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Quibble   /kwˈɪbəl/   Listen
Quibble

verb
(past & past part. quibbled; pres. part. quibbling)
1.
Evade the truth of a point or question by raising irrelevant objections.
2.
Argue over petty things.  Synonyms: bicker, brabble, niggle, pettifog, squabble.



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"Quibble" Quotes from Famous Books



... turn to quibble. Tell me: until you were attracted to this young man—attracted, no doubt, because he was so unlike the European of your long experience—had you deviated from the conclusion, arrived at many years ...
— Black Oxen • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... statehood bill, he was for the Walker amendment. A fearful responsibility rested upon Congress. The sad fate of a family from his own State, which had moved to California, had brought home to him the full measure of his responsibility. He was not disposed to quibble over points of law, while American citizens in California were exposed to the outrages of desperadoes, and of deserters from our own army ...
— Stephen A. Douglas - A Study in American Politics • Allen Johnson

... Nevertheless, in so far as "Parsifal" says anything to us, in so far as it brings, in Nonconformist cant, "a message," it is immoral and vicious, just as in so far as "Siegfried" carries a message it is entirely moral, healthful, and sane. It is useless to quibble about this, seeking to explain away plain things: the truth remains that "Siegfried" is a glorification of one view of life, "Parsifal" of its direct opposite and flat contradiction; and anyone who accepts the one ...
— Old Scores and New Readings • John F. Runciman

... must arise either from his endeavour to force Coke to a favourable decision, in which he was in all probability prompted by a feeling, not uncommon with him, that a matter of state policy was in danger of being sacrificed to some senseless legal quibble or precedent, or from his advice to the king that a rumour should be set afloat ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 - "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon" • Various

... "What a quibble to pretend he did not understand what I meant by INHABITANTS of South America; and any one would suppose that I had not throughout my volume touched on Geographical Distribution. He ignores also everything which I have said on Classification, ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume II • Francis Darwin

... Anyone who wishes to quibble that the date should be postponed for a century and a half, until the time of the German prince, Otto, may do so; I ...
— Despoilers of the Golden Empire • Gordon Randall Garrett

... a loan of an enemy like Shylock? that so strange a bond should be offered? that a sensible man like Antonio should sign it? that all his ships should be wrecked within three months? that the court should really consider taking the life of a noble citizen on such a pretext? and that a quibble like the failure to mention a drop of ...
— Teachers' Outlines for Studies in English - Based on the Requirements for Admission to College • Gilbert Sykes Blakely

... daughter of Charles Stuart, fifth Earl of Lennox, Darnley's elder brother. Her father had died in 1576, soon after her birth. About 1588 she had come up to London to be presented to Elizabeth, and on that occasion had amused Raleigh with her gay accomplishments. The legal quibble on which her claim was founded was the fact that she was born in England, whereas James as a Scotchman was supposed to be excluded. Arabella was no pretender; her descent from Margaret, the sister of Henry VIII., was complete, and if James had died childless ...
— Raleigh • Edmund Gosse

... whoever, at that time, read earnestly "The Spirit of the Laws" was as sure to fight slavery as any man who to-day reveres Channing or Theodore Parker. Those French thinkers threw such heat and light into Jefferson's young mind, that every filthy weed of tyrannic quibble or pro-slavery ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862 • Various

... saved that day. It flashed across even his obscene mentality that he might suggest once too often contempt for Western folk who worked for Eastern potentates. It was true he regarded the difference between a contract and direct employment as merely a question of degree, and a quibble in any case, and he felt pretty sure that the Blaines would not risk the maharajah's unchancy friendship by dismissing himself; but he suspected there were limits. He could not imagine why, but he had noticed that insolence to Blaine ...
— Guns of the Gods • Talbot Mundy

... more as the guarantee would have saved. It was for their interest that the guarantee should not be given. It was withdrawn. The faith of England—till then regarded as something sacred—was violated; and the answer was a criticism on a phrase—a quibble upon the construction of a sentence, which all the world for six months had read one way. The secret history of this wretched transaction I do not seek to penetrate. Enough is written upon stock-books and in the records of courts in Canada to give us the proportions ...
— The Tribune of Nova Scotia - A Chronicle of Joseph Howe • W. L. (William Lawson) Grant

... inevitable consequence of the great truth about it—and that therefore Mr. Stephens's declaration amounts substantially to saying that slavery was to be the corner stone of his new Government; and so your assertion, that 'he has made no such declaration,' is a paltry verbal quibble, unworthy of a ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 5, November, 1863 • Various

... and an oracle was sent, at Marcus Aurelius' request, by Alexander to the Roman army on the Danube during the war with the Marcomanni, declaring that victory would follow on the throwing of two lions alive into the river. The result was a great disaster, and Alexander had recourse to the old quibble of the Delphic oracle to Croesus for an explanation. Lucian's own close investigations into Alexander's methods of fraud led to a serious attempt on his life. The whole account gives a graphic description of the inner ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... ought to be secret, in the present case each side has let the cat out of the bag. Lord Wolseley's friends defend him by declaring that he has been overruled. But that defence kills him. If he has been overruled on a trifle it does not matter, and the defence is a quibble; if he has been overruled on an essential point why is he still Commander-in-Chief? No answer can be devised that is not fatal to his case. Lord Lansdowne's friend, for such Lord Ernest Hamilton may be presumed to be, says: "Supposing, for ...
— Lessons of the War • Spenser Wilkinson

... Salisbury, in the early days that I speak of, was a kind-hearted chairman, and would never allow the quibble of the lawyer to stand in the way of justice to the prisoner. In those days at sessions they were not so nice in the observances of mere forms as they are now, and you could sometimes get in something that was not exactly ...
— The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton) • Henry Hawkins Brampton

... capable of entering into a disquisition upon dialectics, as I believe you call it; but I do not believe the language I employed bears any such construction as Judge Douglas puts upon it. But I don't care about a quibble in regard to words. I know what I meant, and I will not leave this crowd in doubt, if I can explain it to them, what I really meant in the use ...
— The American Mind - The E. T. Earl Lectures • Bliss Perry

... down, considering whether her oath, never to "say a word" to Prince Dolor about himself, would be broken if she were to take a pencil and write what was to be told. A mere quibble—a mean, miserable quibble. But then she was a miserable woman, more to be pitied ...
— The Little Lame Prince - And: The Invisible Prince; Prince Cherry; The Prince With The Nose - The Frog-Prince; Clever Alice • Miss Mulock—Pseudonym of Maria Dinah Craik

... artists, it is a pity he is no longer tied to giving Italian lessons,—tied to coming here three times a week to teach me literature." Hedwig smiled a strange icy smile, and sat down by the window. Nino was still utterly astonished, but he would not allow the baroness's quibble to go entirely uncontradicted. ...
— A Roman Singer • F. Marion Crawford

... not here attempt to juggle with the quibble of 'Revolution or Evolution,'—or to meet the contention of some of those under consideration that it is not Revolution that is wanted. 'You cannot change the world and yet not change the world.' Revolution is the means of, not the alternative to, Evolution. I simply state that a ...
— Socialism As It Is - A Survey of The World-Wide Revolutionary Movement • William English Walling

... the old man, harkening, it seemed that her words fell sharp and brittle like breaking icicles. One thing, though, might be said for her—she sought no roundabout course. She did not quibble or seek to enwrap the main issue in specious excuses or apologies ...
— Sundry Accounts • Irvin S. Cobb

... "Don't quibble with me, sir. I saw, if I did not hear. You passed Miss Wayne a note. I am astonished!" she said, in the tone of a ...
— Little Miss Grouch - A Narrative Based on the Log of Alexander Forsyth Smith's - Maiden Transatlantic Voyage • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... searched her fatal volume and found a page which with her sad calm voice she poured into his ear. It was not altogether inapplicable to the misty scene. It told how Mr. Smith had been grievously tempted by many devilish sophistries, on the ground of a legal quibble, to commence a lawsuit against three orphan-children, joint-heirs to a considerable estate. Fortunately, before he was quite decided, his claims had turned out nearly as devoid of law as justice. As Memory ceased to read Conscience again thrust aside her mantle, ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... passage and rejection of this bill a fortunate incident. Every State will certainly concede the power; and this will be a national confirmation of the grounds of appeal to them, and will settle for ever the meaning of this phrase, which, by a mere grammatical quibble, has countenanced the General Government in a claim of universal power. For in the phrase, 'to lay taxes, to pay the debts and provide for the general welfare,' it is a mere question of syntax, whether the two last infinitives are governed by the ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... in,—so much so, that I inquired of my neighbor, the divinity-student, what had been going on. It appears that the young fellow whom they call John had taken advantage of my being a little late (I having been rather longer than usual dressing that morning) to circulate several questions involving a quibble or play upon words,—in short, containing that indignity to the human understanding, condemned in the passages from the distinguished moralist of the last century and the illustrious historian of the present, which I cited on a former occasion, and ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 11, September, 1858 • Various

... to entertain me. And I, what can I call myself—pure reason? No, a disgusting title. Rather, Unreason, since I am after all the Indifferent One. But all this is a quibble inspired by modesty. I am God. I am that which men have worshipped—the aloof one, the pitiless and ...
— Fantazius Mallare - A Mysterious Oath • Ben Hecht

... gaze shall see through each illusion When others dolefully complain, Thy cause with jesting thou shalt gain, Honour and right shalt value duly, In everything act simply, truly,— Virtue and godliness proclaim, And call all evil by its name, Nought soften down, attempt no quibble, Nought polish up, nought vainly scribble. The world shall stand before thee, then, As seen by Albert Durer's ken, In manliness and changeless life, In inward strength, with firmness rife. Fair Nature's Genius by the hand ...
— The Poems of Goethe • Goethe

... old saying, Nelly: 'Everyone knows where his own shoe pinches!' He'll say that I want moral courage, and strength of character, and power of endurance, and it's all true; but I'm sure I ought not to remain here, if I have nothing better to put forward than a quibble: so, Nelly, we shall have to ...
— The Warden • Anthony Trollope

... Fairfax's scruple proved to be that both they and the Scots had joined in the Solemn League and Covenant, and that, therefore, until Scotland assumed the offensive, there was no cause for an invasion. Cromwell's retort, after a preliminary quibble, was practical enough. "War is inevitable. Is it better to have it in the bowels of another's country or in one's own? In one or other it must be." Fairfax's scruple, however, withstood this battery, though it was strongly enforced by Harrison, who, in reply to the Lord-General's ...
— Andrew Marvell • Augustine Birrell

... plough a lengthy furrow straight from end to end. Nor could I help bestowing many sorrowful thoughts upon the simple warriors whose hands and hearts were set there, in all truth and honesty; and who only learned in course of time from white men how to break their faith, and quibble out of forms and bonds. I wonder, too, how many times the credulous Big Turtle, or trusting Little Hatchet, had put his mark to treaties which were falsely read to him; and had signed away, he knew not what, until it went ...
— American Notes for General Circulation • Charles Dickens

... height only—they will one day come out and desolate the world. As Lord Mayor's Day is just approaching, perhaps some of the visiters of Gog and Magog on that occasion may decide this matter. It is almost akin to our nursery quibble of the giants hearing the clock ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 281, November 3, 1827 • Various

... processes of the law are inadequate to trap this organisation. The law has too wide a mesh to deal with the terror which this man exercises. Such men are the only justification of lynch law, the quick, sharp justice which is administered without subtlety and without quibble." ...
— Jack O' Judgment • Edgar Wallace

... deliver her husband's friend, and to maintain her husband's honor by the discharge of his just debt, though paid out of her own wealth ten times over. It is evident that she would rather owe the safety of Antonio to any thing rather than the legal quibble with which her cousin Bellario has armed her, and which she reserves as a last resource. Thus all the speeches addressed to Shylock in the first instance, are either direct or indirect experiments on his temper and feelings. She must be understood from the beginning to the end as examining, ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... feature in the fact that Holsten, after being kept waiting about the court for two days as a beggar might have waited at a rich man's door, after being bullied by ushers and watched by policemen, was called as a witness, rather severely handled by counsel, and told not to 'quibble' by the judge when he was trying to ...
— The World Set Free • Herbert George Wells

... offended, her hair ruffled, the lace about her throat in disorder; at the window, his back turned to her, he flung over his shoulder: "Look here—you can go. I won't hold you any longer. I suppose your uncle can fix it up; some damned legal quibble will get you out of ...
— The Iron Woman • Margaret Deland

... commentators we have but scant concern. Following Aristotle, most historians of philosophy have been metaphysicians; they have concerned themselves far less with what the ancient thinkers really knew than with what they thought. A chance using of a verbal quibble, an esoteric phrase, the expression of a vague mysticism—these would suffice to call forth reams of exposition. It has been the favorite pastime of historians to weave their own anachronistic theories upon the scanty woof ...
— A History of Science, Volume 1(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... James's. "Well, well—you quibble. I dare say Urquhart has fifteen thousand a year, and even you will know that I haven't half ...
— Love and Lucy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... had better take care of ourselves and the boys, Charlie," said Uncle Aleck, cheerily. "It's pretty mean for Uncle Sam to leave the settlers to take care of themselves and the post at this critical time, I know; but we can't afford to quibble about that now. Safety is the first consideration. What does Younkins say?" he asked ...
— The Boy Settlers - A Story of Early Times in Kansas • Noah Brooks

... a case actually happened, the theory would not hold," answered Bateman; "it would only be a gross quibble. You can in no case sign an Article in a sense which its words will not bear. But, fortunately, or rather providentially, this is not the case; we have merely to explain ambiguities, and harmonize discrepancies. The Catholic interpretation ...
— Loss and Gain - The Story of a Convert • John Henry Newman

... distance. Matthewson's sled, loaded with a thousand pounds of flour, had been standing for a couple of hours, and in the intense cold (it was sixty below zero) the runners had frozen fast to the hard-packed snow. Men offered odds of two to one that Buck could not budge the sled. A quibble arose concerning the phrase "break out." O'Brien contended it was Thornton's privilege to knock the runners loose, leaving Buck to "break it out" from a dead standstill. Matthewson insisted that the phrase included breaking the runners from the frozen grip of the snow. A ...
— The Call of the Wild • Jack London

... sit here and quibble; you're too clever altogether," I said, and I got up and wondered in which direction there was most to do, but Nina stood up, too, and put her hand through ...
— Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate • Charles Turley

... a quibble. [Poor HORSHAM gasps.] I'm not going to pretend either now or in a month's time that I think Trebell anything but a most dangerous acquisition to the party. I pay you a compliment in that, Trebell. Now, Horsham proposes that we should go to the ...
— Waste - A Tragedy, In Four Acts • Granville Barker

... admitting that the law would save them if it had been urged soon enough in their favour. It rather seems to turn the tables on the prosecution; and whereas the prisoners are availing themselves of a mere quibble, of a technical objection, strained to its extremest point, the effect may be that of exhibiting the Government as availing itself of the technicality in point of time to overthrow the more important legal objection. The case appears to have been very ably argued, ...
— The Greville Memoirs (Second Part) - A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 - (Volume 1 of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... (CYPRUS) (quibble), cypress (or cyprus) being a transparent material, and when black ...
— Epicoene - Or, The Silent Woman • Ben Jonson

... When you are asked, as a leading champion[15] asked the other night at Philadelphia, "Does your liberation of one people give you the right to subjugate another?" you can answer him, "No; nor to allow and aid Aguinaldo to subjugate them, either, as you proposed." When the idle quibble that after Dewey's victory Spain had no sovereignty to cede is repeated, it may be asked, "Why acknowledge, then, that she did cede it in Porto Rico and relinquish it in Cuba, yet deny that she could cede it in the Philippines?" ...
— Problems of Expansion - As Considered In Papers and Addresses • Whitelaw Reid

... reasoning is intrinsically feeble. He was no metaphysician, and confined himself to putting together incoherent scraps of different systems. Some of his arguments strike us as simply childish, as, for example, the quibble derived ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... Despard had committed, which called for such rigorous treatment. His answer was this—"He served the government faithfully and zealously, as a soldier; he advanced money for them upon some foreign station; but the government was ungrateful and ungenerous to him, and in consequence of some quibble, they have refused to repay him what he advanced on their account. He complained and remonstrated, he became importunate for justice, he was considered troublesome, and for complaining they have sent him to prison, ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 1 • Henry Hunt

... silence, reasons which we thought quite justifiable. But they don't hold good if we are to be brought into conflict with the police. Mr. Duclos told me this morning that if we were driven to speak we must do so with complete honesty and without quibble. What do you want ...
— The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow • Anna Katharine Green

... modifying existing treaties is not lodged by the Constitution in Congress, but in the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, as shown by the concurrence of two-thirds of that body." Ibid. 4470-4471. The veto would seem to have been based on a quibble. ...
— The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation • Edward Corwin

... to Henry to appeal to the decision of universities whether or not he could be legally divorced from Catharine, since the Pope—true to the traditions of the Catholic Church, or from fear of Charles V.—would not grant a dispensation. All this business was a miserable quibble, a tissue of scholastic technicalities. But it answered the ends of Cranmer. The schools decided for the King, and a great injustice and heartless cruelty was done to a worthy and loyal woman, and a great insult offered to the Church ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume VI • John Lord

... to make you think yourself better than others, quibble over texts, wear sour looks, domineer over others' consciences or give your own over to bondage; stifle your scruples, follow religious forms for fashion or gain, do good in the hope of escaping future punishment?—oh, ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... on which was founded this malignant clique in Richmond was the merest quibble about the date of his commission to the rank of full general. Because its date was later than that of Robert E. Lee he felt himself ...
— The Victim - A romance of the Real Jefferson Davis • Thomas Dixon

... "A quibble," murmured Heron, with the faintest possible smile. "However—I'm not sorry to have you here. You'll stay now, even if I ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... A quibble—which will be understood by those readers who recollect the double sense of JAPE (jest) ...
— Tamburlaine the Great, Part II. • Christopher Marlowe

... general to quit this position; and having failed in various expedients, on the 19th of June he ordered his main body to retire to Amboy. This succeeded. Washington abandoned what had cost him so much trouble to create, and advanced to Quibble Town. The mass of the British troops now moved back by different routes, in order to get on the American general's flank and rear, and by intervening between him and the hills, to force him to a conflict on open ground. Lord Cornwallis led the van, and he had not marched far before ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... There are too many others behind them waiting to get their noses in the trough. Go into your respective wards and districts and organize meetings. Call your particular alderman before you. Don't let him evade you or quibble or stand on his rights as a private citizen or a public officer. Threaten—don't cajole. Soft or kind words won't go with that type of man. Threaten, and when you have managed to extract a promise be on hand with ropes to see that he keeps his word. I don't ...
— The Titan • Theodore Dreiser

... in contact with the Germans. The report was, of course, limited to the statement that Bazaine was negotiating a surrender, not that he had actually capitulated. The Government's denial of it can only be described as a quibble—of the kind to which at times even British Governments stoop when faced by inconvenient questions in the House of Commons—and, as we shall soon see, the gentlemen of the National Defence spent a tres mauvais quart d'heure as a result of the suppressio veri of which they ...
— My Days of Adventure - The Fall of France, 1870-71 • Ernest Alfred Vizetelly

... interest in some pigeons with a boy named Jack Thomas. The pigeons' nests were in Jack's back yard. He told me that my share of the eggs had rotted and his share had hatched, so that my interest in the young pigeons had died out and they were all his now. I was sure it was a quibble and that he was cheating me. It made me mad and I sneaked up to the pigeon loft and put a tiny pin prick in all the eggs in the nests. This was invisible but it caused the eggs to rot as he said mine had, and I felt that this was only justice. Turn about ...
— The Iron Puddler • James J. Davis

... must fight; and no longer over trifles; we cannot now break each other's heads over a quibble, or believe that the whole world hangs on the question whether the instant of death is the last minute of this life or the first of the next. No—what now remains to be decided is whether the old gods ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... It was a quibble, of course, but the Maynard children were surprised at themselves that they ...
— Marjorie at Seacote • Carolyn Wells

... off, but Lord Lick-my-loof himself, out for his morning walk! His irritable cantankerous nature would have been annoyed at sight of anyone treating his gate with such disrespect, but when he saw who it was that thus made nothing of it—clearing it with as much contempt as a lawyer would a quibble not his own—his displeasure grew to ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... is all fair, but the central and substantial beauty of the divine nature is that it is a stooping nature, which bows to weak and unworthy souls, and on them pours out the full abundance of its manifold gifts. So the 'beauty of the Lord' means, by no quibble or quirk, but by reason of the essential loveliness of His lovingkindness, both God's loveliness and God's goodness; God's graciousness and God's gracefulness (if I ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... quibble is intended between as the conditional particle, and ass the beast of burthen.' On this note Steevens remarked:—'Shakespeare has so many quibbles of his own to answer for, that there are those who think it hard he should be charged with others which perhaps he never thought of.' The ...
— The Life Of Johnson, Volume 3 of 6 • Boswell

... Livingston's faith. Madison wrote at once that in view of these developments no proposal to exchange Louisiana for the Floridas should be entertained; the President declared himself satisfied that "our right to the Perdido is substantial and can be opposed by a quibble on form only"; and John Randolph, duly coached by the Administration, flatly declared in the House of Representatives that "We have not only obtained the command of the mouth of the Mississippi, but of the Mobile, with its widely extended branches; and there is not ...
— Jefferson and his Colleagues - A Chronicle of the Virginia Dynasty, Volume 15 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Allen Johnson

... to Homer Crawford. "I'm not here to quibble with self-confessed malcontents. I've been sent to represent the State Department, to report to them, and, above all, to do what I can to prevent your activities from redounding to the further advantage of the Soviet Complex. I assume you can assign ...
— Border, Breed Nor Birth • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... very ridiculous Creature. I shall here confine my self to that petty kind of Ambition, by which some Men grow eminent for odd Accomplishments and trivial Performances. How many are there whose whole Reputation depends upon a Punn or a Quibble? You may often see an Artist in the Streets gain a Circle of Admirers, by carrying a long Pole upon his Chin or Forehead in a perpendicular Posture. Ambition has taught some to write with their Feet, and others to ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... jumped on these United States without a good cause," he declared vehemently, "I'd fight for my country—" Uncle Dyke didn't quibble his words. "That is to say if Uncle Sam would take me. Me and my sword!" Again he faltered, adding reflectively, "But after all the Bible is the better weapon. With it I ...
— Blue Ridge Country • Jean Thomas

... To this X answers, "I adopt and apply your own principle. Turin, with its houses, belongs to the Turinese; therefore the Turinese have the right to divide or unite the houses of Turin, or drive out their possessors, as seems good in their own sight." The gross disingenuousness, the palpable quibble in this argument, need no exposure. Logically, however, the argument is rather above the usual range. X then proceeds to frighten S with the old bugbears;—the impossibility of real union between the Italian races; the absorption of the local small capitals in ...
— Rome in 1860 • Edward Dicey

... Homestead Bill. On that occasion Senator Johnson of Tennessee said, 'This idea about poor foreigners somehow or other bewilders and haunts the imagination of a great many. I am constrained to say that I look upon this objection to the bill as a mere quibble on the part of the President, as being hard pressed for some excuse in withholding his approval of the measure. His allusion to foreigners in this connection looks to me more like the ad captandum of the mere politician or demagogue, than a grave and sound reason to be offered by ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... pressed my claim till I knew I could make you comfortable and happy? But why do I cringe and beg like this?" he added, setting his teeth hard with the pain of disappointment. "If you really loved me you could not quibble about the thing you call duty." And he strode back and forth, refusing to take in ...
— Idle Hour Stories • Eugenia Dunlap Potts

... deposit was to be transferred to him when he gave proof of complete and perfect regeneration. When asked to account for a bottle of whisky found in his room, and for a burst of inebriety that represented a good deal in spot cash, Nickie quibbled. The quibble was obvious even to an innocent soul like James. James ...
— The Missing Link • Edward Dyson

... criticism, as there was perhaps no example of in the English language. Towards the conclusion, he has, I think, successfully defended him from the neglect of what are called the unities. The observation, that a quibble was the Cleopatra for which he lost the world, and was content to lose it, is more pointed than just. Shakspeare cannot be said to have lost the world; for his fame has not only embraced the circle of his own country, but is continually spreading over new portions of ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... this perfervid article, give an instructive clue. A mere quibble had arisen between the Central Powers and Russia. The former immediately adopted an arrogant, even threatening, attitude which thoughtful Germans condemned. Russia's willingness to submit the question to an arbitration conference consisting of four neutral ambassadors seems only ...
— What Germany Thinks - The War as Germans see it • Thomas F. A. Smith

... the ebb of sickness, yet far enough removed from the terra firma of established health, your note, dear Editor, reached me, requesting—an article. In articulo mortis, thought I; but it is something hard—and the quibble, wretched as it was, ...
— Charles Lamb • Walter Jerrold

... chastity, conjugal and maiden; as does the custom known as the jus primae noctis. Dr. Karl Schmidt has tried very hard to prove that such a "right" to the bride never existed. But no one can read his treatises without noting that his argument rests on a mere quibble, the word jus. There may have been no codified law or "right" allowing kings, bishops, chiefs, landlords, medicine men, and priests to claim brides first, but that the privilege existed in various countries and was extensively made use of, there can be ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... to center attention upon the quibble and then said: "My friend, I first tried, unsuccessfully, to have the United States take Texas as a gift. Not until I threatened to turn Texas over to England did I finally succeed. There may be within the sound of my voice some who have knowledge of sheep culture. They have doubtless seen ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... comes in your way, when it is in order, and let society quibble. How is the world to be made any better, if each one goes on in the old way for fear ...
— Dawn • Mrs. Harriet A. Adams

... in, "detective divination is merely minute observation. But why do we quibble over words and definitions when there is much work to be done? When is the formal inquest to be ...
— The Gold Bag • Carolyn Wells

... As to your quibble about Paul and Apollos, whether they, or others, were the persons, though I am satisfied you are out, yet it weakeneth not my argument; for if they were blame worthy for dividing, though about the highest fundamental ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... spirit of what he said, but that as regarded the letter, the young man was endeavouring to adhere to some fact for the salvation of his conscience as a Christian. If Anton Trendellsohn could but find out in what lay the quibble, the discovery might be very serviceable to him. "It could have been managed—could it?" he said, speaking very slowly. "Between you and ...
— Nina Balatka • Anthony Trollope

... I not? Juste ciel!" Rising, he walked about the great room, his hands clasped behind him. "My conduct was magnificent, was it not? Don't quibble with words, Brigit. In plain language, I was a scoundrel, a beast, and now I am trying to behave—not like a gentleman, but like a decent man. And why you won't let me, ...
— The Halo • Bettina von Hutten

... "Don't quibble!" retorted the cat, sharply. "A king is known by his deeds. If you have seen the way he's been beheading people right and left, I think you'd call him something more than a general. What few he has left alive have fled ...
— Prince Vance - The Story of a Prince with a Court in His Box • Eleanor Putnam

... sake!" exclaimed Matilde. "Do not use such phrases to me. They mean nothing. For some wretched quibble of your miserable conscience—as you still have the assumption to call it—you will ...
— Taquisara • F. Marion Crawford

... is a reproach to any Christian establishment if every man cannot claim the benefit of it who can say that he believes in the religion of Jesus Christ as it is set forth in the New Testament. You say the terms are so general that even Deists would quibble and insinuate themselves. I answer that all the articles which are subscribed at present by no means exclude Deists who will prevaricate; and upon this scheme you would at least ...
— Science & Education • Thomas H. Huxley

... influence of the priesthood, however, owing to various causes, seems to be on the wane, and a habit of abandoning all religious thought is much on the increase. But the realization that our people never attack any Church, or quibble about details of creed and ceremonial, has won their way to the hearts of many, and there can be no doubt that we have a great future amongst these peoples. In Peru the law does not allow any persons not of the Romish ...
— Regeneration • H. Rider Haggard

... that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself." I suddenly realized that that had been made true to me. I have the witness in my own heart that Christ is the Son of God, my Saviour! That His Presence is on earth and manifest to me at many times. No seeming variance of science, no quibble of the intellect, can ever disturb this faith on which my soul rests. It is more than a conviction; it is a perfect satisfaction! I KNOW! I may not be able to explain all mysteries, but I can never doubt again, because I know. The more ...
— The Witness • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... he smiled again, reassured completely by now, convinced that here was no more than a minor quibble ...
— The Strolling Saint • Raphael Sabatini

... at the law: they fought defiantly in broad daylight. Nobody dreamed that the law would be carried out against them. The Cardinal would, they thought, deal with them as rulers have dealt with serf-mastering lawbreakers from those days to these—invent some quibble and screen them with it. But his method was sharper and shorter. He seized both, and executed both on the Place de la Greve—the place of execution ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 11 • Various

... the face of the young Frenchman flush, but De Galissonniere, as if knowing the truth, and resolved not to quibble over it, climbed steadily. When he was within twenty feet of the crest the hunter called to him to halt, and he did so, leaning easily against a strong bush, while the three waited eagerly to hear what he ...
— The Masters of the Peaks - A Story of the Great North Woods • Joseph A. Altsheler

... "A quibble, when all is said." He stepped to Lionel's side, and looked down at the pale handsome face over which the dark shadows of death were already creeping. "If he would but speak in the interests of this justice that is to do! If we might but have the evidence of his own words, ...
— The Sea-Hawk • Raphael Sabatini

... give me a ream of paper: we'll have a kingdom of gold for't: A quibble. REALM was frequently written ream; and frequently (as the following passages shew), even when the former spelling was given, the L was ...
— The Jew of Malta • Christopher Marlowe

... quibble. You know, and I know, that you are keeping something back; and I ask you, in her behalf, and in the cause of justice, to tell me what ...
— The Leavenworth Case • Anna Katharine Green

... such as would not live according to that higher law, upon those who persisted in the use of oaths and vows, the lesser and evidently just requirement of strict fidelity to the terms of self-assumed obligations was to be enforced, without unrighteous quibble or inequitable discrimination. ...
— Jesus the Christ - A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy - Scriptures Both Ancient and Modern • James Edward Talmage

... erected in the Piazza di S. Marco. Colleoni, having long held the baton of the Republic, desired that after death his portrait, in his habit as he lived, should continue to look down on the scene of his old splendour. By an ingenious quibble the Senators adhered to the letter of his will without infringing a law that forbade them to charge the square of S. Mark with monuments. They ruled that the piazza in front of the Scuola di S. Marco, better known as the Campo di S. Zanipolo, might ...
— Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3 - The Fine Arts • John Addington Symonds

... strain of doing right is very painful; especially so because most women who are under this strain do not really care about doing right at all. I have seen a woman quibble and talk and worry about what she believed to be a matter of right and wrong in a few cents, and then neglect for months to pay a poor man a certain large amount of money which he had honestly earned, and ...
— Nerves and Common Sense • Annie Payson Call

... have. Please, please don't quibble. And hidden things are so dangerous. It isn't as if I would not understand. You ought to give me credit for a little knowledge of human nature. I knew perfectly well that when you married me—you would think of Mary. You ...
— The Window-Gazer • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... brandy. [7] My Baron-Bailie and doer, Mr. Duncan Macwheeble, is the fourth on our list. There is a question, owing to the incertitude of ancient orthography, whether he belongs to the clan of Wheedle or of Quibble, but both have produced ...
— Waverley • Sir Walter Scott

... epitaph, short as it is, the faults seem not to be very few. Why part should be Latin, and part English, it is not easy to discover. In the Latin the opposition of immortalis and mortalis, is a mere sound, or a mere quibble; he is not immortal in any sense contrary to that in ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes - Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II • Samuel Johnson

... hallowed ground. It attacked the most endeared doctrines of our faith, and applied its enginery to those very parts of our citadel which we would be most likely to defend the longest. Had it contented itself with the mere discussion of minor points, with here and there a quibble about a miracle or a prophecy, we could excuse many of its vagaries on the score of enthusiasm. But its premiss was, "We will accept nothing between the two lids of this Book if our Reason cannot fathom it." Hence, all truth, every book of the Bible, even the ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... foreign parentage seems to be more in earnest, more ambitious, than the American boy (not to quibble over the definition of the adjective "American"). Walter L. Sears, superintendent of the office in Kneeland street, ...
— How To Write Special Feature Articles • Willard Grosvenor Bleyer

... innocently eager, he thought. But reiterated from day to day it wore on his nerves after a while. Added to the something he sometimes thought he caught glimmering in her tip-tilted eyes, it made him more than a little uncomfortable. He fell back upon a quibble ...
— Once to Every Man • Larry Evans

... Folly is indigenous to the soil, and shoots out with native, happy, unchecked luxuriance. Absurdity has every encouragement afforded it; and nonsense has room to flourish in. Nothing is stunted by the churlish, icy hand of indifference or severity. The poet runs riot in a conceit, and idolises a quibble. His whole object is to turn the meanest or rudest objects to a pleasurable account. The relish which he has of a pun, or of the quaint humour of a low character, does not interfere with the delight with which he describes a beautiful image, or the most refined love. The Clown's forced jests do not ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... turn come? That it will come, indeed must come, is self-evident. The artist sees things too clearly as they are not to see also what they will be. He therefore skips the ignoble interlude of prevarication, quibble, and intrigue, and gives us Uncle Sam happy at last in his recovered simplicity. So we see him here, enjoying himself, as only a white man can, in a wholehearted spurning of lies, ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... civilisation is to obliterate those distinctions which are the best salt of life. All the fine old professional flavour in language has evaporated. Your very gravedigger has forgotten his avocation in his electorship, and would quibble on the Franchise over Ophelia's grave, instead of more appropriately discussing the duration of bodies under ground. From this tendency, from this gradual attrition of life, in which everything pointed and characteristic is being rubbed down, till the whole world begins to slip between our ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... if you're going to push things to the point of taking advantage of a quibble like that, your chance of happiness is more or less slim! So three years ago Carleton proved that he hadn't cared a whoop about the legal or religious aspects of the case, and left Ted. And now Ted can't see herself, at twenty-seven, tied to ...
— The Story Of Julia Page - Works of Kathleen Norris, Volume V. • Kathleen Norris

... postponing the trial, on account of a material evidence, who, though he wavered, was not yet quite brought over; and the attorney found means to put off the decision from term to term, until there was no quibble left for further delay. While this suit was depending, our hero continued to move in his usual sphere; nor did the report of his situation at all operate to his disadvantage in the polite world; on the contrary, ...
— The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Complete • Tobias Smollett

... whilst every eye was fixed upon the judge. The latter spoke. "The exception was conclusive; the prisoner must be discharged." I could not conceive it possible. What were truth, equity, morality—Nothing? And was murder innocence, if a quibble made it so? The jailer approached the monster, and whispered into his ear that he was now at liberty. He held down his head stupidly to receive the words, and he drew it back again, incredulous and astounded. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... Hegel's quibble with this word other exemplifies the same fallacy. All 'others,' as such, are according to him identical. That is, 'otherness,' which can only be predicated of a given thing A, secundum quid (as other than B, etc.), is predicated simpliciter, and made to identify the A in question ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... he did, in his great passion, marry her. That he should afterwards deny it officially seems to me to have been utterly inevitable. His denial did her not the faintest damage, as I have pointed out. It was, so to speak, an official quibble, rendered necessary by the circumstances of the case. Not to have denied the marriage in the House of Commons would have meant ruin to both of them. As months passed, more serious difficulties awaited the ...
— The Works of Max Beerbohm • Max Beerbohm

... to do so, for I knew that he was now an additional distress. But the next morning when Guinea and I were alone at the breakfast table she asked me if I had not met him down the road—said that she had seen him crossing the meadows with his dogs. I began to quibble and she spoke up spiritedly: "Oh, you shouldn't hesitate to tell me. It amounts to ...
— The Jucklins - A Novel • Opie Read

... quibble. To clinch, or to clinch the nail; to confirm an improbable story by another: as, A man swore he drove a tenpenny nail through the moon; a bystander said it was true, for he was on the other ...
— 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue • Captain Grose et al.

... colloquial ones which avoid His name, is in essence an appeal to God, and has no sense unless it is. To swear such a truncated oath, then, has the still further condemnation that it is certainly an irreverence, and probably a quibble, and meant to be broken. It must be fully admitted that there is little in common between such pieces of senseless profanity as these oaths, or the modern equivalents which pollute so many lips to-day, and the oath administered in a court of justice, and it may further ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... assassinating Governor Steunenberg of Idaho. Their leaders, Moyer and Haywood, were anarchists like themselves, and although they professed contempt for law, as soon as they were arrested and brought up for trial, they clutched at every quibble of the law, as drowning men clutch at straws to save them; and, be it said to the glory or shame of the law, it furnished enough quibbles, not only to save them from the gallows, but to let them loose again ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... oath was not regarded as an obligation of any particular sanctity if circumstances should arise which made the violation of the oath more convenient than its observance. However, the time was not yet come for Jerome to begin to quibble with his conscience. On May 12, 1539, he wrote another letter to Tartaglia, also in a very friendly tone, reproaching him gently for his suspicions, and sending a copy of the Practice of Arithmetic to show him that they were ...
— Jerome Cardan - A Biographical Study • William George Waters

... Whatever be the dignity or profundity of his disquisition, whether he be enlarging knowledge or exalting affection, whether he be amusing attention with incidents, or enchaining it in suspense, let but a quibble spring up before him, and he leaves his work unfinished. A quibble is the golden apple for which he will always turn aside from his career, or stoop from his elevation. A quibble poor and barren as it is, gave him such ...
— Preface to Shakespeare • Samuel Johnson

... Seward to at once elevate the American question to a higher region, to represent it to Europe in its true, holy character, as a question of right, freedom, and humanity. Then it will be impossible for England to quibble about technicalities of the international laws; then we can beat England with her own arms and words, as England in 1824, &c., recognized the Greeks as belligerents, on the plea of aiding freedom and humanity. The Southern insurrection is a movement ...
— Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862 • Adam Gurowski

... Scriptures, nothing has more occasioned it than the ridiculous and idle discourses that are uttered out of pulpits. For when the Gallants of the world do observe how the Ministers themselves do jingle, quibble, and play the fool with the Texts: no wonder, if they, who are so inclinable to Atheism, do not only deride and despise the Priests; but droll upon the Bible! and make a mock of all that ...
— An English Garner - Critical Essays & Literary Fragments • Edited by Professor Arber and Thomas Seccombe

... "That's an old quibble," said Irving. "The alternative for running is not running. Therefore when he's not running—he's ...
— The Jester of St. Timothy's • Arthur Stanwood Pier

... hand. "Oh, don't quibble! Why, the creation of an artificial digestive system alone is awesome—not to mention the creation ...
— Ten From Infinity • Paul W. Fairman

... de Vries. I cannot remember having seen any answer; only criticisms of a discontinuous sort. I cannot for a moment entertain the idea that Darwin ever assented to the proposition that new species have always been produced from mutation and never through normal variability. Possibly there is some quibble on the definition of mutation or of variation. The Americans are prone to believe any new things, witness their swallowing the thornless cactus produced by that man in California—I forget his name—which Kew exposed by asking for specimens to exhibit in the Cactus ...
— Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences Vol 2 (of 2) • James Marchant

... as green, or maybe blue, or possibly grey. Not that it mattered, for he had a catholic taste in feminine eyes. So long as they were large and bright, as were the specimens under his immediate notice, he was not the man to quibble about a point of colour. Her nose was small, and on the very tip of it there was a tiny freckle. Her mouth was nice and wide, her chin soft and round. She was just about the height which every girl ought to be. Her figure was trim, her feet tiny, and she wore one of those dresses of which ...
— Three Men and a Maid • P. G. Wodehouse

... because they only commented upon the news of the day, to be henceforth liable to the stamp duties. This really did good service to the better class of journals, by sweeping away a swarm of newspapers which, by the quibble above mentioned, were enabled to ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various



Words linked to "Quibble" :   quiddity, debate, dodge, hedge, duck, sidestep, equivocation, parry, squabble, contend, fudge, circumvent, argue, elude, put off, evade, fence, skirt, evasion



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