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Bungling   Listen
adjective
Bungling  adj.  Unskillful; awkward; clumsy; as, a bungling workman. "They make but bungling work."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Bungling" Quotes from Famous Books



... it is his darling weapon he seems always afraid of it, and is never sure of his aim till he is quite close to his object. I have mentioned this fact to several Europeans who had accompanied various tribes to battle, and they all informed me they made a sad bungling use of the musket; their aim would be surer if they had large and ferocious animals to hunt or contend with. There is another circumstance that operates against their acquiring skill in the use of the gun: they ...
— A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827 • Augustus Earle

... aware, is generally built on the outside of the structure, in Virginia, was a small window, one-half of which, in the decay of the glass panes, had been boarded up to exclude the wind and the rain. The job had evidently been performed by a bungling hand, and had never been more than half done. The wood was as rotten as punk; and without difficulty, and without much noise, the fugitive succeeded in removing the board which had covered the lower part of ...
— The Young Lieutenant - or, The Adventures of an Army Officer • Oliver Optic

... back at the wondering little white-clad figure, watching him out of sight around the bend, "when he gets to talking with a woman—a woman with—with eyes like hers! They—why, they make me feel as if I was in church! What sort of bungling novice am I, ...
— Black Caesar's Clan • Albert Payson Terhune

... he said, 'the door to this house was never broken by a professional cracksman. It's the work of a bungling amateur. A professional never undertakes to break a door at the lock. Naturally that's the firmest place about a door. The implement he intends to use as a lever on the door he puts in at the top or bottom. By that ...
— The Sleuth of St. James's Square • Melville Davisson Post

... in office to enable the king to evade the demands of the Allies. They increased in severity from the surrender of the fleet to that of the army's batteries and then to its disbandment; but they were backed by inadequate force and bungling diplomacy. On 1 December detachments of Allied troops, landed at the Piraeus, were driven back with bloodshed, and well into the new year the King continued to defy the Entente and push Greece deeper into anarchy. On its side the Entente wished to avoid a civil war, ...
— A Short History of the Great War • A.F. Pollard

... fiendish instructions the bungling executioner was a long time mangling the wrist of Hackston's right arm before he succeeded in separating the hand. Hackston quietly advised him to be more careful to strike in the joint of the left. Having been drawn ...
— Hunted and Harried • R.M. Ballantyne

... partner with the machinist in securing the proper working of these new mechanical appliances, and the smoothness of the scene shifting. The Queen is a connoisseur in these matters, and there must be no bungling. ...
— Shakespeare's Christmas Gift to Queen Bess • Anna Benneson McMahan

... forward, stretching out lines and cocking his eye, make no bones with him; send for a bricklayer, and see the stumps driven into the ground yourself. The four outside lines being laid down with perfect truth, it must be a bungling fellow indeed that cannot do the rest; but if they be only a little askew, you have a botch in your eye for the rest of your life, and a botch of your own making too. Gardeners seldom want for confidence ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 335 - Vol. 12, No. 335, October 11, 1828 • Various

... bungling marked our departure from Charlotte Town. The captain, a sturdy old Northumbrian seaman, thoroughly understood his business; but the owners of the ship compelled him to share its management with a very pertinacious pilot, and the conflicting orders given, and the want of harmony in the actions ...
— The Englishwoman in America • Isabella Lucy Bird

... Margery did her part without bungling, and in spite of the look of reproach that Willie gave her. His time was come. He held in as long as the human engine can, then exploded. The force of the explosion blew the nickel out of his mouth, and, lo, all Margery had to ...
— A Little Question in Ladies' Rights • Parker Fillmore

... manage. It did not reach my ears till nearly too late. What a risk to take! What an expense to incur! And for how poor a gain! Apart from the treachery of it. My dear fellow, politics is a vile and a bungling business. I used to think meanly of the plumber; but how ...
— Vailima Letters • Robert Louis Stevenson

... could he have to injure Mr. Cone? He cannot, surely, look upon that gentleman as a rival. But, if he could harbour such a wish, his moral and intellectual character stands too high, to allow a suspicion of his employing such means—means so base and so bungling, that it may well be wondered at how even their high mightinesses could think of them. The truth is, no such thing was imagined—the whole had its root in causes which more deeply concern the public than Mr. Wood or Mr. Cone. A set of ignorant self-conceited young despots have ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Vol. I. No. 3. March 1810 • Various

... blown aside by a Parnassian gust of wind. That was the husband she had promised her niece, and you may fancy how terribly my poor Nina must have been disappointed. Nevertheless I admit that I was very bungling with the dear child. As you say, I wanted to go ahead too rapidly, I frightened her. It was my part gently to modify all that the rather narrowing and false education of the convent and the sentimental dreams of the Aunt had effected, ...
— Artists' Wives • Alphonse Daudet

... suggestions which recalled the free and noble mold of his father's features. It was a coincidence of physiognomic intentions rather than actual resemblance—or a resemblance, such as might exist between a Vandyck portrait and the same face portrayed by some bungling village artist. ...
— Ilka on the Hill-Top and Other Stories • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... You can sit back here and sneer at me, can't you? And feel so big and smart and triumphant! What've you done but catch a girl at her first bungling job! It makes you feel awfully cocky, don't it? 'What a big man am I!' Bah!" I blew the smoke up toward the ceiling from my mouth, with just that satisfied gall that he had had; or rather, I pretended to. He let down the front legs of his chair and ...
— In the Bishop's Carriage • Miriam Michelson

... de Csar is a mutilated tragedy: it ends with the speech of Antony over the dead body of Caesar, borrowed from Shakspeare; that is to say, it has no conclusion. And what a patched and bungling thing is it in all its parts! How coarse-spun and hurried is the conspiracy! How stupid Caesar must have been, to allow the conspirators to brave him before his face without suspecting their design! That Brutus, although he knew Caesar to be his father, nay, immediately after ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... purpose of his own sent for mademoiselle to come to Paris. I discovered that he had done so. It was an opportunity to show you what sort of a man he was whom you loved. I should have balked his intention and brought you here, had it not been for the bungling of those who served me, and the courage of this man Barrington who has played Bruslart's ...
— The Light That Lures • Percy Brebner

... as he scrambled into the priest's robe which the discomfited Higgins resigned to him. Evidently the bungling actor was in disgrace, for he was told to go to the office and get his ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces Out West • Edith Van Dyne

... collecting the taxes; the interior customs lines, preventing the easy passage of goods from one part of France to another; the extravagance of the king's household; the pensions granted to undeserving persons; every evil of the bungling, iniquitous old rgime was brought under the scrutiny of the new thinkers, who tested the existing system by the light of reason and the welfare of the ...
— An Introduction to the History of Western Europe • James Harvey Robinson

... responsible for the clamour of the economists and sociologists in the publishers' announcements, almost drowning there the drone of the cataract of new novels. But it is too late now. The wrath will come. After mischievously bungling with the magic which imprisoned the Djinn, we may wish we had not done it; but once he is out there is nothing for it but to be surprised and sorry. The lid is off; and it is useless for the clever reconstructionists to press in upon ...
— Waiting for Daylight • Henry Major Tomlinson

... returned Stephano. "I concealed myself so well that I knew I might bid defiance to those bungling sbirri—although their scent was sharpened by the hope of the reward set on my head by the prince. While I thus lay hidden, I beheld a scene that would have done good to the heart of even such a callous fellow as yourself—I mean callous to female qualifications. ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... power can be attained with patience; if wrong, the throat and voice may be absolutely ruined. This point will be considered later, but we must at once express the opinion that a bungling attack in which main force is substituted for the proper method is one of the most dangerous, as it is one of the most serious errors in the technique of modern singing, and the same may often be charged against our ...
— Voice Production in Singing and Speaking - Based on Scientific Principles (Fourth Edition, Revised and Enlarged) • Wesley Mills

... discovers itself in his letter to Mr. Ellis, the naturalist:—"As for your pretty little seed cups, or vases, they are a sweet confirmation of the pleasure nature seems to take in superadding an elegance of form to most of her works, wherever you find them. How poor and bungling are ...
— On the Portraits of English Authors on Gardening, • Samuel Felton

... remaining books injure the symmetry of this plot by unnecessarily prolonging the duration of the Wrath, while the embassy to Achilleus, in the ninth book, unduly anticipates the conduct of Agamemnon in the nineteenth, and is therefore, as a piece of bungling work, to be referred to the hands of an inferior interpolator. Mr. Grote thinks it probable that these books, with the exception of the ninth, were subsequently added by the poet, with a view to enlarging the original Achilleis into a real Iliad, describing ...
— Myths and Myth-Makers - Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology • John Fiske

... plus xv. milles treuve l'en une cite qui a nom Vuguen." This seems to mean from Cugui to Kelinfu six days, and thence to Vuguen (or Unken) three and a half days more. But evidently there has been bungling in the transcript, for the es autre trois journees belongs to the same conception of the distance as that in the G.T. Pauthier's text does not say how far it is from Unken to Fuju. Ramusio makes six days to Kelinfu, three days more to Unguem, and then 15 miles more to Fuju (which ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo, Volume 2 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... Europe, Peter gave considerable attention to the economic condition of the monarchy. He strove, though often in a bungling manner, to promote agriculture and to improve the lot of the peasantry, who still constituted the overwhelming bulk of forms of the population. He certainly deprived the nobles of many of their former privileges and sought to rest political power and ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... this, and yet in want of bread? Shame on thee, wretch! I recalled a crowd of scoundrels who were not a patch upon me, and yet were rolling in money. There was I in serge, and they in velvet; they leaned on gold-headed canes, and had fine rings on their fingers. And what were they? Wretched bungling strummers, and now they are a kind of fine gentlemen. At such times I felt full of courage, my soul inflamed and elevated, my wits alert and subtle, and capable of anything in the world. But this happy turn did not last, it would seem, for so far I have not been able to make ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists - Volume II. • John Morley

... you like. One does not need to come to Australia to hear that sort of romance, Mr. Durham; I hoped rather that one would not hear it in Australia, but you police are as capable at blundering and bungling and ...
— The Rider of Waroona • Firth Scott

... said as the door had closed behind him. But the very truth of the words had left a wound,—a clean-cut wound however. There was never any bungling where ...
— Antony Gray,—Gardener • Leslie Moore

... "More of your bungling," Cobo broke out at him, wrathfully. "God! I've a mind to toss you into that fire." He turned his attention once more to Rosa, and with a jerk that shook her into fuller consciousness repeated: "Where ...
— Rainbow's End • Rex Beach

... intimacy between them which would not otherwise have occurred in a fortnight, perhaps never. But he had done it with an assurance almost, if not quite, hypnotic, and he had removed his hand—a move, she recognized, which offered more opportunities for bungling than the initial venture—with the exact degree of insouciance, of abstraction, but at the same time not without a slight lighting of the eyes expressive alike of humility and gratitude. Lurking in her mind ...
— Prince or Chauffeur? - A Story of Newport • Lawrence Perry

... there is a right side and a wrong side; sometimes, perhaps, more frequently, there is right and wrong on both sides, due to bungling diplomacy and the blindness of prejudice. But in every case justice demands the triumph of one cause and the defeat of the other. To determine in any particular case the side of right and justice is a very difficult matter. And perhaps it ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... good opportunities, wherein he might hint to Dirk that cleanliness and industry should reign in the snug new quarters, to pass without improving them. Dirk, out of regard and gratitude to "the young master," as he called him, was willing to make the attempt, and strove, in his bungling way, to impress his neighbors with the fact that they were expected to reform their way of living. But it was up-hill work for people who had lived all their life in filth and wretchedness, and progressed but slowly. Many were the hours, after ...
— Culm Rock - The Story of a Year: What it Brought and What it Taught • Glance Gaylord

... mind; his side of the conversation grew awkward and disjointed, and he made the blunder of drifting into an embarrassing silence before coming to the point. He took one elbow from the rail, and said, with a bungling attempt at carelessness which was made more transparent by ...
— Over the Sliprails • Henry Lawson

... be no hesitation in our witness; nothing uncertain in the sound that we give. There are plenty of so-called Christian people whose lives, if they bear any witness for the Master at all, are like the notes that some bungling learner will bring out of a musical instrument: hesitating, uncertain, so that you do not know exactly what note he wants to produce. How many of us, calling ourselves Christian people, testify on both sides; sometimes bearing witness ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... ashore and sent word to her son that there had been a terrible accident, but she was safe—the intent of her letter being to let him know that she understood the matter perfectly, and while she could not admire the job, it was so bungling, yet she would forgive him if he would not try ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8 • Elbert Hubbard

... "Deil tak the wars," to the foolish old verses. You talk of the silliness of "Saw ye my father:" by heavens, the odds is gold to brass! Besides, the old song, though now pretty well modernised into the Scottish language, is, originally, and in the early editions, a bungling low imitation of the Scottish manner, by that genius, Tom D'Urfey; so has no pretensions to be a Scottish production. There is a pretty English song by Sheridan in the "Duenna," to this air, which is out of sight ...
— The Letters of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... dear," said I, "I flattered myself on being an artist in life. I am humbler now and acknowledge myself a wretched bungling amateur. But I still recognise the ...
— Simon the Jester • William J. Locke

... if the vagabond's tale were true, one of two things would happen. Either Perion would not be brought to tell where the emeralds were hidden, in which event Bracciolini would kill the jongleur for his bungling; or else the prisoner would tell everything necessary, in which event Bracciolini would kill the jongleur for knowing more than was convenient. This Bracciolini had an honest respect for gems and considered them to be equally misplaced when under an oak or ...
— Domnei • James Branch Cabell et al

... pains are taken to make death as nearly as possible instantaneous, and any bungling which prolongs the agony excites indignation and horror in the public mind. But the most revolting feature of death by crucifixion was that the torture was deliberately prolonged. The victim usually lingered a whole day, sometimes two or three days, still ...
— The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ - A Devotional History of our Lord's Passion • James Stalker

... was to put up the wire itself, and this was done in rather a bungling manner, if this wire were compared with that of ...
— What Might Have Been Expected • Frank R. Stockton

... to accompany her husband to the Review at all. Her husband, the Distinguished Visitor, did desire to see the cavalry go past at the gallop, and so the Chief Commissioner's Distinguished Visitor's wife's maid's bungling had a tremendous influence upon the fate of Damocles de ...
— Snake and Sword - A Novel • Percival Christopher Wren

... guests, And took them unprepared to give us welcome. Their scouts we killed, then found their body sleeping; And as they lay confused, we stumbled o'er them, And took what joint came next, arms, heads, or legs, Somewhat indecently. But when men want light, They make but bungling work. ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... fooled her. Quickly she leapt from her bed and dressed herself for the first time alone. Though her fingers were deft and skillful at the tapestry frame, and neat and clever at limning, they were slow and bungling when drawing together the laces of her girdle, indeed 'twas very insecurely done, and when she was dressed she had forgotten her stays, and but for the lateness of the hour would have disrobed and donned them. It seemed like an endless task to try and dress again by the poor light of the ...
— Mistress Penwick • Dutton Payne

... to be, is especially peculiar. It would require an inspired psychologist to deal successfully with them. And when ordinary fellows like you and me attempt to cope with their idiosyncrasies the result is bungling. Most women are moody and whimsical. This is some passing whim of your wife, due to some cause or causes which you and I needn't try to fathom. But it will pass happily over, especially if you let her alone. Send her ...
— The Awakening and Selected Short Stories • Kate Chopin

... apprehended their facts were not adjusted properly, so they saw every thing with a blur. Definite outlines, cleanly cut edges, exact apprehension of volume and weight, nice measurement of relations, were matters outside of their observation and experience. They had broad minds, but bungling; and their language was no better than their apprehensions—usually it was worse, because language is rarely as definite as apprehension. Men rarely do their work to suit them, because their tools ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... A Venetian diamond-cutter (wretched, bungling Hortensio Borgis!) reduced the great Koh-i-noor from its primitive weight—nine hundred carats—to two hundred and eighty. Tavernier saw this celebrated jewel two hundred years ago, not long after its discovery. It came into the possession ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 41, March, 1861 • Various

... fool. Do you think I'm a bungling theorist like yourself? Who do you think is operating that short-wave station? I am. Who do you think put the world to sleep? I did. Who do you think ...
— The End of Time • Wallace West

... pages in my simple language, and in a bungling manner, I have told the story of my life. I am no author, but claim a title which I consider nobler, that of a "Mechanic." Being possessed of a remarkable memory, I am able to give a minute account and even the date of every important transaction of my whole life, and distinctly remember ...
— History of the American Clock Business for the Past Sixty Years, - and Life of Chauncey Jerome • Chauncey Jerome

... not the point," insisted Davies, with a sense of giddy bungling. "That's really not the point. I just mentioned it because I—because I couldn't help thinking of it, that's all. I couldn't help thinking of myself from the moment I saw you out there, free, with the game at stake, ...
— Interference and Other Football Stories • Harold M. Sherman

... chapeau was uniformly of the same cock. The principal feat, however, in which this fervent votary of Plutus appeared before the public, was his nearly fatal affair with Mary Benson, otherwise Mrs. Maria Theresa Phepoe. In April 1795, this ill-fated-woman projected a rather bungling scheme, in order to frighten her old acquaintance and visitor, Courtois, out of a considerable sum of money. One evening, when she was certain of his calling, she had her apartment prepared for his reception in a species of funereal style—a bier, ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... curiosities; family pictures, and samplers, and embroidery; fragments of tapestry; an inlaid floor; everything having a story to it, though, to say the truth, the possessor of these curiosities made but a bungling piece of work in telling the legends connected with them. In one or two instances ...
— The Ancestral Footstep (fragment) - Outlines of an English Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... transport had been actually secured for the troops that had arrived at Buffalo, and the dilemma was intensified to the extremest pitch. What ship-owner, in the face of such bungling, would run the risk of placing any of his vessels at the disposal of a party so uncomfortably situated? That was a question which presented itself at the last moment, and which was more easily ...
— Ridgeway - An Historical Romance of the Fenian Invasion of Canada • Scian Dubh

... the evening paper to see if that lost child at the asylum had been found. Edgar jumped on the car, and seemed determined that I should not read the paper until I reached home. He was very kind, but slightly bungling in his attentions. I knew then that something was wrong, but just what was beyond my imagination, unless Jack Howard had been expelled from Harvard, or Bell Winship had been lost at sea on the way home; ...
— Polly Oliver's Problem • Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

... select for such places persons who know least about them, for they have the most to learn; and inasmuch as such persons, before having acquired the necessary knowledge, skill, and experience, will inevitably do the public business in a bungling manner, and therefore at much inconvenience and loss to the people, they should, in justice to the taxpayers, instead of drawing salaries, pay something for the instruction they receive. For as soon as they have learned enough really to earn a salary, they will have ...
— American Eloquence, Volume IV. (of 4) - Studies In American Political History (1897) • Various

... with," he said quietly, and he handed it to the prosecuting attorney. The fact was plain; it was a bungling job and better proved the Red Fox's guilt. Moreover, there were only two such big rifles in all the hills, and it was proven that the man who owned the other was at the time of the murder far away. The days of brain-storms had not come then. There were no ...
— The Trail of the Lonesome Pine • John Fox, Jr.

... for revenge. The reader has been told that Chingachgook could scarcely be said to know how to manage the oars of the Ark at all, however expert he might be in the use of the paddle. Perhaps there is no manual labor at which men are so bungling and awkward, as in their first attempts to pull oar, even the experienced mariner, or boat man, breaking down in his efforts to figure with the celebrated rullock of the gondolier. In short it is, temporarily, an impracticable thing ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... called The Coyote," said Rathburn, walking slowly toward him. "I'm the man they think robbed that joint down in Dry Lake last night. I'm the man they're looking for. I'm the man they want to make pay for your bungling work. That's the way it's gone for three years, Percy. I've been blamed for job after job that I didn't even know was pulled off till I heard they were looking for me on account of it. But this is one job they'll not be able to lay at my door; for I've got the man who's responsible an' ...
— The Coyote - A Western Story • James Roberts

... been ruined by bad mill management probably than by bad mining, though every experienced man must have seen in his time many most flagrant instances of bungling in the latter respect. Shafts are often sunk on the wrong side of the lode or too near or too far away therefrom, while instances have not been wanting where the (mis) manager has, after sinking his shaft, driven in the opposite ...
— Getting Gold • J. C. F. Johnson

... was executed promptly, skilfully. There was no bungling, not a wrong motion or an unnecessary one, as they went through the movements of loading, sighting and firing the guns. It was easy to see why French artillery has won its renown. The training of the French artilleryman ...
— Kings, Queens And Pawns - An American Woman at the Front • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... escape social vengeance are many enough, and as a rule they are of this order—to wit, murders committed without any startling sign of violence, without bloodshed, bruises, marks of strangling, without any bungling of the business, in short; if there seems to be no motive for the crime, it most likely goes unpunished, especially if the death occurs among the poorer classes. Murder is almost always denounced by its advanced guards, by hatred or greed well known to those under whose eyes ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... bungling effort to catch the heavy receptacle that fell following Jack's warning, but in the darkness he failed, and it crashed down with quite ...
— The Boy Scouts of the Eagle Patrol • Howard Payson

... do!" she said, at the end of about eight lines. "After such a complete exhibition of incompetence we won't inflict any more of your bungling upon the form. We must see if we can find a way of sharpening your wits. Your brain seems to have been lying fallow since you came to school! You will report yourself to Miss Bishop at four ...
— The Luckiest Girl in the School • Angela Brazil

... that occurred at the trial and his knowledge of Maslova, Nekhludoff was convinced that she was innocent, and at first was confident that the other jurors would so find her, but when he saw that because of the merchant's bungling defense of Maslova, evidently prompted by his undisguised liking for her, and the foreman's resistance which it caused, but chiefly because of the weariness of the jury, there was likely to be a verdict of guilty, he wished to make objection, but feared to speak in her favor lest his relations ...
— The Awakening - The Resurrection • Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy

... tells me that I told too much truth for people to understand. I ought to have said nothing, or charged a bargain right out, for then they would have understood. A friend of—a fellow I used to know, said I was the best chap for bungling he ever knew, and I'm afraid ...
— The Honorable Peter Stirling and What People Thought of Him • Paul Leicester Ford

... and jerked his watch back and forth from his pocket, while Westlake wasted fifteen precious minutes in waddling up to the house and hunting for his hat and returning with it, and two minutes more in bungling his awkward way into the buggy; then Sam started the grays at such a terrific pace that, until they came to the steep hill midway of the course, there was no chance for conversation. While the horses pulled up this steep hill, however, ...
— The Early Bird - A Business Man's Love Story • George Randolph Chester

... chief thing in tracing the likeness—the expression! See her now as she listens to his awkward attempt at compliment. She is looking at him with the same scornful, laughing face that the girl in the picture wears toward the bungling admirer at her feet. He is right in one thing though, ...
— Barriers Burned Away • E. P. Roe

... it will," declared von Hoffher sanguinely. "Then the rest is child's play. Directly the Tremendous slows down—it's the speed of these battleships that has caused us to miss hitherto—I will let loose two torpedoes. There will be no bungling, I assure you. I'll take good care to hit her close to the magazine, and there will be no opportunity for her to use ...
— The Submarine Hunters - A Story of the Naval Patrol Work in the Great War • Percy F. Westerman

... are here, Baron de Grost," he said, placing them upon the table. "If a bungling amateur may make such a request of a professor, may I inquire how you escaped from your bonds, passed through the door of a locked warehouse and ...
— Peter Ruff and the Double Four • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... between the eye and the star, to the half-inch distance of the mote in the sunbeam; and he had not only availed himself of both the principles which opticians discovered, but has executed his work with an infinite perfection which bungling men may admire, but can never imitate. The sclerotic coat of the eye, and the choroid which lies next it are full of muscles which, by their contraction, both press back the crystalline lens nearer the retina, ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... Goggles, from his habit of wearing spectacles, imposed no painful awe; and if it was the property of snuffy old hypocrites like him to write like copperplate and surround their signatures with arabesques, to spell without forethought, and to spout "my name is Norval" without bungling, Tom, for his part, was glad he was not in danger of those mean accomplishments. He was not going to be a snuffy schoolmaster, he, but a substantial man, like his father, who used to go hunting when he was younger, and rode a capital black mare,—as pretty a bit of horse-flesh as ever you saw; ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... a full purse; rum-diver a clever pickpocket; rum-padder a well-mounted highwayman, etc.: also queere base, roguish; queer-bung an empty purse; queer-cole bad money; queer-diver a bungling pickpocket; queer-ken a prison; queer-mart a foundered whore, and so forth. Budge a general verb of action, usually stealthy action: thus, budge a beak to give the constable the slip, or to bilk a policeman; to budge out (or ...
— Musa Pedestris - Three Centuries of Canting Songs - and Slang Rhymes [1536 - 1896] • John S. Farmer

... of Stuart seems to have been a very bungling piece of work, but this man's life was given to evil doing, and the great number of crimes confessed and committed by him would seem to say that he was not deserving of any more sympathy than which he got. This was a sorry spectacle, a human being dying like a dog, but necessity, which ...
— California 1849-1913 - or the Rambling Sketches and Experiences of Sixty-four - Years' Residence in that State. • L. H. Woolley

... that Sir John Willoughby does not attribute his failure to the bungling of his employes that is said to have taken place. The man that was despatched to cut the telegraph wires failed to do so, with the result that the Boers were provided with the news of the invasion eight hours before the ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6) - From the Foundation of Cape Colony to the Boer Ultimatum - of 9th Oct. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... beside Pocahontas's bright fire. She was far too clever a diplomatist to introduce her subject hastily; she approached it gradually from long range—stalked it delicately with skillful avoidance of surprise or bungling. The game must be brought down; on that she was determined; but there should be no bludgeon blows, no awkward carnage. The death-stab should be given clean, with scientific skill and swiftness, and the blow once given, she would retire to her own room and let her victim ...
— Princess • Mary Greenway McClelland

... never sleep when the wind howls; it gets into my imagination. I'd rather talk. The thing I have to tell you—is what I shall tell Farwell if I ever see him again. It's rather a bungling thing I've done. I'll receive my reward, doubtlessly, but I would do the same, were I placed in the same position, over and ...
— The Place Beyond the Winds • Harriet T. Comstock

... foolish girl. Pack old Dame Jellicot into the embrasure of yonder window," said the knight, "on that side of the door, and we will ensconce ourselves on this, and we shall have time to finish my explanation, for they have bungling engineers. We had a clever French fellow at Newark would have done the job in the firing ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... his temper vexed by the persistent neglect and insult cast upon him by the Milanese doctors he would naturally sit down con amore to compile a list of the errors perpetrated by the ignorance and bungling of the men who affected to despise him, and if his object was to sting the hides of these pundits and arouse them to hostility yet more vehement, he succeeded marvellously well. He was enabled to launch his book rather by the strength ...
— Jerome Cardan - A Biographical Study • William George Waters

... instrument which, while it inflicts the most exquisite torments, shall at the same time not early, assail that which is a vital part, but, you observe, prolong life to the utmost. Some, of an old-fashioned structure, with a clumsy and bungling machinery—here are some sent to me as useless—long before the truth could be extracted, or much more pain inflicted than would accompany beheading, destroyed the life of the victim. Those which I build—and I build for the State—are not to be complained of in that ...
— Aurelian - or, Rome in the Third Century • William Ware

... and in the forenoon went up with his new class. He felt rather ashamed at finding himself among so many little boys, and still more at the bungling, hesitating way in which they said their lessons. They were just beginning Caesar. He found that he could quickly turn it into English, but he took his dictionary that he might ascertain the exact meaning of each word. The Doctor called up his class that day, though he generally heard ...
— Ernest Bracebridge - School Days • William H. G. Kingston

... continuous energy. During the eighteenth century the British empire spread round the world. Under Chatham it had been finally decided that the English race should be the dominant element in the new world; if the political connection had been severed by the bungling of his successors, the unbroken spirit of the nation had still been shown in the struggle against France, Spain, and the revolted colonies; and whatever may be thought of the motives which produced ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume I. • Leslie Stephen

... of a rich and handsome young Count, and in this guise wooed the Lady Lelita, for whose sake her father had devised a magnificent contest of suitors at Andermatt in the year 1495. After a great deal of preliminary bungling the supposititious Count, with the Devil in Zozimo's shape as his body-servant, was just about to secure the object of his affections when Zozimo was stabbed by his mother, with the result that the double identity was ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, September 8th, 1920 • Various

... debate. The wilder the storm of interruption rages round JOSEPH, the more urbane he becomes, and the more dangerous. Mr. G., standing on the commanding eminence he has built for himself in the House of Commons, is the sport of most inconsiderable Member. Anyone, with whatever bungling hand, can "draw" him. To-night, whilst JOSEPH smiled his way through all the spiteful things he had stored up for gratification of old friends, Mr. G. sat restless, with clouded brow, face pale with anger, every now and then springing up with hot correction. Which was just ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, April 22, 1893 • Various

... prefer not to be quoted against him," said Davies, quietly. And mentally kicking himself, as he expressed it, for making such a "break" as in his bungling half allusion to the exception, Gray hastened away to tell of it. His ...
— Under Fire • Charles King

... on or let go. However, this uncertain state of things could be remedied by a strict examination into the circumstances of the case; therefore Cargrim set his mind to searching them out. He had been present at the inquest, but none of the witnesses brought forward by the bungling Tinkler had made any statement likely to implicate the bishop. Evidently no suspicion connecting Dr Pendle with Jentham existed in the minds of police or public. Cargrim could have set such a rumour afloat by a mere hint that the dead man and ...
— The Bishop's Secret • Fergus Hume

... said that the truth had come back upon him as a new blow. Through such dreams there seems to exist a double memory, and a second identity. The misery of his isolated position never for a moment left him; and yet there were repeated to him over and over again those bungling, ill-arranged, impossible pictures of trivial transactions about the place, which the slumber of a few seconds sufficed to create in his brain. "Mr. Ralph, you must go to bed;—you must indeed, sir," said the old butler, standing over ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... given her. She was letting it slip away. She had her reward in her hand for the mere pulling of a trigger and no incrimination for the result. For a bit of human sentiment she was bungling the ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1920 • Various

... myself, "that the real inamorato keeps his bungling foot out of this till I get clear!" And I reflected with much comfort that he was hardly likely to make an attempt upon ...
— Wandering Heath • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... pretty musical little laugh at Smellie's elaborate assumption of mock gallantry and his bungling efforts ...
— The Congo Rovers - A Story of the Slave Squadron • Harry Collingwood

... of fear crossed her mind, save the fear of bungling in her diplomacy, and so losing the flag. She knew Mr. Simpson well, and a pleasanter man was seldom to be met. She recalled an afternoon when he came home and surprised the whole school playing the Revolutionary War in his helter-skelter dooryard, ...
— The Flag-raising • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... altogether until the time when this indispensable condition should be fulfilled. But it was precisely my rage over the tinker that, in a moment of agitation, gave me the theme for Siegfried's furious outburst against the bungling Mime. I played over the childishly quarrelsome Polter theme in G minor to my sister, furiously singing the words at the same time, which made us all laugh so much that I decided to make one more effort. This resulted in my writing down a good part of the first scene by the time Liszt ...
— My Life, Volume II • Richard Wagner

... and tail at every light bound of the athletic little creature. He never moves abruptly or jerks himself impatiently, as the red squirrel is continually doing. On the contrary, all his movements are measured and deliberate, but swift and sure. He never makes a bungling leap, and his course is marked by a number of sinuous curves almost equal to those of a snake. He is here one minute, and the next he has slipped away almost beyond the ability of our eyes ...
— Composition-Rhetoric • Stratton D. Brooks

... closed the door. So carefully that he did not hear it, she locked the door; no more than in Hannigan's case did she want Barlow to come bungling into a scene before it had ...
— Children of the Whirlwind • Leroy Scott

... caused pain and hemorrhage. The nut issued spontaneously from the right side. In the afternoon the auditory canal was found excoriated and red, and deep in the meatus the kernel was found, covered with blood. The patient had been so excited and pained by the bungling attempts at extraction that the employment of instruments was impossible; prolonged employment of injections was substituted. Discharge from the ear commenced, intense fever and delirium ensued, and the patient had to be chloroformed to facilitate ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... him your help it would be welcomed," cried Wethermill. "And to me that would mean so much. There would be no bungling. There would be no waste of time. Of that ...
— At the Villa Rose • A. E. W. Mason

... of his predecessors, despairing of being able to accomplish any improvement in the Roman theatre, but that one day being surrounded by the multitude and excessively fatigued, he called a slave to relieve him while he recovered his breath. Displeased with the bungling manner in which the slave performed this new task, Livius rebuked him very severely, the slave justified, the master replied, and a dialogue ensued which the spectators imagining to be a part of the plan of the piece, greatly applauded. The drama at once broke upon their view in a ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 6, June 1810 • Various

... deliberately and slowly evacuated part of Hill 72, but most of it we unexpectedly managed to hold, and are likely now to stick to. Had we thoroughly defeated the Turks, as we should have done had there been no bungling, the end of this part of the campaign might have been in sight, but now we are held up, and how we are to get out of the fix will sadly ...
— The Incomparable 29th and the "River Clyde" • George Davidson

... forget it. My cheeks burned with shame. I said, "Oh! my God, if these are the leaders, we need not wonder at the people." A man occupying such a position to dare to say it! The Lord have mercy on him. No wonder the Lord's work is done in such a bungling way! I say those who want to be successful in winning souls require to watch not only days but nights. They want much of the Holy Ghost, for it is true still, "This kind can come forth by nothing, ...
— Godliness • Catherine Booth

... half like this boat-service in open daylight, Winchester," observed the senior, beckoning to the other to take a chair. "The least bungling may spoil it all; and then it's ten to one but your ship goes half-manned for a twelvemonth, until you are driven to pressing ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... future; again he could believe that he was to pass from that room a free man to take his place in the world from which he had these many weary months been excluded. There was no bitterness in his heart toward any one, even Moxlow's harsh denunciation of him was forgotten; the law through its bungling agents had laid its savage hands on him, that was all, and these agents had merely done what they conceived ...
— The Just and the Unjust • Vaughan Kester

... harshness of their creed felt all over the country. Never was nation in a more tractable humour; La France, like a tired woman, was ready to agree to anything; never was mismanagement so clumsy; and La France, like a woman, would have forgiven wrongs more easily than bungling. ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... corporate logo of Novell, the people who acquired USL after AT&T let go of it (Novell eventually sold the Unix group to SCO). Coined by analogy with {Death Star}, because many people believed Novell was bungling the lead in Unix systems exactly as AT&T did for ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0

... with the divine ones of music during his excruciating performance, than many a listener at a splendid concert. Mozart, for whom he had a special cultus, would surely have felt satisfied, if his clairvoyant spirit had been abroad, with my friend's marvellous bungling over that first finale of "Don Giovanni." The soul, the whole innermost nervous body (which felt of the shape of the music, fluid and infinitely sensitive) of the poor creature at the piano would draw itself ...
— Hortus Vitae - Essays on the Gardening of Life • Violet Paget, AKA Vernon Lee

... is wide-eyed, alert and ready to run, but he dwells in exposed places from the high foothills up to the mountain summits, and now even the most bungling hunter can find him and kill him at long range. In the days of black powder and short ranges the sheep had a chance to escape; but now he has none whatever. He has keener vision and more alertness than the goat, but as a real life-saving factor that amounts to nothing! Wild ...
— The Minds and Manners of Wild Animals • William T. Hornaday

... accomplished scholar, and has obtained his diploma from one of our best medical colleges. He might have obtained a competency by honest practice. But when Madame Killer, already enriched through her nefarious business, hinted that she was disposed to marry him, Bungling eagerly took the hint, ...
— The Secrets Of The Great City • Edward Winslow Martin

... is numbered among the late lamented," she continued, "I can forgive you for bungling the Hooker end of your job. With Hank's finger out of the pot, I'm content to split with Jerkline Jo. So, no thanks to you, everything has worked out all right after all. Can't you send Pete out with instructions to bite a rattlesnake, or something ...
— The She Boss - A Western Story • Arthur Preston Hankins

... if it stayed; so I tried the one great trick cousin Secord taught me, making to run him through, as a last effort. The thing went wrong, but checking off my blunder he blundered too,—out of sheer wonder, perhaps, at my bungling,—and I disarmed him. So droll was it that I laughed outright, and he, as quick in humour as in temper, stood hand on hip, and presently came to a smile. With that my cousin Secord cried: 'The king! the king!' I ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... and evening, including in the latter elastic term many hours more properly claimed by the night, were spent in confused and bungling attempts to issue the clothing and camp and garrison equipage considerately provided for us by the Government. First everybody opened all the boxes at once, and grabbed for everything. Then everybody put his things back and petitioned for somebody ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 3, September 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... interests were neglected, refused to sign the treaty. Alarmed by this, the Spartans immediately concluded a second treaty with Athens, binding both sides to mutual aid and defence, in case their territories were attacked. The prisoners taken at Sphacteria were now restored, but owing to the bungling of Nicias, the Athenians ...
— Stories From Thucydides • H. L. Havell

... them," I said, "I don't care. I don't care about anything. Why did he ever try to paddle across in all that rain? That was the beginning of all the trouble. A couple of bungling tenderfeet—" ...
— Roy Blakeley's Adventures in Camp • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... Jetty's bed-fellow had been frightened. But now everything was calm and peaceful. The glass hung in fragments about the leaden sashes; the chair and priere-dieu of the lady abbess had altogether an innocent and comfortable air, and the images, of which there were several, as horrible as a bungling workman and a bloody imagination could produce, though of a suffering appearance, were really insensible to pain. While we were making this reconnoissance a bugle sounded on the main, and looking out, we saw the Oberwinter ...
— A Residence in France - With An Excursion Up The Rhine, And A Second Visit To Switzerland • J. Fenimore Cooper

... perfected, because there would have been no call for its tapering delicacy, its calculated balance of lightness and strength, had not the violinist's technique reached such marvellous fineness of power. For it is the accomplished artist who is fastidious as to his tools; the bungling beginner can bungle with anything. The fiddle-bow, however, affords only one example of a rule which is equally well exemplified by many humbler tools. Quarryman's peck, coachman's whip, cricket-bat, fishing-rod, trowel, all have their intimate relation to the ...
— Progress and History • Various



Words linked to "Bungling" :   incompetent, handless, heavy-handed, maladroit, bumbling, ham-handed, butterfingered



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