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Fisticuffs   /fˈɪstɪkˌəfs/   Listen
Fisticuffs

noun
1.
A fight with bare fists.  Synonyms: fistfight, slugfest.
2.
Fighting with the fists.  Synonyms: boxing, pugilism.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Fisticuffs" Quotes from Famous Books



... German universities is, and the perfect equality that reigns among them—they all called each other "thou" in my time—the son of a gentleman required some kind of protection against the son of a butcher or of a day-labourer. Boxing and fisticuffs were entirely forbidden among students, so that there remained nothing to a young student who wanted to escape from the insults of a young ruffian, but to call him out. As soon as a challenge was given, all abuse ceased ...
— My Autobiography - A Fragment • F. Max Mueller

... put on the red robe of the bachelor, and received, on taking his degree, his due share of fisticuffs from his dearest friends, according to the ancient custom of the University of Montpellier. He then went off to practise medicine in a village at the foot of the Alps, and, half-starved, to teach little children. ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... janitor, told the incident of how the meeting ended in a general row, without the formality of a motion to adjourn. Lacking a correct account, the general public of the little city elaborated the story to include fisticuffs and swear words. ...
— David Lannarck, Midget - An Adventure Story • George S. Harney

... in the house. Guinea-hens—cruel, vindictive things, as they are—should never be allowed within a common poultry yard. Always quarrelsome, and never quiet, they should take to the farmyard, with the cattle, where they may range at will, and take their amusement in fisticuffs with each other, at pleasure. Neither should peacocks be allowed to come into the poultry inclosures, during the breeding season; they are anything but amiable in their manners to ...
— Rural Architecture - Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings • Lewis Falley Allen

... she said, "I am sorry I spoke harshly to him, since, driven as he was by circumstances, I cannot see how he could have acted otherwise than he did. And I overlooked the economic conditions of his profession. In short, I am not used to fisticuffs; and what I saw shocked me so much that I was unreasonable. But," continued Lydia, checking Mrs. Skene's rising hope with a warning finger, "how, if you tell him this, will you make him understand that ...
— Cashel Byron's Profession • George Bernard Shaw

... fervently as they did so, "God send this CRUMB WELL down." But actual fighting was over, and the country on the surface peaceable again, although a word often was sufficient to draw forth steel among the high folks or set an inn full of villagers to fisticuffs. There was not a Royalist in the country but awaited the moment when he could strike another blow to avenge his dead master and reinstate his young Prince. Among these loyal gentlemen Colonel Myddelton was ...
— The Slowcoach • E. V. Lucas

... now ensued between Robinson and the lady, which ended in a bout at fisticuffs, in which the lady was greatly superior ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding

... alluded to in phrase quoted from LEADER OF OPPOSITION. But, as was testified anew last Thursday, business in House of Commons does not always run through expected courses. In strained temper of the hour anything might happen, even a bout of fisticuffs. What actually did happen was that within space of hour and a-half from SPEAKER'S taking the Chair, a period including the ordinary Question-hour, Home Rule Bill was read a third time and carried over to House of Lords through cheering crowd waiting ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, June 3, 1914 • Various

... is not unusual to have an established clergyman holding forth near the Commissioners' tent and almost within hearing will be a tub orator expounding the origin of evil, whilst a "mill" (a fight with fisticuffs) or a dog fight fills ...
— A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852-53. • Mrs. Charles (Ellen) Clacey

... There are fisticuffs every day. When an assemblage remains quiet the spectators take notice of it. In general "they fight,[4269] snatch bread out of each other's hands; those who cannot get any forcing whoever gets a loaf weighing four pounds to share ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... boy; he kept the whole loft in a ferment. When the monk rumbled his bass in his stomach, the boy cut up monkey-shines that set every other boy into a laugh, or he stirred up a row that set them all at fisticuffs. ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... melee began. It was a strenuous affair while it lasted. When a strong man is full of anger and bitter disappointment, when six young fellows are bored to distraction, nothing is quite so satisfying as an exchange of fisticuffs. Dennison had the advantage of being able to hit right and left, at random, while his opponents were not always sure that a blow ...
— The Pagan Madonna • Harold MacGrath

... the car on for half a block before she stopped. She looked back. She had never approved of fisticuffs—and Marty was prone to such disgraceful activities. Nevertheless, when she saw Sim Howell's blood-besmeared countenance, his wide-open mouth, his clumsy fists pawing the air almost blindly, something primal—instinctive—made her ...
— How Janice Day Won • Helen Beecher Long

... taste of session 1823-4, which found enough calls upon its purse for porter and toasted cheese at Ambrose's, or cranberry tarts and ginger-wine at Doull's. Duelling was still a possibility; so much so that when two medicals fell to fisticuffs in Adam Square, it was seriously hinted that single combat would be the result. Last and most wonderful of all, Gall and Spurzheim were in every one's mouth; and the Law student, after having exhausted Byron's poetry and Scott's novels, informed the ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... sap is in the wood his hands itch and he wants to fight whomsoever he meets. The commandant at Fort Casimir, Jean Paulus Jacqet, brother-in-law of Domine Casparus Carpentier,(1) told us that during last spring this preacher was tippling with a smith, and while yet over their brandy they came to fisticuffs, and beat each other's heads black and blue; yea, that the smith tore all the clothing from the preacher's body, so that this godly minister escaped in primitive nakedness, and although so poorly clothed, yet sought quarrels ...
— Narrative of New Netherland • Various

... a long time he chased her in vain, then her foot tripped, and he came up with her just as she rolled into the heather, gathered up like a hedgehog against attack, her old hat held down over her ears and face. David fell upon her and chastised her; but his fisticuffs probably looked more formidable than they felt, for Louie laughed provokingly all the time, and when he stopped out of breath she said exultantly, as she sprang up, holding her skirts round her ready for another flight, 'It's greened aw yur ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... On the approach of the Wasp, she rises and assumes a defensive attitude, just like that of the Lycosa. The Calicurgus pays no attention to threats: under her harlequin's coat, she is violent in attack and quick on her legs. There is a rapid exchange of fisticuffs; and the Epeira lies overturned on her back. The Pompilus is on top of her, belly to belly, head to head; with her legs she masters the Spider's legs; with her mandibles she grips the cephalothorax. She curves her abdomen, bringing the tip ...
— More Hunting Wasps • J. Henri Fabre

... gentleman.[1] How proud the old people were of him! How they would sit listening to him, flashing, and telling how Deuceace and he floored a Charley, or Blueun and he pitched a snob out of the boxes into the pit. This was in the old Tom-and-Jerry days, when fisticuffs were the fashion. One evening, after he had indulged us with a more than usual dose, and was leaving the room to dress for an eight o'clock dinner at Long's, 'Buzzer!' exclaimed the old man, clutching our arm, as the tears started to his eyes, 'Buzzer! ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... unintentional confidences tell you the whole truth. Bottles are smashed, and songs trolled out in the height of a diabolical racket; men call each other out, hang on each other's necks, or fall to fisticuffs; the room is full of a horrid, close scent made up of a hundred odors, and noise enough for a hundred voices. No one has any notion of what he is eating or drinking or saying. Some are depressed, others babble, one will turn monomaniac, repeating the same word over and over again like ...
— Gobseck • Honore de Balzac

... months there were strange scenes in the House, while the clerk acted as temporary speaker and furious diatribes were thundered back and forth across the aisle that separated Republicans from Democrats, with a passage of fisticuffs or even a drawn pistol to add variety to the scene. The end of it all was a deal. Pennington, of the "People's Party" of New Jersey, who had supported Sherman but had not endorsed Helper, was given the Republican ...
— Abraham Lincoln and the Union - A Chronicle of the Embattled North, Volume 29 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Nathaniel W. Stephenson

... French boy uses his now. But in the greenwood it was different, and young Martin had been left again and again, as a part of a sound education, to "hold his own" against his equals in age and size, by aid of the noble art of fisticuffs; what wonder then that Drogo's eyes were speedily several shades darker than nature had designed them to be, of which there was no obvious need, and that victory would probably have decked the brows of the younger combatant had not the ...
— The House of Walderne - A Tale of the Cloister and the Forest in the Days of the Barons' Wars • A. D. Crake

... a landslide, but they had much trouble before they could separate the central clump of antagonists into its parts. A score of Freshmen had cried out: "It was Coke. Coke punched him. Coke." A dozen of them were tempestuously endeavouring to register their protest against fisticuffs by means of an ...
— Active Service • Stephen Crane

... Wounds' he was nick-named—a cribbage-faced, what-the-blazes kind o' varmint, wi' a gossan wig an' a tongue like oil o' vitriol. He'd a-led the fore-half o' his life, I b'lieve, in London church-town, by reason that he an' his father couldn' be left in a room together wi'out comin' to fisticuffs: an' by all accounts was fashion's favourite in the naughty city, doin' his duty in that state o' life an' playing Hamlet's ghost among ...
— Noughts and Crosses • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... heroic ecstacies. Oh, glorious climax of a vulgar squabble, To redden your foe's nose, or make him hobble For half a week or so, as though, perchance, He'd strained an ancle in a leap or dance! Feeble sword-play or futile fisticuffs Might be disdained by warriors—or roughs; But to the squabbling scribe the farce has charms. Who ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, Sept. 27, 1890 • Various

... they glow, Not seldom rise imperial quarrels; And not so many moons ago Jove boxed with zeal Apollo's laurels. The question ran, Was Arthur Mold Unfairly stigmatised by muffs, Or did he play a dubious prank? Venus herself began to scold, And Gods by dozens on a bank Profanely took to fisticuffs! ...
— More Cricket Songs • Norman Gale

... the police-station cell, the boy began to think. First of all, he was puzzled. He had fared forth peaceably, and spoken to no one except the storekeeper. To force a man into peace by denying him his gun, seemed as unreasonable as to prevent fisticuffs by cutting off hands. But, also, a deep sense of shame swept over him, and scalded him. Getting into trouble here was, somehow, different from getting into trouble at home—and, in some ...
— The Call of the Cumberlands • Charles Neville Buck

... heard? Well, well—oughtn't to tell tales out of school, and certainly not to the Usher: but your mother and I, sir, had the fortune, this morning, to witness a bout of fisticuffs—Whig against Tory—and perhaps it will not altogether distress you to learn that the Whig took a whipping. I like that boy of yours, ma'am: he has breed. I do not forget"—with another bow—"his mother's descent from ...
— Hetty Wesley • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... characteristic of the poet. To be intelligent is merely to be human. Intelligence is only a tool, poets have repeatedly insisted, in their quarrel with philosophers. In proportion as one is intelligent within one's own field, one excels, poets would admit. If one is intelligent with respect to fisticuffs one is likely to become a good prize-fighter, but no matter how far refinement of intelligence goes in this direction, it will not make a pugilist into a poet. Intelligence must belong likewise, in signal degree, to the ...
— The Poet's Poet • Elizabeth Atkins

... approved the general. "I agree with every word that our young friend here has said. He appears to have got a very good grip of the situation, and his views accord with my own exactly. We shall doubtless be obliged to come to fisticuffs with those scoundrels forward before we can hope to extricate ourselves from this very awkward situation. But it would be the height of folly to precipitate a fight before we are fully prepared. And now, gentlemen, I am going up on the poop. ...
— A Middy in Command - A Tale of the Slave Squadron • Harry Collingwood

... thin-skinned; but war was war, and surely Britons had a right to raise three cheers for a victory. Besides he had begged pardon at once, and offered to shake hands like a gentleman—that is, as soon as he discovered whose feelings were hurt; for naturally the fisticuffs had come first, and in these Master Raoul had taken as good as he brought. As the Vicomte cleared a path for her to the porch, where Endymion stood shaking hands and bidding adieu, Dorothea caught her first and last glimpse of this traveller, who—without knowing it, without seeing her face ...
— The Westcotes • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... memory flew back to the court-yard and class-rooms of the school in the Rue d'Assas, and he saw a heavily built lad, for ever under punishment, standing out face to the wall during playtime, getting and giving mighty fisticuffs, a terrible fellow for plain speaking and hard hitting, industrious, yet a thorn in the side of masters, always in ill-luck, yet ever and anon electrifying the class ...
— The Aspirations of Jean Servien • Anatole France

... whole world of that old England—the maids of the Inn, the parish clerk, the two sportsmen, the hosts of the taverns, the beaux, the starveling authors—all alive; all (save the authors) full of beef and beer; a cudgel in every fist, every man ready for a brotherly bout at fisticuffs. What has become of it, the lusty old militant world? What will become of us, and why do we prefer to Fielding—a number of meritorious moderns? Who knows? But do not let us prefer anything to our English follower of ...
— Letters on Literature • Andrew Lang

... season to this incessant panorama of childhood? The pigmy people trudge through the snow on moor and hill-side; wade down flooded roads; are not to be daunted by wind or rain, frost or the white smother of 'millers and bakers at fisticuffs.' Most beautiful picture of all, he sees them travelling schoolward by the late moonlight which now and again in the winter ...
— On The Art of Reading • Arthur Quiller-Couch

... outside, where the London prentices were a strong and redoubtable body, with rude, not to say cruel, rites of initiation among themselves, plenty of rivalries and enmities between house and house, guild and guild, but a united, not to say ferocious, esprit de corps against every one else. Fisticuffs and wrestlings were the amenities that passed between them, though always with a love of fair play so long as no cowardice, or what was looked on as such, was shown, for there was no mercy for the weak or weakly. Such had better betake themselves ...
— The Armourer's Prentices • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Lindsay, and at his wrath I make no marvel, for the tale of how he came late to tryst, and at second-hand (with many such rude and wanton additions as soldiers use to make), was noised abroad all over the castle. His quarrel was no matter for fisticuffs; so, being attired in helmet, vambrace rere-brace, gauntlets, and greaves out of the armoury, where many such suits were stored, I met him in a certain quiet court behind the castle, where quarrels were usually voided. And now my practice of the sword ...
— A Monk of Fife • Andrew Lang

... or indeed with malice or ill-will of any kind towards the opposite party. In fact, it was only a rough mode of play. Such contests were, however, maintained with great vigor with stones, and sticks, and fisticuffs, when one party dared to charge, and the other stood their ground. Of course, mischief sometimes happened; boys are said to have been killed at these bickers, as they were called, and serious accidents certainly took place, as ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart



Words linked to "Fisticuffs" :   fighting, spar, scrap, take the count, lick, combat, biff, boxing equipment, contact sport, clout, sparring, mouthpiece, below the belt, glove, fight, decision, punch-up, rope-a-dope, cut, professional boxing, slug, hook, clinch, in-fighting, boxing glove, prize ring, gumshield, count out, poke, remain down, boxing ring, punch, sidestep



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