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Surly   /sˈərli/   Listen
Surly

adjective
(compar. surlier; superl. surliest)
1.
Inclined to anger or bad feelings with overtones of menace.  Synonym: ugly.  "An ugly frame of mind"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Surly" Quotes from Famous Books



... foe was no skulk in his ship I tell you, (said he,) His was the surly English pluck, and there is no tougher or truer, and never was, and never will be; Along the lower'd eve he came horribly ...
— A Study of Poetry • Bliss Perry

... to Phil's mind that not to know jewels when they were seen was a doubtful proof of smartness; so he answered with a somewhat surly, "How, sir?" ...
— Say and Seal, Volume I • Susan Warner

... upsetting bit of "crowd psychology" they had seen—that, he pointed out, had come merely from the unusual heat, the control of the steam-pipes happening to be out of whack to-day. Such a thing didn't happen once in six months; so that surly fellow MacQueen had said. Of course, producing wealth was a hard business at best, let none deny it. Everybody would like to see factories run on the model theory, like health resorts, but the truth was that ...
— V. V.'s Eyes • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... comely handsome fellow, perfectly well made, with straight long limbs, not too large, tall, and well-shaped, and, as I reckon, about twenty-six years of age. He had a very good countenance, not a fierce and surly aspect, but seemed to have something very manly in his face, and yet he had all the sweetness and softness of an European in his countenance too, especially when he smiled: his hair was long and black, not curled like wool; his forehead very high and ...
— The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) • Daniel Defoe

... bellowed Big Bill, half in the surly anger which is the natural right of a man rudely awakened, half in tremulous joy. "Wait ontil I git my eyes open good an' I'll roll you like you was dough an' I'm ...
— The Short Cut • Jackson Gregory

... JOHN. [Moved but surly.] I like wildcats and I like Christians, but I don't like Christian wildcats! Now I'm close hauled, trot out your tornado! Let the Tiger loose! It's the tamer, the man in the cage that has to look lively and use the red hot crowbar! But, by Jove, I'm out of the cage! I'm a mere ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: The New York Idea • Langdon Mitchell

... Loup's face twitched for a moment, but he clinched his fingers tightly to restrain himself and answered with a surly impassability, ...
— If I Were King • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... cried the doctor sharply. "What's better than for a son to feel that he is bound to obey his father? If I had been a married man instead of a surly bachelor, and I had had a son, I should have expected him to obey me and do what I thought was for his ...
— Jack at Sea - All Work and no Play made him a Dull Boy • George Manville Fenn

... well and strong, and but for the bandage on his head would have been as she remembered him. He manifested interest in the gambling of the players by surly grunts. Presently ...
— The Border Legion • Zane Grey

... are just getting him aboard!" and the crowd, rushing away from the stern, carried with it the two disputants—the sparer peasant; lowering his shoulders, and buttoning up his jacket as he went; while the bearded peasant, following at his heels, thrust his head forward in a surly manner as he shifted his cap from the one ...
— Through Russia • Maxim Gorky

... surly face he glanced round at her. Not for this lady's benefit had the admission ...
— The Convert • Elizabeth Robins

... surly. It's the one department where your touch hasn't been felt. I want you to go there on Monday and begin ...
— Suzanna Stirs the Fire • Emily Calvin Blake

... automatically, and, picking up the burdens they had set down, trudged on their way, not realising for some time how much offended they were at the curt behaviour of the "mad English." The children by this time had ceased staring and returned to their play; the waggoner, muttering some surly words, drove on. Julia sat on the bank by the roadside, and tried to brush the dust from her dress. The Englishman, after making some parting remarks to the waggoner, this time in Dutch, though still in the quiet, drawling voice which was much at variance ...
— The Good Comrade • Una L. Silberrad

... be some truth in her objection. Lydgate said, "Very well," with a surly obedience, and thus the discussion ended with his promising Rosamond, and not with ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... lovely Mrs. Dash; 'Tis wrong to mention names; When for her surly husband's cash She urged in vain her claims. "I want a little money, dear, For Vandervoort and Flandin, Their bill, which now has run a year, To-morrow mean to ...
— Masterpieces Of American Wit And Humor • Thomas L. Masson (Editor)

... of the window. They saw the landlord of the hotel, a surly-looking fellow, with a big black mustache and tanned cheeks, striding across the yard to the professor, who ...
— The Boy Inventors' Radio Telephone • Richard Bonner

... sourly. Not by any stretch of imagination could he be considered a brilliant conversationalist. What he had to say he growled out audibly enough, but for the rest his opinions had to be cork-screwed out of him in surly monosyllables. ...
— Mavericks • William MacLeod Raine

... Frenchman started for his gig, amid the "Haw! haw! haw! and ha! ha! he! he!" of the landlord and lawyer. "That for you," said the Frenchman, as he gave the surly Dutchman-hostler a real half-dollar, took the dirty "ribbons" and drove off. Now, the farmer, one of the three spectators present, had quietly watched the proceedings, and being gifted with enough insight into human nature to see something more than "an old French barber" ...
— The Humors of Falconbridge - A Collection of Humorous and Every Day Scenes • Jonathan F. Kelley

... of his surly manner, and his attempts to escape, he had been more strictly bound than before and to get him out of the way had been removed from the flagship, which was already overcrowded, and placed in one of the other electric ships, and this ship—as it happened—was one of those ...
— Edison's Conquest of Mars • Garrett Putnam Serviss

... the manner in which it was supplied with labourers, and his own experience in old Peter's case had made them seem not unlikely. He had seen Catharine's husband, in the justice's court, and the next day, in the convict gang behind Turner's buggy. The man had not looked like a criminal; that he was surly and desperate may as well have been due to a sense of rank injustice as to an evil nature. That a wrong had been done, under cover of law, was at least more than likely; but a deed of mercy could be made to right it. The love of money might be the root of all evil, but its control ...
— The Colonel's Dream • Charles W. Chesnutt

... the most surly feelings on both sides, threatened the very existence of the young government. Washington and Hamilton were thoroughly alarmed. Hearing of the extremity to which the contest had been carried and acting on the appeal from the Secretary of the Treasury, Jefferson ...
— History of the United States • Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard

... he often passed his holidays in a small lodge standing in the grounds of the villa. "Lord Thurlow," asked a lady of him, as he was leaving the Queen's Drawing-room, "when are you going into your new house?" "Madam," answered the surly Chancellor, incensed by her curiosity, "the Queen has asked me that impudent question, and I would not answer her; I will not tell you." For years Loughborough and Erskine had houses in Hampstead. "In Lord Mansfield's ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

... the room was strong with stale liquor and tobacco, the lingering aroma of the night's vanished revels. In the far corner sat the girl she had followed; a glass of raw whiskey and another of water stood on the table before her. Susan seated herself near the door and when the swollen-faced, surly bartender came, ordered whiskey. She poured herself a drink—filled the glass to the brim. She drank it in two gulps, set the empty glass down. She shivered like an animal as it is hit in the head with a poleax. The mechanism of life staggered, hesitated, went on with a sudden ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... Even Epernon tried to say a gracious word to the retiring envoy, assuring him that he would do as much for the cause as a good Frenchman and lover of his fatherland could do. He added, in rather a surly way, that he knew very well how foully he had been described to the States, but that the devil was not as black as he was painted. It was necessary, he said, to take care of one's own house first of all, and he knew very well that the States and all prudent persons would ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... Gobbets, small lumps. Gowden, golden. Gowsty, gusty. Grat, wept. Grieve, land-steward. Guddle, to catch fish with the hands by groping under the stones or banks. Gumption, common sense, judgment. Guid, good. Gurley, stormy, surly. Gyte, ...
— Weir of Hermiston • Robert Louis Stevenson

... deep voices, betrayed the arrival of the others: Langford, Morrison, Thompson the Government Agent, and the one police official whom Phil felt was absolutely above suspicion,—Howden, who was Chief Palmer's deputy—and Brenchfield, surly as a bear;—all powerful men and capable of giving a good account of themselves ...
— The Spoilers of the Valley • Robert Watson

... coffee and bolting their food. From the kitchen beyond came the crackling of fats, the odor of frying things and the aroma of strong coffee. The clatter of tin pans and cups, the rattle of pewter knives and forks and the commands of hungry men to the surly lads who served them assailed the refined ears of the young Virginian as he stopped irresolutely at the ...
— The Rose in the Ring • George Barr McCutcheon

... surly set of beggars," Fairclough said, as they rowed off. "I don't think there is much chance of cooperation in that quarter. Indeed, I am by no means sure that, at heart, they do not approve of these Malay attacks. At present, they monopolize the trade in spice. The native craft from all the islands ...
— At the Point of the Bayonet - A Tale of the Mahratta War • G. A. Henty

... coarse, surly, ill-mannered brute, whose delight was to "provoke" his young wife, who he tells us "is a young lady, a fine lady, a witty lady, and a virtuous lady, but yet I hate her." In a drunken frolic he intercepts ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1 - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook • The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.

... about the surly answer I had received from the man on the banks of the river, I said: "I wonder why those men are camped there? They must have been there ...
— The Trail of the Goldseekers - A Record of Travel in Prose and Verse • Hamlin Garland

... days of power and success, days of a glamour that lingered long in his mind. Beyond a doubt he was destroying MacDougall's plan and realizing his own. Sometimes he met a surly Mexican who would not listen to him, but nearly always he won the man over in the end. He was amazed at his own resourcefulness and eloquence. It seemed as though some inhibition in him had been broken down, some magical elixir ...
— The Blood of the Conquerors • Harvey Fergusson

... Mr Gordon's query, which not only surprised but grieved his young companion; and the surprise was increased when the sick man replied in a surly tone— ...
— The Eagle Cliff • R.M. Ballantyne

... song, without a hitch in his memory, or drained off a good stiff glass without stopping for breath. But notwithstanding these precedents to the contrary, Gabriel Grub was an ill-conditioned, cross-grained, surly fellow—a morose and lonely man, who consorted with nobody but himself, and an old wicker bottle which fitted into his large deep waistcoat pocket—and who eyed each merry face, as it passed him by, with such a deep scowl of malice and ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... why the book-keeper's manner was now so different. Van Zandt was older, but he was not so very old, not more than sixty, and old age in itself is not sufficient to make a man surly and to sour his temper. That the Major had had trouble in his family was well known. His wife had been flighty and foolish, and it was believed that she had run away from him; and his only son was a wild lad, who had been employed ...
— Tales of Fantasy and Fact • Brander Matthews

... tone of command, he, evidently much surprised and obeying from the force of habit in one accustomed to yield to others, crossed over the line, the broad country yokel grin with which he had received my first reply, giving place to a surly look. ...
— On Board the Esmeralda - Martin Leigh's Log - A Sea Story • John Conroy Hutcheson

... disappointment, and Saxe revelled in the wondrous scenery, growing more sure-footed and firm of nerve day by day when in the mountains, and happy and full of fun when back in Andregg's valley, leaving the donkey or his companion Gros, and accompanying heavy, surly, stupid, strong Pierre up the green alps to fetch home the goats and cows, becoming a perfect adept with a great wooden Alpine horn, whose notes evoked wonderful echoes among the mountains ...
— The Crystal Hunters - A Boy's Adventures in the Higher Alps • George Manville Fenn

... other, quite privately, that their chief talked a lot of nonsense about "that there mean-tempered old buffalo," they nevertheless came gradually to look upon Last Bull with a kind of awe, and to regard his surly whims as privileged. ...
— Kings in Exile • Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

... shop, and which he had caught up as the readiest weapon of working his foeman damage, and advanced therewith upon him. The cautious Scot (for such our readers must have already pronounced him, from his language and pedantry) drew back as the enraged ship-chandler approached, but in a surly manner, and bearing his hand on his sword-hilt rather in the act of one who was losing habitual forbearance and caution of deportment, than as alarmed by the attack of an antagonist inferior to himself ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... other boat seen on the Arun. Its prow was curved like a bird's beak. And when folk wished to go across to the Amberley flats that lie under the splendid shell which was once a castle, Harding would carry them, if he was there and neither too busy nor too surly. And when they asked the fee he always said, "When I work in metal I take metal. But for that which flows I take only that which flows. So give me whatever you have heart to give, as long as it is not coin." And they gave him willingly anything they had: a flower, or an egg, or a bird's ...
— Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard • Eleanor Farjeon

... Then to our profound admiration he called in half a dozen languages; finally growling: "Lascars, likely!"—and proceeded to hail in something he afterwards explained was Lascar gibberish. All of which failed to attract the surly pair who played ...
— Wings of the Wind • Credo Harris

... smoored[106] or crushed her wt a great meikle stone greater than 2 milstones, which God knows whence he brought, but she miraculously supported it wt hir head, as the woman heir carries the courds and whey on their head. Surly she had a gay burden; and never rested till she came to that place wheir its standing even now. They talk also that she brought the 5 pillars on which its erected till above a mans hight in hir lap wt hir. I mocking at this fable, I fell ...
— Publications of the Scottish History Society, Vol. 36 • Sir John Lauder

... should hope to see a battle, I could not conceive, but let him go quietly to sleep away his folly. Next day he made two mistakes in the first bill, disobliged a customer by surly answers, and dated all his entries in the journal in a wrong month. At night he met his military companions again, came home late, ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume IV: The Adventurer; The Idler • Samuel Johnson

... surly countenance and disdainful grace, Sullen and sad, sat the Circassian stout, Like a fierce lion grumbling in his place, His fiery eyes that turns and rolls about; Nor durst Orcanes view the Soldan's face, But still upon the floor did pore and tout: Thus with his lords and peers in counselling, ...
— Jerusalem Delivered • Torquato Tasso

... seem' as I've got to," was the surly answer. But Jasper's face was dark with suspicion, and Rome studied it keenly. The Lewallens once had been men whose word was good, but he did not ...
— A Cumberland Vendetta • John Fox, Jr.

... than usual, in honor of the masque: and Jurgen knew that this young bishop was to become Pope of Rome, no less; and that the child he joked with was to become the woman for possession of whom Guiron des Rocques and the surly-looking small boy yonder, Maugis d'Aigremont, would contend with each other until the country hereabouts had been devastated, and the castle wherein Jurgen now was had been besieged, and this part of it burned. And wildly droll and sad it was to Jurgen thus to remember all that ...
— Jurgen - A Comedy of Justice • James Branch Cabell

... lady dear!" Her fearful damsel cries; "You reckon not, I deeply fear, How swift the moontide flies! The surly warder will awake, The morning dawn, anon,— My heart beginneth sore to quake,— I fear we ...
— The Baron's Yule Feast: A Christmas Rhyme • Thomas Cooper

... Why? He was such a surly fellow. Why? If you asked him for candy, He'd hide his away; He never would play What the rest wished to play; He would say horrid words ...
— More Goops and How Not to Be Them • Gelett Burgess

... Jurgis was saved because of Ona. He never would take but the one drink at noontime; and so he got the reputation of being a surly fellow, and was not quite welcome at the saloons, and had to drift about from one to another. Then at night he would go straight home, helping Ona and Stanislovas, or often putting the former on a car. And when he got home perhaps he would have to trudge several blocks, ...
— The Jungle • Upton Sinclair

... but Edmund saw that he was far from pleased at his father's words, and a look of surly determination on his face showed the young Saxon that he would go his own way in the matter if it lay ...
— The Dragon and the Raven - or, The Days of King Alfred • G. A. Henty

... in regard to my work or anything else. The only exception was Mr. A. L. Smith. The reason, I now feel sure, was that they believed that to take notice of me would have only made me more uppish. I daresay they imagined I should have been rude or surly, or have attempted to snub them. Still, the fact is something of a record, ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... surly "What the darnation?" the other whispered: "Be on your way, Buck. Get out of town, and get out of trouble. My boy hears you been talkin' about him, and he allows as how he'll get you. He's out for ...
— Way of the Lawless • Max Brand

... the troubadour and his little companion reached Montfaucon late in the afternoon of the day following the departure of the Count's guests. The porter, a surly looking fellow, hesitated about admitting them, and before opening the wicket gate consulted some one within. The castle seemed to be in a somewhat disorderly state. Soldiers were playing dice by the gateway, and horses were stamping ...
— Masters of the Guild • L. Lamprey

... fair Creature I'd sometimes retire, Her Conversation wou'd new Joys inspire. Give Life and Edge so keen, no surly Care } Wou'd venture to assault my Soul, or dare } Near my Retreat to hide one secret Snare. } But so Divine, so Noble a Repast. I'd seldom, and with Moderation caste. For highest Cordials all their Virtue lose, By a too freequent, and to bold ...
— The Pleasures of a Single Life, or, The Miseries Of Matrimony • Anonymous

... so loud that the mother rushed out of her hovel to ascertain the cause; and seeing the purloining pig make off munching his booty, the woman in her heat struck the grunter so smart a blow, that the surly rascal took it into his head to go home very much indisposed, and after a certain time resolved to die,—a resolution that he accordingly put into practice; upon which the owner instituted judicial proceedings ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... was wonderous tyrannical and surly; If a patriot only touch'd on the Queen or Master Burleigh, She'd send a file of soldiers in less than half an hour, sir, Just to bid him make his speeches to the prisons of the Tow'r, ...
— Poems • Sir John Carr

... of these up-town apartments as it was falling dusk, and it was long before the janitor appeared. Then the man was very surly, and said if he looked at the flat now he would say it was too dark, like all the rest. His reluctance irritated March in proportion to his insincerity in proposing to look at it at all. He knew he did not mean ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... Public Prosecutor in a surly and obstinate mood, following on an interview which he had just had with citizen Commissary Cuisinier on the matter of ...
— The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel • Baroness Orczy

... us one mule for our luggage, and the beast was unlikely to be overburdened, for at the last minute he had turned surly, and as he sat like a general of division to watch his patch-and-string command go by he showed how Eye of Zeitoon only failed him for a title in giving his other eye—the one he kept on us—too little credit. It was a good-looking crowd of irregulars that he reviewed, and every bearded, ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... treat their antagonists with insolence and scorn: the presbyterians were incensed to see their friends disgraced, and their enemies distinguished by the royal indulgence. They insisted upon the authority of the law, which happened to be upon their side: they became more than ever sour, surly, and implacable; they refused to concur with the prelatists or abate in the least circumstances of discipline; and the assembly was dissolved without any time or place assigned for the next meeting. The presbyterians pretended an independent right of assembling annually, even ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... well if the passenger, on landing, is not besmirched with coal-dust, after a narrow escape of being shoved into the sea off the stage. But, after all, civility pays in Grenada, as in the rest of the world; and the Negro, like the Frenchman, though surly and rude enough if treated with the least haughtiness, will generally, like the Frenchman, melt at once at a touch of the hat, and an appeal to 'Laissez passer Mademoiselle.' On shore we got, through be-coaled Negroes, men and women, safe and not very much be-coaled ourselves; and were driven up ...
— At Last • Charles Kingsley

... Despair, and it was in his grounds they now were sleeping; wherefore he, getting up in the morning early, and walking up and down in his fields, caught Christian and Hopeful asleep in his grounds. Then with a grim and surly voice he bid them awake, and asked them whence they were, and what they did in his grounds. They told him that they were pilgrims, and that they had lost their way. Then said the giant. You have this night trespassed on me by trampling ...
— MacMillan's Reading Books - Book V • Anonymous

... hour Of New Year's month or surly Yule Furred snows, charged tuft above tuft, tower From darksome ...
— Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins - Now First Published • Gerard Manley Hopkins

... the same roof with such an old sorciere! Nevertheless, I crossed the street, and accosted the hag with a smile. "Good-day, Maman Paquet. Can you tell me anything of your lodger, Noemi Bergeron?" "Hein?" She was deaf and surly. I repeated my question in a louder key. "I know nothing of her," she answered, in a voice that sounded like the croak of a frog. "She couldn't pay me her rent, and I told her to be off. Maybe she's drowned by this." "You turned her out?" I cried. "Yes, turned ...
— Dreams and Dream Stories • Anna (Bonus) Kingsford

... the sense. Look how the fair one weeps!—the conscious tears Stand thick as dew-drops on the bells of flowers: Honest effusion! the swoln heart in vain Works hard to put a gloss on its distress. Strength, too,—thou surly, and less gentle boast Of those that laugh loud at the village ring! A fit of common sickness pulls thee down With greater ease than e'er thou didst the stripling 260 That rashly dared thee to the unequal ...
— The Poetical Works of Beattie, Blair, and Falconer - With Lives, Critical Dissertations, and Explanatory Notes • Rev. George Gilfillan [Ed.]

... its door was shut, and on the jamb thereof hung a slug-horn. The damsel, who seemed to know what to do, set her mouth to the horn, and blew a blast; and in a little while the door was opened, and a big man clad in red scarlet stood therein: he had no weapons, but was somewhat surly of aspect: he spake not, but stood abiding the word: so the damsel took it up and said: "Art thou not the ...
— The Story of the Glittering Plain - or the Land of Living Men • William Morris

... replied the landlord of the Trumpeter, in a surly tone, for he did not much like the appearance of his ...
— Jack Sheppard - A Romance • William Harrison Ainsworth

... of April the weather continued to be a succession of neat and rapid changes. One day the soft airs of spring seemed to be stealing along the valley, and, in unison with an invigorating sun, attempting covertly to rouse the dormant powers of the vegetable world, while, on the next, the surly blasts from the north would sweep across the lake and erase every impression left by their gentle adversaries. The snow, however, finally disappeared, and the green wheat fields were seen in every direction, spotted with the dark and charred ...
— The Pioneers • James Fenimore Cooper

... spoke, the surly mutineers were riding slowly towards the coach. Every man had his pistol on the high pommel of the saddle. Their faces wore an ugly look. As they passed the officer, one of them, pointing ahead of him with ...
— Beverly of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... for?" asked the surly voice again. "Were it not for those rascal Frenchmen up above, I would come out and split ...
— Hereward, The Last of the English • Charles Kingsley

... demand for them secret, merely informing the Chamber that negotiations with Prussia were in progress. Ollivier took his dejeuner at the palace, where the household staff greeted him very coldly, and the empress, by whom he sat, turned her back on him. In the Chamber Duvernois asked in a surly tone when the debate on his interpellation would come on, and July 15 was fixed for it. Everything now depended on the issue of Benedetti's interview with the king at Ems, which took place early on the morning of the 13th, ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... a few pretty hot moments on the platform when Bucks, among a group of five camp malefactors on their way to Medicine Bend, confronted the two men who had tried to kill him, and unhesitatingly pointed them out. Seagrue, tall and surly, denied vehemently ever having been at Point of Rocks and ever having seen Bucks. He declared the whole affair was "framed up" to send him to the penitentiary. He threatened if he were "sent up" to come back and kill Bucks if it was twenty years later—and did, in that respect, try ...
— The Mountain Divide • Frank H. Spearman

... glide up and down the stairs, and through the passages; and the Captain sometimes met him in one place and sometimes in another. But by a caprice incident to such tempers he treated this cleric exceptionally, and even with a surly sort of courtesy, though he grumbled about his visits behind ...
— J.S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 5 • J.S. Le Fanu

... question the Gourlays. He had been too long in their service to be of use to any other; while there was a hand's turn to be done about the House with the Green Shutters he was glad to have the chance of doing it. His respect for his surly tyrant was as great as ever; he took his pittance of a wage and was thankful. Above all he worshipped young Gourlay; to be in touch with a College-bred man was a reflected glory; even the escapades ...
— The House with the Green Shutters • George Douglas Brown

... summer-house, and still with one hand mechanically kept her hold of the dog. It was well for the priest that she did so. Scarammuccia's formidable teeth were in full view, his shaggy coat was bristling, his eyes were starting, his growl had changed from the surly to the savage note; he was ready to tear down, not Father Rocco only, but all the clergy in Pisa, at a ...
— After Dark • Wilkie Collins

... Catch's, who passed the time of day to us with a cheerful bow-wow; although I was surprised to see that he had not "a posy tied to his tail," according to the orthodox adage of typical smartness. Then there was the milkman's dog, a gaunt retriever like mine, but of a very bad disposition, and a surly brute withal. He and Catch were deadly foes, as is frequently the case with dogs of the same breed; so, of course, they could never meet without quarrelling: on this occasion they exchanged ferocious challenges, and parted with signs and symptoms of unmitigated contempt on both sides, ...
— She and I, Volume 1 • John Conroy Hutcheson

... surly brute was once an innocent puppy, all legs and head, full of fun and play, and burning with ambition to become a big, good dog and bark ...
— Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow • Jerome K. Jerome

... nursing their scars, Sit the old fighting-men broke in the wars— Sit the old fighting men, surly and grim Mocking the ...
— Songs from Books • Rudyard Kipling

... in the island of Skye is, beyond question, the neighbourhood of Dunvegan. It was of surly, superstitious, loyal-hearted Samuel Johnson that I chiefly thought when I leapt out of the trap that landed me at the Hotel of Dunvegan, for I had just been reading his famous Journey, with its diverting remarks on second-sight. It would not, I confess, have surprised ...
— Literary Tours in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland • Daniel Turner Holmes

... of it, in fact, and such a day as neither had had for forty years; for, first, they went to Bartlett's Hill, where the boys and girls were coasting, and coasted with them for a full hour,—and then it was discovered by the younger portion of his flock that the parson was not an old, stiff, solemn, surly poke, as they had thought, but a pleasant, good-natured, kindly soul, who could take and give a joke, and steer a sled as well as the smartest boy in the crowd; and when it came to snow-balling, he could send a ball further than Bill Sykes ...
— The Busted Ex-Texan and Other Stories • W. H. H. Murray

... bargains when they traded with him—and he allowed them to make no other kind,—they must stand or fall by them. Where his lands joined those of his neighbours, there was always "a lane for the rabbits," as the saying is. He would join fences with none of them. Indeed, he was a surly neighbour, though he did not ...
— Mingo - And Other Sketches in Black and White • Joel Chandler Harris

... left Camp Chase, where every one had been uniformly polite and respectful in demeanor, and I had enjoyed privileges which amounted almost to liberty, the gloom of the penitentiary and the surly, ban-dog manner of the keepers were doubly distasteful, and the feeling was as if I were being buried alive. I found that, during my absence, the prisoners had been removed from the hall, which they had all the time previously occupied, to another in which ...
— History of Morgan's Cavalry • Basil W. Duke

... denounce essential differences of temperament as a sin. The North American, among whose ancestors are Britons and Spaniards, Celts and Dutchmen, South Frenchmen and Low Germans, does not easily understand the Englishman, despite the common language; calls him surly, stiff, cold; charges him with selfishness and presumption, and has never, as a glance backward will show, shirked battle with him for great issues. For the most part, to be sure, it remains the scolding of relatives, who wish to ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... unable to detect anything to justify the least apprehension on my part. Of course it was impossible for me to observe the pair when they were alone together after the day's work was done, but although Svorenssen maintained his usual surly demeanour I attached little importance to that, for I believed it to be natural to him, while there was no doubt that both men ...
— The Strange Adventures of Eric Blackburn • Harry Collingwood

... the Indian and designating the status of the slave as the normal status of the Negro. The probable reason is that racial characteristics of the Indian made him a bad subject for slavery. The Massachusetts colonists found the Pequot Indians surly, revengeful and in the words of Cotton Mather unable to "endure the Yoke."[137] The Negro, on the contrary, proved himself much more tractable and therefore more profitable as a slave. These plastic race ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 2, 1917 • Various

... graceful on the bounding steed; So well in paint and stone they judged of merit: But kings in wit may want discerning spirit. The hero William, and the martyr Charles, One knighted Blackmore, and one pension'd Quarles; Which made old Ben and surly Dennis swear, 'No Lord's anointed, ...
— The Poetical Works Of Alexander Pope, Vol. 1 • Alexander Pope et al

... awaited the pair on entering the mud-floored room to find quite a decent meal awaiting them on the table, and their sour-looking heavy hostess ready to wait on them with a kind of surly civility. ...
— A Dash from Diamond City • George Manville Fenn

... A surly growl that might have been, "Relieve the wheel and look-out," came from the poop, and we were dismissed muster; the starboard watch to their rest; we of the port to take ...
— The Brassbounder - A Tale of the Sea • David W. Bone

... an agony of excitement, but unable to endure the notion of approaching the scene of action; and his half-choked surly 'Don't' was sufficient to deter his brother Thomas, who had never shown himself so kind, considerate, and free from sneer or assumption. In 'hours of ease' he might seem selfish and exacting, but a crisis evoked the latent good in him, and ...
— The Trial - or, More Links of the Daisy Chain • Charlotte M. Yonge

... little baby I often wanted to take him onto my lap and laugh and play with him. But he was so cold and distant! A funny little mite, even with boys of his own age. Nobody seemed to understand him exactly; certain people even thought that his was a surly nature. ...
— With Those Who Wait • Frances Wilson Huard

... to her proper port—was more difficult still to seal up effectually. There—long after every other port was closed—the desperate, but wary, sea-pigeon would evade the big and surly watcher on the coast. Light draught, narrow, low in the water, swift and painted black—these little steamers were commanded by men who knew every inch of coast; who knew equally that on them depended life and death—or more. With banked ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... a very small fortune, which he inherited from an industrious farmer his uncle, in hunting, horse-racing, and cock-fighting, and had been married by my landlady for certain purposes, which he had long since desisted from answering; for which she hated him heartily. But as he was a surly kind of fellow, so she contented herself with frequently upbraiding him by disadvantageous comparisons with her first husband, whose praise she had eternally in her mouth; and as she was for the most part mistress ...
— The History of Tom Jones, a foundling • Henry Fielding

... afraid of a tiger, even of a genuine tiger from Bengal. To prove to the porters how slight was the estimation he placed on the supposed enemy, and also to drill them in the case of similar rencounters, he pushed the whole troop pellmell into the thickest part of the reeds, with the surly order to cut down the canes for sheds. Drawing his own knife, he slashed right and left among the stems, which the Indians, trembling with fear, were obliged to make into sheaves on the spot and transport to the beach selected ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, No. 23, February, 1873, Vol. XI. • Various

... fames the world enough rings: Where are thy services and sufferings? What if for nothing once you kiss'd, Against the grain, a monarch's fist? What if, among the courtly tribe, You lost a place and saved a bribe? And then in surly mood came here, To fifteen hundred pounds a-year, And fierce against the Whigs harangu'd? You never ventured to be hang'd. How dare you treat your betters thus? Are you to be compared with us? Come, Spaniard, let us from our ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... cathedral city, opened out to let him pass, and there was much less swearing and drinking when his black coat and clerical collar came into view. Mosk saw that the appearance of the chaplain was detrimental to business, and resenting his presence gave him but a surly greeting. As to Bell, she tossed her head, shot a withering glance of defiance at the bland new-comer, and withdrew to the far ...
— The Bishop's Secret • Fergus Hume

... Blossom knocked at his daughter's door the next morning it opened upon her completely dressed, but withal somewhat pale, and, if the truth must be told, a little surly. ...
— Thankful Blossom • Bret Harte

... and a creaking of doors, two turnkeys led Lecour down into a region of darkness. The turnkeys, like their chief, were surly sots. They took him along a low passage where mastiffs which patrolled it eyed him, threw back a cell door, thrust him in, and ...
— The False Chevalier - or, The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette • William Douw Lighthall

... especially hard hit; Spain and Italy were both unusually low-spirited; and there was an extra solemnity about the British Isles that told its own sad tale. Englishmen, when they have lost more than they can afford, generally take it out of themselves in surly, brooding self-reproach. Frenchmen give vent to their disgust and annoyance by abusing the game and its myrmidons. You may hear them, loud and savage, on the terrace, "Ah! le salle jeu! comment peut-on se laisser eplucher par des brigands de la sorte! Tripot, infame, va! je ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume I (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... knew; Where honey from the hollow oaks doth ooze, and crystal rills Come dancing down with tinkling feet from the sky-dividing hills; There to the pails the she-goats come, without a master's word, And home with udders brimming broad returns the friendly herd. There round the fold no surly bear its midnight prowl doth make, Nor teems the rank and heaving soil with the adder and the snake; There no contagion smites the flocks, nor blight of any star With fury of remorseless heat the sweltering herds doth mar. Nor this the only bliss that waits ...
— Horace • Theodore Martin

... upon the piano, with all the airs and graces of a first-class dandy. However, Jocquelet, in the old artisan's role, was emphatic and exaggerated, and an ugly and commonplace debutante was an utter failure. The criticisms, generally routine in character, were not gracious, and the least surly ones condemned Amedee's attempt, qualifying it as an honorable effort. There were some slashes; one "long-haired" fellow from the Cafe de Seville failed in his criticism—the very one who once wrote a description of the violation of a tomb—to ...
— A Romance of Youth, Complete • Francois Coppee

... baskets of good fare was appetising, and the company soon collected on the shady turf, where Richard made himself extremely useful, and the feast was spread without any worse mishap than Nipen's running away with half a chicken, of which he was robbed, as Tom reported, by a surly-looking dog that watched in the outskirts of the camp, and caused Tom to return nearly as fast as the ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... person addressed, and drawing his hand contemptuously over his face; "why, I beat Symmonds in this very yard in one round three years ago; didn't I, Symmonds?" said he to the understrapper, who held down his head, muttering in a surly tone, "I didn't come here to fight; let every one take his own part." "That's right, Symmonds," said the other, "especially every one from whom there is nothing to be got. I would give you half-a-crown for all the trouble you have ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... in our possession, whom we instructed, with little trouble, in a variety of tricks; although at first surly and stupid, he soon exhibited great aptness and pleasure in repeating the various lessons which we taught him. If he had been younger we might have given him an opportunity of displaying himself in the field, as we are confident, from his tractable ...
— The Dog - A nineteenth-century dog-lovers' manual, - a combination of the essential and the esoteric. • William Youatt

... from personal friends and a little surly mention from the tribe of Jeffrey, the volume attracted little or no attention. This coldness on the part of the public shot an atrabilarian tint through the ambition of our poet, and the fond hope of a success in literature faded ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... evidently resolved to make amends for its surly reception of the strangers the previous evening, by greeting them with one of its sweetest ...
— Freaks on the Fells - Three Months' Rustication • R.M. Ballantyne

... encouraging him to remember his Creator, but by instilling into him dread of the club, the dungeon, and the bullet. He must learn to fear not God, but the warden, the captain and the guard. He is to be hustled about, cuffed, shoved, kicked, put in the hole, punished for not comprehending surly and half inarticulate orders, or for not understanding gestures without words; all of which encouragements to obedience are, indeed, specifically forbidden by the rules which were formulated in Washington and disseminated for the information of the investigation committees and of ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... back in his chair, quiet and almost surly, while the clothiers and blanket-makers vaunted his prowess and rehearsed his deeds—many of them interspersing their flatteries with coarse invectives against the operative class—was a delectable sight for Mr. Yorke. His heart tingled with the pleasing ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... puppet on wires, which belongs to them. Then the officers billeted their men on the inhabitants, and I had seventeen of them. My neighbor, the crazy woman, had a dozen, one of whom was the Commandant, a regular violent, surly swashbuckler. ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... morning," said Donkin, in a strangely trembling voice, as though restraining laughter or rage. Jimmy seemed satisfied.—"Give me a little water for the night in my mug—there," he said. Donkin took a stride over the doorstep.—"Git it yerself," he replied in a surly tone. "You can do it, unless you are sick."—"Of course I can do it," said Wait, "only... "—"Well, then, do it," said Donkin, viciously, "if yer can look after yer clothes, yer can look after yerself." He went on deck without a ...
— The Nigger Of The "Narcissus" - A Tale Of The Forecastle • Joseph Conrad

... said a surly-looking backwoodsman, who sat with one hand thrust into the bosom of a hunting frock, and the other playing with the richly ornamented hilt of a dagger, while a round hat, surmounted by a huge cockade, was perched knowingly over his left ear, covering, or rather shadowing, little more than ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... of you as a sad young dog, but for all that is secretly proud of your skill at the bow and of the way you are pestering the Sheriff, whom he likes not. 'Twas for my father's sake that I am now in the open, an outlaw like yourself. He has had a steward, a surly fellow enough, who, while I was away at school, boot-licked his way to favor until he lorded it over the whole house. Then he grew right saucy and impudent, but my father minded it not, deeming the fellow indispensable in managing the estate. But when ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... passed by, and, as far as Owen could judge, Nat was better treated than formerly; he hoped, therefore, that his remarks to the mate had produced some effect. The mate's manner, however, was distant and surly, showing that he had no good feeling towards him. When crossing the line the usual ceremonies were gone through, the captain not considering it necessary to forbid them. Neptune, with his wife and Tritons, came on board, accompanied by the barber ...
— Owen Hartley; or, Ups and Downs - A Tale of Land and Sea • William H. G. Kingston

... description, but the slight touches are enough to make us see the silent lonely streets, the churches, the high walls of the monastic gardens, the fortress-palaces. The sound of the fountains is in our ears; the little crowds of revelling men and girls appear and disappear like ghosts; the surly watch with their weapons and torches bustle round the corner. Nor does Browning neglect to paint by slight enlivening touches, introduced into Lippo Lippi's account of himself as a starving boy, the aspect by day and the character ...
— The Poetry Of Robert Browning • Stopford A. Brooke

... sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So when the morning was come, they would know how he did. He told them, "Worse and worse": he also set to talking to them again; but they began to be hardened. They also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly carriage to him; sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began to retire himself to his chamber to pray for and pity them, and also to condole his own misery; he would also walk solitarily in the ...
— Bible Stories and Religious Classics • Philip P. Wells



Words linked to "Surly" :   ugly, ill-natured, surliness



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