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Fiddle   Listen
noun
Fiddle  n.  
1.
(Mus.) A stringed instrument of music played with a bow; a violin; a kit.
2.
(Bot.) A kind of dock (Rumex pulcher) with fiddle-shaped leaves; called also fiddle dock.
3.
(Naut.) A rack or frame of bars connected by strings, to keep table furniture in place on the cabin table in bad weather.
Fiddle beetle (Zool.), a Japanese carabid beetle (Damaster blaptoides); so called from the form of the body.
Fiddle block (Naut.), a long tackle block having two sheaves of different diameters in the same plane, instead of side by side as in a common double block.
Fiddle bow, fiddlestick.
Fiddle fish (Zool.), the angel fish.
Fiddle head, See fiddle head in the vocabulary.
Fiddle pattern, a form of the handles of spoons, forks, etc., somewhat like a violin.
Scotch fiddle, the itch. (Low)
To play first fiddle, or To play second fiddle, to take a leading or a subordinate part. (Colloq.)






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Fiddle" Quotes from Famous Books



... fiddle of a rod, I'll have a husband; and if you won't get me one, I'll get one for myself. I'll marry our Robin the butler; he says he loves me, and he's a handsome man, and shall be my husband: I warrant he'll be my husband, and thank me too, for he told ...
— Love for Love • William Congreve

... sweethearts the ball. The fife and the fiddle all merrily sound, Thy twine, and they glide, and with nimbleness bound, Thy whisper, and ...
— The Poems of Goethe • Goethe

... door stood a half-grown boy, stamping his feet to keep warm, as he droned out in sing-song fashion: "Walk in, gentlefolk, and have your razors ground; we have all manner of kitchen furniture in cutlery within, also catgut and fiddle strings ...
— An Unwilling Maid • Jeanie Gould Lincoln

... also small, a grayish, quiet, silent little old man. He is under his wife's thumb; he was doorkeeper in this very house even at the time when Anna Markovna served here as housekeeper. In order to be useful in some way, he has learned, through self-instruction, to play the fiddle, and now at night plays dance tunes, as well as a funeral march for shopmen far gone on a spree and ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... small fiddle; to crowd v. to grate as the two ends of a broken bone, to make a flat creaking; Crowder s. ...
— A Glossary of Provincial Words & Phrases in use in Somersetshire • Wadham Pigott Williams

... variety and excitement leads the crow to investigate any unusual sight or sound that catches his attention. Hide anywhere in the woods, and make any queer sound you will—play a jews'-harp, or pull a devil's fiddle, or just call softly—and first comes a blue jay, all agog to find out all about it. Next a red squirrel steals down and barks just over your head, to make you start if possible. Then, if your eyes are sharp, you will see a crow gliding from ...
— Ways of Wood Folk • William J. Long

... with wondering eyes, extracting those marvellously sweet sounds from his wooden instrument, until, with the child's spirit of imitation, as his parents sang their "Volkslieder," the little fellow, perched on a stone bench, gravely handled two pieces of wood of his own as if they were bow and fiddle, keeping exact time, and flourishing the bow in the approved fashion of the schoolmaster. From this very little incident came an important change in his life; for a relation, Johann Mathias Frankh, of Hainburg, happened to be present ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 8 (of 8) • Various

... liked the 'Magic Fiddle,'" said Nora, with a reminiscent chuckle. "I used to keep a copy of Grimms' Fairy Tales in my desk at school, just for that story. It always made me giggle. I could fairly see all those poor people dancing whether they wished to dance or not. Ask Hippy what his favorite fairy tale is," ...
— Grace Harlowe's Third Year at Overton College • Jessie Graham Flower

... kindled on a wide level plot in the outskirts of the settlement, around which the trees spread their sheltering arms. On a plank raised on two casks sat the blacksmith with his fiddle. The carpenter sat beside him with a kettledrum, more literally a kettledrum even than the real thing, for that drum was a kettle! On a little mound that rose in the centre of the plot sat, in state, Dick and Mary, March and the vision in leather, their respective thrones ...
— The Wild Man of the West - A Tale of the Rocky Mountains • R.M. Ballantyne

... Mrs. Bovey had them all into the parlour, where she was sitting dressed in white and silver. She showed them her clothes and her jewels, talked pleasantly and with great good nature to them, and having given to each of them sixpence she dismissed them. When they left her they had a harp and fiddle playing in the great hall, where they danced two hours and went away in good time. When Mrs. Bovey was dressing before dinner she said to Mrs. Vergo, 'Rachel, you will be surprised that I put such fine clothes on to-day; but I think that these ...
— The Forest of Dean - An Historical and Descriptive Account • H. G. Nicholls

... and where about the only regular musical diversion is going to church on Sunday morning and betting on where the veteran soprano in the choir is going to hang on to the key or skid on the high turns. You laugh at me because I can't eat down-town unless I am encouraged by a bull fiddle, and because I gulp at free concert tickets like a young robin swallowing worms. But if most of your life had been spent listening to Mrs. Sim Estabrook jumping for middle C about as successfully as a dog jumps for a squirrel in a hickory ...
— Homeburg Memories • George Helgesen Fitch

... you," Sandy agreed; "but there's an old bear that I want first. He's got a foot as big as a fiddle; I'll bet he weighs as ...
— Desert Conquest - or, Precious Waters • A. M. Chisholm

... quite in the vein of Dean Swift, entitled "Rules for reducing a Great Empire to a Small One." The opening sentences were as follows: "An ancient sage valued himself upon this, that, though he could not fiddle, he knew how to make a great city of a little one. The science that I, a modern simpleton, am about to communicate, is the very reverse;" and with this introduction the author proceeds to give a detailed account of the treatment ...
— Benjamin Franklin • Paul Elmer More

... master is proverbially more ruthless and unrelenting than any other; and yet amid all these distressing circumstances, as we would think them, they were the most cheerful and apparently happy creatures on board. One, whose offence for which he had been sold was an overfondness for his wife, played the fiddle almost continually, and the others danced, sang, cracked jokes, and played various games with cards from day to day. How true it is that 'God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,' or in other words, that he renders the worst of human conditions tolerable, ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... by Mr Paton to that of the Scotch Highlander; and it is not without strong points of resemblance. "He is brave in battle, highly hospitable; delights in simple and plaintive music and poetry, his favourite instruments being the bagpipe and fiddle; unlike the Greek, he shows little aptitude for trade; and, unlike the Bulgarian, he is very lazy in ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 364, February 1846 • Various

... CALF-SKIN FIDDLE. A drum. To smack calf's skin; to kiss the book in taking an oath. It is held by the St. Giles's casuists, that by kissing one's thumb instead of smacking calf's skin, the guilt of taking ...
— 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue • Captain Grose et al.

... that night a long, long time ago when all the people under the protection of the newly erected fort, gathered here for a house-warming. How clearly I could hear that squawking, squeaking, good-natured fiddle and the din of dancing feet! Only the sound got mixed up with the dim, weird moonlight, until you didn't know whether you were hearing or seeing or feeling it—the music of the fiddles and the feet. Oh, the ...
— The River and I • John G. Neihardt

... warmed by the old liquor, caught the first bars of a tune he had known in his youth; and lifting high his voice he sang it over and over again. He passed a negro cabin whence often had proceeded at night the penetrating cry of a fiddle, and it was night now but no fiddle sent forth its whine. A dog shoved open the door, and by the fire light within the old man saw a negro sitting with a gun across his lap, and beside him stood two boys, looking with rapture upon their father's weapon. Throughout the neighborhood ...
— An Arkansas Planter • Opie Percival Read

... to Handsomelake, 'Tell your people, and particularly the keeper of the faith, to be strong-minded and adhere to the true faith. We fear the evil-minded will go among them with tempations. He may introduce the fiddle; he may bring cards and leave them among you; the use of these is a great sin. Let the people be on their guard and the keepers of the faith be watchful and vigilant that none of these evils may find their way among the people. Let the keepers of the faith preserve ...
— Legends, Traditions, and Laws of the Iroquois, or Six Nations, and History of the Tuscarora Indians • Elias Johnson

... would a-wooing go Gave a party, you must know; And his bride, dressed all in green, Looked as fine as any queen. Their reception numbered some Of the best in Froggiedom. Four gay froggies played the fiddle,— Hands all round, and down ...
— The Nursery, February 1877, Vol. XXI. No. 2 - A Monthly Magazine for Youngest Readers • Various

... of his invention), and a Chinese pavilion, the most hideous building in the world. He could drive a four-in-hand very nearly as well as the Brighton coachman, could fence elegantly, and it is said, played the fiddle well. And he smiled with such irresistible fascination, that persons who were introduced into his august presence became his victims, body and soul, as a rabbit becomes the prey of a great ...
— The Book of Snobs • William Makepeace Thackeray

... this, we hesitated. Could we ask a man who owned books, and could probably read, to play second fiddle to a woman who could not speak the English language, and who for years, perhaps, had devoted the energies of her soul ...
— A Jolly Fellowship • Frank R. Stockton

... of check, and tallowed hair, The fiddler sits in the bulrush chair Like Moses' basket stranded there On the brink of Father Nile. He feels the fiddle's slender neck, Picks out the note, with thrum and check; And times the tune with nod and beck, And thinks it a weary while. All ready! Now he gives the call, Cries, "Honor to the ladies!" All The jolly tides of laughter fall And ...
— Standard Selections • Various

... in their white coiffes and black shawls, and the men in their round Breton hats with buckles and streaming ribbons, while knots began to collect about the doors of the village cafes, and laughter, gossip and the sound of the fiddle arose on the sunny air, Geoffroi would gather a circle round him to hear his quips and odd stories, and to join in the fun that he would mercilessly make of others less quick than himself at repartee. It was extraordinary on these occasions how Geoffroi, like a spider ...
— A Loose End and Other Stories • S. Elizabeth Hall

... and examine my arc! Fwizz! How's that for high, and for vivid and sparky! I obviate dirt, and I dissipate dark. You just let me in; the result you'll be charmed at. Objections, Old Boy, are all fiddle-de-dee. Come now! I'm sure you cannot be alarmed at A dear little chap ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, August 29, 1891 • Various

... scenes of Paris, in time of war, and in thousands of other rooms, whose window-curtains were drawn to veil their light from hostile aircraft, the people who come to Paris as the great university of intellect and emotion, continued their studies and their way of life, with vibrations of fiddle-strings and scraping of palettes ...
— The Soul of the War • Philip Gibbs

... soon have things as fit as a fiddle," said Tom, throwing off some of his superfluous garments so as to be ...
— Air Service Boys Over the Atlantic • Charles Amory Beach

... "Fiddle dumpling. Hunt is certainly faithless. Maria, do you think you could squeeze yourself through an ...
— The Honorable Miss - A Story of an Old-Fashioned Town • L. T. Meade

... had a dance, and here I became useful, being able to play Scotch reels and Irish jigs on the fiddle. Then we had songs and yarns again. Some could tell of furious fights with whales that made our blood boil; others could talk of the green fields at home, until we almost fancied we were boys again; and some could not tell stories at all. They had little ...
— Fighting the Whales • R. M. Ballantyne

... he did play! how they did dance! Commonly, as the young folks said, he could play only one tune, "Joe Roe and I;" for it is true that his sleepy violin did always seem to whine out, "Joe Roe and I, Joe Roe and I, Joe Roe and I." But now the old fiddle was wide awake. He cut capers on it; and made it laugh, and cry, and whistle, and snort, and scream. He held it close to his ear, and rolled up the whites of his eyes, and laughed a great, loud, rollicking laugh; and he made his fiddle laugh, ...
— Two Christmas Celebrations • Theodore Parker

... hunting and fishing, and promised to be a good sportsman from a very early age. Their grandfather's ship was sailing for Europe once when the boys were children, and they were asked, what present Captain Franks should bring them back? George was divided between books and a fiddle; Harry instantly declared for a little gun: and Madam Warrington (as she then was called) was hurt that her elder boy should have low tastes, and applauded the younger's choice as more worthy of his name and lineage. "Books, papa, I can fancy to be a good choice," she replied to her father, who tried ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... and change my dreaming. From the mufflers in which his father, the mountebank, has wrapped the child, to carry him across the heath, a little tumbling-boy emerges in soiled tights. He is half asleep. His father scrapes the fiddle. The boy shortens his red belt, kisses his fingers to us, and ties himself into a knot among the glasses ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... jolly!" she piped, "and I've just had the very gloriousest tramp and I feel as fine as a—what is it they say? Oh, as fine as a violin—I—I mean fiddle. I walked miles and miles—perhaps not quite so far—and the wind was blowing a blue streak right in my face. Ugh! first it made me shiver and creep up into my collar. But bimeby I got nice and warmy, and my cheeks tingled. I felt as if I could walk from here to ...
— The Woman Beautiful - or, The Art of Beauty Culture • Helen Follett Stevans

... there was a grand band hired from Rosseter, who, with their wonderful wind-instruments and puffed-out cheeks, were themselves a delightful show to the small boys and girls. To say nothing of Joshua Rann's fiddle, which, by an act of generous forethought, he had provided himself with, in case any one should be of sufficiently pure taste to prefer dancing to a ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... Nice, where the Duke of Savoy held his court; there he entered the service of the Duke of Moreto, and this lord having been appointed, some years afterwards, to the Scottish embassy, Rizzio followed him to Scotland. As this young man had a very fine voice, and accompanied on the viol and fiddle songs of which both the airs and the words were of his own composition, the ambassador spoke of him to Mary, who wished to see him. Rizzio, full of confidence in himself, and seeing in the queen's desire a road to success, hastened to obey her command, sang before her, and pleased her. ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... Polson,' said the General, encountering the Sergeant halfway along the deck, 'that it's unluckier for an old fellow to get bowled over than it is for a young one. You may be as fit as a fiddle again in a month or two, and may have your fill of fighting for Queen and country; but I have done my last day's work, and that is a weary thing to ...
— VC — A Chronicle of Castle Barfield and of the Crimea • David Christie Murray

... steel, stiff and unyielding. Both sails were snow-white, semi-transparent and supple in movement, like the ivory sails on the model ships in Rosenborg Palace. The mast seemed to bend slightly and the stays were as taut as fiddle-strings. The boat quivered like a leaf. The waves pounded hard against the thin strakes of the boat's side. I could feel them on my cheek, though their dampness never penetrated; but in between these hammer blows ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... sloping lawns blazed with flowers. My mother said it was much prettier than Kaskaskia; not crowded with traffic; not overrun with foreigners. Everybody seemed to be making a fete, to be visiting or receiving visits. At sunset the fiddle and the banjo began their melody. The young girls would gather at Barbeau's or Le Compt's or Pensonneau's—at any one of a dozen places, and the young men would follow. It was no trouble to have a dance every evening, and on feast days and great days ...
— The Chase Of Saint-Castin And Other Stories Of The French In The New World • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... mechanical, all over the great factory, was now strained almost to the breaking-point. How long can this agony last? How long can the roar and the rush and the throbbing pain continue until that nameless and unknown something snaps like an overstrained fiddle-string and brings relief? The remorseless clock informed us that there were two hours more of this torture before the signal to "clean up"—a signal, however, which is not given until the last girl has finished her allotted task. At half-past two it appeared ...
— The Long Day - The Story of a New York Working Girl As Told by Herself • Dorothy Richardson

... free life. The Negro songs, those that he has remembered best, are religious and other worldly. "It is a singular fact," says Krehbiel, "that very few secular songs—those which are referred to as 'reel tunes,' 'fiddle songs,' 'corn songs' and 'devil songs,' for which slaves generally expressed a deep abhorrence, though many of them no doubt were used to stimulate them while in the fields—have been preserved while 'shout songs' and other 'speritchils' have been kept alive ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 4, 1919 • Various

... vibrations, such as all air currents tend to produce. An AEolian harp illustrates the action which we are considering. Moving over matter which has the qualities that we denote by the term fluid, the swayings which the air produces are of a peculiar sort, though they much resemble those of the fiddle string. The surface of the liquid rises and falls in what we term waves, the size of which is determined by the measure of fluidity, and by the energy of the wind. Thus, because fresh water is considerably ...
— Outlines of the Earth's History - A Popular Study in Physiography • Nathaniel Southgate Shaler

... "I fiddle a little. I try to learn something different for them every time. The last time I learned to do conjuring tricks. They'd get tired of me if I didn't bring something new. I'm thinking of learning the penny whistle before ...
— John M. Synge: A Few Personal Recollections, with Biographical Notes • John Masefield

... prototype to turn pamphleteer and revile his benefactors. Mme. de Bargeton in her little circle of five or six persons, who were supposed to share her tastes for art and letters, because this one scraped a fiddle, and that splashed sheets of white paper, more or less, with sepia, and the other was president of a local agricultural society, or was gifted with a bass voice that rendered Se fiato in corpo like a war whoop—Mme. de Bargeton amid these grotesque figures was like a famished ...
— Two Poets - Lost Illusions Part I • Honore de Balzac

... alert on the receit of your strange-shaped present, while yet undisclosed from its fuse envelope. Some said,'tis a viol da Gamba, others pronounced it a fiddle. I myself hoped it a Liquer case pregnant with Eau de Vie and such odd Nectar. When midwifed into daylight, the gossips were at loss to pronounce upon its species. Most took it for a marrow spoon, ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... about me!" he objected trying hard to smile, though racked with pain. "I'll be O. K., fit as a fiddle, in no time. Perfect health and all that sort of thing, you ...
— Darkness and Dawn • George Allan England

... the rollicking music back of the paying booth. Three sable musicians form the orchestra, and from a bass viol, fiddle and fife they extract melody that, with all its short-coming, would make a deacon wish to dance. Any one, white or black, can purchase the privilege of keeping step to the music for two cents, or one strawberry ticket. Business was superb, and every shade of color and ...
— Success With Small Fruits • E. P. Roe

... that, like good Father Philip, in the romance of "The Monastery," they seemed utterly unable to change their tune. "Cherry ripe!" "Cherry ripe!" was the universal cry of all the idle in the town. Every unmelodious voice gave utterance to it; every crazy fiddle, every cracked flute, every wheezy pipe, every street organ was heard in the same strain, until studious and quiet men stopped their ears in desperation, or fled miles away into the fields or woodlands, to be at peace. ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon; The little dog laughed To see such craft, And the dish ran ...
— Traditional Nursery Songs of England - With Pictures by Eminent Modern Artists • Various

... proper relation as to size and position, and the perfect adaptation of each part. A split sounding-board spoils the pianoforte, the indented bell destroys the sweet tone of the French horn, and a cracked fiddle is ...
— Resonance in Singing and Speaking • Thomas Fillebrown

... fluent, and diffluent for us, both in mediaeval and recent times, with the most Essential oil of Turpentine, and Myrrh or Frankincense of temper and imagination, which may be typified by it, producible in Germany; especially if we think how the more delicate uses of Rosin, as indispensable to the Fiddle-bow, have developed themselves, from the days of St. Elizabeth of Marburg to those of St. ...
— Our Fathers Have Told Us - Part I. The Bible of Amiens • John Ruskin

... the fiddle, Its strings loudly giggled, The bailiff's man wriggled Ahead for a spree. "Hold!" shouted Ola And tripped him to tumbling, The bailiff's man ...
— Poems and Songs • Bjornstjerne Bjornson

... was cramped and sticky, with small fields and blind fences. Now, White Stockings is an animal of great circumspection, and allows no earthly consideration to hurry him. He is, moreover, as strong as a dray-horse, and as handy, so John declares, "as a fiddle." To him, therefore, was entrusted the honour of carrying me on my first appearance with the Heavy-top hounds. The meet was at no great distance from Dangerfield Hall, and being the beginning of the season, and a favourite ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... suspects that he lacks the true inspiration, he had better try the confidence game, and induce the public to admire by writing that which no one can understand. It would seem, too, that writing poetry and playing on the fiddle have this much in common, that a true genius at either is fit for nothing else. The amateurs can take care of themselves, but the born-masters display an amiable worthlessness for every thing but their art. Now General Thompson ...
— History of Morgan's Cavalry • Basil W. Duke

... proves not right, I'll e'en forswear this Town and all their false Wares, amongst which, zoz, I believe they vent as many false Wives as any Metropolitan in Christendom, I'll say that for't, and a Fiddle for't, i'faith:—come give me my Watch out,—so, my Diamond Rings too: so, I think I shall appear pretty ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn - Volume IV. • Aphra Behn

... out, "Don't take HIM," he says, "whatever you do! He's only a poor young chap from the country, and butter wouldn't melt in his mouth!" However, they - ha, ha, ha! - they took me, and pretended to search my bedroom, where nothing was found but an old fiddle belonging to the landlord, that had got there somehow or another. But, it entirely changed the landlord's opinion, for when it was produced, he says, "My fiddle! The Butcher's a purloiner! I give him into custody for the robbery of a ...
— Reprinted Pieces • Charles Dickens

... and are sharp and symmetrical; the cut-water stretches, with a graceful curve, far out beyond them toward the long sweeping martingal, and is surmounted by a gilt scroll, or, as the sailors call it, a fiddle-head. The black stern is ornamented by a group of white figures in bas relief, which give a lively air to the otherwise sombre and vacant expression, and beneath the cabin-windows is painted the name of the ship, and her port of register. The lower masts of this vessel are short and stout, the ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 3. March 1848 • Various

... of Heroes and Peace Seem'd to smile at the sound of the fiddle, Proud to fill up each tall shining space Round the lanthorn[1] that stood in the middle. And GEORGE'S head too; Heav'n screen him! May he finish in peace his long reign! And what did we when we had seen him? Why—went round and saw ...
— Wild Flowers - Or, Pastoral and Local Poetry • Robert Bloomfield

... blue eyes, very beautiful teeth, and a golden beard. His appearance was grave, but not morose, as if he were always examining things and people without condemning them. It was evident that he expected to take the upper hand in general, to play the first fiddle, to hold the top saw, to "be helped to all the stuffing of the pumpkin," as dear Uncle Sam was fond of saying. Of moderate stature, almost of middle age, and dressed nicely, without any gewgaws, which look so common upon a gentleman's front, he was likely to please more people ...
— Erema - My Father's Sin • R. D. Blackmore

... started, Freyberg realised that he might do better in Europe. He therefore deserted Villa, and set out afoot for San Francisco. His splendid constitution stood him in good stead, and he arrived there as fit as a fiddle, soon afterwards winning enough money in a swimming race to take him to London. In the English capital he received a commission as a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Division, and his promotion ...
— Some Naval Yarns • Mordaunt Hall

... poetry that I allers tunes my voice up to the occasion with," he said. "I do it sorter like a fiddler tunes up his fiddle. It's a great poem an' I'll put it agin anything in the Queen's English for real thunder music an' a sentiment that Shakespeare an' Milton nor none of 'em cud a writ. It stirs me like our park of artillery at Shiloh, ...
— The Bishop of Cottontown - A Story of the Southern Cotton Mills • John Trotwood Moore

... beat her, uttering fearful curses. If he caught her praying, he said, he would "give her hell." Mary was a member of the Methodist Church in Washington. There were several pious people in the company; and at night, when the driver found them melancholy and disposed to pray, he had a fiddle brought, and made them dance in their chains, whipping them till they complied. Mary at length became so weak that she really could travel on foot no further. Her feeble frame was exhausted, and sank beneath accumulated ...
— American Scenes, and Christian Slavery - A Recent Tour of Four Thousand Miles in the United States • Ebenezer Davies

... too patently didactic or doctrinaire; we suspect that they have been motives determining the action; our scepticism as to the disinterested conduct of the story is aroused by its too plainly deduced moral. We catch the powers at play which ought to be invisible; we fiddle with the works of the clock till it ceases to strike. Yet if only a part of Browning's mind is alive in these early poems, the faculties brought into exercise are the less impeded by one another; the love of beauty is not tripped up by a delight in the grotesque. ...
— Robert Browning • Edward Dowden

... a tall, handsome black fellow, with white teeth and bright eyes, and he could play the fiddle and pick the banjo, and knock the bones and cut the pigeon-wing, and, besides all that, he was the best hoe-hand, and could pick more cotton than any other negro on the plantation. He had amused himself by courting and flirting with all of the negro girls; but at last he had been caught ...
— Diddie, Dumps & Tot - or, Plantation child-life • Louise-Clarke Pyrnelle

... "Please don't fiddle with those candlesticks. They're the rarest American workmanship, and if you were to break one of them Aunt Marion would kill me. I'll feel safer about ...
— The Dust Flower • Basil King

... under different skies, but never such a one as this. So far, far from all that one associates with this evening. I think of the merriment round the bonfires at home, hear the scraping of the fiddle, the peals of laughter, and the salvoes of the guns, with the echoes answering from the purple-tinted heights. And then I look out over this boundless, white expanse into the fog and sleet and the driving wind. Here is truly no trace ...
— Farthest North - Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration of the Ship 'Fram' 1893-1896 • Fridtjof Nansen

... is certain the institution of the true critics was of absolute necessity to the commonwealth of learning. For all human actions seem to be divided like Themistocles and his company. One man can fiddle, and another can make a small town a great city; and he that cannot do either one or the other deserves to be kicked out of the creation. The avoiding of which penalty has doubtless given the first birth ...
— A Tale of a Tub • Jonathan Swift

... the crime of taking steps to music as a change from the pious freedom of kissing parties. There was one sacrilegious person named Joe Dencie living in the east-side neighborhood, who could not only "make a fiddle talk," as the saying was, but "call off" and keep time and head, foot, both arms and entire body as well, and at once. To describe his ability more completely it might be said that he fiddled and danced at ...
— Pocket Island - A Story of Country Life in New England • Charles Clark Munn

... they do spin! when they truly begin; Each dancer as airy and bright as a doll; While the music complete, keeps time to their feet, With its fiddle-dee-diddle and tol-de-rol-ol! ...
— Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad • Various

... red-haired young lady had known that he possessed so beautiful a voice. It had a clearness without effort, a tone, a truth, a pathos, such as I have not often heard. It sounded strangely above the nasal tones of the school-children, and the scraping of a solitary fiddle. Even our neighbour, who had lustily followed the rhythm of the tune, though without much varying from the note on which he responded, softened his own sounds and turned to look at the Irishman, who sang on without noticing it, till, in the last verse, he seemed disturbed to discover ...
— Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... speaking to his son, 'Now, my bonny man, I'm going to Liverpool to-day, what shall I bring you? You may choose what you like: only let it be little, for I shall walk there and back: sixty miles each way, that is a long spell!' Hindley named a fiddle, and then he asked Miss Cathy; she was hardly six years old, but she could ride any horse in the stable, and she chose a whip. He did not forget me; for he had a kind heart, though he was rather severe sometimes. He promised to bring me a pocketful of apples and pears, ...
— Wuthering Heights • Emily Bronte

... child, likewise sawed one stick upon another in imitation of playing the fiddle. And there's Little Babe of Lonesome Creek who delights in a gourd banjo. His grandsir, finding a straight, long-necked gourd among those clustered on the vine over kitchen-house door, fashioned it into ...
— Blue Ridge Country • Jean Thomas

... were going to supper, an old man, with a fiddle in his hand, tottered into the garden, and down the lawn. He was a very queer-looking old man. He had long white hair, and ...
— The Birthday Party - A Story for Little Folks • Oliver Optic

... derelict in the streets of a far city,—those two atoms shaken into contact while the gods affected to be engaged with weightier matters,—the cultured widow of that derelict recalled the name of a gentleman in the East who was accustomed to buy tall clocks and fiddle-backed chairs, in her native New England, paying prices therefor to make one, in that conservative locality, rich beyond the ...
— The Boss of Little Arcady • Harry Leon Wilson

... the first blow he has laid Full fifteen warriors low: "Ha bravely, Folker Spillemand, You touch your fiddle bow!" ...
— Grimhild's Vengeance - Three Ballads • Anonymous

... it is not serious," Saunders said. "I have seen him break down before. He is too intense, too strenuous; whatever he does he does with every nerve in his body drawn as taut as a fiddle- string." ...
— The Desired Woman • Will N. Harben

... deeper color on his face, and that he clinched both his fists and—thrust them into his pockets. That set her thinking, and the more she thought, the more curious she grew. He played the violin well; suppose she should ask him to come and fiddle at the party her father was to give at the end of the harvest. She resolved to do it, and he, not knowing what moved her, gave his promise eagerly. It struck her, afterward, that she had done a wicked thing, but, like most girls, ...
— Tales From Two Hemispheres • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... our Ladies Will haue of these trim vanities? Louell. I marry, There will be woe indeed Lords, the slye whorsons Haue got a speeding tricke to lay downe Ladies. A French Song, and a Fiddle, ha's no Fellow ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... crabs burrow holes in the mud, and in them await your coming, and more often than not baffle your ingenuity to extricate them. Among other stalked-eyed crustaceans is that with one red, shielding claw, absurdly large, and which scuttles among the roots, making a defiant clicking noise—the fiddle or soldier crab (GELASIMUS VOCANS). Oysters seal themselves to the roots, and various sorts of shell-fish gather together—two or three varieties appear to browse upon the leaves and bark of the mangroves; ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... 'A roasted potato and a roll o' butter.' Terry heigho, &c. Supper was laid down to dine, Heigho, &c. Changed a farthing and brought up wine, Terry heigho, &c. First come in was a nimble bee, Heigho, &c. With his fiddle upon his knee, Terry heigho, &c. Next come in was a creeping snail, Heigho, &c. With his bagpipes under his tail, Terry heigho, &c. Next came in was a neighbour's pig, Heigho, &c. 'Pray, good people, will ye play us a jig?' Terry heigho, &c. Next come in was a neighbour's ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 35, June 29, 1850 • Various

... caught near his home by a sudden shower while on horseback, and had dashed in for shelter. While the rain beat outside and while Shiro was preparing one of his famous suppers, Crane had suggested that she pass the time by playing his "fiddle." Dorothy realized, with the first sweep of the bow, that she was playing a Stradivarius, the like of which she had played before only in her dreams. She forgot her listeners, forgot the time and the place, and poured out in her music all the beauty and tenderness ...
— The Skylark of Space • Edward Elmer Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby

... two or three younger associates. Their instruments look much the worse for wear, and even my unmusical ear can distinguish more discord than harmony. They appear to be a very quiet and harmless people. Sometimes there is a woman playing on a fiddle, while her husband blows a wind instrument. In the streets it is not unusual to find a band of half a dozen performers, who, without any provocation or reason whatever, sound their brazen instruments till the houses re-echo. Sometimes one passes a man who stands whistling a tune most ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... as a goose Sat the Parliament-house, To hatch the royal gull; After much fiddle-faddle The egg proved addle, And ...
— Cavalier Songs and Ballads of England from 1642 to 1684 • Charles Mackay

... 'un!" she would exclaim. "Nay, I rocked her misel i' t' creddle while my shackles fair worked. Shoo taks after her dad, that's what's wrang wi' Lizzie. A feckless gowk was Watmough; he couldn't frame to do owt but play t' fiddle i' t' sky-parlour, or sit ower ...
— Tales of the Ridings • F. W. Moorman

... four in the pound, Lead up the jolly Round, While Cornet shrill i' th' middle Marches, and merry fiddle, Curtal with deep hum, hum, Cries we come, come, And theorbo loudly answers, Thrum, thrum, thrum, thrum, thrum. But, their fingers frost-nipt, So many notes are o'erslipt, That you'd take sometimes The Waits for the Minster chimes: Then, Sirs, to hear their ...
— A Righte Merrie Christmasse - The Story of Christ-Tide • John Ashton

... said. "I never do. And I've no enmity against all manner of fiddle-faddling, if folks have got nothin' better to do. But 'tain't so with our girls. They work for their livin', and they've got to work; and what I say is, they're in a way to get to hate work, if they don't despise it, and in my judgment that's a poor business. ...
— Nobody • Susan Warner

... wild-potato vine, or "man of the earth." It is not very easily overlooked. Several stems spring from the same root, growing and twining seven or eight feet high. The leaves are large, and of various shapes—heart-shaped, pointed, and fiddle-shaped. Three or four large blossoms, several inches broad, grow in clusters; the flowers are white, with purple in the tube. This remarkable vine is found in sandy fields and by road-sides from ...
— Harper's Young People, August 10, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... their feet. I started to mine, but I discreetly and quietly sat down again. Was it Newport, at last? Not at all. The harbor lights were gleaming from afar; and the cry was of the bandmaster shouting to his emissaries, arousing fiddle and flute and bassoon to their deceitful duty. They had played us out of port—they would play us in again. They had promised us that all should go merry as a marriage-bell, and—I would not be understood to complain, but it had been a sad occasion. Now the deceitful strains rose ...
— The Wit of Women - Fourth Edition • Kate Sanborn

... feelings were in fact too many for her,—and that her efforts to overcome them, and to face the realities of the world, had exhausted her. This was, of course, not said openly, at the town-cross of Exeter; but such was the opinion which Mr. Martin gave in confidence to the mother. "Fiddle-de-dee!" said Camilla, when she was told of feelings, susceptibilities, and hysterics. At the present moment she had a claim to the undivided interest of the family, and she believed that her sister's illness was feigned in order to defraud her of her rights. "My dear, she ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... And the little Hebrew we picked up at college from our good friend the learned young Rabbi, will also stand us in hand. Have you any objection to being my servant, Ned?" "None at all; I shall feel quite honored by the position. I don't consider myself competent to play the first fiddle in this amusing duet, but can follow your lead very well." "Remember, then, that our English is rather broken, and that we communicate our meaning to one another in French, Spanish, scraps of Hebrew, or Latin and Greek. I have not quite ...
— Holidays at the Grange or A Week's Delight - Games and Stories for Parlor and Fireside • Emily Mayer Higgins

... only talks to me about the Greek and Latin poets and about music. I say, you don't want to see me squeezing a big fiddle between my knees and sawing at it with a bow as if I wanted to cut all ...
— The Young Castellan - A Tale of the English Civil War • George Manville Fenn

... his lips move painfully. "Hex, little two up in the air, cross and a fiddle-de-dee. Lord! what a one ...
— The Invisible Man • H. G. Wells

... slippers ready, and there was a scramble as to who should put them on; but she settled that question by making 'Pollo rise, with his fiddle in his arms, and lend her his chair for a minute while she pulled them on herself. Then she let Pete and Pierre each have one of the discarded slippers as a trophy. Lily had always danced out several pairs of slippers at the Christmas ...
— The Speaker, No. 5: Volume II, Issue 1 - December, 1906. • Various

... stuttered, One of them stuttered, one of them muttered. Each of them thought far more than he uttered. One crow asked the other crow a riddle. One crow asked the other crow a riddle: The muttering crow Asked the stuttering crow, "Why does a bee have a sword to his fiddle? Why does a bee have a sword to his fiddle?" "Bee-cause," said the other crow, "Bee-cause, B B B B B B B B B B B ...
— Chinese Nightingale • Vachel Lindsay

... wedding at hand, and here's a long-lost intimate friend about to turn up in the midst of it. You'd very much prefer him to stay away; there's nothing to be ashamed of in that. I should myself if I were in your shoes. No fellow cares about playing second fiddle at his own wedding. Now, I've got a little suggestion to make. I was going down to Wastwater to-morrow, but I wouldn't much mind waiting another day if I could only get a fellow to come with me. I always liked Holroyd, you know—capital good chap he is, and if you leave me to manage him, I ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... of some ideas of dancing is really ludicrous. The Cambro-Britains, in a very late period, used to be played out of church by a fiddle, and to form a dance in the church-yard at the end of the service. But the ideas which the Chinese have of dancing exceeds all others. When Commodore Anson was at Canton, the officers of the Centurion had a ball upon ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, - Issue 345, December 6, 1828 • Various

... represented at the head of a procession, all the members of which (herself included) are mounted on braying "jackasses." A figure, intended no doubt for Alderman Wood, habited in a fool's cap and jester's dress, holds her by the hand; the lady who follows him, playing on the fiddle and wearing a Scotch bonnet, is meant for Lady Ann Hamilton (she is named "Lady Ann Bagpipe" in the sketch); Bergami (immediately behind) carries a banner inscribed "Innocence"; and next him, his fat sister, whom the queen had dignified with the title of a countess; ...
— English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the Nineteenth Century. - How they Illustrated and Interpreted their Times. • Graham Everitt

... 'Lina.) "How that made me gnash my teeth, for I had suspected that I was only playing second fiddle for Alice Johnson, 'darling, precious ...
— Bad Hugh • Mary Jane Holmes

... the dance the shepherd dressed, In ribbons, wreath, and gayest vest Himself with care arraying: Around the linden lass and lad Already footed it like mad: Hurrah! hurrah! Hurrah—tarara-la! The fiddle-bow was playing. ...
— Faust • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... "Never mind," she answered lightly. "The last verse don't matter anyway. Come to here, Edna. Momma wants to hear your fiddle-playing." ...
— Olive in Italy • Moray Dalton

... still can harp, and carp, and fiddle. What further hath befallen or may befall The hero of this grand poetic riddle, I by and by may tell you, if at all: But now I choose to break off in the middle, Worn out with battering Ismail's stubborn wall, While Juan is ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... and through canvas walls. Now about every other store appeared to be a saloon or gambling room, all crowded. There were other places of amusement, also, even to a sort of a theatre, where miners were dancing with one another, on the floor, to the sound of a fiddle and cracked accordion, while on a stage a thin woman with painted red cheeks was singing and prancing. An auctioneer was selling real estate, from a dry-goods box in the plaza. Stores were open, the streets ...
— Gold Seekers of '49 • Edwin L. Sabin

... wot something of the value of time and the mysteries of tune; or, if a country parson, drill cleverly that insubordinate phalanx of soi-disant musicians, a rustic orchestra; and exclude from the latter, at all mortal hazards, the huntsman's horn, the volunteer fiddle, and the shrill squeaking of the wry-necked pipe. Much is being now done for congregational psalmody; but when will country folks give up their murderous execution of the fugue-full anthem, and when ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... allowed much freer scope; the sister is expected to defer to the brother from the time she can walk or talk. In America this difference of training is constantly tending to the vanishing point. The American woman has never learned to play second fiddle. The American girl, as Mr. Henry James says, is rarely negative; she is either (and usually) a most charming success or (and exceptionally) a most disastrous failure. The pathetic army of ineffective spinsters clinging apologetically to the skirts of gentility is conspicuous ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... "Fiddle-de-dee and the devil, sir!—who says he is? A set of crawling sycophants, sir—a gang of young reprobates and bullies. First Gentleman in—I say pish, sir! I say bah! Don't I tell you that gentlemen went out o' fashion when Bucks came in? I say there isn't a gentleman ...
— The Amateur Gentleman • Jeffery Farnol et al

... the noisy chicken supper had ended; the table had been cleared; Jim Hastings was tuning his fiddle in the big room; Eve had seated herself before the ...
— The Flaming Jewel • Robert Chambers

... not very well-devised beginnings. At the fifth Sir Richmond was suddenly conclusive. "It's no use," he said, "I can't fiddle about any more ...
— The Secret Places of the Heart • H. G. Wells

... last of its solo performance. It persevered with undiminished ardour; but the Cricket took first fiddle, and kept it. Good Heaven, how it chirped! Its shrill, sharp, piercing voice resounded through the house, and seemed to twinkle in the outer darkness like a star. There was an indescribable little trill and tremble in it at its loudest, which suggested ...
— The Cricket on the Hearth • Charles Dickens

... luxuriant foliage, composed a very pleasing image. The manner in which the sod was partially worn under most of them, explained their nightly purpose; or if there could yet be any doubt, the flute and fiddle, pendant in almost every house, spoke ...
— Travels through the South of France and the Interior of Provinces of Provence and Languedoc in the Years 1807 and 1808 • Lt-Col. Pinkney



Words linked to "Fiddle" :   embezzle, shirk, manipulate, bowed stringed instrument, defalcate, avoid, misappropriate, diddle, doctor, violin, spiel, skulk, fiddlestick, bushel, malversate, mend, touch on, play, toy, fiddle with, shrink from, Amati, repair, restore, retire, put out, Guarnerius, malinger, violin bow, peculate, fiddle-faddle, scrimshank, Strad, tinker, monkey, goldbrick, Stradavarius, fiddler, bass fiddle, tamper, fiddle-shaped, bull fiddle



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