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Rip van Winkle   /rɪp væn wˈɪŋkəl/   Listen
Rip van Winkle

noun
1.
A person oblivious to social changes.
2.
A person who sleeps a lot.
3.
The title character in a story by Washington Irving about a man who sleeps for 20 years and doesn't recognize the world when he wakens.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Rip van Winkle" Quotes from Famous Books



... beyond eyeshot of the tithing-man, served at intervals as a wholesome reveil. It is true, I have numbered among my parishioners some who are proof against the prophylactick fennel, nay, whose gift of somnolence rivalled that of the Cretan Rip Van Winkle, Epimenides, and who, nevertheless, complained not so much of the substance as of the length of my (by them unheard) discourses. Some ingenious persons of a philosophick turn have assured us that our pulpits were set too high, and ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... those slashing adventures which hold us breathless, appeared on the Pamunkey and crossed the peninsula to City Point, even the armies of the Potomac and James were agitated. The personnel of the man, not less than his renown, affected people. A very Punch of soldiers, a sort of Rip Van Winkle in regimentals, it astonished folks, that with so jolly and grotesque a guise, he held within him energies like lightning, the bolts of which had splintered the fairest parts of the border. But nobody credited General Sheridan with higher genius ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... appearing in America in a periodical form. The most interesting part of this work is the description of an English Christmas, which displays a delicate humor not unworthy of the writer's evident model, Addison. Some stories and sketches on American themes contribute to give it variety; of these Rip Van Winkle is the most remarkable. It speedily obtained the greatest success on both sides of the Atlantic. "Bracebridge Hall," a work purely English in subject, followed in 1822, and showed to what account the American observer had turned his ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... of the band who were at my beck and call within the War Office generally contrived to grapple effectually with whatever they undertook, and amongst them certainly not the least competent and interesting was a Rip Van Winkle, whom we ...
— Experiences of a Dug-out, 1914-1918 • Charles Edward Callwell

... deal of risk, as well as of convenience, in suspended animation. People do not always welcome Rip Van Winkle when he returns to life, as we would all welcome Mr. Jefferson if he revisited ...
— Lost Leaders • Andrew Lang

... Production of George Bristow's opera "Rip van Winkle" at Niblo's Garden, New York City, by the Pyne and ...
— Annals of Music in America - A Chronological Record of Significant Musical Events • Henry Charles Lahee

... country, however, still exist as influential organs. The Quebec Gazette was, some years ago, merged into another Quebec paper—having become long before a memorial of the past in its appearance and dullness, a sort of Rip Van Winkle in the newspaper world. The Canadien has always had its troubles; but, nevertheless, it continues to have influence in the Quebec district, and the same may be said of the Journal de Quebec, though the writer who first gave it power in politics is now ...
— The Intellectual Development of the Canadian People • John George Bourinot

... statement concerning the nations that act as "hosts"? Where it is not based on limited physiocratic views it is founded on the childish error that commodities pass from hand to hand in continuous rotation. We need not wake from long slumber, like Rip van Winkle, to realize that the world is considerably altered by the production of new commodities. The technical progress made during this wonderful era enables even a man of most limited intelligence to note with his short-sighted eyes the appearance of new commodities all around him. The spirit ...
— The Jewish State • Theodor Herzl

... annual reception and play are given by the entire school. The plays for these occasions are written, costumed and staged by the students. Last year the reception was given to Mrs. Dix, wife of the Governor of New York, and the play "Rip Van Winkle" was acted by eighteen hundred girls. Such organizations and activities lead high school students to feel social relationships, and to assume responsibilities as ...
— The New Education - A Review of Progressive Educational Movements of the Day (1915) • Scott Nearing

... men who do one thing in this world who come to the front. Who is the favorite actor? It is a Jefferson, who devotes a lifetime to a "Rip Van Winkle," a Booth, an Irving, a Kean, who plays one character until he can play it better than any other man living, and not the shallow players who impersonate all parts. It is the man who never steps outside of his specialty or dissipates his individuality. It is ...
— Architects of Fate - or, Steps to Success and Power • Orison Swett Marden

... allowed his brain to dawdle over old books and lazily delight in letting the hours slip by. Therefore Travers still looked young, alert,—up to his day, up to anything; while Sir Peter, entering that drawing-room, seemed a sort of Rip van Winkle who had slept through the past generation, and looked on the present with eyes yet drowsy. Still, in those rare moments when he was thoroughly roused up, there would have been found in Sir Peter a glow of heart, nay, even a vigour ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... that the tale of Rip Van Winkle, given in the Sketch-Book, has been discovered by divers writers in magazines to have been founded on a little German tradition, and the matter has been revealed to the world as if it were a foul instance of plagiarism ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... his uncle was well, but it was the old man whose eagerness in holding out his hand made Nicky's advance seem laggard. Nicky had taken a dislike to his uncle; he could not tell why. He flattered himself he was not a snob, but he thought this old Rip Van Winkle a terrible thing to drop into any family out of the blue. Archelaus lowered himself into a chair beside his nephew and began to try and make conversation. There was something pathetic about his evident efforts and Nicky's hidden distaste ...
— Secret Bread • F. Tennyson Jesse

... centuries held the Negro as a chattel should regard him as a being essentially inferior to themselves, and time is required, in the changed condition of affairs, to completely eradicate this idea. Even now, despite the remarkable development of the Negro since his emancipation, occasionally some Rip Van Winkle, awaking from a long sleep, essays to deny the complete humanity of the Negro race. A true believer in the Scriptures must be equally a believer in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of ...
— Twentieth Century Negro Literature - Or, A Cyclopedia of Thought on the Vital Topics Relating - to the American Negro • Various

... fished the mile's length of the pier In a gale full of warmth and moisture Which blew the gulls about like confetti, And flapped like a flag the linen duster Of a fisherman who paced the pier— (Charley called him Rip Van Winkle). The only thing that could be better Than this day on the pier Would be its counterpart in heaven, As Swedenborg would say— Charley is fishing ...
— Toward the Gulf • Edgar Lee Masters

... "Our Chicken Chop Soy." The quartering of the House of Hohenzollern wears a baldric in praise of "Subgum Noodle Warmein," which it seems they cook to an unusual delicacy. Even a wall painting of Rip Van Winkle bowling at tenpins in the mountains is now set off with a pigtail. But the chairs were Dutch and remain as such. Generally, however, Chinese restaurants are on the second story. Probably there is a ritual from the ancient days of Ming Ti that Chinamen when they eat shall sit as ...
— There's Pippins And Cheese To Come • Charles S. Brooks

... road meandered, was rich and beautiful; the weather very fine; and for many miles the Kaatskill mountains, where Rip Van Winkle and the ghostly Dutchmen played at ninepins one memorable gusty afternoon, towered in the blue distance, like stately clouds. At one point, as we ascended a steep hill, athwart whose base a railroad, ...
— American Notes for General Circulation • Charles Dickens

... cuspidors in the lobby, and a new L. & N. time table and a lithograph of Lookout Mountain in each one of the great rooms above. The management was without reproach, the attention full of exquisite Southern courtesy, the service as slow as the progress of a snail and as good-humored as Rip Van Winkle. The food was worth traveling a thousand miles for. There is no other hotel in the world where you can get ...
— Strictly Business • O. Henry

... shoulder, "Bad! Some of you men have your feet too far back." This would particularly disgust him, for at previous practice, taking a gun from a sergeant, he stood in front of us and said, "Let me show you how Rip Van Winkle here in the second squad comes to parade rest," and gave us a ludicrous example of slowness and slovenliness. Then he illustrated, in briskness and correct position, just how ...
— At Plattsburg • Allen French

... of the theatrical season came late, when the good companies stopped off there for one-night stands, after their long runs in New York and Chicago. That spring Lena went with me to see Joseph Jefferson in 'Rip Van Winkle,' and to a war play called 'Shenandoah.' She was inflexible about paying for her own seat; said she was in business now, and she wouldn't have a schoolboy spending his money on her. I liked to watch a play with Lena; everything ...
— My Antonia • Willa Cather

... as sound asleep as Rip Van Winkle that whoop would have aroused him. He hastened to assure the whooper that he ...
— Galusha the Magnificent • Joseph C. Lincoln

... out of the fact that the people have a more healthy look, seem more polite, and that the buildings have a more substantial appearance than those he had formerly looked upon, he has only to imagine, as did Rip Van Winkle, that he has ...
— Three Years in Europe - Places I Have Seen and People I Have Met • William Wells Brown

... I order an assortment of vines and fig trees, go back to the Jornado and become a cattle-king, I proceed to New-York-on-the-Hudson, by the Ess-Pee at 3:15 this A.M. presently, and arouse that somnolent city from its Rip Van Winkle." ...
— The Desire of the Moth; and The Come On • Eugene Manlove Rhodes

... bottom of the dark flight that led to the garret. An oaken case six feet high or more, and a vast dial, with a mysterious picture of a full moon and a ship in full sail that somehow indicated the quarters of the year, if you had been imitating Rip Van Winkle and after a sleep of six months wanted to know whether it was spring or autumn. But only to think that all the while we were puzzling over the moon and the ship and the queer signs on the dial a gun was hidden inside! The case was locked, it is ...
— The Amateur Poacher • Richard Jefferies

... 26. Rip Van Winkle was one of those foolish, well-oiled dispositions, who take the world easy, eat white bread or brown, whichever can be got with least thought ...
— An English Grammar • W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell

... Where he dwelt, how he got upon this high ridge, or how he proposed to get down again, were more than I could fancy. Not far off upon my right was the famous Plan de Font Morte, where Poul with his Armenian sabre slashed down the Camisards of Seguier. This, methought, might be some Rip van Winkle of the war, who had lost his comrades, fleeing before Poul, and wandered ever since upon the mountains. It might be news to him that Cavalier had surrendered, or Roland had fallen fighting with his back against an olive. And while I was thus ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 1 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... his arm and faced the court-room. "It cannot be said of us," he cried, "that we have sat idle in the market-place. We have advanced and advanced in the last ten years, until we have reached the very foremost place with civilized people. This Rip Van Winkle of the past returns to find a city where he left a prairie town, a bank where he spun his roulette wheel, this magnificent court-house instead of a vigilance committee. And what is his part in this new court-house, which to-day, for the first ...
— The Exiles and Other Stories • Richard Harding Davis

... must have real show clothes. Many and surprising were the costumes. Tom White's father had been a member of the Sons of Malta. Young White wore his father's regalia, a cross between the make-up of Captain Kidd and Rip Van Winkle. ...
— Watch Yourself Go By • Al. G. Field

... tight coat. They played under a glaring electric light in the heat of the day, yet they seemed cool, aloof, immune from bodily discomfort. It was a strangely silent game and as mirthless as that of the elfin bowlers in Rip Van Winkle. The slim-waisted shirted figures bent plastically over the table in the graceful postures of the game. You heard only the click of the balls, an occasional low-voiced exclamation. A solemn ...
— Gigolo • Edna Ferber

... without some characters that are no less real because they have lived only in the minds of men. No explanation is needed for semi-historical characters like King Arthur, Robin Hood and William Tell, while Don Quixote, the Prince of Madness, and Rip Van Winkle, the Prince of Laziness, have been included, not because they were essentially heroic in themselves (although Don Quixote might well have claimed the laurel) but because they became heroes in the opinion of others through the very qualities that brought about their downfall. As involuntary ...
— A Treasury of Heroes and Heroines - A Record of High Endeavour and Strange Adventure from 500 B.C. to 1920 A.D. • Clayton Edwards

... intimate opinions of Daniel Webster as he loafed along the banks of the Marshpee,—or is there one in Pennsylvania to-day that might not be drawn with interest and delight to the feet of Joseph Jefferson, telling how he conceived and wrote RIP VAN WINKLE on the ...
— Fisherman's Luck • Henry van Dyke

... Rip Van Winkle: A Legend of the Catskills. A Comparative Arrangement with the Kerr Version. By Charles ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: - Introduction and Bibliography • Montrose J. Moses

... a chance," said Marian, "for one of the plays we're thinking about—and it isn't exactly a play either—brings in a whole lot of tragic characters in a humourous way. It's a general mix-up, you know: Hamlet, and Sairy Gamp, and Rip Van Winkle, and Old ...
— Patty at Home • Carolyn Wells

... once in the midst of a curious-eyed group of people. These, with their long beards and droll clothing and droll manners, made Dave feel as if he were another Rip Van Winkle entering a ...
— Panther Eye • Roy J. Snell

... therefore started back, choosing my course without any reference to the circuitous route by which I had come, and loading heavily and firing at intervals. I must have aroused many long-dormant echoes from a Rip Van Winkle sleep. As my powder got low, I fired and halloed alternately, till I cam near splitting both my throat and gun. Finally, after I had begun to have a very ugly feeling of alarm and disappointment, and to cast ...
— Wake-Robin • John Burroughs

... of Willis and the New England Magazine is very notable in the history of American literature. The traditions of that literature were grave and even sombre. Irving, indeed, in his Knickerbocker and Rip Van Winkle and Ichabod Crane, and in the general gayety of his literary touch, had emancipated it from strict allegiance to the solemnity of its precedents, and had lighted it with a smile. He supplied a quality of grace and cheerfulness which it had lacked, and without unduly ...
— Literary and Social Essays • George William Curtis

... the window, examined the sash, considered the sheer depths immediately below, its lack of vicinity to other windows, and last, the strong fastenings, to disturb which would involve a degree of rasp and wrench sufficient to disturb the slumbers of a Rip Van Winkle. ...
— The Flaw in the Sapphire • Charles M. Snyder

... pleasing American writer who visited Westminster Abbey, made Rip Van Winkle wake up, ...
— Who Was Who: 5000 B. C. to Date - Biographical Dictionary of the Famous and Those Who Wanted to Be • Anonymous

... it so that one sip would have an insomnia patient in dreamland before he had time to say "Good night". That stuff Rip Van Winkle drank had nothing on my coffee. And ...
— The Little Nugget • P.G. Wodehouse

... Rip Van Winkle with which the American writer Washington Irving has made us so familiar, the ne'er-do-weel Rip wanders off into the Kaatskill Mountains with his dog and gun in order to escape from his wife's scolding tongue. Here he meets the spectre crew of Captain Hudson, and, after partaking ...
— Queen Victoria • E. Gordon Browne

... other industries; but the most important of these have now ceased; and as you walk along the quiet, shady streets, you meet only occasionally some stout, little old man, in a short light-blue jacket and a tall and very broad-brimmed hat, looking amazingly like Hendrick Hudson's men in the play of Rip Van Winkle; or some comfortable-looking dame, in Norman cap and stuff gown; whose polite "good-day" to you, in German or English as it may happen, is not unmixed with surprise at sight of a strange face; for, as you will presently ...
— The Communistic Societies of the United States • Charles Nordhoff

... omnibus 'right up.' 'Rather queer!' he would say; 'a hot sun, sandy street, and not a carriage to be seen! There's a man out in his slippers, and a woman with her head tied up in a handkerchief—may-be a night-cap; probably some old Dutch settlers that went to-sleep with RIP VAN WINKLE. Wild turkeys, as I live, all about the market!—and oh, LORD! there's a little nigger with only a shirt on! Halloo there! you little nigger! tell me the way to the Broadway coaches! No coaches? no ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, January 1844 - Volume 23, Number 1 • Various



Words linked to "Rip van Winkle" :   slumberer, sleeper, traditionalist, character, fictional character, diehard, fictitious character



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