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Nail   Listen
verb
Nail  v. t.  (past & past part. nailed; pres. part. nailing)  
1.
To fasten with a nail or nails; to close up or secure by means of nails; as, to nail boards to the beams. "He is now dead, and nailed in his chest."
2.
To stud or boss with nails, or as with nails. "The rivets of your arms were nailed with gold."
3.
To fasten, as with a nail; to bind or hold, as to a bargain or to acquiescence in an argument or assertion; hence, to catch; to trap. "When they came to talk of places in town, you saw at once how I nailed them."
4.
To spike, as a cannon. (Obs.)
To nail an assertion or To nail a lie, etc., to detect and expose it, so as to put a stop to its currency; an expression probably derived from the former practice of shopkeepers, who were accustomed to nail bad or counterfeit pieces of money to the counter.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Nail" Quotes from Famous Books



... above in this article. But if we speak of necessity of constraint, as repugnant to the bodily nature, thus again was Christ's body in its own natural condition subject to necessity in regard to the nail that pierced and the scourge that struck. Yet inasmuch as such necessity is repugnant to the will, it is clear that in Christ these defects were not of necessity as regards either the Divine will, or the human will of Christ considered absolutely, as following the deliberation of reason; ...
— Summa Theologica, Part III (Tertia Pars) - From the Complete American Edition • Thomas Aquinas

... idea!" I exclaimed. "I have got a file in my knife; and we may be able to find a nail, to which I can put a barb, and bend it ...
— The Wanderers - Adventures in the Wilds of Trinidad and Orinoco • W.H.G. Kingston

... The Mahometan Aboulmahasen (apud De Guignes, tom. ii. p. ii. p. 95) is more correct in his account of the holy lance than the Christians, Anna Comnena and Abulpharagius: the Greek princess confounds it with the nail of the cross, (l. xi. p. 326;) the Jacobite primate, with St. ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... tool-house at the bottom of the garden, and there, tied to a nail in the wall, was a ...
— Chatterbox, 1906 • Various

... province. The capitalists of Nova Scotia treat it like a hired house, they won't keep it in repair; they neither paint it to preserve the boards, nor stop a leak to keep the frame from rottin'; but let it go to wrack sooner than drive a nail or put in a pane of glass. 'It will sarve our turn ...
— The Clockmaker • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... the carpenter's son, they take out and crucify all over again. As a young poet has phrased it, they nail him to a jeweled cross with cruel nails of gold. Come with me to the New Golgotha and witness this crucifixion; take the nails of gold in your hands, try the weight of the jeweled sledges! Here is a sledge, in the form of a dignified and scholarly volume, published ...
— The Profits of Religion, Fifth Edition • Upton Sinclair

... eyes and looking, espied on Pao-yue's cheek on the left side of his face, a spot of blood about the size of a button, and speedily bending her body, she drew near to him, and rubbing it with her hand, she scrutinised it closely. "Whose nail," she went on to inquire, ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... But love, whose speechless ecstasy Had overborne the finite, now Throbs through thy being, pure and free, And burns upon thy radiant brow. For thou those hands' dear clasp hast felt, Where still the nail-prints are displayed; And thou before that face hast knelt, Which wears the ...
— Catharine • Nehemiah Adams

... whole lot," was his opening remark. "A good one can come mighty nigh holding a outfit together. Money ain't to be sneezed at, neither. Good wages paid on the nail run the cook a close second. How would you boys like ...
— The Heart of the Range • William Patterson White

... hit the right nail, as the saying is; and she brought forward so many arguments to prove that she thought it was a hoax to frighten them, and that the gentleman above was a man of consequence, that her aunt began to listen to reason, and ...
— The Pirate and The Three Cutters • Frederick Marryat

... in this town or its vicinity recently. There have been some few cases of erysipelas." It deserves notice that the partner of Dr. C, who attended the autopsy of the man above mentioned and took an active part in it, who also suffered very slightly from a prick under the thumb-nail received during the examination, had twelve cases of midwifery between March 26th and April 12th, all of which did well, and presented no peculiar symptoms. It should also be stated that during these seventeen days he was in attendance on all the cases of erysipelas ...
— The Harvard Classics Volume 38 - Scientific Papers (Physiology, Medicine, Surgery, Geology) • Various

... friend. After six months, with great labour, and by the help of a nail, I filed my wrist chain and freed my hands. Then when my warder came one evening later than usual, I flew on him and felled him. He was but stunned, and lay still scarce long enough for me to strip him and put him in my clothes. Then I left him and walked out, jingling the keys. In ...
— Sir Ludar - A Story of the Days of the Great Queen Bess • Talbot Baines Reed

... only a chance shot on Mr. Wintermuth's part, but it went straight to the mark, and it rankled. O'Connor knew—or felt reasonably sure—that Smith had not mentioned the matter to any one but himself, yet the chief had struck unerringly the nail's head. And all this endeared Smith but little to the man who had ...
— White Ashes • Sidney R. Kennedy and Alden C. Noble

... his master's order to harness, he went as usual cheerfully and willingly to the shed, stepping briskly and easily on his rather turned-in feet; took down from a nail the heavy tasselled leather bridle, and jingling the rings of the bit went to the closed stable where the horse he was to harness was ...
— Master and Man • Leo Tolstoy

... you later. But as matters now stand between us, I forbid your striking up such friendships. If you want to do something for the fellow, present him with a comb and a nail brush and a tooth-brush. Besides, his name isn't Rigo but Max, and he's a seedy sort of chap, absolutely ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann

... hurt so before. Made all the bad come up in my throat, and I can't swallow it down yet. It would be good enough for him if I was dead; for then every time he went out to the barn there'd be that horsewhip hanging up on the nail; and he'd think to himself—'Where's that little boy I used to whip?' And then the tears will come into his eyes, I pretty much know they will. I saw the tears in his eyes once when I was sick. He felt real bad; but when I got well, first thing ...
— Little Grandfather • Sophie May

... "One nail drives out another, at least! The face of the portrait there," I cried, "Is our friend's, the Raphael-faced young priest, Who confessed her when ...
— Standard Selections • Various

... gather. O for the collyrium of Tobias inclosed in a whiting's liver to send you with no apocryphal good wishes! The last long time I heard from you, you had knock'd your head against something. Do not do so. For your head (I do not flatter) is not a nob, or the top of a brass nail, or the end of a nine pin—unless a Vulcanian hammer could fairly batter a Recluse out of it, then would I bid the smirch'd god knock and knock lustily, the two-handed skinker. What a nice long letter Dorothy has written! Mary must ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... the plains, believe that all these trees, though so low, are many centuries old. Their growth is almost imperceptible, being scarcely to be noticed in the lapse of twenty or thirty years. The wood of the palma de cobija is excellent for building. It is so hard, that it is difficult to drive a nail into it. The leaves, folded like a fan, are employed to cover the roofs of the huts scattered through the Llanos; and these roofs last more than twenty years. The leaves are fixed by bending the extremity of the footstalks, which have been ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... tavern end my days, midst boon companions merry, Place at my lips a lusty flask replete with sparkling sherry, That angels, hov'ring round, may cry, when I lie dead as door-nail, 'Rise, genial deacon, rise, and drink of the ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... must have once adorned it. In fact it would not have been recognizable as a portion of a gate at all, had it not still possessed an enormous hinge which partly clung to it by means of one huge thickly rusted nail, dose beside it, grew a tree of weird and melancholy appearance—its trunk was split asunder and one half of it was withered. The other half leaning mournfully on one side bent down its branches to the ground, trailing a wealth of long, glossy green leaves in the dust of the ruined city. This was ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... in his discourse on the most seasonable time for felling timber, written by the advice of Pepys, that after forty-seven years, "all the ancient timber then remaining in her, it was no easy matter to drive a nail into it" ("Quarterly Review," ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... is nailed to the cross. The nails are hammered through His outspread hands. A single nail suffices for his feet, whose bones split asunder. He, Himself, while His flesh quivers with pain, fixes His eyes upon heaven and smiles.... Jesus is crucified between two thieves. The weight of His body terribly aggravates His wounds. From His brow, from His limbs, does a bloody sweat stream ...
— Abbe Mouret's Transgression - La Faute De L'abbe Mouret • Emile Zola

... room with its stiff, leather-covered furniture, the brass-headed tacks whereof sparkled like so many stars—a cleanliness that bade you farewell in the spotless stretch of sand-sprinkled hallway, the wooden floor of which was worn into knobs around the nail heads by the countless scourings and scrubbings to which it had been subjected and which left behind them an all-pervading faint, fragrant odor of ...
— Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates • Howard I. Pyle

... "hog-yoke"—under the bed-bag in his bunk. When he took the sun, and with the help of "The Old Farmer's" almanac found the latitude, Harvey would jump down into the cabin and scratch the reckoning and date with a nail on the rust of the stove-pipe. Now, the chief engineer of the liner could have done no more, and no engineer of thirty years' service could have assumed one half of the ancient-mariner air with which Harvey, first careful to spit over the ...
— "Captains Courageous" • Rudyard Kipling

... car on a little fall in the temperature or the appearance of an inch or two of snow, packing up to overflowing, dangling to the straps, treading on each other's toes, breathing each other's breaths, crushing the women and children, hanging by tooth and nail to a square inch of the platform, imperiling their limbs and killing the horses,—I think the commonest tramp in the street has good reason to felicitate himself on his rare privilege of going afoot. Indeed, a race that neglects or despises this primitive ...
— Winter Sunshine • John Burroughs

... energetically, but in a patois utterly unintelligible. He led the way across the courtyard towards the castle, however, and Paul followed close behind. They did not enter by the front, but by a low, nail-studded door at the extreme corner of the tower, which the man immediately ...
— A Monk of Cruta • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... well of Shoubrah where he exclaims, "O such-and-such-a-one, thy sister so-and-so salutes thee, and asks thee to send her the spindle which she forgot when she was with thee yesterday, for we want to furnish a room with it." The fisherman drives a nail into the floor at one end of the room, fixes the thread on the spindle to it, and draws out a wonderful carpet. Then the wazir demands a little boy eight days old, who shall tell a story of which the beginning shall be a lie and the end a lie. The fisherman is sent to the well with the ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 6 • Richard F. Burton

... immediately buttonholed by the vicar. Lawrence had a fixed idea that all priests were hypocrites: they must be, since as educated men they could not well believe the fables they were paid to teach! But it was hard to associate hypocrisy with Mr. Stafford, whose fond ambition it was to nail Lawrence Hyde to lecture on his Chinese travels before the Bible Class. "Oh, nothing religious," he explained, holding his victim firmly by the coat as Lawrence edged away. "Only half an hour's story-telling ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... stone sustained the narrator, while the four disposed themselves on the sunny grass, in the various attitudes of severe inattention which youth assumes when listening to a story. Sweetheart pored into the depths of a buttercup. Hugh John scratched the freestone of a half-buried tomb with a nail till told to stop. Sir Toady Lion, having a "pinch-bug" coralled in his palms, sat regarding it cautiously between his thumbs. Only Maid Margaret, her dimpled chin on her knuckles, sat looking upward in rapt attention. For her there was no joy like that of a story. Only, she was too young to ...
— Red Cap Tales - Stolen from the Treasure Chest of the Wizard of the North • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... and stick a ticket into the chinks of a silk skull cap is embarrassing for a conductor of refined feelings. It would be simpler if the conductor should carry a small hammer and a packet of shingle nails and nail the paid-up passenger to the back of the seat. Or better still, let the conductor carry a small pot of paint and a brush, and mark the passengers in such a way that he cannot easily mistake them. In the case of bald-headed passengers, the ...
— Literary Lapses • Stephen Leacock

... failed to find the vanished wanderer, and the weeks and months grew to be years while we waited in vain. It was on the twenty-second day of March in the second twelve month after Herdegen's departing that the treasures of the realm, and among them a nail from the Cross and the point of the spear wherewith they pierced the Lord's side, were to be brought into the town in a solemn procession, and I, with many others, rode forth to meet it. They were brought hither from Blindenberg on the Danube, and ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... have very poor eyes, but there seems to be no defect in the vision with which he sees nature, while he often hits the nail on the head in a way that would indicate the surest sight. True, he makes the swallow hunt the bee, which, for aught I know, the swallow may do in England. Our purple martin has been accused of catching the honey-bee, ...
— The Writings of John Burroughs • John Burroughs

... The first sharp nail went through, and piteous wails Burst from the youth, but no compassion woke; An eager eye the look ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: - Masterpieces of German Literature Translated into English, Volume 5. • Various

... sir!" was his criticism, "dead as a door nail! All the medicine in the shop wouldn't kindle one spark of life ...
— The Midnight Queen • May Agnes Fleming

... was now the proper master. "It is said in a very straight-forward and well-meant manner. You, as a learned man, certainty know how strange nature is. Some persons cannot bear to touch grey paper, or they become ill; others shiver in every limb if one rub a pane of glass with a nail: I have just such a feeling on hearing you say thou to me; I feel myself as if pressed to the earth in my first situation with you. You see that it is a feeling; that it is not pride: I cannot allow you to say thou to me, but I ...
— A Christmas Greeting • Hans Christian Andersen

... yer, Miss Amy, there's no think like breakin' off short, there's nothink like turnin' the corner sharp, and fightin' the devil tooth and nail. It's an awful tussle at first, an' I thought I was goin' to knuckle under more'n once. So I would ef it hadn't 'a ben fer you, but you give me this little ban', Miss Amy, an' looked at me as if I wa'n't a beast, an' it's ben a liftin' ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... fact that the nails are in reality appendages of the skin, they are naturally entitled to some brief consideration. Beneath the nail is the matrix, that part of the true skin from which the nail is formed. The matrix has not a perfectly smooth surface, but is arranged in 8 scries of parallel ridges with alternating grooves. The nail is of a rosy pink colour, because it is transparent enough to let ...
— The Art of Living in Australia • Philip E. Muskett (?-1909)

... making one large payment outright and giving his note for the balance. The lot once his, the banks loaned him the desired amount. With this money and with money of his own he would make the final payment on the lot and would begin the building itself, paying his labour on the nail, but getting his material, lumber, brick and fittings on time. When the building was half-way up he would negotiate a second loan from the banks in order to complete it and in order to meet the notes he had given to his ...
— Vandover and the Brute • Frank Norris

... help of the LORD, To the help of the LORD against the mighty. Blessed above women Shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, Blessed shall she be above women in the tent! He asked water, and she gave him milk; She brought forth butter in a lordly dish. She put her hand to the nail, And her right hand to the workmen's hammer; And with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, When she had pierced and stricken through his temples. At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: At her feet he bowed, he fell: ...
— Notable Women of Olden Time • Anonymous

... boneless as the hands wrought in pigment by a fashionable portrait painter. The tapering fingers bend backward. Between them burns a scented cigarette. You poise it with infinite daintiness, like a woman under the eyes of her lover. The long line of your curved nail is ...
— Profiles from China • Eunice Tietjens

... some of the engines with which some of his servants had done wonderful things. They showed him Moses' rod; the hammer and nail with which Jael slew Sisera; the pitchers, trumpets, and lamps too, with which Gibeon put to flight the armies of Midian. Then they showed him the ox's goad wherewith Shamgar slew 600 men. They showed him, ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... As for the shop, said we, we would mind it ourselves, for 'twas but play to do it; and thus, indeed, it turned out: so hearty was the sport it provided that my sister and I would hilariously race for the big key (which hung on a high nail in the dining-room) whenever a customer came. I would not have you think us unfeeling. God knows, we were not that! 'Twas this way with us: each hid the pain, and thus thought to deceive the other into a happier mood. We did ...
— Doctor Luke of the Labrador • Norman Duncan

... was Oppenheimer's criticism. "My mother believed in spirits. When I was a kid she was always seeing them and talking with them and getting advice from them. But she never come across with any goods from them. The spirits couldn't tell her where the old man could nail a job or find a gold-mine or mark an eight-spot in Chinese lottery. Not on your life. The bunk they told her was that the old man's uncle had had a goitre, or that the old man's grandfather had died of galloping consumption, or ...
— The Jacket (The Star-Rover) • Jack London

... should have been made welcome,' said Mr. Grewgious, 'and I think he would have been pleased to be hung upon a nail outside and pit himself against our Staple sparrows; whose execution must be admitted to be not quite equal to their intention. Which is the case with so many of us! You didn't say what meal, my dear. Have a nice jumble of ...
— The Mystery of Edwin Drood • Charles Dickens

... was just out of college, a reviewer, a poet, and once, momentarily, an atheist. It was Newland who was present and said such a remarkable thing when Julia had the accident to her thumb-nail in closing the double doors between the living-room and the library, where her peculiar old father sat reading. "To see you suffer," Newland said passionately as she nursed her injury:—"to see you in pain, that is the one thing in the universe which I feel beyond all my capacities. ...
— Gentle Julia • Booth Tarkington

... petrel; it had a nail planted in the heel, but no thumb; the bill was hooked at the end, the extremity of which seemed to consist of a distinct piece, articulated with the remainder; the nostrils were united, and formed a tube laid on the back of ...
— Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 1 (of 2) • George Grey

... laborer and a land-holder. Put him down there without any capital—simply a naked, featherless, two-legged and two-handed, animal, without clothes, without a gun or a fish-hook, without hoe, or hatchet, or knife, or rusty nail, without a particle of food to keep him from fainting, and what will become of him? He gathers perhaps some wild fruits from the bushes; he picks up perhaps some shell-fish from the water's edge; he surprises a fawn or a kid, and ...
— Choice Specimens of American Literature, And Literary Reader - Being Selections from the Chief American Writers • Benj. N. Martin

... McTeague knelt. The dentist's knees thudded on the floor and he presented to view the soles of his shoes, painfully new and unworn, the leather still yellow, the brass nail heads still glittering. Trina sank at his side very gracefully, setting her dress and train with a little gesture of her free hand. The company bowed their heads, Mr. Sieppe shutting his eyes tight. But Mrs. Sieppe took advantage of the moment to stop crying and ...
— McTeague • Frank Norris

... work in a nervous, clumsy, hasty sort of way. They made all sorts of mistakes and messes. Payne, the foreman carpenter, was putting some new boards on a part of the drawing-room floor: he was in such a state of panic that, while driving a nail, he accidentally struck the thumb of his left hand a severe blow with his hammer. Bundy was also working in the drawing-room putting some white-glazed tiles in the fireplace. Whilst cutting one of these in half in order to fit it into its place, he inflicted ...
— The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists • Robert Tressell

... Englishman I had struck my hand against a nail, and the fourth finger of my left hand was bleeding as if a vein had been opened. Betty helped me to tie a handkerchief around the wound, while Sir B—— M—— read the letter with great attention. I was much pleased with Betty's action, it shewed ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... we got together. He was the only acquaintance I had in that region, and I was his only acquaintance. We rushed together like a couple of dissatisfied hermits, and together we spent the day, threw our feet for dinner, and late in the afternoon tried to "nail" the same freight. But he was ditched, and I rode her out alone, to be ditched myself in the desert ...
— The Road • Jack London

... one feels that they do enjoy seeing, as in one of their prints, the bowels of St. Erasmus being taken out with a windlass, or Jael, as Altdorfer has shown her in his romantic print, neatly hammering the nail into the head of the sprawling, snoring Sisera. There is a good deal of grossness, too (of which, among the Italians, even Robetta and similar, there is so little), in the details of village fairs and adventures ...
— Renaissance Fancies and Studies - Being a Sequel to Euphorion • Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)

... tilted up by inserting the right little finger under it, and the upper packet quickly slid beneath it, leaving the cards in precisely the position they occupied before cutting; For this purpose, the book continued, the nail of the right little finger is worn very long, so as to facilitate its being thrust beneath a packet of cards. Here, I said to myself, is a possible explanation of one of the peculiarities of my plaster cast. The long nail on the left little finger may have served its function at the gaming table. ...
— The Darrow Enigma • Melvin L. Severy

... sickened. Item, three beds; item, one kitchen chair; item, one unpainted board washstand, supporting a tin basin, a cake of soap, a tin ewer, with a dingy towel hanging from a nail under a cracked mirror and over a tin slop-bucket; item, three spittoons, one beside each bed; item, a row of nails in a wooden strip, plainly for wardrobe purposes; item, one ...
— Desert Dust • Edwin L. Sabin

... in a MS. note on Piozzi Letters, i. 219, says:—'Johnson would have made an excellent Spanish inquisitor. To his shame be it said, he always was tooth and nail ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... besmeared with gore. Then Nila with his fist he slew, And Sarabh with his knee o'erthrew, Nor could Gavaksha's strength withstand The force of his terrific hand. At Gandhamadan's eager call Rushed thousands to avenge their fall, Nor ceased those Vanars to assail With knee and fist and tooth and nail. Around his foes the giant threw His mighty arms, and nearer drew The captives subject to his will: Then snatched them up and ate his fill. There was no respite then, no pause: Fast gaped and closed his hell-like jaws: Yet, prisoned in that gloomy cave, Some Vanars still ...
— The Ramayana • VALMIKI

... these islands were excellent carpenters and ship-builders. "They make many very light vessels, which they take through the vicinity for sale in a very curious manner. They build a large vessel, undecked, without iron nail or any fastening. Then, according to the measure of its hull, they make another vessel that fits into it. Within that they put a second and a third. Thus a large biroco contains ten or twelve vessels, called biroco, virey, barangay, and binitan." ...
— History of the Philippine Islands Vols 1 and 2 • Antonio de Morga

... the news at half-past five, he broke into a cold sweat. Then he bit savagely at the nail of his favourite thumb. Considering that, so recently as that morning, he had reluctantly decided that that toothsome entremet must be allowed to go unmolested for at least a week, his action was indicative of an emotion which knew no rules. That he made no mention of the matter to ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... lost confidence in the precautions he had taken and in the mystery with which the deed was surrounded, is apparent from the fact that he revisited the Van Burnam office on the following morning, and hung again on its accustomed nail the keys of the Gramercy ...
— That Affair Next Door • Anna Katharine Green

... classics, but of modern languages, translated the New Testament expression "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" into, "The ghost indeed is willing, but the meat is bad." If he had said, in the light of some modern achievements, "the meat is embalmed," he might have hit the nail on the head. ...
— The Importance of the Proof-reader - A Paper read before the Club of Odd Volumes, in Boston, by John Wilson • John Wilson

... idle on its nail; the recorder is covered with dust; no one bothers about either Europe or Asia. What chiefly concerns the few white men who are able to live in Central Australia are the price of stock, the best place to find a little dried grass or bush, and water. ...
— In the Musgrave Ranges • Jim Bushman

... was just what was best for them both. Dea without eyes, Gwynplaine without a face. On high the Almighty will restore sight to Dea and beauty to Gwynplaine. Death puts things to rights. All will be well. Fibi, Vinos, hang up your tambourines on the nail. Your talents for noise will go to rust, my beauties; no more playing, no more trumpeting 'Chaos Vanquished' is vanquished. 'The Laughing Man' is done for. 'Taratantara' is dead. Dea sleeps on. She does well. If I were she I would never awake. Oh! ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... economy, and, ignoring everything but what is essential, trusts, by means of the exact propriety of his presentation, to produce the required effect. Madame du Deffand carries the classical ideal to its furthest point. She never strikes more than once, and she always hits the nail on the head. Such is her skill that she sometimes seems to beat the Romantics even on their own ground: her reticences make a deeper impression than all the dottings of their i's. The following passage from a letter to ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... it," the Governor assented. "Well, if you see a tall chap and a short thick-set fellow anywhere nail 'em for us. Old criminals with long records. They've been enjoying themselves up our way. The tall one doesn't say much, but the little chap is a smooth talker—can talk himself right out of jail if you give him ...
— Blacksheep! Blacksheep! • Meredith Nicholson

... finger along the upper rim of his left ear, sprang up, stooped to take her hand, glared into her eyes till she shrank—and then a nail-cleaner, a common, ten-cent file, fell out of his inner pocket and ...
— The Job - An American Novel • Sinclair Lewis

... and such unlooked-for convenience for our purposes, can only be estimated by those who have experienced them; and it is only to strangers to such feelings that it will appear ridiculous to say that even the nail to which our thermometer had been suspended was ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc

... submission, Yuan Shih-kai's task had become so vastly simplified that he held the moment to have arrived when he could openly turn his hand to the problem of making himself absolutely supreme, de jure as well as de facto. But there was one remaining thing to be done. To drive the last nail into the coffin of the Republic it was necessary to discredit and virtually imprison ...
— The Fight For The Republic in China • Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale

... when he sat in The Enormous Room quietly writing at a tiny three-legged table, a very big pen walking away with his weak bony hand. His too big cap had a little button on top which looked like the head of a nail; and suggested that this old doll had once lost its poor grey head and had been repaired by means of tacking its head upon its neck, where it should be and properly belonged. Of what hideous crime was this being suspected? By some mistake ...
— The Enormous Room • Edward Estlin Cummings

... flat fish, not much larger than your thumb-nail, crowd in the shallow, sandy parts of the sea near the coast. There they often end their lives in the shrimp-trawl, ...
— Within the Deep - Cassell's "Eyes And No Eyes" Series, Book VIII. • R. Cadwallader Smith

... the floor to form the bedding, and pieces of cloth served as coverlids. The pillow was a curious affair, being a thick piece of bamboo, about four feet long, on little legs. We were shown into one of these rooms, and a sign made to us to go to sleep. Even the largest houses have not a nail in them, but are fastened together with sennit, which is a line made from the root of a tree. I may say that everything is fastened with sennit—canoes, as well as houses—so that large quantities ...
— Taking Tales - Instructive and Entertaining Reading • W.H.G. Kingston

... close to the dominie's house that from one window he could see through a telescope whether the farmer was going to church, owing to Little Tilly's habit of never shaving except with that intention, and of always doing it at a looking-glass which he hung on a nail in his door. The farmer was Established Church, and when the dominie saw him in his shirt-sleeves with a razor in his hand, he called for his black clothes. If he did not see him it is undeniable that the ...
— Auld Licht Idyls • J.M. Barrie

... shrine is visited even to this day by childless wives, who tie shreds of their clothing to the lattice-work of a marble window as an earnest of their maternal worthiness. It is visited also by the devout for various purposes, among others by those whose horses are sick and who nail votive horseshoes to the great gate. According to tradition the mother of Jahangir was a Christian named Miriam, and her house and garden may be seen, the house having the traces of a fresco which by those who greatly wish it can be believed to represent the Annunciation. Tradition, ...
— Roving East and Roving West • E.V. Lucas

... God-fearing prince, was devoted to the Virgin Mary, rigid in his fasts, lavish in charity. He was determined to avoid death and to hold on to his own, tooth and nail, and was his father's peer in valour. Like his father, he dressed richly; unlike him, he cared more for silver than for jewels. He lived more chastely than is usual to princes and was always master of himself. He drank little wine, though he liked it, because ...
— Charles the Bold - Last Duke Of Burgundy, 1433-1477 • Ruth Putnam

... Rue Taranne he knocked at the door of a small furnished lodging-house at the corner of that street and the Rue du Dragon, took a candlestick from a table, a key numbered 12 from a nail, and climbed the stairs without exciting other attention than a well-known lodger would returning home. The clock was striking ten as he closed the door of his room. He listened attentively to the strokes, the ...
— The Companions of Jehu • Alexandre Dumas

... and bending a little, began to scratch with her nail the patterns of ice that covered the window-pane. I went hastily into the next room, and sending my servant away, came back at once and lighted another candle. I had no clear idea why I was doing all this.... I was greatly overcome. Susanna was ...
— The Jew And Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... of this century, and employed by him to designate three great powers which go to fashion human destiny, viz., Force, wearing, as it were, (clava) the club of Hercules; Fortitude, wearing, as it were, (clavis) the key of Ulysses; and Fortune, wearing, as it were, (clavus) the nail of Lycurgus; that is to say, Faculty waiting on the right moment, and then striking in. See Shakespeare's "Time and tide in the affairs of men," &c., the "flood" in which is the "Third Fors." The letters are represented as written at the dictation of the Third Fors, or, ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... Clarence in a softly alluring voice, he began cautiously to crawl along the fences toward that unresponsive animal. Presently he desisted, partly on account of a conspiracy engaged in between his trousers and a rusty nail. The girl was now beyond range of his vision around ...
— The Green Mouse • Robert W. Chambers

... mainstream slang originated early in the 20th century by President Theodore Roosevelt. There is a legend that, weary of inconclusive talks with Colombia over the right to dig a canal through its then-province Panama, he remarked, "Negotiating with those pirates is like trying to nail currant jelly to the wall." Roosevelt's government subsequently encouraged the anti-Colombian insurgency that ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0

... thousands!" replied Huckaback, "I will explain to your highness. I once jammed my nail at the bottom, and I expected to lose it. It did not however come off but grew up as before, and I had the curiosity to know how often people changed their nails in the course of a year. It was exactly two months, and ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Frederick Marryat

... crudity it will never be dull. But conciseness is not the quality I most often detect in reviewing. It is luxurious to be concise when one is writing at space rates; and it is always harder to say a thing briefly than at length, just as it is easier for a woman to hit a nail at the third stroke than ...
— Definitions • Henry Seidel Canby

... and about three feet long, should be placed on a firm support, upon which it would rest solidly without any tendency to joggle. At its middle was bored a small circular depression, about the size of a man's thumb-nail and shallow. Into this was thrust the tapered end of a round rod of maple wood about as thick as a large man's thumb. The upper end of the rod fitted freely into a socket in a ball of maple wood of suitable ...
— The Unwilling Vestal • Edward Lucas White

... his square document came, Cousin Dempster said at once that he would accept, and I, who had done honors with Mrs. President, made up my mind there, right on the nail, to do just as much for ...
— Phemie Frost's Experiences • Ann S. Stephens

... when the monitress went to bed, her sponge, nail-brush, tooth-brush, and cake of soap were missing, and it was only after a long search that she found them at the bottom of her emptied water-jug. On the next evening it was impossible for her to strike a light, owing to the fact that both her candle and ...
— The Madcap of the School • Angela Brazil

... where the narrow road emerged suddenly on to an immense plain, closed at the horizon by strips of forest over which rose and stood alone the fine point of Saint-Hilaire's steeple, but so sharpened and so pink that it seemed to be no more than sketched on the sky by the finger-nail of a painter anxious to give to such a landscape, to so pure a piece of 'nature,' this little sign of art, this single indication of human existence. As one drew near it and could make out the remains of the square tower, ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... and his wife who had come from Montreal to St. Paul in an ox-cart. The whole plains was covered with sneakin' red cusses on the war-path. But that darned Britisher was stubborn-set on pullin' out that night for Fort Garry, with his wife and kid, and what did the cuss do but nail a blame little Union Jack on his cart, poke the goad in his ox, and hit the trail! My God, I kin still see the old ox with that bit of the British Empire, wiggling out of St. Paul at sundown. And the cuss got there all right, too, though we was all ...
— The New North • Agnes Deans Cameron

... the place to preach the theory of direct inspiration,' said the Nilghai, returning Torpenhow's large and workmanlike bellows to their nail on the wall. 'We believe in cobblers' ...
— The Light That Failed • Rudyard Kipling

... that the handles are never allowed to touch the water. Ivory discolors and cracks if wet. Bristol-brick finely powdered is the best polisher, and, mixed with a little water, can be applied with a large cork. A regular knife-board, or a small board on which you can nail three strips of wood in box form, will give you the best mode of keeping brick and cork in place. After rubbing, wash clean, and ...
— The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking - Adapted to Domestic Use or Study in Classes • Helen Campbell

... preach at Bedford in a way that shook my soul. He described the crucifixion in a way that put the scene before his people—no fine words, and metaphors: but first one nail struck into one hand, and then into another, and one through both feet—the cross lifted up with God in man's image distended upon it. And the sneers of the priests below—'Look at that fellow there—look at him—he talked of saving others, etc.' And then the ...
— Letters of Edward FitzGerald - in two volumes, Vol. 1 • Edward FitzGerald

... one "tick fever." It is not a deadly fever, but it is recurrent and weakening. There are all kinds of ticks, from little red ones no bigger than a grain of pepper to big fat ones the size of a finger-nail, that are exactly the color of the ground. They seem to have immortal life, for they can exist for a long time without food. Doctor Ward told us of some that he had put in a box, where they lived four years without food or water. He also told us of one that was sent to the ...
— In Africa - Hunting Adventures in the Big Game Country • John T. McCutcheon

... got turned out to be too old and decrepit, and so strong it would have taken a Paul Bunyan to stand up under it. When we complained to our expert about the shock to our palates, he only laughed, pointing to the nail on ...
— The Complete Book of Cheese • Robert Carlton Brown

... with practiced ease, even while masked and submerged, to set the probe in place, aiming it landward at the check point of the Finger's protruding nail of rock. After Ashe made the final adjustments, tested each and every part of the assembly, he gestured ...
— Key Out of Time • Andre Alice Norton

... of his reasons, if such they should be termed, for urging tooth and nail the non-according of reform to the Crown-governed Colonies, our author puts forth this dogmatic ...
— West Indian Fables by James Anthony Froude Explained by J. J. Thomas • J. J. (John Jacob) Thomas

... We cannot nail the dial's hand; We cannot bind the sun By Gibeon to stay and stand, Or the moon ...
— The Vigil of Venus and Other Poems by "Q" • Q

... him and passed into the house without haste. But once inside she fairly flew to Phil's room. On a nail near the head of his bed hung a key. She took this, descended to the kitchen, and from there noiselessly down the stairway to the cellar. She groped her way without a light along the adobe wall till she came to a door ...
— Mavericks • William MacLeod Raine

... he was laughing softly as a boy in the midst of a prank, and busily throwing off the robe of serge. Fumbling through the night he located the shirt and trousers he had seen hanging from a nail on the wall. Into these he slipped, and then went out ...
— Riders of the Silences • Max Brand

... become decidedly the best shot in the settlement, could "bark" squirrels (that is, hit the bark of the branch on which a squirrel happened to be standing, and so kill it by the concussion alone), and could "drive the nail" every shot. The silver rifle, as we have said, became "great medicine" to the Red-men when they saw it kill at a distance which the few wretched guns they had obtained from the fur-traders could not even send a spent ball to. The double shot, too, ...
— The Dog Crusoe and His Master - A Story of Adventure in the Western Prairies • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... second cup when his glance fell from her face to her hands. They were delicately made, artistic, with wilful little thumbs, yet they impressed him with a certain resourcefulness, a strength in reserve. Suddenly the light from the lantern which he had hung on a nail in the wall above the table, struck an exceedingly large ruby she wore on her left hand. It glowed blood-red, scintillated, flamed. He saw the stone was mounted with diamonds in a unique setting of some foreign workmanship, and he told himself it was probably ...
— The Rim of the Desert • Ada Woodruff Anderson

... returned him two or three books he had lent me. In the volume of Shelley I underlined with my nail the last two lines of a certain verse and put a ...
— The Child of Pleasure • Gabriele D'Annunzio

... Martin, during which Mr. Jollyboy struck Mrs. Grumbit nearly dumb with horror by stating positively what he would do for the boy,—he would send him to sea! Then, seeing that he had hit the wrongest possible nail on the head, he said that he would make the lad a clerk in his office, where he would be sure to rise to a place of trust; whereat Mrs. Grumbit danced, if we may so speak, ...
— Martin Rattler • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... and his was a stall. I don't quite know what that is; but it isn't a house, and it served him for parlour and kitchen and all. Father says that whilst he is about it, he thinks he shall add on a wing; And brother Bill says he'll nail my Doll's House on the top of an old tea-chest, which will come to the ...
— Verses for Children - and Songs for Music • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... to bear upon him by the press, by many of his friends, and by such a man as Emerson, whom he deeply reverenced, to change or omit certain passages from his poems, seems only to have served as the opposing hammer that clinched the nail. The louder the outcry the more deeply he felt it his duty to stand by his first convictions. The fierce and scornful opposition to his sex poems, and to his methods and aims generally, was probably more confirmatory than any approval ...
— Whitman - A Study • John Burroughs

... machinery which makes them move is made of iron. The buckets which we have to carry water in have iron hoops. The doors have iron locks. The ink with which we write has iron in it. Last, but not least, we have iron in our blood, enough to make a ten-penny nail. ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, September 1878, No. 11 • Various

... interpretations which tend to cloud, rather than to elucidate gospel truths. Bunyan very properly warns his readers against giving the reins to their imaginations and indulging in speculations like those fathers, who in every nail, pin, stone, stair, knife, pot, and in almost every feather of a sacrificed bird could discern strange, distinct, and peculiar mysteries.[3] The same remark applies to the Jewish rabbis, who in their Talmud are full ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... door with one. A house containing a sweetheart had a branch of birch, the door of a scold was disgraced with alder, and a slatternly person had the mortification to find a branch of a nut-tree at hers, while the young people who overslept found their doors closed by a nail ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, May, 1878, No. 7. - Scribner's Illustrated • Various

... transplanter at the same time, the tree is taken from the ground with its roots undisturbed. Should the end of the tap root project below the end of the cylinder, the thready end should be pinched off with the thumb nail. By placing the lower end of the cylinder on the bottom of a box and inserting a wedge-shaped piece of wood in the slot, the cylinder is sprung open and can be withdrawn, leaving the young tree, with a cylinder of earth around its roots, standing on the bottom of the box. This ...
— The Hawaiian Islands • The Department of Foreign Affairs

... an air of final defeat, "there's nothing for it but to follow my instructions and pay you now on the nail!" ...
— Mr. Justice Raffles • E. W. Hornung

... Carlyle's, Tennyson's and yours. The day you paid your first visit here, I, in a fit of shyness not quite unnatural, ... though I have been cordially laughed at for it by everybody in the house ... pulled down your portrait, ... (there is the nail, under Wordsworth—) and then pulled down Tennyson's in a fit of justice,—because I would not have his hung up and yours away. It was the delight of my brothers to open all the drawers and the boxes, and whatever ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett



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