations and had the same effect as extracts from a ...
— Rene Mauperin • Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt

... possession of only such facts and truths as could be reached in her narrow life, but that she had assimilated them and thought about them, and that it was more refreshing to hear her original and piquant remarks about the topics she was acquainted with than to listen to the tireless stream of Janet Dunton's ostentatious erudition. And he found more delight in telling the earnest and hungry-minded country girl about the great world of men and the ...
— Duffels • Edward Eggleston

... say that, Zillah. There is something piquant, even picturesque, about you, that one does not readily forget, or ever dislike; besides, real earnest love is better worth having, after the domestic treason ...
— Mabel's Mistake • Ann S. Stephens

... she returned. She had surely seen Frank. No doubt she anticipated piquant developments ...
— Sacred And Profane Love • E. Arnold Bennett

... of morning air, and its frequent richness—not yet, as afterwards, splendour—of description, were all appreciated by the fashionable London of the Regency; while the comparatively mild satire, not keen enough to scarify, only gave a more piquant flavour to the whole. Byron's genius, yet in the green leaf, was not too far above the clever masses of pleasure-loving manhood by which it was surrounded. It was natural that the address on the reopening of Drury Lane theatre ...
— Byron • John Nichol

... zest of existence seemed to return. It was not only that he felt the elemental, unfathomable satisfaction of a male who is sheltered in solitude from a pack of women that have got on his nerves. There was also the more piquant assurance that he was behaving in a very sprightly manner. How long was it since he had accomplished anything worthy of his ancient reputation as a "card," as "the" card of the Five Towns? He could not say. But now he knew that he was being a card again. ...
— The Regent • E. Arnold Bennett

... seems to afford them solid comfort and happiness to find out, or to think they find out, that a great man was really not so great after all, and that they can look down on him. It is certainly a more piquant sensation to look down on a great man than on an ordinary mortal, and makes one feel happier. There is a melancholy, sweet satisfaction—I have noticed it myself—in pointing out exactly where this or that great man erred, and where we should ...
— 'That Very Mab' • May Kendall and Andrew Lang

... the young girl which did not seem beautiful to the old relative. Her originality, which made the well-trained servants stare, seemed the perfection of piquant grace to one whose fastidious tastes had been an example to the whole neighborhood. In her estimation Lady Clara could do nothing which was not in itself loveliest and best. The old lady had been so long without an object of affection, that her ...
— The Old Countess; or, The Two Proposals • Ann S. Stephens

... have caught myself regretting you for him, and regretting him for you. Last Monday he was good enough to play, in his usual and admirable manner, at the concert for the Orchestral Pension Fund. The pieces he had selected were his new "Concerto pathetique" (in F minor) and an extremely piquant and brilliant "Caprice on Hungarian Melodies." (This latter piece is dedicated to me.) The public was in a good humor, even really warm, which is usually ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 1, "From Paris to Rome: - Years of Travel as a Virtuoso" • Franz Liszt; Letters assembled by La Mara and translated

... Bobbery, if you meet him, dear Vanity, by the peculiarly gracious way in which he forgives and forgets should you commit the indiscretion of lending him money. You may be sure that he will never allude to the matter again, but will rather wear a piquant do-it-again manner, like our irresistible little friend, Conny B——. I don't believe, however, that Bobbery will ever become a Commander-in-Chief, though his distant cousin, Scindia, is a General, and though they talk of pawning the 'long-shore ...
— Twenty-One Days in India; and, the Teapot Series • George Robert Aberigh-Mackay

... many more things were said in the convents, but we will spare our reader other comments of a political, metaphysical, or piquant nature and conduct him to a private house. As we have few acquaintances in Manila, let us enter the home of Capitan Tinong, the polite individual whom we saw so profusely inviting Ibarra to honor him with ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... ever possessed. She would not have wronged a dog for her own personal advantage. Her black eyes, lean and spirited face, her prematurely whitening locks, as they were exposed by the backward fall of her old-fashioned, quilted hood, presented a physiognomy at once piquant and prepossessing. ...
— Sevenoaks • J. G. Holland

... shown by the leading anti-suffrage houses this spring is the statement that woman suffrage is the same thing as free love. The effect is extremely piquant and surprising. ...
— Are Women People? • Alice Duer Miller

... both gentlemen to luncheon. Mr. Heinert proved himself a very genial and somewhat original companion. If he had ever been disheartened on account of his illness, that was all past now; and the simplicity, vivacity, and general love of play in his nature made a piquant contrast with Dr. Arthur's staid humour and grave manliness. He talked of Rollo too, whom he loved well, it was plain; he talked of Gttingen; he talked in short till Arthur ordered him back to his rooms ...
— The Gold of Chickaree • Susan Warner

... desperately bent on finding someone actually under his nose, careens wildly cross the stage or rouses the echoes by unmerciful battering of doors, meanwhile unburdening himself of lengthy solo tirades with great gusto;[2] and all this dished up with a sauce of humor often too racy and piquant for our delicate twentieth-century palate, which has acquired a refined taste for suggestive innuendo, but never relishes calling a ...
— The Dramatic Values in Plautus • Wilton Wallace Blancke

... frankly fallen in love, too: for Narcissus has told me that his great charm is a boyish naturalness of heart, that ingenuous gusto in living which is one of the sure witnesses to genius. This is all the more piquant because no one would suspect it, as, I suppose, few do; probably, indeed, a consensus would declare him the last man in London of whom that is true. No one would seem to take more seriously the beau monde of modern paganism, with its hundred gospels of La Nuance; ...
— The Book-Bills of Narcissus - An Account Rendered by Richard Le Gallienne • Le Gallienne, Richard

... was good-natured as he was clever, and a great enthusiast withal in the study of plants—he allowed the merry, talkative girls to lead him where they would. He delighted them in turn by his agreeable, instructive conversation, which was rendered still more piquant by the odd medley of French, Latin, and Swedish in which it ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... a ring at the front door bell, immediately followed by the announcement of the Misses Chipchase; and the rector's two daughters entered the room, accompanied, to Lady Mary's horror, by one of the most piquant and brilliant brunettes she had ever set ...
— Belles and Ringers • Hawley Smart

... gives way to a wild delight. She is sure she does not look to be over twenty, she is glad to be rather small, and can imagine how she will appear beside Mr. Wilmarth's broad shoulders and frowning face. Quite piquant and fairy-like, and then to love with one's whole soul, unsuspected by the sharp eyes of critical kindred, who do not appreciate her lover; to carry about a delicious secret, to plan and to steal out to promised interviews, ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... the Pope's temporal power, not the Italy which the genius of Cavour has welded into a nation. It was a land whose interest came altogether from the past, and that lay as it were in the beauty of time's sunset. How unlike the United States! The contrast has always, I confess, seemed to me a piquant one. It has often struck me with a feeling of quaintness that the two countries which Dickens specially visited and described, were, the one this lovely land of age and hoar antiquity, and the other that young giant land of the West, ...
— Life of Charles Dickens • Frank Marzials

... I see that you are going down the steep way which leads to that daring cleverness for which fools blame successful operators. You have tasted the piquant intoxicating fruits of Parisian pleasure. You have made luxury the inseparable companion of your life. Paris begins at the Place de l'Etoile, and ends at the Jockey Club. That is your Paris, which is the world of women who are talked about too ...
— Mercadet - A Comedy In Three Acts • Honore De Balzac

... quoter. His book is not "stuffed," as Franck jealously alleged, but it is certainly well sauced with piquant references to other writers, as early as the author of the Book of Job, and as late as John Dennys, who betrayed to the world THE SECRETS OF ANGLING in 1613. Walton further seasoned his book with fragments ...
— Fisherman's Luck • Henry van Dyke

... handsome girl, with beautiful teeth and neatly-braided hair and such a brilliant smile, attracting a crowd round her as she sang piquant songs in a sweet, deep-toned voice that ought to have made her fortune on the stage if it had been properly cultivated—sang them, too, with a look and manner that I have seen seldom rivalled by the cleverest actresses; and I thought what a face and form were wasted here to make profit ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... piquant; an adventure with all the flavor of the eighteenth instead of the nineteenth century. A real adventure, and you its heroine! Oh, ...
— The Bondwoman • Marah Ellis Ryan

... all up. It is true that Monsieur de Balzac does not proceed with sureness, and that in his numerous productions, some of which appear to us almost admirable, at any rate touching and delicious or piquant and finely comic in observation, there is a dreadful pell-mell. What a throng of volumes, what a flight of tales, novels of all sorts, droll, philosophic, and theosophic. There is something to be enjoyed in each, no doubt, but what prolixity! In the elaboration ...
— Balzac • Frederick Lawton

... out of the coach window. She was plainly neither a drab nor in liquor. Harry halted out of range of the splashes to examine and enjoy her. She had been comely, and still could hold a man's eye with her curves of neck and bosom. The piquant features must have been adorable before they sharpened and her cheeks faded and the lines came. Her abundant hair must once have been gold, and was not yet ...
— The Highwayman • H.C. Bailey

... the city), opened the doors and lifted the windows of their houses, the ladies crying, "Shame on you, shame on you!" and the cooks and chamber maids from the nadir and zenith of their household worlds, with homelier and more piquant phrase and saucier tongues, scoffed him for the miserable work he was doing; but in spite of the popular uprising, now almost swelled to the dimensions of a mob, and the verbal uproar, through the hoarse murmur of which the boy's gibe, the woman's taunt and the strong man's ...
— How Deacon Tubman and Parson Whitney Kept New Year's - And Other Stories • W. H. H. Murray

... up in a school which cultivated the romantic, piquant, picturesque in style; which ran riot in wit, in vivacious and brilliant imagery, in resonant rhythms and telling double rhymes. It must be owned that this was not the happiest school for a dramatist, nor can Love's Comedy be regarded, in the matter of style, as other ...
— Love's Comedy • Henrik Ibsen

... were English in the beginning," but the sharp, satirical curves lurking around her mouth checked him. What an odd, piquant creature ...
— A Little Girl in Old Detroit • Amanda Minnie Douglas



Words linked to "Piquant" :   engaging, tasty, attractive, stimulating



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