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Sham   /ʃæm/   Listen
Sham

noun
1.
Something that is a counterfeit; not what it seems to be.  Synonyms: fake, postiche.
2.
A person who makes deceitful pretenses.  Synonyms: fake, faker, fraud, imposter, impostor, pretender, pseud, pseudo, role player, shammer.



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"Sham" Quotes from Famous Books



... ELLEN,—I return the letter. It is, as you say, very genuine, truthful, affectionate, maternal—without a taint of sham or exaggeration. Mary will love her child without spoiling it, I think. She does not make an uproar about her happiness either. The longer I live the more I suspect exaggerations. I fancy it is sometimes a sort of fashion for ...
— Charlotte Bronte and Her Circle • Clement K. Shorter

... appreciate, and be capable of applying them, he enters into details as to the physiological circumstances connected with the procreation of the species. The Solicitor-General says—and that was the first proposition with which he started—that the whole of this is a delusion and a sham. When Knowlton says that he wishes that marriage should take place as early as possible—marriage being the most sacred and holy of all human relations—he means nothing of the kind, but means and suggests, in the sacred name of marriage, illicit intercourse between the sexes, or a kind of prostitution. ...
— Autobiographical Sketches • Annie Besant

... under this head: there is nothing to the purpose, in any of them; the common principle of ellipsis resolves them all. Yet, strange to say, in the latest and most learned of this sort of text-books, we find the same sham example, fictitious and solecistical as it is, still blindly repeated, to show that "does" is not in its own place, as an auxiliary, but "supplies the place of another verb."—Fowler's E. ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several subsequent sham elections, as well as through the use of brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion led by Laurent KABILA. He renamed the country the Democratic ...
— The 2007 CIA World Factbook • United States

... would reject his own son. Nothing will serve. Recommendations defeat their object. An unquestioned Roumanian ancestry, an extraction indisputably Japanese, find no more favor in his eyes than an assumed stammer, a sham deafness, or a convalescent pallor put on for the occasion. East and west are alike in his sight. The retired registrar, the pensioned usher aspiring late in life to some petty magistrature, are powerless to ...
— The Ink-Stain, Complete • Rene Bazin

... my lord's man sought me out, for he fancies me your honour's valley-de-sham,and sae I am, there's nae doubt o't, baith your honour's and the minister'sat least ye hae nae other that I ken o'and I gie a help to Sir Arthur too, but that's mair in the way ...
— The Antiquary, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... his waistcoat, it was almost impossible to detect the agreeable sham, which, under favorable auspices, could be made to ...
— The Flaw in the Sapphire • Charles M. Snyder

... Samurai. But there were horrors, too; notably the senile amorousness of Zakkuri and the offensive little figure of It, his shadow—an interpolation in the bill of fare. A properly qualified dwarf I might have welcomed; but this precocious babe with the false moustache and the sham bald crown and the cynical giggle, who ought to have been in the nursery instead of serving his master with liquid stimulants and assisting in all sorts of wickedness, was a peculiarly nauseating object, and got on my nerves far more than the terrors of the torture-chamber. This painful business ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, January 28, 1914 • Various

... Hampden; that, with dauntless breast, The base invaders of his rights withstood," was surprised in his own house by major Weymies, who tore him away from his shrieking wife and children, marched him up to Cheraw court-house, and after exposing him to the insults of a sham trial, had him condemned and hung! The only charge ever exhibited against him was, that he had shot across Black river at one of Weymies' ...
— The Life of General Francis Marion • Mason Locke Weems

... British and Foreign Institute (and heaven forbid I should go under any pretext or in any costume whatever)—if I should go to one of the tea-parties in a dressing-gown and slippers, and not in the usual attire of a gentleman, viz, pumps, a gold waistcoat, a crush hat, a sham frill, and a white choker—I should be insulting society, and EATING PEASE WITH MY KNIFE. Let the porters of the Institute hustle out the individual who shall so offend. Such an offender is, as regards society, a most emphatical and refractory Snob. It has its code and police ...
— The Book of Snobs • William Makepeace Thackeray

... his arm. So little did I know it that my heart began to be drawn to St. Germain, where I still imagined you. Altogether, after that prank, all broke out again. I entertained the lads with a few more freaks, for which I did ample penance, but it grew on me that in my case all was a weariness and a sham, and that my demon might get a worse hold of me if I got into a course of hypocrisy. They were very good to me, those fathers, but Jesuits as they were, I doubt whether they ever fathomed me. Any way, perhaps they thought I should be a scandal, but they agreed with me that their ...
— A Reputed Changeling • Charlotte M. Yonge

... It was ill usage, gross abuse, Treason to duty, meanness, craft—dishonour! What if I'd thrown my heart before the feet Of this sham husband! cast my love away Upon a counterfeit! I was prepared To force affection upon any man Called Lanciotto. Anything of silk, Tinsel, and gewgaws, if he bore that name, Might have received me for ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Francesca da Rimini • George Henry Boker

... about to speak when Hannah, delighted with a chance to disturb Nellie, answered for her. "It's my opinion that headache was all a sham, for you hadn't been gone an hour, afore he was over here in the garden with Maude, where he stayed ever so long. Then he came agen this afternoon, and hasn't ...
— Cousin Maude • Mary J. Holmes

... pride. Who knows but the naturalist stands somewhat in awe of his grandson?—for as the youngster reaches for his "Teddy," and says sententiously, "Bear!" the elder never ventures a word about the dangers of "sham ...
— Our Friend John Burroughs • Clara Barrus

... political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several subsequent sham elections as well as through the use of brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion led by Laurent ...
— The 2005 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... troops, and also of those which had accompanied the expedition; the incense trees, the strange animals, the many products of the distant country, were exhibited; a tame leopard, with his negro keeper, followed the soldiers; a band of natives, called Tamahu, engaged in a sort of sham-fight or war-dance. The misshapen queen and the chiefs of the land of Punt, together with a number of Nubian hunters from the region of Chent-hen-nefer, which lay far up the course of the Nile, were conducted to the ...
— Ancient Egypt • George Rawlinson

... almost all of us were poor he took up a swaggering tone among us. He was vulgar in the extreme, but at the same time he was a good-natured fellow, even in his swaggering. In spite of superficial, fantastic and sham notions of honour and dignity, all but very few of us positively grovelled before Zverkov, and the more so the more he swaggered. And it was not from any interested motive that they grovelled, but simply because he had been favoured ...
— Notes from the Underground • Feodor Dostoevsky

... mines of Midian until this den of thieves is cleared out. It is an asylum for every murderer and bandit who can make his way there—a centre of turbulence which spreads trouble all around it. Under the sham rule of miserable Shm (Syria), with its Turkish Wlis, men like the late Rshid Pasha, matters can only wax worse. Subject to Egypt, the people will learn discipline and cease to torment ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 1 • Richard Burton

... with one, hand, while he crumpled it up with the other. "They've made him lieutinant-gineral! The demndest booby in the regiment, sir! A fellow who's seen no service and never heard a shot fired in anger. They promoted him on the stringth of a sham fight, bedad! He commanded a definding force operating along the Thames and opposing an invading army that was advancing from Guildford. Did iver ye hear such infernal nonsense in your life? And there's Stares, and Knight, and Underwood, and a dozen more ...
— The Firm of Girdlestone • Arthur Conan Doyle

... ground, An' took, in line, a so'jer's pleaece, Vor Nanny's cloke an' frighten'd feaece; While vo'k did laugh an' shout To zee her cloke stream out, As she did wheel about, A-cryen, "Oh! la! dear!" in fright, The while her ho'se did play sham fight. ...
— Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect • William Barnes

... often the case, led to evidence, and evidence has led to confession and to certainty. And the district attorney now desires me to say to you that the chief officer of the bank—who held the second key to the safe—is now under arrest for a heavy defalcation, which a sham robbery was to conceal, and that you may find the prisoner at the bar—not guilty. I congratulate you, gentlemen, that you had not ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 9 • Various

... consider whether truth or a lie was likely to have paid best in that particular case. Religion he thinks one of the smartest business dodges extant, a firstrate investment, and by all odds the most respectable disguise that a lying or swindling business man can wear. Honor he thinks is a sham. Honesty he considers a plausible word to flourish in the eyes of the greener portion of our race, as you would hold out a cabbage leaf to coax a donkey. What people want, he thinks, or says he thinks, is something good to eat, something ...
— The Humbugs of the World • P. T. Barnum

... stop, then moves on, coming closer and closer. With the moon behind his back, his face is in shadow, and cannot be seen by Clancy. But it is not needed for his identification. The dress and figure are sufficient. Cut sharply against the sky is the figure of a plumed savage; a sham one Clancy knows, with a thrill of fresh despair, recognising ...
— The Death Shot - A Story Retold • Mayne Reid

... wait. Besides, we need not imagine that it is possible to go on like this until our patience is exhausted. Sooner or later, flurried by my pestering, the Scarites refuses to sham dead. Scarcely is he laid on his back after a fall, when he turns over and takes to his heels, as though he judged a stratagem which succeeded so indifferently to ...
— The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles • Jean Henri Fabre

... like to see any o' youse pretendin' you was dead while a big bear was poundin' you that hard that you begin to believe you ain't shammin'. An' when that ugly brute hauls off an' hits me agen, I decides then an' there that there's no occasion to sham it. But just as soon as I makes up my mind I'm dead, the bear leaves me; an' when I can no longer hear him breathin', I peeps out of a tiny little hole, and sees the big brute maulin' me old friend the Injun. Then I takes another peep roun', ...
— The Drama of the Forests - Romance and Adventure • Arthur Heming

... truth, Nature's right truth would have made them free. They have become enchanted; stagger spell-bound, reeling on the brink of huge peril, because they were not wise enough. They have forgotten the right Inner True, and taken up with the Outer Sham-true. They answer the Sphinx's question wrong. Foolish men cannot answer it aright! Foolish men mistake transitory semblance for eternal fact, and go ...
— Past and Present - Thomas Carlyle's Collected Works, Vol. XIII. • Thomas Carlyle

... dash and freedom of it all! The perfect trust, each in the other. The absence of all coquetry and allurement, of all pretence or sham. Just chums, good fellows, born comrades; joining in the same laugh, stilled by the same thoughts; absorbed in the same incidents, no matter how trivial: the hiving of a swarm of bees, the antics of a pair of squirrels, or the unfolding of a new rose. ...
— Colonel Carter's Christmas and The Romance of an Old-Fashioned Gentleman • F. Hopkinson Smith

... driveling, tiresome travel-letters of that period. They preached a new gospel in travel-literature: the gospel of seeing with an overflowing honesty; a gospel of sincerity in according praises to whatever seemed genuine, and ridicule to the things considered sham. It was the gospel that Mark Twain would continue to preach during his whole career. It became his chief literary message to the world-a world waiting for ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... He visited quite a number of ships and yachts in the harbour, and at each refusal the price of his treasure came down, until he was eager to sell it for a few francs. But still no one would have it. Everyone took it for granted that the pearl was a sham, and most of the persons whom he accosted assumed that it had been stolen. The position was getting desperate. Evening was approaching—the time of the dreaded dog-watches—and still the pearl was in his possession. Gladly would he now have given it away for nothing, but he dared not try, for ...
— John Thorndyke's Cases • R. Austin Freeman

... without the company of his wife, if he could thereby have regained his former influence with Rosa; but he was disinclined to take so much trouble to free her entirely from him. When he promised to send the papers, he intended to satisfy her with a sham certificate, as he had done with a counterfeit marriage; but he deferred doing it, because he had a vague sense of satisfaction in being able to tantalize the superior woman over whom he felt that he no longer had any ...
— A Romance of the Republic • Lydia Maria Francis Child

... was fonder of Charles Baxter than of anyone else, save his sister. He hated sham and cant: if a man had a single reality in him the old Doctor found it; and Charles Baxter in many ways exceeds any man I ever knew in the downright quality of genuineness. The Doctor was never tired of telling—and with humour—how he once went to Baxter to have a table made ...
— Adventures In Contentment • David Grayson

... take in party fray, With troops from Billingsgate's slang-whanging tartars, I fear no Pope—and let great Ernest play At Fox and Goose with Foxs' Martyrs! I own I laugh at over-righteous men, I own I shake my sides at ranters, And treat sham-Abr'am saints with wicked banters, I even own, that there are times—but then It's when I've got my wine—I ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... we should have a real neutrality wherever neutrality in religion is desired. If the Bible cannot be defended in these schools it should not be attacked, either directly or under the guise of philosophy or science. The neutrality which we now have is often but a sham; it carefully excludes the Christian religion but permits the use of the schoolrooms for the destruction of faith and for ...
— In His Image • William Jennings Bryan

... indispensable element in his life; but the tendency has remained and sometimes shows itself. All that can be traced of this quality in the daughter is a certain power of keen discernment, which saves her from being cheated by the sham paupers who abound in the neighborhood of Carvel Place, and from being led into spoiling the school-children with too many feasts ...
— Paul Patoff • F. Marion Crawford

... There is a vast deal of fact in the story, and some pretty good comedy. It is the first realistic South Sea story; I mean with real South Sea character and details of life. Everybody else who has tried, that I have seen, got carried away by the romance, and ended in a kind of sugar candy sham epic, and the whole effect was lost—there was no etching, no human grin, consequently no conviction. Now I have got the smell and look of the thing a good deal. You will know more about the South Seas after you have read my little tale than if you had read a ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and think themselves Liberal when they are defending the ideas of Henry VII, and gentlemanly when they are opposing to them the ideas of Richard III. Thus the educated man is a greater nuisance than the uneducated one: indeed it is the inefficiency and sham of the educational side of our schools (to which, except under compulsion, children would not be sent by their parents at all if they did not act as prisons in which the immature are kept from ...
— Back to Methuselah • George Bernard Shaw

... French peasant idyls of Auerbach and George Sand. They embodied a return to Nature in a spirit that may, with a difference, be called Wordsworthian. They substituted a real nineteenth-century pastoral for the sham pastoral of the eighteenth century. They reproduced the simple style of the sagas, and reduced life to its primitive elements. The stories of 'Fiskerjenten' (The Fisher Maiden: 1868), and 'Brude Slaaten' (The Bridal March: ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... foe to the trickery of the ignorant or half-prepared advocate, but the veteran practitioners around him are quick to detect every sign of mental weakness, disingenuous artifice, or disposition to substitute sham for reality. Forensic life is, to a large extent, life in the broad glare of day, under the scrutiny of keen-eyed observers and merciless critics. In every cause there are two attorneys engaged, of whom one ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 6 • Various

... appearances is precious indeed; but confidence that crumbles like Jericho's walls at the blast of Joshua's trumpets, is as worthless a sham as a cable whose strands part at the first taut strain. Sister Ruth, there are reasons why I go away alone, to an unknown destination; and I am about to tax your trust yet more severely, when I tell you that I need the disguise of the 'Umilta' uniform. I ask your permission ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... quibbling, and malicious suits, entirely foreign to the merits of the cause. Not to mention numberless other acts of oppression, the most extraordinary and unprecedented proceeding, by means whereof this sham writ of error hath been kept on foot ever since November, 1743, is to me," said the doctor, "a most flagrant instance not only of the prevalency of power and money, when employed, as in the present case, against an unfortunate helpless man, disabled, as ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... this night and these words; to remember that we are what we are, and precious in the eyes of the world, because centuries ago those who were of single mind and of pure hand so created us, scorning sham and haste and counterfeit. Well do I recollect my master, Augustin Hirschvogel. He led a wise and blameless life, and wrought in loyalty and love, and made his time beautiful thereby, like one of his own rich, many-colored church casements, that ...
— Bimbi • Louise de la Ramee

... of so-called male superiority bears a certain stamp of spuriousness and sham. It is to natural history what chivalry was to human history; ... a sort of make-believe, play, or sport of nature of an airy unsubstantial character. The male side of nature shot up and blossomed out in an unnatural, ...
— The Truth About Woman • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... to sing a song telling us in the Neapolitan dialect that his notion of happiness was to stroll up and down the Toledo ogling the girls. When he had finished acknowledging the applause he departed and his place was taken by a lady no longer young, in flimsy pale blue muslin, a low neck and sham diamonds. There lingered about her a hungry wistfulness, as though she were still hoping to get a few more drops of enjoyment out of the squeezed orange ...
— Castellinaria - and Other Sicilian Diversions • Henry Festing Jones

... had only contributed two "bed-spreads," and a "sheet-sham," and a set of antimacassars. If the reader wishes to know what "bed-spreads" and "sheet-shams" are, let him ask his intended, and let him see to it that he marries a woman who cannot ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley

... emotions up to now had been pleasantly and superficially stirred, suddenly saw the play from a new angle. With quick imagination she visualized the great reality of which all this was but a clever sham. She saw Quin passing through it all, not to the thunder of stage shrapnel and the glare of a red spot-light, but in the life-and-death struggle of those eighteen months in the trenches. Before she knew it, she too was gazing absently into space, shaken ...
— Quin • Alice Hegan Rice

... back; spoke in a church-meeting soon after of the prevalence of Tom Paine's opinions among the lower classes. Half of our sham preachers take the vague name of "Paine" to cover all of Christ's opponents,—not ranking themselves there, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... than a certainty, but strong enough to induce him to alter his tactics. Leaving the girl, he set off on the track of the sham beggar. ...
— The Blonde Lady - Being a Record of the Duel of Wits between Arsne Lupin and the English Detective • Maurice Leblanc

... governors of the Bank of England, to whom, in the early part of the nineteenth century, all Bank of England notes were made payable. A bank-note was called an "Abraham Newland;" and hence the popular song, "I've often heard say, sham Ab'ram you may, but must not ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... familiar to every genuine man of action, in which, though the mind divides against itself, and there is an apparently even conflict between two impulses, the battle is lost and won before it is fought, and the fight is nothing but a sham fight. He wandered about the roofs; he went as far as the restaurant garden, and turned on all the electric festoons and standards by the secret switch, and sat down solitary at a table before an empty glass which a waiter had forgotten to remove. ...
— Hugo - A Fantasia on Modern Themes • Arnold Bennett

... experience in the art of directing operations of war—of command-in-chief—can be stored, is by far the most comprehensive and thorough; for while utility cannot be denied to annual manoeuvres, and to the practice of the sham battle, it must be remembered that these, dealing with circumstances limited both in time and place, give a very narrow range of observation; and, still more important, as was remarked by the late General Sherman, the moral elements of danger and uncertainty, which count for so much in real ...
— Lessons of the war with Spain and other articles • Alfred T. Mahan

... winter, and got up by certain men who had banded together to revenge their defeat on that occasion, and ruin his client, boldly demanded that the prisoner should be discharged, or his conspiring enemies be compelled to proceed at once with "their sham prosecution," as he put on the ...
— Gaut Gurley • D. P. Thompson

... step in his business with these sham Ministers, and yet imagined that he got daily ground. I made no progress with the true ones, but I saw it. These, however, were not our only difficulties. We lay under another, which came from your ...
— Letters to Sir William Windham and Mr. Pope • Lord Bolingbroke

... But every child in the union knows that the most famous products of Connecticut are Yankee notions, nutmegs made of wood and clocks that won't go. Now, your Civil Service Reform is just such another Yankee notion; it's a wooden nutmeg; it's a clock with a show case and sham works. And you know it! You are precisely the old-school Connecticut peddler. You have gone about peddling your wooden nutmegs until you have got yourself into Congress, and now you pull them out of your pockets and not only want ...
— Democracy An American Novel • Henry Adams

... Fred Badger, and listening to what he had to say from time to time. Apparently Fred was as indignant as any of them, and so far as Jack could tell there was not a particle of sham about his fervent denunciation of the evil deed contemplated by those strangers anxious to beat the Chester people, who wagered with them, out of ...
— Jack Winters' Baseball Team - Or, The Rivals of the Diamond • Mark Overton

... stage-carpenter. His pompous spectacles fired the younger man not only with "Rienzi." They indubitably gave him the courage to create an operatic art that celebrated the new gold and power and magnificence, and was Grand Opera indeed. If the works of the one were sham, and those of the other poetry, it was only that Wagner realized what the other sought vainly all his life to attain, and was ...
— Musical Portraits - Interpretations of Twenty Modern Composers • Paul Rosenfeld

... antiquity, with the view and pretension of excavating the ideal world buried under it, and to hold up to the present the mirror of the classical and everlasting standards. That these wholly different scientific and aesthetico-ethical impulses have been associated under a common name, a kind of sham monarchy, is shown especially by the fact that philology at every period from its origin onwards was at the same time pedagogical. From the standpoint of the pedagogue, a choice was offered of those elements which were of the greatest educational value; and thus that science, or ...
— Homer and Classical Philology • Friedrich Nietzsche

... calamities, they behaved with patience and modesty towards the government, and upon occasion of the Rye-house plot in 1682, thought proper to declare their innocence of that sham plot, in an address to the king, wherein, appealing to the Searcher of all hearts, they say, their principles do not allow them to take up defensive arms, much less to avenge themselves for the injuries they received ...
— Fox's Book of Martyrs - Or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant - Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs • John Fox

... was considerable excitement at the station in the Rue Stephenson. Detectives, inspectors, real or sham hooligans, were ...
— The Exploits of Juve - Being the Second of the Series of the "Fantmas" Detective Tales • mile Souvestre and Marcel Allain

... a plan to make a feint, or a sham attack, on the English forts where they were strongest, on the Orleans side of the river. The English on the left side would cross to help their countrymen, and then the French would take the forts beyond the bridge. Thus they would have a free path across the river, and would easily get ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... We have passed through this dressing station some thousands of cases, and we may have had eight or ten malingerers. But this is not all sham. There is a strong mixture of hysteria and suggestion with the sham. A chap with a highly organised temperament gets buried by a shell. That is a terrific nerve shock. He sees two or three chaps blown to bits. Another nerve shock. Now he has heard about shell ...
— The Sky Pilot in No Man's Land • Ralph Connor

... a sham, and Toby, who was quite out of breath with excitement, was much incensed at ...
— Typee - A Romance of the South Sea • Herman Melville

... Longfellow tells us: 'Things are not what they seem.' You appear disinclined to believe that I am one of those 'whited sepulchres,' outwardly fair and comely, but filled with unsavoury dust and ugly grinning skulls? Life is a huge sham, and we are all masked puppets, jumping grotesquely, just as the strongest hands pull the wires. Regina, I have gone to and fro upon the earth long enough to learn that the most acceptable present is never labelled advice; nevertheless, I would fain warn your ...
— Infelice • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... the men, performing the most extravagant and peculiar dances to the sound of twenty or thirty tomtoms, or great drums, six feet long. The whole thing made the most extraordinary clatter and uproar. When we got near the fort, the crowd executed a sham assault on it, the big gun in the citadel was fired, and I made my triumphal entry between two rows of soldiers in red Danish uniforms. Nothing ...
— Memoirs • Prince De Joinville

... these old companions, and the fact that all had a habit of looking up to him increased his pleasure in their occasional society. If, as happened once or twice in half a year, several of them were gathered together at his house, he tasted a sham kind of social and intellectual authority which he could not help relishing. On such occasions he threw off his habitual gloom and talked vigorously, making natural display of his learning and critical ability. The topic, ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... was really nothing to prevent us taking possession of the ship. The crew were a set of ruffians, specially picked for the job. The sham chaplain came into our cells to exhort us, carrying a black bag, supposed to be full of tracts; and so often did he come that by the third day we had each stowed away at the foot of our bed a file, a brace of pistols, a pound of powder, and twenty slugs. Two of the ...
— The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 28, April 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... you are determined to snap your fingers at them! Your plan is a good one, but you will find no one to aid you in a sham marriage!" ...
— Old Fritz and the New Era • Louise Muhlbach

... out to look at the town, we heard a brisk and continued discharge of musketry, and, proceeding in the direction of the sound, came to a large field, evidently set apart as a parade-ground, on which several hundred youths were practicing the art of war in a sham fight, and keeping up a spirited fire at each other with blank cartridges. On inquiry, we were told that these were the boys of the schools of St. Gall, from twelve to sixteen years of age, with whom military exercises ...
— Letters of a Traveller - Notes of Things Seen in Europe and America • William Cullen Bryant

... well made, middling long black hair, speaks English tolerably well, he was formerly a servant to a German Hessian officer, one Mr. Seiffort, Lieutenant in Capt. Schoels regiment, has very much the art and behaviour of a sham beau and has a variety of cloaths, viz. a Maroon Coat, a brown ditto, lined with light blue silk, the one had Gold the other Silver Buttons, a brown Great Coat and a variety of Waistcoats and Breeches: Whoever will apprehend the said Run-away, so as the subscriber may have him in ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 5, 1920 • Various

... occur to him that he had not put on his jacket, and resuming this, and proving its many buttons to be a sham, for it fastened in a feminine manner by means of a series of hooks and eyes, he made a bound to the settee, grinning with pleasure as he threw it open, dived down, and brought out a glistening white human skull, handling it with a weird kind of ...
— The Bag of Diamonds • George Manville Fenn

... here writing by lamplight at midday, in the midst of a great city of shallow social sham, of hopeless, squalid poverty, of ignorant selfishness, cultured or brutish, and of noble and heroic endeavour frowned down or callously neglected, I am almost aware of a burst of sunshine in the room, and a long form leaning over my ...
— Children of the Bush • Henry Lawson

... window is somewhat larger than it should be to accord with the scale of the whole facade, while the apparently built up windows above the genuine windows of the nave aisles, whose roofs have their apex about on a level with the sills of the large central lancets, are as much frauds as any of those sham windows in symmetrical Renaissance work, which so excite the ire of ardent champions ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Salisbury - A Description of its Fabric and a Brief History of the See of Sarum • Gleeson White

... new Embassy had just come from the Duke of Burgundy, and another sham private trade of some sort ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... society, or threaten the overthrow of any of the fundamental privileges held by the rich. The political campaigns, except that later contest which decided the eventual fate of chattel slavery, were, in actuality, sham battles. Never were the masses so enthusiastic since the campaign of 1800 when Jefferson was elected, as they were in 1832 when they sided with President Jackson in his fight against the United States Bank. They considered this contest as ...
— History of the Great American Fortunes, Vol. I - Conditions in Settlement and Colonial Times • Myers Gustavus

... but half-hardy still, Die on a south, and on a north wall chill. Had we stayed Puritans! They had some heat, (Though whence derived I have my own conceit,) But you have long ago raked up their fires; Where they had faith, you've ten sham-Gothic spires. 80 Why more exotics? Try your native vines, And in some thousand years you may have wines; Your present grapes are harsh, all pulps and skins, And want traditions of ancestral bins That ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... a little practice we got so we could adjust them in a remarkably short time. We were also given our steel helmets while here, and we realized fully that we were getting nearer and nearer to the scene of action, and that our sham warfare would soon give way to actual fighting. We were also drilled in rifle shooting and by the time we were ready to leave, we were in every way fit to participate in the great struggle in which we were ...
— In the Flash Ranging Service - Observations of an American Soldier During His Service - With the A.E.F. in France • Edward Alva Trueblood

... as was whispered, in one day as many as seven hundred drops of laudanum? Some said he took these doses to deaden the pain. But others, and among them his brother Cumberland, declared that the sprain was all a sham. I hope it was. The thought of a voluptuary in pain is very terrible. In any case, I cannot but feel angry, for Georges own sake and that of his kingdom, that he found it impossible to keep further aloof from the wearisome troubles of political life. His wretched indecision of character made him ...
— The Works of Max Beerbohm • Max Beerbohm

... that delights you, can't help seeing through an injustice, can't help seeing through shams of all kinds—sham sentiment, sham compliments, ...
— Sweet Cicely - Or Josiah Allen as a Politician • Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)

... sham, requires no physical postures. It has to deal with the inner man whose sphere lies in the world of thought. To have the highest ideal placed before oneself and strive incessantly to rise up to it, is the only true concentration recognized by Esoteric Philosophy which deals with the inner ...
— Five Years Of Theosophy • Various

... inspection, who are absolutely stripped of it. All, save the shameless, are toiling to escape that trial. My gentleman, treading the white highway across the solitary heaths, that swell far and wide to the moon, is, by the postillion, who has seen him, pronounced no sham. Nor do I think the opinion of any man worthless, who has had the postillion's authority for speaking. But it is, I am told, a finer test to embellish much gentleman-apparel, than to walk with dignity totally ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... a mutter as of coming storm in Wall Street for several weeks, and this had culminated in a small, and probably a sham, tempest, with more stage thunder and lightning than any real. However, it was on that very account just the sort of cataclysm to overwhelm phantom and illusory ships of fortune like Arthur Carrolls. That week he acknowledged to himself that ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... While Pollock was gathering his brigades at Gundamuk in the beginning of the following September, a forlorn Afghan, in dirty and tattered rags, rode into his camp. This scarecrow was Futteh Jung, who, unable to endure longer his sham kingship and the ominous tyranny of Akbar Khan, had fled from Cabul in disguise to beg a refuge in the ...
— The Afghan Wars 1839-42 and 1878-80 • Archibald Forbes

... prosper in the following century. We see at that time the king of England's minstrels, people clever and of good instruction, protesting against the increasing audacity of sham minstrels, whose ignorance casts discredit on the profession. "Uncultured peasants," says the king in a vengeful statute, "and workmen of different kinds in our kingdom of England ... have given themselves out to be our own minstrels."[570] Without any experience or understanding ...
— A Literary History of the English People - From the Origins to the Renaissance • Jean Jules Jusserand

... finite—measurable by the degree of currency, and conquest of praise or pudding, it has brought you to? Bobus, you are in a vicious circle, rounder than one of your own sausages; and will never vote for or promote any talent, except what talent or sham-talent has already got itself voted for!'—We here cut short the Indicator; all readers perceiving whither he now ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine—Vol. 54, No. 333, July 1843 • Various

... is every where the same. In Upper as in Lower Canada, there were only two legislative branches, a Lower, or People's House, a Crown, or Upper House. There was also a certain amount of Crown influence in the Lower House, which made constitutional government a sham. The freedom of speech was not even permitted to some members of the Assembly; and it was quite impossible to hint at corruption in those times, far less to insist upon the nomination of a corruption committee. There was ...
— The Rise of Canada, from Barbarism to Wealth and Civilisation - Volume 1 • Charles Roger

... content to remain wherever he could do good, tentative only in the cause of Christ, and distracted by no objects from his mission. His religion was his inspiration; his conscience his reward. His system may have been perverted, his zeal mistaken, his church a sham; we are not arguing that question. But the purity of his intentions, the sincerity of his heart, can not be doubted; and the most intolerant protestant against "the corruptions of Rome" will, at least, admit that even catholicism ...
— Western Characters - or Types of Border Life in the Western States • J. L. McConnel

... is a sham, and your bogus option a piece of your own sneaking dishonesty. What chance have we townsmen, put ashore, penniless, in an unknown wilderness, far from any human habitation, knowing nothing of the way back to Frankfort? Your fraudulent clemency rescues us ...
— The Sword Maker • Robert Barr

... there is," said Bull impatiently, "it must be something else—a sham fight or the mayor's birthday or something. I cannot and will not believe that plain, jolly people in a place like this walk about with dynamite in their pockets. Get on a bit, Syme, and let us ...
— The Man Who Was Thursday - A Nightmare • G. K. Chesterton

... Bannerman; for his lads were lighter in the heel, glegger in the eye, and brisker in the manoeuvres of war: moreover, they were all far more similar in their garb and appearance, which gave them a seeming compactness that the countrymen had nothing like. But when the sham contest began, it was not long till Bannerman's disciples showed the proofs of their master's better skill to such a mark, that Hepburn grew hot, and so kindled his men by reproaches, that there was like to have been fighting in ...
— Ringan Gilhaize - or The Covenanters • John Galt

... chiefly to their spiritual wants, though by no means neglectful of their physical. In these matters he became also agent and assistant to Mr Hazlit—so that the gardening and stable-tending ultimately became a mere sham, and it was found necessary to provide a juvenile assistant, in the person of the green-grocer's eldest boy, ...
— Under the Waves - Diving in Deep Waters • R M Ballantyne

... In the county Clare, five thousand persons were struck off the lists of those who were employed by the labour rate, and who, it is scarcely necessary to add, rendered no return for the money they had received, for the ostensible labour was in these cases a sham. The most scandalous of all the exhibitions of want of probity which the crisis developed was the revival of efforts to procure arms. The peasantry, farmers, town-population—all of every rank—sought to possess themselves of weapons of war, especially firearms. The demand for powder and percussion-caps ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... pillow sham!" cried Mr. Damon. "I think I can get a good night's sleep now. So they have formally accepted your ...
— Tom Swift and his Giant Cannon - or, The Longest Shots on Record • Victor Appleton

... point. And if I tumble off the high horse, if I can't keep going regularly there to ride the moral high horse, that Committee will slump into utter scoundrelism. It will turn out a long, inconsistent, botched, unreadable report that will back up all sorts of humbugging bargains and sham settlements. It will contain some half-baked scheme to pacify the miners at the expense of the general welfare. It won't even succeed in doing that. But in the general confusion old Cassidy will get away with a series of hauls that may run into millions. Which will last his ...
— The Secret Places of the Heart • H. G. Wells

... or at the domestic thresholds, disporting themselves in such grim fashions as the Puritanic nurture would permit; playing at going to church, perchance, or at scourging Quakers; or taking scalps in a sham fight with the Indians, or scaring one another with freaks of imitative witchcraft. Pearl saw, and gazed intently, but never sought to make acquaintance. If spoken to, she would not speak again. If the children gathered about her, as they sometimes did, Pearl would grow positively ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... it, but what there is is pucka! There's nothing the matter with this representative of the people in the question of taste. Four Aubusson chairs... A bureau signed 'Percier-Fontaine,' for a wager... Two inlays by Gouttieres... A genuine Fragonard and a sham Nattier which any American millionaire will swallow for the asking: in short, a fortune... And there are curmudgeons who pretend that there's nothing but faked stuff left. Dash it all, why don't they do as I do? ...
— The Crystal Stopper • Maurice LeBlanc

... figure—is involved in both cases. The profaneness of the titles mentioned above must at once be evident to every reverent, considerate mind. They are such as in the Bible are ascribed only to God and to Christ. Indeed, Masons give more exalted titles to their sham priest than the Scriptures employ to describe the character and office of the great High Priest who is "made higher than the heavens." If this is not profane, we are at a loss to know what can ...
— Secret Societies • David MacDill, Jonathan Blanchard, and Edward Beecher

... round the banquet spread— The board that groans with shame and plate, Still fawning to the sham-crowned head That hopes front brazen turneth fate! Drink till the comer last is full, And never hear in revels' lull, Grim Vengeance forging arrows fleet, Whilst I gnaw at the crust Of Exile in the dust— But ...
— Poems • Victor Hugo

... "Caught by the husband's skill, whose art the chains "In novel form had fram'd. The Lemnian god "Instant wide threw the ivory doors, and gave "Admittance free to every curious eye: "In shameful guise together bound they laid. "But some light gods, not blaming much the sight, "Would wish thus sham'd to lie: loud laugh'd the whole, "And long in heaven the ...
— The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II • Ovid

... family altar at your house a bridge from earth to heaven, or is it a sham, and a helper to those who say, Prayer ...
— Broken Bread - from an Evangelist's Wallet • Thomas Champness

... me—flat out—and you even crossed out the dedication and tidied me out of the introduction. Listen to me, Pembroke. You've done people all your life—I think without knowing it, but that won't comfort us. A wretched devil at your school once wrote to me, and he'd been done. Sham food, sham religion, sham straight talks—and when he broke down, you said it was the world in miniature." He snatched at him roughly. "But I'll show you the world." He twisted him round like a baby, and through the open door they saw only the quiet valley, but in it a rivulet that would ...
— The Longest Journey • E. M. Forster

... to be told that they see most objects as large as they appear in Nature. A few simple experiments will show how what we see in ordinary vision is modified in our perceptions by what we think we see. We made a sham stereoscope, the other day, with no glasses, and an opening in the place where the pictures belong, about the size of one of the common stereoscopic pictures. Through this we got a very ample view of the town of Cambridge, including Mount Auburn ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 20, June, 1859 • Various

... break down the door. He knew that he was taking chances, for the sham Prince might be a man cast in a braver mould than Dalny, and, in his desperation, might shoot at the back that Dave ...
— Dave Darrin on Mediterranean Service - or, With Dan Dalzell on European Duty • H. Irving Hancock

... few months after this treaty, they induced a large number of Indians, from the various tribes, to come to the same place, and where all the militia of the provinces had assembled, and while professing to practice some sham evolutions, the Indians were suddenly surrounded and captured. Many of the prisoners so treacherously obtained were executed, and others sold into slavery for having been in arms against ...
— The Abenaki Indians - Their Treaties of 1713 & 1717, and a Vocabulary • Frederic Kidder

... our civilization has grown to be a gorgeous shell; a mere mockery; a sham; outwardly fair and lovely, but inwardly full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. To think that mankind is so capable of good, and now so cultured and polished, and yet all above is cruelty, craft and destruction, and all below is ...
— Caesar's Column • Ignatius Donnelly

... voices idealized by remoteness into faint haunting music, while before them white light touches the wooded heights of Cliefden,—distant heights full of picturesque mystery and passionate history,—touches and idealizes into a semblance of poetic realism the sham ruins of Hedsor, and spreads a pearly sheen over the unseen Valley of the Shadow of Light through ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, December, 1885 • Various

... for the accommodation of a potato you can detect that fact at a glance when that mouth is in repose—foreign travel can never remove that sign. But he was a very delightful gentleman, and his little foible did not hurt him at all. We all have our shams—I suppose there is a sham somewhere about every individual, if we could manage to ferret it out. I would so like to go to France. I suppose our society here compares very favorably with French society ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... was now filled with hurrying, excited figures in gauze and tinsel, sham armor, and painted faces. They pressed Braith back, but he struggled and fought his way to ...
— In the Quarter • Robert W. Chambers

... best human soul fails to become very ruddy!—Tidings about Heaven are fallen so uncertain, but the Earth and her joys are still Interesting: 'Take to the Earth and her joys;—let your soul go out, since it must; let your five senses and their appetites be well alive.' That is a dreadful 'Sham-Christian Dispensation' to be born under! You wonder at the want of heroism in the Eighteenth Century. Wonder rather at the degree of heroism it had; wonder how many souls there still are to be met with in it of ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... most wounds was probably that which they fought in defense of their own right to social veracity and sincerity in their thee-ing and thou-ing, in not doffing the hat or giving titles of respect. It was laid on George Fox that these conventional customs were a lie and a sham, and the whole body of his followers thereupon renounced them, as a sacrifice to truth, and so that their acts and the spirit they professed might ...
— The Varieties of Religious Experience • William James

... Examines, cross-examines, weighs Their right to censure or to praise: Nor doth his equal voice depend On narrow views of foe and friend, Nor can, or flattery, or force Divert him from his steady course; The channel of Inquiry's clear, No sham examination's here. He, upright justicer, no doubt, Ad libitum puts in and out, 150 Adjusts and settles in a trice What virtue is, and what is vice; What is perfection, what defect; What we must choose, and what reject; He takes upon him to explain What pleasure is, ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... "But that was only sham courage. I was morally a coward, and could not possibly face the evil spirit of detraction. Therefore, the morning found me feverish in body and faint in spirit. I kept out of sight of my boarders, except Mr. Seabrook, who looked into the kitchen with a sympathizing face, and ...
— The New Penelope and Other Stories and Poems • Frances Fuller Victor

... Edward III., and tell the people they had taxes to pay to keep the king in ermine robes, and rings, and jewels, and to let him give feasts and tilting matches—when the knights, in beautiful, gorgeous armor, rode against one another in sham fight, and the king and ladies looked on and ...
— Young Folks' History of England • Charlotte M. Yonge

... position, were of great value. Were it not that the Committee was composed of English gentlemen, who would not wittingly do anything but examine into matters to the best of their ability, it would really seem, after a careful survey of the whole situation, as if this Committee was a mere sham got up as a shield to ...
— Gold, Sport, And Coffee Planting In Mysore • Robert H. Elliot

... too. This world is not a shop, men are not merely money-makers and wages-earners. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in that sort of philosophy. Self-interest and covetousness cannot keep society orderly and peaceful, let sham philosophers say what they will. And then comes tyranny, lawlessness, rich and poor staining their hands in each other's blood, as we saw happen in France two years ago; and so, after all, Mammon has to give place to Moloch, the fiend of murder ...
— Sermons on National Subjects • Charles Kingsley

... :shambolic link: /sham-bol'ik link/ /n./ A Unix symbolic link, particularly when it confuses you, points to nothing at all, or results in your ending up in some completely unexpected part of ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0

... wall at the end of the room. This wall is false, and generally of wood. It is built some three or four feet from the real wall of the room, thus forming a closet. As the whole room is papered and but dimly lighted, a visitor cannot detect the fact that it is a sham. A panel, which slides noiselessly and rapidly, is arranged in the false wall, and the chair with the visitor's clothing upon it is placed just in front of it. While the visitor's attention is engaged in another quarter, the girl's confederate, who is concealed in the closet, slides ...
— Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City • James D. McCabe

... fought a sham battle on horseback. They only wore the breech-cloths. They fired off their rifles in all directions, and sent the bullets whistling past the spectators in such close proximity as to create most unpleasant feelings. I was heartily glad ...
— The Treaties of Canada with The Indians of Manitoba - and the North-West Territories • Alexander Morris

... of, it is here. Yet it is here in sham, in effigy, in tortured compromise. The dead have need of silk. Yet silk is dear, and there are living backs to clothe. The rolls are paper.... Do not look ...
— Profiles from China • Eunice Tietjens

... own caprices or theirs, and after they have taught him all sorts of things, when they have burdened his memory with words he cannot understand, or things which are of no use to him, when nature has been stifled by the passions they have implanted in him, this sham article is sent to a tutor. The tutor completes the development of the germs of artificiality which he finds already well grown, he teaches him everything except self-knowledge and self-control, the arts of life and happiness. When at length this infant slave and tyrant, crammed with ...
— Emile • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

... seems. Though every man and every woman has the right to waste his time (or hers) as may seem good, something else besides time is lost in the lecture hall. Sincerity also is squandered in the grey, dim light of sham learning, and nobody can indulge in a mixed orgie of "culture" without some sacrifice of ...
— American Sketches - 1908 • Charles Whibley



Words linked to "Sham" :   belie, feint, talk through one's hat, play possum, beguiler, bullshit, imitation, pillow sham, make, cheater, make believe, misrepresent, mouth, trickster, ringer, simulate, imposter, counterfeit, act, bull, slicker, take a dive, Potemkin village, deceiver, cheat, name dropper, imitative, fake book, play



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