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Tinker   /tˈɪŋkər/   Listen
Tinker

verb
(past & past part. tinkered; pres. part. tinkering)
1.
Do random, unplanned work or activities or spend time idly.  Synonyms: mess around, monkey, monkey around, muck about, muck around, potter, putter.
2.
Work as a tinker or tinkerer.
3.
Try to fix or mend.  Synonym: fiddle.  "She always fiddles with her van on the weekend"



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"Tinker" Quotes from Famous Books



... house and garden, there seemed nothing left to do for Oliver but to stroll up and down the drive, stare through the tall gates at the motors going by, or to spend hours in the garage, sitting on a box and watching Jennings, the chauffeur, tinker with the big car that was so seldom used. Janet was able to amuse herself better, but her brother, by the third day, had reached a state of disappointed boredom that was almost ready, at any small thing, to ...
— The Windy Hill • Cornelia Meigs

... moment a wagon of singular appearance drew up before my windows. I knew it well enough: it was the vehicle of a handy, convenient man who came along every other morning to pick up odd jobs from me and my neighbors. He could tinker, carpenter, mend harness: his wife, seated in the wagon by his side, was good at a button, or could descend and help Josephine with her ironing. A visit at this ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII, No. 29. August, 1873. • Various

... forgets nothing. That which has been, is.' His eye fell on something bright in the field beyond. He would see what it was, and crossed the earthen dyke. It shone like a little moon in the grass. By humouring the reflection he reached it. It was only a cutting of white iron, left by some tinker. He walked on over the field, thinking of Shargar's mother. If he could but find her! He walked on and on. He had no inclination to go home. The solitariness of the night, the uncanniness of the moon, prevents most people ...
— Robert Falconer • George MacDonald

... Michael Stein's smithy is turned into a perfect armoury, and he and his two sons are at work at the anvil morning, noon, and night: they made Annot blow the bellows this morning, till she looks for all the world like a tinker's wife." ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... time, though conversant with the PILGRIM'S PROGRESS, and HOLY WAR, are apparently little aware of the glowing genius, and fervent piety, and strong sense, and picturesque imagery, and racy, vigorous English, that mark the many other writings of the honored tinker of Elstow. These last, if less known than the story of the pilgrimage to the Celestial City, and of the siege and recovery of the good town of Mansoul, yet bear all of them the traces of the same vivid fancy, the same earnest heart, and the same robust and sanctified intellect. To ...
— The Riches of Bunyan • Jeremiah Rev. Chaplin

... night and will meet us above at the twin buttes this morning with every cowman in town. All the other outfits have been sent for, and we'll have enough men to make our bluff stand up, never fear. From what I learn, these herds belong to a lot of Yankee speculators, and they don't give a tinker's dam if all the cattle in Montana die from fever. They're no better than anybody else, and if we allow them to go through, they'll leave a trail of dead natives that will stink us out of this valley. ...
— The Outlet • Andy Adams

... racing, kite flying, hiking, rock climbing, aviation, target-shooting, sailing, caving, juggling, skiing, skating (ice and roller). Hackers' delight in techno-toys also tends to draw them towards hobbies with nifty complicated equipment that they can tinker with. ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0

... in that! Shiver my soul if this is a way to welcome friends! Come aboard all of you and test the Canary we got in the hold of a fine Spanish galleon last week! Such a top-heavy ship, with sails like a tinker's tatters, you never saw! And her hold running over with Canary and Madeira—oh! Come ...
— Heralds of Empire - Being the Story of One Ramsay Stanhope, Lieutenant to Pierre Radisson in the Northern Fur Trade • Agnes C. Laut

... this principle is observable in all the East The East is the fatherland of thieves, and Oriental annals teem with brilliant examples of their exploits. The story of Jacoub Ben-Laith, founder of the Soffarid dynasty,—otherwise, first of the Tinker-Kings of the larger part of Persia,—is especially excellent upon that proverbial "honor among thieves" of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... advertising oculist, illiterate and celebrated, originally a tinker or cobbler, afterwards a ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... fair if we will allow her time enough, after giving mankind the inspired tinker who painted the Christian's life as that of a hunted animal, "never long at ease," desponding, despairing, on the verge of self-murder,—painted it with an originality, a vividness, a power and a sweetness, ...
— Pages From an Old Volume of Life - A Collection Of Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... as he suddenly jumped to his feet. "Ensley is fighting drunk and has the gang around the Last Chance. Parson's life isn't worth a tinker's damn if he runs foul of them with all that talk about Martha Ensley and Jacob's threat. She came back last night and Goodloe threatened to have Jacob arrested for beating her. Come on, Nickols, and let's follow him. We'll be enough. ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... general; 'to conquer whole cities, to destroy whole armies, to ruin all provinces, THAT indeed brings REAL honour.' The man of learning places his renown in the number of pages which he has either written or read; the tinker, in the number of pots and kettles which he has made or mended; the nun, in the number of GOOD things which she has done, or BAD things which she has resisted; the coquette, in the list of her admirers; the Republic, in the extent of her provinces; and thus, my friend, every one thinks that ...
— The Bravo of Venice - A Romance • M. G. Lewis

... entered a cottage inn, and, as was his custom, called "House!" as loud as he could. Whilst drinking his beer he cheered the heart of the sorrowful Jack Slingsby by buying his whole tinker's stock-in-trade—beat, plant, pony, and all—concluding that "a tinker is his own master, a scholar is not." Poor Slingsby had been driven off the road by the great Flaming Tinman, "Black Jack," whose clan name was Anselo Herne, who, ...
— Souvenir of the George Borrow Celebration - Norwich, July 5th, 1913 • James Hooper

... The tinker, for such I supposed him to be, without altering his posture, raised his eyes, looked at me for a moment, gave a slight nod, and then once more fixed his eyes upon the table. I took a draught of the ale, which I found excellent; 'Won't ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... Hovenden!" shouted Robert Danforth from the forge, in a full, deep, merry voice, that made the roof re-echo. "And what says Miss Annie to that doctrine? She, I suppose, will think it a genteeler business to tinker up a lady's watch than to forge a horseshoe or make ...
— Mosses from an Old Manse and Other Stories • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... that at this time (the middle of the sixteenth century) there was not a private builder between London Bridge and Gravesend, who could lay down a ship in the mould left from a Navy Board's draught, without applying to a tinker who lived ...
— Men of Invention and Industry • Samuel Smiles

... rooted out. Still, however, a sufficient number remained to give, occasional alarm and constant vexation. Some rude handicrafts were entirely resigned to these itinerants, particularly the art of trencher-making, of manufacturing horn-spoons, and the whole mystery of the tinker. To these they added a petty trade in the coarse sorts of earthenware. Such were their ostensible means of livelihood. Each tribe had usually some fixed place of rendezvous, which they occasionally occupied and considered as their standing camp, and in the vicinity ...
— Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... arch-mechanic of our day, the medicine-man. And a marvelous earnest fraud he is, doing his best. He is really wonderful as a mechanic of the human system. But the life within us fails more and more, while we marvelously tinker at the engines. ...
— Fantasia of the Unconscious • D. H. Lawrence

... car that's broken into, sir. I found the garage all right, left her safe and sound, came back here, but after dinner thought I'd go round again to tinker a bit at the car in case of an early start to-morrow. When I got to the place there were three new fellows on duty, and they seemed astonished when they saw I intended to work on the Gloria. The chauffeur who looked after that car had been in, they said; and you can believe, sir, ...
— The Car of Destiny • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... sun-cover of my umbrella folded and tied over my hat, for the sun was very fierce. The queerest figure of all was the would-be guide. With his one eye, his gaunt, lean form, and his torn clothes, he looked more like a strolling tinker than the honest worthy settler that he is. He bestrode rather than rode a gaunt mule, whose tail had all been shaven off, except a turf for a tassel at the end. Two flour bags which leaked were tied on behind the ...
— A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains • Isabella L. Bird

... Tanner of Tamworth" is a ballad of a kind once popular; there were "King Alfred and the Neatherd," "King Henry and the Miller," "King James I. and the Tinker," "King Henry VII. and the Cobbler," with a dozen more. "The Tanner of Tamworth" in another, perhaps older, form, as "The King and the Barker," was printed by Joseph Ritson ...
— A Bundle of Ballads • Various

... North Country. In Darrel, the clock tinker, wit, philosopher and man of mystery, is portrayed a force held in fetters and covered with obscurity, yet strong to make its way, ...
— The Black Box • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... Tom's mouth, and prevented him from crying; but, on feeling the hot water, he kicked and struggled so much in the pot, that his mother thought that the pudding was bewitched, and, pulling it out of the pot, she threw it outside the door. A poor tinker, who was passing by, lifted up the pudding, and, putting it into his budget, he then walked off. As Tom had now got his mouth cleared of the batter, he then began to cry aloud, which so frightened the tinker that he flung down the pudding ...
— English Fairy Tales • Joseph Jacobs (coll. & ed.)

... his bed out into the inclement darkness, and up to the topmost bough of the tree, which he must "touch" ere he can rest; and now, in the gloom of the memorable dingle, the horror of fear falls upon the amateur tinker, the Evil One grapples terribly with his soul, blots of foam fly from his lips, and he is dashed against the trees and stones. An adventure, truly, fit to stand with any of mediaeval legend, and compared with which the tremendous combat with Blazing ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... clergyman as he steps on the grass outside. Don't I know that his being there is a compromise, and that he stands before me an Act of Parliament? That the church he occupies was built for other worship? That the Methodist chapel is next door; and that Bunyan the tinker is bawling out the tidings of damnation on the common hard by? Yes, I am a Sadducee; and I take things as I find them, and the world, and the Acts of Parliament of the world, as they are; and as I intend to take a wife, if I find one—not to be madly in love and prostrate ...
— The History of Pendennis, Vol. 2 - His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy • William Makepeace Thackeray

... that Owen, the divine, greatly admired Bunyan's preaching; and that, being asked by Charles II. "how a learned man such as he could sit and listen to an itinerant tinker?" he replied: "May it please your Majesty, could I possess that tinker's abilities for preaching, I would most ...
— Books and Authors - Curious Facts and Characteristic Sketches • Anonymous

... beaux and a belle, a goat and a carriage, They all set off to the tinker's marriage. Two three-cornered hats, and one with a feather, They looked very fine in the sweet summer weather. But the carriage turned over, the poor goat shied, The little belle laughed, the silly beaux cried, And the ...
— Very Short Stories and Verses For Children • Mrs. W. K. Clifford

... we suppose a case, and put ourselves into it, and hence are in two cases at the same time, and it is doubly difficult to get out. In sane moments we regard only the facts, the case that is. Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-believe. Tom Hyde, the tinker, standing on the gallows, was asked if he had anything to say. "Tell the tailors," said he, "to remember to make a knot in their thread before they take the first stitch." His companion's ...
— Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience • Henry David Thoreau

... clearly. You say it was a campaign-fund contribution. How do I know it was? It never reached us. It's Nickleby's money and its loss is his funeral. Go and report to him and try to understand the meaning of the word 'loyalty.' Our party doesn't care a tinker's dam who has had, now has, or will have that envelope. And if you want to get thrown out by the scruff of the neck just try going to headquarters with ...
— Every Man for Himself • Hopkins Moorhouse

... was that when Mrs. Kilfoyle saw who Ody's companions were, she bade a regretful adieu to her hopes of recovering her stolen property. For how could she set him on the Tinker's felonious track without apprising them likewise? You might as well try to huroosh one chicken off a rafter and not scare the couple that were huddled beside it. The impossibility became more obvious presently as the constables, striding quickly down to where the group of women ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4 • Charles Dudley Warner

... again as much as any of the others, though this was really all his own doing. Besides his usual share of the luggage he had pots and pans and skillets sticking out in all directions, so that he presented the appearance of a traveling tinker. ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts Snowbound - A Tour on Skates and Iceboats • George A. Warren

... rummaged the wardrobe and turned every pocket inside out. It was not really a light; it made this light by flashing about so quickly, but when it came to rest for a second you saw it was a fairy, no longer than your hand, but still growing. It was a girl called Tinker Bell exquisitely gowned in a skeleton leaf, cut low and square, through which her figure could be seen to the best advantage. She was slightly inclined ...
— Peter and Wendy • James Matthew Barrie

... noticed, seated in the great chimney, a very tall old woman clad in a red cloak and a slouched bonnet, having all the appearance of a gipsy or tinker. She smoked silently at her clay pipe, while the doubtful-looking landlady went about ...
— Red Cap Tales - Stolen from the Treasure Chest of the Wizard of the North • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... whatever they may be worth, are his own, without a parental anxiety in regard to the fate of his offspring. And there are few prefaces which do not in some way betray this nervousness. I confess to a respect for even the prefatory doggerel of good Tinker Bunyan—a respect for his paternal tenderness toward his book, not at all for his villainous rhyming. When I saw, the other day, the white handkerchiefs of my children waving an adieu as they sailed away from me, a profound anxiety seized me. So now, as ...
— The End Of The World - A Love Story • Edward Eggleston

... and ears into the batter, and his mother not observing him, stirred him into the pudding, and popped him into the pot to boil. The hot water made Tom kick and struggle; and his mother, seeing the pudding jump up and down in such a furious manner, thought it was bewitched; and a tinker coming by just at the time, she quickly gave him the pudding, who put it into his budget and ...
— Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know • Various

... expected to stand around on one foot while you tinker with all those attachments and shutters and other ...
— The Merriweather Girls and the Mystery of the Queen's Fan • Lizette M. Edholm

... fry some bacon," pursued Deborah, "only I don't know whether to cut the new flitch so soon; and there be some cabbages in the garden. Should I fry or boil them, Mistress Rose? The bottom is out of the frying-pan, and the tinker is ...
— The Pigeon Pie • Charlotte M. Yonge

... the tone of him. I put out my hand and laid it on Spikes' wet, sweat-roughened neck. "Yes, he's a good little horse, and I beg his pardon for what I said," I owned, still with the ache just back of my palate. "But he can't carry us both, Frosty; I'll just have to tinker up this old skate, and make ...
— The Range Dwellers • B. M. Bower

... that immediately, while he had the more open country accessible, for directly east of him was a vast forest into which a stalled engine could only have plunged him to certain injury and probable death; and so he came down in the meadowland near the winding river and there started to tinker with ...
— Tarzan the Untamed • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... jungle-grass," he proceeded, "is the Wilderness of Nasty Possibilities. Hold up, Tinker, my lad, and get out of it as fast as ...
— The Keeper of the Door • Ethel M. Dell

... boy," he declared. "I don't say it for a minute. I like your going. I wouldn't give a tinker's dam for you, whatever that is, if you didn't want to do something for those fellows over there. I won't even say to be careful, for you can't if you do your duty—only, don't you be too all-fired foolhardy, ...
— The Firefly Of France • Marion Polk Angellotti

... joined in having a good time at the tinker's expense, and pronounced him "the prince of good fellows." ...
— The Expressman and the Detective • Allan Pinkerton

... dreadfully nonplussed on one occasion by hearing a speaker strongly recommend the audience to give their days and nights to the study of Bunyan and M'Cheyne. "Bunyan by all means," said I to myself, "but who is M'Cheyne that one should be mindful of him and put him for importance alongside of the immortal tinker?" ...
— Literary Tours in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland • Daniel Turner Holmes

... were in their early and vigorous growth eighty years ago. I rode in our family carriage to church with Sheldon Dibble and Reuben Tinker, who were just leaving Auburn Theological Seminary to go out as our pioneer missionaries to the Sandwich Islands. The Missionary Herald was taken in a great number of families and read with great avidity. Many of the readers were people who not only devoutly ...
— Recollections of a Long Life - An Autobiography • Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

... Memorable Histories," 1607; both versions are reprinted in Mr. Hazlitt's "Shakspeare Library," vol. iv., part I, pp. 403-414. In Percy's "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry" we find the adventure told in a ballad entitled "The Frolicksome Duke; or, the Tinker's Good Fortune," from the Pepys collection: "whether it may be thought to have suggested the hint to Shakspeare or is not rather of latter date," says Percy, ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... coat, when she suddenly came out of a shop and stepped into her carriage. I swear I was all of a blaze at once. Then I met Zaleshoff—looking like a hair-dresser's assistant, got up as fine as I don't know who, while I looked like a tinker. 'Don't flatter yourself, my boy,' said he; 'she's not for such as you; she's a princess, she is, and her name is Nastasia Philipovna Barashkoff, and she lives with Totski, who wishes to get rid of her ...
— The Idiot • (AKA Feodor Dostoevsky) Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... for ninety-nine of your qualities I do not care a tinker's curse: but as a man who, after three tumblers of neat brandy, can tell Marsala from Madeira you are to be taken ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 5, April, 1896 • Various

... be mishandled too far. "This is too much," she says; "this wounded leg, these crusted lips, this anxious, weary mind. Come away for a time, until your body becomes more habitable." And so she coaxes the mind away into the Nirvana of delirium, while the little cell-workers tinker and toil within to get things better for its home-coming. When you see the veil of cruelty which nature wears, try and peer through it, and you will sometimes catch a glimpse of a very ...
— A Desert Drama - Being The Tragedy Of The "Korosko" • A. Conan Doyle

... philosophical ideas of the day, believing that while history and the past were delegated to the control of the unsophisticated whose ways were superstitious and outdated, the present contains truth in its pure form. Reform and revolution are their watchwords, for they tinker with the very foundations of society and life in an attempt to cultivate it. Zimri is their Lord, of the Future, and they follow him loosely, for he doesn't require the strict adhesion that Onan does, which suits their independent and relaxed world ...
— The Revolutions of Time • Jonathan Dunn

... suggestions, like Lord Brougham's of the "unknown public," which, in a single phrase, and a sentence or two of explanation, tell a whole history. This is the class John Bunyan wrote for before the bishops had his Allegory in presentable calf and gold-leaf,—before England knew that her poor tinker had shaped a pictured urn for her full of such visions as no dreamer had seen since Dante. This is the class that believes in John Bright and Richard Cobden and all the defenders of true American principles. It absorbs intelligence as melting ice renders heat latent; there is no living power ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 75, January, 1864 • Various

... sort of protest against the extreme refinement of society, just as the collegians of Oxford, trained beyond their natural capacity in morals, love to fall into slang and, like Prince Hal, talk to every tinker in his own tongue. ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... a man named Thorvald, the son of Eystein, bynamed the Tinker: he was a wealthy man, a smith, and a skald; but he was mean-spirited for all that. His brother Thorvard lived in the north country at Fliot (Fleet); and they had many kinsmen,— the Skidings they were called,—but little ...
— The Life and Death of Cormac the Skald • Unknown

... he could change Cosy Moments into a real live paper. He wondered that the idea had not occurred to him before. The trifling fact that the despised journal was the property of Mr. Benjamin White, and that he had no right whatever to tinker with it without that gentleman's approval, may have occurred to him, but, if it did, it occurred so momentarily that he did not notice it. In these crises ...
— Psmith, Journalist • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... still noon of night, The hallalloo of fire in every street! Odsbobs! I have a mind to hang myself, To think I should a grandmother be made By such a rascal!—Sure the king forgets When in a pudding, by his mother put, The bastard, by a tinker, on a stile Was dropp'd.—O, good lord Grizzle! can I bear To see him from a pudding mount the throne? Or can, oh can, my Huncamunca bear To take a ...
— Miscellanies, Volume 2 (from Works, Volume 12) • Henry Fielding

... I've loved and left more of them than I can remember. I've been nearly everything you can think of but a tinker or a soldier; I've been a boundary rider; I've sheared sheep and humped my swag and harpooned a whale; I've rigged ships and skinned dead bullocks and prospected for gold—and turned my back on more money than the old man would have scraped ...
— One Day More - A Play In One Act • Joseph Conrad

... Thanksgiving, and Doll-in-the-Grass. Doubleday, Page and Company for The Animals' New Year's Eve and Nils and the Bear from the Further Adventures of Nils by Selma Lagerlooef. The Youth's Companion for Chip's Thanksgiving, The Rescue of Old Glory, The Tinker's Willow, The Three Brothers, and Molly's Easter Hen. The Thomas Y. Crowell Company for The Bird, and The Gray Hare from The Long Exile by Count Lyof N. Tolstoi. The American Book Company for The Three Little Butterfly Brothers. Little, Brown and Company ...
— Tell Me Another Story - The Book of Story Programs • Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

... of play periods, Jimmy took to staying in. The permissive school encouraged it; if Jimmy Holden preferred to tinker with a typewriter instead of playing noisy games, his teacher saw no wrong in it—for his Third Grade teacher was something of ...
— The Fourth R • George Oliver Smith

... from a girl of forty-eight or so that can tinker a mowing machine as good as you can? I ask you! Of course I'd suspected the rest. A set of mushheads. Maybe they didn't look shamed when I exposed 'em! Each one had pictured the poor boy down there alone, undergoing hardship with his toiling workers or whatever you call 'em, and, of ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... fix it himself," explained Willie, immediately interpreting the interrogation. "Neither him or I were guns enough for the job. So Bob got somebody he knew of to tinker it up." ...
— Flood Tide • Sara Ware Bassett

... I presume, intend to head the boarders as usual," remarked the doctor, with a quiet grin. "What is the extent of the damage? Here, sit down and let me have a look at it; don't be impatient; I'll undertake to tinker you up as good as new in two or three minutes," he continued, as I seated myself, and he began to sponge the blood away. "There is no great harm done, merely a simple laceration of the scalp. There, I think that will keep ...
— Under the Meteor Flag - Log of a Midshipman during the French Revolutionary War • Harry Collingwood

... piece of cheese will do for me, because there are one or two little things to tinker up on the car, and an hour and a quarter isn't long. I think I shall bring my grub out of doors, ...
— The Motor Maid • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... gather the spray of brilliant vermilion berries she fancied, saying meanwhile, "I wonder what he is? Tinker, tailor, soldier, ...
— The Yeoman Adventurer • George W. Gough

... might. It would be at least refreshing to have you, or someone, demonstrate what Christianity is. It would be good for our souls. Instead," she added bitterly, "instead, you select one little thing here, and one little thing there, and putter, and tinker, and temporize, and gloss over, and build big churches, with mortgages and taxes and insurance to pay, in the name of Christianity! If I were little Annie Smith, down in the village here, I could get a divorce for ...
— The Heart of Rachael • Kathleen Norris

... this time, and owing to some breakage we had to stop, as we drew close to the town. We left the driver, however, to tinker about with the old Ford, and plunged into the wilds, Brown being particularly anxious to see what ...
— A Dweller in Mesopotamia - Being the Adventures of an Official Artist in the Garden of Eden • Donald Maxwell

... into the kitchen and returned with a screwdriver. While Sutter looked on with apprehensive eyes, he began to tinker with the wiring. Suddenly there was a dull report and a flash of flame. Travail jerked his arm back as a thin streamer of smoke and the smell of burning ...
— Made in Tanganyika • Carl Richard Jacobi

... tinker's damn what you've done," he said forcibly. "Remember that! We're brothers, and I'll stick to you. If there's anything in life that I can do to help, I'll do it. If there isn't, well, I won't worry you, but you know you can count ...
— The Lamp in the Desert • Ethel M. Dell

... belief, of that sentiment of the sublime before which all inequalities are leveled, that transport of conviction which seems superior to all laws of condition, under which debauchees have become martyrs; which made a tinker an artist and a camel-driver the founder of an empire. This was with Asa Skinner to-night, as he stood ...
— A Collection of Stories, Reviews and Essays • Willa Cather

... lofty McDonough was, and too high-minded, bringing in a woman was maybe no lawful wife, or no honest child itself, but it might be a bychild or a tinker's brat, and he giving out no account of her ...
— New Irish Comedies • Lady Augusta Gregory

... for a pony, dear boy," grinned Beaumanoir. "There was a deuce of a shindy when three fat johnnies tried to pull me out of my compartment. I told 'em I didn't give a tinker's continental for their bally frontier, and then the band played. I slung one joker through the window. Good job it was open, or he might have been ...
— A Son of the Immortals • Louis Tracy

... don't know. Such an illness is a matter of temperament, I dare say, and the clergy tinker at our temperaments, don't they? while you doctors tinker at ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... adorned her head. And my satisfaction was complete when my profound erudition enabled me to read for her on Sabbath afternoons that most wonderful of all stories, the Pilgrim's Progress. Nor was it uninstructive, or a slight tribute to the genius of the immortal tinker—could I but have appreciated it—to observe the varied emotions excited within her breast by the recital of those fearful conflicts by the way, and of the unspeakable glories of the celestial City, within whose portals of pearl I trust her faithful ...
— Southern Literature From 1579-1895 • Louise Manly

... eaten anything the whole day except a biscuit. He surveyed his gathering companions with all the equanimity and philosophy of a man who has been drinking long and slowly, and made friends with several: to wit, Tinker Taylor, a decayed church-ironmonger who appeared to have been of a religious turn in earlier years, but was somewhat blasphemous now; also a red-nosed auctioneer; also two Gothic masons like himself, ...
— Jude the Obscure • Thomas Hardy

... neighbours, this, of course, is another matter. Mrs. Hedgehog and I had never seen tinkers, and we resolved to take an early opportunity some evening of sending the seven urchins down to the burdock plantations to pick snails, whilst we paid a cautious visit to the tinker camp. ...
— Brothers of Pity and Other Tales of Beasts and Men • Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing

... he had found an obstacle in the pride of her husband. Henry Martin was a tinsmith who had come to the city to work in a great factory for a little higher wages than he could get as a journeyman tinker in a country town. He did not refuse to let the children accept presents from "Cousin Charley," but he was not willing "to be beholden to any of his wife's folks," as he expressed it. He resented the fact that even in ...
— The Faith Doctor - A Story of New York • Edward Eggleston

... must know, Tom Hickathrift had secured to himself a trusty friend and comrade, almost his equal in strength and courage, for though he was but a tinker, yet he was a great and lusty one. Now the sheriff of the country came to Tom, under cover of night, full of fear and trembling, and begged his aid and protection against the rebels, "else," said he, "we be all dead men!" Tom, nothing loth, called his friend ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12) • Various

... he knew not why, at which Faulkner discreetly but ostentatiously withdrew, conveying to his other partner painful conviction that Fleming had borrowed a pan from a traveling tinker, whose negro wife was even now presenting a bill for the same, and demanding a settlement. Relieved by his departure, Fleming hurriedly tore open the folded paper. It was a letter written upon a leaf torn out of an ...
— From Sand Hill to Pine • Bret Harte

... Defoe, and Kirke White were butchers' sons. Faraday was the son of a blacksmith, and his teacher, Humphry Davy, was an apprentice to an apothecary. Kepler was a waiter boy in a German hotel, Bunyan a tinker, Copernicus the son of a Polish baker. The boy Herschel played the oboe for his meals. Marshal Ney, the "bravest of the brave," rose from the ranks. His great industry gained for him the name of "The Indefatigable." Soult served fourteen years before he ...
— Architects of Fate - or, Steps to Success and Power • Orison Swett Marden

... good motion, except to change either the escape wheel or the pallets. If we know enough of the lever escapement to set about it with skill and judgment, the matter is soon put to rights; but otherwise we can look and squint, open and close the bankings, and tinker about till doomsday, and the watch ...
— Watch and Clock Escapements • Anonymous

... sword-thrust of the gray eyes. "At first I thought I'd bring an expert accountant down here from New York and put him on your books; but I'm going to spare you that—on one condition. Those exhibits must be made absolutely without fear or favor; they must contain the exact truth and all of it. If you tinker them, you'll not be able to run fast enough nor far enough to get away from me. Do ...
— The Quickening • Francis Lynde

... I suppose—tinkering round, as he does. The everlasting loafer, artist, tinker, poet, gardener. 'Pon my soul, he's like the game we used to do with cherry-stones round the pudding plate. Don't you know? Soldier, sailor, tinker, tailor, and all the rest. He's all those things, and has two pair of bags to his name, and lives in a cart, ...
— Rest Harrow - A Comedy of Resolution • Maurice Hewlett

... "was nearly persuaded to be of Hobbes' opinion?" If he is the author and speaks the truth (and he is notoriously truthful), it must have been in early youth; but surely the philosopher of Malmesbury could not know an obscure tinker. Bunyan cannot speak metaphorically, for he had not read the Leviathan, since he mentions that his only reading in early life, i.e. when he was likely to have embraced freethinking, was the Practice of Piety, and the Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven, his wife's ...
— Notes and Queries, Issue No. 61, December 28, 1850 • Various

... or four years, 1899-1902 were passed between Paris and Ireland; Paris in the winter and spring and Ireland in the other seasons. He was at work on The Aran Islands, and on his three early one act plays, The Tinker's Wedding, Riders to the Sea, and The Shadow of the Glen. He came to London in the winter of 1902-3, where I saw him as I have described. London did not suit him and he did not stay long. He gave up his room in Paris at this time, with some ...
— John M. Synge: A Few Personal Recollections, with Biographical Notes • John Masefield

... Strictures used for making this reproduction was given to the Library of Yale University by Professor Chauncey B. Tinker. ...
— Critical Strictures on the New Tragedy of Elvira, Written by Mr. David Malloch (1763) • James Boswell, Andrew Erskine and George Dempster

... He had one rule, that stood in place of many: To keep out of every business which it was possible for human wisdom to stave aside. 'What good will you get of going into that? Parliamentary criticism, argument and botheration? Leave well alone. And even leave ill alone:—are you the tradesman to tinker leaky vessels in England? You will not want for work. Mind your pudding, and say little!' At home and abroad, that was the safe secret. For, in Foreign Politics, his rule was analogous: 'Mind your own affairs. You are an Island, you can do without Foreign Politics; ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... hearts to lose, I never could spare a bit of one of them for that good, gray, square, severe man. But different people have different tastes, and here is that little imp of a gipsy-tinker ready to turn slave for my master; and, odd enough, my master,—who, I should have said beforehand, would have made short work of imp, and imp's family, and have sent Hall, the Bang-beggar, after them in no ...
— My Lady Ludlow • Elizabeth Gaskell

... you've heard of HIM? He lived in the dark ages, and he saw that what you ought to do is to find out what you want and then try to get it. Up to then people had always tried to tinker up what they'd got. We've got a great many of the things he thought of. Then "Wells" means springs of clear water. It's a ...
— The Story of the Amulet • E. Nesbit

... cloak, and a very white cap, without bonnet. Her face was brown, but it had plainly once been fair. She led a little barefooted child about two years old by the hand, and said her husband, who was a tinker, was gone before with the other children. I gave her a piece of bread. Afterwards, on my road to Ambleside, beside the bridge at Rydal, I saw her husband sitting at the roadside, his two asses standing ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. II. • William Wordsworth

... compounded punch, which the general ordered without delay. "I tell you, sir," Mr. Tickler resumed, "he is an oily gentleman in very shabby clothes, and might be easily mistaken for a cross between a toper and a tinker. Lacking capacity for any other business, he forms a cheap connection with the press, where his first office would seem to be that of sitting in judgment upon literature. Indeed, I have seldom seen a more shabby gentleman set up for a man of letters. His aversion ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... sat of an early summer morning in the shade of a tree, eating fried bacon with a tinker, the thought came to me that I might some day write a book of my own: a book that should treat of the roads and by-roads, of trees, and wind in lonely places, of rapid brooks and lazy streams, of the glory of dawn, the glow of evening, and the purple solitude ...
— The Broad Highway • Jeffery Farnol

... right," he replied. "Look here," he went on, raising his voice. "There is no occasion to have such a lot in this business; Jake Watson, Bill the Tinker, and me are quite enough to carry him to his bed. I reckon the rest had better make themselves scarce when the times comes, go home, and keep their mouths shut. I need not say that anyone who lets his tongue wag about it ...
— Colonel Thorndyke's Secret • G. A. Henty

... continued, "we can tinker up something in the operating room that'll turn out what will look like computation results. As far as anybody outside ourselves will know, Merlin will still be solving everybody's problems. We'll do like any fortuneteller; tell the customer what he wants ...
— The Cosmic Computer • Henry Beam Piper

... their many delinquencies have even supplied us with a bit of the proverbial philosophy in which not a little of our local history is epitomised. The saying, "As pat as thievin' to a tinker" is probably quoted among us as frequently as any other, except, perhaps, one which refers to Jerry Dunne's basket. This latter had its origin in a certain event, not like the former in the long-accumulating observation of habits and propensities, and to explain it therefore ...
— Strangers at Lisconnel • Barlow Jane

... went by at a gallop, never pulling up while in sight of me. Then I passed the cow and went on, stopping an hour later at a lonely log house, where I found French people, and a welcome that included moose meat, a cup of coffee, and fried potatoes. Leaving, I rode some miles with a travelling tinker, a voluble, well-meaning youth who took a liking for me, and went far out of his way to help me on. He blushed proudly when, stopping to mend a pot for the cook at a camp of militia, they inquired ...
— D'Ri and I • Irving Bacheller

... John was not sleepy at eight o'clock; he had been flying about while the others had been yawning before the fire. He would like to sit up just to see how much more solemn and stupid it would become as the night went on; he wanted to tinker his skates, to mend his sled, to finish that chapter. Why should he go away from that bright blaze, and the company that sat in its radiance, to the cold and solitude of his chamber? Why did n't the people who were sleepy go ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... nobleman to be a lord president, but it must be a prelate? Is there never a wise man in the realm to be a comptroller of the mint? I speak it to your shame. I speak it to your shame. If there be never a wise man, make a water-bearer, a tinker, a cobbler, a slave, a page, comptroller of the mint: make a mean gentleman, a groom, a yeoman, or a ...
— Sermons on the Card and Other Discourses • Hugh Latimer

... of Swift, John Locke who contributed to philosophy his Essay Concerning the Human Understanding, the two diarists Evelyn and Pepys, and the critics Rymer and Langbaine; there was Isaac Newton, who expounded in his Principia, 1687, the laws of gravitation; and there was the preaching tinker, who, confined in Bedford jail, gave to the world in 1678 one of its greatest ...
— Palamon and Arcite • John Dryden

... the coach had been emptied and the bottles thrown out; the procession had drawn up at a dozen villages on the way; the perspiring tipsters, with whom "things hadn't panned out well," had forgotten their disappointments and "didn't care a tinker's! cuss"; every woman in a barrow had her head-gear in confusion, and she was singing in a drunken wail. Nevertheless Drake, who was laughing and talking constantly, said it was the quietest Derby night he had ever seen, and he couldn't ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... to Pan; and such a pot it may be as he shall haue more servants then all the Pannes in a Tinker's shop. ...
— Old English Plays, Vol. I - A Collection of Old English Plays • Various

... such men, who murdered every prisoner that they took, and they took part, as their politics inclined them, with either side. For a long time Ferguson hunted, or was hunted by, a man of his own order and nearly as notorious on the other side, namely, "Tinker Dave Beattie." On the evening of the 7th, we encamped in the vicinity of Livingston. Leaving early next morning, by midday we reached the Cumberland river at the ford near the small village of Selina. Here Colonel Morgan received positive ...
— History of Morgan's Cavalry • Basil W. Duke

... Harkaway In America and Cuba 10 Jack Harkaway's Adventures in China 11 Jack Harkaway's Adventures in Greece 12 Jack Harkaway's Escape From the Brigands of Greece 13 Jack Harkaways Adventures in Australia 14 Jack Harkaway and His Boy Tinker 15 Jack Harkaway's ...
— Boy Scouts in Southern Waters • G. Harvey Ralphson

... wait until I can tell Mary Allen all about it! But if I don't straighten this matter out so that hereafter I can at least write her, or send her a wire, I'm no organizer at all and my chance with the Sayers Company isn't worth a tinker's curse." ...
— Mixed Faces • Roy Norton

... his friend heartily, "but if I had a crew that had been worth a tinker's curse, the night that he attacked the yacht, I would have saved that for you! I verily believe that Broome owned several men in my crew, and the rest of them were half breeds and renegades, but the best that I could get together down in ...
— Frontier Boys in Frisco • Wyn Roosevelt

... authority—namely, the authority of three tinkers who were unanimous—that, if sometimes there is a little treachery of this kind amongst the profession, it is no more than would be pronounced 'in reason' by all candid men. And certainly, said one of the three, you wouldn't look for perfection in a tinker? Undoubtedly a seraphic tinker would be an unreasonable postulate; though, perhaps, the man in all England that came nearest to the seraphic character in one century was a tinker—namely, John Bunyan. But, as my triad of tinkers urged, men of all professions do cheat at uncertain times, ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Vol. 2 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... 'Poverty is your cloak, for I hear your husband is better maintained by running up and down a-preaching than by following his calling?' Sir Matthew Hale: 'What is his calling?' Elizabeth: 'A tinker, please you my Lord; and because he is a tinker, and a poor man, therefore he is despised and cannot have justice.' Sir Matthew Hale: 'I am truly sorry we can do you no good. Sitting here we can only act as the ...
— The Illustrated London Reading Book • Various

... never learned to use tools properly," said his father. "Where do you suppose I'd be now if I hadn't started out when I was a boy to tinker round a farm? That's where I got my manual training, and there isn't a course in the country that can equal it. I had to use my brains, too, as well as my hands, for very often the things I needed were not to be had and I was forced to make something ...
— The Story of Porcelain • Sara Ware Bassett

... of the Commonwealth, Edgbaston House and Church were seized by Colonel John Fox, the latter building being used as a stable for his horses, and the former garrisoned by the soldiers kept there to over-awe the gentry and loyal subjects of the country, to whom "Tinker Fox," as he was dubbed, was a continual terror. This worthy carried on so roughly that even the "Committee of Safety" (never particularly noted for kindness or even honesty) were ashamed of him, and restored the place to its owner, Robert Middlemore, the last of the name. By the marriages ...
— Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham - A History And Guide Arranged Alphabetically • Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell

... Mr. Carnegie pulled up at a spot by the wayside where an itinerant tinker sat in the shade with his brazier hot, doing a good stroke of work on the village kettles and pots: "Eh, Gampling, here you are again! They bade me at home look out for you and tell you to call. There is a whole ...
— The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax • Harriet Parr

... describes, are endured upon a public stage, thought he, why may not I?—cannot I be as useful as them? besides I can—but these men sing, I suppose—do not they sing John, much better than me?" "Noa, I tell thee they doan't: sing better than thee! they can't sing at all. A tinker's jackass is as good at it as any of them I see here. When they are on the stage (I went three or four times with our Sall to the play) od rot 'un—they make a noise by way of a song, and the musicianers sing for them on their fiddles." The man to whom honest John alluded, arrived ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 4, April 1810 • Various

... the priest this night, I'm saying, when it's new thoughts you'll be thinking at the dawn of day? SARAH — teasingly. — It's at the dawn of day I do be thinking I'd have a right to be going off to the rich tinker's do be travelling from Tibradden to the Tara Hill; for it'd be a fine life to be driving with ...
— The Tinker's Wedding • J. M. Synge

... comfortable arrangement of his part of the boat, as an old stage-driver is about the snugness of his box. When close to the whale, in the very death-lock of the fight, he handled his unpitying lance coolly and off-handedly, as a whistling tinker his hammer. He would hum over his old rigadig tunes while flank and flank with the most exasperated monster. Long usage had, for this Stubb, converted the jaws of death into an easy chair. What he thought of death itself, there is no telling. ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... such a mistake trying to build their own cars," said Ernest. "More accidents come from that than people realize. While the war was going on, no one had time to tinker at building, but now half the chaps I know are studying up and attempting ...
— Battling the Clouds - or, For a Comrade's Honor • Captain Frank Cobb

... [taking men to the right stealthily.] — Do you know what? That man's raving from his wound to-day, for I met him a while since telling a rambling tale of a tinker had him destroyed. Then he heard of Christy's deed, and he up and says it was his son had cracked his skull. O isn't madness a fright, for he'll go killing someone yet, and he thinking it's the man has struck ...
— The Playboy of the Western World • J. M. Synge

... know, indeed, why we troubled our heads about the matter at all," said the man in black; "but when you talk about perverting the meaning of the text, you speak ignorantly, Mr. Tinker; when he whom you call the Saviour gave his followers the sop, and bade them eat it, telling them it was his body, he delicately alluded to what it was incumbent upon them to do after his death, ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... to hear what Frankie told me from the flagship, did you? His last instructions, and I've logged them here in shorthand, were"—he opened a neat pocket-book—"'Get out of this and conduct your own damned manoeuvres in your own damned tinker fashion! You're a disgrace to the Service, and your ...
— Traffics and Discoveries • Rudyard Kipling

... This latter fact has indeed obtained a fair amount of recognition since Mr. Froude drew the attention of the general reader to it in his book on Bunyan, in the "English Men of Letters" series, five-and-twenty years ago: but it must have struck careful readers of the great tinker's minor works long before. Indeed there are very good internal reasons for thinking that no less a person than Thackeray must have known Mr. Badman. This wonderful little sketch, however—the related history of ...
— The English Novel • George Saintsbury

... Ireland; the implication is manifest though no mention is made of either country. Strange to say the most perfect allegory in the English language was written by an almost illiterate and ignorant man, and written too, in a dungeon cell. In the "Pilgrim's Progress," Bunyan, the itinerant tinker, has given us by far the best allegory ever penned. Another good one is "The Faerie Queen" ...
— How to Speak and Write Correctly • Joseph Devlin

... was that world which interested Bunyan so intensely, and cost him so many pangs of conscience? No doubt it was just the life of the road as he travelled about his business; for though by no means a tinker in the modern sense of the word, he was an itinerant brazier, whose business took him constantly to and fro among the many villages of the district of Bedford. He must have heard in inns and from wayside companions many a catch of plays ...
— Among Famous Books • John Kelman

... "Rigdale and Tinker are yet in bed, and their wives wait upon them, hand and foot, though fitter to be in their own beds. And not only on them, but now and again find time to run and give a drink or some such tendance to our men lying groaning at the other side the bulkhead. You mind that knave ...
— Standish of Standish - A story of the Pilgrims • Jane G. Austin

... you to do that. Who are you anyhow? What office do you hold? What authority have you? With what right do you come rushing into the four walls of my home? Do you perhaps imagine that your artistic skill invests you with special privileges? I don't give a tinker's damn for your art. The whole rubbish is hardly worth spitting on. Music? Idiocy. Who needs it? Any man with the least vestige of self-respect never has anything to do with music except on holidays and when the day's work is done. ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... hoped ye'd feel all right this mornin'. Let's see th' bandage—I guess it's slipped." He began to tinker at the wound in rather a clumsy way until ...
— The Red Badge of Courage - An Episode of the American Civil War • Stephen Crane



Words linked to "Tinker" :   puddle, do work, repair, bushel, experimenter, mend, restore, furbish up, genus Scomber, touch on, itinerant, gypsy, mackerel, doctor, fix, tinker's root, work, gipsy, Scomber



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