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Red tape   /rɛd teɪp/   Listen
Red tape

noun
1.
Needlessly time-consuming procedure.  Synonym: bureaucratic procedure.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Red tape" Quotes from Famous Books



... everything was easy. And surely there is something very attractive about a system where everything is done as an act of friendship, and not as the soulless reflex of some official machine. It is easier to drink red wine than to eat red tape, and not nearly so wearing ...
— A Surgeon in Belgium • Henry Sessions Souttar

... he realized their import, but at Genevieve's wide stare of amazement he flushed crimson. "I mean—lots of these complaints are really mere red tape; some self-important employee is trying to look busy. A little investigation ...
— The Sturdy Oak - A Composite Novel of American Politics by Fourteen American Authors • Samuel Merwin, et al.

... of that. Here are copies of various letters received from Richmond. They are now of no special value. I will return them with a memorandum on the packet, 'Received on such a date and now returned.'" He drew out a packet, tied with red tape. "Run them ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... tax in a city like Amiens is an extraordinary burden on the patience of the people, trained as the French people are to submit to a torment of eternal red tape, a week of which would drive an American or English town into open revolt. At Amiens, for example, there is a central bureau of the octroi, where the tax is received from the great breweries and warehouses ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... where they clattered, rolled from the bench to the floor, and were still. For a moment he sat leaning against the desk, his hands trembling. He wasn't sure just when the last straw had been added, but he was sure that he had had enough. The restrictions, red tape, security measures of these government laboratories seemed to close in on his mind in boiling, chaotic waves of frustration. What was the good of his work, all this great installation, all the gleaming expensive equipment in the lab around him? He was alone. None of ...
— Security • Ernest M. Kenyon

... of Statutory Law and Records even yet retain certain characteristics of a period when judicial officers and clerks represented to the public mind the embodiment of what was known as "Red Tape," a true colloquialism descriptive of the attitude of official conservatism. These departments being governed according to the latest bibliographical methods are of merely supplemental value as reference. The Simplification and National Unification ...
— The Man in Court • Frederic DeWitt Wells

... inch wide, and four or five inches long, and insert these at the pages which contain anything notable. Then, when the book is finished, go through and transcribe or memorise such passages as are thus marked. I think it a great mistake to attempt too rigid a system in note-books, or too much red tape of any kind, because whenever this is done, the time and thought, which should be given to the matter of the extract helping to fix it upon the memory, is given instead to the secondary matter of keeping your ...
— The Private Library - What We Do Know, What We Don't Know, What We Ought to Know - About Our Books • Arthur L. Humphreys

... of red tape about the company. Though the cars were some time in starting, so that I got well ahead of them, they could not admit me on the road, when my baggage kuruma turned out to be too slow, because I had not bought a ticket at the office. So I was obliged to continue to tramp afoot, solacing ...
— Noto, An Unexplored Corner of Japan • Percival Lowell

... there are many annoying bits of red tape to be considered. In London you are obliged to have a legal residence in the parish where the ceremony is to be performed. In Paris a civil marriage before the mayor of the district is necessary. Certificates ...
— The Complete Bachelor - Manners for Men • Walter Germain

... Captain Conwell was asked for his permit to be absent. He had simply his pass through the lines, a vastly different thing he found from an authorized permit of absence. The investigation dragged its slow course along, as all such things, encumbered by red tape, do. Disgusted and humiliated by being kept a prisoner for months when the country needed every arm in its defense, by having such a mountain made of the veriest molehill built of a kind act and boyish inexperience, ...
— Russell H. Conwell • Agnes Rush Burr

... you never can tell till you try. You may become the rage on the continent. Yet, you go into the enemy's country. It isn't the same as going to London, among tolerant cousins. In Italy and in Germany there is always so much red tape, blundering, confusing red tape, custom duties, excessive charges. But your manager must know what ...
— The Lure of the Mask • Harold MacGrath

... citizens of the thinly settled country. Meat was plentiful, but no bread, and any one who has ever felt the tortures of bread hunger may imagine the sufferings of the men. For want of bread the meats became nauseating and repulsive. The whole fault lay in having too many bosses and red tape in the Department at Richmond. By order of these officials, all commissary supplies, even gathered in sight of the camps, had to be first sent to Richmond and issued out only on requisitions to the head of the departments. ...
— History of Kershaw's Brigade • D. Augustus Dickert

... Red tape should for once be disregarded, and a competent commission forthwith sent to 30 Rue d'Assas, with instructions to report immediately, for every minute saved may avoid suffering for Englishmen fighting abroad for their country. I may, of course, be mistaken, but a commission would ...
— Scientific American Supplement No. 360, November 25, 1882 • Various

... Oleson, and listen here." Andys voice broke relentlessly upon the other's woe. "All these boys want to hang yuh without any red tape; far as I'm concerned, I'm dead willing. But we're going to give yuh a chance. Your partner, as we told yuh coming over, we've got the dead immortal cinch on, right now. And—well you can see what you're up against. But we'll give yuh a chance. Have ...
— Flying U Ranch • B. M. Bower

... diamonds in a coal mine. As for hospitals, do I not know how many of them pander to the barbarous inhumanity of vivisection!—and have I not experienced to the utmost dregs of bitterness, the melting of cash through the hands of secretaries and under-secretaries, and general Committee-ism, and Red Tape-ism, while every hundred thousand pounds bestowed on these necessary institutions turns out in the end to be a mere drop in the sea of incessant demand, though the donors may possibly purchase a knighthood, a baronetcy, or even a peerage, in return for their gifts! ...
— The Treasure of Heaven - A Romance of Riches • Marie Corelli

... at the galls, has a cigar in his mouth, dresses snobbishly, and talks of making a book at Ascot. The young lawyer struts along in his seven-league boots, has a white-bound book in one hand, and a parcel of papers, tied with red tape, in the other. He is in a desperate hurry, and as sure as the world, somebody is a dying, and has sent for him to make his will. The Irish priest walks like a warder who has the keys. There is an air of authority about him. He puts his cane down on the pavement hard, ...
— Nature and Human Nature • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... Trade, having charge of excise, customs, manufactures, and trade. The whole financial administration at this time under King Frederick William III was in a state of great confusion, from an unnecessary number of officials who did not work harmoniously. There was too much "red tape." Stein brought order out of confusion, simplified the administration, punished corruption, increased the national credit, then at a very low ebb, and re-established the bank of Prussia on a basis that enabled ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume X • John Lord

... swell funks his blower and lushes red tape; what a smoke the gentleman makes with ...
— 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue • Captain Grose et al.

... her and came to pull the tree out where she could see it, and, sure enough, there was a dust-pan tied on with a red tape, and a whisk-broom with another red tape, and a little sweeping-cap with a red bow, some gingham aprons and white aprons, and brown towels and red-and-white towels, and dust-cloths, all with red M's in their corners; ...
— A Little Housekeeping Book for a Little Girl - Margaret's Saturday Mornings • Caroline French Benton

... letters written by my mother when I was away from her. They were written on a flat sheet, afterward folded and fastened by a wafer. Envelopes had not arrived; neither had postage-stamps. Sealing-wax was then in vogue and red tape for important documents. In all well-regulated dwellings there were whatnots in the corner with shells and waxworks and other objects of beauty or mild interest. The pictures did not move—they were fixed in the family album. The musical instruments most ...
— A Backward Glance at Eighty • Charles A. Murdock

... the grate, and in a moment was out of bed and at her desk. She opened the envelope very carefully, expecting to see the pictured face of her kind friend smiling at her, But there was no picture. There were only two documents tied with red tape, and with big red seals on them, and a number of printed and ...
— Yankee Girl at Fort Sumter • Alice Turner Curtis

... phiz. Ugh! how can you live here! The atmosphere is stifling and unclean! Do you call yourselves schoolmasters, teachers? You are paltry government clerks. You keep, not a temple of science, but a department for red tape and loyal behaviour, and it smells as sour as a police-station. No, my friends; I will stay with you for a while, and then I will go to my farm and there catch crabs and teach the Little Russians. I shall go, and you can stay here ...
— The Wife and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... to come out in the open. I won't take a mate in a house, even if it has to be done with this foolish paper," he continued to rage as he sought in the bandana bundle and produced an official document with a red tape on it. "You go and put on your clothes, and I'll break up this foolishness and get 'em in ...
— The Golden Bird • Maria Thompson Daviess

... told in the Outlook of September 8, 1915, which illustrates his methods. It seems that before the commission was fairly on its feet, there came a day when it was a case of snarling things in red tape and letting Belgium starve, or getting food shipped and letting governments howl. Hoover naturally ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... produced by means of a transparency, the words made large, and the letters in German text, with a halo around the whole sentence. Belshazzar's costume consists of a purple velvet coat trimmed with gold, a large cloak trimmed with ermine, velvet breeches, white hose crossed with red tape, sandals on the feet, and a velvet and gold crown on the head. His wife should be dressed in a showy brocade, cut low at the top, short sleeves, a band of black velvet ornamented with gold placed on the head, and a narrow mantle worn over the shoulder. The dress must be ornamented with rich jewelry, ...
— Home Pastimes; or Tableaux Vivants • James H. Head

... swept his correspondence into one drawer. I gathered together the manuscript of his new novel and swept it into another. On the top of a pedestal bookcase I discovered the original manuscript of "The Greater Glory," neatly bound in brown paper and threaded through with red tape. This I dropped into the third drawer of the desk, which already contained a mass of papers. I went into his bedroom, where I found more letters lying about. I collected them and looked around. There seemed to be little left for me to do. I ...
— Jaffery • William J. Locke

... frequently directed to a small green box, which constituted part of my luggage, and which, with the rest of my things, stood in one corner of the room, till at last, leaving my breakfast unfinished, I rose, and, going to the box, unlocked it, and took out two or three bundles of papers tied with red tape, and, placing them on the table, I resumed my seat and my breakfast, my eyes intently fixed upon the bundles of papers all ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... remaining hush-hush weren't as great as all that. The very magnitude of the UP which involved more than two thousand member planets, allowed of departments and bureaus hidden away in the endless stretches of red tape. ...
— Ultima Thule • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... of parchment, Kavanagh had to enlist as a private, and you had to go wandering over the world for years, leaving your mother and sister in poverty and anxiety!" said Tom Strachan, meditatively. "People are always talking about red tape in the army; surely there is still more ...
— For Fortune and Glory - A Story of the Soudan War • Lewis Hough

... bore from the beginning fruits the very reverse of those it had promised." We seem here to be reading the history of more than one great railway enterprise undertaken by politicians without the red tape preliminaries of surveying or framing estimates, progress not deigning to wait upon trifles. This system of policy gave fine scope for the talents of the "log-roller," here defined as an especially wily and persuasive person, who could depict the merits of his scheme ...
— Lectures and Essays • Goldwin Smith

... of the necessary dyes there will soon be no more red tape available for the War Office and elsewhere. It is to be hoped, however, that the familiar and picturesque salutation with which staff officers are in the habit of taking leave of one another, "So long, Old Tape!" will not be allowed to ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, May 10, 1916 • Various

... I had unravelled several hundred yards of red tape to get at 'em," said Cleek, still smiling. "Chief among them was this: Much English gold has been discovered in Belgium, Mr. Narkom, in connection with several big electrical firms engaged upon work out there. The ...
— The Riddle of the Frozen Flame • Mary E. Hanshew

... as a politician, that special individual qualification that every rising functionary possesses, the qualification that with his unflagging ambition, his reserve, his honesty, and with his self-confidence had made his career, was his contempt for red tape, his cutting down of correspondence, his direct contact, wherever possible, with the living fact, and his economy. It happened that the famous Commission of the 2nd of June had set on foot an inquiry into the irrigation of lands in the Zaraisky province, ...
— Anna Karenina • Leo Tolstoy

... within moments after it had been sent, although the normal space distance was in the neighborhood of one hundred thousand light years. The message was bounced—in amazingly quick time—from office to office at the hub, cutting through the usual red tape because of its top priority. And—since none of the normal agencies at the Hub could handle it—the message finally arrived at an office which very rarely received official messages of any kind. This was the one unofficial, ...
— A Place in the Sun • C.H. Thames

... lawful procedure for their own security, so may they adopt other modes when their safety demands it. Their laws and their codes of procedure are for their uses, not for their destruction. 'When a sister State is endangered, red tape must be cut,' said Governor Seymour, when it was telegraphed to him that some delaying forms must be gone through in order to arm and send off our State troops who were ordered to the defence of Harrisburg; and all the ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV. October, 1863, No. IV. - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... head? Did anyone tell you about Beth's giving away her things?" asked Laurie soberly, as Amy laid a bit of red tape, with sealing wax, a taper, and a ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... brought here To thunder o'er the Grande Chaudiere, At the great Union celebration, The new bridge's inauguraton; One thing is certain, those brass guns Were ne'er seen more by Richmond's sons. They fell prey to official nabbing, And Governmental red tape grabbing, Like plunder from the vanquished harried, To Montreal off they were carried! Malloch was member many a year For Carleton when votes were not dear— When damaged eyes, and smashed proboscis Would follow, as the smallest losses. The offer of a vile bank note As price of ...
— Recollections of Bytown and Its Old Inhabitants • William Pittman Lett

... as makes us very tender toward suffering. The perfume of natures does not usually come forth without bruising. She determined to go to Washington and offer herself as a nurse at the hospital for soldiers. After much official red tape, she found herself in the midst of scores of maimed and dying, just brought from the defeat at Fredericksburg. She says: "Round the great stove was gathered the dreariest group I ever saw,—ragged, gaunt, and pale, mud to ...
— Lives of Girls Who Became Famous • Sarah Knowles Bolton

... sound of that voice, Mr. Greylston turned suddenly from the book-case, and his sister was standing near him, her face lit up with a sweet, yet somewhat anxious smile. He threw down in a hurry the papers he had been tying together, and the bit of red tape, and holding out ...
— Friends and Neighbors - or Two Ways of Living in the World • Anonymous

... surpassed in restless melancholy and atrocity the insane Caesars, and were more to be pitied, as well as detested, than Tiberius or Nero—the nature of the landscape, the waste of steppes, the dreariness of winter, and the loneliness of summer—the barbaric extravagance of aristocratic life—the red tape, extortion, and cruelty of officers—the sublime patience of the common people—the devotion of the enduring, starving multitude to the Tsar—all this should be as familiar as a twice-told tale. There should also be a knowledge of Russian literature, ...
— Music: An Art and a Language • Walter Raymond Spalding

... hadn't much faith in it," laughed Mr. Warren. "My wife had really forgotten her family lineage, and we should hardly have claimed the Schermerhorns. There's so much red tape in these matters and by the time the expenses are paid, there's little left for the heirs, but this turns out better than I supposed, considering the many descendants the old man had. I can't complain ...
— A Modern Cinderella • Amanda M. Douglas

... a military point of view effective, without at the same time leading to a breach with America. The order that "liners" should not be torpedoed under any circumstances was regarded simply as a piece of red tape, and not applicable to war conditions, as the submarine was not in a position to distinguish through its periscope between "liners" and other craft. We thus contrived at one and the same time to cripple our submarines, and yet to fail to give satisfaction to America. Probably ...
— My Three Years in America • Johann Heinrich Andreas Hermann Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff

... way you have to keep thinking all the time. You have to look beyond the mass of detail in the foreground—past all the minor annoyances and the red tape and the seeming ingratitude. You've got to figure that you're there to supply the needed human note—to let these people understand that this Government of ours is not a mere machine with the motive power at Washington. You've got to ...
— Mystery Ranch • Arthur Chapman

... of the old barn, carrying comfort and hope from one rude couch to another. As to supplies, hardly a man in a regiment knew how to make out a requisition for rations or for clothing, and easy as it is to rail at "red tape," the necessity of keeping a check upon embezzlement and wastefulness justified the staff bureaus at Washington in insisting upon regular vouchers to support the quartermaster's and commissary's accounts. But here, too, men were gradually found who ...
— Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V1 • Jacob Dolson Cox

... for three glorious hours we float, first one scow in front, then the other, social amenities in Cree being shouted from boat to boat. Then, in one voice from three boats, "Mooswa!" and far beyond white man's vision the boatmen sight a moose. There is a little red tape about the ethics of taking off those precious Peterboroughs which were to make history on the map, and in the delay the moose wandered into pleasant pastures. The boatmen were very much disgruntled, as the moose is treasure-trove, ...
— The New North • Agnes Deans Cameron

... Walker. "I've run this island for twenty years without red tape, and I don't want ...
— The Trembling of a Leaf - Little Stories of the South Sea Islands • William Somerset Maugham

... opened gently, and held out his hand with a large roll of paper tied round with a piece of red tape. ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... community, and Findlayson watched him wield his powers temperately, learning what to overlook and what to look after. It was a long, long reverie, and it covered storm, sudden freshets, death in every manner and shape, violent and awful rage against red tape half frenzying a mind that knows it should be busy on other things; drought, sanitation, finance; birth, wedding, burial, and riot in the village of twenty warring castes; argument, expostulation, persuasion, and the blank despair that a man ...
— The Day's Work, Volume 1 • Rudyard Kipling

... had I been able to afford a wait of several months; but, as this would have involved the postponement of my journey for a year on account of the passes leading into Tibet becoming impassable at the end of the summer, I decided to snap my fingers at all the red tape the job required, and to start on ...
— In the Forbidden Land • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... and reported our progress. The best organized woman's society in the State is probably the Women's Christian Temperance Union. In its different departments, although hampered by too much theological red tape, it is reaching thousands of ignorant, prejudiced, good sectarian women who would expect the "heavens to fall" if they accidentally got into a meeting where "woman's rights" was mentioned even in a whisper. Mrs. Clara Hoffman, of Kansas City, is State ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... Bags of money? What was it they beheld? None of these things, but only a bundle of papers, tied together with a piece of faded red tape. ...
— Under Padlock and Seal • Charles Harold Avery

... in a very friendly manner, and owing to the absence of red tape which in an older settlement might have occasioned delay, that same day our Yankee friend was made happy by receiving the sum of ...
— In A New World - or, Among The Gold Fields Of Australia • Horatio Alger

... supported on the strong arm of Kruger Bobs, he crawled into a hospital train bound for Cape Town. It was an order, and he obeyed. Nevertheless, he shrank from the very mention of Cape Town. It had been the core of his universe; but now the core had gone bad. But his time of service had expired. Red tape demanded that he receive the papers for his discharge from the Cape Town citadel. That done, he would take the first outgoing steamer for London. Afterwards, he would leave his life in the hands of Fate. He took no note of the fact that Fate might step into the game ...
— On the Firing Line • Anna Chapin Ray and Hamilton Brock Fuller

... prominent character was, as usual, the John Canoe or Jack Pudding. He was a light, active, clean made young Creole negro, without shoes or stockings; he wore a pair of light jean small—clothes, all too wide, but confined at the knees, below and above, by bands of red tape, after the manner that Malvolio would have called cross—gartering. He wore a splendid blue velvet waistcoat, with old—fashioned flaps coming down over his hips, and covered with tarnished embroidery. His shirt was absent on leave, I suppose, but at ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... to persuade myself that this was merely the red tape of a frontier fortress, but I had an instinct that difficulties were in store for us. If Rasta had started wiring I was prepared to put up the brazenest bluff, for we were still eighty miles from Erzerum, and at all costs we were going to be landed ...
— Greenmantle • John Buchan

... returned and were admitted. They stated their business, inquired for the children, produced photographs and, after a little delay, Turiddu and Gennaro came running to them naked. It took some days of red tape, including a legal act whereby Corrado constituted himself their second father, before they were allowed to remove the boys. At last on the 11th January they took possession of them and dressed them in the street with clothes they ...
— Castellinaria - and Other Sicilian Diversions • Henry Festing Jones

... people to see immediate results from the Reclamation Act was so great that red tape was disregarded, and the work was pushed forward at a rate previously unknown in Government affairs. Later, as in almost all such cases, there followed the criticisms of alleged illegality and haste which are so easy to make after results have been accomplished ...
— Theodore Roosevelt - An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... immediately covering them with his hand, as if he were putting some spell upon him. Opposite to the tall old chimney-piece were two portraits: one of a gentleman with grey hair (though not by any means an old man) and black eyebrows, who was looking over some papers tied together with red tape; the other, of a lady, with a very placid and sweet expression of face, who ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... is no Lord Rantremly in London, and that we will find a very emaciated but genuine Lord Rantremly within ten feet of us. I need not tell you that if you are instrumental in his immediate rescue without the exercise of too much red tape, your interests will not suffer because you the more speedily brought food and drink to the lord paramount of ...
— The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont • Robert Barr

... trouble of starting his literary labors all over again. Besides, by that time the coffee would be cold. So I took it as it was—with two lumps only—and it was pretty fair coffee for European coffee. It tasted slightly of the red tape and the chicory, but it was neatly prepared and ...
— Europe Revised • Irvin S. Cobb

... any value; but a piece of paper was discovered, wrapped up in oilskin, and carefully fastened with red tape, in the vest pocket of the dead man. It contained writing, and had been so securely wrapped up, that it was only a little damped. Davy Spink, who found it, tried in vain to read the writing; Davy's education had been neglected, ...
— The Lighthouse • R.M. Ballantyne

... conventional requirements of the War Office; sharpers who wanted to inveigle him into the traps of profiteers; widows with all their sons in service, pleading for one to be exempted; other parents struggling with the red tape that kept them from sons in hospitals; luxurious frauds prating of their loyalty for the sake of property exemptions; inventors with every imaginable strange device; politicians seeking to cajole him; politicians bluntly threatening him; cashiered officers demanding justice; ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... it was life, health, vigor. He hated London. He hated officialdom. He hated the bonds of red tape that enveloped him. It's hard to know ...
— Michael's Crag • Grant Allen

... after a brief return to his native city, and as short a stay in Philadelphia, he took down his shingle forever, and proceeded to New Orleans to study law. In two years he was admitted to the bar of Louisiana. But because clients were few, or because the red tape of the law chafed his spirit, within a year, as already he had abandoned the Church and Medicine, he abandoned his law practice and became an editorial writer on the New Orleans Crescent. A year later the restlessness which had rebelled against the grave professions led him to the gold fields ...
— Real Soldiers of Fortune • Richard Harding Davis

... possibility for most regiments to provide themselves with a fourth school—eventually even with a fifth—out of their own financial resources. No investment could be more remunerative. Certainly under circumstances red tape may stand in the way; but when his superiors will support the Regimental Commander, and sometimes without, one will generally find appreciative backing, even ...
— Cavalry in Future Wars • Frederick von Bernhardi

... authority at one point has proved impracticable, first because of the great amount of red tape involved in the handling of the endless detail, and second because of the resulting destruction of initiative and enterprise. Such a centralization of social function would be just as cumbersome as a like centralization of all bodily functions ...
— The Next Step - A Plan for Economic World Federation • Scott Nearing

... thinks I can be of some use to him there in helping carry out certain party measures—measures to which he pledged himself before his election. Down here, a British steamship line has laid down local rules which, in my case anyway, are ridiculous. The question is, are you going to be bound by the red tape of a ha'penny British colony, or by your oath to the President of ...
— My Buried Treasure • Richard Harding Davis

... Sergeant-Major Jones, an ex-Imperial Army man, was the terror of the show. This warrant officer realised what he was up against—a thousand rebels against convention, hypocrisies, and shams. They called a spade a spade. "Red tape" they cursed, and stupid officialdom they loathed. They were freemen, Bohemians of the plains. In the Bush they had learned to fight, cook, scheme, and generally look after themselves. Pioneers of the toughest kind. The type that has made ...
— The Kangaroo Marines • R. W. Campbell

... thus elected at one fell swoop and with an entire absence of that red tape which commonly renders organization so tiresome, Candace Milliken suggesting that perhaps she'd better be vice-president, as Emma Jane Perkins was ...
— New Chronicles of Rebecca • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... Majesty. And indeed there is no Bishop here. The present Bishop of Bamberg—one of those Von Schonborns, Counts, sometimes Cardinals, common in that fat Office,—is a Kaiser's Minister of State; lives at Vienna, enveloped in red tape, as well as red hat and stockings; and needs no exhortation in the Kaiser's favor. Let us yoke again, and go.—Fir woods all round, and dead malefactors blackening in the wind: this latter point I know of the then Bamberg; ...
— History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 7 • Thomas Carlyle

... enormous folio. He had wintered and summered in the department for a great part of a century, until he had almost grown to be a piece of the desk at which he sat; his memory was a mere index of official facts and documents, and his brain was little better than red tape and parchment. After peering down for a time from his lofty perch, and ascertaining the matter in controversy, he put his pen behind his ear, and descended. He remembered to have heard something from his ...
— Wolfert's Roost and Miscellanies • Washington Irving

... a leaden ink-stand, containing ink enough for a county; a magnifying glass; a carpenter's rule; several large steel pens, which it was high treason to touch; a glass bowl full of shot and water, to clean these precious pens; and some red tape, which he called 'one of the grammars of life'; a measuring line, and various other articles, more useful than ornamental. At this writing establishment, unique of its kind, he could turn his mind ...
— Sydney Smith • George W. E. Russell

... splashes like leviathan in the seas of modern literature and politics! Doubtless, respecting the latter, one needs first to realize, from actual observation, the squalor, vice and doggedness ingrain'd in the bulk-population of the British islands, with the red tape, the fatuity, the flunkeyism everywhere, to understand the last meaning in his pages. Accordingly, though he was no chartist or radical, I consider Carlyle's by far the most indignant comment or protest anent the fruits of feudalism to-day in Great Britain—the increasing poverty and degradation ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... Reducing unneeded red tape and regulations, and deregulating the energy, transportation, and financial industries have unleashed new competition, giving consumers more choices, better services, and lower prices. In just one set of grant ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... angry enough,—there was a crumb of comfort there. But Tom went off on another track. Tom distrusted the Navy Department. He had been long enough at Annapolis to doubt the red tape of the bureaus with which his chiefs had to do. "If the navy had the money, the navy had the vouchers," that was Tom's theory. He knew a chief clerk in the navy, and Tom was going ...
— The Brick Moon, et. al. • Edward Everett Hale

... backwards into the sea. We have had gentlefolks down from London about it, men who argue and palaver, and wear high hats and are said to have long bills, and there is talk of a Government cutter to protect us, towed by red tape, and the trawlers are to cast their nets farther asea. But beware of believing what you read in the Brixham papers,—we have no voice to represent us in the press, and so these Brixham organs spread falsehoods about us in every corner of the globe. A pretty pretence, forsooth, that it is the steamers ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... the Rolls, said to Mr. Grattan, "You would be the greatest man of your age, Grattan, if you would buy a few yards of red tape, and tie up your bills ...
— Irish Wit and Humor - Anecdote Biography of Swift, Curran, O'Leary and O'Connell • Anonymous

... tents up." They are Boer tents, small and oblong in shape. Ours is very rotten, and has a big hole burnt in the top as well as a large rent at one end. These we have, however, patched up to our satisfaction and comfort. As we are here for the deuce knows how long, the beloved army red tape and routine is coming ...
— A Yeoman's Letters - Third Edition • P. T. Ross

... avail," returned Watson. "The government can only intervene under certain conditions, of which it must be informed through designated channels. It never sees anything that is not officially called to its attention. The whole negro population of the South might be slaughtered before the necessary red tape could be spun out to inform the President that a state of anarchy prevailed. There's no ...
— The Marrow of Tradition • Charles W. Chesnutt

... thunderclap of surprise to everyone concerned, except Jervis and Mr. Clay, the latter of whom, when the bishop's part of the ceremony was done, took the remainder upon himself, and proceeded to make his explanations in a voice which Mary declared made her think of musty parchments and red tape. ...
— A Countess from Canada - A Story of Life in the Backwoods • Bessie Marchant

... irresponsible teachings of a mere undergraduate. He made grievous complaint, and Linnaeus was silenced, to his great good luck. For so his friend the professor, though he was unable to break the red tape of the university, got him an appointment to go to Lapland on a botanical mission. His enemies were only too ...
— Hero Tales of the Far North • Jacob A. Riis

... in the management of red tape avail anything to men lying gasping,—we may say, all but dead; could despatch boxes with never-so-much velvet lining and Chubb's patent be of comfort to a people in extremis, I also, with so many others, would, with parched tongue, ...
— The Warden • Anthony Trollope

... good to my daughter, who was suffering in town rather—you remember little Emmy, sir?—yes, suffering a good deal." The old gentleman's eyes were wandering as he spoke, and he was thinking of something else, as he sate thrumming on his papers and fumbling at the worn red tape. ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... it—in a land where everybody knows everybody else, and all his business, and where it has taken him—an address could never be too vague. The bush-folk love to say that when it opened out its swag in the Territory it found red tape had been forgotten, but having a surplus supply of common sense on hand, it decided to use that in ...
— We of the Never-Never • Jeanie "Mrs. Aeneas" Gunn

... assented, and knowing where to find the keys of the strong box, she returned in a short space with a parcel tied up with, red tape, and labelled ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... who had been fighting with all their strength to win the case of their clients did not seem to be particularly distressed at the reverse that they had suffered, but chatted away gaily as they tied up their papers with scraps of red tape. She did not, perhaps, quite realize that, having done their best and earned their little fees, they did not feel called on to be heart-broken because the Court declined to take the view they were paid to support. But it was a ...
— Mr. Meeson's Will • H. Rider Haggard

... that's not all, either. I can tell you more than that. I know that for the last five days he has had three thousand drawn out of the bank, changed into notes of a hundred roubles, packed into a large envelope, sealed with five seals, and tied across with red tape. You see how well I know all about it! On the envelope is written: 'To my angel, Grushenka, when she will come to me.' He scrawled it himself in silence and in secret, and no one knows that the money's there except the valet, Smerdyakov, ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... now. The deputies—we called them the tin policemen—have been bounced and the place is now guarded by the soldiers. Business has taken the place of red tape, and General Hastings has turned the freight depot into offices for his various departments, for a system has been established which will reach all the victims, bury all the dead, discover all the living and clean up the town. There is now a central bureau, into which reports ...
— The Johnstown Horror • James Herbert Walker

... feels to confess it, I have seen money wasted and lost through red tape in the mission business. And after all is not mission business part of the world's business, and must not the measure of success depend largely on the same factors in the one case as in the other? Has one man more than another the right to be called "missionary," for of what use ...
— A Labrador Doctor - The Autobiography of Wilfred Thomason Grenfell • Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

... the library; placed pen and ink, and some legal-looking documents, selected at random, before me. Red tape and the formal pomp of law constitute half its force with women and men of Louisa's calibre. I had hardly arranged myself and my materials when the door slowly opened, and she entered. She was alarmed, yet wary. To see a naturally ...
— The Galaxy - Vol. 23, No. 1 • Various

... coasts down to Monterey. He finds Fremont gone, already on his way east. His soldier wrists are bound with the red tape of arrest. The puppet of master minds behind the scenes, Fremont has ...
— The Little Lady of Lagunitas • Richard Henry Savage

... were a dozen of these states, but the Grangers who had been elected were not permitted to take office. The incumbents refused to get out. It was very simple. They merely charged illegality in the elections and wrapped up the whole situation in the interminable red tape of the law. The Grangers were powerless. The courts were in the hands ...
— The Iron Heel • Jack London

... seat, sir?" he said and, disregarding the disapproving looks of his clerk, who had a particular predilection for all the long circumlocutions and red tape of the law, he pretermitted the usual questions as to name and age and occupation of the witnesses, and began his enquiry by questioning the old steward. "What is the exact plan of the chateau?" was ...
— Fantomas • Pierre Souvestre

... here, to see you, mamma as peaceful and serene as in the old days! I thought I should never get home. I left Richmond three weeks ago. I was held at Fredericksburg for ten days. Then I had to turn back when we got to Manassas, through some red tape lacking there. But here I am. Here I am at home—ugh!—I shall ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... end of the room and took from it a belt and holster, from which he removed a recent-model regulation stunner. "This is as powerful a weapon as we have here so far, except for the heavy stuff. I hope we never have to use any of that—clearing it for use is a lot of red tape." He looked up and saw the cold expression on Rynason's face. "Of course, I hope we don't have to use the ...
— Warlord of Kor • Terry Gene Carr

... another officer. "What have you got there?" And when Jimmie answered maps, he demanded them; he seemed as greedy for maps as a child for his gifts on Christmas morning. He ripped open the packet—what is called "cutting red tape" in the army—and spread out the papers and began to call out figures to another officer who sat on a camp stool at a little folding table, with many sheets of figures in front of him. This officer went on noting down the ...
— Jimmie Higgins • Upton Sinclair

... ye who like to hear a noble Briton's praise! I tell of valiant deeds one wrought in the Century's early days: When all the legions of Red Tape against him tore in vain, Man of stout will, brave ROWLAND HILL, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 98, January 18, 1890 • Various

... was sealed, and tied with red tape. "Papers belonging to Lieutenant William De Benyon, to be returned to him at my decease." "Alice Maitland, with great care," was written at the ...
— Japhet, In Search Of A Father • Frederick Marryat

... sensational. Also it was miserably and criminally delayed by the soulless legal red tape then in vogue. On the night of February 1, 1932, Tim Haswell, a hold-up man, was shot during an attempted robbery by a citizen of Piedmont Heights. Tim Haswell lingered three days, during which time he not ...
— The Strength of the Strong • Jack London

... were landing a cable out of a store into a ship, and one of 'em said: ''T is a long heavy cable, I wish we could see the end of it.' 'Damn me,' says another, 'if I believe it has any end; somebody has cut it off.'" A cable twisted of British red tape was indeed a coil without an end. In this case, before the patent was granted, Franklin had become so unpopular, and the Revolution so imminent, that the matter was dropped by ...
— Benjamin Franklin • John Torrey Morse, Jr.

... a long envelope tied up with red tape and sealed," she answered. "Yes! he made a great fuss about leaving it ...
— The Avenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... and it was only in a departmental way that he recognized his opportunity. The power to strike which he now visualized came through no intellectual enlargement, no opening up of moral vistas, but only through the discovery that he had on his side a mass of red tape the existence of which he had not previously suspected. In similar trammels to those which had so long hampered and restricted his own movements it was now possible for him to entangle the goings of his ministers. A hundred and one things had been done which ...
— King John of Jingalo - The Story of a Monarch in Difficulties • Laurence Housman

... rose, and, drawing forth a paper from a large roll tied with red tape, commenced ...
— Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas • Herman Melville

... the ship, eh? Well, Swede, I'm glad to hear that. I should have cleared her myself and sailed long ago if I had only had a skipper's ticket; but these British custom-house officials are great sticklers for red tape and they wouldn't clear me. And, of course, a man can't sail without his papers. When he does they send a gunboat after him. However," he added brightly "the ship is cleared and the skipper—so I am unofficially informed—is ...
— Cappy Ricks • Peter B. Kyne

... them in time gone by. They furnish up a fine mahogany office, with an outer room, and outside of this another room with an information desk. They cultivate coldness and independence. They make it difficult for their friends to see them. They put a lot of red tape around their business, and by these acts they get out of touch with the pulse of the business. They look at things through colored ...
— Dollars and Sense • Col. Wm. C. Hunter

... but little, for there was but little to pick up. I learned, however, to call for "Red tape and sealing-wax"—to cry "What a bore!" "Did you ever see such a quiz?"—to call "Lord Charles," "Mr. Henry," and pronounce "good for nothing"—a remark applied by the young men to the pens, which ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 17, Number 489, Saturday, May 14, 1831 • Various

... have made no difference; his determination would have been the same. He would return to Lac Bain—but how? That was the question which puzzled him. He still had thirteen months of service ahead of him. He was not in line for a furlough. It would take at least three months of official red tape to purchase his discharge. These facts rose like barriers in his way. It occurred to him that he might confide in MacGregor, and that the inspector would make an opportunity for him to return into the north immediately. MacGregor had the power to do that, and he believed ...
— Philip Steele of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police • James Oliver Curwood

... tape showed signs at first of declining to unwind, but further investigation proved the frauds so great, that even the red tape was thrilled into action, and the Government began a suit in the United States District Court at New York for $1,000,000 for penalties for fraudulent custom-house under-valuations. It sued William E. Dodge, William E. Dodge, Jr., D. Willis ...
— Great Fortunes from Railroads • Gustavus Myers

... all the red tape in that huge network of institutions by which New York City provides "relief." She never dropped a case of hers into that cumbrous relief machine and then let it slip out of her sight. She did the hard thing, she followed it up. ...
— The Harbor • Ernest Poole

... in saddling up, and followed by my little detachment, rode hastily away to Quantrell's camp, for red tape occupied little space in those days, and quick action was necessary if anything was to ...
— The Story of Cole Younger, by Himself • Cole Younger

... with a story, you know. One likes to get one's legal points all right. In any case, as I was just about to tell Miss Penny for the benefit of her criminal friend, there would be lots of red tape to unwind before they could do anything, and this little isle of Sark is the quaintest place in the world in the matter of its own old observances and their integrity, and the rejection of new ideas. Mr. Pixley does not know you are ...
— Pearl of Pearl Island • John Oxenham

... of red tape off a bundle of the papers, put it through the eye of the setting, and hung the picture round his neck, inside his clothes, for grannie must not see it. She would take that away as she had taken his fiddle. He had a nameless something ...
— Robert Falconer • George MacDonald

... tell you something: I happened to be up in the mayor's office the day Blanche signed for the place. She had to go through a lot of red tape before she got it—had quite a time of it, she did! And say, kid, that woman ...
— One Basket • Edna Ferber

... lessened rather than augmented in the lines of actual investigation in very many directions. Many a State is already far better equipped both as to valuable surrounding land, laboratory and library facilities, more liberal salaries, and greater freedom from red tape, administrative routine, and restrictions as to expenditures, than we are at Washington; and, except as a directing agent and a useful servant, I cannot see where the future growth of the department's influence is to be outside of those federal functions which are executive. Just ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 787, January 31, 1891 • Various

... "I admit that he isn't what you might call orthodox," she said—"not the sort of man who would clothe himself in the rubric, tied on with red tape; but though he may not be a Christian, as we count Christianity, he believes with all his heart in an overruling Power which ...
— The Farringdons • Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler

... slightest indication that the master of the library was any other than a private gentleman. Not a book, not a chair was out of its place. A purple inkstand of Sevre, and a highly-tooled morocco portfolio of the same colour, reposed on a marqueterie table, and that was all. No papers, no despatches, no red tape, and no red boxes. Over an ancient chimney, lined with china tiles, on which were represented grotesque figures, cows playing the harp, monkeys acting monarchs, and tall figures all legs, flying with rapidity from pursuers who ...
— Vivian Grey • The Earl of Beaconsfield

... compendiums required for gentlemen each of whom may have said, respecting his connection with subject-matter of the Secretary (none more emphatically so than Messrs. Adams and Burlingame), quorum pars magna fui? Yet, it must be remembered that diplomacy, like jurisprudence (with its red tape common to both), taketh few things for granted, and constantly maketh records for itself, under the maxim de non apparentibus non existentibus eadem est ratio; and ever beareth in mind that when certioraris to international tribunals are served, the initiatory expositions ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I. February, 1862, No. II. - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... coughing while mixing pills in January 1941; he was then 77 years old and had been working in the factory for 34 years. The final paybooks show deductions for Social Security and unemployment insurance—specimens of vexatious red tape that the factory had avoided for ...
— History of the Comstock Patent Medicine Business and Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills • Robert B. Shaw

... Moses drew from his pocket a despatch, ornamented with a huge seal, and some official red tape. The elder gentleman took it into his hand, and gazed at his worthy son with unutterable surprise, as he read on the outside—"Private and confidential, House of Lords, to Abraham ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 365, March, 1846 • Various

... that he saw, that his original diagnosis was at fault. Superimposed was the agitating thought of what would follow the death of this unwelcome guest: confusion, poking authorities, British and American red tape. It would send business elsewhere; and the hotel business in Canton was never so prosperous that one could afford to lose a single guest. Clientele was ...
— The Ragged Edge • Harold MacGrath

... I found a handsome brown paper parcel, not so very large, considering, and strangely square, considering, which the minxes had put together and left on my office table. They had a great frolic over it. They had not spared red tape nor red wax. Very official it looked, indeed, and on the left-hand corner, in Sarah's boldest and most contorted hand, was written, "Secret service." We had a great laugh over their success. And, indeed, I should have taken ...
— If, Yes and Perhaps - Four Possibilities and Six Exaggerations with Some Bits of Fact • Edward Everett Hale

... to find what can be done by able men against the most determined opposition from their own side; but the great fact that was brought out by the earlier part of this campaign is that the man of intelligence and initiative and ability and energy was fast in the clutches of the Red Tape spider, which fussed round him until he was enveloped in the scarlet web and impotent to use brains or energy. Engineering is one of the few things of which corporate bodies admit their ignorance; therefore the sappers got through much admirable ...
— The Relief of Mafeking • Filson Young

... always win, too. And they will win this time. They will get a writ of habeas corpus, and a stay of proceedings, and a supersedeas, and a new trial and a nolle prosequi, and there you are! That's the routine, and it's no trick at all to a New York lawyer. That's the regular routine —everything's red tape and routine in the law, you see; it's all Greek to you, of course, but to a man who is acquainted with those things it's mere—I'll explain it to you sometime. Everything's going to glide right along easy and comfortable now. You'll see, ...
— The Gilded Age, Complete • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

... number of civilian observers, including news and special writers, photographers, illustrators and painters, and, to handle them satisfactorily, organized this Presse Quartier, once admitted to which—the fakers and fly-by-nights were supposed to be weeded out by preliminary red tape—they were assumed to be serious workmen and treated as ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume I (of 8) - Introductions; Special Articles; Causes of War; Diplomatic and State Papers • Various

... is over,' Carr confessed to Helen in the patio the next morning. 'There's no red tape and legal nonsense between Al and me. To sell a ranch like this, when you know the other chap, is like selling a horse. But,' and his eyes roved from his cigar to a glimpse through an open door of wide rolling meadows and grazing stock, 'I guess I'm sort of homesick ...
— The Desert Valley • Jackson Gregory



Words linked to "Red tape" :   bureaucratic procedure, procedure



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