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Tinker   /tˈɪŋkər/   Listen
Tinker

noun
1.
A person who enjoys fixing and experimenting with machines and their parts.  Synonym: tinkerer.
2.
Formerly a person (traditionally a Gypsy) who traveled from place to place mending pots and kettles and other metal utensils as a way to earn a living.
3.
Small mackerel found nearly worldwide.  Synonyms: chub mackerel, Scomber japonicus.



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"Tinker" Quotes from Famous Books



... couldn't 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

... divagating as we went, and had a nice little sentimental conversation. There are depths of human feeling I should never have suspected in this lazy panther of a woman, and although she openly avows having no more education than a tinker's dog, she can talk with considerable force and vividness ...
— Simon the Jester • William J. Locke

... though hardly twenty, found himself married in 1645 to a "godly" wife as young and penniless as himself. So poor were the young couple that they could scarce muster a spoon and a plate between them; and the poverty of their home deepened perhaps the gloom of the young tinker's restlessness and religious depression. His wife did what she could to comfort him, teaching him again to read and write for he had forgotten his school-learning, and reading with him in two little "godly" books which formed his library. But darkness only gathered the thicker round his ...
— History of the English People, Volume VI (of 8) - Puritan England, 1642-1660; The Revolution, 1660-1683 • John Richard Green

... the time when Bunyan "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 ...
— Notes and Queries, Issue No. 61, December 28, 1850 • Various

... not stir. "You whale daylights out of a lot of men who probably don't know any more about this here shooting of our dams than a hog does about a ruffled shirt. Meanwhile your drive hangs. Well? Well? Do you suppose the men who were back of that shooting, do you suppose Morrison and Daly give a tinker's dam how many men of theirs you lick? What they want is to hang our drive. If they hang our drive, it's cheap at the price of ...
— The Blazed Trail • Stewart Edward White

... John Tinker, governor 1740-1758. He came out in the Rose, Capt. Thomas Frankland, along with Peter Henry Bruce, the military engineer, and arrived at New Providence Apr. 21, 1741. According to Bruce, he had previously been factor to the South Sea Company at Panama, and governor of Cape Coast in Guinea for ...
— Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period - Illustrative Documents • Various

... interesting spectacle of a struggle for his usurped power. Richard perhaps, and the immediate friends of the deceased Protector, with such of Dryden's relations as were attached to his memory, may have thought, like the tinker at the Taming of the Shrew, that this same elegy was "marvellous good matter." It did not probably attract much general attention. The first edition, in 1659, is extremely rare: it was reprinted, however, ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... like Marse have all de trouble in de world. He boy, Ned, die in de war and William, what name for he pa, drink bad all de time. And after de war dem Ku Kluxers what wear de false faces try to tinker with Marse's niggers. One day Uncle Dave start to town and a Kluxer ask him where am he pass. Dat Kluxer clout him but Uncle Dave outrun him in de cane. Marse grab de hoss and go 'rest dat man and Marse a jedge and he make dat man pay de fine for hittin' Uncle Dave. After dey hears of dat, ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Texas Narratives, Part 1 • Works Projects Administration

... one Stand-By left to him. He could prop himself up on the Bleachers with a bag of lubricated Pop-Corn between his Knees and hurl insulting Remarks at Honus Wagner, Joe Tinker ...
— Knocking the Neighbors • George Ade

... don't care a tinker's dam how you do it," he said. "Drink it all, if you want to. I'll take the biggest—that one under the milk-house." Whereat they jeered at him for wanting to be ...
— Good Indian • B. M. Bower

... what it is surely, but that old coat cost me a good friend, it did. Poor old Tinker was worth more than a dozen coats." So said Eli Watton, as he put the old coat over his shoulders, and settled himself in his donkey-cart with a man by his side who had asked for ...
— Golden Moments - Bright Stories for Young Folks • Anonymous

... instrument click? If not, disconnect the ground wire and examine all connections. Also press the sounder of each instrument down and see if it springs back readily. It may be that some screw is too tight, or too loose, or that a spring has come off; tinker awhile and see if you cannot make the instrument work. If you are unable to do so, ask ...
— Common Science • Carleton W. Washburne

... Patsy Kenny. "Too hard. He had no right to be carryin' all that tinker's stuff. That man of yours, my girl, oughtn't ...
— Love of Brothers • Katharine Tynan

... sooner had finger'd the cole, But he hies him abroad with his good Madam Vole- Where, like a true tinker, he managed this metal, And while he stopp'd one hole, ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... unfrequently happens that a tinker or coal heaver hears a sermon or falls in with a tract which alarms him about the state of his soul. If he be a man of excitable nerves and strong imagination, he thinks himself given over to the Evil Power. He doubts whether ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... He did for John Bunyan—how He made one of the mightiest instruments for good the world ever saw, out of that swearing Bedford tinker. If we had a telescope which would enable us to look into heaven as Stephen did, I can imagine we should see the thief, who believed in Jesus while on the cross, very near the throne. Ask him how he got there; and he would tell you it was through the grace of God. ...
— Sovereign Grace - Its Source, Its Nature and Its Effects • Dwight Moody

... 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 ...
— Tell Me Another Story - The Book of Story Programs • Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

... again, or stop her in the way, or have speech with her, I'll set p'liceman 'pon 'e! For a year and more she 'm not her awn mistress; and, at the end of that time, if she doan't get better sense than to tinker arter a harum-scarum young jackanapes like you, she ban't a true Lyddon. Now be off with 'e an' doan't dare to look same way Phoebe 's walkin', no more, else theer'll ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... them were most ferocious-looking ruffians, who stared at me as I went by; and stopped, perhaps, and called after me to come back and speak to them, and when I took to my heels, stoned me. I recollect one young fellow—a tinker, I suppose, from his wallet and brazier—who had a woman with him, and who faced about and stared at me thus; and then roared to me in such a tremendous voice to come back, that I ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... tinker's apprentice, if you don't cease your jaw, I'll——" But here she gasped for breath, unable to hawk up any more words, for the last volley of O'Connell had nearly knocked the wind ...
— Irish Wit and Humor - Anecdote Biography of Swift, Curran, O'Leary and O'Connell • Anonymous

... thesis in detail, so I will merely bid you note that aristocratic pedigree-tracers confine themselves to one line, or to a few lines. Burke will tell you that one of the great-great-grandfathers of the present Lord Foozlem was the First Baron; he is silent about his great-grandfather, the tinker, and his great-grandfather, the pettifogging country lawyer. Americans are far more apt to push their genealogical investigations in all directions, because they are prompted by a legitimate curiosity rather than by desire to prove a point, American ...
— A Librarian's Open Shelf • Arthur E. Bostwick

... ground floor. In the front kitchen there was a tinker. The back kitchen was let to a bellows-mender. On the first floor came Ernest, with his two rooms which he furnished comfortably, for one must draw the line somewhere. The two upper floors were parcelled out among four ...
— The Way of All Flesh • Samuel Butler

... MacRae and me considerable food for thought; Horner, the wagon-boss, a man I knew well, frankly declared that no one at Fort Walsh had heard that we were accused of robbery and murder. For that matter, he said, he didn't care a tinker's dam if we were; he had grub and bedding and ...
— Raw Gold - A Novel • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... unfrequently happens that a tinker or coal- heaver hears a sermon or falls in with a tract which alarms him about the state of his soul. If he be a man of excitable nerves and strong imagination, he thinks himself given over to the Evil Power. He doubts whether he has not committed the unpardonable sin. ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... 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 Cappadocia he had been somewhat ...
— The Faith Doctor - A Story of New York • Edward Eggleston

... 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 ...
— The History of Pendennis, Vol. 2 - His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy • William Makepeace Thackeray

... fighting a sail like you'd fight a man for your life, or you'll be in the horse latitudes, as they call them, and no breeze stirring, and not a damned thing to do but holystone decks, the like of an old pauper that does be scrubbing a poorhouse floor. And you say: 'Sure I'd rather be a tinker traveling the roads, with his ass and cart and dog and woman, nor a galley-slave to this bastard of a mate that has no more feeling for a poor sailorman nor a hound has for a rabbit. It's a dog's life,' you say, 'and when we ...
— The Wind Bloweth • Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne

... at Zacatecas which recalled far-away Hong Kong, China. This was the prosecution of various trades in the open air. Thus the shoemaker was at work outside of his dwelling; the tailor, the barber, and the tinker adopted the same practice, quite possible even in the month of March in a land of such intense brightness and sunshine. We wandered hither and thither, charmed by the novelty and strangeness of everything; ...
— Aztec Land • Maturin M. Ballou

... What, that tinker, Dobson? I would not trust such a bungler to shoe a goat. No, no; none but uncle Tom Thumper ...
— McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... looking young lady's reticule from her arm in Broadway and got clear off with it; but upon examining my prize, I found it contained nothing but a handkerchief and some letters. The wipe I kept for my own use; as for the letters, here they are—they are not worth a tinker's d——n, for they ...
— City Crimes - or Life in New York and Boston • Greenhorn

... 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 flare out into open revolt. The very small thing required ...
— The Windy Hill • Cornelia Meigs

... reddened under her powder, and Stepney said with a laughing glance at Miss Bart: "I suppose he is thinking of marriage, and wants to tinker up the old ship before he ...
— House of Mirth • Edith Wharton

... street like a snail, or like a sheep led to the slaughter. When he got about half way to the school house, he met Joe Birch and Ben Tinker. ...
— Proud and Lazy - A Story for Little Folks • Oliver Optic

... (1628-1688) was an Englishman, believed to be the son of a gipsy tinker. He said his youth was very ungodly; but he married a religious woman and early became a preacher. At the same time he began to write books of a religious nature. Because he preached at "unlawful meetings" he was thrown into prison, where he remained for twelve years. ...
— Story Hour Readings: Seventh Year • E.C. Hartwell

... been recurring since the world was made, and had been misunderstood from the beginning. He used the simplest means. His experiment was in a different way daily performed for him by nature. He was philosophically daring, indifferently a tinker with nature's terrific machinery; a knocker at the door of an august temple that men were never known to have entered; a mortal who smiled in the face of inscrutable and awful mystery, and who defied the lightning in a sense not merely moral. ...
— Steam Steel and Electricity • James W. Steele

... too many, too varied and involved to invite an answer in a short space of time. Suffice it to say that the most important mental process, to my mind, is the development of a perception of beauty. All the perseverance in the study of music, all the application devoted to it, is not worth a tinker's dam, unless accompanied by this awakening to the perception of beauty. And with regard to the influence of teachers? Since all teachers vary greatly, the student should not limit himself to his own personal masters. The true student of Art should be able to derive benefit ...
— Violin Mastery - Talks with Master Violinists and Teachers • Frederick H. Martens

... year for lack of men. I do not mean that they will quit, but that their fighting strength will have passed its maximum and that they will be able to play only a sort of second part. Except the British and the French, there's no nation in Europe worth a tinker's damn when you come to the real scratch. The whole continent is rotten or tyrannical or yellow-dog. I wouldn't give Long Island or Moore County for the whole of continental Europe, with its kings and ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume II • Burton J. Hendrick

... or coup de grace ... He really sometimes puts me in mind of Gil Blas; but he has not the sneer of the Frenchman, nor does he gild the bad. He has a touch of Bunyan, and, like that enthusiastic tinker, hammers away, a la Gitano, whenever he thinks he can thwack the Devil or his man-of-all-work on earth—the Pope. Therein he resembles my friend and everybody's friend—Punch—who, amidst all his adventures, never spares the black one. However, I am not going to review him now; for I know ...
— A Publisher and His Friends • Samuel Smiles

... the hours and minutes, at the same time disclose the whole combination of springs and wheels whereby they are moved." A similar transparency of motive and purpose, of individual traits and spontaneous action, belongs to the Bible. From the hand of Shakspeare, "the lord and the tinker, the hero and the valet, come forth equally distinct and clear." In the Bible the various sorts of men are never confounded, but have the advantage of being exhibited by Nature herself, and are not a contrivance of the imagination. "Shylock," observes a recent critic, "seems so much a man of Nature's ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... sense of imperial greatness, through the hopelessly congested and most squalid quarters. But that is all. No grand, systematic, reconstructive plan, no rising to the height of the occasion and the Empire! You tinker away at a Shaftesbury Avenue. Parochial, all of it. And there you get the real secret of our futile attempts at making a town out of our squalid village. The fault lies all at the door of the old Corporation, ...
— Post-Prandial Philosophy • Grant Allen

... Smiths and baking Smiths, hunting Smiths and shooting Smiths, temperance Smiths and licensed victualler Smiths, Smiths with double-barrelled names and hyphens, Smiths with double-barrelled names without hyphens, Conservative Smiths and Radical Smiths, tinker Smiths, tailor Smiths, Smiths of Mercia, Smiths of Wessex,—all these and all other imaginable varieties of the tribe Smith would be, as it were, crystallized by an inexorable law forbidding the members of any of these groups ...
— India, Its Life and Thought • John P. Jones

... dreadful obsession arose from a fisherman, who, coming into the harbor of a nightfall after a stormy day, had, as he affirmed, beheld the old meeting-house all of a blaze of light. Some time after, a tinker, making a short-cut from Stapleton by way of the old Indian road, had a view of a similar but a much more remarkable manifestation. This time, as the itinerant most solemnly declared, the meeting-house was not only seen all alight, but a bell was ringing as a signal somewhere off across ...
— Stolen Treasure • Howard Pyle

... and fills the cavity of the mouth does so in response to a wrong mental concept of cause. The only way to correct this condition is to change the cause. The rigid tongue we see is effect, and to tinker with the effect while the cause remains is unnecessarily stupid. An impulse of tension has been directed to the tongue so often that the impulse and response have become simultaneous and automatic. The correction lies ...
— The Head Voice and Other Problems - Practical Talks on Singing • D. A. Clippinger

... recognized me. "God bless Gyp Tinker!" he bellowed in a voice loud enough to conjure an echo out of a prairie. People started jumping like so many animated pogo sticks, trying to get a sight of me over the heads of others. By the time I reached the steps, the whole mob was ...
— Tinker's Dam • Joseph Tinker

... 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

... surmounted and we were on the good and promised land, felt that a just tribute of respect to the day ought to be paid. There were in all, including women and children, 50 in number. The men under Capt. Tinker, ranged themselves on the beach and fired a Federal Salute of 15 rounds, and then the 16th in honor of New Conn. Drank several toasts. Closed with three cheers. Drank several pints of grog. Supped and ...
— The Greatest Highway in the World • Anonymous

... William IV. The point was submitted to the Duke of Wellington, as a kind of universal referee in matters of precedence and usage. His judgment was delightfully unflattering to the outraged magnate—"The Queen can make you go inside the coach or outside the coach, or run behind like a tinker's dog." ...
— Collections and Recollections • George William Erskine Russell

... comedies. It meant for England the disuse of the turgidities and involutions which had marked the prose of the preachers and moralists of the times of James and Charles I.; scholars and men of letters were arising who would have taken John Bunyan, the unlettered tinker of Bedford, for their model rather than the learned physician Sir ...
— English Literature: Modern - Home University Library Of Modern Knowledge • G. H. Mair

... in his nature, she will speedily reduce him to her own level. Thus a wife may be the making or the unmaking of the best of men. An illustration of this power is furnished in the life of Bunyan. The profligate tinker had the good fortune to marry, in early life, a worthy young woman of good parentage. "My mercy," he himself says, "was to light upon a wife whose father and mother were accounted godly. This woman ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... it, years before, in derision. He was a mile and a half from home, and paused a moment to sit on the platform in front of "Marlow's Hotel," and rest. The loungers were present in more than usual force,—Jo and Biather Alexander, old Neaze Savage, old Cal Chase, Tinker,—any number of old and ...
— Bart Ridgeley - A Story of Northern Ohio • A. G. Riddle

... Nor their return and parting at the gate, two hours later. She did not see—but there! she saw nothing, absolutely nothing—except the scraggy spruce tree in her tiny front yard and the lonely ten feet of walk bordering it. No one traversed that section of walk except old Mrs. Tinker, who was collecting subscriptions for new hymn books for the Come-Outer chapel. And Didama was particularly ...
— Keziah Coffin • Joseph C. Lincoln

... in his own, or in the choice of such who are most nearly concerned for him; he therefore, that foresees that he is not likely to have the advantage of a continued education, he had much better commit himself to an approved-of cobbler or tinker, wherein he may be duly respected according to his office and condition of life; than to be only a disesteemed pettifogger ...
— An English Garner - Critical Essays & Literary Fragments • Edited by Professor Arber and Thomas Seccombe

... 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 ...
— Recollections of a Long Life - An Autobiography • Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

... justice of the peace; "you can shut up your school at five o'clock every night, and every cheesemonger and tinker in the place can do the same; but we've got no time we can call our own. Pull your chair up to the fire, old fellow. Let's see, what were we saying?" The servant appeared again at this point, and said—"Please, sir, they've got a couple of the ...
— Parkhurst Boys - And Other Stories of School Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... you will be kind enough to listen. I won't detain you long. My explanation is quite simple. I have been made a fool of. I seem to be in the position of the tinker in the play whom everybody conspired to delude into the belief that he was a king. First a friend of yours, Mr. Byng, came to me and told me that you had confided to ...
— A Damsel in Distress • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... and he would begin to read the passage, where Mansie, simple soul that he was, was described as going into the byre in the morning to learn if the cow had calved during the night, and finding, on opening the door, the donkey of a traveling tinker, he turned and ran into the house, crying: "Mither! Mither! The coo has ...
— The Underworld - The Story of Robert Sinclair, Miner • James C. Welsh

... 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. ...
— The Riches of Bunyan • Jeremiah Rev. Chaplin

... ma is making patty-cakes; and put it up there to be out of the way of Tom Tinker's dog. I'll soon hush it up," said the old woman; and, trotting it on her knee, she ...
— Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag VI - An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving, Etc. • Louisa M. Alcott

... consider that it is now in the power of any and every body to read what I so carefully hoarded even from my best friends, till this last month or two; and that a work which was so lately lodged, in all privacy, in my bureau, may now be seen by every butcher and baker, cobbler and tinker, throughout the three kingdoms, for ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 1 • Madame D'Arblay

... 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; he put it into his ...
— The Fairy Book - The Best Popular Stories Selected and Rendered Anew • Dinah Maria Mulock (AKA Miss Mulock)

... 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, ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... was Creidne the brazier (Ir. cerd, "artificer"; cf. Scots caird, "tinker"), who assisted in making a silver hand for Nuada, and supplied with magical rapidity parts of the weapons used at Mag-tured.[261] According to the annalists, he was drowned while bringing golden ore ...
— The Religion of the Ancient Celts • J. A. MacCulloch

... was so ever since I can remember; but—tchah!—your father would not turn him away. My father says he is the most useful man he ever knew. Why, he's just like what we say when we count the rye-grass: soldier, sailor, tinker, tailor—you know." ...
— Will of the Mill • George Manville Fenn

... Dickens earned money by sticking labels in a shoe-blacking factory. William Shakespeare's father made gloves. Benjamin Franklin was the son of a candlemaker. Daniel Defoe, who wrote that Robinson Crusoe you love so much, helped his father around the butcher shop. John Bunyan was a traveling tinker. And Christopher Columbus was the son of a wool comber, and himself ...
— The Rich Little Poor Boy • Eleanor Gates

... mistake. Higgins discovered it when he was unpacking and returned it to me under the misapprehension that I had written it. I wish I had. I suppose there must be something attractive about a fellow who has the courage to write a love letter on the back of a trunk tag, and who doesn't give a tinker's damn who finds it. But for my peace of mind, ask him not to leave another one around where I will come ...
— When a Man Marries • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... 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 of which they generally ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... had lost his father, a clever tinker who could make silver brooches and mend brass kettles and had married an Irish colleen in a seashore village. Then pirates raided the coast, and the Irish girl with her baby escaped only by hiding in a cellar under a ruined house. When the boy was seven years old his mother died, and ...
— Masters of the Guild • L. Lamprey

... the meddler and busybody—a class who had no business of their own, but ever ready to attend to that of others. From a willing-to-be governed and peaceful city, discontent and confusion came. Every tinker, tailor or candle stick maker, every busybody in the city took it upon themselves, although without training, ability or experience, to advise how the city ...
— Watch Yourself Go By • Al. G. Field

... substitute for Indian housemaids was found at an early day in "help," as it was called even then. Roger Williams, writing of his daughter, said: "She desires to spend some time in service & liked much Mrs. Brenton who wanted." John Tinker, who himself was help, wrote thus to John Winthrop; "Help is scarce, hard to get, difficult to please, uncertain, &c. Means runneth out and wages on & I cannot make choice of my help." Children of well-to-do citizens thus worked in domestic ...
— Customs and Fashions in Old New England • Alice Morse Earle

... midnight hedge; again, a mysterious infatuation drives the wealthy idler from 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 Bosville, the ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... around him. Next I passed a bare-footed cantonnier breaking stones, and he told me that if I made haste I might reach Neuvic before dark. On the outskirts of a village—Roche-le-Peyroux—a wandering tinker and his boy were at work by the side of the road with fire and bellows, and I felt a trampish or romantic desire to stay with them awhile in the cheerful glow; but thinking of the coming night, I ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... valuing some pictures; there is nobody but you in Paris who can tell a poor tinker-fellow like me how much he may give when he has not thousands to ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... thee, goodman Grim, thy fire is colder than my halidome; the sun is so high it puts it out, I reckon. Here have I two iron pots, a plate from my master's best greaves, and a pair of spurs that want piecing, and I'm like to tinker them as I list on a cold stithy. Get out, thou"—Here he became aware of an additional inmate to Grim's dwelling; and this discovery for a while checked the copious torrent of Dan's eloquence. Shortly, Darby drew him aside, and from their looks it might be gathered ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

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

... all others in advertisements for help wanted. This is the land of hustle. Tinker, tailor, candlestick-maker; lawyer, merchant, priest; if you are not a "live-wire" you are not "help wanted"—"Cook wanted. On dairy farm, twelve miles from town. White, industrious. Must be a live-wire! One that can get results. No ...
— Walking-Stick Papers • Robert Cortes Holliday

... Worked in the morning upon the Introduction to the Chronicles; it may be thought egotistical. Learned a bad accident had happened yesterday. A tinker (drunk I suppose) entered the stream opposite to Faldonside with an ass bearing his children. The ass was carried down by the force of the stream, and one of the little creatures was drowned; the other was brought out alive, poor innocent, clinging to the ass. It had floated as far ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... professionally to play queens. Now in the modern drama there were no queens for her to play; and as to the older literature of our stage: did it not provoke the veteran actress in Sir Arthur Pinero's Trelawny of the Wells to declare that, as parts, queens are not worth a tinker's oath? Miss Kingston's comment on my suggestion, though more elegantly worded, was to the same effect; and it ended in my having to make good my advice by writing Great Catherine. History provided no other queen capable of standing up to our ...
— Great Catherine • George Bernard Shaw

... forgot him. I know I did. One doesn't elope every day. And it was never Sami's way to insist upon his presence as ordinary children do. Li Ho departed to tinker with the "Tillicum" and afterwards returned to give us a late supper. Desire kept out of my way. One might almost have thought that she was shy—if so, a most perplexing development. For why should she feel shy? It wasn't as if we had not put the whole affair on a perfectly business basis. ...
— The Window-Gazer • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... a stout one, A most courageous drinker, I doe excell, 'tis knowne full well, The Ratter, Tom, and Tinker. Still doe I cry, good your Worship good Sir, Bestow one small Denire, Sir [1] And brauely at the bousing Ken [2] He bouse it ...
— Musa Pedestris - Three Centuries of Canting Songs - and Slang Rhymes [1536 - 1896] • John S. Farmer

... somewhere. We heard that our particular friends in town had got wind of the fact that we were going to put in a charge to-night, so Jim is doing guard duty outside, leaving Dick Norton and I to do the tinker's work. We expected to have gotten our shells all made in town; but they are looking out so sharp for us just now that it was entirely too much of a risk to bring ...
— Ralph Gurney's Oil Speculation • James Otis

... thou seen him come down the ladder, in a shurt so scanty, that it could not kiver his nakedness! — The young 'squire called him Dunquickset; but he looked for all the world like Cradoc-ap-Morgan, the ould tinker, that suffered at Abergany for steeling of kettle — Then he's a profane scuffle, and, as Mr Clinker says, no better than an impfiddle, continually playing upon the pyebill and the new-burth — I doubt he has as little manners as money; for he can't say a civil word, ...
— The Expedition of Humphry Clinker • Tobias Smollett

... frae the stable, where she had nae right to be, except to be seein' her lad—they ha'e lads on the brain the lassies noo—and greetin' that young Dan had shamed her before the men, and a' because o' a tinker body like Belle here, although the great folk will treat her so kindly; no' that I mean her any harm," she added (erring on the safe side, for Belle's eyes had begun to glow finely); "and then in came Kate and Leezie wi' a tale o' a wean, tied in a tartan shawl, lying in a biss in ...
— The McBrides - A Romance of Arran • John Sillars

... 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 ...
— The Life and Death of Cormac the Skald • Unknown

... a shiftless creature. It had long been the consensus of opinion—freely expressed throughout Tinkletown—that he did not amount to a tinker's dam. ...
— Anderson Crow, Detective • George Barr McCutcheon

... 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 to ...
— Battling the Clouds - or, For a Comrade's Honor • Captain Frank Cobb

... of my verses, Like the break of a tinker's dam, And I felt as one feels when the printer Of your "infinite calm" ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume II. (of X.) • Various

... 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 and ran away. The pudding ...
— English Fairy Tales • Joseph Jacobs (coll. & ed.)

... do. Man reads his own nature into every ordinance: if you devise a superhuman commandment so cunningly that it cannot be misinterpreted in terms of his will, he will denounce it as seditious blasphemy, or else disregard it as either crazy or totally unintelligible. Parliaments and synods may tinker as much as they please with their codes and creeds as circumstances alter the balance of classes and their interests; and, as a result of the tinkering, there may be an occasional illusion of moral evolution, as when the victory of the commercial caste over the military caste leads ...
— Revolutionist's Handbook and Pocket Companion • George Bernard Shaw

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

... 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 ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... nation,—these respectable but footsore men, wending their way from Steiermark, were received with a hearty welcome and krapfen; and the wandering family, who were not at all respectable, but were treated with some distrust and more commiseration—the traveling tinker, his dark-eyed, dark-skinned wife and saucy, grimy children, who were barred and bolted with their barrow, their rags and their kettles in the barn that night as in a traveler's rest—ate with marvelous relish their bountiful-gleanings ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 31. October, 1873. • Various

... A tinker stopped one day at a farmer's house, where the lady gave him meat and milk. While he was eating he saw a kettle all rusty and bent, with a great hole in it, and he asked, "Give it to me and I will take it away for nothing, because you have been so kind and obliging to me." ...
— The English Gipsies and Their Language • Charles G. Leland

... puff!" prompted Marjorie. "Then we can count how many you've blown out. Five! This year, next year, some time, never! This year! Goody! You'll have to be quick about it. It's almost time to be putting up the banns. Now again. Tinker, tailor, soldier! Lucky you! My plum stones generally give me beggar-man or thief. Silk, satin, muslin, rags; silk, satin! You've got all the luck to-night. Coach, carriage! You're not blowing fair, Renie! You did that on purpose so that it shouldn't ...
— A Patriotic Schoolgirl • Angela Brazil

... patriots of Seventy-six, until what time the British destroyed his shop. Then he was a soldier. He suffered the horrors of Valley Forge; and before the conclusion of the peace he went abroad in the country as a tinker of clocks and watches. His peculiarity of manner and his mendicant character made him the butt of neighborhoods. In 1780 he was sent as a deputy-surveyor from Virginia into Kentucky, and after nearly two years spent in the country between ...
— Notable Events of the Nineteenth Century - Great Deeds of Men and Nations and the Progress of the World • Various

... 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

... you, having no associates of your own rank, should make friends where you could find them. I trust that it has done you no harm. Well, Prior, this day week the boy shall come to you. I must get befitting clothes for him, or the other pupils will think that he is the son of a hedge tinker." ...
— A March on London • G. A. Henty

... Tennessee were filled with 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 information of the strength and position of the enemy at ...
— History of Morgan's Cavalry • Basil W. Duke

... Thought I'd got a job to tinker him up; but he only wants a bit of comforting, to show him he's ...
— In Honour's Cause - A Tale of the Days of George the First • George Manville Fenn

... under the necessity last night of sleeping in the brick fields, and on the steps of doors, for which they were taken before the magistrates in a body this morning, and committed to prison as vagrants for various terms. One of these persons I understand to be a highly-respectable tinker, of great practical skill, who had forwarded a paper to the President of Section D. Mechanical Science, on the construction of pipkins with copper bottoms and safety-values, of which report speaks highly. The incarceration ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... tinker Wood Gravely consulting Ireland's good, Together mingled in a mass Smith's dust, and copper, lead, and brass; The mixture thus by chemic art United close in ev'ry part, In fillets roll'd, or cut in pieces, Appear'd like one continued species; And, by the forming engine struck, On ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... the 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 in his "Ancient ...
— A Bundle of Ballads • Various

... vulgar businesses, so they have their souls, too, bowed and broken by them. And if one of these uncomely people has a mind to seek self-culture and philosophy, Plato compares him to a bald little tinker, who has scraped together money, and has got his release from service, and has had a bath, and bought a new coat, and is rigged out like a bridegroom about to marry the daughter of his master who has fallen into poor ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... 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

... 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 tinker fumed, "Oh, why do ...
— Very Short Stories and Verses For Children • Mrs. W. K. Clifford

... 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 ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... a master of a tavern he married the daughter of a tinker, by whom he had three children. This marriage, according to the republican regulations, had only been celebrated by the municipality at Ajaccio; Fesch, therefore, upon again entering the bosom of the Church, left his municipal wife ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... and 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

... tinker's trull; a soldier or tinker's female companion.—Guteli, or trulli, are spirits like women, which shew great kindness to men, and hereof it is that we call light women trulls. ...
— 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue • Captain Grose et al.

... considerable land. His father had left it to him, but it was all swamp land, and so Hank's father, he hunted more'n he farmed, and Hank and his brothers done the same when he was a boy. But Hank, he learnt a little blacksmithing when he was growing up, cause he liked to tinker around and to show how stout he was. Then, when he married Elmira Appleton, he had to go to work practising that perfession reg'lar, because he never learnt nothing about farming. He'd sell fifteen or twenty acres, every now and then, and they'd be high ...
— Danny's Own Story • Don Marquis

... his fervently religious and romantic temperament, in his richness of representation and ingenuity of analogy, and in his forcible quaintness of style, as completely as he did in social status and in personal surroundings. In complete contrast to the romantic productions of the self-educated tinker of Bedford, the works of Walton and Evelyn were at any rate influenced by, though they can hardly be said to have been moulded upon, the style of the preceding age of old English prose writers ending with Milton. The influence of the latter is, indeed, plainly noticeable both ...
— Sylva, Vol. 1 (of 2) - Or A Discourse of Forest Trees • John Evelyn

... "Your old man's a bum, a useless tinker. He thought he could send Man to the stars on a string of helium nuclei. Oh, he was smart. Thought of everything. Auxiliary jets to kick off the negative charge, bigger mercury vapor banks—a fine straight thrust of positive Alpha ...
— Teething Ring • James Causey

... on't, is by sellin' out to old Graspum-Norman, I mean—he does up such business as fine as a fiddle. Make the best strike with him ye can—he's as tough as a knot on nigger trade!—and, if there's any making property out on 'em, he's just the tinker to do it." ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... is still inscrutable to man. Is man the friend, or is he the patron only? Have they indeed forgotten nature's voice? or are those moments snatched from courtiership when they touch noses with the tinker's mongrel, the brief reward and pleasure of their artificial lives? Doubtless, when man shares with his dog the toils of a profession and the pleasures of an art, as with the shepherd or the poacher, the affection warms and strengthens ...
— Memories and Portraits • Robert Louis Stevenson

... English gypsy, the same words are expressed by Rom, romni, and romnipen. D, be it observed, very often changes to r in its transfer from Hindoo to Romany. Thus doi, "a wooden spoon," becomes in gypsy roi, a term known to every tinker in London. But, while this was probably the origin of the word Rom, there were subsequent reasons for its continuance. Among the Cophts, who were more abundant in Egypt when the first gypsies went there, the word for man is romi, and after leaving Greece and the Levant, or Rum, it would ...
— The Gypsies • Charles G. Leland

... in England for religion's sake was a poor tinker and day laborer named John Bunyan. He had served against the King in the civil wars, and later had become converted to Puritanism, and turned exhorter and itinerant preacher. He was arrested, while preaching in a farmhouse, ...
— The Leading Facts of English History • D.H. Montgomery

... gain dragging me to 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 ...
— The Tinker's Wedding • J. M. Synge

... similar manner, the altogether different gift of the divine, life-giving Spirit follows no lines that Churches or institutions draw. It falls upon an Augustinian monk in a convent, and he shakes Europe. It falls upon a tinker in Bedford gaol, and he writes Pilgrim's Progress. It falls upon a cobbler in Kettering, and he founds modern Christian missions. It blows 'where it listeth,' sovereignly indifferent to the expectations and limitations and the externalisms, ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts • Alexander Maclaren

... pike made with an axe at the end of it; so 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

... do not take my astronomical clock to pieces. She supposes that because I am an astronomer, I must be able to be a clock-maker, while I do not handle a tool if I can help it! She did not expect to take her piano to pieces because she was musical! She was as careful not to tinker it as I was not to tinker the clock, which only an expert in clock-making was prepared ...
— Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals • Maria Mitchell

... face crimsoning with vexation. "She seems to me one of those shallow women who would sooner flirt with a tinker than pass unnoticed by the male sex. I don't like her," ...
— The Silent House • Fergus Hume

... before him, the eare of a merchant to heare all and say nothing: and if this be not the highest step of thraldome, there is no libertie or freedome. It is but a milde kind of subiection to be the seruant of one master at once, but when thou hast a thousand thousand masters, as the veriest botcher, tinker or cobler freeborne wil dominere ouer a forreiner, & think to bee his better or master in company: then shalt thou finde theres no such hell, as to leaue thy fathers house (thy natural habitation) to liue in the land of bondage. ...
— The Vnfortunate Traveller, or The Life Of Jack Wilton - With An Essay On The Life And Writings Of Thomas Nash By Edmund Gosse • Thomas Nash

... watch gets out of order you have choice of two things to do: throw it in the fire or take it to the watch-tinker. The former is the quickest. —Pudd'nhead ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... 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

... bring her baby and sit as guest of honor in Simon's solitary "cane-bottom," where she would inadvertently learn items of interest with regard to "yon Cassius," or "bluff Harry," or a certain young lady who was described as being "little" but "fierce,"—a good deal like Molly Tinker whose "man" kept the "Golden Glory Saloon." On one occasion a rattlesnake lifted its head drowzily from behind a rock near by, and was despatched offhand by Simon. It was this exploit which filled the measure of ...
— Peak and Prairie - From a Colorado Sketch-book • Anna Fuller

... "There's a Tinker's boy in the town," said the Innkeeper, darkly, "and he's always looking out for Hedgehogs—I shouldn't be surprised if he heard where ...
— Soap-Bubble Stories - For Children • Fanny Barry

... fetched the saucepan, which had been laid by until the tinker's next visit, and gave it to the Hillman, who thanked her ...
— Good Stories For Great Holidays - Arranged for Story-Telling and Reading Aloud and for the - Children's Own Reading • Frances Jenkins Olcott



Words linked to "Tinker" :   tinker's root, Scomber, work, gypsy, putter, muck about, Scomber japonicus, do work, gipsy, puddle, bushel, muck around, itinerant, genus Scomber, touch on, fix, repair, chub mackerel, furbish up, experimenter, potter, doctor, mend, restore, mackerel, tinker's damn



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