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Prim   /prɪm/   Listen
Prim

verb
(past & past part. primmed; pres. part. primming)
1.
Assume a prim appearance.
2.
Contract one's lips.
3.
Dress primly.  Synonyms: prim out, prim up.



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"Prim" Quotes from Famous Books



... could see, in his shirt sleeves, cigar in mouth, bent over his microscope: but instead of the unexpected prim voice, he heard a very gay and arch one answer, "Is that a proper way in which to come peeping into an old bachelor's sanctuary, ma'am? Go away this moment, till I make myself fit to ...
— Two Years Ago, Volume II. • Charles Kingsley

... resources of soap and water in her own adornment (for she smelled of suds in the cabin of the Shining Light), and set out by the path from Whisper Cove to Twist Tickle, with never a glance behind, but a prim, sharp outlook, from shyly downcast eyes, upon all the world ahead. A staid, slim little maid, with softly fashioned shoulders, carried sedately, her small head drooping with shy grace, like a flower upon its slender stalk, seeming as she went her dainty ...
— The Cruise of the Shining Light • Norman Duncan

... had once supported them, and now spread abroad in wild confusion, freed from the trammels of trellis work, broken fragments of which still adhered to some of their branches. They grew just as they listed, and resembled well-bred trees, once neat and prim, which, having gone astray, now flaunted but vestiges of whilom respectability. And from tree to tree, and from bough to bough, vine branches hung in confusion. They rose like wild laughter, twined for an instant round some lofty knot, ...
— Abbe Mouret's Transgression - La Faute De L'abbe Mouret • Emile Zola

... movements, we observe a certain restlessness in his eye, as it wanders over the crowded room, seemingly in quest of some one who is not there. At last there is a new arrival, and Miss Warner, a very prim lady and a teacher in the seminary, is announced, together with three of her pupils. As the young girls enter the parlor, Mr. Stanton seems suddenly animated with new life, and we feel sure that one of those young ladies ...
— Tempest and Sunshine • Mary J. Holmes

... of her paint and powder, her lithe body clad in a prim, navy blue frock, the skirt of which came below the tops of her high-laced boots, approached hastily from the women's section. She was tying the strings of her quaint poke-bonnet under her chin, and her ...
— The Rose in the Ring • George Barr McCutcheon

... it is attributable to the fact that she has never been thrown with children, and having always associated with older persons, has insensibly imbibed their staid thoughts, and adopted their quiet ways. I should not be more astonished to see my prim puritanical grandmother yonder step down from the frame, and turn a somersault on the carpet, or indulge in leap-frog, than to find Regina guilty of any boisterous hoidenish behaviour, or unrefined, undignified language. If she had been born on the Mayflower, raised ...
— Infelice • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... her. He's a prim, Sententious sage. If she is bored by him, The lady doth not show it. But there's a furtive glancing of her eye Toward the entry. There comes MARX M'KAY, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, February 1, 1890 • Various

... young Leslie, and looks all the worse because I and Audley are not just the best friends in the world. I can't think what it is," continued Mr. Hazeldean, musingly; "but it seems that there must be always some association of fighting connected with that prim half-brother of mine. There was I, son of his own mother,—who might have been shot through the lungs, only the ball lodged in the shoulder! and now his wife's kinsman—my kinsman, too—grandmother a Hazeldean,—a hard-reading, sober lad, as I am given to understand, can't ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... have everything just so, and Mr. Darling had a passion for being exactly like his neighbours; so, of course, they had a nurse. As they were poor, owing to the amount of milk the children drank, this nurse was a prim Newfoundland dog, called Nana, who had belonged to no one in particular until the Darlings engaged her. She had always thought children important, however, and the Darlings had become acquainted with her in Kensington Gardens, where she spent most of her spare time peeping into perambulators, ...
— Peter and Wendy • James Matthew Barrie

... But th' other candydates know it. Th' sthrongest iv thim—his name is Flannigan, an' he's a re-tail dealer in wines an' liquors, an' he lives over his establishment. Flannigan was nomynated enthusyastically at a prim'ry held in his bar-rn; an' befure Willie Boye had picked out pants that wud match th' color iv th' Austhreelyan ballot this here Flannigan had put a man on th' day watch, tol' him to speak gently to anny raygistered ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume II. (of X.) • Various

... much," she said, as she rose to go; then, in a burst of confidence, added, "Of course, after all, I don't care so much about it myself—but, you know, my aunt—is so dreadfully prim and proper that she couldn't forgive a thing like this. She'd never let Mr. Warrington call ...
— Guy Garrick • Arthur B. Reeve

... than to Nature. Mrs. Huntley was dead, and a maiden sister of Mr. Huntley's, older than himself, resided with them and ruled Ellen; ruled her with a tight hand; not a kind one, or a judicious one; and that had brought out Miss Ellen's self-will. Miss Huntley was very starched, prim, and stiff—very unnatural, in short—and she wished to make Ellen the same. Ellen rebelled, for she much disliked everything artificial. She was truthful, honest, straightforward; not unlike the character of Tom Channing. Miss Huntley complained that she was too straightforward to be ladylike; ...
— The Channings • Mrs. Henry Wood

... 1861. Upon the morning of that day, intelligence was received of such a nature as to render an immediate move advisable. An order to this effect was issued at 2 P.M., just as I had succeeded in rendering habitable a very smart little tent, which had previously belonged to the Spanish General Prim, and had been given by him to Omer Pacha after the campaign on the Danube. At 3 P.M. six battalions paraded with eight guns, and some sappers, the whole under the command of Ali Pacha of Scutari, a General of Brigade. ...
— Herzegovina - Or, Omer Pacha and the Christian Rebels • George Arbuthnot

... tread the shores that he calls home, What white-winged ships have braved the wild sea-foam. Prows of the Norsemen, etched against the blue! Helmets agleam! Faces of wind-bronzed hue! On roll the years, and in a forest green The Princess Pocahontas next is seen; And then in prim white cap and somber gown Lovely Priscilla, Maid o' Plymouth Town. Benjamin Franklin supping at an Inn, A 'prentice lad with all his world to win. Then Washington encamped before a blaze O' fagots, swiftly learning woodland ways. Next the brave times of 1773 When ...
— Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People • Constance D'Arcy Mackay

... Hatchard's roof. The incentive to the celebration had come rather from those who had left North Dormer than from those who had been obliged to stay there, and there was some difficulty in rousing the village to the proper state of enthusiasm. But Miss Hatchard's pale prim drawing-room was the centre of constant comings and goings from Hepburn, Nettleton, Springfield and even more distant cities; and whenever a visitor arrived he was led across the hall, and treated to a glimpse of the group of girls deep in ...
— Summer • Edith Wharton

... Artist, whose undying name With classic Rogers shall go down to fame, Be this thy crowning work! In my young days How often have I, with a child's fond gaze, Pored on the pictur'd wonders[1] thou hadst done: Clarissa mournful, and prim Grandison! All Fielding's, Smollett's heroes, rose to view; I saw, and I believed the phantoms true. But, above all, that most romantic tale[2] Did o'er my raw credulity prevail, Where Glums and Gawries wear mysterious things, That serve at once for jackets and ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... were thin, prim-looking, rather plain children; but Oliver was the very picture of a father's darling, a boy that any childless man would bitterly covet, any childless woman crave and yearn for, with a longing that ...
— Christian's Mistake • Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

... which I quote because it is so absurd. The rooms I live in were owned by a prim old woman who for more than twenty years was my landlady. She and I were great friends, indeed she tended me like a mother, and when I was so ill nursed me as perhaps few mothers would have done. Yet while I was watching on the Road suddenly she came by, and with horror I saw that during all ...
— The Mahatma and the Hare • H. Rider Haggard

... fairly pose as the most persistently malignant of all sources of error in the design of children's literature; but it is to be feared that it was Defoe who first made her aware of the availability of her own venom. She foisted her prim and narrow moral code upon the commonplace adventures of a priggish little boy and his companions; and straightway the whole dreary and disastrous army of sectarians and dogmatists took up the cry, and have been ringing the lugubrious changes on it ever since. There is ...
— Confessions and Criticisms • Julian Hawthorne

... and tubby, with his chest out and his head back, went the prim figure of Mr. May, reminding one of a consequential bird of the smaller species. His plumbago-grey suit fitted exactly—save that it was perhaps a little tight. The jacket and waistcoat were bound with silk braid of exactly the same shade as the cloth. ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... interest in his grave—was a matter of universal astonishment. Her dress was a triumph of tactful discretion, sensible, but not too "touristy"'—Miss Winchelsea had a great dread of being "touristy"—and her Baedeker was carried in a cover of grey to hide its glaring red. She made a prim and pleasant little figure on the Charing Cross platform, in spite of her swelling pride, when at last the great day dawned, and she could start for Rome. The day was bright, the Channel passage would be pleasant, and all the omens promised well. ...
— The Country of the Blind, And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... day Fanny Hutton Her last dress has put on; Her fine lessons forgotten, She died, as the dunce died: And prim Betsy Chambers, Decay'd in her members, No longer remembers Things, ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb IV - Poems and Plays • Charles and Mary Lamb

... veils the view from the street and in between shrubs and arbor lies a small pool of water flowers and goldfish. On the arbor's right, in charming privacy, masked by hollyhocks, dahlias and other tall-maidenly things, lie beds of strawberries and lettuce and all the prim ranks and orders of ...
— The Amateur Garden • George W. Cable

... with the prim and priggish Richardson is Henry Fielding (1707-1754), a big, jovial, reckless man, full of animal spirits, who was ready to mitigate any man's troubles or forget his own by means of a punch bowl or a venison potpie. He was noble born, but seems to have been thrown on the world to shift for himself. ...
— Outlines of English and American Literature • William J. Long

... quaint, precise, and trim, You begin your steps demurely— There's a spirit almost prim In the feet that move so surely, So discreetly, to the chime Of the music that ...
— Dreams and Dust • Don Marquis

... of golden hair, while on his hands and cheeks fall Lucie's blessed tears. The story is filled with lights and shadows, with the tragic and grotesque. While the woman knits, while the heads fall, Jerry Cruncher gnaws his rusty nails and his poor wife "flops" against his business, and prim Miss Pross, who in the desperation and terror of love held Mme. Defarge in her arms and who in the flash and crash found that her burden was dead, is drawn by the hand of a master. And what shall I say of Sidney Carton? Of his last walk? Of his last ride, holding ...
— The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Volume VIII. - Interviews • Robert Green Ingersoll

... a horrid, old-time, hoopskirt-minded prude. My first act of domestic tyranny is to make you find a sedate, prim place for my work and play, where I may know my own blushes when I see them in the mirror, and will have less occasion to ...
— The Voice on the Wire • Eustace Hale Ball

... autumn of 1868 the throne of Spain had been vacant in consequence of a revolution in which General Prim had been the leading actor. It was not easy to discover a successor for the Bourbon Isabella; and after other candidatures had been vainly projected it occurred to Prim and his friends early in 1869 that a suitable candidate might be found in Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... had looked forward through a dull, disappointing day to an evening with Felicite Delord. She was expecting him—she would be greatly disappointed. He sighed a second time, for he was far from happy. Life seemed to be one long constant worry over money matters and Myra Nell. Being a prim, orderly man, he intensely disliked searching for mislaid articles, but he began a systematic hunt; for, knowing Myra Nell's peculiar irresponsibility, he was prepared to find the missing slipper anywhere ...
— The Net • Rex Beach

... kind now; but it will be all the same when I get well. You see, Bear, how can a man be always dawdling about with a lot of girls? There's Dolores bothering with her science, and Fergus every bit as bad; and Mysie after her disgusting schoolchildren; and Val and Prim horrid little empty chatterboxes; and if one does turn to a jolly girl for a bit of fun, their tongues all go to work, so that you would think the skies were going to fall; and if one goes in for a bit of a spree, down comes ...
— Modern Broods • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... this connection may be mentioned a remark of General Prim, one of the leading spirits in the provisional government of 1868. When asked why at that time he did not establish a republic his reply was: "It would have been a republic without republicans." There was no less a dearth of real ...
— The Governments of Europe • Frederic Austin Ogg

... of Musa balanced on one side by a bag and on the other by a fiddle case. From the trim houses, each without exception new, twinkled discreet lights, with glimpses of surpassingly correct domesticity, and the wind rustled loudly through the foliage of the prim gardens, ruffling them as it might have ruffled the unwilling hair of the daughters of an arch-deacon. Nobody was abroad. Absurd thoughts ran through Audrey's head. A letter from Mr. Foulger had followed her to Birmingham, and in the letter Mr. Foulger ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... to talk about something else, Mr. Norris," she said with all the prim stiffness of ...
— Brand Blotters • William MacLeod Raine

... now there 's nought but shy finesse, And mim and prim 'bout mess and dress, That scarce a hand a hand will press Wi' ought o' feeling free; A cauldrife pride aside has laid The hodden gray, and hame-spun plaid, And a' is changed since neebors said Just, How 's a' ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume III - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... even to the number of steps up to the front door and the position of the scraper. In the country, where a new farmhouse is erected about once in twenty years, the styles of architecture are as varied and as irregular as in town they are prim and uniform. The great mass of farmhouses are old, and some are very picturesque. There was a farmhouse I knew which was almost entitled to be taken as the type of an English rural homestead. It was built at a spot where the open wild ...
— The Toilers of the Field • Richard Jefferies

... King, of Alabama, who was elected President pro tempore of the Senate while Colonel Johnson was Vice-President, was a prim, spare bachelor, known among his friends as "Miss Nancy King." When a young man he had accompanied the Minister to Russia, William Pinkney, to St. Petersburg, as Secretary of the Legation of the United States. Residing there for two years, he acquired ...
— Perley's Reminiscences, Vol. 1-2 - of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis • Benjamin Perley Poore

... memories of other days. He could not remember, of course, quite back to the time when the Hyde Street hill had been in an opulent heyday, but the flavor of its quality had trickled through to his generation. This was the section where his mother had languished in the prim gloom of her lamp-shaded parlor before his father's discreet advances. The house was gone ... replaced by a bay-windowed, jig-sawed horror of the '80s, but the garden still smiled, its quaint fragrance ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... one of the girls. Then suddenly they all saw me, and that politely enduring look came over all three faces at once, though Mamie Sue's face is so jolly and round by nature that it is very hard to prim it down suddenly, and I don't believe she would always trouble to put it on for me, only Belle seems to demand it of her as an echo of her sentiments toward me. Some people can't seem to be sure of themselves unless they can get somebody else to ...
— Phyllis • Maria Thompson Daviess

... the city, imagine yourself in some quarters of Dieppe or Calais, or any other of the busier towns in the north of France. The peaked roofs, the unexpected balconies, the ill-regulated gables, and the general individuality of the houses are pleasing to the eye wearied with the prim monotony ...
— Faces and Places • Henry William Lucy

... than I," Count Manuel said, "it may be. It is certain you are younger. Once, Ruric, I would not have lured any dark and prim-voiced young fellow into attempting this adventure, but would have essayed it myself post-haste. Well, but I have other duties now, and appearances to keep up: and people would talk if they saw a well-thought-of nobleman well ...
— Figures of Earth • James Branch Cabell

... surroundings—crowed lustily from the cradle in which, after the fashion of the country, it was tightly strapped. It was a low, grimy room, with one square bit of a window, and far from clean. Dr. Gilly, the prim English biographer of Neff, quaintly says: "Cleanliness is not a virtue which distinguishes any of the people in these mountains; and, with such a nice sense of moral perception as they display, and with such strict attention to the duties of religion, it is astonishing ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Vol. XVII, No. 102. June, 1876. • Various

... dresses down the stairs outside, and two thin little girls, looking excessively proper and prim, came in with an elderly gentlewoman who was their governess and wore a pince-nez to impart the necessary suggestion of a superior intellect. They were the Miss Mutlows, sisters of one of the day-boarders, and ...
— Vice Versa - or A Lesson to Fathers • F. Anstey

... glass case, miniatures all representing the same blue-eyed lady, now with hair curled, now in a ball dress, now in a yellow gown with leg-of-mutton sleeves. And all this—consoles, King of Rome, marshals, yellow-gowned, short-waisted ladies, with that prim stiffness which was considered graceful in 1806, this atmosphere of victory and conquest—it was this more than anything we could say to him that made him accept so naively the ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... Ballarat was a prim town of many churches and strong Wesleyan proclivities, and Eureka had been justified by the concession of nearly all that the diggers fought for. One-armed Peter Lalor was a staid Parliamentarian and a stout Constitutionalist now, and the grave in which Micah Burton and the other rebels ...
— In the Roaring Fifties • Edward Dyson

... was so fond of him, he knew it; yes, he knew all about that tender love, which he so often rejected in a moment of churlish impatience; but still he was sorry afterwards, even though he never showed it. That prim, old-fashioned little woman, with her cramped ways, was his mother; his father had been a drunkard and had been killed at his work: that was his parentage; it was their fault that he led this ...
— The Path of Life • Stijn Streuvels

... what proud words you are using!" The old gentleman again interposed, and a few words sufficed to restore perfect peace; and so they all went to Herr Elias's house to dinner, for he had invited the strangers home with him. Fair Christina received them in holiday attire, all clean and prim and proper; and soon she was wielding the excessively heavy silver soup-ladle with a ...
— Weird Tales. Vol. I • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... Chatty's little workbox with an inclination to put that too out of the way. The rooms at Markland were not so fine as to make such precautions necessary; yet there was a faded splendour about them very different from the limitation and comfortable prim neatness of this. When she had done all that it was possible to do, she sat down to wait for her visitor, trying to read though she could not give much attention to what she read. "Lady Markland is ...
— A Country Gentleman and his Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... these old gardens, with their formal walks and prim parterres; I like also the company by which they are chiefly frequented, consisting of ...
— The Idler in France • Marguerite Gardiner

... was a solid column of the French coming on over that high ground where Commissary General Craigie [279] built his house, and headed by an Officer who was at some distance in advance of the column, he ask'd his servant if his fuzee was stil loaded? (The servant opened the pan, and found it is still prim'd). "Do you see," says Captain Hazen, "that fellow there, waving his sword to encourage those other fellows to come forward?"—Yes, says the servant, I do Sir;—Then, says the Captain again, "just place your back against mine for one moment, 'till I see if I can bring him down." He accordingly ...
— Picturesque Quebec • James MacPherson Le Moine

... friends, and he found himself watching for the little brown face that, half-way across the old meeting-house, would turn round to look for him more than once during the service. At first there was only the top of little Nan Prince's prim best bonnet or hood to be seen, unless it was when she stood up in prayer-time, but soon the bright eyes rose like stars above the horizon of the pew railing, and next there was the whole well-poised little head, and the tall child was possessed by a sense of propriety, ...
— A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches • Sarah Orne Jewett

... of character and capacity that began with our grandfather! But as I go on in life, day by day, I become more of a bewildered child; I cannot get used to this world, to procreation, to heredity, to sight, to hearing; the commonest things are a burthen. The prim obliterated polite face of life, and the broad, bawdy, and orgiastic—or maenadic—foundations, form a spectacle to which no habit reconciles me; and "I could wish my days to be bound each to each" by ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... burst out. "You can't understand. You 're a girl. You like to be prim and neat, and to be good in deportment and ahead in your studies. You don't care for danger and adventure and such things, and you don't care for boys who are rough, and have life and go in them, and all that. You like good little boys ...
— The Cruise of the Dazzler • Jack London

... sudden apprehension of an unusual quality called "the genteel," for no storekeeper in Chaudiere ever opened or shut a shop-door for anybody. She smiled a vacuous smile; she played "the lady" terribly, as, with a curious conception of dignity, she held her body stiff as a ramrod, and with a prim merci sailed into ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... day as I stood at the Bridge of Luckeen, Above the bright water all glancin' an' green, There strayed down the path from the top of the pass Such a slim little, prim little, trim ...
— Sprays of Shamrock • Clinton Scollard

... ear that a life untrammeled by etiquette and form would be a blissful life indeed. And Maggie, listening to the voices which speak to her so oft in the autumn wind, the running brook, the opening flower, and the falling leaf, has learned a lesson different far from those taught her daily by the prim, stiff governess, who, imported from England six years ago, has drilled both Theo and Maggie in all the prescribed rules of high life as practiced in the Old World. She has taught them how to sit and how ...
— Maggie Miller • Mary J. Holmes

... before Bessie came down. She was a great invalid, although her prim and rigid countenance forbore any expression save of severity. She had no pathos about her, not a touch. Whatever her bodily sufferings may have been—and Bessie dimly hinted that they were severe to agony at times—they were resolutely shut within her chamber door; and ...
— On the Church Steps • Sarah C. Hallowell

... distance, that her presence might be no check upon the private conversation of her lord and lady, now came forward; and as she made her reverential curtsy, the Earl could not help smiling at the contrast which the extreme simplicity of her dress, and the prim demureness of her looks, made with a very pretty countenance and a pair of black eyes, that laughed in spite of their mistress's desire ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... been, and never communicative as to her previous history, still might the feeling of pique with which they at first received such a rebuff to their curiosity, have been a very evanescent one in the minds of the villagers, had it not chanced that Aberdeen was blessed (?) with two prim sister-spinsters, (was it they or Aunt Nora, who formed the exception to the general rule? I leave it for thee, dear reader, to decide, since with that early-instilled reverence before mentioned, I cannot ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 3 September 1848 • Various

... America in which to travel great distances, are very remarkable for their many strange adventures, and I was very much interested but also perturbed when the black garcon placed my bag and overcoat upon the floor at the feet of a very prim lady and left me to stand uncomfortably ...
— The Daredevil • Maria Thompson Daviess

... I should have used spei prim, instead of spei alter. Spes is, indeed, often used to express something on which we have a future dependence, as in Virg. Eclog. i. ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... Pastorella had with him the allowance of being blameless; but what was that towards being praiseworthy? To be only innocent is not to be virtuous! He afterwards spoke so much against Mrs. Dipple's forehead, Mrs. Prim's mouth, Mrs. Dentifrice's teeth, and Mrs. Fidget's cheeks that she grew downright in love with him; for it is always to be understood that a lady takes all you detract from the rest of her sex to be a gift to her. In a word, things went ...
— Isaac Bickerstaff • Richard Steele

... that we should banish chaff and jest from our common life, or pretend to be old while still we are young! God forbid that we should be prim and Puritan when the sun shines and life calls! There are no sillier things in life than the mere affectations of intellectuality. Mere solemnity is both an ugly and a futile thing, and nothing is duller than a constant enforced ...
— Men, Women, and God • A. Herbert Gray

... her clad in muslin white, With eyes downcast and manner prim, May well be minded by the sight, Of ...
— Too Old for Dolls - A Novel • Anthony Mario Ludovici

... curious things in the other stockings. Some of them Julia had no use for, such as silk for dresses, China crape shawls and fans, but they were just the things for his Grandmothers, who, after this, sat beside the fireplace, very prim and fine, in stiff silk gowns, with China crape shawls over their shoulders, and Chinese fans in their hands, and queer shoes on their feet. Julia liked their presents just as well as he did his own, and probably the ...
— The Pot of Gold - And Other Stories • Mary E. Wilkins

... Enid sat prim and straight on a chair at the foot of his bed. Her flowered organdie dress was very much like the bouquet she had brought, and her floppy straw hat had a big lilac bow. She began to tell Claude about her father's several attacks of erysipelas. He listened but absently. ...
— One of Ours • Willa Cather

... to me at school, but the life was so dull and prim that I ran off in a gypsy dress of my own making. That is what it is to have gypsy blood in one. I was away for a week the first time, wandering the country alone, telling fortunes, dancing and singing in woods, and sleeping in ...
— The Little Minister • J.M. Barrie

... years or sixty; except for her snowy hair, time seemed to have forgotten her. Her dress was a near approach to the Quaker garb of the followers of Penn. Everything about her was of softest gray; but the face, framed by the prim Quaker bonnet, was as fair as an infant's, and with a child's soft colouring in the cheeks that had not yet lost the charming curves of young womanhood. She looked like a creature whom Life had loved so well that Time had not been permitted to ...
— Against Odds - A Detective Story • Lawrence L. Lynch

... deacon's housekeeper,—Mrs. Tubman having peacefully departed this life some years before,—and, speaking appreciatively of the sex, a more prim, prudent, particular member of it never existed. She had been initiated, some ten years before, into that amiable sisterhood commonly known as spinsters, and was, it might be added, a typical representative. Industrious? ...
— How Deacon Tubman and Parson Whitney Kept New Year's - And Other Stories • W. H. H. Murray

... know," said Krayton, "the organization that calls itself the Prims. Prim for Primitive. They leave little cards and pamphlets around damning the Computer System. I saw one the other day. It had a big title splashed across it: OUR NEW TYRANT—THE COMPUTER. The article complained that some of the new labor and food regulations were the result of conscious reasoning ...
— Two Plus Two Makes Crazy • Walt Sheldon

... Miss Betsey came, straight and prim as usual, but with a different look on her face and tone in her voice from anything Neil had known, as she asked him how he was feeling, and them, sitting down beside ...
— Bessie's Fortune - A Novel • Mary J. Holmes

... that must have been a trial to Ellen," chuckled William, "for she was mighty prim ...
— A Collection of Stories, Reviews and Essays • Willa Cather

... her hair, and she was so scared she swore like he told her. And so she was that afraid of losin' her fine yellow hair afterward, knowin' Father McNally was a man that didn't make no idle threats, that she kept prim ...
— The Spenders - A Tale of the Third Generation • Harry Leon Wilson

... grown-up diners noticed me, or that Mary 'Liza, sitting prim and dainty on her side of our table, had her doll by her in another chair, and interrupted her meal, once in a while, to caress her or to re-arrange her curls and skirts. I affected not to see the pantomime, which I chose to assume was enacted for my further exasperation. I was apparently ...
— When Grandmamma Was New - The Story of a Virginia Childhood • Marion Harland

... Said a prim Bachelor, in a nasty temper, after a struggle with an ultra-stiffened clean shirt, "I should like to indict my laundress at the Old Bailey, charge her with murdering my linen, and, as evidence, I'd produce ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, March 18, 1893 • Various

... the eagerness of all onboard the frigate to take part in the work. The crews of the boats, and those who were to go on the expedition, stood in readiness, with pistols in their belts, and cutlasses at their sides; the marines drawn up, stiff and prim, ready to step into the boats, offering a strong contrast to the blue-jackets, with their rolling, somewhat swaggering movements, while several not told off to go were stealing round in the hopes of being able to ...
— Ronald Morton, or the Fire Ships - A Story of the Last Naval War • W.H.G. Kingston

... The prim and the precise, or the exact, the homogeneous, the single, the puritanic, the mathematic, the pure, the perfect. We can have illusion of this state—but only by disregarding its infinite denials. It's a drop of milk afloat in acid that's eating ...
— The Book of the Damned • Charles Fort

... her prim, cityish way, and Sarah and Delia were so much astonished thereat that they forgot to bow at all, and Delia stared rudely at her black dress. There ...
— Gypsy's Cousin Joy • Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

... a penny apiece for each Gang-er he gets, and twice the money for a Frenchman," the Parson explained. "It stimulates effort," he added, prim as a pedagogue, but with twinkling eye. ...
— The Gentleman - A Romance of the Sea • Alfred Ollivant

... new step. We know it is Miss Phoebe because some of her pretty airs and graces still cling to her in a forlorn way, but she is much changed. Her curls are out of sight under a cap, her manner is prim, the light has gone from her eyes and buoyancy from her figure; she looks not ten years older but twenty, and not an easy twenty. When the children are not looking at her we know ...
— Quality Street - A Comedy • J. M. Barrie

... on his doorstep in the darkness, hearing occasional phrases in Narf's unrelenting abuse. One was: "So prim you had to countermand my order for a key to that lock—then you went out to play with that ...
— —And Devious the Line of Duty • Tom Godwin

... Until the fact was pointed out, we actually did not know that we had a girls' school as close to us as the school for boys. The garden, equally large with the other, affords no sign whatever of any provision for juvenile recreation; but is entirely laid out with prim grass-plots, gravel-walks, shrubs, and flowers, after the usual suburban style. During five months we have not once had our attention drawn to the premises by a shout or a laugh. Occasionally girls may be observed ...
— Woman and Womanhood - A Search for Principles • C. W. Saleeby

... cannot last six months; I would bet that the lightness of the latter emerged first. George Selwyn, hearing some people at Arthur's t'other night lamenting the distracted state of the country, joined in the discourse, with the whites of his eyes and his prim mouth, and fetching a deep sigh, said, "Yes, to be sure it is terrible! There is the Duke of Newcastle's faction, and there is Fox's faction, and there is Leicester-house! between two factions and one faction ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... Lincolnshire, and possibly to my sister Davers's, and be absent some weeks. But, pray, what pretty neat damsel was with you? She says, she smiled, and asked, If his honour did not know who it was? No, said he, I never saw her before. Farmer Nichols, or Farmer Brady, have neither of them such a tight prim lass for a daughter! have they?—Though I did not see her face neither, said he. If your honour won't be angry, said she, I will introduce her into your presence; for I think, says she, she outdoes ...
— Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded • Samuel Richardson

... carpeted and hung with lace curtains! Once a young man of fashion had come to the Waldorf and registered himself and "Miss Elsie Cochrane"; and when the clerk made the usual inquiries as to the relationship of the young lady, it transpired that Miss Elsie was a dog, arrayed in a prim little tea-gown, and requiring a room to herself. And then there was a tale of a cat which had inherited a life-pension from a forty-thousand-dollar estate; it had a two-floor apartment and several attendants, and sat at table and ate shrimps ...
— The Metropolis • Upton Sinclair

... time, had let down the flaps of their cocked hats into slouching, and we must say, most slovenly circular brims. There was a sort of free-and-easy look affected in that day about the head, totally at enmity with the prim rigidity of the cocked beaver; you might have taken off your chapeau rond, as it then came to be called, and you might have sat on it—it would have been never the worse; but not so with its stiff old father—no liberties were to be taken with him; once sit upon him, and you ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 57, No. 351, January 1845 • Various

... himself in possession of the magnificent edition of the Statutes issued by the Record Commission, but let not the unprofessional person who must look short of this imagine that he will find satisfaction in the prim pages of a professional lawyer's modern edition. These, indeed, are not truly the Statutes at large, but rather their pedantic and conventional descendants, who have taken out letters of administration to their wild ancestors. They omit all the repealed Statutes in which these ancestors might be ...
— The Book-Hunter - A New Edition, with a Memoir of the Author • John Hill Burton

... valuable knowledge, he was a cunning and crafty lawyer, picked in the present case to supply the brains to Sir Herbert Templewood's brilliance, and do the jackal work which the lion disdained. The pair were supported by a Crown Solicitor well versed in precedents—a little prim figure of a man who sat with so many volumes of judicial decisions and reports of test cases piled in front of him that only the upper portion of his grey head was visible ...
— The Shrieking Pit • Arthur J. Rees

... could only have laughed! The Bishop, the dear, prim little Bishop in his own carriage, with his arm about a young woman in red and chinchilla, offering her a bank-note, and Mrs. Dowager Diamonds, her eyes popping out of her head at the sight, and she one of the lady pillars of his church—oh, Tom! it took all ...
— In the Bishop's Carriage • Miriam Michelson

... above the two great wings forms a conspicuous landmark. In the days of William and Mary the gardens sloping down to the Thames were laid out in the stiff, formal Dutch style. Canals, in the shape of a capital L, with the foot reaching to the river, intersected prim gardens, and rows of little limes, pollarded like willows, edged the banks. It was only in 1852 that these canals were finally filled in, and the limes transplanted in the avenue bordering Ranelagh Gardens, where they still flourish. The Court favourite of Charles II., Nell ...
— Chelsea - The Fascination of London • G. E. (Geraldine Edith) Mitton

... she talks outside of school," said Suzanna, her voice falling. She fell into prim step as ...
— Suzanna Stirs the Fire • Emily Calvin Blake

... his mind. Once more he heard the old man's genial laugh, and felt the gentle pressure of his hand upon his curls. And then his playing! How little Ludwig had listened enrapt whilst Grandfather Ludwig charmed forth those mysterious melodies which seemed to be locked up at other times in the silent, prim little clavier! Those were delicious day-dreams that Grandfather Ludwig had the power to conjure up in his grandson's mind. But two years had passed since the kindly old musician had gone to his rest, and during those years the surroundings of Ludwig's ...
— Story-Lives of Great Musicians • Francis Jameson Rowbotham

... and their determination to have their own way, quite a bevy of friends accompanied them to the railway station—Miss Martineau was there, looking prim and starched, but with red rims round her eyes, and her lips only stern because they were so firmly shut, and because she was so determined not to show any emotion—Mrs. Jenkins, Poppy's mother, was also present; she was sending up a great bouquet of wild flowers and some eggs and ...
— The Palace Beautiful - A Story for Girls • L. T. Meade

... had never been known before in our prim household, where there was a place for everything, ...
— The Junior Classics Volume 8 - Animal and Nature Stories • Selected and arranged by William Patten

... of the sentry, on the quarter-deck below him, grounding arms, turned the current of his thoughts. A thin, tall, soldier-like man, with a cold blue eye, and prim features, came out of the cuddy below, handing out a fair-haired, affected, mincing lady, of middle age. Captain Vickers, of Mr. Frere's regiment, ordered for service in Van Diemen's Land, was bringing his lady on deck to ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... hours, during same three or four days, a very prim and devout-looking Episcopal clergyman, with a cast in his eye, had visited Alonzo. According to his card, he was the Rev. Melton Hargrave, of Cincinnati. He said he had retired from the ministry on account of his health. If ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... herself. She was awake to his guileful arts, and sailed along with him, hailing his phrases, if he shot a good one; prankishly exposing a flexible nature, that took its holiday thus in a grinding world, among maskers, to the horrification of the prim. So to refresh ourselves, by having publicly a hip-bath in the truth while we shock our hearers enough to be discredited for what we reveal, was a dexterous merry twist, amusing to her; but it was less a cynical malice than her nature that she indulged, ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... the big piled-up drift by the porte-cochere. They shook the snow from their clothes, like puppies from a pond, and laughing and excited trooped indoors. Harriet's cheeks were red from contact with the snow, her usually prim hair was a tangled mass about her face, her big dark eyes had lost their mournful look. They were merry, mischievous, girlish eyes. She was not merely pretty, but beautiful, in a wild, unusual gypsyish way that ...
— Just Patty • Jean Webster

... passage which led from the schoolroom to the nursery, opened the door, and approached a prim old servant with a somewhat cross face, who was ...
— A Little Mother to the Others • L. T. Meade

... itself was of clapboards painted white, and stood four square; its small-paned windows, flanked with green shutters, blinking toward the west. It had a very prim air, said to have been absorbed from Aunt Jed, and seemed to be eternally trying to draw back its skirts from contact with the interloping veranda and the rose-tree, which, toward the end of the flowering ...
— Through stained glass • George Agnew Chamberlain

... dirty water. The eyes were dark, but dull, and without meaning; the hair was black and glossy, but coarse; and there was the admired crop—a long crop, much like the tail of a horse—a switch tail. The fine figure was meagre, prim, and constrained. The beauty, the grace, and the elegance existed, no doubt, in their utmost perfection, but only in the imagination of her partial young sister. Her father, as Harriet told me, was familiarly called 'Jew Westbrook,' and Eliza greatly resembled one of the dark-eyed ...
— Percy Bysshe Shelley • John Addington Symonds

... her life Ann Veronica was utterly disgusted with herself; she was wrung with a passionate and belated desire to move gently, to speak softly and ambiguously—to be, in effect, prim. ...
— Ann Veronica • H. G. Wells

... himself before Louise he scarcely recognized her in the prim, comely change of apparel. The atmosphere of the Yellow Mine had vanished. She had managed to eat some breakfast. Blinky discreetly found a ...
— Valley of Wild Horses • Zane Grey

... My heart beat fast as I espied a wagon in the distance with one—yes, two—Shaker bonnets in it. Bessie in masquerade! Perhaps so—it could not be the other: that would be too horrible. But she was coming, surely coming, and the cold prim sister had ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 31. October, 1873. • Various

... fixed upon the occupants of the stalls. Peter Ruff laid down his glasses with something between a sigh and a groan. There was something to him inexpressibly sad in the sight of his old sweetheart so transformed, so utterly changed from the prim, somewhat genteel young person who had accepted his modest advances with such ladylike diffidence. She seemed, indeed, to have lost those very gifts which had first attracted him. Nevertheless, he kept ...
— Peter Ruff and the Double Four • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... accomplishments and a thorough knowledge of housekeeping, but the rare habit of doing all things with regularity, neatness, decorum, and quietness. The writer of the above letter has also described one of these Pennsylvania schools with its prim teachers and commendable mingling of the practical and the artistic. "The first was merely a sewing school, little children and a pretty single spinster about 30, her white skirt, white short tight waistcoat, ...
— Woman's Life in Colonial Days • Carl Holliday

... even the domestic brutes whom they first played with." That eloquent trait, her love of animals and her hatred of cruelty, helps to define her character. She was, says Godwin, "a worshipper of domestic life," and, for all her proud independence, in love with love. In Godwin's prim phraseology, she "set a great value on a mutual affection between persons of an opposite sex, and regarded it as the principal solace of human life." Indeed, in the Letters to Imlay, which appeared after her death, it is not so much the strength and ...
— Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle • H. N. Brailsford

... trooped in to destroy the order of that prim apartment with housekeeping under the black horse-hair sofa, "horseback riders" on the arms of the best rocking-chair, and an Indian war-dance all over the well-waxed furniture. Eph, finding the society of the peaceful sheep and cows more to his mind than that of two excited sisters, ...
— Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag VI - An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving, Etc. • Louisa M. Alcott

... Bath with a curious kind of interest. I once knew one of those dear old English ladies whom one finds all the world over, with their prim little ways, and their gilt prayer-books, and lavender-scented handkerchiefs, and family recollections. She gave me the idea that Bath, a city where the great people often congregate, was more especially the paradise of decayed gentlewomen. There, she told me, persons with very narrow incomes—not ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... had unconsciously laid aside her fan, lifted her mantilla from her head with both hands, and, drawing it around her shoulders and under her lifted chin, had crossed it over her bosom with a certain prim, automatic gesture, as if it had been the starched kerchief of some remote Puritan ancestress. With her arms still unconsciously crossed, she stooped rigidly, picked up her fan with three fingers, as if it had ...
— The Crusade of the Excelsior • Bret Harte

... waste of good bricks and mortar!—the room was ridiculously large! On the smooth white walls reddish shadows moved in a fantastic procession, and from the big chintz-covered lounge the monstrous blue poppies leaped out of the firelight. The high canopy over the bed was draped with prim folds of damask, and the coverlet was of some quaint crocheted work that hung in fringed ends to the floor. Here again from the threadbare velvet carpet the blue poppies stared ...
— The Miller Of Old Church • Ellen Glasgow

... and gives us a graphic picture of family life, Church services, and the squire of the village {123} playing the part of Sir Roger de Coverley. The house-keeping at Julians, we are told, was in the hands of "Mrs. Anne," an old maiden sister of the squire, who, though a prim, precise little woman, sometimes came down to breakfast a little late, "to find her brother standing on the hearth-rug, with his prayer-book open in his hand, waiting for her arrival to begin prayers to the ...
— Fragments of Two Centuries - Glimpses of Country Life when George III. was King • Alfred Kingston

... the seal of meekness. But there was a distinction about her that neither grief nor poverty could destroy. She was so unmistakably the gentle-woman. In the simple, but dainty white cap, with its floating strings, which modestly covered her dark waving hair, the plain black dress and prim collar fastened with its mourning pin, she made a reposeful picture of the old-fashioned conception of "a ...
— The Dreamer - A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe • Mary Newton Stanard

... leff dese folks dance in de church, am you, Boss Joe?' asked a prim, demure-looking darky, in a black suit, with a white neckerchief and stiff shirt ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol 3 No 3, March 1863 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... unworthy bride. She is much the larger, darker and heavier, and has little of the colouring of her passionate wooer on her wings, though her body is decorated with unexpected red. Her flight, ordinarily, is cumbersome and slow, and her demeanour pensive—almost prim. She seems to be of a steady, matronly disposition, whereas the shape of the wings of her mate alone denotes quite a different ideal of life. He is all alert, charged to the full with nervous energy—free, careless, inconsequent, but ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... bunch of blackberries apparently within reach, and he was about to cross the dewy band of grass which bordered the road, when he recollected that he had just put on clean boots, and the result of a scramble through and among brambles would be unsatisfactory for their appearance in the rector's prim study. So the berries hung in their place, left to ripen, and he went on till a great dragon-fly came sailing along the moist lane to pause in the sunny openings, and poise itself in the clear ...
— The Weathercock - Being the Adventures of a Boy with a Bias • George Manville Fenn

... not boys, you see, and so the same rules do not apply to us, for girls always have to observe the conventions," said Nealie, with the prim little air which she sometimes put on for the sake ...
— The Adventurous Seven - Their Hazardous Undertaking • Bessie Marchant

... Jasper would hurry in and wade through the missives. And when he saw the hungry longing of the desolate soul, and the sweet refinement of the writer came out, and the sterling honesty was revealed in the prim sentences, he relented and went tumultuously over to ...
— Five Little Peppers and their Friends • Margaret Sidney

... strange," he continues, "to go back to England and be respectable? Imagine yourself in a prim little village, posing as a good young widow, playing Lady Bountiful to the poor, and being called on by the county magnates, while I lived a virtuous bachelor life in the dreary ...
— When the Birds Begin to Sing • Winifred Graham

... thrice the friends had met, excuse was sent For more delay, and Jonas was content; Till a tall maiden by her sire was seen, In all the bloom and beauty of sixteen; He gazed admiring;—she, with visage prim, Glanced an arch look of gravity on him; For she was gay at heart, but wore disguise, And stood a vestal in her father's eyes: Pure, pensive, simple, sad; the damsel's heart, When Jonas praised, reproved her for the part. For Sybil, fond of pleasure, gay and light, Had still ...
— Tales • George Crabbe

... Duke of Gramont[35] labors to adduce proof that I did not stand aloof from and averse to the Spanish proposal, I find no reason to contradict him. I can no longer recall the text of my letter to Marshal Prim, which the Duke has heard mentioned; if I drew it up myself, about which I am equally uncertain, I should hardly have called the Hohenzollern candidature "une excellente chose": the expression is not natural to me. That I regarded it as "opportune," not "a un moment donne," but in principle ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. X. • Kuno Francke

... a glance at the prim young, figure by his side, and his voice again developed a plaintive note. "If you only knew what it was like," he continued, "to be mewed up in an office all day, with not a soul to speak to, and the sun shining, perhaps ...
— Salthaven • W. W. Jacobs

... thank you," answered a prim little voice from the dusk below, for only the glow of the fire filled the room ...
— Jack and Jill • Louisa May Alcott

... prim little woman, with honest blue eyes that sometimes made men think of their sins, and when Dusty Rhodes perceived that he had gone a bit too far he endeavored to ...
— Wunpost • Dane Coolidge

... from attempting the higher walks of our profession; but this object of my ambition was gained at last. I had taken a pocket-book from a worthy Quaker, and, unfortunately, was perceived by a man at a shop window, who came out, collared, and delivered me into the hands of the prim gentleman. Having first secured his property, he then walked with me and a police officer to Bow-street. My innocent face, and my tears, induced the old gentleman, who was a member of the Philanthropic Society, not only not to ...
— The King's Own • Captain Frederick Marryat

... endeavoured to destroy the credit of this chronology, and has urged against it the authority of the "Annals of Eutychius!" "De Successione prim. Rom. Episc." He had before laboured to prove that the testimony of these "Annals" is worthless. "Vindic. ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... names were Priscilla and Hortense—she found to be middle-aged maiden ladies, eminently prim and proper, and the educational establishment over which they presided a sort of Protestant nunnery ruled according to the precepts of the Congregational Church and the New England aristocracy. Miss Priscilla was tall and thin and her favorite ...
— Mary-'Gusta • Joseph C. Lincoln

... hose con cone slim slime froze cub cube glad glade these nod node snip snipe gaze met mete shot shote rise plat plate spin spine size flam flame plan plane wise shad shade strip stripe haze mop mope grim grime rose whit white twin twine daze sham shame prim prime those scrap scrape ...
— The Beacon Second Reader • James H. Fassett

... borne in upon the shipping clerk that in the probable arrangement of the proposed party he would be expected to dance attendance upon Miss Violet Prim, leaving P. Sybarite free to devote himself to Miss Lessing. Whereupon ...
— The Day of Days - An Extravaganza • Louis Joseph Vance

... How-do, Sissy?" asked the boy, uncomfortably. He was a very prim child, immaculately dressed, his smooth hair plastered neatly down over his forehead; and he sat bolt upright on the edge of his chair, for he knew well his ...
— The Madigans • Miriam Michelson

... into my hands, not into the basket, and I took a large, delicious mouthful of it while I went by the meek wallflowers standing in a row, like prim maiden ladies, ...
— The Romance of a Plain Man • Ellen Glasgow

... you both like it. I feel a little unusual in it—but I'll settle down. I have been a trifle prim in dress." ...
— The Man Thou Gavest • Harriet T. Comstock

... Copley—of the lovely Dorothy Quincy, who married John Hancock, and afterward became Madam Scott. This lady was a niece of Dr. Holme's "Dorothy Q." Opening on the council-chamber is a large billiard-room; the billiard-table is gone, but an ancient spinnet, with the prim air of an ancient maiden lady, and of a wheezy voice, is there; and in one corner stands a claw-footed buffet, near which the imaginative nostril may still detect a faint and tantalizing odor of colonial punch. Opening also on the council-chamber are several tiny ...
— An Old Town By The Sea • Thomas Bailey Aldrich



Words linked to "Prim" :   tight-laced, press, proper, prudish, habilitate, compress, raiment, primness, strait-laced, garb, priggish, fit out, dainty, squeeze, mincing, square-toed, clothe, garment, change, refined, constrict, dress, tog, compact, contract, apparel, enclothe



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