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Sense of humour

noun
1.
The trait of appreciating (and being able to express) the humorous.  Synonyms: humor, humour, sense of humor.  "You can't survive in the army without a sense of humor"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Sense of humour" Quotes from Famous Books



... its strength lies in its serpentine stillness and ancient unforgotten craft, and its weakness in that absence of ideals and in the sudden violence of partizanship which suggest pathological decay. What Greece does is generally subtle and shrewd; what she says is often madness. She has little sense of humour, and takes offence where other nations would laugh. Thus she wins by statecraft and loses by politics. In thought, and in the spoken word, Greece is outmatched for instance by the Slavs; but in silent action ...
— Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921 • Stephen Graham

... dramatic form, and relieved throughout by many touches in the author's happiest vein, which make it delightful not only to the scientific reader, but also to any one of average intelligence with the slightest sense of humour. ...
— The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll • Stuart Dodgson Collingwood

... this evening, thanks," Roy answered, with a touch of brusqueness. "I confess it wouldn't appeal to my sense of humour—seeing crocodiles gorge, while women and ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... should such an event happen. Should it be manslaughter or murder? This knotty question was submitted with touching solemnity to the law officers of the Crown for decision, and it may be assumed that even their sense of humour must have been excited when they learned of the quandary of the Governor and the French Commissioner. The shooting propensity set the ingenious Lowe a-thinking, and in order to satisfy it he evolved the idea of having rabbits let adrift, but, as usual, another of his little comforting considerations ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... am very sure of this, that the sane, healthy, well-balanced nature must have a fund of wholesome laughter in him, and that so far from trying to repress a sense of humour, as an unkind, unworthy, inhuman thing, there is no capacity of human nature which makes life so frank and pleasant a business. There are no companions so delightful as the people for whom one treasures up jests and reminiscences, because ...
— Joyous Gard • Arthur Christopher Benson

... said Sally. A sense of humour might have gone far to save him at that moment. She accredited it against him that he had none. "You might just as well have bet ten pounds," she added with a smile, "and I should have known what you meant. Ten pounds always sounds ...
— Sally Bishop - A Romance • E. Temple Thurston

... am going to now. In her town house, at a reception one afternoon. She had a purple dress with lace, and a Queen Victoria sort of bonnet with strings, and little white feathers sticking up in the front; and she had a—" Pixie smiled into space with reminiscent enjoyment—"beautiful sense of humour!" ...
— The Love Affairs of Pixie • Mrs George de Horne Vaizey

... Flinders' dry sense of humour occurred in reference to a chart of Bass Strait which Baudin had with him. This chart was one which had been drawn from George Bass's sketch by Flinders himself, and incorporated with his own more scientific chart of the north coast of Tasmania and the adjacent ...
— Terre Napoleon - A history of French explorations and projects in Australia • Ernest Scott

... rather lovable. The delight which she had experienced in his society lay in the fact that he was absolutely different from any other man she had met. His simplicity, his utter lack of "swank," his directness, his good nature, and dry sense of humour made him shine luminously in comparison with the worldly, rather artificial young men she had previously met—young men who said and did only those things which time, tradition, and hallowed memory assured them were ...
— The Valley of the Giants • Peter B. Kyne

... could ever have meant this is not to be dreamed; but when the true scholar gets thoroughly to work, his logic is remorseless, his art is implacable, and his sense of humour is blighted. In the rose above, Pierre had asserted the exclusive authority of Christ in the New Jerusalem, and his scheme required him to show how the Church rested on the Evangelists below, who in their ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... be reproved for rapidity of judgment is very just; however quaint the situation of Mr. Gladstone, as the reprover, may seem to people blessed with a sense of humour. But it is a quality, the defects of which have been painfully obvious to me all my life; and I try to keep my Pegasus—at best, a poor Shetland variety of that species of quadruped—at a respectable jog-trot, by loading him heavily with bales of reading. Those who took the trouble to study my paper ...
— Collected Essays, Volume V - Science and Christian Tradition: Essays • T. H. Huxley

... a mystery about it," said Cecily, who had missed the point entirely, and couldn't see why the rest of us were laughing. But Cecily was such a darling that we did not mind her lack of a sense of humour. ...
— The Golden Road • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... this he set forth and rang the bell of No. 233 King's Road, the private residence of Michael Finsbury. He had met the lawyer at a time of great public excitement in Chelsea; Michael, who had a sense of humour and a great deal of careless kindness in his nature, followed the acquaintance up, and, having come to laugh, remained to drop into a contemptuous kind of friendship. By this time, which was four years after the first meeting, Pitman ...
— The Wrong Box • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... pictured so cleverly, with so much understanding and convincing detail.... Intelligent, generous, sweet-natured, broadminded, quick to see and to appreciate all that is beautiful either in nature or in art, rejoicing humbly over her own great gift, endowed with a keen sense of humour, Christine's is a thoroughly wholesome and lovable character. But charming as Christine's personality and her literary style both are, the main value of the book lies in its admirably lucid analysis of ...
— The Record of a Quaker Conscience, Cyrus Pringle's Diary - With an Introduction by Rufus M. Jones • Cyrus Pringle

... excited by Iago, the patriotism of Brutus artfully exploited by Cassius, he yields to the repeated solicitation and does a deed in every way repugnant to his normal character. Nothing seems so blinding in its effect on the moral sense as passion. It obscures all sense of humour, proportion, congruity; the murder of the man or woman who stands in the way of its full enjoyment becomes an act of inverted justice to the perpetrators; they reconcile themselves to it by the most perverse reasoning until they come to regard it as an act, in which they may ...
— A Book of Remarkable Criminals • H. B. Irving

... of their land, the two compatriots have in common a taste for picturesque anecdotes, and select them with a view of making their heroes popular; the sense of humour is not developed to an equal degree, but it is of the same quality in both; and the same kind of happy answers are enjoyed by the two. Barbour delights, and with good reason, in preserving the account of the fight in which the king, traitorously attacked by ...
— A Literary History of the English People - From the Origins to the Renaissance • Jean Jules Jusserand

... took himself very seriously. There was an air of pomposity and arrogant importance about him which—considering who and what he was—would have been entertaining to any observer gifted with a sense of humour. ...
— The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists • Robert Tressell

... thinking, it has always seemed as if the one chink through which Scrooge's sympathies are got at and his heart-strings are eventually touched, is discernable in his keen sense of humour from the very outset. It is precisely through this that there seems hope, from the very beginning, of his proving to be made of "penetrable stuff." When, after his monstrous "Out upon merry Christmas!" he goes on to say, "If I had my will every idiot who goes about with 'merry Christmas' on ...
— Charles Dickens as a Reader • Charles Kent

... the extraordinary narrative which has been called the Joyce- Armstrong Fragment is an elaborate practical joke evolved by some unknown person, cursed by a perverted and sinister sense of humour, has now been abandoned by all who have examined the matter. The most macabre and imaginative of plotters would hesitate before linking his morbid fancies with the unquestioned and tragic facts which reinforce ...
— Danger! and Other Stories • Arthur Conan Doyle

... and felt, where it existed, the touch of sham, the overshading, the overtone. It was this which had given poise and penetration to her own work and made her of worth to the world. The serious critic, with the sense of humour and the power of expression, must inevitably command the world's ear. And so it was that she had commanded. Her sense of humour was really the artist's instinct ...
— The Sea-Wolf • Jack London

... —Dante—Petrarch—that sort of thing! It could never fade away in this case, he was sure. How pretty she was, how lovely her mouth was when she smiled! She had no prejudices, apparently; no affectations; how she played and sang that song again when he asked her! With what a delightful sense of humour she had dealt with him, and also with Bruce, at the Mitchells. Ottley must be a little difficult sometimes. She had read and thought; she had the same tastes as he. He wondered if she would have liked that thing in The Academy, on Gardens, that he had just read. He began looking for it. ...
— Tenterhooks • Ada Leverson

... daughter's nonsense," he said. "Someone told her the other day she had a sense of humour. It ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, May 6, 1914 • Various

... laid aside her furs Magda's impression qualified itself. Lady Arabella was not in the least of the "small bird" type, but rather suggested a hawk endowed with a grim sense of humour—quick and decisive in movement, with eyes that held an incalculable wisdom and laughed a thought cynically because they saw ...
— The Lamp of Fate • Margaret Pedler

... course of time there spread a rumour That he did all this from a sense of humour. So instead of signalling and stoking, They gave themselves up to a course of joking. Whenever they knew that he was riding, They shunted his train on a lonely siding, Or stopped all night in the middle of a tunnel, ...
— The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan - The 14 Gilbert And Sullivan Plays • William Schwenk Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

... foreman of the hop-picking as a most responsible and trustworthy man; it was then that his sense of humour was most conspicuous, a very important and valuable trait when 300 women and children, and the men who supplied them with hops on the poles, have to be kept cheerful and good-tempered every day and all day for three ...
— Grain and Chaff from an English Manor • Arthur H. Savory

... Two of our boys fell ill with a mysterious sickness, and tenderly and carefully were they nursed by me and fed with delicate portions from the king's table. I later learned with much chagrin that "chewing tobacco" (strictly forbidden) was the cause of this sudden onset. My sense of humour alone saved the situation ...
— Le Petit Nord - or, Annals of a Labrador Harbour • Anne Elizabeth Caldwell (MacClanahan) Grenfell and Katie Spalding

... had all their affection confirmed again by the fine appreciation showered upon them. The great mass of British public opinion, however, they did not touch. There was never a second flaming campaign because of Turkish atrocities towards Bulgaria, and the pro-Turks never had a sufficient sense of humour to suggest a counter-campaign when Bulgarians made reprisals. In official circles the general attitude towards Balkan affairs was one of ...
— Bulgaria • Frank Fox

... wretched, not because he considered water gruel objectionable, but because he had lost his precious sense of humour, that magician who can transform the dark rye into golden wheat; almighty love, emptying his horn of plenty over his poor home, had vanished. The children had become burdens, and the once beloved wife a secret enemy ...
— Married • August Strindberg

... dialogue I have tried to give the impression which it made on me, that Parkins was something of an old woman—rather henlike, perhaps, in his little ways; totally destitute, alas! of the sense of humour, but at the same time dauntless and sincere in his convictions, and a man deserving of the greatest respect. Whether or not the reader has gathered so much, that was ...
— Ghost Stories of an Antiquary • Montague Rhodes James

... in America these African natives are not only born actors but have a keen sense of humour. They are quick to imitate the white man. If a Georgia darkey, for example, wants to abuse a member of his own race he delights to call him "a fool nigger." It is the last word in reproach. In the Congo when a native desires to express contempt for his fellow, ...
— An African Adventure • Isaac F. Marcosson

... what question, what interest, what idea, what need of mankind, is involved in any of these things? Their big, pompous armies, drawn up in great silly rows, their gold lace, their salaams, their hierarchies, seem a pastime for children; there's a sense of humour and of reality over here that laughs at all that. Yes, we are nearer the reality—we are nearer what they will all have to come to. The questions of the future are social questions, which the Bismarcks and Beaconsfields ...
— The Point of View • Henry James

... where is your sense of humour? I wasn't trying to throw anything away, I was fetching that water for Miss Rowe. I remembered there was ...
— Juggernaut • Alice Campbell

... came on, Carraway measured him coolly, with an appreciation tempered by his native sense of humour. He perceived at once a certain coarseness of finish which, despite the deep-rooted veneration for an idle ancestry, is found most often in the descendants of a long line of generous livers. A moment later he weighed the keen gray ...
— The Deliverance; A Romance of the Virginia Tobacco Fields • Ellen Glasgow

... called the merry parson of Gouda. But Margaret, who like most loving women had no more sense of humour than a turtle-dove, took this very ill. "What!" said she to herself, "is there nothing sore at the bottom of his heart that he can go about playing the zany?" She could understand pious resignation and content, but not mirth, in true lovers parted. And ...
— The Cloister and the Hearth • Charles Reade

... the swaggering ruffian Filippo Argenti, who seems to have been in Florentine society the most notable example of a class now happily extinct in civilised countries, at all events among adults; a kind of bully, or "Mohock," fond of rough practical jokes, prompted, not by a misguided sense of humour, but by an irritable man's delight in venting his spite. One can sympathise, even after six hundred years, in Dante's pious satisfaction when he saw the man, of whom he may himself have once gone in bodily fear, become ...
— Dante: His Times and His Work • Arthur John Butler

... smile that was not wholly without irony. He was wont to say that any man could make an enemy of him, but no man could keep him as such. Perhaps it was that very volatility of his which made anything of the nature of prolonged enmity an impossibility. He possessed also that maddening sense of humour that laughs at deadly things. A good many people had tried to take him seriously and had failed. He was never serious. As he used to say with his mocking laugh, life was difficult enough without complications of that sort. All he ever asked of it was ...
— Charles Rex • Ethel M. Dell

... impatiently waits the coming of the postman, who lives in a perpetual state of agony, trembles for his dear ones, and at the same time continues his business, often doubling, even trebling his efforts so as to replace the absent, and still has sufficient sense of humour to remark: ...
— With Those Who Wait • Frances Wilson Huard

... The whole occurrence was too ridiculous, yet for once in her life her sense of humour was failing her. "And I wish you would not bother to come any further, ...
— To Love • Margaret Peterson

... other hotel of that name in Paris. It occurred to me that Strickland had concealed his address, after all. In giving his partner the one I knew he was perhaps playing a trick on him. I do not know why I had an inkling that it would appeal to Strickland's sense of humour to bring a furious stockbroker over to Paris on a fool's errand to an ill-famed house in a mean street. Still, I thought I had better go and see. Next day about six o'clock I took a cab to the Rue des Moines, but dismissed it at the corner, since ...
— The Moon and Sixpence • W. Somerset Maugham

... man of tragic temperament, if we may venture to peer through the printed page to the author, Marlowe lacked the sense of humour. This has been cast up against him as a serious weakness; but it is possible that just here lies the strength of his contribution to drama. His work in literature was to set a standard in the portrayal of deep emotions, and ...
— The Growth of English Drama • Arnold Wynne

... said Atherley, "was the American one. I really admired old Stamps, and old Stamps admired me; for she knew I thoroughly understood what an unmitigated humbug she was. She had a fine sense of humour, too. How her eyes used to twinkle when I ...
— Cecilia de Noel • Lanoe Falconer

... reserved, retiring, inconspicuous, and puzzling to our understanding. In his effort (never very successful) to strike off the shackles of modern slang, he fell into a way of speech that bewildered those unable to realise what an abiding sense of humour underlay it—as water runs beneath ice—more, I think, a matter of intonation and significant silences, than a mere play upon words and phrases; which, coupled with an unshakable sobriety of demeanour, furnished us with wonder and some admiration, ...
— The Fortune Hunter • Louis Joseph Vance

... like to,' and her sense of humour being now tickled by the conversation, she added slyly: 'but you were counting up the good matches in ...
— Muslin • George Moore

... man was game to the last, and his sense of humour never deserted him. When Oldfield was rehearsing Mrs. Sullen (a woman who separates from one husband only to have another, Archer, in prospect) she told Wilks that "she thought the author had dealt too freely with Mrs. Sullen, in giving her to Archer, without such a ...
— The Palmy Days of Nance Oldfield • Edward Robins

... dressing-gown; that ridiculous disguise which is yet more real than the real person. That collapse and humorous confession of futility was much of the force in Charles Lamb and in Stevenson. There is nothing of this in Shaw; his wit is never a weakness; therefore it is never a sense of humour. For wit is always connected with the idea that truth is close and clear. Humour, on the other hand, is always connected with the idea that truth is tricky and mystical and easily mistaken. What Charles Lamb said of the Scotchman is far truer of this type of Puritan Irishman; he does not ...
— George Bernard Shaw • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... "For seven hours they were kept within Guildhall, where they seem to have been considered as much removed from the necessities of the flesh as Gog and Magog above their heads." At length the compassion, or perhaps the sense of humour, of certain of the diners was moved by the forlorn situation of the knights in armour, and bumpers of wine were tendered them. The man in steel discreetly declined this hospitable offer, alleging ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... poem which enjoyed so singular a fate, Lord Houghton has quietly remarked that it could not have been written by a man with a strong sense of humour. This is true of every part of it, of the stiff and self-sufficient preface, and of the grotesque prologue, both of which in all probability belong to 1819, no less than of the story itself, in its three cantos or parts, which bear the stamp of Alfoxden and 1798. ...
— Gossip in a Library • Edmund Gosse

... This shows a grim sense of humour, as most of those who took part in these mock trials were certain to end their careers before a real trial unless they came to a sudden ...
— The Pirates' Who's Who - Giving Particulars Of The Lives and Deaths Of The Pirates And Buccaneers • Philip Gosse

... speech blunt and harsh. Something of this may, probably, be attributed to the freedom of mountain air and of isolated hill-side life; something be derived from their rough Norse ancestry. They have a quick perception of character, and a keen sense of humour; the dwellers among them must be prepared for certain uncomplimentary, though most likely true, observations, pithily expressed. Their feelings are not easily roused, but their duration is lasting. Hence there is much close friendship and faithful ...
— The Life of Charlotte Bronte - Volume 1 • Elizabeth Gaskell

... well, all is joyful, all is divine. The more simple, childlike, and unpretentious we can be, the more easily we shall win our way through. Pretentiousness or arrogance in Man can never be anything but ridiculous, and a sense of humour should alone be sufficient to save us from such error. For the same reason it is impossible to regard human ceremonies with any respect or seriousness, for they are not childlike but childish. How often the heart and mind cry ...
— The Romance of the Soul • Lilian Staveley

... laughable incident in a tragic business. How deeply thankful we ought to be that even the most serious matters have generally a silver lining about them in the shape of a joke, if only people could see it. The sense of humour is a very valuable possession in life, and ought to be cultivated in the Board ...
— Allan Quatermain • by H. Rider Haggard

... But the self-occupied mind has no dramatic power, and so their repertory contained one single character, a reproduction of their own in different attitudes and situations. Chateaubriand may be said never to have dropped his mask; whereas Byron, whose English sense of humour must have fought against taking himself so very seriously, relieved his conscience by lapses into epigram, irony, and persiflage. Thus in the same year (1818), and from the same place (Venice), he produced the fourth canto of Childe Harold, full ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... have taken more comfort in this championship of his views if it were not for his suspicion that Elder Wardle sometimes spoke in a tone of levity, and had indeed more than once been reckoned as a doubter. It was even related of him that a perverted sense of humour had once inspired him to deliver an irreverent and wholly immaterial address in pure Choctaw at a service where many others of the faithful had been moved to speak in tongues; and that an earnest sister, believing the Holy Ghost to be ...
— The Lions of the Lord - A Tale of the Old West • Harry Leon Wilson

... have been quite an ideal condition of affairs, and an object-lesson to a harsh world and other editors, were it not that Severne was serious-minded. He had absolutely no sense of humour. Perspectives there were none for him, and due proportions did not exist. He took life hard. He looked upon himself gravely as a serious proposition, like the Nebular Hypothesis or Phonetic Reform. The immediate consequence was that, having achieved his success through realism, he ...
— Blazed Trail Stories - and Stories of the Wild Life • Stewart Edward White

... seen a hornless moose, so grotesque in its spring ugliness that the parchment-like skin of his face had cracked for half an instant in a smile, and out of him had come a low and appreciative grunt; for Meshaba, in spite of his age, still had a sense of humour left. Once he had seen a wolf, and twice a fox, and now his eyes were on an eagle high over his head. Meshaba would not have shot that eagle, for year after year it had come down through time with him, and it was always there soaring in the sun when spring came. So Meshaba grunted as he ...
— Nomads of the North - A Story of Romance and Adventure under the Open Stars • James Oliver Curwood

... Shakespeare, for one. But Spedding had no sort of Ambition, and liked to be kept at one long work which he knew would not glorify himself. He was the wisest man I have known: not the less so for plenty of the Boy in him; a great sense of Humour, a Socrates in Life and in Death, which he faced with all Serenity so long as Consciousness lasted. I suppose something of him will reach America, I mean, of his Death, run over by a Cab and dying in St. George's Hospital ...
— Letters of Edward FitzGerald in Two Volumes - Vol. II • Edward FitzGerald

... missionary priest, and upon the possession of ordinary powers of observation. Those who know Father Phelan rate his claims much higher. His fame as a preacher is spread throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. His wide and varied learning, his acute powers of observation, his keen sense of humour and sound practical judgment are common topics of conversation amongst a wide circle of friends. The fine flower and fruit ripened by constant study and wide experience are modestly displayed in this little ...
— The Young Priest's Keepsake • Michael Phelan

... hastens the eviction of Louise by throwing a chair at her, very well aimed by Mr. ROBERT RADFORD, who only just missed his mark. I suppose it is hopeless to expect that the makers of "Grand" Opera (whose sense of humour is seldom their strong point) will consent to allow the trivialities of ordinary speech in everyday life ("How do you do?" "Thank you, I am not feeling my best," and so on) to be said—if they must find expression of ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, Apr 2, 1919 • Various

... himself rapidly, but not quickly enough. He was conscious of something cold about his wrists, and a none too kindly hand dragged him to his feet. T. B. with his white beard all awry was a comical figure, but Poltavo had no sense of humour ...
— The Secret House • Edgar Wallace

... now? From this moment I abjure pessimism and cynicism in all their forms, put from my mind all considerations of the complexities of human life, unravel all by a triumphant optimism which no statistics can abash or criticism dishearten. I likewise undertake to divest myself entirely of any sense of humour that may have developed within me during the baneful experiences of the last ten years, and, in short, will consent for the future to be nothing that is not perfectly perfect and pure. These, I take it, are the fundamental conditions of ...
— The Quest of the Golden Girl • Richard le Gallienne

... groped my way to the first floor, appealed to me suddenly by my strong sense of humour. Here was I, the owner of the house, burglariously present in its walls; and there, in the dining-room, were two gentlemen, unknown to me, seated complacently at supper, and only saved by my promptitude from some surprising or deadly interruption. It were strange if I could not manage to extract ...
— The Dynamiter • Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny van de Grift Stevenson

... at Naples, we find there, at present, more originality of character than of mind. But the remarkable men of this country, it is said, such as the Abbe Galiani, Caraccioli, &c., possessed the highest sense of humour, joined to the most profound reflection,—rare powers of the mind!—an union without which either pedantry or frivolity would hinder us from knowing the true ...
— Corinne, Volume 1 (of 2) - Or Italy • Mme de Stael

... Jack Ryan's reminiscences had their droll sides, for he had a keen sense of humour. One of his stories was in connection with the well-known old tradition of the Gaels—both Irish and Scottish—that wherever the "Lia Fail" or "Stone of Destiny" may be must be the seat of Government. There is some doubt, as is well known, as to where ...
— The Life Story of an Old Rebel • John Denvir

... historical landmarks are inoffensive. The dispute which they recall aroused far less emotion on our side the ocean than on the other, and long ago we saw the events of the Revolution in a fair perspective. In truth, this insistence on the past is not wholly creditable to Boston's sense of humour. The passionate paeans which Otis and his friends sang to Liberty were irrelevant. Liberty was never for a moment in danger, if Liberty, indeed, be a thing of fact and not of watchwords. The leaders of the Revolution wrote and spoke as though ...
— American Sketches - 1908 • Charles Whibley

... with the discordant sound. She sprang to his side, her eyes rolling with terror. But he laughed himself, and in a few moments she was attempting to imitate him. Awhile later she introduced him to the birds; but he forbore to trill, having a saving sense of humour. ...
— The Splendid Idle Forties - Stories of Old California • Gertrude Atherton

... be fastidious in the matter of fiction, the natural result of a sense of humour combined with an instinctive appreciation of style. There had been a time of course, when, released from the strict censorship of a boarding-school under which all novels on the very lengthy index expurgatorius had to be read in delicious stealth, ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... writing to his patron Burleigh, requesting him to procure mandatory letters from the Queen "that so under your auspices I may be quietly admitted a Fellow there." The petition was refused, Burleigh's sense of propriety overcoming his sense of humour, and the petitioner quitted Oxford, leaving his College the legacy of an unpaid bill for battels, and probably already preparing in his brain the revenge, which subsequently took the form of an attack upon his University in Euphues, which ...
— John Lyly • John Dover Wilson

... the village grocer's daughter at Valmond no longer could speak to a school friend, a little general servant who came to fetch treacle at the shop, when Pappa Grocer bought a piano! So you see, Mamma, it is in human nature, whether you are English or American, if you haven't a sense of humour. I suppose you have to be up where we are for it all to seem nonsense and not to matter; and, who knows? If there were another grade beyond us we might be just the same, too; but it is trash to talk of equality. Even a Socialist ...
— Elizabeth Visits America • Elinor Glyn

... Noctes can stand away from Politics and Literature—for the two were always involved in those days, so that unless you approved a man's party you couldn't allow that he wrote tolerable verse—they can wile away a winter evening very pleasantly. Christopher North had an eye for character, a sense of humour, and knew and loved the country. He was country bred. He is at his best when he combines his loves, as he does in the person of the Shepherd. Keep the Shepherd off (a) girls, (b) nursing mothers, (c) the ...
— In a Green Shade - A Country Commentary • Maurice Hewlett

... possessed. His character was not in the least degree soured by neglect or fretted by banter. Not to over-estimate oneself is a virtue very rare among poets, and certainly does not lead to public triumphs. Modesty is apt to accompany the sense of humour which alleviates life, while it is an ...
— The Death-Wake - or Lunacy; a Necromaunt in Three Chimeras • Thomas T Stoddart

... fortin on the poop deck in his Sunday pumps!" and without more ado he let fly the water, first at my feet and then upwards, till I was soused from head to foot, and the scrubbers and swabbers laughed at my gasps as I know I could not have moved their sense of humour if I had had the finest wit in the world. However, I suppose they had had to take as well as give such merriment in their time; and I keenly remember Biddy's parting hint that the "good-nature of my ways" would be my best friend in this rough society. So I laughed and shook myself, ...
— We and the World, Part II. (of II.) - A Book for Boys • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... by the restless twisting of his long beard in which he continuously indulged. He was grave and reserved; but when he became interested in any matter he talked freely, although always deliberately, and he was always ready to deafen his opinions with much spirit. He had, moreover, a considerable sense of humour. What struck me most about Scott was the great acuteness of his powers of observing natural phenomena, and especially of such as had any bearing on variation, natural selection or hybridity. While most attentive to the ordinary duties of the chief of a large garden, Scott ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II - Volume II (of II) • Charles Darwin

... Their extravagance exhausts expletive! When they belong to the class of society generally denoted with a capital S, they invariably smoke, drink, gamble and swear. They neglect their homes and their children. They have little principle and less sense, no morals, no heart and absolutely no sense of humour! ...
— Modern marriage and how to bear it • Maud Churton Braby

... features, smooth brown hair of satin sheen, and mild brown eyes, with just a hint of demureness in them now and again. We remembered that Aunt Olivia had written to father that Cecily was a true Ward—she had no sense of humour. We did not know what this meant, but we thought it was not ...
— The Story Girl • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... that orator. I stop and think—shall I describe how I paced up and down the pier, respectfully but emphatically watched by the secretary? And all the melodramatic plots I conceived, the muffled oars and the midnight visits to my Sylvia? My sense of humour forbids it. For a while now I shall take the hint and stay in the background of this story. I shall tell the experiences of Sylvia as Sylvia herself told them to me long afterwards; saying no more about my own ...
— Sylvia's Marriage • Upton Sinclair

... sense of humour, if you haven't. Who gets up in the gray dawn to call on another man's ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... of her sense of humour, and I maintained a dignified reticence, which unhappily she regarded as mere sullenness, until ...
— The Crack of Doom • Robert Cromie

... Of course, the seven-year-old Vanderveer boy on the Bluffs had an electric runabout for a Christmas gift, also a man to run it! Corney Delaney, as Evan named the majestic gray goat—of firm disposition blended with a keen sense of humour—that father gave the boys last spring and who has been their best beloved ever since, has for many days been left in duress with the calves in the stack-yard, where the all-day diet of cornstalks is fatally bulging his once ...
— People of the Whirlpool • Mabel Osgood Wright

... went to a canvas camp at Neuve Eglise, but moved soon after to Dranoutre, where we were billeted in houses. Lieut.-Col. Turner, O.C. the 5th N.F., came to command the Brigade for about a week, in the absence of General Clifford, who went to England on leave. He was a regular officer, with a keen sense of humour and with an extraordinary dislike of parsons. These new trenches were quiet enough, but the sniping of the enemy was far too good. I was nearly caught out before I realised that fact. I was looking over ...
— Q.6.a and Other places - Recollections of 1916, 1917 and 1918 • Francis Buckley

... Quest," the Professor advised. "Don't let me lose confidence in you. Craig would not hurt a fly, and as to abducting your assistant—if my sense of humour were developed upon normal lines—well, I should laugh! What you have really done, you, and that young lady assistant of yours, is to terrify the poor fellow into such a state of nerves that he scarcely knows what he is doing. As a matter of fact, ...
— The Black Box • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... statesmen of South-Eastern Europe are a collection of rather swarthy, frock-coated personages who, when not engaged in decrying each other, are very busily occupied in feathering their own nests. If any one of them, at the outset of his career, had a sense of humour we suppose that in this heated atmosphere it must have long ago evaporated. But strangely enough, the two most prominent politicians in Yugoslavia, the venerable Pa[vs]i['c], the Prime Minister of this new State of Serbs and Croats and Slovenes, even as he used for years to be the ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 2 • Henry Baerlein

... Dr. John about Madame's devotion to him. How he laughed! What fun shone in his eyes as he recalled some of her fine speeches, and repeated them, imitating her voluble delivery! He had an acute sense of humour, and was the finest company in the world—when ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... intended to introduce into the recital somewhat more of mysticism and sublimity than the actual facts warranted. But once launched thereon, his sense of humour could not be denied its full enjoyment in this first telling of the entire tale. Full justice he did to the pathos, but he also shook with mirth over the ludicrous. As he quoted Mary Antony, the old lay-sister's odd manner and movements could be seen; her mumbling ...
— The White Ladies of Worcester - A Romance of the Twelfth Century • Florence L. Barclay

... was a sparkle of humour about her too, which would sometimes shine the brightest when there was no one by her to appreciate it. Her daughter would smile at her mother's sallies,—but she did so simply in kindness. Kate did not share her mother's sense of humour,—did not share it as yet. With the young the love of fun is gratified generally by grotesque movement. It is not till years are running on that the grotesqueness of words and ideas is appreciated. But Mrs. O'Hara would expend her art on the ...
— An Eye for an Eye • Anthony Trollope

... was originally designed, can nowhere be discovered. It is possible that in the interval between the conception and the execution the boy happened to light upon a copy of the Rolliad. If such was the case, he already had too fine a sense of humour to have persevered in his original plan after reading that masterpiece of drollery. It is worthy of note that the voluminous writings of his childhood, dashed off at headlong speed in the odds and ends of leisure ...
— Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay • George Otto Trevelyan

... with Rod Rockwell, smiled slightly. "Bill ain't got a sense of humour this mornin'," he observed, softly. "He must 'a' thought ...
— The Heart of the Range • William Patterson White

... Barraclough's confidence. A late corporal of the Black Watch, he had reverted to act as Barraclough's batman throughout the major portion of the war. Rather a curious mixture was Doran. He had a light hand for an omelette and a heavy fist in a mix up, a sense of humour in adversity and a seriousness in ordinary affairs of daily life, a shrewd observer, a flawless servant and a staunch ally. Very little got past ...
— Men of Affairs • Roland Pertwee

... a capacity for wit, but, as he was fond of saying himself, no sympathy with farce or mere high spirits. I doubt even if he had a sense of humour in the ordinary meaning of that term, or in the Frenchman's definition: "la mlancholie gaie que les Anglais nomment 'humour.'" To say this is not to say that he did not enjoy a humorous, an ironic, ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... prefaces in general, and perhaps authors might be more daring and candid than they are with advantage, and write regular criticisms of their own books in their prefaces, for nobody can be so good a critic of himself as the author—if he has a sense of humour. If he has not, the less he says ...
— The Orange Fairy Book • Andrew Lang

... observation without himself seeing the fun in it. Where he sets forth with intent to be humorous he sometimes attains almost to the tragic; there are few things so sad as a joke that misses fire or a jester without sense of humour. ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... way Karl had told her in that first letter about some other woman in his life, and then had never so much as revealed to her that other woman's name? Where did this woman live? When had Karl known her? How well had he known her? And all the while her sense of humour was striving to make attacks upon her and the consciousness in her inmost heart that all this was absurd and most unworthy only made her the more ...
— The Glory Of The Conquered • Susan Glaspell

... story came out across the liqueur glasses and the early strawberries, Major Clowes laid his head back and roared with laughter. Lawrence was annoyed: he had not found it amusing and he felt that his cousin had a macabre and uncomfortable sense of humour. But Bernard, wiping the tears from his eyes, developed unabashed his idea of a good joke. "Hark to him! Now isn't that Lawrence all over? What! can't you run down for twenty-four hours to a hamlet the size of Chilmark but you must ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... glance. The man's was one of the typical island physiognomies—his features energetic and wary in their expression, and half covered with a close, crisp black beard. Pierston fancied that out of his keen dark eyes there glimmered a dry sense of humour at ...
— The Well-Beloved • Thomas Hardy

... gentleman might just as well have tried to understand the character of an asymptote, or to win the confidence of a Will-o'-the-wisp; and nothing but misery can come of it when a middle-aged city merchant, born without even a rudimentary sense of humour, suddenly determines to cultivate that gift for the benefit of a boy who can detect humour in ...
— Audrey Craven • May Sinclair

... shaded her slate-gray eyes had that upward curl which shows an undying sense of humour, and she had been a merry little girl, with flashes of wit which had enchanted Franklin Merriam before she was snatched away to Europe at eleven, never to see him again. Even at school where she had been "dumped" (as Mrs. Merriam's intimate enemies put it), ...
— The Port of Adventure • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... together, and, looking up, caught Rose Butler's eye. Rose held up for a moment a piece of paper, upon which she had executed a fancy sketch of Captain Devereux and his aeroplane surrounded by schoolgirls, and Miss Franklin in the background raising hands of horror. It was too much for Marjorie's sense of humour, and she chuckled audibly. Miss Norton promptly glared in her direction, and gave her an order mark, which sobered ...
— A Patriotic Schoolgirl • Angela Brazil

... they need, I presume, occupation after their hours of work. If any of them answer: "We do not want occupation, we want amusement. Work is very dull, and we want something which will excite our fancy, imagination, sense of humour. We want poetry, fiction, even a good laugh or a game of play"—I shall most fully agree with them. There is often no better medicine for a hard-worked body and mind than a good laugh; and the man who can play most heartily when he has a chance of playing is generally the man who can work most ...
— Town Geology • Charles Kingsley

... force, and his head came in contact with a stone. He got up, and by this time was surrounded by the people, when, holding out his hand, he said, "Look here," and then paused. Everyone expected some remark about the tiger, but, amidst general laughter—for the natives have a keen sense of humour—he continued, "There will be a bump on my head to-morrow as big as a cocoanut." And now, as we have heard so much of the courage of man, it is time that the dogs should have their turn, and I will conclude these reminiscences with ...
— Gold, Sport, And Coffee Planting In Mysore • Robert H. Elliot

... has intimated to a newspaper man that he is prepared to abide by the decisions of the Peace Conference. This confirms recent indications that WILHELM is developing a sense of humour. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, June 4, 1919. • Various

... that So-and-so has no sense of humour. Lack of this sense is everywhere held to be a horrid disgrace, nullifying any number of delightful qualities. Perhaps the most effective means of disparaging an enemy is to lay stress on his integrity, ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... some of the gaiety and exuberance and fun got no less into his manner towards the people whose habit is to shield their eyes with the spectacles of convention. Beardsley had a keen sense of humour that helped him to snatch all the joy there is in the old, time-honoured, youthful game of getting on the nerves of established respectability. Naturally, so Robert Ross, his friend, has said of him, "he possessed what is called an artificial manner"; that is, ...
— Nights - Rome, Venice, in the Aesthetic Eighties; London, Paris, in the Fighting Nineties • Elizabeth Robins Pennell

... that have not the heart to cover it—envying the rats that can creep into some hole in the earth and hide; and remember that a soul is dumb—it has no voice to cry out—it must endure, and endure, and endure. Oh! I'm talking nonsense! Why on earth don't you laugh? You have no sense of humour!" ...
— The Gadfly • E. L. Voynich

... looked expectantly at Mrs. Jimmie. Her apologies for Jimmie's most delicious impertinences are so sincere and her sense of humour so absolutely wanting that we love her almost as dearly as we ...
— Abroad with the Jimmies • Lilian Bell

... feel that I am dealing with what I had said it would be well to avoid—anything to do with the future of Chesterton. What is Chesterton's position as a poet to-day? He is, I think, one of the finest of the day; he has a fine sense of humour in poetry; he has great powers of recasting scenes of long-forgotten centuries; he has a fine musical rhythm; but he has not, I think, pathos. I think it is a pity that he does not write epics on events of the day; he might easily find the Poet Laureate's silence ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Patrick Braybrooke

... I remembered him, had an elephantine sense of humour capable of the most clumsy and unwieldly gambollings. Was this one of those jokes which used to reduce him to uproarious laughter, when his eyes would disappear and he was all gaping mouth and wagging beard, supremely indifferent to the gravity of all around him? I turned ...
— The Poison Belt • Arthur Conan Doyle

... everyone of Jewish blood would marry a Christian, the country would in course of time be cleared of a race that, she solemnly assured me, is as great a curse to it, and as inferior as the negro in America. But as she was an anti-Semite with a sense of humour she admitted that the remedy was a slow one and difficult to enforce. As a matter of fact, the Jews marry mostly amongst themselves in Germany, and men are still living in Frankfurt and other large cities who have made comfortable fortunes by the brokerage they charged on their matchmaking. ...
— Home Life in Germany • Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

... them. But even more than lack of power is lack of humour the cause of all the rankness and the staleness, of all the Anglo-Saxon of commerce, of all the weary 'quaintness'—that quaintness of which one is moved to exclaim with Cassio: 'Hither comes the bauble!' Lack of a sense of humour betrays a man into that perpetual too-much whereby he tries to make amends for a currency debased. No more than any other can a witty writer dispense with a sense of humour. In his moments of sentiment the lack is distressing; in his moments of wit it is at least perceptible. ...
— The Rhythm of Life • Alice Meynell

... ha, ha! I should think it was." He was fearfully hoping her keen sense of humour might continue ...
— Bunker Bean • Harry Leon Wilson

... had a lively sense of humour, but the joke of this was lost on her. Her education had been that getting shot was far ...
— Red Saunders • Henry Wallace Phillips

... tete-a-tete lunch, he had said, in reply to her banter, that Louise was a darling! That he was awfully fond of her, that she had the most wonderful eyes, and that she was always alert and full of a keen sense of humour. ...
— Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo • William Le Queux

... the darkness, as pale things waver down into deep water, and as soon as she disappeared my sense of humour returned. The episode appeared more clearly, as a flirtation with an enigmatic, but decidedly charming, chance travelling companion. The girl was a riddle, and a riddle once guessed is a very trivial thing. She, too, would be a very trivial thing when I had found a ...
— The Inheritors • Joseph Conrad

... letters you write. In which particulars, indeed, if my influence had had greater weight with you than a somewhat excessive quickness of disposition, or a certain enjoyment in indulging temper, or a faculty for epigram and a sense of humour, we should certainly have had no cause for dissatisfaction. And don't you suppose that I feel no common vexation when I am told how Vergilius is esteemed, and your neighbour C. Octavius?[288] For if you only excel your neighbours farther up country, in Cilicia and Syria, ...
— The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1 - The Whole Extant Correspodence in Chronological Order • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... people of St. Bazile quite understood their cur, and that he was just the one for them. He was a strong man, over sixty years of age, and he spoke with a rich southern accent. Under his sacerdotal earnestness there was a sense of humour ever ready to take a little revenge for a life of sacrifice. There are many ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... to have a strong sense of humour," remarked Vickers gravely, at which his comrades giggled. Vickers was commonly believed to have none. He never laughed ...
— Jack of Both Sides - The Story of a School War • Florence Coombe

... With a Frontispiece. Fourth Edition. 'Mr. Phillpotts knows exactly what school-boys do, and can lay bare their inmost thoughts; likewise he shows an all-pervading sense of humour.'—Academy. ...
— The Land of the Black Mountain - The Adventures of Two Englishmen in Montenegro • Reginald Wyon

... this impression to its origin. He had not exactly a double chin, but rather a chin and a half, and the rest of him followed this moderate example. His grey hair retired in a pronounced estuary over each temple, leaving a beautifully brushed peninsula between. He had no sense of humour, but hid this deformity skillfully. Hardly anybody knew that he was a poet, except presumably his dog. He often talked to his dog; he told it every speakable thought that he had. This was his only bad habit. Occasionally his dog was heard to ...
— This Is the End • Stella Benson



Words linked to "Sense of humour" :   sense of humor, humor, fun, playfulness, humour



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