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Prim   /prɪm/   Listen
Prim

verb
(past & past part. primmed; pres. part. primming)
1.
Assume a prim appearance.
2.
Contract one's lips.
3.
Dress primly.  Synonyms: prim out, prim up.



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"Prim" Quotes from Famous Books



... But as I go on in life, day by day, I become more of a bewildered child; I cannot get used to this world, to procreation, to heredity, to sight, to hearing; the commonest things are a burthen. The prim obliterated polite face of life, and the broad, bawdy, and orgiastic - or maenadic - foundations, form a spectacle to which no habit reconciles me; and 'I could wish my days to be bound each to each' by the same open-mouthed ...
— Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 2 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... in which to travel great distances, are very remarkable for their many strange adventures, and I was very much interested but also perturbed when the black garcon placed my bag and overcoat upon the floor at the feet of a very prim lady and left me to stand uncomfortably ...
— The Daredevil • Maria Thompson Daviess

... agony when a village was set on fire and attacked by the Arabs. Not once, nor twice, but many times he had left some tiny kraal nestling sweetly among its fields of maize, an odd, savage counterpart to the country hamlet described in prim, melodious numbers by the gentle Goldsmith: the little naked children were playing merrily; the women sat in groups grinding their corn and chattering; the men worked in the fields or lounged idly about the hut doors. It was a charming ...
— The Explorer • W. Somerset Maugham

... business, always been convinced that 'you never knew where you were' with French tradespeople. And now they flitted before her endowed with a wondrous charm; so polite in their lying, so eager to spare your feelings and to reassure you, so neat and prim. And the French shops, so exquisitely arranged! Even a butcher's shop in Paris was a pleasure to the eye, whereas the butcher's shop in Wedgwood Street, which she remembered of old, and which she had glimpsed from the cab—what a bloody shambles! She longed for Paris again. She longed to stretch ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... place is a suburb of the second city in Ireland, and one of the most beautiful spots about the town. What a prim, bustling, active, green-railinged, tea-gardened, gravel-walked place would it have been in the five-hundredth town in England!—but you see the people can be quite as happy in the rags and without the paint, and I hear a great deal more heartiness and affection from these ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors - Vol. II Great Britain And Ireland, Part Two • Francis W. Halsey

... adjutant to have a look at her stock and to buy what we wanted, and the prim dame spared me the rest ...
— My Reminiscences of the Anglo-Boer War • Ben Viljoen

... was captured and held by the English. To walk now through some of its quaint, narrow streets is to step back into Revolutionary days. Hardly a house has changed since the time when the red coats of the British officers brightened the prim perspectives, and turned loyal young ...
— Worldly Ways and Byways • Eliot Gregory

... run. It is not dignified. The Baroness Von Aschersleben would be shocked," said the princess with a somewhat prim air. ...
— The Terrible Twins • Edgar Jepson

... he is so fond of giving advice that I fear he will some day or other, as the Scotch say, raise my corruption, and provoke me to send him about his business. His name, which I never hear without laughing, is Peter Prim. ...
— Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay • George Otto Trevelyan

... This was a fatal movement for him, for his eyes received part of the libation destined for his hair. He closed them with a disagreeable sensation, after seeing Mademoiselle Reine Gobillot's fresh, chubby face, her figure prim beyond measure in a lilac-and-green plaid gingham dress, and carrying a basket on her arm, a necessary burden to maidens of a certain class who ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... said Lockhart, looking about approvingly at the prim horsehair furniture that gave an awesome dignity to ...
— Blindfolded • Earle Ashley Walcott

... day's journey was wholly without interest, through a country entirely flat, and looking wretchedly brown and barren. There were rows of trees, very slender, very prim and formal; there was ice wherever there happened to be any water to form it; there were occasional villages, compact little streets, or masses of stone or plastered cottages, very dirty and with gable ends and earthen roofs; and a succession ...
— Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... strammel, curl'd, like threads of gold, [5] Hung dangling o'er the pillow; Great pity 'twas that one so prim, ...
— Musa Pedestris - Three Centuries of Canting Songs - and Slang Rhymes [1536 - 1896] • John S. Farmer

... had handicapped her efforts. She had confided to Primrose with a sudden burst of uncharacteristic incaution that she seemed doomed to become an old man's darling. Her last words to the sympathetic Primrose were, "Oh, Prim, Prim, pray that you may never become intellectual. It will kill all your chances." Miss Hosack was, ...
— Who Cares? • Cosmo Hamilton

... in Scotland once when she was about fourteen, and I saw her, and was not favourably impressed. She was quiet and prim and proper, as cold as an icicle: a very pretty little girl, I owned that; but then I had thought to find something of my Janet, and was disappointed. Her eyes were indeed blue, but looked one in the face calmly as though they had belonged to ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 5, May, 1891 • Various

... ever may roses divinely blow, And wine-dark pansies charm By the prim box path where I felt the glow Of her dimpled, trusting arm, And the sweep of her silk as she turned and smiled A smile as pure as her pearls; The breeze was in love with the darling Child, As ...
— Victorian Songs - Lyrics of the Affections and Nature • Various

... doll... Mimi... You see..." was all Natasha managed to utter (to her everything seemed funny). She leaned against her mother and burst into such a loud, ringing fit of laughter that even the prim visitor could ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... away. He had even left two of her letters—the rather formal letters which had come to mean so very much in his life—unanswered. A fortnight had gone by, and then there had reached him a prim little note from Mrs. Pomeroy, asking him why he had not been to see them lately. There was a postscript: "If you do not come soon, you will not see my daughter. She has not been well, and we are thinking of sending her up to Scotland, ...
— Defenders of Democracy • Militia of Mercy

... of Helen Borisoff, whose friendship, she felt, might have significance for her at this juncture of life. The place and its inhabitants, she found on arriving, answered very faithfully to Helen's description; an old manor-house, beautifully situated, hard by a sleepy village; its mistress a rather prim woman of sixty, conventional in every thought and act, but too good-natured to be aggressive, and living with her two unmarried daughters, whose sole care was the spiritual and material well-being of ...
— The Crown of Life • George Gissing

... tell me, Mr. Prim, why it is that almost all Northern people who come South to live become more Southern than the Southerners themselves; and that almost all Southern people who go North to live remain just as ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... workers; artists and students from the musty University building, tramps and drunkards from the "barrel-houses" and "stale-beer shops;" and, across the square to the north, representatives of New York's oldest and most noted families. To the west were apartment houses whence stiff, prim bookkeepers, floor-walkers, clerks and small shop-keepers issued with their families on Sundays, bound for church. There were other apartment houses—the most of them to the south—whence in the midnight hours came slattern servants and reckless looking ...
— The Great God Success • John Graham (David Graham Phillips)

... morning, when the car came to Paris, I called for her, at Bindo's orders, at her flat in the Avenue Kleber, where she lived, it appeared, with a prim, sharp-nosed old aunt, of angular appearance, peculiarly French. She soon appeared, dressed in the very latest motor-clothes, with her veil properly fixed, in a manner which showed me instantly that she was a motorist. Besides, she would not enter the car, but got ...
— The Count's Chauffeur • William Le Queux

... little garden patch in the dewy, golden morning. She wore absurd pale-blue negligees that made her stout figure loom immense against the greenery of garden and apple tree. The neighborhood women viewed these negligees with Puritan disapproval as they smoothed down their own prim, starched gingham skirts. They said it was disgusting—and perhaps it was; but the habit of years is not easily overcome. Blanche Devine—snipping her sweet peas, peering anxiously at the Virginia creeper that clung with such fragile fingers to the trellis, watering the flower baskets that hung ...
— One Basket • Edna Ferber

... Pauline Augusta who saw me first. She came toward the car with her strapped school-books and her lunch-box in her hand and a prim little smile on her slightly freckled face. She impressed me as a startingly shabby figure, in the old sealskin coat which I had made over for her, worn clean to the hide along the front, for even those early autumn days found a chill in ...
— The Prairie Child • Arthur Stringer

... do," he admitted. "She's a perfectly wonderful person, isn't she? Let's get out of this Victorian environment," he added, looking around the huge apartment with its formal arrangement of furniture and its atmosphere of prim but faded elegance. "We'll go into the smaller room and tell Brookes to bring us some cocktails and cigarettes. Chalmers won't expect to be received formally, and Mademoiselle Karetsky will appreciate the cosmopolitan note of ...
— The Great Prince Shan • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... of Church and State make their way beneath the overhanging houses, the lattices are thrust ajar, and you may discern, just in the boundaries of light and shade, the prim faces of the little Puritan damsels, eying the magnificent governor, and envious of the bolder curiosity of the men. Another object of almost equal interest now appears in the middle of the way. It is a man clad in a hunting- ...
— Biographical Sketches - (From: "Fanshawe and Other Pieces") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... could see, in his shirt sleeves, cigar in mouth, bent over his microscope: but instead of the unexpected prim voice, he heard a very gay and arch one answer, "Is that a proper way in which to come peeping into an old bachelor's sanctuary, ma'am? Go away this moment, till I make myself fit to ...
— Two Years Ago, Volume II. • Charles Kingsley

... easy-chair, and took her seat in front of the tea-tray. Almost at the same moment a neat black-and-white parlourmaid brought in teapot, copper kettle, and a silver-covered dish containing hot pikelets; then departed. Clara was alone again; not the same Clara now, but a personage demure, prim, precise, frightfully upright of back—a sort of impregnable ...
— Tales of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... the better from her, as he always does, for faring worse from me: for there was, How do you now, Sir? And how do you now, Mr. Hickman? as he ambled now on this side of the chariot, now on that, stealing a prim look at me; her head half out of the chariot, kindly smiling, as if married to the man but a fortnight herself: while I always saw something to divert myself on the side of the chariot where the honest man was not, were it but ...
— Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) • Samuel Richardson

... second in command of the army. He did right. Battalions and brigades could hardly have strengthened the hands of the general, and invigorated the spirits of the troops, so much as the active accession of Hardinge. Prim etiquette may pucker its thin lips, and solemn discretion knit its ponderous brows; but neither discipline nor prudence ran any risk of being injured or affronted by the veteran of the Peninsula. What the exigency required, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 367, May 1846 • Various

... that they could keep themselves so prim, and with every feather in such perfect order. The paroquets, for instance, had the central feathers of their tail so long and thin and delicate, that it seemed that, flitting and climbing about the trees so much, they must get them ...
— Nat the Naturalist - A Boy's Adventures in the Eastern Seas • G. Manville Fenn

... its quaint inscription: "Rozella Ford's Book. For being the second speller in the second class." At once the imagination calls up the exercises in a village school at the end of a year's session: a row of prim little maids and sturdy boys, standing before the school dame and by turn spelling in shrill tones words of three to five syllables, until only two, Rozella and a better speller, remain unconfused by Dilworth's and ...
— Forgotten Books of the American Nursery - A History of the Development of the American Story-Book • Rosalie V. Halsey

... noticed, had discreetly retired to some distance, that her presence might be no check upon the private conversation of her lord and lady, now came forward; and as she made her reverential curtsy, the Earl could not help smiling at the contrast which the extreme simplicity of her dress, and the prim demureness of her looks, made with a very pretty countenance and a pair of black eyes, that laughed in spite of their mistress's ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... to him, and taking his hand in both of hers, she drew him into the prim little dwelling-room where Frau von Graevenitz received her rare guests. 'How can I ever thank you?' she said as she closed ...
— A German Pompadour - Being the Extraordinary History of Wilhelmine van Graevenitz, - Landhofmeisterin of Wirtemberg • Marie Hay

... felt very uncomfortable. He did not wish prim Miss Pegler to come in and find him sitting on Bubbles' bed, when no one was yet up in the house. These modern, unconventional ways were all very well, and he knew they often did not really mean anything, ...
— From Out the Vasty Deep • Mrs. Belloc Lowndes

... other plans for me to-morrow morning?" inquired Miss Welland in a prim and social tone, belied by the dancing light in ...
— Success - A Novel • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... Mrs. Black, nor did the meandering of the silver river through its narrow valley. But she took an honest pride in her own freshly painted white house with its vividly green blinds, and in her front yard with its prim rows of annuals and thrifty young dahlias. As for Miss Lydia Orr's girlish rapture over the view from her bedroom window, so long as it was productive of honestly earned dollars, Mrs. Black was disposed to view it with ...
— An Alabaster Box • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman and Florence Morse Kingsley

... see all my philosophy refuted, all my prim little opinions lying prone like dolls with the sawdust knocked out of them. All these years I have been judging Judith with an ignorance as cruel as it has been complacent. Verily I have been the fag end of wisdom. So I forbear to judge ...
— The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne • William J. Locke

... life. This sober Flemish interior expresses my mistress's character almost as well as her own apartment used to do. I always experienced a chill, a sense of formality, when the door was opened, and while I stood waiting for her in the prim drawing-room. Every chair was in its appointed place, large, gilt-edged, illustrated books lay upon the tables.... There was not much light in her rooms; heavy curtains clung about the windows, and tapestries covered the walls. In the passage there ...
— Memoirs of My Dead Life • George Moore

... out—oh, what a change I found in the religious house! no card-playing, for it had been forbidden to the scholars, and there was now nothing going on but reading and singing; divil a merry visage to be seen, but plenty of prim airs and graces; but the case of the scholars, though bad enough, was not half so bad as mine, for they could spake to each other, whereas I could not have a word of conversation, for the ould thaif of a rector had ordered them to send me to 'Coventry,' ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... this era, when "old maids" were open to all kinds of insult, there were women brave enough to refuse to barter their souls for the animal comforts of food and shelter. Speaking about "old maids," by which term we mean now a prim, fussy person, it is well to remember that there are male "old maids" as well as female who remain so all through life; also that many "old maids" marry, and are still ...
— In Times Like These • Nellie L. McClung

... The prim courtesy I made in acknowledgment of his good intention satisfied him that I had understood him fully; and changing his whole manner to one more in accordance with business, he observed after ...
— That Affair Next Door • Anna Katharine Green

... sauntering upon the sidewalk, see her pass, I pay homage to her beauty, and her lover can do no more; and if, perchance, my garments—which must seem quaint to her, with their shining knees and carefully brushed elbows; my white cravat, careless, yet prim; my meditative movement, as I put my stick under my arm to pare an apple, and not, I hope, this time to fall into the street,—should remind her, in her spring of youth, and beauty, and love, that there are age, and care, and poverty, also; then, perhaps, the ...
— Prue and I • George William Curtis

... par avium venisse insistere saxo, Quarum prim abeunte superstitit inde secunda: Illa autem fugiens jam vix vestigia liquit, Et saxum m[oe]rens ...
— Chenodia - The Classic Mother Goose • Jacob Bigelow

... they live in a square, and there is a garden in the middle, with iron railings round it, and everyone who lives in the square has a key to open the gate; but it must not be left open, or other people would get in and use the garden too. It has green grass in it and flower-beds, and it is all very prim and proper, and not at all interesting; and, worst of all, the dear dogs, Scamp and Jim, cannot go there, even when they are led by a string. The gardener would turn them out, for he imagines they would kick about in his ...
— The Children's Book of London • Geraldine Edith Mitton

... flure, hands an' feet goin', ice-picks an' hurlin' sticks, clubs, brickbats, an' beer kags flyin' in th' air! How manny iv thim was kilt I niver knew; f'r I wint as daft as a hen, an' dhreamt iv organizin' a Mickrobe Campaign Club that 'd sweep th' prim'ries, an' maybe go acrost an' free Ireland. Whin I woke up, me legs was as weak as a day old baby's, an' me poor head impty as a cobbler's purse. I want no more iv thim. Give me anny bug fr'm a cockroach to an aygle save an' excipt thim West iv ...
— Mr. Dooley: In the Hearts of His Countrymen • Finley Peter Dunne

... broken the paramount law of sham-Bohemia—the law of "Laisser faire." The shock came not from the blow delivered, but from the blow received. With the effect of a schoolmaster entering the play-room of his pupils was that blow administered. Women pulled down their sleeves and laid prim hands against their ruffled side locks. Men looked at their watches. There was nothing of the effect of a brawl about it; it was purely the still panic produced by the sound of the ax of the fly cop, Conscience hammering at the gambling-house doors ...
— The Trimmed Lamp and Others • O Henry

... frequently gave expression to his dislike and mistrust of the antics or the Salvation Army. He was far from prim himself, but he held that if people were not "won over to Christ" by preaching, it was idle to bait the hook with mere sensationalism. Yet by a strange irony his closest friends, in announcing his death to his flock, actually improved on the extravagance ...
— Flowers of Freethought - (First Series) • George W. Foote

... contrast, at the Malvolio of Mr. Sothern. It is an elaborate travesty, done in a disguise like the solemn dandy's head of Disraeli. He acts with his eyelids, which move while all the rest of the face is motionless; with his pursed, reticent mouth, with his prim and pompous gestures; with that self-consciousness which brings all Malvolio's troubles upon him. It is a fantastic, tragically comic thing, done with rare calculation, and it has its formal, almost ...
— Plays, Acting and Music - A Book Of Theory • Arthur Symons

... was a quotation from some unnamed medieval writer; she and her father had a discussion as to whom it could be, Raeburn maintaining that it was Thomas a Kempis. Wishing to verify it, Erica went to a bookseller's and asked for the "Imitation of Christ." A rather prim-looking dame presided ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... an elaborate dinner at a famous restaurant in the Champs Elysees, and as it was a warm evening drove afterwards out to the Bois. The next day Adelle ventured forth to the bankers alone, and secured the first quarterly installment of the funds left there to her account by the prim Mr. Smith. With the notes and gold she hastened back to Archie, and the couple began to plan seriously ...
— Clark's Field • Robert Herrick

... conscious of a room pleasant with white-enameled woodwork; a denim-covered couch and a narrow, prim brass bed, a litter of lingerie and sheets of newspaper; and, as the dominating center of it all, a woman of thirty, tall, high-breasted, full-faced, with a nose that was large but pleasant, black eyes that were cool and ...
— The Job - An American Novel • Sinclair Lewis

... the Hardwick house, he checked momentarily. Standing at the gate, an astonishing figure, still in her evening frock, looking haggard and old in the gray, disillusioning light of early morning, was Lydia Sessions. Upstairs, her white bed was smooth; its pillows spread fair and prim, unpressed by any head, since the maid had settled them trimly in place the morning before; but the long rug which ran from her dressing table to the window might have told a tale of pacing feet that passed restlessly from midnight till dawn; the mirror could ...
— The Power and the Glory • Grace MacGowan Cooke

... freedom from embarrassment now set in for the Owenson family. Mrs. Owenson was a careful mother, and extremely anxious about the education of her two little girls, Sydney and Olivia. There is a touch of pathos in the picture of the prim, methodistical English lady, who hated the dirt and slovenliness of her husband's people, was shocked at their jovial ways and free talk, looked upon all Papists as connections of Antichrist, and hoped for the salvation of mankind through the form of religion patronised by Lady Huntington. ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... for long. The next moment an exceedingly astonished, irate cat was taking an unusual amount of exercise in the prim little garden, urged cheerily on by a small, curly dog, whose three legs seemed quite as effective as most dogs' four. While down the path from the house came Miss Jane and Miss Susan, also stout, elderly, and unaddicted ...
— Patricia • Emilia Elliott

... The two prim little evergreens which grew one on each side of the door-step waited at respectful attention like heavily powdered festal lackeys. The scraggy aged cedars of the yard stood about in green velvet and brocade incrusted with gems. The doorsteps themselves were softly ...
— The Mettle of the Pasture • James Lane Allen

... character, swept the wind-blown wilderness of tender green, and gazed questioningly at the high-piled thunderheads above. A small boy, with an abundance of yellow curls and white collar, almost precipitated himself into the prim lap of a lady on ...
— Her Prairie Knight • B.M. Sinclair, AKA B. M. Bower

... Prim Margaret Fuller, who was a visitor—and never a member of the community as has often been stated—professed herself disturbed, at first, by the easy and perhaps indifferent manner in which they listened to her long conversations, as they sat ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... him, and he was one of the marked men of that body. Every one had heard some quaint story of his devotion to his cause, his fearlessness, or his eccentricities, and crowds came out to hear him preach. But our backwoods preacher was ill at ease. The magnificence of the city, and the prim decorum of the Boston churches, subdued him, and he could not preach with the fire and freedom of the frontier log chapel. The crowds that came to hear him were disappointed, and more than once they ...
— Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made • James D. McCabe, Jr.

... ostenderet, et cuncta qu infligere dolorem consueverant, congesta ante oculos licenter venirent. Ibi itaque cum afflictus valde et diu tacitus sederem, dilectissimus filius meus Petrus diaconus adfuit, mihi a primvo juventutis flore amicitiis familiariter obstrictus, atque ad sacri verbi indagationem socius. Qui gravi excoqui cordis languore me intuens, ait: Num quidnam tibi aliquid accidit, quod plus te solito mror tenet? Cui inquam: Mror, Petre, quem quotidie ...
— Anglo-Saxon Literature • John Earle

... it. She was never seen out of her chamber with papers in her hair, nor in that worst of dis-illusions,—a morning wrapper. At half-past eight every morning Mrs. Mervale was dressed for the day,—that is, till she re-dressed for dinner,—her stays well laced, her cap prim, her gowns, winter and summer, of a thick, handsome silk. Ladies at that time wore very short waists; so did Mrs. Mervale. Her morning ornaments were a thick, gold chain, to which was suspended a gold watch,—none ...
— Zanoni • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... saying to her husband that a precise, prim, old bachelor was the very last person for a hunt in slums and the like. The very sight of him would put the people on their guard. 'And think of his fine words,' she added. 'I wish I could go! If I started with a shawl over my head, yoked to ...
— Nuttie's Father • Charlotte M. Yonge

... a bad child,' said Susan at her tea in the servants' quarters. 'That nurse frightened him out of his little wits with her prim ways, you may depend. He's civil enough if ...
— The Magic City • Edith Nesbit

... her; she states, however, that she never at any time had physical relationships with Rosenthal, who was a man of fragile organization and health. Sacher-Masoch united himself to Hulda Meister, who is described by the first wife as a prim and faded but coquettish old maid, and by the biographer as a highly accomplished and gentle woman, who cared for him with almost maternal devotion. No doubt there is truth in both descriptions. It must be noted that, as Wanda clearly shows, apart from ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... ornamented with round glass knobs, had their little mirrors perched up above my head. The candle stands, with spindle legs, wore an antediluvian look, and the chairs were just as queer. The more aspiring ones were prim in starched antimaccassars. Even the footstools belonged to a prehistoric age. There was nothing costly or elegant, but so very ancient and even comical, I had never seen anything like it, anywhere. A few oil-paintings, hung in the ...
— Idle Hour Stories • Eugenia Dunlap Potts

... whipping-post in the corner, humble as a hitching-post, and the brick jail hid out of the way there also, like an unpresentable servant ever cringing near his master's company. Various buildings, generally antique, surrounded this prim, Quakerly square, some brick, and with low portals, others smart, and remodelled to suit the times; some were mere wooden offices or huts, with long dormers falling from the roof-ridge nearly to the eaves, like a dingy feather from a hat-crown, with a jewel in the end; and one was ...
— The Entailed Hat - Or, Patty Cannon's Times • George Alfred Townsend

... the private office of Tredgold and Son, land and estate agents, gazing through the prim wire blinds at the peaceful High Street of Binchester. Tredgold senior, who believed in work for the young, had left early. Tredgold junior, glad at an opportunity of sharing his father's views, had passed most of the work on to a clerk ...
— Dialstone Lane, Complete • W.W. Jacobs

... has no effect on the skin—no, I really dare not." As she said this she looked as prim as a vestal. "It is the first time, do you know, that I ever used this liquid white, ah! ah! ah! What a baby I am! I am ...
— Monsieur, Madame and Bebe, Complete • Gustave Droz

... Plato, the dramatists Thucydides and Homer, was the refusal to allow me to walk or hunt with Xenophon, and to saunter through his kitchen or his grounds. And all because I could not show the requisite grammatical ticket. Could anything be more fascinating than the tale of Xenophon's prim yet most lovable young wife, or the glorious picture of the boy and girl lovers with ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... enters—a structure of the understanding rising out of the moral and spiritual nature. Then follows a section on Children, which explodes not a few educational fallacies, and propounds certain articles of faith and practice wholesome for these times, though it will probably wear a prim and quakerish aspect to the admirers of Jean Paul's famous tractate[10] on the same theme. The concluding paper in this series, entitled The Life Poetic, is the liveliest, if not the most valuable of the six: it has, however, been charged, with ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal - Volume XVII., No 422, New Series, January 31, 1852 • Various

... an example which I quote because it is so absurd. The rooms I live in were owned by a prim old woman who for more than twenty years was my landlady. She and I were great friends, indeed she tended me like a mother, and when I was so ill nursed me as perhaps few mothers would have done. Yet while I was watching ...
— The Mahatma and the Hare • H. Rider Haggard

... great robe of gold and damask, two little boys in white surplices serving him, holding his robe as he rose and bowed, and the money-gatherer swinging his censer, and filling the little chapel with smoke. The music pealed with wonderful sweetness; you could see the prim white heads of the nuns in their gallery. The evening light streamed down upon old statues of saints and carved brown stalls, and lighted up the head of the golden-haired Magdalen in a picture of the entombment ...
— Little Travels and Roadside Sketches • William Makepeace Thackeray

... intended his youngest daughter to be a model of prim propriety. He attributed to Flavia's frivolity of behaviour the difficulty he experienced in finding her a husband, and he had no intention of exposing himself to a second failure in the case of Faustina. ...
— Sant' Ilario • F. Marion Crawford

... var. Calabra), known as the "Pino della Sila"—it is found over this whole country, and grows to a height of forty metres with a silvery-grey trunk, exhaling a delicious aromatic fragrance. In youth, especially where the soil is deep, it shoots up prim and demure as a Nuremberg toy; but in old age grows monstrous. High-perched upon some lonely granite boulder, with roots writhing over the bare stone like the arms of an octopus, it sits firm and unmoved, deriding the tempest and flinging fantastic limbs into the air—emblem of tenacity ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... honour your politeness," said the prim little steward: "I, myself, like every true Briton, reverence the ladies; we will therefore retire to my study. Mary, girl," turning to the attendant, "see that we have a nice chop for supper in half an hour; and tell your mistress that I have a gentleman ...
— The Disowned, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... eighth Experiment, of other differing Effects on Mary-golds, Prim-roses, and fresh Madder (265.) with an Admonition, that these Salts may have differing Effects in the changing of the tinctures of divers ...
— Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours (1664) • Robert Boyle

... I am conveying no adequate impression of what I beheld by giving it any such prim and decorous name as—a Hedge. It was a menagerie, a living, green menagerie! I had no sooner seen it than I began puzzling my brain as to whether one of the curious ornaments into which the upper part of the hedge ...
— The Friendly Road - New Adventures in Contentment • (AKA David Grayson) Ray Stannard Baker

... even before Bessie came down. She was a great invalid, although her prim and rigid countenance forbore any expression save of severity. She had no pathos about her, not a touch. Whatever her bodily sufferings may have been—and Bessie dimly hinted that they were severe to agony at times—they were ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII, No. 29. August, 1873. • Various

... cried. "Why didn't she let him see her laughing and dancing like that? Why didn't she? She'll come down all prim and staid for him and he'll never dream what she really is like. Oh, how can she be so blind? I don't know how to stand it! And I don't know what to do! Why isn't there some one to tell me ...
— The Precipice • Elia Wilkinson Peattie

... doggone good himself that he has to pry into other people's business and get them in wrong. It beats me how he ever got to be a captain—a prim old fossil like him!" ...
— The Search • Grace Livingston Hill

... go to church very often,' said Betty, putting on a prim little air. 'We have several businesses there; but we don't tell every ...
— Odd • Amy Le Feuvre

... "The prim coxcomb with an enormous bag, whose favours, like those of Hercules between Virtue and Vice, are contended for by two rival orange girls, gives an admirable idea of the dress of the day; when, if we may judge from this print, our grave forefathers, defying Nature, and ...
— The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings - With Descriptions, and a Comment on Their Moral Tendency • John Trusler

... Pilot laid his great brown hand on his daughter's shoulder. "Don't be ruffled. Let an old sailor have his joke: it won't hurt, God bless us; it won't hurt more'n the buzzing of a blue-bottle fly. But you're that prim and proper, that staid and straight-laced, you make me tease you, just to rouse you up. Oh! them calm ones, Mr. Scarlett, beware of 'em. It takes a lot to goad 'em to it, but once their hair's on end, ...
— The Tale of Timber Town • Alfred Grace

... her prim disguise, the girl felt glad to gaze upon him; felt as if, look as much as she would, she was gazing from ...
— Madeline Payne, the Detective's Daughter • Lawrence L. Lynch

... sleeve, the bob-wig, all belong to the outer man; but the calm, quiet, almost enquiring face, the look half of melancholy, half of reproach, and, as the Milesian would say, the other half of sleek wisdom; the long nose, the prim mouth and joined lips, the elevated brow, and beneath it the quiet contemplative eye, contemplative not of heaven or hell, but of this world as it had seen it, in its most worldly point of view, yet twinkling ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 2 • Grace & Philip Wharton

... This was a new Francis, one she had never met. She had not realized that any one could love that sort of thing—indeed, no one had ever told her that such things existed. Her life had been spent between Cousin Anna's little prim house with a pavement in front of it and a pocket-handkerchief of lawn behind, and the tiny New York flat she had occupied with Lucille. She had never really ...
— I've Married Marjorie • Margaret Widdemer

... weeks. But, pray, what pretty neat damsel was with you? She says, she smiled, and asked, If his honour did not know who it was? No, said he, I never saw her before. Farmer Nichols, or Farmer Brady, have neither of them such a tight prim lass for a daughter! have they?—Though I did not see her face neither, said he. If your honour won't be angry, said she, I will introduce her into your presence; for I think, says she, ...
— Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded • Samuel Richardson

... my malediction," said Mrs. Peyton. "Tell her it is almost a consolation for lying here, to think I need not see her. Tell her anything you like. Go now! Good-bye, child! Dear little quaint, funny, prim child, good-bye!" ...
— Margaret Montfort • Laura E. Richards

... of the city. The baby's nurse had ironing to do, so I promised to sit in the nursery till it was finished. Lucy came, with her books, to sit with me. She always follows like my shadow. After a while Mrs. Embury called. I hesitated a little about trusting the child to Lucy's care, for though her prim ways have given her the reputation of being wise beyond her years, I observe that she is apt to get into trouble which a quick-witted child would either avoid or jump out of in a twinkling. However, children are often left ...
— Stepping Heavenward • Mrs. E. Prentiss

... in usum Scholarum. Per Alexandrum Humium ex antiqua et nobili gente Humiorum in Scotia, a prim{a^} stirpe quinta sobole oriundum. This work is dated October 1660, and is therefore merely a transcript. It is an epitome of Buchanan's History, and Chr. Irvine in Histor. Scot. Nomenclatura, calls it Clavis in Buchananum, and Bishop Nicholson (Scottish ...
— Of the Orthographie and Congruitie of the Britan Tongue - A Treates, noe shorter than necessarie, for the Schooles • Alexander Hume

... her womanhood in the decided way she spoke, and the quaint, prim set of her head as she bowed him good morning and went on her way once more? The boy did not understand. He only felt abashed, and half angry that she had ordered him back to work; and, too, in a tone that forbade him to take her memory with him as he went. Nevertheless her image ...
— Marcia Schuyler • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... called by chance this afternoon, and Mrs. Walker, the vicar's wife, with two of her countless daughters, had come by invitation. Mrs. Walker was a middle-aged, careworn, rather prim-looking woman. Lady Engleton was handsome. Bright auburn hair waved back in picturesque fashion from a piquant face, and constituted more than half her claim to beauty. The brown eyes were bright and vivacious. The mouth was seldom quite shut. It scarcely seemed worth while, the loquacious ...
— The Daughters of Danaus • Mona Caird

... shed and came back with a round, low basket in which lay two black kittens, which she placed in Anne's lap saying: "There, little girls and little kittens always like each other; so you can have Pert and Prim for your own ...
— A Little Maid of Massachusetts Colony • Alice Turner Curtis

... both tried to follow Drake's path round the world, and failed, though by no fault of their own. The man who pledges them better luck next time, is George Fenner, known to "the seven Portugals," Leicester's pet, and captain of the galleon which Elizabeth bought of him. That short prim man in the huge yellow ruff, with sharp chin, minute imperial, and self-satisfied smile, is Richard Hawkins, the Complete Seaman, Admiral John's hereafter famous and hapless son. The elder who is talking with him is his good ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... she walked with (for she was lame), peering at me with half- shut eyes. She was a little, spare old woman, with very keen, delicate features of the French type. Her gray silk dress, her spotless lace, old-fashioned jewels, and prim neatness of array, were well suited to the intelligence of her face, with its thin lips, and eyes of a piercing black, undimmed by age. Those eyes made me uncomfortable, in spite of my gayety, as they followed my every movement with curious scrutiny. Still I was very merry and gay; my sisters even ...
— Stories by Modern American Authors • Julian Hawthorne

... noise of the sentry, on the quarter-deck below him, grounding arms, turned the current of his thoughts. A thin, tall, soldier-like man, with a cold blue eye, and prim features, came out of the cuddy below, handing out a fair-haired, affected, mincing lady, of middle age. Captain Vickers, of Mr. Frere's regiment, ordered for service in Van Diemen's Land, was bringing his lady on deck to get ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... park, in hopes that she might see him. Her sister, the banker's lady, occasionally condescended to pay her old home and companion a visit in Russell Square. She brought a couple of sickly children attended by a prim nurse, and in a faint genteel giggling tone cackled to her sister about her fine acquaintance, and how her little Frederick was the image of Lord Claud Lollypop and her sweet Maria had been noticed by the Baroness as they were ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... Dark eyes and shy that, ignorant of sin, Are yet acquainted, it would seem, with tears; A comely shape; a slim, high-coloured hand, Graced, rather oddly, with a signet ring; A bashful air, becoming everything; A well-bred silence always at command. Her plain print gown, prim cap, and bright steel chain Look out of place on her, and I remain Absorbed in her, as in a pleasant mystery. Quick, skilful, quiet, soft in speech and touch . . . 'Do you like nursing?' 'Yes, Sir, very much.' Somehow, I rather think she ...
— Poems by William Ernest Henley • William Ernest Henley

... baccilophil, microbic merriment, Might suit him better. He will try the experiment. His mirth's a smirk and not a paroxysm; "Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism" Do not disturb the "plie" of his prim lips, Neither do cynic quirks and querulous quips. Mirth would guffaw—when hearts and mouths were bigger, OSRICK would shrink from aught beyond a snigger, Such as is stirred by screeds of far-fetched whim. Ay! that's the humour o't, sententious ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 104, February 4, 1893 • Various

... the league against him, have you, Miss Heritage?" said Edna. "But, of course, you would condemn anyone who failed to conform to your prim, governessy little notions of right and wrong. I might have known as much! I am only sorry I should have gone out of my way to offer you a privilege you are so incapable of appreciating. ...
— In Brief Authority • F. Anstey

... front; but was reconciled when little Miss Sharp was made to quit the carriage, and mount up beside him—when he covered her up in one of his Benjamins, and became perfectly good-humoured—how the asthmatic gentleman, the prim lady, who declared upon her sacred honour she had never travelled in a public carriage before (there is always such a lady in a coach—Alas! was; for the coaches, where are they?), and the fat ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... art to seem antiquated and faded in the eyes of the succeeding generation. The manners of your age were not the manners of to-day, and young gentlemen and ladies who think Scott "slow," think Miss Austen "prim" and "dreary." Yet, even could you return among us, I scarcely believe that, speaking the language of the hour, as you might, and versed in its habits, you would win the general admiration. For how tame, madam, are your characters, especially your ...
— Letters to Dead Authors • Andrew Lang

... Edgworth's juvenile stories were in general circulation, and we knew "Harry and Lucy" and "Rosamond" almost as well as we did our own playmates. But we did not think those English children had so good a time as we did; they had to be so prim and methodical. It seemed to us that the little folks across the water never were allowed to romp and run wild; some of us may have held a vague idea that this freedom of ours was the natural inheritance ...
— A New England Girlhood • Lucy Larcom

... was stout and prim, a combination which was surely never intended by nature. Her gray dress and tight linen collar and cuffs gave the uncomfortable impression of being sewed on, while her rigid black water-waves seemed irrevocably painted upon her high forehead. She was a routinist; she believed ...
— Lovey Mary • Alice Hegan Rice

... not often good subjects; there is a peculiar meanness about most of them, and awkwardness of line. Old manor-houses are often pretty. Ruins are usually, with us, too prim, and cathedrals too orderly. I do not think there is a single cathedral in England from which it is possible to obtain one subject for an impressive drawing. There is always some discordant civility, or jarring ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... Froeken! I am amazed—I am distressed! Such language from your lips! oh fie, fie! And has it come to this! And must I resign the hope I had of saving your poor soul? and must I withdraw my spiritual protection from you?" This he asked with a suggestive sneer of his prim mouth,—and then continued, "I must—alas, I must! My conscience will not permit me to do more than pray for you! And as is my duty, I shall, in a spirit of forbearance and charity, speak warningly ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... of my life, or of such parts of it as are not deemed wholly unfit for publication, is read (and, no doubt, a public which devoured 'Scrawled Black' will stand almost anything), it will be found that I have sometimes acted without prim cautiousness—that I have, in fact, wallowed in crime. Stillicide and Mayhem I (rare old crimes!) are child's play to me, who have been an 'accessory after the fact!' In excuse, I can but plead two things-the excellence of ...
— Much Darker Days • Andrew Lang (AKA A. Huge Longway)

... horrid, old-time, hoopskirt-minded prude. My first act of domestic tyranny is to make you find a sedate, prim place for my work and play, where I may know my own blushes when I see them in the mirror, and will have less ...
— The Voice on the Wire • Eustace Hale Ball

... well remark that you don't look like it. You look, the whole nine of you, awfully changed, and as prim as prim can be. 'Prunes and prisms' wouldn't melt in your mouths. You're not half, nor quarter, as nice as you were when I saw you last. I've just come home for good, you know. I mean to have a jolly time at Margate by-and-by. And oh! ...
— Girls of the Forest • L. T. Meade

... was spotlessly clean, and its aspect was prim and sober, as was indeed that of the whole city. Men in wide-brimmed hats and wide-skirted coats of sombre hue walked the streets, and talked earnestly together at the corners; whilst the women, for the most part, passed on their way with lowered eyes, ...
— French and English - A Story of the Struggle in America • Evelyn Everett-Green

... into what he thought at the moment was the sweetest, saddest little face he had ever seen. It was dark with sunburn, in contrast with the prim white drill dress the girl wore, and her cheeks were tinged with a healthy color which might have been a reflection of the rosy tint of the ribbon about her neck. But it was the quiet, dark brown eyes, half wistful and wholly sad, and the slight droop at the ...
— The Night Riders - A Romance of Early Montana • Ridgwell Cullum

... you, Willoughby, do not seek to spoil me. You compliment me. Compliments are not suited to me. You think too highly of me. It is nearly as bad as to be slighted. I am . . . I am a . . ." But she could not follow his example; even as far as she had gone, her prim little sketch of herself, set beside her real, ugly, earnest feelings, rang of a mincing simplicity, and was a step in falseness. How could she display what ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... were Priscilla and Hortense—she found to be middle-aged maiden ladies, eminently prim and proper, and the educational establishment over which they presided a sort of Protestant nunnery ruled according to the precepts of the Congregational Church and the New England aristocracy. Miss Priscilla was tall and thin and her favorite author was Emerson; she quoted ...
— Mary-'Gusta • Joseph C. Lincoln

... name With classic Rogers shall go down to fame, Be this thy crowning work! In my young days How often have I with a child's fond gaze Pored on the pictured wonders thou hadst done: Clarissa mournful, and prim Grandison! All Fielding's, Smollett's heroes, rose to view; I saw, and I believed the phantoms true. But, above all, that most romantic tale Did o'er my raw credulity prevail, Where Glums and Gawries wear mysterious things, That ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... religion. It is not like the Protestant religion at Court at all. All that the Protestants do there is to hear sermons—it is all so dismal and noisy. But here, with you, you have a proper soul. It seems to me that you are like a little herb-garden, very prim and plain, but living and wholesome and pleasant to walk in at sunset. And these Protestants that I know are more like a paved court at noon—all hot and hard and glaring. They give me the headache. Tell ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... to whom she unfolds the story, begging him not to punish the lad, believing that he is penitent. And the meekness and kindliness of the good woman make a Christian picture for the mind of Reuben, in sad contrast with the prim austerity of Aunt Eliza,—a picture that he never loses,—that keeps him meekly obedient for the rest of the quarter; after which, by the advice of Miss Onthank, both Phil and Reuben are transferred to the boys' academy upon ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 92, June, 1865 • Various

... talk," continued his instructor, "and I felt satisfied that Major Carter, if a spy, would hardly have wasted his efforts in such a prim presentation of his facts." He glanced at his watch. "He would have doubtless used cipher. Josef is due in just one minute now. There he comes," he said, as there was a low rap at ...
— Trusia - A Princess of Krovitch • Davis Brinton

... Scranton," the deacon says to his friend, who is a tall, prim, sedate-looking man, apparently about forty, "I pity Marston; I pity him because he is a noble-hearted fellow. But, after all, this whispering about the city may be only mother Rumour distributing her false tales. Let us hope it is all rumour and scandal. Come, tell me-what do ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... red brick villas in the suburbs of a town in the Midlands are, one would suppose, as hideous as human half-wittedness could invent or endure. But they are different. They are complete; they are, in their way, compact; rounded and finished with an effect that may be prim or smug, but is not raw. The surroundings of them are neat, if it be in a niggling fashion. But American ugliness is not complete even as ugliness. It is broken off short; it is ragged at the edges; even its worthy objects have around them a sort of halo of refuse. Somebody said of ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... Beshrew me! but most fathers like that distinction for their children; only, alas! in this instance, Rich and riches are not synonymous. What think you of that? His Highness has not said a word to me on the subject. There is your prim Barbara smiling. Ah! you too, I suppose, will soon be saluted as Mistress or Dame Hays. Fie, fie, Barbara! I thought you had better taste. But never mind, I will not say a word to his disparagement—no, ...
— The Buccaneer - A Tale • Mrs. S. C. Hall

... exhausted the resources of soap and water in her own adornment (for she smelled of suds in the cabin of the Shining Light), and set out by the path from Whisper Cove to Twist Tickle, with never a glance behind, but a prim, sharp outlook, from shyly downcast eyes, upon all the world ahead. A staid, slim little maid, with softly fashioned shoulders, carried sedately, her small head drooping with shy grace, like a flower ...
— The Cruise of the Shining Light • Norman Duncan

... presented himself before Louise he scarcely recognized her in the prim, comely change of apparel. The atmosphere of the Yellow Mine had vanished. She had managed to eat some breakfast. Blinky discreetly found a task that ...
— Valley of Wild Horses • Zane Grey

... changed to excited thoughts of Fraulein—not hating her, and choosing Mademoiselle to sleep with the servant, a new servant—the things on the landing—Mademoiselle refusing to share a room with a married woman... she felt about round this idea as Millie's prim, clear voice went on... her eyes clutched at Mademoiselle, begging to understand... she gazed at the little down-flung head, fine little tendrils frilling along the edge of her hair, her little hard grey shape, all miserable and ashamed. It was dreadful. ...
— Pointed Roofs - Pilgrimage, Volume 1 • Dorothy Richardson



Words linked to "Prim" :   enclothe, clothe, change, compact, refined, garb, garment, dress, compress, constrict, apparel, squeeze, habilitate, contract, tog, proper, press, raiment, fit out



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