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Boomerang   /bˈumərˌæŋ/   Listen
Boomerang

noun
1.
A curved piece of wood; when properly thrown will return to thrower.  Synonyms: throw stick, throwing stick.
2.
A miscalculation that recoils on its maker.  Synonym: backfire.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Boomerang" Quotes from Famous Books



... spontaneously, as some would have us believe, in different countries; there is no truth in the theory that men pressed by necessity will always hit upon the same invention to relieve their wants. If this were so, all savages would have invented the boomerang; all savages would possess pottery, bows and arrows, slings, tents, and canoes; in short, all races would have risen to civilization, for certainly the comforts of life are as agreeable to ...
— The Antediluvian World • Ignatius Donnelly

... the grassy and park-like lands, the men stalking ahead with spears and boomerang in hand; the women trudging behind loaded with babies, and utensils. At evening they camp and the men put up frail break-winds, consisting of a few branches and leafy tufts; behind this on the sheltered side a few leaves ...
— History of Australia and New Zealand - From 1606 to 1890 • Alexander Sutherland

... to taste, flew about the Point, ricochetted, and returned in boomerang fashion to their authors, who repolished them and shot them forth again. Heads bobbed back, forth, and up in the effort to see. In a prestissimo fire of joy, the novel exercise ...
— Nights in London • Thomas Burke

... give his body to be burned; and a man has a right to control his bodily health, though in a state of siege he may give his body to be starved. Thus, though the patriotic defence was a sincere defence, it is a defence that comes back on the defenders like a boomerang. For it proves only that Prohibition ought to be ephemeral, unless war ought to ...
— What I Saw in America • G. K. Chesterton

... self-protection. Let us hope, then, that something will ore long be done to prevent disasters pregnant with so many evils to the community, and reflecting so strongly on the United States as a nation.[S] Having gone off at a tangent, like a boomerang, I had better, like the same weapon, return whence I started—in military ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... ironic respect the gang strongly resembled a boomerang. So thoroughly and impartially did it do its work that it recoiled upon those who used it. The evil was one of long standing. Pepys complained of it bitterly in his day, asserting that owing to its prevalence letters could neither be received nor sent, and that the departmental machinery ...
— The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore • John R. Hutchinson

... boomerang, is a thin curved missile, which can be thrown by a skilful hand so as to rise upon the air, and its crooked course may be, nevertheless, under control. It is about two feet four inches in length, and nine and a half ounces ...
— Australia, its history and present condition • William Pridden

... being unprecedented in warfare, proved an exceedingly short-sighted one, and acted almost immediately after the manner of a boomerang. The able-bodied men of each family who had remained loyal or at least neutral, so long as they were permitted to live undisturbed on their few acres, were not content to exist on the charity of a city, ...
— Cuba in War Time • Richard Harding Davis

... native words. The blacks had a way of picking up white men's slang and adding it to their very limited vocabulary; thus the evil spirit is known among them as the "debbil-debbil.") Another weapon the aboriginal had, the boomerang, a curiously curved missile stick which, if it missed the object at which it was aimed, would curve back in the air and return to the feet of the thrower; thus the black did not lose his weapon. The boomerang shows an extraordinary knowledge of the effects of curves on the flight of an object; it ...
— Peeps At Many Lands: Australia • Frank Fox

... Antipataringa, where the mythical snake is said to have halted in his wanderings. The same two men acted as before, but this time one of them carried on his head a curious curved bundle shaped like an enormous boomerang. It was made of grass-stalks bound together with human hair-string and decorated with white down. This sacred object represented the Wollunqua himself.[138] From this spot the snake was believed to have travelled ...
— The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) • Sir James George Frazer

... that! A great tall man with long arms. And what had he at the end of them? Either a club such as savages use or something to throw like a boomerang. And he could imitate animals, and as you say, he was probably a ventriloquist. And he was that active and strong he could get into the house through one of the windies, just like a great monkey. Now what's the history of ...
— Simon • J. Storer Clouston

... hue between soundness and unsoundness. And it was her fault for having fooled with his feelings. Everything was her fault, everything. And now she stood on what Gilbert had called the lip of Eternity. "Who Cares?" had come back at her like a boomerang. And as to a choice between giving herself to Gilbert or to death, what was the good of thinking that over? She didn't love this man and never could. She loved Martin, Martin. She had always loved Martin from the moment that she had turned and found him on ...
— Who Cares? • Cosmo Hamilton

... of them throw pebbles would lead us to believe they have already reached the degree of civilisation that many tribes of savages had reached only a few years ago, when they learned to use the boomerang and lasso. Some naturalists claim that monkeys actually set pitfalls for their enemies and lie in wait for them to be caught, just as a ...
— The Human Side of Animals • Royal Dixon

... springing of the Petersburg Mine, Grant thought himself sure to make enormous gains; but Lee's insight into his purposes, and lightning celerity in checkmating these, foiled both movements, giving the mine operation, moreover, the effect of a deadly boomerang. ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XII • John Lord

... stars was a mere idyll. They declared that we are all careering through space, clinging to a cannon-ball, and the poets ignore the matter as if it were a remark about the weather. They say that an invisible force holds us in our own armchairs while the earth hurtles like a boomerang; and men still go back to dusty records to prove the mercy of God. They tell us that Mr. Scott's monstrous vision of a mountain of sea-water rising in a solid dome, like the glass mountain in the fairy-tale, is actually a fact, and men still go back to the fairy-tale. To what towering ...
— The Defendant • G.K. Chesterton

... case of Angelo. No one could demonstrate it, no one could with safety even hint at it; any charge that the court was anything but impartial would prove a boomerang to the defense; and yet the facts remained that the whole proceeding from start to finish had been conducted unfairly and with illegality, that the jury had been duped and deceived, and that the pretense that the guilty Angelo had been given an impartial trial was a farce. Every word of ...
— Tutt and Mr. Tutt • Arthur Train

... assented Jim, "and a lie out of whole cloth. But what beats me is why they should do it? It's bound to be a boomerang." ...
— Baseball Joe Around the World - Pitching on a Grand Tour • Lester Chadwick

... with the calmness of despair. But then it occurred to me that there was a way of using the weapon which threatened, as a boomerang. ...
— It Happened in Egypt • C. N. Williamson & A. M. Williamson

... but its provisional successor. In trying to take the State out of the Union with a show of legality, the lawful Governor and his official associates made provision for a State convention to be chosen by the people, which they expected to control, but which, having a Unionist majority, played the boomerang on them by sending them adrift and taking the affairs of the State into its own hands. In this it had opposition. The most progressive men of the State insisted that, after it had settled the question of Missouri's relations to the Union, with reference ...
— The Abolitionists - Together With Personal Memories Of The Struggle For Human Rights • John F. Hume

... blacks is that they play their game for the sake of the game, not to gain the plaudits of an idle crowd or in expectation of reward. Rivalry there undoubtedly is among them, but the rivalry is disinterested. No chaplet of olive-leaves or parsley decorates the brow of him who so throws the boomerang that it accomplishes the farthest and most complicated flight. As the archers of old England practised their sport, so do the blacks exhibit their strength and skill, not as the modern lover of football, who pays others to play for his amusement, and who, possibly, knows not the game ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... an' we-all goes over to the corral to size it up. It's consid'rable of a hoss, too, standin' three hands higher than the tallest of our ponies. Also, it has a ewe neck an' lib'ral legs. It's name is 'Henry of Navarre,' but we sees at once that sech'll never do, an' re-christens him 'Boomerang Bob.' ...
— Faro Nell and Her Friends - Wolfville Stories • Alfred Henry Lewis

... the word out of his mouth. "News!" he roared. "A fake story ten years old, news? That ain't news! It's spite work. Even your dirty paper, Waldemar, wouldn't rake that kind of muck up after ten years. It'd be a boomerang. You'll have to put up a stronger line of blackmail ...
— Average Jones • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... a small Turkish advanced work in the Saghir Dere known as the Boomerang Redoubt was assaulted. This little fort, which was very strongly sited and protected by extra strong wire entanglements, has long been a source of trouble. After special bombardment by trench mortar, and while bombardment of surrounding trenches ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 5, August, 1915 • Various

... the Base Ball season the Brotherhood League dealt what it believed to be a death blow to the National League by the purchase of the Cincinnati franchise. It proved to be a boomerang, for before the first day of January, 1891, the Brotherhood League had passed out of existence. The backers of the organization, tired of the general conduct of the sport, were only too willing to come to ...
— Spalding's Official Baseball Guide - 1913 • John B. Foster

... bough-shelter, and when the man had made quite sure of this, he stepped out from his hiding. He was quite naked, and carried a couple of long spears with stone heads, a woomera (spear-thrower), a spiked boomerang, and a wooden shield. His long hair was plastered up into a bunch at the back, and was kept in place by rings of rope made of his mother's hair. He stood for a moment and looked intently at the shelter, then he stooped and examined the marks in the sand, following them this way and that till ...
— In the Musgrave Ranges • Jim Bushman

... no equivalent or substitute for precision. It is often its worst enemy. A man may mould himself to think in curves and zig-zags, and not in right lines. He sends never an arrow, but a boomerang. Or he thinks in poetry instead of prose, deals in analogy where it should be analysis, puts rhetoric for logic, scatters and not concentrates, and while he radiates never irradiates. A late divine was suspected of heresy, ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... wangno (the boomerang of Eastern and kiley of Western Australia) is another simple but destructive weapon, in the hands of the native. It consists of a thin, flat, curved piece of hard wood, about two feet long, made out of the acacia pendula or gum-scrub, the raspberry-jam wood, ...
— Journals Of Expeditions Of Discovery Into Central • Edward John Eyre

... Denham, and as he shouted he snatched off Dean's hat and sent it skimming like a boomerang right away over the bushes, though, unlike a boomerang, it did ...
— Dead Man's Land - Being the Voyage to Zimbambangwe of certain and uncertain • George Manville Fenn

... away from the spot at which Alec had aimed. Frank, with his ear hot and stinging from the effects of the blow so unexpected and so unintentionally given, wisely decided that he would postpone his first attempt with a weapon that seemed to be as uncertain as a boomerang. ...
— Winter Adventures of Three Boys • Egerton R. Young

... grinned the Weary Roue. The Good Stockbroker looked pained and cleared his throat. At this formidable signal, the Family Egotist—whose irritation had been increasing like the alleged circulation of a newspaper—showed every sign of hurling the boomerang of his opinion into the fray. This would have meant the death of all liveliness for some hours to come, and a general sigh had begun to heave, when once more our brave ...
— Modern marriage and how to bear it • Maud Churton Braby

... goods; he made his offer; whereat the wild man swung his boomerang disagreeably, and indicated that he must have "more, more." Tears of self-pity flooded Sinkum's eyes. He had no choice but to obey, and at last the black-fellow left with a sack containing ten times the value of the goods the storeman had been forced to buy. ...
— Queensland Cousins • Eleanor Luisa Haverfield

... have hurt her more awfully whatever he had said. To be treated like a naughty girl! But it served her right, and she knew it. Her plea had come back like a boomerang. ...
— Who Cares? • Cosmo Hamilton

... result was altogether different from what they had anticipated. That's why I say submarine activities off the American coast will prove a boomerang to the foe." ...
— The Boy Allies with the Victorious Fleets - The Fall of the German Navy • Robert L. Drake

... unknown hand on the window of the Emporium a newspaper account of that Jew drummer's taking off. The newspaper could offer no theory and merely recited the fact that the man suffered from a heavy-calibred bullet. But always the talk turned back at last to that crowning atrocity, the Boomerang, with its windrows of little calves, starved for ...
— The Killer • Stewart Edward White

... the revolutionary leaders succeeded in opening the eyes of the people to this view of the matter, my old friends the capitalists must have found their cry about 'the sacred right of property' turned into a most dangerous sort of boomerang." ...
— Equality • Edward Bellamy

... their burden on their shoulders, carrying it as we do a knapsack, not in the ordinary Chinese way, with a pliant carrying pole. They are all provided with a short staff, which has a transverse handle curved like a boomerang, and with this they ease the weight off the back, while standing ...
— An Australian in China - Being the Narrative of a Quiet Journey Across China to Burma • George Ernest Morrison

... they share an inexpressible vitality in the air which emanates from this violent and capering satirist. Trabb's boy is among other things a boy; he has a physical rapture in hurling himself like a boomerang and in bouncing to the sky like a ball. It is just exactly in describing this quality that Dickens is Dickens and that no one else comes near him. No one feels in his bones that Felix Holt was strong ...
— Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens • G. K. Chesterton

... very same sort, though simpler, and better adapted to illustrate natural selection; because the change of direction—your necessity—acts gradually or successively, instead of abruptly. Suppose I hit a man standing obliquely in my rear, by throwing forward a crooked stick, called a boomerang. How could he know whether the blow was intentional or not? But suppose I had been known to throw boomerangs before; suppose that, on different occasions, I had before wounded persons by the same, or other indirect and apparently aimless actions; and suppose ...
— Darwiniana - Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism • Asa Gray

... other and they roll over and over desperately. In the scuffle one loses both his hat and skull-cap and flees shamefast from the scene. It is asserted by our partner that "this went big." He swears it got a laugh. Pat Valdo hurries off to prepare for his boomerang throwing. Pat is a busy man, for he is not only a clown, but he and Mrs. Valdo also do wonderful stunts of their own on Ring ...
— Pipefuls • Christopher Morley

... business proved a boomerang," was Tom's comment. "It's a pity we didn't dig out for the shore, signal to the steam yacht, and tell father and the others ...
— The Rover Boys on Treasure Isle - or The Strange Cruise of the Steam Yacht. • Edward Stratemeyer (AKA Arthur M. Winfield)

... valuable turbine patent model belonging to Mr. Swift. Tom was taking it to a lawyer, when he was waylaid, and chloroformed. Later he traced the gang, and, with the assistance of Mr. Damon and Eradicate Sampson, an aged colored man who made a living for himself and his mule, Boomerang, by doing odd jobs, the lad found the thieves and recovered a motor-boat which had been stolen. But ...
— Tom Swift and his Electric Runabout - or, The Speediest Car on the Road • Victor Appleton

... take the goal in a line, he corrects the course, and shows us the deviation that is necessary in order to arrive at it; like the sailor making allowance for the deviation of the magnetic pole, in steering. Happiness is not gained by a point-blank aim; we must take a boomerang flight in some other line, and come back upon the target by an oblique or reflected movement. It is the idea of Young on the Love of Praise (Satire ...
— Practical Essays • Alexander Bain

... now, Boomerang! Keep to' feet a-movin' an' we sho' will make a record. 'Tain't laik we was a autermobiler, er a electricity car, but we sho' hab been goin' sence we started. Yo' sho' done yo'se'f proud t'day, Boomerang, an' I'se ...
— Tom Swift and his Wireless Message • Victor Appleton

... control is subject to a popular vote, is a boomerang. The appointment of a citizen in a town arouses the anger of many others who think they are more deserving. I appealed to the farmers with the simple question whether old Westchester should be controlled by federal authority in a purely State matter of their own. The result of the appeal was overwhelming, ...
— My Memories of Eighty Years • Chauncey M. Depew

... an intellectual kind is enormous. The invention, construction, and working of one Krupp gun, though its mere discharge hardly demands more crude muscular exertion than a savage expends in throwing his boomerang, yet represents an infinitude of intellectual care and thought, far greater than that which went to the shaping of all the weapons of a primitive army. Above all, in the domain of politics and government, where once ...
— Woman and Labour • Olive Schreiner

... single wreath of coarse daisies around the crown, and her mitts were darned in many places, nevertheless you could not entirely spoil her; God had used a liberal hand in making her, and her father's parsimony was a sort of boomerang that ...
— The Story Of Waitstill Baxter • By Kate Douglas Wiggin

... much skill. Some of the tribes of Southern Africa prowling about in search of roots, and living concealed on the wild and arid plains, are sufficiently wretched. The Australian, in the simplicity of the arts of life, comes nearest the Fuegian: he can, however, boast of his boomerang, his spear and throwing-stick, his method of climbing trees, of tracking animals, and of hunting. Although the Australian may be superior in acquirements, it by no means follows that he is likewise superior ...
— The Voyage of the Beagle • Charles Darwin

... powder is shown on the photographs as a sort of halo around the object. The hands are either right or left, and, in some cases, both hands seem to have been stencilled at once. Sometimes the whole arm and hand are stencilled together, and in one of the photographs a boomerang is shown. The age of these stencils is not known. They were first discovered at Wolgan Gap about sixty years ago, but others have been known for a longer time, for instance, those at Greenwich, Parametta River, ...
— Popular Science Monthly Volume 86

... weapon, the trombash, that is used by these people, somewhat resembling the Australian boomerang; it is a piece of flat, hard wood, about two feet in length, the end of which turns sharply at an angle of about 30 degrees. They throw this with great dexterity, and inflict severe wounds with the hard and sharp edge; but, unlike the boomerang, the weapon ...
— The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia • Samuel W. Baker

... the fire shot a phantom skiff, beaching itself straight and swift at his feet, and so suddenly that he had to withdraw them like a flash to avoid the crunch of the sharp bows across the sand. 'Always let the other man speak first,' he thought; 'this boomerang of a boat has a shape in it, ...
— Castle Nowhere • Constance Fenimore Woolson

... before dreamed of. Some of them proved themselves great horses, the equals of the best the English could bring against them: all were good. And it was only by an act of God, as the enemy English declared, that Boomerang, the king of them, had failed to win the National and consummate his owner's ...
— Boy Woodburn - A Story of the Sussex Downs • Alfred Ollivant

... not prezactly 'skeered, but I done jest 'membered dat I didn't gib mah mule Boomerang any oats t'day, an' he's suahly gwine t' be desprit mad at me fo' forgettin' dat. I—I'd ...
— Tom Swift and his Giant Cannon - or, The Longest Shots on Record • Victor Appleton

... laboriousness and nicety, all the experiments of Hythe, Vincennes, and Jacobabad. The resulting curve, which the longitudinal section of the perfect "slug" shows, is as subtile and incapable of modification, without loss, as that of the boomerang; no hair's thickness could be taken away or added without injury to its range. Such a weapon and such a missile, in their perfection, could never have come into existence except in answer to the demand of a nation of hunters to whom a shade of greater accuracy is ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 24, Oct. 1859 • Various

... of other people than on account of themselves. We're born to it and we keep it up, inflicting a thousand pricks and a thousand sorrows to gain one selfish end and it isn't once in a hundred times that the boomerang comes home and strikes the right one down. But when it ...
— Philip Steele of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police • James Oliver Curwood

... vain he tried to get out of this poor position; I did not give him the chance. I came so close to him that my machine was smutted by the ensuing explosion of his 'plane. He fell, twisting like a boomerang. The observer fell out of the machine before ...
— An Aviator's Field Book - Being the field reports of Oswald Boelcke, from August 1, - 1914 to October 28, 1916 • Oswald Boelcke

... agitation came back on the reformers like a boomerang. Leading politicians determined to do something to vindicate the leading citizen who had been accused. They elected him to the State Senate! A city of a hundred thousand can by either a positive ...
— From the Bottom Up - The Life Story of Alexander Irvine • Alexander Irvine

... excuses ready-made. They are men and so am I—students or kiddies or whatever they may be. They are bigger than I, and unless I get even with them by punishment, I would cut a sorry figure. But in the attempt to get even, if I resort to ordinary means, they are sure to make it a boomerang. If I tell them, "You're wrong," they will start an eloquent defence, because they are never short of the means of sidestepping. Having defended themselves, and made themselves appear suffering martyrs, they would begin attacking me. As the incident would have been started by my attempting ...
— Botchan (Master Darling) • Mr. Kin-nosuke Natsume, trans. by Yasotaro Morri

... don't fear a battle with bushrangers, but I should dislike to lose my prize-money. Hurry through your suppers, men, and bring up the animals. In fifteen minutes we start, and there will be no rest until we reach Boomerang River." ...
— The Gold Hunter's Adventures - Or, Life in Australia • William H. Thomes

... as an invention of the would-be-free. It was a brilliant flash of genius of a seeker after freedom. However, it became a boomerang. By multiplication and hereditary transmission, the inferiority and the number of the slaves created a new overwhelming problem for the superior few, the upper crust of the free. At last the problem grew into the problem of ...
— The Glands Regulating Personality • Louis Berman, M.D.

... to say it, but it seems to me that you go too minutely into particulars in describing the feats of the aboriginals. I felt it in the boomerang-throwing. ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... endeavoured to publish serially by posting the MS. to the editors of various magazines for their consideration. But in those days there were no literary agents or Authors' Societies to help young writers with their experience and advice, and the bulky manuscript always came back to my hand like a boomerang, till at length I wearied of the attempt. Of course I sent it to the wrong people; afterwards the editor of a leading monthly told me that he would have been delighted to run the book had it fallen into the ...
— The Idler Magazine, Volume III, April 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... address on the publisher's letter clasped in her hand. She marched uptown with a singing heart. She saw everything and everybody. She wondered how many of them carried happy secrets, like hers, in their thoughts—how many of them were going toward thrilling experiences. She shot her imagination, like a boomerang, at every passing face, in the hope of getting back secrets that lay behind the masks. She was unaware how her direct gaze riveted attention to her own eager face. She thought the people who smiled at her were friendly, and she tossed ...
— Bambi • Marjorie Benton Cooke

... triumphs of his inventive genius had been a machine for making ten—dollar bills, at which the New York capitalist had exclaimed that the state right for Iowa alone would bring one hundred thousand dollars. Even more remunerative, it would seem, had been his other patent—the folding boomerang. The manager of the largest boomerang factory in Australia stood ready to purchase this device for ten million dollars. And there was a final view of the little home after prosperity had come to its inmates so long threatened with ruin. A sign over the door read "Ye Olde Fashioned ...
— Merton of the Movies • Harry Leon Wilson



Words linked to "Boomerang" :   return, backfire, kylie, kiley, misestimation, projectile, Australia, missile, throw stick, Commonwealth of Australia, misreckoning, throwing stick, miscalculation



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