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Flail   /fleɪl/   Listen
Flail

verb
1.
Give a thrashing to; beat hard.  Synonyms: lam, thrash, thresh.
2.
Move like a flail; thresh about.  Synonym: thresh.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Flail" Quotes from Famous Books



... ran, tossing his nose with pain and bellowing: Uxmoor dragged by the tail and compelled to follow in preposterous, giant strides, barely touching the ground with the point of his toe, pounded the creature's ribs with such blows as Zoe had never dreamed possible. They sounded like flail on wooden floor, and each blow was accompanied with a loud jubilant shout. Presently, being a five's player, and ambidexter, he shifted his hand, and the tremendous whacks resounded on the bull's left side. The bull, thus belabored, and resounding like the big drum, made a circuit of the ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... bullet appeared to strike him, though dozens of the rebels discharged muskets and even revolvers at him, at close range, when it began to be apparent on which side he was fighting. Up went that mighty flail, and down it came again on the heads of the human tares of rebeldom who so needed threshing out in the very garner of wrath. More than one of the Union men in the vicinity of the strange spectacle, who happened to have been classic readers in other ...
— Shoulder-Straps - A Novel of New York and the Army, 1862 • Henry Morford

... bonnie feathers o' mine, The feathers o' my tail: And gie to the lads o' Hamilton To be a barn-flail. ...
— Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories - A Book for Bairns and Big Folk • Robert Ford

... with a lithe movement, surprisingly graceful for a body so big, and made ready as though to once more swing his two flail-like fists. ...
— A Soldier of the Legion • C. N. Williamson

... with his modern flail He threatens ruin with his ponderous tail. ... Their fixed jav'lins in his side he wears, And on his back a grove of pikes appears." —WALLER'S BATTLE ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... head grain found how treat dead staid ground town beast stead waif hound growl bleat tread rail mound clown preach dread flail pound frown speak thread quail round crown streak sweat snail sound ...
— McGuffey's Eclectic Spelling Book • W. H. McGuffey

... the Volsung banners, and on went Sigmund before, And his sword was the flail of the tiller on the wheat of the wheat-thrashing floor, And his shield was rent from his arm, and his helm was sheared from his head: But who may draw nigh him to smite for the heap and the rampart of dead? White went his hair on ...
— The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs • William Morris

... was the follow-up of the perfunctory hand-shake. "Let's find a place where we can flail it out," and together the two ...
— The Honorable Senator Sage-Brush • Francis Lynde

... later MacLure came out from Annie's room and laid hold of Tammas, a heap of speechless misery by the kitchen fire, and carried him off to the barn, and spread some corn on the threshing floor and thrust a flail into ...
— Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush • Ian Maclaren

... planted, and, in different ways, breaks and bruises the grain. Is he inconsistent because he ploughs in winter and reaps in harvest? Does his carrying the seed-basket at one time make it impossible that he shall come with flail and threshing-oxen at another? Are not all the various operations co-operant to one end? Does not the end need them all? Is not one purpose going steadily forward through ploughing, sowing, reaping, threshing? Is not that like the work of the great Husbandman, who changes His methods and ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... gate by a little green man with a queer cap who had been seen slipping under a culvert? Canon Atkinson told us of this lady who knew all these strange things, and of the Hart Hall "Hob" who worked so hard with his flail, and of many other curious folk who frequented the Yorkshire moors in olden days. The last witch had just died before he went to Danby, but he found the whole atmosphere of the folklore firmament so surcharged with the being and work of the witch, that he seemed ...
— English Villages • P. H. Ditchfield

... tactics. He was wary as a cat. He went cautiously. Yet again he assumed the aggressive, gradually working the Jam-wagon into a corner. A collision was inevitable; there was no means of escape for my friend; that huge bulk, with its swinging, flail-like arms, menaced him hopelessly. ...
— The Trail of '98 - A Northland Romance • Robert W. Service

... for advocating the cause of his distressed fellow-creatures, including noblemen, squires, yeomanry, farmers, and all yearly subscribers in the New Proprietary Agricultural Anti-Innovating-Shire Weekly Gazette. At the head of his newspaper Uncle Jack caused to be engraved a crown, supported by a flail and a crook, with the motto, "Pro rege et grege." And that was the way in which Uncle Jack ...
— The Caxtons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... Hesketh could administer to her repentant Job was that of the tongue. In her early matrimonial life she had wielded this like a flail, and Job had winced before the blows which she delivered. But in course of time she had come to realise that her husband's passion for the chase was incurable, and, like a wise woman, she accepted it as part of her destiny. "Thou's bin ...
— Tales of the Ridings • F. W. Moorman

... her power and her strength again, followed close. And like blows of a flail, the sputtering, flaring flame beat down ...
— Darkness and Dawn • George Allan England

... both, As ripe in years as culture, verily To miss that voice two worlds are loth, In which much wisdom spake so merrily. A voice, and no mere echo, thine, Of many tones, but manly ever. Thy rustic Biglow's rugged line A grateful world neglecteth never! It smote hypocrisy and cant With flail-like force; sleek bards that ripple Like shallow pools—who pose and pant, And vaguely smudge or softly stipple,— These have not brain or heart to sing As Biglow sang, our quaint Hosea, Whose ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, August 22, 1891 • Various

... removed, one formidable difficulty still remained in the way of the rice planters, and that was the threshing of the crop by flail. The labor requisite to accomplish this was so great, that we once heard a distinguished planter say, while having one large crop threshed out by flail, that he would regard another large crop as a calamity. Previous to 1830 threshing mills had been tried by various individuals, ...
— The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom • P. L. Simmonds

... characteristics of the period 1820-40, therefore, is the invention and introduction of such machinery. Boards were now planed, and bricks pressed, by machine. It was during this period that the farmers began to give up the flail for the thrashing machine; that paper was extensively made from straw; that Fairbanks invented the platform scales; that Colt invented the revolver; that steel pens were made by machine; and that a rude form of friction ...
— A Brief History of the United States • John Bach McMaster

... woman dumb. Stay—one there was who found a tongue And still retained her strength of lung. Freydissa, beauteous matron bold, Resolved to give that whale a scold! But little cared that monster fish To gratify Freydissa's wish; He shook his tail, that naughty whale, And flourished it like any flail, And, ho! for Vinland ...
— The Norsemen in the West • R.M. Ballantyne

... the Lord and of Gideon," Gib made a great lunge at me with his fist. But the sword of Gideon missed its aim, and skinned its knuckles on the stone wall. I saw now to my great comfort that the man was beside himself with fury, and was swinging his arms wildly like a flail. Three or four times I avoided his rushes, noting with satisfaction that one of the countrymen had got hold of the shrieking Isobel. Then my chance came, for as he lunged I struck from the side with all my ...
— Salute to Adventurers • John Buchan

... knew that, so handicapped, she could never reach them, and with shaking, fumbling fingers she set herself to unfasten the straps that bound the skis. It took her a long, long time—all the longer for her fevered haste. And still that awful, flail-like sound went on and on, though all sound of voices ...
— The Knave of Diamonds • Ethel May Dell

... how the drudging Goblin sweat To earn his cream-bowl duly set, When in one night, ere glimpse of morn, His shadowy flail hath threshed the corn That ten day labourers ...
— The Naples Riviera • Herbert M. Vaughan

... niver no good a threshin' other folks' corn; ye allays gits the flail agin' i' yer own ...
— The Wit of Women - Fourth Edition • Kate Sanborn

... silent man, who was a marvel of strength and endurance. The work in which he most delighted was precisely that which most labourers hated, before threshing machines came in despite the action of the "mobs"—threshing out corn with the flail. From earliest dawn till after dark he would sit or stand in a dim, dusty barn, monotonously pounding away, without an interval to rest, and without dinner, and with no food but a piece of bread and a pinch ...
— A Shepherd's Life • W. H. Hudson

... is not known, but the fact remains that bowlers in village matches, whatever their other shortcomings, seldom fall short in the matter of speed. The present trundler, having swung his arm round like a flail, bounded to the crease and sent down a ball which hummed in the air. It pitched halfway between the wickets in a slight hollow caused by the foot of a cow and shot. Dick reached blindly forward, and the next moment his off-stump was out of ...
— A Wodehouse Miscellany - Articles & Stories • P. G. Wodehouse

... happened in a flash. Like lightning his right wing came round with a terrific flail-stroke, and hit Pig Head in the face at the precise instant that the surgical instrument he carried as his beak sank deep into one of Pig Head's calves. The Chieftain was upside-down at the moment, and his legs ...
— The Way of the Wild • F. St. Mars

... with friend and foe, At home che hold the plough by th' tail: Che dig, che delve, che zet, che zow, Che mow, che reap, che ply my flail. A pair of dice is thy delight, Thou liv'st for most part by the spoil: I truly labour day and night To get my living by my toil. Chill therefore sure this issue make: The best ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th edition) • Various

... drudging goblin swet, To earn the cream-bowl, duly set; When, in one night, ere glimpse of morn, His shadowy flail had thresh'd the corn, That ten day-lab'rers could not end; Then lies him down the lubbar fiend, And, stretch'd out all the chimney's length, Basks at the fire his hairy strength; And, crop-full, out of doors he flings, E'er the first cock ...
— Minstrelsy of the Scottish border (3rd ed) (1 of 3) • Walter Scott

... bright eye and legs like gate-posts, but he never fell down with us boys, for all that. If we fell off he stopped still and began to feed, so that he suited us all to pieces. We soon got sharp enough to flail him along with a quince stick, and we used to bring up the milkers, I expect, a good deal faster than was good for them. After a bit we could milk, leg-rope, and bail up for ourselves, and help dad brand the calves, which began to come pretty thick. ...
— Robbery Under Arms • Thomas Alexander Browne, AKA Rolf Boldrewood

... here, Christmas comes but once a year, But when it comes it brings good cheer, And when it's gone it's no longer near. May luck attend the milking-pail, Yule logs and cakes in plenty be, May each blow of the thrashing-flail Produce good frumenty. And let the Wassail Cup abound, Whene'er the mummers' ...
— The Peace Egg and Other tales • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... of the field of Mars, which Tarquin had owned, was devoted to the service of that god; it happening to be harvest season, and the sheaves yet being on the ground, they thought it not proper to commit them to the flail, or unsanctify them with any use; and, therefore, carrying them to the river side, and trees withal that were cut down, they cast all into the water, dedicating the soil, free from all occupation, to the deity. ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... with its plaintive whistle, And pecks by the witch-hazel, whilst aloud From cottage roofs the warbling blue-bird sings, And merrily, with oft-repeated stroke, Sounds from the threshing-floor the busy flail. ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... along the way. Here lived burgesses who daily walked the fallow; shepherds in an intra-mural squeeze. A street of farmers' homesteads—a street ruled by a mayor and corporation, yet echoing with the thump of the flail, the flutter of the winnowing-fan, and the purr of the milk into the pails—a street which had nothing urban in it whatever—this was the ...
— The Mayor of Casterbridge • Thomas Hardy

... his usual savageness and activity. It whirled round his adversary's head with frightful rapidity. Now it carried away a feather of his plume; now it shore off a leaf of his coronet. The flail of the thrasher does not fall more swiftly upon the corn. For many minutes it was the Unknown's only task to defend himself from the tremendous activity ...
— Burlesques • William Makepeace Thackeray

... it mean, to condescend To know a brother or a friend; They blush to hear their mother's name, And by their pride expose their shame. As cross his yard, at early day, A careful farmer took his way, 10 He stopped, and leaning on his fork, Observed the flail's incessant work. In thought he measured all his store, His geese, his hogs, he numbered o'er; In fancy weighed the fleeces shorn, And multiplied the next year's corn. A Barley-mow, which stood beside, Thus to its musing master cried: 'Say, good sir, is it fit or ...
— The Poetical Works of Addison; Gay's Fables; and Somerville's Chase • Joseph Addison, John Gay, William Sommerville

... emerge, rather ridiculously, theatrical lodgings, provincial theatres, the arcades at Birmingham. And a blue straw hat that he had bought for her long ago; and at last her name. Kitty Messenger, and her mother, a golden-haired actress with a tongue like a flail in one temper, like the honey-seeking proboscis of ...
— Mummery - A Tale of Three Idealists • Gilbert Cannan

... from clouds; but light mist may do so. Who is the mother of the buds? In what way are they "rocked to rest"? How does the mother "dance about the sun"? Do you like the sound of the line, "I wield the flail of the lashing hail"? There are five "l's" in the line and they give it that liquid sound which you like. Did you ever see a farmer standing in the midst of a floor covered with stalks of grain, beating out the kernels with a flail? What does the word "under" mean here? (An adverb, and ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 - The Guide • Charles Herbert Sylvester

... be mad as soin as yo heard, Abaat that oud kaa at belonged to Blue Beard, For I like as I saw yo just hod of its tail, And braying it rump wi th' end o' yor flail; For I wisht monny a time at yo'd been here, For swallowing th' plan yo'd a geen it ...
— Th' History o' Haworth Railway - fra' th' beginnin' to th' end, wi' an ackaant o' th' oppnin' serrimony • Bill o'th' Hoylus End

... earth in fast thick pants were breathing, A mighty fountain momently was forced; Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail: And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever It flung up momently the sacred river. Five miles meandering with a mazy motion Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, Then reach'd the caverns measureless to man, And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean: And 'mid this ...
— Book of English Verse • Bulchevy

... readily guess the struggle of feeling to which this honest young fellow fell a prey when we read the letter that he now indited, in which every stroke of the flail which scourged his conscience will be found to have ...
— Modeste Mignon • Honore de Balzac

... can dwell on; Her heart's like a lemon—so nice She carves for each lover a slice; In truth she's to me, Like the wind, like the sea, Whose raging will hearken to no man; Like a mill, like a pill, Like a flail, like a whale, Like an ass, like a glass Whose image is constant to no man; Like a shower, like a flower, Like a fly, like a pie, Like a pea, like a flea, Like a thief, like—in brief, She's like nothing on ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... swung his cutlass and made an arc of blue flame. The weapon became in his hands a flail, terrible to look upon, making lightnings and whistling in the air, but in reality not so deadly as it seemed. The fury of his onslaught would have beaten down the guard of any mere swordsman, but that I was not. A man, knowing ...
— To Have and To Hold • Mary Johnston

... could see nothing else in the wide universe. Here were men whose faith had embodied itself in the form of a potato; and others whose long beards had a deep spiritual significance. Here was the abolitionist, brandishing his one idea like an iron flail. In a word, there were a thousand shapes of good and evil, faith and infidelity, wisdom and nonsense, —a most ...
— The Hall of Fantasy (From "Mosses From An Old Manse") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... lame man sharpening a scythe, and beside him a little child lay among the broken corn that was strewn over the whole platform. Where the battlements had once frowned, now stood sheaves of smiling corn, golden and nodding in the wind and the sun. Suddenly the lad who had led me hither seized the flail and began to beat the corn and stalks strewn over the floor, while the old man, quavering a little, sang a long-drawn-out gay melody, and the little girl beat her tiny hands in time to the work and the music. Then, unheard, into ...
— Florence and Northern Tuscany with Genoa • Edward Hutton

... I harnessed eight dogs to my plough, and ploughed up my little fields; and, after making a harrow, I harrowed in my wheat with the dogs. The first year I had thirty bushels of beautiful wheat. This I cut with a sickle, and then thrashed it with a flail. Mrs Young sewed several sheets together, and one day, when there was a steady, gentle breeze blowing, we winnowed the chaff from the wheat in the wind. There were no mills within hundreds of miles of us; so we merely cracked the wheat in a hand coffee-mill, ...
— By Canoe and Dog-Train • Egerton Ryerson Young

... into a knot in the center of the inclosure. Then the brazen sun looked down upon a Homeric struggle. Bulger, brawny warrior of the iron hook, swung his musket like a flail, every now and again shooting forth his more sinister weapon with terrible effect. Desmond, slim and athletic, dashed in upon the enemy with his half pike as they recoiled before Bulger's whirling musket. The rest, now a bare dozen, Bengalis though they were, ...
— In Clive's Command - A Story of the Fight for India • Herbert Strang

... not go alone, for his men leapt after him like hounds. But he fought his way in the lead with a clubbed rifle, and stood over Kagig's body working the weapon like a flail. That was all I saw of that encounter, for Mahmoud decided to attempt escape by the upper way again, and it was I who captured him. I landed on him through the darkness with my clenched fist under the low hung angle of his jaw and, seizing his leg, threw him out ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... The flail-finned thresher and steel-beaked sword-fish Only attempt to do what all do wish: The thresher backs him, and to beat begins; The sluggard whale leads to oppression, And t' hide himself from shame and danger, ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... there are but a few, sometimes none. So many are built in the fields and threshed there "to rights," as the bailiff would say. It is not needful to have them near home or keep them, now the threshing-machine has stayed the flail and emptied the barns. Perhaps these are the only two losses to those who look at things and mete them with the eye—the corn-ricks and the barns. The corn-ricks were very characteristic, but even now you may see plenty if you look directly after harvest. The barns are going ...
— The Life of the Fields • Richard Jefferies

... up silently, holding a naked dagger in his left hand and thrashing the laboring sides of his chestnut horse with his whip as if it were a flail. ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... house was as big and as strong as a jail; With a cruel four-pounder, he kept in great order, He'd murder the country, would Larry M'Hale. He'd a blunderbuss too, of horse-pistols a pair; But his favorite weapon was always a flail. I wish you could see how he'd empty a fair, For he handled it neatly, did ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 2 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... the Red Axe became like iron, but my joints were loose and swung easily as a flail ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... thick as harvests beneath hail, Grass before scythes, or corn below the sickle, Proving that trite old truth, that life 's as frail As any other boon for which men stickle. The Turkish batteries thrash'd them like a flail, Or a good boxer, into a sad pickle Putting the very bravest, who were knock'd Upon the head, before ...
— Don Juan • Lord Byron

... But now, what a change had come! Instead of well-stored barns, he had only a little wheat, which he had contrived to conceal from the Arab invaders; and, instead of its being trodden out by plump oxen, he was glad to beat it with a stick, not possessing even the poor man's flail, and hiding in a winepress, where no one would ...
— Little Folks - A Magazine for the Young (Date of issue unknown) • Various

... men were already busy at it. There were twelve threshing-floors, and the twelve men were at work on six of them—two on each. Hans must thresh by himself all that was lying upon the other six floors. He went out to the barn and got hold of a flail. Then he looked to see how the others did it and did the same, but at hte first stroke he smashed the flail in pieces. There were several flails hanging there, and Hans took the one after the other, but they all went the same way, every one flying in splinters at the ...
— The Pink Fairy Book • Various

... 'mid the ruddy wheat, The thumping of the flail, The winnowing within the barn By whirling ...
— Old Times at Otterbourne • Charlotte M. Yonge

... frae East to Wast, An' the rein catched the grey mear's tail, An' her heels to save her hin'er en' Gaed lashin' like a flail. An' the haill apotheck lay in spails, As the grey mear warsled free; An' when auld Jock Smairt saw the fashion o' his cairt: "Wha's seekin' ony ...
— The Auld Doctor and other Poems and Songs in Scots • David Rorie

... neck particularly rigid. Delora Bunker, stenographer at St. Ronan's mill, followed. Last came Patrolman Rellihan, his bulk nigh filling the door, his helmeted head almost scraping the lintel. He carried a night-stick that resembled a flail-handle rather than the usual locust club. Morrison slammed the door and Rellihan put his back ...
— All-Wool Morrison • Holman Day

... fell as thick as harvests beneath hail, Grass before scythes, or corn below the sickle, Proving that trite old truth, that Life's as frail As any other boon for which men stickle. The Turkish batteries thrashed them like a flail, Or a good boxer, into a sad pickle Putting the very bravest, who were knocked Upon the head ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... the Kuru forces, strong as Death's resistless flail, Human chiefs nor bright Immortals could ...
— Maha-bharata - The Epic of Ancient India Condensed into English Verse • Anonymous

... known it would be driven back—here and then here and then here. It has been fighting night and day. It has made the most splendid fight—and the most ineffectual fight.... You see the vast swing of the German flail through Belgium. And meanwhile we have been standing about talking of the use we would ...
— Mr. Britling Sees It Through • H. G. Wells

... farm telephony. The cost of an efficient farm system is now so little—not more than two dollars a month, that the present trashy lines are certain sooner or later to go to the junk-heap with the sickle and the flail and all the ...
— The History of the Telephone • Herbert N. Casson

... of rapier, poniard, and pistols, which were placed nevertheless, at no great distance from his chair. One offensive implement, indeed, he thought it prudent to keep on the table beside his huge Coke upon Lyttleton. This was a sort of pocket flail, consisting of a piece of strong ash, about eighteen inches long, to which was attached a swinging club of lignum-vitae, nearly twice as long as the handle, but jointed so as to be easily folded up. This instrument, which bore at that ...
— Peveril of the Peak • Sir Walter Scott

... it is supposed that those who remained behind existed upon the grain in the warehouses, and what they could thresh by the flail from the crops left neglected in the fields. But as the provisions in the warehouses were consumed or spoiled, they hunted the animals, lately tame and as yet but half wild. As these grew less in number and difficult to ...
— After London - Wild England • Richard Jefferies

... of arduous activity. Let but a flock of wild pigeons fly across the valley and all Sleepy Hollow was wide awake in an instant. The pigeon season had arrived. Every gun and net was forthwith in requisition. The flail was thrown down on the barn floor; the spade rusted in the garden; the plough stood idle in the furrow; every one was to the hillside and stubble-field at daybreak to shoot or entrap the ...
— Wolfert's Roost and Miscellanies • Washington Irving

... thirsting flowers From the seas and the streams; I bear light shade for the leaves when laid In their noonday dreams. From my wings are shaken the dews that waken The sweet buds every one, When rocked to rest on their Mother's breast As she dances about the sun. I wield the flail of the lashing hail, And whiten the green plains under; And then again I dissolve it in rain, And laugh as I pass ...
— The Development of the Feeling for Nature in the Middle Ages and - Modern Times • Alfred Biese

... threshing some of this corn with a flail. I heard of it with astonishment. "A flail?" "Yes," he said; "my old dad put me to it when I was seventeen, so I had to learn." He seemed to think little of it. But to me threshing by hand was so ...
— Change in the Village • (AKA George Bourne) George Sturt

... cried, as his breath came and went in gusts,—"there I sat, a poor barrow-back't creature, and heard that old savvorless loon spit his spite at my lass. I'm none of a brave man, Ralph: no, I must be a coward, but I went nigh to snatching up yon flail of his and striking him—aye, killing him!—but no, it must be that I'm ...
— The Shadow of a Crime - A Cumbrian Romance • Hall Caine

... this board Burke's, Goldsmith's knees Were often thrust—so runs the tale— 'Twas here the Doctor took his ease And wielded speech that like a flail Threshed out the golden truth. All hail, Great souls! that met on nights like these Till morning made the candles pale, And revellers ...
— Inns and Taverns of Old London • Henry C. Shelley

... farmer took his way Across his yard at break of day: He leant a moment o'er the rail, To hear the music of the flail; In his quick eye he viewed his stock,— The geese, the hogs, the ...
— Fables of John Gay - (Somewhat Altered) • John Gay

... fertilizing his fields. The farming implements in use showed little of that mechanical ingenuity which is now characteristic of the American people. The plough was still a clumsy affair with heavy beam and handles, and wooden mould-board. The scythe, the sickle, and the flail were the same as their ...
— Union and Democracy • Allen Johnson

... shall come to poverty. {49b} Many that have begun the world with Plenty, have gone out of it in Rags; through drunkenness. Yea, many Children that have been born to good Estates, have yet been brought to a Flail & a Rake, through this beastly ...
— The Life and Death of Mr. Badman • John Bunyan

... celebrated night of the laying of the foundation stone I had the pleasure of witnessing a rough-and-tumble fight between two of the most powerful men in Coolgardie. The excitement was intense as one seized his antagonist, and, using him as a flail, proceeded to clear the room with him; he retaliated by overpowering the other man, and finally breaking his leg as they fell heavily together out through the door on to the hard street beyond. How much ill-feeling this little incident engendered may be judged from the fact that the maimed ...
— Spinifex and Sand - Five Years' Pioneering and Exploration in Western Australia • David W Carnegie

... kinds of costumes, and armed with all kinds of fire-arms, but chiefly the deadly rifle, which they knew so well bow to use. Old men, middle-aged men, young men, and often mere boys, like the "minute-men" of the old Revolution, they left the plough in the furrow, the flail on the half-threshed sheaves, the unfinished iron upon the anvil,—in short, dropped all their peculiar avocations, and with their leathern pouches full of bullets and their ox-horns full of powder, poured into the city by every highway and by-way ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., February, 1863, No. LXIV. • Various

... scandalising the old-fashioned village folk—who did not believe in such new-fangled notions, and thought a judgment would come on those having to do with the machine, depriving, as it did, honest men who could wield the flail of a job! ...
— Teddy - The Story of a Little Pickle • J. C. Hutcheson

... and myself into the fray, however, turned the tide of battle in our favor. Joe had caught up the chair to which he had been bound, and wielded it like a flail, with every swing of it breaking a head or snapping an arm. And my musket took a heavy toll. The room rang with the din of battle—the shouts of the men, the whoops of the negroes, the clashing of our weapons. For half a minute it was perfect ...
— Humphrey Bold - A Story of the Times of Benbow • Herbert Strang

... darkness back; Streaming, gleaming, I will goad them to my glory and my fame. Bring me gnarly limbs of live-oak, aid me in my frenzied fight; Strips of iron-wood, scaly blue-gum, writhing redly in my hold; With my lunge of lurid lances, with my whips that flail the night, They will burgeon into beauty, they will foliate in gold. Let me star the dim sierras, stab with light the inland seas; Roaming wind and roaring darkness! seek no mercy at my hands; I will mock the marly heavens, lamp the purple prairies, I will flaunt my deathless ...
— Rhymes of a Rolling Stone • Robert W. Service

... the bar,—so runs the ancient tale; 'T was hammered by an Antwerp smith, whose arm was like a flail; And now and then between the strokes, for fear his strength should fail, He wiped his brow and quaffed a cup of good old ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... Caedmon's had, With power reserved at need to reach The Roman forum's loftiest speech, Sweet with persuasion, eloquent In passion, cool in argument, Or, ponderous, falling on thy foes As fell the Norse god's hammer blows. Crushing as if with Talus' flail Through Error's logic-woven mail, And failing only when they tried The adamant of the righteous side,— Thou, foiled in aim and hope, bereaved Of old friends, by the new deceived, Too soon for us, too soon for thee, Beside thy lonely Northern sea, ...
— Poems Teachers Ask For, Book Two • Various

... the eye, And perhaps produced the very faintest sigh For such-like beauties on a larger scale, Where sweeping meadows meet the azure sky, And florid milk-maids bear their bounteous pail, And breezes waft the sound of winnow and of flail. ...
— The Minstrel - A Collection of Poems • Lennox Amott

... drive that there cow over to Sam's, and if you dare bring her back agin, I'll hide yer with the flail till yer can't ...
— The Moccasin Maker • E. Pauline Johnson

... all, there was none whose rage made him cold and his anger merry. However they were, they could scarcely have faced the hard glitter of his blue eyes, the smile of his fixed lips. He could have carved with a dagger, with a bludgeon, a flail, or a whip. As it was, to a long arm was added a long sword, which whistled through the air, but through flesh went quiet. There had been blows at first from behind and at the side of him. The long mowing ...
— The Forest Lovers • Maurice Hewlett

... beautiful microscopic hawk, which would have made a lovely watch-charm, was attached by a thread to a necklace of small plates of blue glass, to which was hung also a sort of amulet in the shape of a flail, made of turquoise-blue enamel. Some of the plates had become semi-opaque, no doubt owing to the heat of the boiling bitumen which had been poured over them, and then ...
— The Works of Theophile Gautier, Volume 5 - The Romance of a Mummy and Egypt • Theophile Gautier

... speaks my pensive self, "that he Whose passion 'tis to sing of men who fail,— (Belabored, broken by The Unseen Flail) Small wonder that ...
— ANTHOLOGY OF MASSACHUSETTS POETS • WILLIAM STANLEY BRAITHWAITE

... down a bent which the road climbed, and with them were three men, their drovers, and they drew nigh him as he was amidst of the sheep, so that he could scarce see the way. Each of these three had a weapon; one a pole-axe, another a long spear, and the third a flail jointed and bound with iron, and an anlace hanging at his girdle. So they stood in the way and hailed him when the sheep were gone past; and the man with the spear asked him whither away. "I am turned toward Higham-on-the-Way," quoth he; "and how many miles shall I ...
— The Well at the World's End • William Morris

... of a flail, depend on it: wan no use wi'out t'other. Then theer's the singing of the auld song: who's gwaine to say that's the least ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... John. Devout was my intent; I haunted meetings, Used zealous greetings, Crept full of devotion; Smectymnuus won me first, then holy Nye prevail, (111) Then Captain Kiffin (112) slops me with John of Leyden's tail, Then Fox and Naylor bangs me with Jacob Beamond's flail. (113) Alas! ...
— Cavalier Songs and Ballads of England from 1642 to 1684 • Charles Mackay

... earnest, came creeping about in the night and was going to take away the sheep. But the farmer, to whom the faithful Sultan had told the wolf's plan, caught him and dressed his hide soundly with the flail. The wolf had to pack off, but he cried out to the dog, "Wait a bit, you scoundrel, you shall ...
— Household Tales by Brothers Grimm • Grimm Brothers

... behalf, he was refused, and the brawny son and heir of the well-to-do citizen told of the incident, and was idiot enough in Percy's presence to repeat this old village saw as the reason of the refusal, it nearly led to tragedy. Seizing the first available weapon, a flail, which he wielded with uncommon skill, in one mad moment the indignant youth smote the other hip and thigh,—the first, and for years the only, time he was ever known to lose control of himself. In ten seconds the battered ...
— Under Fire • Charles King

... element that startled and astonished him. He had expected to see the furious Fogg join the mob and aid them in finishing up their dastardly work. Instead, like some madman, Fogg had waded into the ranks of the group, swinging his formidable weapon like a flail. It rose, it fell, it swayed from side to side, and its ...
— Ralph on the Overland Express - The Trials and Triumphs of a Young Engineer • Allen Chapman

... as the shack. While the real pioneer uses whatever material he finds at hand, it does no harm for him to know that to make a really good thatch one should use only straw which is fully ripe and has been thrashed clean with an old-fashioned flail. The straw must be clear of all seed or grain and kept straight, not mussed up, crumpled, and broken. If any grain is left in the straw it will attract field-mice, birds, domestic mice and rats, domestic turkeys and chickens, and ...
— Shelters, Shacks and Shanties • D.C. Beard

... and get down,' said the officer quietly, and the men crawled back and crouched low again. For a full hour the line lay under the flail of the big shells that roared and shrieked overhead and thundered crashing along the trenches. For a full hour the men barely moved, except to shift along from a spot where the shaken and crumbling parapet gave insufficient cover from ...
— Between the Lines • Boyd Cable

... all of steel, Where the rolling caissons wheel, Brought a rumble and a roar Rolling down that velvet floor, And like blows of autumn flail Sharply ...
— Complete Poetical Works of Bret Harte • Bret Harte

... hammer and a "make-believe" curtain. No!—hammer away, like Charles Martel; "fillip me with a three-man beetle;" be to me a malleus hereticorum; come like Spenser's Talus—an iron man with an iron flail, and thresh out the straw of my logic; rack me; put me to the question; get me down; jump upon me; kick me; throttle me; put an end to me in any ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... crash upon the two or three Frenchmen nearest me. The force of the blow made my arm tingle to the elbow, but it swept the Frenchmen down as though it had been a scythe, and caused those behind to recoil in terror. Another flail-like sweep proved equally effective, the cutlasses raised to guard the blows being as useless as so many wands, and when I followed it up with a third it proved too much for the Frenchmen, who, seeing ...
— The Log of a Privateersman • Harry Collingwood

... drizzling rain whitened the distant hills, that seemed to blanch in their helplessness as the wind smote them like a flail; and it wove a grayish veil over the leafless boughs of bending, shivering elms, on the long, dim avenue. The wintry afternoon closed swiftly, and, in its dusky dreariness, Salome listened to the tattoo of the rain on the roof, and to the miserere that wailed through ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... escape and get away over the fence. Then they all set upon Tom, but by G—— it was glorious to see the way in which he held his own. Out came that cross of his, four foot and a half long, with a thong as heavy as a flail. He soon had the road clear around him, and the big black horse you remember, stood as steady as a statue till he was bidden to move on. Then when he had the hounds, and Barney Smith and the whips to himself,—and I was there—we all rode off at ...
— The Landleaguers • Anthony Trollope

... the racquet should do the work. The ball willingly goes where the racquet head directs it. Do not flail or attempt to push your shots. Hit them crisply with the snap of your cocked wrist, and at all times attempt to regiment ...
— Squash Tennis • Richard C. Squires

... James one feels like a wisp of straw floating down a wide smooth river; reading Meredith one is flicked and flapped and beaten, as if beneath a hand with a flail. ...
— One Hundred Best Books • John Cowper Powys

... of whose tall elms We may discern the thresher at his task, Thump after thump resounds the constant flail That seems to swing uncertain, and yet falls Full on the destined ear. Wide flies the chaff, The rustling straw sends up a fragrant mist Of atoms, sparkling ...
— Cowper • Goldwin Smith

... to peer through the leaves of Plug Street Wood at No Man's Land between the lines, where every creature had been killed by the sweeping flail of machine-guns and shrapnel. Along the harvest-fields there were many barren territories like that, and up by Hooge, along the edge of the fatal crater, and behind the stripped trees of Zouave Wood there was no other gleaning to be had but that of broken shells and shrapnel ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs

... stories told of many a feat. How Fairy Mab the junkets eat; She was pinch'd and pull'd she said. And he by Frier's lapthorp led; Tells how the drudging goblin sweat To earn his cream-bowl duly set, When in one night ere glimpse of morn His shadowy flail had thresh'd the corn Which ten day-labourers could not end. Then lies him down the ...
— Johnson's Notes to Shakespeare Vol. I Comedies • Samuel Johnson

... hands, and with a swift movement discarded robe and yashmak, and stood before him, in the clinging draperies of an ancient queen, wearing the leopard skin and the uraeus, and carrying the flail of royal Egypt! ...
— Brood of the Witch-Queen • Sax Rohmer

... The whip fell flail-like, with absolute precision and regularity. It spared no part of him. His coat was nearly torn off. In one place, on the shoulder, the white shirt was exposed, and this also was streaked ...
— The Swindler and Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... hours for play! Gait, dress, domicile, furniture, throughout all his poetry, are Scottish as their dialect; and sometimes, in the pride of his heart, he rejoices by such nationality to provoke some alien's smile. The sickle, the scythe, and the flail, the spade, the mattock, and the hoe, have been taken up more cheerfully by many a toil-worn cottar, because of the poetry with which Burns has invested the very implements of labour. Now and then, too, here and there peals forth the clangour of the war-trumpet. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844 • Various

... truth, an excellently devout and worthy woman!—for scarcely were we out of the village, when so fearful a storm of thunder, lightning, wind, and hail burst over our heads, that the corn all around us was beaten down as with a flail, and the horses before the coach were quite maddened; however, it did not last long. But my poor child had to bear all the blame again, [Footnote: Such sudden storms were attributed to witches.] inasmuch as Dom. Consul thought that it was not old Lizzie, which, nevertheless, ...
— Sidonia The Sorceress V2 • William Mienhold

... shed where the air circulates freely is an admirable place, since the natural temperature of the air is sufficient in the case of seeds to bring about good results. Usually in less than a week the tops will have become dry enough to be beaten out with a light flail or a rod. In this operation great care must be taken to avoid bruising or otherwise injuring the seed. The beating should therefore be done in a sheet spread upon a lawn or at least upon short grass. The force of the blows will thus be lessened and ...
— Culinary Herbs: Their Cultivation Harvesting Curing and Uses • M. G. Kains

... to turn its energies in a backward direction. It would be just as reactionary in the political world as it would be in the industrial world to revert back to hand-tool production; to substitute the ox-team for the railway system, the hand-loom for the power-loom, the flail for the threshing-machine, the sickle for the modern harvesting-machine, the human courier ...
— Bolshevism - The Enemy of Political and Industrial Democracy • John Spargo

... hereto have clearly before the mind, as it is very apt to be overlooked. At the time of St. Columba's ministry, England, which during the lifetime of St. Patrick had been Roman and Christian, had now under the iron flail of its Saxon conquerors lapsed back into Paganism. Ireland, therefore, which for a while had made a part of Christendom, had been broken short off by the heathen conquest of Britain. It was now a small, isolated fragment of Christendom, with a great mass of heathenism between. We can easily ...
— The Story Of Ireland • Emily Lawless

... state of siege. The trainbands were under arms all night. Preparations were made for barricading the great thoroughfares. Patrols marched up and down the streets. Cannon were planted round Whitehall. No citizen thought himself safe unless he carried under his coat a small flail loaded with lead to brain the Popish assassins. The corpse of the murdered magistrate was exhibited during several days to the gaze of great multitudes, and was then committed to the grave with strange and terrible ceremonies, which indicated ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... inexorable hand tears away from his ships and his merchandise;—the storm-tossed ship, with Death snapping the mast;—a Count, dressed in the extreme of courtly splendor, who recognizes Death in the disguise of a peasant who has flung down his flail to seize his lordship's emblazoned shield and dash it to pieces;—a Duchess, whom one skeleton drags rudely from her canopied bed, while another scrapes upon a violin;—a Peddler;—a Ploughman, of whose four-horse team Death is the driver;—Gamblers, Drunkards, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859 • Various

... us as unjust as it would be to compare the best baker in London with Robinson Crusoe, who, before he could bake a single loaf, had to make his plough and his harrow, his fences and his scarecrows, his sickle and his flail, his mill ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... measured closely up to the value of a farthing's-worth of capacity. A shilling's difference per acre in the cost of ploughing by horse-flesh or steam brings the latter into the field. The sound of the flail is dying out of the land, and soon will be heard no more. Even threshing machines worked by horses are being discarded, as too slow and old-fashioned. Locomotive steam-engines, on broad-rimmed wheels, may be met on the turnpike road, travelling on their own legs from farm to ...
— A Walk from London to John O'Groat's • Elihu Burritt

... Yet, surely the railroads are new? No; not at all. Talus, the iron man in Spenser, who continually ran round the island of Crete, administering gentle warning and correction to offenders, by flooring them with an iron flail, was a very ancient personage in Greek fable; and the received opinion is, that he must have been a Cretan railroad, called The Great Circular Coast-Line, that carried my lords the judges on their circuits ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... has better secured the harvests, and it is computed that the 230,000 threshing machines used in the United States in 1870 obtained five per cent. more grain from the sheaves which passed through them than could have been secured by the use of the flail. ...
— The Earth as Modified by Human Action • George P. Marsh

... States Constitution seem to me more ingenious than convincing. But, constitutional or not, the compromise is reasonable; and though people in the South still feel, as one of them put it to me, that the Republican party "may yet wield the flail of the negro over them," the flail has been laid aside long enough to permit the South, in the main, to recover its peace of mind and its self-respect. The negro problem is still difficult enough, as many ...
— America To-day, Observations and Reflections • William Archer

... had two furious wings, Each one upon each shoulder; With a sting in his tail as long as a flail, Which made him bolder and bolder. He had long claws, and in his jaws Four and forty teeth of iron; With a hide as tough as any buff, Which did him ...
— The Children's Garland from the Best Poets • Various

... a hide-bound flail; Chimbu Singh from Bikaneer oiled his Tonk jezail; Yar Mahommed Yusufzai spat and grinned with glee As he ground ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... the church were called up by the Japanese, who stepped down and ran his fingers along the floor. "Look at this dust," he said. Ordering the two men to sit down on the floor, he beat them with a flail, over the shoulders. ...
— Korea's Fight for Freedom • F.A. McKenzie

... himself is treated in this way in South America. The Sulphur Tyrant-bird picks up a young snake by the tail, and, flying to a branch or stone, uses it like a flail until ...
— The Industries of Animals • Frederic Houssay

... comfortable, and warm. Over where she sat, jutted out the "brace" well lined with bacon; to the right hung a well-scoured salt-box, and to the left was the jamb, with its little paneless window to admit the light. Within it hung several ash rungs, seasoning for flail-sooples, or boulteens, a dozen of eel-skins, and several stripes of horse-skin, as hangings for them. The dresser was a "parfit white," and well furnished with the usual appurtenances. Over the ...
— The Haunters & The Haunted - Ghost Stories And Tales Of The Supernatural • Various

... shown a short-handled flail, which is about 2-1/2 ft. long with a dark handle of wood, studded with brass or steel nails. A steel band is placed around the handle near the top. The imitation of the steel band is made by gluing a piece ...
— The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 - 700 Things For Boys To Do • Popular Mechanics

... attached to the position of stockholder in the New-York Tribune. Mr. GREELEY conceives some of his most brilliant editorial articles while churning the mercurial milk of the Chappaqua farm into butter; or vexing the gracious grain with the flying flail; or listening to the pensive murmurings of the plaintive pigs, and the whispered cadences of the kindly cattle. RICHARD GRANT WHITE can't write, it is said, until a towel moistened with Cologne water is applied to his nostrils. ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 2, April 9, 1870 • Various

... begin when three fourths of the leaves have fallen and most of the pods are ripe. Do not wait, however, until the pods are so dry that they have begun to split and drop their seeds. A slight amount of dampness on the plants aids the cutting. The threshing may be done with a flail, with pea-hullers, or ...
— Agriculture for Beginners - Revised Edition • Charles William Burkett

... campaign may be crudely stated as follows: Regard that extended line as a flail ready to fall, hinged near Verdun, moved in a circle until the northern tip, under command of Von Kluck, should fall with all the energy Germany could put into the blow on Paris. In the meantime, the other armies would crush back, outflank, defeat, and capture the small British and hastily ...
— Kelly Miller's History of the World War for Human Rights • Kelly Miller

... to potatoes. Another food plant, almost unknown to Europeans, even those who live in Lima, is canihua, a kind of pigweed. It was being harvested at the time of our visit in April. The threshing floor for canihua is a large blanket laid on the ground. On top of this the stalks are placed and the flail applied, the blanket serving to prevent the small grayish seeds from escaping. The entire process uses nothing of European origin and has probably not ...
— Inca Land - Explorations in the Highlands of Peru • Hiram Bingham

... light from the fire on her face, and on her hair, and on her bare arms, I was minded o' th' angel that walked i' the fiery furnace with th' men in holy writ. And when a pounded away at a shoe, and her young arm going like a flail—chink, chank—chink, chank—and th' white spatters o' hot iron flying this way and that from th' anvil, meseemed 'twas as though Dame Venus (for thou knowest how in th' masque twelve year gone this Yuletide 'twas shown as how a great dame called Venus ...
— A Brother To Dragons and Other Old-time Tales • Amelie Rives

... out to talk of the work on the farm. The threshing was mostly done in winter with the hickory flail, one shock of fifteen sheaves making a flooring. On the dry cold days the grain shelled easily. After a flooring had been thrashed over at least three times, the straw was bound up again in sheaves, the floor completely raked over and the grain ...
— My Boyhood • John Burroughs

... be noticed separately, but one thing is absolutely certain, that a much higher standard of usefulness, both in equality of length, amount of anchylosis, and position, is needed in the lower than in the upper limb. For a leg hanging like a flail, or shortened by some inches, is not so good for purposes of locomotion as a wooden leg is, while an arm, even though powerless at the elbow, and perhaps much shortened, can be so strengthened and supported by slings and bandages as to give ...
— A Manual of the Operations of Surgery - For the Use of Senior Students, House Surgeons, and Junior Practitioners • Joseph Bell

... Goblin swet, To earn his cream-bowl duly set, When in one night, ere glimpse of morn, His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn, That ten day-labourers ...
— Welsh Folk-Lore - a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales • Elias Owen

... angle of the bank was not steep and the elephant's speed never slackened on the slope. Its right shoulder struck a sapling and the sapling splintered. It was crashing forward in full charge. Again it trumpeted, trunk extended like a flail of doom. ...
— This Crowded Earth • Robert Bloch



Words linked to "Flail" :   beat up, beat, lam, implement, thresh, work over, drub, cream, flap, clobber, lick, bat, thrash



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