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Somersault   /sˈəmərsˌɔlt/   Listen
Somersault

noun
(Written also summersault, sommerset, summerset, etc)
1.
An acrobatic feat in which the feet roll over the head (either forward or backward) and return.  Synonyms: flip, somersaulting, somerset, summersault, summerset.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Somersault" Quotes from Famous Books



... champion chair-speeders of the other wards. There was a long inclined plane that was the cause of many accidents, for there was a sharp turn at the bottom and our chariots would get out of control. I have more than once turned a double somersault and it is a wonder I did not break my head, and several candid friends said it was cracked anyway. We had concerts in the hall every night, and as it was a couple of miles from our ward, we cripples who brought our own chairs with us would wait in the corridor for one of the blind to propel ...
— "Over There" with the Australians • R. Hugh Knyvett

... of a boy pitching a ball, or some one yawning and stretching, or a clown turning a somersault, if you touch each of these just in the act and make him elastic. Their bodies always tend to snap back to these positions. Whenever the clown wants to rest, he has to get in the somersault position. ...
— Common Science • Carleton W. Washburne

... between his outspread feet, and, lifting him on his back, carried him several paces, when Herbert, his gun, torch, and himself, mixed up in great confusion, rolled off backward, turning a partial somersault and landing solidly on his head, his gun going off in the ...
— Through Forest and Fire - Wild-Woods Series No. 1 • Edward Ellis

... Augusta does not always approve of me. Yesterday, when I got on Briquette and made that fire-eater jump the two rain-barrels put end to end Dinky-Dunk told me I was too old to be taking a chance like that. So I promptly and deliberately turned a somersault on the prairie-sod, just to show him I wasn't the old lady he was trying to make me out. Gershom, who'd just got back with the children and was unhitching Calamity Kate, retreated with his eyebrows up, toward ...
— The Prairie Child • Arthur Stringer

... little girls should not attempt to talk and swallow at the same time, and, I may add, still less laugh; for laughingis a kind of somersault, performed by the lungs, and is always accompanied by the ejectment of a great deal more breath than is necessary in speaking, so that the jerks it occasions derange still more the wise provisions made to protect life whenever we swallow anything, and therefore we ...
— The History of a Mouthful of Bread - And its effect on the organization of men and animals • Jean Mace

... surprising that he vented a scream of terror, fainted and collapsed among his frogs! As for the big nigger, almost equally terrified by this shriek from the abyss, he executed a precipitate movement which only the breaking of his neck prevented from being a double back-somersault, and lay dead in the weeds with his tongue out and his face the color of a cometic spectrum. We laid them in the same grave, poor fellows, and on many a still summer evening afterward I strayed to the lonely little church-yard ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Volume 8 - Epigrams, On With the Dance, Negligible Tales • Ambrose Bierce

... returned uninjured. Yet further, the comet snatches for the convenience of its travelers, both air and water. Little, useful tracts of earth are picked up and, as it were, turned over and clapped down right side up again upon the comet's surface. Even ships pass uninjured through this remarkable somersault. These events all belong frankly to the ...
— Off on a Comet • Jules Verne

... look for you, for we are about to start and you have a way of turning up missing just when you are most wanted." As he said this he caught hold of the piece of rope around Billy's neck that Billy had broken when he took his somersault, and said: "Come along with me. I am going to put you for once where you can't get out, no matter how hard you bite, chew ...
— Billy Whiskers - The Autobiography of a Goat • Frances Trego Montgomery

... especial charge of the rest. As a stranger approaches, the creatures who are out of their houses scamper back as fast as their legs will carry them, and concealing all but their heads and tails, utter loud barks at the intruder. This done, the greater number dive out of sight with a curious somersault, their little tails whisking in the air. The chief dog, and perhaps two or three other sentinels with him, remain on the tops of their houses barking lustily till the enemy gets within a few paces of them, when they also disappear, and the town remains ...
— The Western World - Picturesque Sketches of Nature and Natural History in North - and South America • W.H.G. Kingston

... as the she-bear bounced out of the crack with Poker hanging to her heels. Poker's audacity had at last outstripped his sagacity, and the next moment he was performing a tremendous somersault. Before he reached the ice, Meetuck and Fred fired simultaneously, and when the smoke cleared away the old bear was stretched out in death. Hitherto the cub had acted exclusively on the defensive, and intrusted itself entirely to the protection of its ...
— The World of Ice • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... Others were compelled to clutch the backs of chairs and cling to pillars. One man involuntarily seized the hair of a lady who devoted an hour before each meal to her coiffure. The Sirdar, with a frenzied bound, tried to turn a somersault. ...
— The Wings of the Morning • Louis Tracy

... off. The window, you see, where Marylin sewed her buttonholes six days the week, faced a brick wall that peeled with an old scrofula of white paint. Coney Island faced a world of sky. So that when she pinched Getaway's nose in between the lips of her coin purse and he, turning a double somersault right in his checked suit, landed seated in a sprawl of mock daze, off she went into peals of laughter only too ...
— The Vertical City • Fannie Hurst

... instinct, the gun sprang up to adjust its sight to this eager gaze, and followed automatically the thundering course of the big bird, and then, taking thought to itself, leaped ahead of it and fired. Thorpe's first pheasant reeled in the air, described a somersault, and fell like ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... the youth, "as I mentioned before, And have grown most uncommonly fat; Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door— Pray, what ...
— Poems Every Child Should Know - The What-Every-Child-Should-Know-Library • Various

... were capsized. One in front of us went down on its side, endways. Ours went a side-somersault, and the next one endways, on its wheels. En route we had gathered a number of soldiers who had been drafted and were on their way South. The cars were ...
— Notes by the Way in A Sailor's Life • Arthur E. Knights

... with his hoofs for a second or two, he succeeded in righting himself, and was on his feet in less time than it takes to tell it. There he stood, as meek as Mary's lamb, trying to look as if he had never turned an undignified somersault ...
— Birds of the Rockies • Leander Sylvester Keyser

... train came puffing along laden with masses of ironwork for the central building. The horses shied at the smoky monster, turned a somersault (at least, so it seemed to me), and we nearly took a header into the lake again; but the charioteer managed to turn them just in time, and the fiery fire-engine steeds snorted past their iron brother, eclipsing even his ...
— The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Harry Furniss

... said Howard, characteristically unable to let such a chance go by. Then he grew suddenly grave and sat down. "Martin, I'm getting frightfully fed up with messing about in town. I'm going to turn a mental and physical somersault and get a ...
— Who Cares? • Cosmo Hamilton

... uncomfortable, but said nothing by way of excuse, and Restall took me off in it like one whose sun has set for ever. "I wouldn't be surprised," said Restall as we went down the drive, "if the damned thing turned a somersault. It might do—anything." Those were ...
— The Passionate Friends • Herbert George Wells

... standing near to the entrance of the convict cell and as the Chilian commander raised a hand for his men to fire, he suddenly doubled himself up like a jack-knife, turning a complete somersault in the direction of the ...
— Jack North's Treasure Hunt - Daring Adventures in South America • Roy Rockwood

... feats"; a announced in the bills of a circus; b attempted in a circus; c involving the turning of a quadruple somersault; d possible. ...
— Symbolic Logic • Lewis Carroll

... a daring young voice was singing. Billy turned with a real start, and when he saw her coming gayly down a little, brush-hidden path and knew that she was alone, the heart of him turned a complete somersault—from the feel of it. ...
— The Long Shadow • B. M. Bower

... And even if I did, I don't see why you should have turned a somersault. I could dance the Highland Fling in a canoe and not upset. Oh dear! all my flowers are gone!" They put their hands on the ...
— The End of the Rainbow • Marian Keith

... was small, and, in spite of his praiseworthy efforts to imitate his great exemplar, the arrow only turned a feeble sort of somersault and descended ...
— Under the Lilacs • Louisa May Alcott

... brought them to a sudden halt. Next moment the sledge went down, and Angut found himself struggling with the dogs in the sea. Fortunately Rooney, being near the back part of the sledge, was able to roll off in a sort of back-somersault before the vehicle was quite submerged. Even in the act he did not forget Kannoa. He made a blind grasp at her in passing, but found her not, for that remarkable woman, at the first alarm, and being well aware of what was coming, ...
— Red Rooney - The Last of the Crew • R.M. Ballantyne

... firestone ring, the Sweetener. 'May be,' said he, 'since it changes to sweetness whatever I eat and drink, it will sweeten my voice also, so that the Plough will obey.' So he put the ring between his lips and whistled; and at the sound his heart turned a somersault for joy, for he felt that out of his mouth the farmer's magic had ...
— The Field of Clover • Laurence Housman

... springboard, in which all the acrobats took part, was introduced. From a point thirty feet back the performer ran swiftly till he reached the springboard, from which a leap was made accompanied by a somersault, carrying him over ...
— The Young Acrobat of the Great North American Circus • Horatio Alger Jr.

... play-room for Jack on the attic floor, and by means of an apparatus, the peculiarities of whose construction he alone knows, he managed after a while to store up the superfluous energy which Jack expended upon everything that he did. Every time Jack turned a somersault he contributed, unknown to himself, something to the growing bulk of hoarded force in the reservoir provided for its reception. All the strength necessary for the somersault was devoted to that operation. The superfluity went ...
— The Booming of Acre Hill - And Other Reminiscences of Urban and Suburban Life • John Kendrick Bangs

... go—see how I go!" and Will turned a somersault over him into the ring out of the front of their box. Robin called angrily on him to behave, and the little tumbler ran then to his duties as servant to the unknown ...
— Robin Hood • Paul Creswick

... vantage-ground as a peace loving people. Then we became frightened and announced loudly that we ought to prepare; that the world was on fire; that our national structure was in danger of catching aflame; and that we must immediately make ready. Then we turned an other somersault and abandoned all talk of preparedness; and we never did ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... antagonist in his own element, but I knew the slack, thus sure to occur, would probably free him; so I peered down upon the beautiful creature and enjoyed my triumph as far as it went. He was caught very lightly through his upper jaw, and I expected every struggle and somersault would break the hold. Presently I saw a place in the rocks where I thought it possible, with such an incentive, to get down within reach of the water: by careful manoeuvring I slipped my pole behind ...
— Locusts and Wild Honey • John Burroughs

... Night by night they appear in spangled tights, and Father resins his hands in view of the audience, and lightly tosses the handkerchief to the wings; and then bends a stout knee, and cries "Hup!" and catches Mumdear on the spring and throws her in a double somersault. There are two girls of thirteen and fifteen, and a dot of nine; and they regard Dad and Mumdear just as professional pals, never as parents. This is Dad's idea; he dislikes being a father, but he enjoys ...
— Nights in London • Thomas Burke

... posts, we saw the great degravitated bombs hurtled against our lines suddenly come into contact with the fan-like electric field, somersault a few times and fall. At the edge of the electric screen the ground was excavated to an enormous depth by the bursting of these intercepted degravitated bombs, most of which had been projected from stationary ...
— The Sword and the Atopen • Taylor H. Greenfield

... awful moment for Ruth Fielding and her two companions. Jennie's intermittent squeal turned into a sudden shriek— as keen and nerve-racking as the whistle of a locomotive. Isadore Phelps "blew up" with a muffled roar as he turned half a somersault in the air and landed headfirst in a ...
— Ruth Fielding at Snow Camp • Alice Emerson

... ways, and I laid off my coat preparatory to 'going in.' As I bent down to adjust a pair of slippers, I heard some rapid steps behind me, and the next instant a pair, of hands and a man's head fell squarely on my back, a pair of heels smote together in the air, and with a somersault the gymnast regained the ground several feet in advance of me. I assumed an indignant perpendicular, when the fellow turned with well-feigned amazement and stammered forth an apology. Bent over as I was, he had mistaken ...
— Continental Monthly - Volume 1 - Issue 3 • Various

... drowsy sensation crept over him, and he looked about for a convenient spot on which to sit down and rest. Alas for the little savage if he had given way at that time! Fortunately a small precipice was close in front of him, its upper edge concealed by wreaths of snow. He fell over it, turning a somersault as he went down, and alighted safely in a snow-bed at the bottom. The shock revived him, but it also quelled the stoic in his breast. Rising with difficulty, he wrinkled up his brown visage, and once again took to howling. Half an hour later his father, steadily following up the ...
— Personal Reminiscences in Book Making - and Some Short Stories • R.M. Ballantyne

... Yorke, or I might have prevented what followed. He had stolen up softly behind me, and, unconscious that he was on the edge of a bluff, had stepped a step beyond me. Of course he went over at once, heels over head, turning a complete somersault, and alighted erect, astride the neck ...
— The Rose of Old St. Louis • Mary Dillon

... round towards her with the sudden grimace of a madman, revealing his insanity by the distortion of his countenance. And in a low, familiar, sneering voice, he stammered in her face: "Ha! ha! Blaise at the bottom of the hole! He speaks, he has spoken to me! Ha! ha! the somersault! you would have the somersault! And you shall have it ...
— Fruitfulness - Fecondite • Emile Zola

... four legs stiff as iron posts. It shot forward in a series of quick sharp bucks. It flung itself against the wall of the arena to crush the leg of this rider who held the saddle with such perfect poise. But Jack Kilmeny was equal to the occasion and more. When the brute went over backward, in a somersault, he was out of the saddle and in again before the vicious outlaw had staggered to its feet. Even the frontier West had never seen a more daring and magnificent ...
— The Highgrader • William MacLeod Raine

... over with his load to the bottom. Now, the boy Saat was the drummer; but being very tired, he had come to the conclusion that the drum would travel quite as easily upon a camel's back as upon his shoulders; he had accordingly slung it upon the very camel that had now performed a somersault and solo on the drum. The musical instrument was picked up in the shape of a flat dish, and existed no longer as a drum, every note having been squeezed out of it. The donkey is a much more calculating animal than the camel, the latter being an excessively stupid beast, while the former is ...
— The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile • Sir Samuel White Baker

... He just stood there and continued his helpless baby squealing. This was all the old hen needed to drive her to extremities. Realizing his weakness she gave one fluttering spring, scattering her chicks in all directions, pecked the pig's nose violently, turned something like a somersault as she landed on the ground, gathered herself together, and incontinently fled, leaving her brood to care for themselves. Thus the pig was left looking after her with an expression in its silly eyes that suggested to the girl nothing so much as an amazed wonder as to what ...
— The Golden Woman - A Story of the Montana Hills • Ridgwell Cullum

... Devereux's tent. Soldiers, Staff Officers, etc. General sits in full uniform at a table. Enter Joe, a very fat soldier. He trips over his rifle, turns a somersault and salutes. The General points to the left and Joe goes off. Enter Phyllis, who talks and gesticulates with ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, February 25, 1914 • Various

... but not to Gay. Two of the pompous coloured men collided just as they were passing Miss Chilton's table. One tray dropped to the floor with a tremendous crash of breaking dishes. The other was caught dexterously in mid-air, but not before its contents had turned a somersault and wrought ruin all around it. A bowl of tomato soup splashed over Lloyd's immaculate shirt-waist and ran in two long red streaks across the shoulders of her duck jacket, which she had hung on her chair-post. Her little gasp of dismay was followed by one from Maud ...
— The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation • Annie Fellows Johnston

... were coming that's done that, Aunt Mary. You ought to have seen me when I got your telegram. I almost turned a somersault." ...
— The Rejuvenation of Aunt Mary • Anne Warner

... the midst of them. The horses were distracted, and made blindly for the gate, though they seemed much more likely to run into the posts than to get through the gate, I thought. The boy seemed to think this, too, for he shot backward, turned a somersault in the air, and disappeared ...
— Painted Windows • Elia W. Peattie

... everybody watched attentively to see the result of this marksman's shooting, he pulled the trigger; the rifle went off with an extra loud report, and behold! the rifle burst and the violent recoil gave the Lama a fearful blow in the face. The rifle, flying out of his hands, described a somersault in the air, and the Lama fell backward to the ground, where he remained spread out flat, bleeding all over, and screaming like a child. His nose was squashed, one eye had been put out, ...
— An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet • A. Henry Savage Landor

... "I look patchwork, and I am patchwork, and no one but a blind owl could ever doubt that I'm the Patchwork Girl." Saying which she turned a somersault off the Woozy and, alighting on her feet, began ...
— The Lost Princess of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... stealing his wheat. One evening, he went out after sunset (for the gnomes never venture out from their holes until the sun is down) and began to fight in the air with his cane about the borders of the field. Then suddenly he saw a very tiny man with knee-breeches and large frightened eyes, turning a somersault in the grass right at his feet. He had struck off his cap, and then, of course, the gnome was no longer invisible. The peasant immediately seized the cap and put it into his pocket; the gnome begged and implored to get it back, but instead of that, the peasant ...
— Ilka on the Hill-Top and Other Stories • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... d'Armes and drove up the narrow Rue de la Mer, Susan seemed to take a sudden header and almost threw a somersault! I had gone into an invisible hole in the ice, two feet deep, extending half across the street. For some reason it had melted (due probably to an underground bakery in the vicinity). I reversed anxiously and then hopped out to feel Susan's springs as one might a horse's ...
— Fanny Goes to War • Pat Beauchamp

... the factory, soon began to dribble about. The young ones, and even the seniors themselves, had many a collision with mother earth ere they could rely on keeping their pins with any degree of accuracy, and it was rare fun to see a bearded man turning a somersault as he missed the ball in trying to make a big kick. Football is easily acquired in so far as the rudimentary part is concerned, but a great deal of probation is required to convert one into a crack player. Among those who now practice football, and their name is legion, the ...
— Scottish Football Reminiscences and Sketches • David Drummond Bone

... dear old solemnsides! Just because Lorraine is going on the stage, I believe you already see me in spangles, jumping through a hoop. Or rather 'trying to', because it is a dead cert. I should miss the hoop, and do a sort of double somersault ...
— Winding Paths • Gertrude Page

... slowly pulling itself together he shook the dust from his feathers, cast a scornful eye upon the crowd about him and looked again for the pebble; there it was within easy shot; taking good aim with one eye closed he made another lunge, ploughed his head into the dust, making a complete somersault. By this time the two old turkeys were attracted by the unusual excitement; making their way through the throng of youngsters, they gazed for a moment upon the downfall of one of their progeny, ...
— Two Thousand Miles On An Automobile • Arthur Jerome Eddy

... fog an event elsewhere deaf the somersault to resound they were shouting at the top of their voices I started reading again for ...
— Le Petit Chose (part 1) - Histoire d'un Enfant • Alphonse Daudet

... Fusiliers on either hand of us. Our section is in action now. We have just taken our waggon to the firing line and brought back the team. The corporal's horse stepped in a hole just as we were reaching the guns and turned a complete somersault. He is all right, but his was our second mishap, as the near wheeler fell earlier in the day, and the driver was dragged some yards before we could stop. The ground is very dangerous, full of holes, some of them deep and half-covered with grass. Another driver is up, but the former is ...
— In the Ranks of the C.I.V. • Erskine Childers

... climbed to the top and slid down, as swiftly as an arrow glides from the bow. Finally he turned a somersault at the foot of the rock, and then called to ...
— Story Hour Readers Book Three • Ida Coe and Alice J. Christie

... on entering he tipped up his head so that I saw his face, which was far from beautiful and yet had two big blue eyes—as blue as the bluest sea—he took no notice of my presence, but tossed a somersault in the middle of the floor, screwed his legs over the back of a chair, vaulted over a table and finally stood on his hands with his legs against the wall opposite to my bed, and his inverted countenance ...
— The Woman Thou Gavest Me - Being the Story of Mary O'Neill • Hall Caine

... spring, his body is cork—no, it is iron, or it would snap at that! He's a bird, a top, a rabbit, a corkscrew, a sprite, a fleshball, all in an instant. When you think he's erect, he is down, and when you think he is down, he is up. He drops his glove on the ice and turns a somersault as he picks it up. Without stopping he snatches the cap from Jacob Poot's astonished head and claps it back again "hindside before." Lookers-on hurrah and laugh. Foolish boy! It is arctic weather under your feet, but more than temperate over head. Big drops already are rolling down your forehead. ...
— Hans Brinker - or The Silver Skates • Mary Mapes Dodge

... acrobat who has mastered every branch of his art, from the spidery contortions of the India-rubber man to the double somersault and the flying trapeze, is to the well-developed individual of ordinary muscular habits, so is the language of Rueckert in this work to the language of all other German authors. It is one perpetual gymnastic show of grammar, rhythm, and fancy. Moods, tenses, antecedents, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866 • Various

... lights turned a complete somersault in the heavens as it played with a ball of wool. There six sky-high manikins with matchstick limbs, went through an incandescent perpetual and silent dance. In the distance was a gigantic bull advertising tobacco—all down this heavenly vista there were these immense signs, lapping and over-lapping ...
— Westward with the Prince of Wales • W. Douglas Newton

... throw out your left leg as high and as far as you can, and as you drop on the toe of your left foot you fling out the right leg in the same manner, and so on. This is the Jump," with which he turned a somersault and disappeared from view. When Amelia next saw him he was sitting cross-legged ...
— The Brownies and Other Tales • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... too?" said the eldest boy. "She's most good of all. What does Nettie want to go away for? But I don't mind; for we have to do what Nettie tells us, and nobody cares for Chatham," cried the sweet child, making a triumphant somersault out of his chair. Nettie stood looking on, without attempting to stop the tumult which arose. She left them with their mother, after a few minutes, and went out to breathe the outside air, where at least there was ...
— The Doctor's Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... lamb, and hang there, or jump up and ride with his legs round the man's hips, then climb valiantly several steps higher, get his legs round his shoulders, and behold! be up on the giddy height! Then the man would take him round the waist, swing him over, and after a mighty somersault in the air, he would land unscathed on his feet upon the floor. It was a composite kind of treat, of three successive stages: first came the lofty and comfortable seat, then the more interesting moment, with a feeling, nevertheless, of being on the ...
— Recollections Of My Childhood And Youth • George Brandes

... business. As the priest broke free, he slid around in an attempt to fasten himself on Kirby's back. Quickly, tensely Kirby doubled, and knew that he had done enough. The cacique shot over his shoulders, described a somersault in midair, and landed with a sharp crack of head and shoulders against ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930 • Various

... be a bit "smart." He made a half somersault forward, trying to spring up on his feet. He fell back, however, and sat down squarely in what was left of ...
— Dave Darrin's First Year at Annapolis • H. Irving Hancock

... of baffled rage I hurled the useless weapon full at the advancing brute. Almost at the instant we struck, my horse went down with the impetus, while over us both, as if shot from a cannon, plunged our pursuer, his horse turning a complete somersault, the rider falling so close that I was upon him almost as soon ...
— My Lady of the North • Randall Parrish

... sleep. And when he walked with the earl after church to the gate over which the noble peer had climbed in his agony, and inspected the hedge through which he had thrown himself, he was quite at home with his little jokes, bantering his august companion as to the mode of his somersault. But be it always remembered that there are two modes in which a young man may be free and easy with his elder and superior,—the mode pleasant and the mode offensive. Had it been in Johnny's nature to try the latter, the earl's back would soon have been up, and the play would have been over. ...
— The Small House at Allington • Anthony Trollope

... where the wall rocks sloped back, leaving a narrow arid sagebrush strip along both sides of the stream. I had straightened up to get the kink out of my back and mop the sweat out of my eyes, when I saw something that made my stomach turn a double somersault. ...
— The River and I • John G. Neihardt

... did come another way. I came all sorts of ways. I really don't know what got into the machine, but she now turned to the left and made for the road, and then she ran along on her two left wheels for a moment, and then seemed about to turn a somersault, but changed her mind, and, still veering to the left, kept on up the road, passing my house at a furious speed, and making for the open country. With as much calmness as I could summon I steered her, but I think I steered her a little too much, for ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume X (of X) • Various

... was the answer, and then the big fish flopped his tail like a fan and made such a wave that poor Bully was upset, turning a somersault in the water. But that didn't scare him, and when he had turned over right side up again he swam to the fish once more ...
— Bully and Bawly No-Tail • Howard R. Garis

... shores, our forefathers made a compact, and a nation was born in that day. It is on creeds that strong men are nourished, and that which nourishes the leaders into eminence is necessary to keep the masses from sinking. A man who really thinks, will think his way into light. He may turn many a somersault, but he will come right side up at last. But people in general do not think, and if they refuse to be walled in by other people's thoughts, they inevitably flop and flounder into pitiable prostration. So important is it, ...
— Gala-days • Gail Hamilton

... point Harris threw away the sculls, got up and left his seat, and sat on his back, and stuck his legs in the air. Montmorency howled, and turned a somersault, and the top hamper jumped up, and ...
— Three Men in a Boa • Jerome K. Jerome

... must tell you, it was here my heart gave its first somersault. I had fallen, as I say, into a black vault of emptiness; yet, as I rose, bruised and dazed, to my feet, there was the cabin all alight from a great lanthorn that swung from the ceiling, and our friend of the morning seated at a table, with a case-bottle ...
— At a Winter's Fire • Bernard Edward J. Capes

... nose and froze there. It did not behave itself thus when we slid down Craig Ronald and whizzed out upon the smooth breast of Loch Grannoch. I was reflecting on this unwarrantable behaviour of the snow, when there came a bump, a somersault, a slide, a scramble. "Dear me!" I say; "how did this happen?" Ears, eyes, mouth, nose were full of fine powdered snow—also, there were tons down one's back. Cold as charity, but ...
— Bog-Myrtle and Peat - Tales Chiefly Of Galloway Gathered From The Years 1889 To 1895 • S.R. Crockett

... accustomed world turns a somersault; one day it faces you with familiar features, the next it wears a quite unrecognizable countenance. The experience is, of course, nothing new, though it is to be doubted whether it was ever staged so dramatically and on so vast a scale as during the past four years. And no one to whom it ...
— The Camerons of Highboro • Beth B. Gilchrist

... now walking on thick, damp, cool moss, and that soft carpet under his feet made him feel absurdly inclined to turn head over heels as he used to do when a child, so he took a run, turned a somersault, got up and began over again. And between each time he began ...
— Une Vie, A Piece of String and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... very caves where Rob Roy hid! I'm sure of it," Jock declared with conviction, and Sandy was so overcome with admiration that he turned a back somersault and almost upset Jean, who was coming out of the cave with the basket on ...
— The Scotch Twins • Lucy Fitch Perkins

... on the calf's back. He tried to stand on his head. Then he turned a somersault on ...
— The Bobbsey Twins in the Country • Laura Lee Hope

... a sorry disappointment to the cowboy. Somehow, Merry regained his feet; then, in a flash, Merry's right arm had Blunt's head in chancery, with Blunt at his back. With a marshaling of his reserve strength, Merry turned the Wonder a somersault and laid him stunned and flat on ...
— Frank Merriwell, Junior's, Golden Trail - or, The Fugitive Professor • Burt L. Standish

... surpass the skill with which the first assault was repelled. At the exact moment Mike launched his shoe, the toe of which caught Nick under the jaw and caused him to turn a backward somersault. He uttered several yelps, but the blow added if ...
— The Launch Boys' Adventures in Northern Waters • Edward S. Ellis

... marble, stained glass, and flying stair-rails he saw his legs trail helplessly after, close in above, fling violently across him feet foremost, and dash out of view. In other words, having reached the bottom of the grand staircase he had turned a complete and homely somersault. ...
— King John of Jingalo - The Story of a Monarch in Difficulties • Laurence Housman

... cast, when back under the limbs of the beeches the water broke, and a mink rose to the surface with a fine perch twisting in her jaws. Straight toward the boy she swam till within reach of his rod, when she recognized the human in him, turned a back-dive somersault, ...
— Roof and Meadow • Dallas Lore Sharp

... up the hill to get another start. Partner took a turn on a stump, and all unmindful of it the Rat whirled and made a mighty spring. He reached the end of the rope and his hand-spring became a vaulting somersault. He lay, unable to rise, spatting the wind, breathing heavily. Such annoying energy I have never seen. We were now mad, muddy, and very resolute. We held him down till he lay quite still. Any well-considered, properly bred animal would have been ground to bone dust by such ...
— The Trail of the Goldseekers - A Record of Travel in Prose and Verse • Hamlin Garland

... this connection, that there never seems to be any male character in these pantomimes that is not committed to buffoonery. Apparently no reliance is placed on the unassisted humour of the dialogue. A funny remark must be clinched with a somersault, a repartee be driven home by a resounding smack on the face. You might have thought that on such an occasion there would be room for the figure of some gallant soldier of the masculine sex. Yet there wasn't a vestige of khaki in the whole show, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, Jan. 1, 1919 • Various

... got to a gate, instead of taking time to open it, he rolled himself somersault-like right over it! When he met man or woman, instead of turning from his straight course, he knocked them over and passed on, garments flying and legs and arms circulating with the velocity ...
— Capitola the Madcap • Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... marched and aboard the little side-wheel steamer "Normande," where our quarters were much too cramped for comfort. A few minutes later the lines were cast off and the steamer was tossing about like a cork on the face of the waters, now up and now down, and seemingly trying at times to turn a somersault, a feat that luckily for us she did not succeed in accomplishing, else this story might never have been written. There was no doing on deck, even had we been capable of making an effort to do so, which we were not, as we could hear the large waves that swept ...
— A Ball Player's Career - Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson • Adrian C. Anson

... cables-lengths to port had taken a flying leap from the flashing sea, turned a complete somersault and vanished. ...
— The Blue Lagoon - A Romance • H. de Vere Stacpoole

... ship, of course. Uncle Jim's bird dog, his head between our feet, his body under the seat, watched the proceedings, whining. It looked like good fun to him, but it was forbidden. A jackrabbit arrested in full flight by a charge of shot turns a very spectacular somersault. The dog would stand about five rabbits. As the sixth turned over, he executed a mad struggle, accomplished a flying leap over the front wheel, was rolled over and over by the forward momentum of the moving vehicle, scrambled to his feet, pounced on that rabbit, ...
— The Killer • Stewart Edward White

... exercise, do you suppose I should be able to do that—or that?" cried Jack, turning a somersault and striking a fine attitude as he came up, flattering himself that he was the model of a ...
— Jack and Jill • Louisa May Alcott

... the name—the real name—of the author of this book? I have reasons, valid reasons for requiring it.' And he glared down at Mark, who had a sudden and disagreeable sensation as if his heart had just turned a somersault. Could this terrible old person have detected him, and if so what ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... am sure. I can do lots of tricks. I can play dead. I can turn a back somersault, and I can walk on my ...
— Sammie and Susie Littletail • Howard R. Garis

... vicious and untamed animal on the frontier. But, though it did its best to unseat the rider and trample him underfoot, there was no moment when the issue seemed in doubt save once. The horse flung itself backward in a somersault, risking its own neck in order to break its master's. But he was equal to the occasion; and when Steamboat staggered again to its feet Bannister was still in the saddle. It was a daring and magnificent piece of horsemanship, and, though he was supposed to be a desperado and a ruffian, his ...
— Wyoming, a Story of the Outdoor West • William MacLeod Raine

... instant Ruyter regained his feet and ran for his life, which the buffalo observing, gave chase, but most fortunately came down with a tremendous somersault in the mud, his feet slipping from under him; thus the Bushman escaped certain destruction. The buffalo rose much discomfited, and, the wounded horse first catching his eye, he went a second time at ...
— Forest & Frontiers • G. A. Henty

... Comes back to the starting point and then goes down the track in half canter; returns again, his eyes flashing, his nostrils dilated, looking the impersonation of the champion courser of the world; makes two or three apparently false starts; turns a somersault by placing his head on the ground and flopping over on his back; gets up and whickers like a horse; goes half-hammered, hop, step, and jump—he says, to loosen up his joints—scratches up the ground with his hands and feet, flops his arms and crows like a rooster, and says, "Bully for Bragg; ...
— "Co. Aytch" - Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment - or, A Side Show of the Big Show • Sam R. Watkins

... middle of the stomach, and there he hung for a moment undecided which way to fall. But he kicked with his hind feet, and that seemed to upset his balance, for he plunged headfirst down, and landed on the other side in a wild somersault. ...
— Bumper, The White Rabbit • George Ethelbert Walsh

... battle. On the following Sunday all the mestizos, even the thinnest, had large paunches and spread their legs wide apart as though on horseback, while the natives placed one leg over the other, even the fattest, there being one cabeza de barangay who turned a somersault. Seeing these movements, the Chinese all adopted their own peculiar attitude, that of sitting as they do in their shops, with one leg drawn back and upward, the other swinging loose. There resulted protests and petitions, ...
— The Reign of Greed - Complete English Version of 'El Filibusterismo' • Jose Rizal

... gambolling," continued the little mauve mouse, "and she had just turned a double back somersault without the use of what remained of her tail, when, all of a sudden, she beheld, looming up like a monster ghost, a figure all in white fur! Oh, how frightened she was, and how her little heart did beat! 'Purr, purr-r-r,' said the ghost in white fur. 'Oh, please don't hurt ...
— A Little Book of Profitable Tales • Eugene Field

... a clean throw, contrived with masterly assurance, the result of deliberate and trained calculation. The bully pitched upon his head on the rough stones of the yard, and turned a complete somersault with the ...
— The Bars of Iron • Ethel May Dell

... simultaneously cast themselves toward it. In the struggle they clinched, and the pious Jose, who was as much the superior of his antagonist in bodily as in spiritual strength, was about to treat the Great Adversary to a back somersault, when he suddenly felt the long nails of the stranger piercing his flesh. A new fear seized his heart, a numbing chillness crept through his body, and he struggled to free himself, but in vain. A strange roaring was in his ears; ...
— The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... difficulties of these lines must have been great, and it is an appalling sight to witness a train in motion. So hilly is the little island that if the engine is approaching the chances are it looks as if it were about to plunge wildly down on its head and turn a somersault into the station, or else it seems to be gradually climbing up a steep gradient after the fashion of a fly on the wall. But everything appears well managed, and the dulness of the daily press is never enlivened by accounts ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... of this clumsy baby was his way of alighting on a fence when he had been flying. He seized the board with his claws, which clung for dear life, while his body went on as it was going, with the result almost of a somersault. He tried to learn, however. He made great efforts to master the vagaries of fences, the irregularities of the ground, the peculiarities of branches. He persistently walked the rail fence, though he had to spread both wings to keep his balance. Then he climbed to the top of the rail ...
— Little Brothers of the Air • Olive Thorne Miller

... to the sleep ray, would keep the creature under control until they had a chance to study it. But, as Weeks passed Sinbad on his errand, the cat was so frantic to avoid him, that he reared up on his hind legs, almost turning a somersault, snarling and spitting until Weeks was up the ladder to the next level. It was very evident that the ship's cat was having none of ...
— Plague Ship • Andre Norton

... the simplest means. She hung over it absorbed, calling to her brother every now and then, as though by sheer perversity, to come and look whenever the pink or the blue danseuse executed a more surprising somersault than usual. ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Chirp, Winnie, Val Russel and Mrs. Follison, hastily and automatically gave him a helping shove on the shoulder which sent him sprawling to the walk, where he completed his interesting exhibition by turning a back somersault. ...
— Five Thousand an Hour - How Johnny Gamble Won the Heiress • George Randolph Chester

... delightful storybook fashion, and what a comfort it is. Half an hour after everyone had said they were so happy they could only hold one drop more, the drop came. Laurie opened the parlor door and popped his head in very quietly. He might just as well have turned a somersault and uttered an Indian war whoop, for his face was so full of suppressed excitement and his voice so treacherously joyful that everyone jumped up, though he only said, in a queer, breathless voice, "Here's another Christmas ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... up, then, before the occasion turns a back somersault on him. I reckon what he needs most is a new hat that will be about six sizes too big for him a week from now. Jim Halliday's all right as long as he keeps to his own side of the street, but he'd better not come over here ...
— With Hoops of Steel • Florence Finch Kelly

... only think you can. Besides, that's not a cartwheel; that's a double somersault. It's a real stunt, let me tell you. Why, I can do a cartwheel myself. But up in the air like that—well, I don't know. I guess not. I'd be willing to try it, though, if I had something below to ...
— The Circus Boys on the Flying Rings • Edgar B. P. Darlington

... could beat him at running or leaping except Dick Varley. When Henri ran a race even Joe Blunt laughed outright, for arms and legs went like independent flails. When he leaped, he hurled himself into space with a degree of violence that seemed to insure a somersault; yet he always came down with a crash on his feet. Plunging was Henri's forte. He generally lounged about the settlement when unoccupied, with his hands behind his back, apparently in a reverie, and when called on to act, he seemed to fancy he must have lost time, and could ...
— The Dog Crusoe and His Master - A Story of Adventure in the Western Prairies • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... prie! This maniac wishes now to discuss the possibility of a somersault in the air. I can ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

... already have got a taste of Mr. Harding—fell off the lower-topsail-yard. I was only a little girl, but it looked like certain death, for he was falling from the weather side of the yard straight down on deck. But he fell into the belly of the mainsail, breaking his fall, turned a somersault, and landed on his feet on deck and unhurt. And he landed right alongside of Mr. Harding, facing him. I don't know which was the more astonished, but I think Mr. Harding was, for he stood there petrified. He ...
— The Mutiny of the Elsinore • Jack London

... somersault!" ordered Bert. This Snap did, too. This was one of his best tricks. Over and over he went around the school room, outside the rows of desks. This made the ...
— The Bobbsey Twins at Home • Laura Lee Hope

... news-bearer must be stopped. The train was halted a mile or two from the town, the pole climbed, the wire cut. Danger from this source was at an end. Halting long enough to tear up the rail to whose absence Conductor Fuller owed his somersault, they sprang to their places again and the runaway train sped ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 1 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris



Words linked to "Somersault" :   tumble, flip-flop, summerset, roll over



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