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Foolery   Listen
noun
Foolery  n.  (pl. fooleries)  
1.
The practice of folly; the behavior of a fool; foolish behavior; absurdity. "Folly in fools bears not so strong a note, As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote."
2.
An act of folly or weakness; a foolish practice; something absurd or nonsensical. "That Pythagoras, Plato, or Orpheus, believed in any of these fooleries, it can not be suspected."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Foolery" Quotes from Famous Books



... see one good Presbyterian who hasn't gone off his head over this tom-foolery." Here he made the fatal mistake of slapping Mr. McPherson on the shoulder. "It does me good to see a man who isn't a fanatic, but can take a glass and leave it alone, and give every ...
— The End of the Rainbow • Marian Keith

... Such foolery as this and at such a time irritated me sorely; but there was no help for it now. Whether I should or should not open to him the subject that had taken me thither, I must, I saw, let him have his humour ...
— Aylwin • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... and what not. Well, now I tell you, I never seen good come o' goodness yet. Him as strikes first is my fancy; dead men don't bite; them's my views—amen, so be it. And now, you look here," he added, suddenly changing his tone, "we've had about enough of this foolery. The tide's made good enough by now. You just take my orders, Cap'n Hawkins, and we'll sail slap in and be done ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson

... "I'm glad your father didn't live to see you in all the glory of your gracelessness," he said. "Your father was a man, every inch of him. Do you get it? A man. I think he'd have whaled all this musical and artistic tom foolery out of you." ...
— Smoke Bellew • Jack London

... take the right course to escape his hellish snares? This, therefore, is the reason why the truly humbled is opposed, while the presumptuous goes on by wind and tide. The truly humble, Satan hates; but he laughs to see the foolery of ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... too bad; go forward now and cut this foolery short. You will be too drunk to cook the dinner if ...
— Nature and Human Nature • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... wonted to praise The rhymes and the lays Of poets laureate: Whose verse did decorate, And their lines 'lustrate Both prince and potentate. These from their graves See asses and knaves, Base idiot slaves, With boastings and braves Offer to upfly To the heavens high, With vain foolery And rude ribaldry. Some of them write Of beastly delight, Suffering their lines To flatter these times With pandarism base, And lust do uncase From the placket to the pap: God send them ill-hap! Some like quaint pedants, Good wit's true recreants, Ye cannot beseech From pure Priscian ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th edition) • Various

... Exits and entrances, the essential details of the action, Luck directed painstakingly, as always he had done. Why, then, said camera man to assistants, should he let those fellows go in and ball up the dramatic business and turn whole scenes into farce with their foolery? And why had he chosen Tracy Gray Joyce as leading man? And that eye-rolling, limp sentimentalist, Lenore Honiwell, as his leading woman? Luck was known to despise these two, personally and professionally. They could not, to save their lives, ...
— The Phantom Herd • B. M. Bower

... manner; the captain in the advance, the rest of the party following on slowly. She-wee-she, for the greater part of the time, trudged on foot over the snow, keeping himself warm by hard exercise, and all kinds of crazy capers. In the height of his foolery, the patriarchal colt, which, unbroken to the saddle, was suffered to follow on at large, happened to come within his reach. In a moment, he was on his back, snapping his fingers, and yelping with delight. The colt, unused to such a burden, and ...
— The Adventures of Captain Bonneville - Digested From His Journal • Washington Irving

... and then it fell a-raining and thundering and lightening as I have not seen it do for some years: which people did take great notice of; God's blessing of the work of these two days, which is a foolery to take too much notice of such things. I observed little disorder in all this, but only the King's footmen had got hold of the canopy, and would keep it from the ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... coordinates of time, the vertical, the horizontal and the lateral changed places and a man went east to go up and west to go "down" and ran his street-numbers in a fourth dimension. It was mathematical foolery, from one standpoint, but it led to some fascinating if ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science January 1931 • Various

... evening, I tell you, all those heads in the reek of the light, the foolery of those people enjoying life and profiting by peace! It was like a ballet at the theater or the make-believe of a magic lantern. There were—there were—there are a hundred thousand more of them," Volpatte ...
— Under Fire - The Story of a Squad • Henri Barbusse

... author, whose bewitching style, Life's tedious minutes can beguile, Makes us, with him, forget uneasy care, And not remember what we are. Who by a charm, which no one can withstand, Enchanting poison can command, Can make us share his pleasing foolery, And from dull ...
— Ebrietatis Encomium - or, the Praise of Drunkenness • Boniface Oinophilus

... foolery, Mr. Crane," Carlotta defended, "I've tried the Ouija Board myself, and it's a ...
— The Come Back • Carolyn Wells

... knock-kneed, gimcrack, purblind, rough-skinned, underfed, and perpetually irritated and grumpy intellect, or analytical curiosity rather (a diseased appetite), and let it swell till it eats up every other function? Away with such foolery. ...
— The Path to Rome • Hilaire Belloc

... silent and bewildered, for of all this foolery I could understand nothing, and while I stood thus Montezuma clapped his hands and women entered bearing beautiful clothing with them, and a wreath of flowers. The clothing they put upon my body and ...
— Montezuma's Daughter • H. Rider Haggard

... will never after own a spot big enough to bury you in. Half of what you will get for the land you will spend in moving to Missouri, and the other half you will eat and drink and wear out, and no foot of land will be bought. Now, I feel it is my duty to have no hand in such a piece of foolery. I feel that it is so even on your own account, and particularly on mother's account. The eastern forty acres I intend to keep for mother while she lives; if you will not cultivate it, it will rent for enough to support her; at least, ...
— The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln • Francis Fisher Browne

... now the owner of a fine property at home, I don't see what trouble he can have had. He may possibly, for anything I know, have had some boyish love affairs, but I don't think he is the sort of man to allow his whole life to be affected by any foolery of that sort. He is simply ...
— Rujub, the Juggler • G. A. Henty

... eyrie felt his heart warm with a sort of fatherly pity over these bumpkin raptures. The lad blows a bubble of foolery, and it glitters and floats and bursts, and who is the worse for it? The man carves folly in brass, and breaks his head on his own monument; or forges it in steel, and stabs his own heart with it. The vanities of youth are yeast in wholesome ale. The follies of later life are mildew in the cask. ...
— Despair's Last Journey • David Christie Murray

... circumstance, of which he informed me, that to him and as it afterward proved to me was of a much more serious nature. They had not been altogether so inattentive as I had imagined. Amid their monkey tricks and common place foolery, their hearts had been burning with jealousy of each other. Neither men nor women were satisfied with their parts. I had three male and two female characters of great importance in the play, but rising in gradation. Of the first of these all the actors ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... no heart for his fun. She could scarcely summon the strength and attention requisite for this fantastic infantile foolery when all her capacities were enlisted to support her dignity in the presence of this man, necessarily inimical, censorious, critical, who had once meant so much in her life. But she could not rebuff the baby! She would not humble his spirit! She must enter into his jest, ...
— The Ordeal - A Mountain Romance of Tennessee • Charles Egbert Craddock

... (as Aeneas Sylvius observes) qui sceleratum non habent ortum, that have not a wicked beginning; aut qui vi et dolo eo fastigii non ascendunt, as that plebeian in [3635]Machiavel in a set oration proved to his fellows, that do not rise by knavery, force, foolery, villainy, or such indirect means. "They are commonly able that are wealthy; virtue and riches seldom settle on one man: who then sees not the beginning of nobility? spoils enrich one, usury another, treason a third, witchcraft a fourth, flattery a fifth, lying, stealing, bearing false ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... sir, and you bind me to you for ever," said the cavalier; "and I conjure you not to keep malice against me on account of the foolery you wot of." ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... of foolery, at any rate,' he said. 'Jeanbernat, you are a deceiver. I suspect you are in love, in spite of your affectation of being blase. You were speaking very tenderly of the ...
— Abbe Mouret's Transgression - La Faute De L'abbe Mouret • Emile Zola

... events," cried the bridegroom, "we needn't go through the foolery of running away to hide ourselves. It's only waste ...
— Our Friend the Charlatan • George Gissing

... the pleasant foolery of casting a line, of drawing the bait, of lifting the hook, and of reeling in. "Four pounds, Jack. He fit hard, as old Joe used to ...
— The Lure of the Mask • Harold MacGrath

... to anger him too much; what fine foolery is this in a woman, to use those men most forwardly they love most? If I should lose him thus, I were rightly served. I hope he's not so much himself, to take it to th'heart: how now? will he ...
— The Scornful Lady • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

... Wilding! A Man of Wilding's extravagant Life Get a Fortune in the City! Thou mightst as well have told me, a Holder-forth were married to a Nun: There are not two such Contraries in Nature, 'Tis flam, 'tis foolery, ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. II • Aphra Behn

... come here to listen to your foolery," said Nugent; "I came to tell you to punish ...
— At Sunwich Port, Complete • W.W. Jacobs

... and Miss Ames was very earnest, "but, and this is why I'm here—you told me that in all the foolery and hocus-pocus there was, you believed, two per cent of genuine telepathy—two per cent of genuine communication with ...
— Raspberry Jam • Carolyn Wells

... hard, dull work he devoted himself in a manner that astonished some of the other brigadiers whose ideas of the position involved a showy staff of officers and a deal of picturesque posing in resplendent uniforms. But Grant had no patience with such foolery. He had work to do and when his headquarters were established at Cairo, Illinois, he took charge of them himself, keeping his eyes on all the details like any careful business man. In fact he was, as far as appearances were concerned, a man of business, for ...
— On the Trail of Grant and Lee • Frederick Trevor Hill

... swears he was carried out, the last time he searched for him, in a basket; protests to my husband he is now here; and hath drawn him and the rest of their company from their sport, to make another experiment of his suspicion: but I am glad the 30 knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery. ...
— The Merry Wives of Windsor - The Works of William Shakespeare [Cambridge Edition] [9 vols.] • William Shakespeare

... to see this gay relic of simpler times, when youth was young. No one here is too "swell" for it. You may find a duke in the disguise of a chimney-sweep, or a butcher-boy in the dress of a Crusader. There are none so great that their dignity would suffer by a day's reckless foolery, and there are none so poor that they cannot take the price of a dinner to buy a mask and cheat their misery by mingling for a time with their betters in the wild ...
— Castilian Days • John Hay

... here," continued Brother Pierce, "jest because we kept to the old paths, an' seek for salvation in the good old way. Everybody can shout 'Amen!' as loud and as long as the Spirit moves him, with us. Some one was sayin' you thought we ought to have a choir and an organ. No, sirree! No such tom-foolery for us! You'll only stir up feelin' agin yourself by hintin' at such things. And then, too, our folks don't take no stock in all that pack o' nonsense about science, such as tellin' the age of the earth by crackin' up stones. I've b'en in the quarry line all my life, an' I know it's all humbug! ...
— The Damnation of Theron Ware • Harold Frederic

... What a cursed foolery is a dream! The host was actually sitting there vis-a-vis with the lawyer, at the other end of the long table; for Mistress Boris had so laid the places. And as the magistrate's place remained empty, ...
— Debts of Honor • Maurus Jokai

... hovering about, a good deal, in Germany and other countries; pretending to be a new light of Heaven, and not a bog-meteor of phosphorated hydrogen, conspicuous in the murk of things. Bog-meteor, foolish putrescent will-o'-wisp, his Majesty promptly defined it to be: Tom-foolery and KINDERSPIEL, what else? Whereupon ingenious Buckeburg, who was himself a Mason, man of forty by this time, and had high things in him of the Quixotic type, ventured on defence; and was so respectful, eloquent, dexterous, ingenious, he quite captivated, if not his Majesty, ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. X. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—At Reinsberg—1736-1740 • Thomas Carlyle

... rejoined Mrs Squeers. 'If the young man comes to be a teacher here, let him understand, at once, that we don't want any foolery about the boys. They have the brimstone and treacle, partly because if they hadn't something or other in the way of medicine they'd be always ailing and giving a world of trouble, and partly because it spoils their appetites and comes cheaper than breakfast ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... like a comic opera of Gilbert and Sullivan. There is life and movement; but it is a scenic and burlesque life. There is wit, criticism, and caricature;, but it does not cut deep, and it is neither hot nor fierce. There is some pleasant tom-foolery; but at a comic opera we enjoy this graceful nonsense. We see in every page the trace of a powerful mind; but it is a mind laughing at its own creatures, at itself, at us. Lothair would be a work of art, if it were explicitly presented as a burlesque, such as was The Infernal Marriage, ...
— Studies in Early Victorian Literature • Frederic Harrison

... biting than may beseem the modesty of a Christian, and consequently exclaim that I resemble the ancient comedy, or another Lucian, and snarl at everything. But I would have them whom the lightness or foolery of the argument may offend to consider that mine is not the first of this kind, but the same thing that has been often practiced even by great authors: when Homer, so many ages since, did the like with the ...
— The Praise of Folly • Desiderius Erasmus

... reinforcements. He was trailing Al Woodruff, and when he found him,—that might be the end of Swan. If not, Warfield could hurry Lorraine away before Swan could act in the matter. A whimsical thought of Swan's telepathic miracle crossed his mind and was dismissed as an unseemly bit of foolery in a matter so grave as Lorraine's safety. And yet—the doctor had received a message that he was wanted at the Quirt, and he had arrived before his patient. There was no getting around that, however impossible it might be. No one could have foreseen Brit's accident; no one ...
— The Quirt • B.M. Bower

... through the war zones. At any rate there was never any risk of my playing Balaam and blessing the enemy. This war is tragedy and sacrifice for most of the world, for the Germans it is simply the catastrophic outcome of fifty years of elaborate intellectual foolery. Militarism, Welt Politik, and here we are! What else could have happened, with Michael and his infernal War Machine in the very centre of ...
— War and the Future • H. G. Wells

... but people of the soil and nothing else. If I am Count and Field-Marshal and Viceroy, I owe it all to the good heart of your Empress and mine, whose humble servant I am. Take it away, and let me hear no more of such foolery." ...
— Love affairs of the Courts of Europe • Thornton Hall

... and Carroll suffered from the undiscerning critics who persisted in seeing in their nonsense a hidden meaning, a cynical, political, or other intent, veiled under the apparent foolery. Lear takes occasion to deny this in the preface to one of his books, and asserts not only that his rhymes and pictures have no symbolical meaning, but that he "took more care than might be supposed to make the subjects incapable of ...
— A Nonsense Anthology • Collected by Carolyn Wells

... up the bundle and examining it. "Ye'n sweltered yoursen, I reckon, running that fool's race. An' here, they'n gi'en you lots o' good grogram and flannel, as should ha' been gi'en by good rights to them as had the sense to keep away from such foolery. Ye might spare me a bit o' this grogram to make clothes for the lad—ye war ne'er ill-natured, Bess; I ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... there is a truth even in this, which—like the other points I have mentioned—has been known and taught long ages ago. Says that humorous old sage, Lao-tze, whom I have already quoted: "By non-action there is nothing that cannot be done." At first this sounds like mere foolery or worse; but afterwards thinking on it one sees there is a meaning hidden. There is a secret by which Nature and the powers of the universal life will do all for you. The Bhagavat Gita also says, "He who discovers ...
— Pagan & Christian Creeds - Their Origin and Meaning • Edward Carpenter

... was to accompany Ernest the first stage of his journey, startled them in the midst of their adieus; and bursting from the arms of her companion, Meeta plunged deeper into the woods to escape her father's eye. When Carl returned in the evening he handed her a small parcel, saying, "There's some foolery that Ernest bought for you, Meeta. Silly boy! I hope they'll teach him in Germany to take better care of ...
— Evenings at Donaldson Manor - Or, The Christmas Guest • Maria J. McIntosh

... or rather foolery, of the English for foreign customs, dresses, and languages, is not an affair of to-day or yesterday—it is of very ancient date, and was very properly exposed nearly three centuries ago by one Andrew Borde, who, under the picture of a "Naked man with ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... mass of long-winded ceremonial nothingnesses, and intricate Belleisle cobwebberies, we seize this one poor speck of human foolery in the native state, as almost the memorablest in that stupendous business. Stupendous indeed; with which all Germany has been in travail these sixteen months, on such terms! And in verity has got the thing called "German Kaiser" constituted, better or worse. ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... Anthony laughed, too, with a strange sob in his throat at the gallant foolery, which, after all, was as much to the point as a deal that the Deans ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... digging the bridegroom out of a drift—dodging a herd of Highland cattle that thought he had come too near their calves, or driving off Drumsheugh's polled Angus bull with contumely when he was threatening Mrs. Macfadyen. If he met the bairns coming from school, the Glen rang with the foolery. When Willie Harley broke his leg, Carmichael brought his dog Jackie—I could tell things of that dog—and devised dramatic entertainments of such attraction that Jamie Soutar declared them no better than the theatre, and threatened Carmichael with a skep ...
— Kate Carnegie and Those Ministers • Ian Maclaren

... they say, when Plummer once had to take one of Wotherspoon's classes; some foolery about a second aorist. Thank goodness, I don't understand the profound dispute.—Oh, do look at ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... have no Dubbin—a toping wretch—and she is a too incongruous mixture, with her Edinburgh lingo and her Whitehall arrogance. Besides, the whole notion of a mock ghost was vulgarised by Wilmot's foolery, who ought to have been born a saltimbanque, and spent his life in a fair. No, I have abandoned ...
— London Pride - Or When the World Was Younger • M. E. Braddon

... pathology more striking and more terrifying than the way in which the phenomena of the ecstatic—which have often been seized upon by sentimental theorisers as proofs of spiritual exaltation—may be plainly seen to bridge the gulf between the innocent foolery of ordinary hypnotic patients and the degraded and repulsive ...
— Religion & Sex - Studies in the Pathology of Religious Development • Chapman Cohen

... heroic treatment when you've got a cancer gnawing at your vitals, as surgeons all say," remarked Thad, rather pompously. "I'm aiming at the bull's-eye now, you understand. It's going to win or lose, and no more tom-foolery ...
— The Chums of Scranton High - Hugh Morgan's Uphill Fight • Donald Ferguson

... there was more than a hint of grotesqueness about his gambols, such as one could not find in the antics of his playmate. Her sex, her smoothness, her smaller size and greater slimness of build, combined with her evidently complete domestication, made Jess's foolery sit naturally upon her; and, indeed, her movements were without exception graceful in ...
— Finn The Wolfhound • A. J. Dawson

... such a state over a piece of foolery!... Give it me! I shall take it away. You shan't ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... us all into an infernal mess with your foolery," he said sulkily, "and when you do, you needn't come to me ...
— General John Regan - 1913 • George A. Birmingham

... This pace in foolery had been set at the Duke's House, but Nell out-did them, with her broad-brimmed hat as large as a cart-wheel and her quaint waist-belt; for was not her hat larger by half than that at the rival ...
— Mistress Nell - A Merry Tale of a Merry Time • George C. Hazelton, Jr.

... I don't believe he ever did. It was just a bit of foolery, if you ask me, his going on like that just for the time. But talking of something else—will you be coming ...
— Wanderers • Knut Hamsun

... on 'is back ower this letter job,' said the father secretly to me. 'Mother, 'er knows nowt about it. Lot o' tom-foolery, isn't it? Ay! What's good o' makkin' a peck o' trouble over what's far enough off, an' ned niver come no nigher. No—not a smite o' use. That's what I tell 'er. 'Er should ta'e no notice on't. ...
— England, My England • D.H. Lawrence

... St. George and the Dragon fly away with all the Methodist Chapels that ever were built! they shall hold no daughter of mine. And hark ye,—you shall give up this foolery altogether and tell me you will marry Mr. Carlisle, or I won't have you in my family. You may go where you like, but you shall not stay with me as long as I live. I give you a month to think of ...
— The Old Helmet, Volume II • Susan Warner

... tried a similar piece of foolery, at the instance of the young lady to whom he was betrothed, and now found that the result of the scheme in both cases presaged misfortune in the same year to the infant as to her. To the baby, three periods would be ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol VII • Various

... little wit that fools have was silenced, the little foolery that wise men have makes a greater show."—As You Like ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... that this war could be like other wars," he said. "I did not dream it. I thought that we had grown wiser at last. It seemed to me like the dawn of a great clearing up. I thought the common sense of mankind would break out like a flame, an indignant flame, and consume all this obsolete foolery of empires and banners and militarism directly it made its attack upon human happiness. A score of things that I see now were preposterous, I thought must happen—naturally. I thought America would declare herself against the Belgian outrage; ...
— Mr. Britling Sees It Through • H. G. Wells

... yer cities, and their stiddy growth and size, And brag about yer County-seats, and business enterprise, And railroads, and factories, and all sich foolery— But the little Town o' Tailholt is big ...
— Afterwhiles • James Whitcomb Riley

... hid your clothes, and had bull-fights and all sorts of foolery. That was in Nineteen: old 'Thirsty' was the prefect for that passage, and he doesn't care tu'pence what fellows do. But Allingford's put a stop to almost all that kind of thing: he's captain of the school, and he's always awfully down on ...
— The Triple Alliance • Harold Avery

... the girl?" said Arundel, tired of this foolery. "I prithee no more, sweet Prudence, but conduct me at once to Eveline. Consider how long it ...
— The Knight of the Golden Melice - A Historical Romance • John Turvill Adams

... frowsy charlatans, those clownish jugglers, mole-catchers, ratkillers, who throw spells over beasts, who sell secrets which they have not, defiled these times with the stench of a dismal black smoke, of fear and foolery. Satan grows enormous, gets multiplied without end. 'Tis a poor triumph, however, for him. He grows dull and sick at heart. Still the people keep flowing towards him, bent on having no other God than he. Himself ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... stones," said Mr. Macdermott, simply and fervently. "At processions, you know. It's a great Catholic day—like August 15th—I forget why. Some Catholic foolery. The birthday of the Virgin Mary, I fancy. Anyhow we throw stones.... I wonder will there be any ...
— Mystery at Geneva - An Improbable Tale of Singular Happenings • Rose Macaulay

... we call French and English or The Tug of War was played upon the intervening space. The party of the priest prevailed; the King's men were dragged in a body into the opposite temple; and the tabus were maintained. None employed in this momentous foolery were informed of its significance; the King's misgivings were studiously concealed; but there is little doubt he continued to cherish them in secret. At his death, he had another memorable word, testifying ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... that Mannering had once before tried a similar piece of foolery at the instance of Sophia Wellwood, the young lady to whom he was attached, and that a similar conjunction of planetary influence threatened her with death or imprisonment in her thirty-ninth year. She was at this time eighteen; so that, according to the result of the ...
— Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... can be counterfeited is no reason for concluding they do not exist. In experiments with magnetism and hypnotic suggestion, many delusions beset the experimenters, and there is more or less intentional foolery on the part of the subjects. Thus have I seen, at the prison-hospital of Salpetriere and elsewhere, young women outrageously deceiving the most serious investigators, who did not in the least suspect such insincerity. At market fairs there may often be seen booths where ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 19, June, 1891 • Various

... difficulty by bringing another to parallel it, nor like saying with Mr. Harris, when it is asked, "what a Conjunction is?" that there are conjunctions copulative, conjunctions disjunctive, and as many other frivolous varieties of the species as any one chooses to hunt out "with laborious foolery." Our author hit upon his parent-discovery in the course of a law-suit, while he was examining, with jealous watchfulness, the meaning of words to prevent being entrapped by them; or rather, this circumstance might itself be traced to the habit of satisfying ...
— The Spirit of the Age - Contemporary Portraits • William Hazlitt

... progress, still Losing true life for ever and a day Through ever trying to be and ever being— In the evolution of successive spheres— Before its actual sphere and place of life, Halfway into the next, which having reached, It shoots with corresponding foolery Halfway into the next still, on and off! As when a traveller, bound from North to South, Scouts fur in Russia: what's its use in France? In France spurns flannel: where's its need in Spain? In Spain drops cloth, too cumbrous for Algiers! Linen goes next, and last the skin itself, ...
— Browning's England - A Study in English Influences in Browning • Helen Archibald Clarke

... the girl herself to his hostess. What foolery was this? Why should Johnnie Consadine dress herself as a servant and wait on Lydia ...
— The Power and the Glory • Grace MacGowan Cooke

... and beyond measure full of failings; she has a dangerous desire to make herself observed, and to excite an interest. Her activity shows itself in destructiveness; yet she is good-hearted and most generous. In every kind of foolery she is a most willing ally with Henrik and Eva, whenever they will grant her so much favour; and if these three be heard whispering together, one may be quite sure that some roguery or other is on foot. There exists already, however, so much unquiet ...
— The Home • Fredrika Bremer

... with a rush, striving to convince myself that it is all real and rational, and not some glimpse of fairyland. This I cannot succeed in doing, and it is better so. I much prefer to believe that all this pomp, and vanity, and show, and mumbo-jumbo foolery has come from fairyland, than to believe it the performance of sane and sensible people who have mastered matter and solved the secrets ...
— The People of the Abyss • Jack London

... occupy them in trains and on 'buses and trams. As a rule they care for no newspapers except the Sunday ones; what they want is the lightest and frothiest of chit-chatty information—bits of stories, bits of description, bits of scandal, bits of jokes, bits of statistics, bits of foolery. Am I not right? Everything must be very short, two inches at the utmost; their attention can't sustain itself beyond two inches. Even chat is too solid ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... his Landlady Cleveland. My Lord Angier, who bought of Sir George Carteret for eleven thousand pounds, the Vice-treasurership of Ireland, worth five thousand pounds a year, is, betwixt knavery and foolery, turned out. Dutchess of York and Prince Edgar, dead. None left but daughters. One Blud, outlawed for a plot to take Dublin Castle, and who seized on the Duke of Ormond here last year, and might have killed ...
— Andrew Marvell • Augustine Birrell

... even more conspicuously. In the mouths of his professional fools he places many reductions to absurdity of what he calls the "simple syllogism." He invests the term "chop-logic" with the significance of foolery in excelsis.[26] Again, metaphysics, in any formal sense, were clearly not of Shakespeare's world. On one occasion he wrote of the topic round which most metaphysical ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... a stranger wedding. For, wedding it was, though only two of those present knew it. When the ceremony was over, the cow-punchers gave one yell of congratulation and immediately abandoned their foolery for the night. Blankets were unrolled and sleep became ...
— Rolling Stones • O. Henry

... thought he; "that fellow must be made of steel. They'll go on somewhere; stick about half the night playing poker, or some such foolery." ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... It is sometimes called we believe La Capital de Majeza; the proper translation of which we conceive to be the Head Quarters of Foolery, for nothing more absurd and contemptible than this Majeza ever came within the sphere of our contemplation. Nevertheless it constitutes the chief glory of the Sevillians. Every Sevillian, male or female, rich or poor, handsome or ugly, aspires at a certain period of life to the ...
— A Supplementary Chapter to the Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... he exclaimed, when, he and the captain were alone, "isn't there EVER going to be any let-up to this tom-foolery? Are these women of ours going ...
— Cap'n Dan's Daughter • Joseph C. Lincoln

... engendered. So again, we see All breeds of winged creatures trust to wings And from their fledgling pinions seek to get A fluttering assistance. Thus, to think That in those days some man apportioned round To things their names, and that from him men learned Their first nomenclature, is foolery. For why could he mark everything by words And utter the various sounds of tongue, what time The rest may be supposed powerless To do the same? And, if the rest had not Already one with other used words, Whence was implanted in the teacher, then, Fore-knowledge ...
— Of The Nature of Things • [Titus Lucretius Carus] Lucretius

... was to give me pointers, and the commercial college was to be a stepping-stone to Paris, I could look my future in the face. The old boy, too, was so pleased at the idea of our association in this foolery that he immediately plucked up spirit. Thus it befell that those who had met at the depot like a pair of mutes, sat down to table with ...
— The Wrecker • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... met again after an hour's parting, "how are you? I'm very glad to see you—looking so well too. And quite smart. Your aunts dressed you up. I thought I must look at you. I'm staying just round the corner, and my first thought was 'I wonder how she's getting on in all that tom-foolery. You bet she's keeping her head.' And so you are. One can ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... substantial. There was a great outcry against the improvements. Old Detroit had been good enough. It was the center of trade, it commanded the highway of commerce. And no one had any money to spend on foolery. ...
— A Little Girl in Old Detroit • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... at this festive season of the year to witness the representation of a piece, called by the management, for some reason or other, "a faerie comedy." Now, I like a Burlesque, and I am fond of a Pantomime, but a mixture of blank verse and tom-foolery is rather too much for me, especially when that mixture is not redeemed by a plot of any interest. Nothing can be more absurd than the story (save the mark!) told in this particularly uninteresting play. It appears that a "Duke!" of Athens married the Queen ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari Volume 98, January 4, 1890 • Various

... King's foolery roused the spirit of mischief in the two girls, and faster and faster flew the drops of water from one to another ...
— Marjorie's Maytime • Carolyn Wells

... men chuckle at the foolery of the moment. The general folds away the evening paper and rises ...
— A Certain Rich Man • William Allen White

... this foolery, You found out what I am when you were a boy. None of this hysterical excitement. I am ...
— The Living Link • James De Mille

... you right, you dirty cur," said his mother. "I ran off like a fool when I heerd of your good fortune, and see the condition that baggage left me in—my teeth knocked in and my eye knocked out, and all for your foolery, because you ...
— Handy Andy, Vol. 2 - A Tale of Irish Life • Samuel Lover

... plain damn foolery! I told you I believed I'd seen some one spying around the mine, and after I'd left you I didn't feel so sure that I'd cleared him out. I woke those fools up," his glance at the dead matched his curse at them, "and ...
— The La Chance Mine Mystery • Susan Carleton Jones

... There is no appearance of fancie in him, vnlesse it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises, as to bee a Dutchman to day, a Frenchman to morrow: vnlesse hee haue a fancy to this foolery, as it appeares hee hath, hee is no foole for fancy, as you would haue ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... nonsense,—I might say foolery; and the mother must be a perfect idiot!" began the ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... not even enough liquor on the Ella to revive poor Burns. He spent his days devising, with bits of wire, a ring puzzle that he intended should make his fortune. And I believe he contrived, finally, a clever enough bit of foolery. He was anxious to talk, and complained bitterly of loneliness, using every excuse to hold Tom, the cook, when he carried him his meals. He had asked for a Bible, too, and read it now ...
— The After House • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... then I saw Mr Perkupp standing half- way in the door, he having arrived without our knowing it. I beckoned to Carrie, and we went up to him at once. He would not come right into the room. I apologised for the foolery, but Mr. Perkupp said: "Oh, it seems amusing." I could see he was not ...
— The Diary of a Nobody • George Grossmith and Weedon Grossmith

... you they wouldn't believe you; so what does it matter to me whether you blab or not? Talk sense, Blanco: theres no time for your foolery now; for youll be a dead man an hour after the Sheriff comes back. What possessed you to ...
— The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet • George Bernard Shaw

... me by burrowing in a hole like a rat! What foolery wilt say next? No, no, Friedel, strike by my side, and I will strike with thee; pray by my side, and I will pray with thee; but if thou takest none of the strokes, then will I ...
— The Dove in the Eagle's Nest • Charlotte M. Yonge

... 1848.-Yesterday, on returning from Ostia, I find the official news, that the Viceroy Ranieri has capitulated at Verona; that Italy is free, independent, and one. I trust this will prove no April foolery. It seems too good, too speedy ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. II • Margaret Fuller Ossoli



Words linked to "Foolery" :   folly, caper, clowning, prank, play, lunacy, meshugaas, harlequinade, buffoonery, japery, fool, tomfoolery



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