Online dictionaryOnline dictionary
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Humbug   /hˈəmbˌəg/   Listen
Humbug

noun
1.
Pretentious or silly talk or writing.  Synonyms: baloney, bilgewater, boloney, bosh, drool, taradiddle, tarradiddle, tommyrot, tosh, twaddle.
2.
Communication (written or spoken) intended to deceive.  Synonym: snake oil.
3.
Something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage.  Synonyms: dupery, fraud, fraudulence, hoax, put-on.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |
Add this dictionary
to your browser search bar





"Humbug" Quotes from Famous Books



... I suppose, how Dickens's 'Cricket' sells by nineteen thousand copies at a time, though he takes Michael Angelo to be 'a humbug'—or for 'though' read 'because.' Tell me of ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

... restore a family its happiness. He was very polite and very smiling for the matter of that. Then I answered to the effect that I wanted nothing better, and I undertook to reconcile the count and his wife. You know it's not humbug. I should be delighted to see them all happy again, the poor things! Besides, it would be a relief to me for there are days—yes, there are days—when ...
— Nana, The Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille • Emile Zola

... Congreve jumped up, and the handkerchief came out in all its color and activity. "Are you really in earnest, Elizabeth? Would you have such a crusty old humbug as ...
— Six Girls - A Home Story • Fannie Belle Irving

... a table, took a pencil from his pocket, set the different sums on paper, and added them up deliberately. All this was humbug, for he had added it up before Philip came in, and knew to a dollar how much it amounted to. Philip stood by, feeling miserably uncomfortable, ...
— The Tin Box - and What it Contained • Horatio Alger

... and humbug. I told you that you were better away, and you determined to stay. I knew what was best for you, but you chose to be obstinate. I have not the slightest doubt ...
— Is He Popenjoy? • Anthony Trollope

... roughest and wildest scenes of the wilderness, and was now returning to those scenes after a short visit to his native land. The doctor was a nondescript; a compound of gravity, fun, seriousness, and humbug—the latter predominating. He had been everywhere (at least, so he said), had seen everything, knew everybody, and played the fiddle. It cannot be said, I fear, that he played it well; but, amid the various vicissitudes of his chequered life, the doctor had ...
— Hudson Bay • R.M. Ballantyne

... time, the united forces of the Camusot and Popinot families gained an easy victory in the world, for nobody undertook to defend the unfortunate Pons, that parasite, that curmudgeon, that skinflint, that smooth-faced humbug, on whom everybody heaped scorn; he was a viper cherished in the bosom of the family, he had not his match for spite, he was a dangerous mountebank whom ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... sorts of stories about the Exposition. The English papers (some of them), in John Bull style, call it a humbug. Let me tell you that, imperfect as it is in its present condition, going on rapidly to completion, it may without exaggeration be pronounced the eighth wonder of the world. It is the world in epitome. I came over with my children to give them the advantage of thus studying the ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume II • Samuel F. B. Morse

... good in the world. We owed each other the truth. We know it now; we know where we are. We needn't humbug ourselves and each other any more. You see what comes of keeping back the truth. Look how we've had to pay for it. You and me. Would you rather go on thinking ...
— Anne Severn and the Fieldings • May Sinclair

... fine touch of sympathy which is artistic skill, whether applied in working upon material substances or upon the emotions of the heart. But, remember, first Use, then Beauty, and neither complete without the other. Use without Beauty is ungracious giving, and Beauty without Use is humbug; never forgetting, however, that there is a region of the mind where the use is found in the beauty, where Beauty itself serves the direct purpose of raising us to see a higher ideal which will thenceforward permeate our lives, ...
— The Hidden Power - And Other Papers upon Mental Science • Thomas Troward

... had examined her myself," he said. "Of course she was excited, and could not answer; beside, hanged if I don't believe it was all humbug tormenting her with Greek and Latin. Yes; I'll question her when I get back, and if she'll possibly pass, give her the certificate. Poor child; how white she was, and what a queer look there was in those great eyes, when she said: 'I shall ...
— Aikenside • Mary J. Holmes

... has had much to be grateful for, and he regards a friendly move suspiciously. But he admires a master, and will humbly yield to almost any kind of tyranny, especially from one of his own race. The poorer classes rather like to be imposed upon in the same way as the Americans appreciate a humbug. ...
— The Great White Tribe in Filipinia • Paul T. Gilbert

... France, "I never had any doubt that Williams was of Indian extraction, and a descendant of Eunice Williams. His father and mother were both of them at my father's house, although I cannot ascertain definitely the year. I consider the whole story a humbug, and believe that it will be exploded in the course of a few months." As a matter of fact, the story has been exploded,—though the features of the Reverend Eleazer Williams, when in the full flush of manhood, ...
— The Romance of Old New England Rooftrees • Mary Caroline Crawford

... (applied to a political party); develop (for 'expose'); devouring element (for 'fire'); donate; employé; enacted (for 'acted'); indorse (for 'approve'); en route; esq.; graduate (for 'is graduated'); gents (for 'gentlemen'); 'Hon.'; House (for 'House of Representatives'); humbug; inaugurate (for 'begin'); in our midst; item (for 'particle, extract, or paragraph'); is being done, and all passives of this form; jeopardize; jubilant (for 'rejoicing'); juvenile (for 'boy'); lady ...
— The Verbalist • Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

... "don't you be a humbug. This is a perfectly plain case, and you are going in for a very risky affair with your eyes open. You shall ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... eyes of many, if the tendency, of which Strauss is leader, is no longer able to explain Christianity—the noblest, purest, and most successful religion which has come into existence in the whole history of mankind—otherwise than by calling it a humbug. With him who is pleased with this manner of explaining the most perfect blossom and fruit of {338} the tree of mankind, we certainly can find no ...
— The Theories of Darwin and Their Relation to Philosophy, Religion, and Morality • Rudolf Schmid

... advice, returned some time afterwards, and read the same passage without alteration. "Ay, now Mr. Pope," said Halifax, "they are perfectly right; nothing can be better!" This little incident perhaps suggested to Pope that Halifax was a humbug, and there seems, as already noticed, to have been some difficulty about the desired dedication of the Iliad. Though Halifax had been dead for twenty years when the Prologue appeared, Pope may have been in the right in satirizing the pompous would-be patron, from whom he had received nothing, ...
— Alexander Pope - English Men of Letters Series • Leslie Stephen

... both suggested one concert of the true stamp, and the Times came out against us and we pitched back again into the Times; and the Herald and other journals have called attention to the warfare, and insist that humbug, Barnumania, and high prices shall be put down. I am going to write an article upon Jenny Lind's right to ask $3 if she thinks fit, on the principle that Dickens, Horace Vernet, and every molasses merchant acts and ...
— Early Letters of George Wm. Curtis • G. W. Curtis, ed. George Willis Cooke

... constitutional changes effected in the government of the colonies by the Whigs, during their long and perilous rule. If of the former kind, it is to be lamented that he concealed his deliberate convictions under an allegorical piece of humour. His disposition to "humbug" was so great, it was difficult to obtain a plain straightforward reply from him; but had the Secretary of State put the question to him in direct terms, what he thought of Lord Durham's "Responsible ...
— The Attache - or, Sam Slick in England, Complete • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... each evening, and place it in the charge of one whom you believe would take care of it, you would do it with gladness. You fail to do it, and what is the natural conclusion? It is that your belief in Providence is a humbug. You believe in the honor of your friend, and you trust it. You believe in the honesty and ability of your creditor, and you trust him. You trust every thing and everybody that you firmly believe in; and the only ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... so prejudiced and so used to humbug that for the most part they do not in the least know their own motives for what they do. I will go to Saulsby to-morrow,—for ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... recipe for the leaven of the Pharisees is still extant, and runs as follows: —Self-deceit 0.33 want of charity 0.5 outward show 0.33, humbug infinity, insert Sim or not as required. Reader, let each one who would seem to be righteous ...
— Samuel Butler's Cambridge Pieces • Samuel Butler

... a humbug?" said Florence. A look came into her eyes which he could not quite fathom. It was a hungry look. They lit up for a moment, then faded, then an expression of resolve crept round ...
— The Time of Roses • L. T. Meade

... perhaps a little too apt to celebrate their joy in the face of the afflicted ones who have it not; and the afflicted ones only follow a general law in protesting that it is a very worthless thing, if not a complete humbug." This spirit of exclusiveness on the one side and of irascibility on the other may be greatly deplored, but who is there among us, I wonder, wholly innocent of blame? Mr. Saintsbury himself confesses to a silent chuckle of delight ...
— Masterpieces Of American Wit And Humor • Thomas L. Masson (Editor)

... the anniversary of 1492, everything for the Chicago Exposition," said Willy. "A Viking ship is coming over from Norway. The last descendant of Christopher Columbus, a knock-kneed Spaniard, is to be passed around for show, a tremendous humbug, always an acceptable dish to the Americans. Ritter owes this big order to his monkey-like quickness. The building commission applied to various sculptors, and Ritter sent them sketches for all the statues before the other artists had even ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann

... pair! "What, Catherine?" cried the old man, "is it true that you have been a coquette? How! have I been only the foster-father of thy little poet?" "No! No!" replied the enraged mother; "he is all thine own! Console thyself, poor John; thou alone hast been my mate. And who is this 'Pollo, the humbug who has deceived thee so? Yes, I am lame, but when I was washing my linen, if any coxcomb had approached me, I would have hit him on the mouth with a stroke of my mallet!" "Mother," exclaimed the daughter, "'Pollo is only a ...
— Jasmin: Barber, Poet, Philanthropist • Samuel Smiles

... among the people of Southern Khorassan is to offer one's food in turn to everybody present and say, "Bis-millah," before commencing to eat it yourself. Although a ridiculous piece of humbug, it is generally my custom to fall in with the peculiar ways of the country, and for days past have invariably offered my food to scores of people whom I knew beforehand would not take it. The lack of courtesy ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle Volume II. - From Teheran To Yokohama • Thomas Stevens

... windows—the mitred bishops, the big-wigged marshals, the shovel- hatted abbes which they have borne in their time—the human mind becomes affected in no ordinary degree. Some human minds heave a sigh for the glories of bygone days; while others, considering rather the lies and humbug, the vice and servility, which went framed and glazed and enshrined, creaking along in those old Juggernaut cars, with fools worshipping under the wheels, console themselves for the decay of institutions ...
— Notes on a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo • William Makepeace Thackeray

... be over with as long as you stay here, Donald. A hero you are and a hero you remain, old chap. And—and I'm mighty proud of you, you old humbug! Telling us you didn't do anything but help lug folks to the relief train, ...
— Left Guard Gilbert • Ralph Henry Barbour

... He switched on his light and made his final arrangements for bed. He had no inclination to spy upon either Mary Standish or Graham's agent, but he possessed an inborn hatred of fraud and humbug, and what he had seen convinced him that Mary Standish knew more about Rossland than she had allowed him to believe. She had not lied to him. She had said nothing at all—except to restrain him from demanding an apology. Evidently she had taken ...
— The Alaskan • James Oliver Curwood

... enough. You must side with me actively, for your assistance is absolutely necessary to bring that mad girl to terms. I'm married to her. She's my wife. I must have control of this place at once; and I'll tolerate no farther opposition from her, or humbug from you. I've come now to tell you ...
— The Living Link • James De Mille

... circulated reports about his having got drunk on different occasions, and having been caught drinking in secret; and some believed them, being of the same mind with the distiller, who asserted it to be mere humbug that any man could live without whiskey, and that wherever the croaking cold water society men did not drink in the daytime, they made up for it by drinking at night. These evil reports, however, fell dead after a little, and nobody was vile enough to ...
— Select Temperance Tracts • American Tract Society

... lime-burner, staring about him. "Thank Heaven, the night is gone, at last; and rather than pass such another, I would watch, my lime-kiln, wide awake, for a twelvemonth. This Ethan Brand, with his humbug of an Unpardonable Sin, has done me no such mighty favor, ...
— Short-Stories • Various

... are yet ready to reject the true, and be humbugged by the false. More than eighteen hundred and sixty-two years may yet elapse before the bells that 'ring out the old and ring in the new,' will 'ring out the false and ring in the true.' Then farewell humbug. ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... chap—life in the bush, stockriding and the rest of it. But probably he's a bank-clerk from Melbourne.... Your romanticism is one vast self-delusion, and it blinds your eye to the real thing. We have got to clear it out, and with it all the damnable humbug ...
— Huntingtower • John Buchan

... however, that, with all their humbug about benevolence, the British have never had the presumption to assert that their occupation of India is exclusively for the benefit of the natives. They are candid enough to admit that their purpose is not entirely unselfish, ...
— Modern India • William Eleroy Curtis

... sometimes, doctor, and though a great deal of it seems to be humbug, it is as you say—I know some are sincere, and I know there is a right way. I have been more than half tempted many times during the last few weeks to discover for myself the secret of power, but I am deterred by certain considerations, which you would, doubtless, think very absurd, ...
— Ester Ried • Pansy (aka. Isabella M. Alden)

... have given you a broken head for your pains. But you are so damnably courteous, as well as such an unutterable fool!" He broke off with a hard laugh and a savage kick at the coals in front of him. "I couldn't see myself doing it," he said, "humbug as you are." ...
— The Swindler and Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... we know who was selling us to the Tuxedo people, we can protect ourselves hereafter," declared Mr. Wheatcroft. "And in spite of your trying to humbug me into believing you guilty, Major, I'm willing to let ...
— Tales of Fantasy and Fact • Brander Matthews

... observation, is eminently trustworthy and true, but out of it hardly rises above the conceptions of a boarding-school Miss in her teens. She appears to us a kind of strong-minded old maid, but with her strong-mindedness greatly modified by the presumption as well as the sentimentality of romantic humbug. ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 5. May 1848 • Various

... than the mildest possible of knowledge to her pupils. Very possibly, too, she will teach Chemistry—think of it, ye brethren of the retort!—without experiments!! For just such atrocious and ridiculous humbug have we known to be passed off on children, in 've-ry expensive' 'first-class' ladies' schools in Philadelphia and in New York, for instruction in Chemistry. The young brains were vexed and wearied day after day to acquire by vague description and by rote ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol 2, No 6, December 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... was not more than eight or ten years old, when a rather awkward-looking greenhorn had come down from New Hampshire and made his appearance at the swimming- place. The boys, one after another, tried him by putting mocking questions or attempting to humbug him with some large story. He received it all with patience and good nature until one remark seemed to sting him from his propriety. He turned with great dignity upon the offender, and said, "Was that you that spoke, or was it a ...
— Autobiography of Seventy Years, Vol. 1-2 • George Hoar

... gave me a hint that, on arriving at Tripoli, there would be exhibited a good deal of fantazia, ("humbug[10]") by the health-office department. Accordingly, after we had been an hour in port, the health officer came alongside, and affected great surprise at our not having passports, and asked me, with great pomposity, what was my "reverito nome?" The Turks always ...
— Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846 • James Richardson

... day I'll suddenly discover that He does exist. In that case, Mr. Savva, I thank you, but I'd rather not. Why should I? I live a nice, quiet existence. Of course, it's all a humbug, an imposition. But what business is it of mine? The people want to believe—let them. It wasn't I who ...
— Savva and The Life of Man • Leonid Andreyev

... immediately commences to pit sides with Mr. M'Fadden. With all Romescos' outlawry, he is tenacious of his southern origin; and he will assert its rights against Mr. M'Fadden, whom he declares to be no better than a northern humbug, taking advantage of southern institutions. To him all northerners are great vagabonds, having neither principles nor humanity in their composition; he makes the assertion emphatically, without fear or trembling; and he calls upon his ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... time for this practice of around-the-world humbug and cheatery to stop right now. If it takes our fastest modern globe-trotters a whole year to go around the world by a route equal to or approximating the equatorial girth, then let it take them a year; for the sake of our pride and all that is good and sincere let us ...
— Around the World in Ten Days • Chelsea Curtis Fraser

... accident: it was entirely Erebus' own fault (he could swear it) that he tripped over her foot and pitched among those infernal brambles. Her howls of anguish were all humbug: he had not hurt her ankle (he could swear it); there was not a tear. The moment he offered, furiously, to carry her, she walked without a vestige of ...
— The Terrible Twins • Edgar Jepson

... said, confidentially. 'The dear soul never pretends to be any better than the rest of us. She gambles, and we all know she gambles; she pegs, and we all know she pegs; and she makes rather a boast of being up to her eyes in debt. No humbug about ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... "No if that infernal humbug will get hot-headed and answer the O.C. rashly, there may be something good coming in the punishment line! It would be a source of wild joy if I could get Dick Prescott on the wrong flank with ...
— Dick Prescott's Second Year at West Point - Finding the Glory of the Soldier's Life • H. Irving Hancock

... your fists and boots. Knock out four of them. Run a mile, dragging a girl—from a man chasing you, and shooting at you with a revolver. Kill a murderer with a murderess's dagger. Nurse a girl with an attack of hysteria. Drive a coach, humbug a woman, a parson, a railway porter, a guard and a station-master. Kill a man armed with that steel-clawed thing there, steal a car, knock a man off a train, and bring home the exhausted woman alive and your chief enemy drunk and a prisoner—do ...
— Ambrotox and Limping Dick • Oliver Fleming

... the same feeling as his friend. Lieutenant Sims never did care about foreigners, and thought the idea of getting Englishmen to emigrate to such a country as they talked of was all humbug. The abbe and his friends might have heard many of the observations made; but whether complimentary or not, they did not allow a muscle of their countenances to change. Lady Bygrave happened to upset her wineglass, and soon afterwards the abbe did exactly the same thing; ...
— Clara Maynard - The True and the False - A Tale of the Times • W.H.G. Kingston

... and whispered to her. "Don't you go getting caught by that sweep who runs their chapel up in London. He's a humbug if ever there was one—you mark my words. I know a thing or two. He's done your aunts a lot of harm, and he'll have his dirty fingers on you if you ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... did so rather unwillingly. Bluff was unusually sleepy, it seemed, and inclined to believe that this watch business was all humbug, anyway. What did they need to fear? Possibly there was not a human being within five miles of where the ...
— The Outdoor Chums on the Gulf • Captain Quincy Allen

... getting off again so soon; but as luck had it, Carruthers, whose turn it was, sprained his ankle and was laid up, and the Commodore let us exchange. I made all the capital I could out of Amy's fever; but upon my word, I felt like a humbug when I came upon her and Mrs. Swift in the Cascine just now, as I was hunting for you. How she has picked up! I should never have known her for ...
— What Katy Did Next • Susan Coolidge

... chair to walk with her, though it was evident he was very comfortable where he was. And she! She had laughed at his jokes; they were not very clever jokes, they were not very new. She had probably read them herself months before in her own particular weekly journal. Yet the harmless humbug made him happy. I wonder if ten years hence she will laugh at such old humour, if ten years hence he will take such clumsy pains to put her cape about her. Experience shakes her head, and is amused ...
— The Second Thoughts of An Idle Fellow • Jerome K. Jerome

... morning, with the old man beside him quiet in the reverence of being himself revered. And the minister, while he preached from the words, Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall, for the first time in his life began to feel doubtful whether he might not himself be a humbug. There was not much fear of his falling, however, for he had not yet stood on ...
— Sir Gibbie • George MacDonald

... intentionally. I told you so at the time. The fellow who taught me the trick warned me that it would almost certainly be fatal to a heavy man taken unawares. Why, he himself is now doing five years' penal servitude for the very same thing. Oh, I'm not a humbug, Crowther. I bolted from the consequences. You made me bolt. But I've often wished to heaven since that I'd stayed and faced it out. It would have been easier in the ...
— The Bars of Iron • Ethel May Dell

... his? I'm not going to stand his impudence, as I'll precious soon let him know. A likely story! He didn't buy me body and soul for his paltry salary, though he seems to think it. The old humbug in a cassock! It's a great deal of preaching and very little ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... discouraged as you are, and the present government pleases me, because it has no principle, no metaphysics, no humbug. I express myself very badly. Moreover you deserve a different response, but I ...
— The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters • George Sand, Gustave Flaubert

... put all his arguments into syllogisms. If you could not answer him in syllogisms, he conceived that you must be, evidently to yourself, in the wrong, and that obstinacy alone prevented you from owning it. Father Cullen's redeeming point was his earnestness,—his reality; he had no humbug about him; whatever was there, was real; he had no possible appreciation for a joke, and he understood no ridicule. You might gull him, and dupe him for ever, he would never find you out; his heart and mind were full of the Roman Catholic ...
— The Macdermots of Ballycloran • Anthony Trollope

... "The old humbug! I'd no idea she was decoying us away from the hotel. Really nobody can be trusted up here," fumed Miss Morley. "Come along, girls. I told the conductor to reserve a table for us, and there won't be time to have lunch before the train ...
— The Jolliest School of All • Angela Brazil

... a fact. She takes to beggin' as naterally as a goslin' takes to a puddle; and when she first come to town she commenced a-beggin', and has kep' it up ever since. She used to tackle me the same as she does everybody else, askin' me to give somethin' to this, and to that, and to t'other pet humbug of her'n, but I never would do it; and when she found she could'nt worry me into it, like the rest of 'em, it set her very bitter against me; and I heard of her tellin' I'd treated her with rudeness, which I'd always treated ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 2, December, 1857 • Various

... with my microscope, upon my parlor rug, With a very heavy quarto and a very lively bug; The true bug had been organized with only two antennae, But the humbug in the copperplate would ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... said Davy angrily. "I'm not so damn sure of it." Hastily, "I don't mean that. Of course, I'm sincere—as sincere as a man can be and get anywhere in this world. You've got to humbug the people, because they haven't sense ...
— The Conflict • David Graham Phillips

... let's have any of that professional humbug, Pepps," rejoined her ladyship. "You doctors know a common disorder as soon as you see it, only you think it looks wise not ...
— Elster's Folly • Mrs. Henry Wood

... teachers in the academies of the eighteenth century, because they are utterly ignorant, and know themselves to be utterly ignorant, of the reality of the subject, and because, therefore, they have to humbug the parent and pass the time by unreal inventions. The case is not a bit better in the higher grade schools. They do not do so much of the bogus teaching of English, but they do ...
— Mankind in the Making • H. G. Wells

... Sh! Are you crazy? Do you suppose I would want to humbug Mr. Manders? No, no—Mr. Manders has always been too kind a friend for me to do that. But what I wanted to talk to you about, was ...
— Ghosts - A Domestic Tragedy in Three Acts • Henrik Ibsen

... "It is humbug. I am not in a humour now to stand picking my words. I have been infernally badly used—badly used ...
— The Bertrams • Anthony Trollope

... requests from my little correspondents for "more about the Wizard." It seems the jolly old fellow made hosts of friends in the first Oz book, in spite of the fact that he frankly acknowledged himself "a humbug." The children had heard how he mounted into the sky in a balloon and they were all waiting for him to come down again. So what could I do but tell "what happened to the Wizard afterward"? You will find him in these pages, just the same ...
— Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz • L. Frank Baum.

... Francis Jeffrey, "King of Blue and Yellow," by the facetious Maginn, under his pseudonym of Morgan Odoherty: —"Christopher, by the grace of Brass, Editor of Blackwood's and the Methodist Magazines; Duke of Humbug, of Quiz, Puffery, Cutup, and Slashandhackaway; Prince Paramount of the Gentlemen of the Press, Lord of the Magaziners, and Regent of the Reviewers; Mallet of Whiggery, and Castigator of Cockaigne; Count Palatine of the Periodicals; Marquis of the ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 65, March, 1863 • Various

... Sweet, of the University of Oxford, whose Elementarbuch des gesprochenen Engliach, translated into his native language for the use of British islanders as a Primer of Spoken English, is the most accessible standard work on the subject. In such words as plum, come, humbug, up, gum, etc., Mr. Sweet's evidence is conclusive. Ladies and gentlemen in Southern England pronounce them as plam, kam, hambag, ap, gan, etc., exactly as Felix Drinkwater does. I could not claim Mr. Sweet's ...
— Captain Brassbound's Conversion • George Bernard Shaw

... well that they could not see her face, turned into the shadow, nestled against the pillow, moved now and then as by the zephyr breath of a smile. At times she wanted to laugh at their pretense and humbug. To prevent it breaking out in unseemly sound she was obliged to bite the coverlet and let the spasms of mirth waste themselves ...
— The Bondboy • George W. (George Washington) Ogden

... to all of us here, As any mere schoolboy can tell." Pond answered, "Of course it's quite clear;" And so did that humbug Morell. ...
— Bab Ballads and Savoy Songs • W. S. Gilbert

... certain abuses in the Roman Catholic Church and her priesthood in out-of-the-way countries; but then he attacks other forms of Christianity and other religions too. He had a great hatred of cant and humbug under the cloak of religion, and denounced them accordingly. There is nothing remarkable in this. We all denounce cant and humbug in the abstract, often most loudly when we are humbugs ourselves. If Burton attacked Christianity ...
— The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton Volume II • Isabel Lady Burton & W. H. Wilkins

... say then, that he repelled the hon. gent.'s false and scurrilous accusation, with profound contempt. (Great cheering.) The hon. gent. was a humbug. (Immense confusion, and loud cries of ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... and then only when he and I were alone. Why he should have chosen me as the pail into which to pour his troubles I cannot say. I let him talk on, and when he had ended I showed him plainly that I had been thinking most of the time about something else. Whether Marriot was entirely a humbug or the most conscientious person on our stair, readers may decide. He was fond of argument if you did not answer him, and often wanted me to tell him if I thought he was in love; if so, why did I think so; if not, why not. What makes me on ...
— My Lady Nicotine - A Study in Smoke • J. M. Barrie

... this because you may have been led to do so in noticing—if you did notice it—how your sudden appearance unnerved me down there. It was but a momentary faltering; and considering what you have been to me, it was natural enough. But will helped me through it—though perhaps you think me a humbug for saying it—and immediately afterwards I felt that of all persons in the world whom it was my duty and desire to save from the wrath to come—sneer if you like—the woman whom I had so grievously wronged was that person. I have come with that sole purpose ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... know any word that there's so much humbug about. The Samaritan was the best neighbor I ever heard of, and he lived a long way off, I take it. Anyway, he wasn't a ...
— Harry Heathcote of Gangoil • Anthony Trollope

... There's many a chap as envies me. Yet how strange it felt when I crossed myself before the icon. It was just as if some one shoved me. The whole web fell to pieces at once. They say it's frightening to swear what's not true. That's all humbug. It's all talk, that is. ...
— Redemption and Two Other Plays • Leo Tolstoy et al

... Peter." (It is). Mr. Keable, a minister from Africa, wrote of the war as he saw it in France, and in a way which offended people with mental blinders. He declares that the war quite completely knocked humbug on the head and bashed shams irreparably. "Rebels," says he, meaning those who speak their mind and write of things as they see them, "must be drowned ...
— Nonsenseorship • G. G. Putnam

... appearance. I very much wished you had been there; you would have seen that the public does not hate your friend. I appeared in a box, and the whole pit clapped their hands at me. I blushed, I hid myself; but I should be a humbug if I did not confess to you that I was sensibly affected. It is pleasant not to be dishonored ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume VI. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... Davis. "No. 13 King Street, and all the numbers near it in Blackwall, are warehouses—what's the use of trying to humbug me?" ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... disapproved of gambling; couldn't think of lending me a sixpence for any such purpose; and, as for going into such a suspected quarter as a gambling-house—wouldn't do it for the world! Was there ever such a puritan—such a humbug!" ...
— Confession • W. Gilmore Simms

... down in Texas, "The forthe of July is comin', Sukey, so be a man; fur I'm gwine to celerbrate. I'm gwine up loike a rocket, ef I does come down loike a stick." And Sergeant Blower said to John Copperhead of Chicago, "Down in 'old Virginny' I used to think the fourth of July a humbug, but this prison has made me a patriot. Now I'd like to burn an all-fired sight of powder, and if you help, and God is willing, I shall do it." In a similar strain wrote half a score ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 93, July, 1865 • Various

... order. I, an unknown man—too old to be able to refute the charge of senility were any one disposed to question the value of my statements—could announce to the world my great discovery a thousand times a day, and very properly the world would decline to believe in me. The world would cry humbug, and I should have been unable, had I failed to find you, to convince the world that I was not a humbug. With the discovery of your eye, all that is changed. I shall have an ally in you, and that is valuable for the reason that your statements, whatever they may be, ...
— The Water Ghost and Others • John Kendrick Bangs

... where Lola found herself cast adrift, was a curious microcosm and full of contrasts. A mixture of unabashed blackguardism and cloistered prudery; of double-beds and primness; of humbug and frankness; of liberty and restraint; of lust and license; of brutal horse-play passing for "wit," and of candour marching with cant. The working classes scarcely called their souls their own; women and children ...
— The Magnificent Montez - From Courtesan to Convert • Horace Wyndham

... too beautifully brave for me to keep up any humbug about my duty. And it came over me suddenly how I should hurt others in hurting him: myself first, since sending him home meant losing him; but more particularly poor Alice Nowell, to whom I had so uneasily longed to prove my good faith and my immense desire to serve ...
— Tales Of Men And Ghosts • Edith Wharton

... observed; unless in periods of very great excitement, the most unpopular speaker will receive a fair hearing. A fair hearing does not express it. The silence of a Sheffield audience, the manner in which they drink in every word of a stranger, carefully watching for the least symptom of humbug, and unreduced by the most tempting claptrap, is something ...
— Rides on Railways • Samuel Sidney

... "I take very little stock in saints, and she strikes me as a little of a humbug, your Cecilia; but I would like to know what the effect of the 'Old Curiosity Shop' would be on a full-blooded Indian squaw. Catherine, will you try to read it if I bring ...
— Esther • Henry Adams

... Times says "Every body is not acquainted with the etymology of the word Humbug. It is a corruption of Hamburgh, and originated in the following manner: During a period when war prevailed on the Continent, so many false reports and lying bulletins were fabricated at Hamburgh, that, at length, when any one would signify his disbelief of a statement, he would say, 'You ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 19, No. - 537, March 10, 1832 • Various

... I ... merely ... said that I know you to be what you Yankees call a humbug! For some purposes of your own—perhaps to attempt a theft of this imaginary fortune, you are trying to get to Seguro ... However," and at the quiet interest on the face of Jarvis he was emboldened to make his statements more emphatic, "I have my doubts about your honesty in ...
— The Ghost Breaker - A Novel Based Upon the Play • Charles Goddard

... ghost is just the reverse of truth; it makes one consist of a soul without a body, while really a specter, an illusion, a humbug of the eyesight and the touch, is a human body not vitalized through and through ...
— Starr King in California • William Day Simonds

... to Mugs by a Humbug. That's what it ought to be called. I was looking forward to having a good crack with you the night, but sure a newspaper man need never hope to have ten minutes to himself. I've given Miss Squibb orders to have a good warm supper ready for you. ...
— The Foolish Lovers • St. John G. Ervine

... flesh-and-blood sympathies, and at the same time turning it into a wild, wonderful, remote, fairy-land region, where all sorts of poetical things may take place without the slightest difficulty. Of course Shakespeare would not have done thus, but that he saw quite through the grand critical humbug which makes the proper effect of a work of art depend upon our belief in the actual occurrence of the thing represented. But your "critic grave and cool," I suppose, is one who, like Wordsworth's ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... certainly possessed no other claim upon the confidence of his fellow-creatures, sick or well. Yet even before the Dop Doctor brought his great unhealed sorrow and his quenchless thirst to Gueldersdorp, the smug, plump, grey-haired, pink-faced, neatly-dressed little humbug ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... your counsel state that the instant you discovered the lost document you wished to throw no obstacle in the way of proving the marriage, and that the only thing to consider is, if the marriage be proved; if so, you will be the first to rejoice, &c. &c. You know all that sort of humbug ...
— Night and Morning, Volume 5 • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... yes, I remember. It is well. The effect of that prescription was wonderful. I'll never call homoeopathy a humbug again.' ...
— Jo's Boys • Louisa May Alcott

... surrounded them, and many wild theories were propounded to account for their existence. They were at first accredited with a fabulous antiquity, and in at least one instance this notion was responsible for what must be called misrepresentation, if not humbug.[147] Having been placed by popular fancy at such a remote age, they were naturally supposed to have been built, not by the Mayas,—who still inhabit Yucatan and do not absolutely dazzle us with ...
— The Discovery of America Vol. 1 (of 2) - with some account of Ancient America and the Spanish Conquest • John Fiske

... old humbug of sex superiority because she had seen it fall on its face to howl over a trodden worm, with the result that it discovered itself ...
— At a Winter's Fire • Bernard Edward J. Capes

... then he broke into a laugh. "Oh, I will tell you that presently. All I know is, Nan is engaged to my friend Mayne here; and I have promised his father, on my word as a gentleman and head of this family, that this dressmaking humbug shall ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... woman of more than common surface breeding, of high family—for the Baroness de Wyeth was guilty of no mere vulgar brag in claiming so much for herself—of more than ordinary attractiveness in person, and of far more than common faculty in the direction of a dangerous, sympathetic semi-humbug. Was it any wonder if, when he lay down that night, he contrasted the hours of the evening with those of the afternoon, or if he recalled the fact that at the very turning of the road which had led him to fortune and to fame ...
— Despair's Last Journey • David Christie Murray

... them!" burst in Worcester. "Without humbug, Acton, do you really want our house to move ...
— Acton's Feud - A Public School Story • Frederick Swainson

... detail on the several popular cries, such as, "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work," illustrating them from the Bible, urging his readers to take it as the true Radical Reformer's Guide, if they were longing for the same thing as he was longing for—to see all humbug, idleness, injustice, swept out of England. His other contributions to these periodicals consisted of some of his best short poems: "The Day of the Lord;" "The Three Fishers;" "Old and New," and others; of ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... their daily life were like squirrels in a cage, and because they moved, they thought they were progressing. In them scepticism had killed belief; religion, family, country, were, as they phrased it, all humbug. They had only one aim, one passion—to enjoy themselves. Their watchword was "pleasure." All those who did not perish of consumption would die ...
— Serge Panine, Complete • Georges Ohnet

... "A genuine humbug, I should say—gooseberry champagne at two shillings a bottle," was the somewhat professional ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXLII. Vol. LV. April, 1844 • Various

... feelings than another, it is a new house—a large house, with its ceilings embellished with snowy mouldings; its floors glowing with warm-tinted carpets, with cushioned chairs and sofas to sit on, and a piano to listen to; with fires so arranged you can see them, and know there is no humbug about it; with walls garnished with pictures, and above all mirrors, wherein you may gaze and always find something to admire, you know. I have a great regard for a good house, and a girlish passion for mirrors. Horace Smith, Esq., is also very fond of mirrors. He came ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume X (of X) • Various

... mixture of philosophy and poetry. He was fond of metaphysics and prone to indulge in abstract speculations, though his metaphysics were somewhat fine spun and fanciful, and his speculations were apt to partake of what my father most irreverently termed "humbug." For my part, I delighted in them, and the more especially because they set my father to sleep and completely confounded my sisters. I entered with my accustomed eagerness into this new branch of study. Metaphysics were now my passion. My sisters ...
— The Crayon Papers • Washington Irving

... I presume even Jezebel had some redeeming qualities. Rubbish! humbug! don't tell me! Can good ...
— The Bishop's Secret • Fergus Hume

... in between I was taken by Canon and Mrs. Thesiger to lunch or dinner or tea in the other Canons' houses, and was introduced to the Dean and the Archbishop. I attended the Cathedral services to an extent that provoked Viola to denounce me as a humbug. ...
— The Belfry • May Sinclair

... right to do, and recognises their inferiority. Unfortunately, people are apt to be less modest about their powers of appreciating visual art. Everyone is inclined to believe that out of pictures, at any rate, he can get all that there is to be got; everyone is ready to cry "humbug" and "impostor" at those who say that more can be had. The good faith of people who feel pure aesthetic emotions is called in question by those who have never felt anything of the sort. It is the prevalence of the representative element, I suppose, that makes the man in the street so sure ...
— Art • Clive Bell

... statesmen. These maxims were too much in vogue throughout the lower ranks of Walpole's party, and were too much encouraged by Walpole himself, who, from contempt of what, is in our day vulgarly called humbug; often ran extravagantly and offensively into the opposite extreme. The loose political morality of Fox presented a remarkable contrast to the ostentatious purity of Pitt. The nation distrusted the former, and placed implicit confidence in the latter. But almost ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... that this thought came to Mr. Ford it seemed to him more repugnant. First, that he should have blamed Tavia without investigating the matter himself; next that he should have allowed a man like Squire Sanders to "humbug" him. ...
— Dorothy Dale • Margaret Penrose

... teeth and tail! I thought you were a humbug! Why did you want to get fat? There's no truth to be got out of you but by cross-questioning. You ain't fit to be ...
— At the Back of the North Wind • George MacDonald

... another tribe and knowing that we had guns and could fight from what happened on the yesterday, wished naturally enough for our assistance in the coming battle. As for the marvellous chief Rezu, or rather for his supernatural attributes and all the cock-and-bull story about an axe—well, it was humbug like the rest, and if she believed in it she must be more foolish than I took her to be—even if she were unhinged on certain points. For the rest, her information about myself and Umslopogaas doubtless had reached her from Zikali in some obscure fashion, as ...
— She and Allan • H. Rider Haggard

... Miss Terry scornfully. "What is our Christmas, anyway? A time for shopkeepers to sell and for foolish folks to kill themselves in buying. Christmas spirit? No! It is all humbug,—all selfishness, and worry; an unwholesome season of unnatural activities. I am glad I am out of it. I am glad no one expects anything of me,—nor I of any one. I am quite independent; blessedly independent of the whole foolish business. It is a good time to begin clearing ...
— The Christmas Angel • Abbie Farwell Brown

... "Oh, humbug! I know better. You would rather see Paragon any day, ten to one. I will kill that dog yet, and shoot Erebus, too; see if I don't! then maybe you can think of somebody else. When you are glad you show it in your eyes, and now they are as still as violets under icicles. ...
— Macaria • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... you out. You are not a bit solemn, really, only you put on the airs of a sister of mercy. So you don't like Etta; you need not be afraid of telling me so; she is the greatest humbug in the world, only Giles is so foolish as to believe in her. I call her a humbug because she pretends to be what she is not; she is really a most prosaic sort of person, and she wants to make people believe that she ...
— Uncle Max • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... had been the front line before the Canadian attack. Thence various other alleys led to the front line. Our new sector was by no means luxurious. There was a front line trench and portions of a reserve line, all rather the worse for wear, while the communication trenches, "Hurrah" and "Humbug" Alleys, were unspeakably filthy. The whole area at the top of the hill was an appalling mess of tangled machinery from Puits 14 bis, battered trenches, the remains of two woods, Bois Hugo and Bois Raze, and shell holes of every size and shape. ...
— The Fifth Leicestershire - A Record Of The 1/5th Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment, - T.F., During The War, 1914-1919. • J.D. Hills

... man for successful subterfuge, especially with his daughter; she could read every look in his eye, every twitch of his mouth, and now, over many miles of country telephone lines, she knew that her beloved old humbug of a male parent was "holding out on her." Her first impulse was to face him down and demand to be told the rest. But realizing that a father at the end of a long-distance line was possessed of a certain strategic advantage presenting more difficulties ...
— The Everlasting Whisper • Jackson Gregory

... the visiter—"as I was observing a little while ago, there are some very outre notions in that book of yours Monsieur Bon-Bon. What, for instance, do you mean by all that humbug about the soul? Pray, sir, what is ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 5 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... to quit the saloon and drink quietly in their shacks. The moderate drinker may have his place in other countries, though I can't see it. I haven't thought that out, but here the only safe man is the man who quits it dead and fights it straight; anything else is sheerest humbug and nonsense.' ...
— Black Rock • Ralph Connor

... Charlie made a grimace, while he commented in an undertone: "But it is ninety-six years since Captain Cook visited this coast. How the old humbug lies." ...
— The New Penelope and Other Stories and Poems • Frances Fuller Victor

... go on like this, or we shall have somebody coming in! I wouldn't have gone up if I'd known it would upset you like this; but I only wanted to make quite sure that the whole thing was humbug, and—(complacently)—I ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., December 13, 1890 • Various

... after, then. Seriously, what are you going to those barbarous islands for—putting friendship and all such regards out of the question? Wheat takes you there,—without humbug? You must excuse me—but you are a very extraordinary person to look ...
— The Old Helmet, Volume II • Susan Warner

... attempt at savage life was that of the harmless humbug who called himself the hermit. In a great tree, close by the highroad, he had built himself a little cabin after the manner of the Swiss Family Robinson; thither he mounted at night, by the romantic aid of a rope ladder; and if dirt be ...
— Across The Plains • Robert Louis Stevenson

... worker of miracles, had fled to the neighbourhood of San Pablo village. I have often heard of them in other places, notably in Capis Province, where the Santones were vigorously pursued by the Civil Guard, and as recently as May, 1904, a notorious humbug of this class, styling himself Pope Isio, alias Nazarenong Gala, was arrested in West Negros and ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... combination of humility, amiability, gentility, and as many other "ilitys" as could be squeezed into his expressive features. It is hardly necessary after this description to say that Iiani was a very tall humbug, pleasant in manner when he had his own way. He was lazy to such a degree that he invariably fell asleep upon his mule after smoking innumerable cigarettes. In these cases his long body swayed to the right and left, and occasionally nodded forward to an extent that sometimes ...
— Cyprus, as I Saw it in 1879 • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... is a Handbook after all, a very useful thing, but still—the fact is that we live in an age of humbug, in which everything, to obtain note and reputation, must depend less upon its own intrinsic merit than on the name it bears. The present book is about one of the best books ever written upon Spain; but we are afraid that it will never be estimated at its proper ...
— George Borrow and His Circle - Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters Of - Borrow And His Friends • Clement King Shorter

... them in five styles; I wouldn't subscribe to more than three. That little man with the orchid that daddy has just seized is the author of the last of the 'Rulers of India' series—Sir Somebody Something, K.C.S.I. My unconscionable humbug of a parent probably wants to get something approaching a fact out of him. Daddy's writing a thing for one of the reviews on the elective principle for India this week. He says he's the only writer on Indian subjects who isn't disqualified by ever having been there, and ...
— A Daughter of To-Day • Sara Jeannette Duncan (aka Mrs. Everard Cotes)

... Woggle-Bug, pompously. "I have been informed that the Wonderful Wizard of Oz was nothing more than a humbug!" ...
— The Marvelous Land of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... afternoon concluded the business, and early next morning Haydon left for town. 'It is curious,' he comments, 'to have known thus the two great heads of the two great parties, the Duke and Lord Grey. I prefer the Duke infinitely. He is more manly, has no vanity, is not deluded by any flattery or humbug, and is in every way a grander character, though Lord Grey is a ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... caution my readers against those who will sell you "extra large layers, for immediate bearing," and whose "plants are better than those whom anybody else may grow," as their advertisements will term it. It is time that this humbug should cease; time that the public in general should know, that they cannot, in nature and reason, expect any fruit from a plant transplanted the same season; and that those who pretend it can be done, without ...
— The Cultivation of The Native Grape, and Manufacture of American Wines • George Husmann

... Quackleben pulled from his pocket a small portable case of medicines—"Catch me without my tools,"—he said; "here I have the real useful pharmacopoeia—the rest is all humbug and hard names—this little case, with a fortnight or month, spring and fall, at St. Ronan's Well, and no one will ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... an impudent, swindling, sneaking French humbug!—Your tone instantly changes, and you tell him to go about his business: but at twelve o'clock at night, when the voyage is over, and the custom-house business done, knowing not whither to go, with a wife and fourteen exhausted ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... fool, Gerty!" said he, in downright anger. "You know it is no use your trying to humbug me. If you think the ways of this house are too poor and mean for your grand notions of state—if you think he has not enough money, and you are not likely to have fine dinners and entertainments for your friends—if you are determined ...
— Macleod of Dare • William Black

... reply, emphatically. I was so firmly convinced to the contrary that I was now persuaded that there was a simulation of personality, such as was generally the case with the public mediums, and I said to my brother, who had not heard any of my questions, that this was another humbug, and then repeated what had passed, saying that Turner could not have worked in that way. After this I did not care to ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume I • Stillman, William James

... along the river-banks. Even the mayor of the city was present in his carriage among the expectant crowd. The clock struck the hour of noon, but the little Delaware skiff was nowhere to be seen; and, as the sun declined from the zenith, the people gradually dispersed, muttering, "Another humbug!" ...
— Four Months in a Sneak-Box • Nathaniel H. Bishop

... said it was all humbug about Jinny being neurotic. He's neurotic himself and so he thinks everybody else is. He's got ...
— The Creators - A Comedy • May Sinclair

... he will be, in spite of toil or of fatigue, That humbug of all humbugs, the staid, inveterate "dig." Poem before Iadma ...
— A Collection of College Words and Customs • Benjamin Homer Hall

... and stagnate into selfishness. Wealth is a tremendous trust; it becomes a dangerous one when it owns its owner. Our Brooklyn philanthropist, the late Mr. Charles Pratt, once said to me: "There is no greater humbug than the idea that the mere possession of wealth makes any man happy. I never got any happiness out of mine until I began ...
— Recollections of a Long Life - An Autobiography • Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

... "No humbug, eh? That would be very silly of you. I should lose a day, that's all. Whereas you would lose all the days that remain to you to live. But no, the hiding-place is too good. A fellow doesn't invent a thing like that for fun. Come on, Sebastiani. ...
— The Crystal Stopper • Maurice LeBlanc

... will, 'case 't ain't right for them mis'able creeturs to be hangin' around you all, and you not up to their capers. Fust place they're called the error-fairies 'case they're all servants to a creetur named Error. She's a cheat and a humbug, allers pertendin' somethin' or other, and she makes it her business to fight a great and good fairy named Love. Now Love—oh, chillen, my pore tongue can't tell you of the beauty and goodness o' the fairy Love! She's the messenger of a great King, and spends her ...
— Jewel's Story Book • Clara Louise Burnham

... time."... "There is a vast amount of thinking which ought to be in the market. We hold our best thoughts and give our second best."... "We do a good deal of shirking in this life on the ground of not being geniuses. The truth is, there is an immense amount of humbug lurking in the folds of those specious theories about genius. Let a man or woman go to work at a thing, and the genius will take care ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, September, 1885 • Various

... Roughing It, or in his interview with the lightning-rod agent in Mark Twain's Sketches, 1875. He is a shrewd observer, and his humor has a more satirical side than Artemus Ward's, sometimes passing into downright denunciation. He delights particularly in ridiculing sentimental humbug and moralizing cant. He runs atilt, as has been said, at "copy-book texts," at the temperance reformer, the tract distributer, the Good Boy of Sunday-school literature, and the women who send bouquets and sympathetic letters to interesting criminals. ...
— Initial Studies in American Letters • Henry A. Beers

... of the war, I despair of myself. There is not one gleam of light in all the sad landscape, and the abyss seems waiting at my feet to swallow me up with everything that I cherish. It is no use saying to this demon of the darkness that I know he is a humbug, a mere Dismal Jemmy of the brain, who sits there croaking like a night owl or a tenth-rate journalist. My Dismal Jemmy is not to be exorcised by argument. He can only be driven out ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... on it like a lamb; two or three words were interchanged on this occasion. At Reading the Marlborough of our tale made one of the safe investments of that day, he bought a Times and Punch; the latter full of steel-pen thrusts and woodcuts. Valor and beauty deigned to laugh at some inflamed humbug or other punctured by Punch. Now laughing together thaws our human ice; long before Swindon it was a talking match—at Swindon who so devoted as Captain Dolignan?—he handed them out—he souped them—he ...
— Stories of Comedy • Various

... better. But Hawkins' complaint against the negroes for not coming quietly is just the same sort of nonsense as any other complaint against anything alive for being "vicious" when we want to take or kill it. "This animal," said a Frenchman who made wise fun of all such humbug, "is very wicked. When you attack it, it ...
— Flag and Fleet - How the British Navy Won the Freedom of the Seas • William Wood

... our old-country neighbors gave much heed to what are called spirit-rappings. On the contrary, they were regarded as a sort of sleight-of-hand humbug. Some of these spirits seem to be stout able-bodied fellows, judging by the weights they lift and the heavy furniture they bang about. But they do no good work that I know of; never saw wood, grind corn, cook, feed the hungry, or ...
— The Story of My Boyhood and Youth • John Muir

... the whole project a humbug, and refusing to have anything to do with it, equipped himself with club and cutlass, and started off on a solitary excursion towards the south-easterly part of the island, which we had not yet explored. He returned in the ...
— The Island Home • Richard Archer

... or proved; and she could think of no other case of a value taken as so great and yet flourishing untested. His value was his future, which had somehow got itself as accepted by Aunt Maud as if it had been his good cook or his steam-launch. She, Kate, didn't mean she thought him a humbug; he might do great things—but they were all, as yet, so to speak, he had done. On the other hand it was of course something of an achievement, and not open to every one, to have got one's self taken so seriously by ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume 1 of 2 • Henry James

... of the primal feelings, for his tenderness, his jollity and his power to read the heart of boy and man and woman; not only for the tragedies and afflictions of his life so unconquerably borne; not only for his brave and fiery dashes against tyranny, humbug, and corruption at home and abroad; but also because his countrymen feel him to be, beyond all other men, the incarnation of ...
— Mark Twain • Archibald Henderson

... didn't pursue our fugitives it wasn't simply that we were ignorant of where they were. I could have found that out with a little trouble, but I was deterred by the reflexion that this would be Louisa's reasoning. She was a dreadful humbug and her departure had been a provocation—I fear it was in that stupid conviction that I made out a little independent itinerary with Archie. I even believed we should learn where they were quite soon enough, and that our patience—even my young man's—would be longer than theirs. Therefore ...
— Louisa Pallant • Henry James

... for the trial of the unknown device, and the boys separated with their curiosity on tiptoe as to the nature of the other improved method of swimming. They had no idea that it was a humbug, for "Ben" never practised sham. He was so much of a genius that, no doubt, he had ...
— From Boyhood to Manhood • William M. Thayer

... for yae thing that there's fower places staunin' in Millar's Level," said Jamie Lauder, "an' I'm telt there's five or six staunin' in the Black Horse Dook. It's a' a bit of humbug, an' I think we should try an' put an end ...
— The Underworld - The Story of Robert Sinclair, Miner • James C. Welsh

... does it give me," the young man none the less rationally asked, "the chance to be? A brute of a humbug to her?" ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume II • Henry James

... legacies; and having fallen in with some of the members of that political junto, the Saints, who are worldly enough to link, as often as they can, into their association, the powerful by wealth or talent, his whole time is occupied in assisting to promote their humbug; and he has absolutely taken it into his head, that the attention he receives from them for his subscriptions is on account of his eloquence as a preacher, and that hitherto he has been altogether in an error with respect to his own abilities. The effect of this is abundantly amusing; ...
— The Ayrshire Legatees • John Galt



Words linked to "Humbug" :   bunk, argot, cant, guile, chicanery, delude, chicane, lead on, deception, jargon, nonsensicality, patois, misrepresentation, cozen, trickery, vernacular, deceit, deceive, hokum, wile, meaninglessness, shenanigan, lingo, goldbrick, slang, nonsense



Copyright © 2022 Dictionary One.com