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Knack   /næk/   Listen
Knack

noun
1.
A special way of doing something.  Synonyms: bent, hang.  "He had a special knack for getting into trouble" , "He couldn't get the hang of it"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Knack" Quotes from Famous Books



... the old man, to whom Kavanagh had gone for his first watch when quite a little boy, and upon whom he had called whenever he was in town since; to get the second handsome gold hunter now in question; to have it cleaned; to buy some little knick-knack, or merely for a chat. "Dear me; I do hope all will come right; I am sure all ...
— For Fortune and Glory - A Story of the Soudan War • Lewis Hough

... train, Fresh comers are they from the Saal and Mayne; Much booty they bring of the rarest sort— 'Tis ours, if we cleverly drive our sport. A captain, who fell by his comrade's sword, This pair of sure dice to me transferred; To-day I'll just give them a trial to see If their knack's as good as it used to be. You must play the part of a pitiful devil, For these roaring rogues, who so loosely revel, Are easily smoothed, and tricked, and flattered, And, free as it came, their gold is scattered. But we—since by bushels our all is taken, By spoonfuls ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... the knack; that's all. Just look down, sir; there's no end of thumpers coming along, and if you wait your time, sir, you're ...
— Hunting the Skipper - The Cruise of the "Seafowl" Sloop • George Manville Fenn

... of putting himself in the place of other people. There's something cold and cheerless in his preaching—I don't say as if he didn't feel it all himself, but as if he hadn't yet caught the knack of imparting ...
— The Devil's Garden • W. B. Maxwell

... the happy knack of turning every trifling incident to valuable account. I remember his telling me an anecdote in illustration of this faculty. I believe he never printed it. Being at Brighton one day, he strolled into an hotel to get an early dinner, took his seat at a table, and was discussing ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 90, April, 1865 • Various

... on as a deep field, young Pillingshot,' said Scott, as he took off his pads. 'You've got a knack of stopping them with your stomach, which the best first-class fields never have. You ought to give lessons at it. Now we'll go and have ...
— Tales of St. Austin's • P. G. Wodehouse

... pretty Knack, which seemeth dangerous to the cheeke: for the accomplishment whereof, you must haue two rings of like coullour and quantity, the one filed asunder, so as you may thrust it vpon your cheeke: the other must be whole and conueyed vpon a sticke, holding your hand therevpon ...
— The Art of Iugling or Legerdemaine • Samuel Rid

... conversation with him one would say, unhesitatingly, that he deserved a better fate than his hand-to-hand struggle with poverty. But he was one of those men who, for some unaccountable reason, never get on in the world. They can do a great many things creditably, but do not have the knack of conquering fortune. So Hiram had always been a poor man, and probably always would be poor. He was discontented at times, and often felt the disadvantages of his lot, but he was lacking in energy and ambition, ...
— Bound to Rise • Horatio Alger

... and the three of them set forth into the golden October day. It was Philip's first experience in evaluating an entire village, but he had a knack for estimating the worth of property, and by the time noon came around, he had the job half done. "If you people had made even half an effort to keep your places up," he told Judith over cold-cut sandwiches and coffee in ...
— The Servant Problem • Robert F. Young

... knack, or trick, or whatever it was, of one compelling the presence of the other by thinking or willing it, was as much mine as hers, and she tried sometimes to get me to say that I would use it with her if she died before I did; and if she were where the conditions were opposed to her coming ...
— Questionable Shapes • William Dean Howells

... fly; a fat alder on a No. 1 hook was honour enough for a beginning. A red spinner, in compliment to one who was a spectator, first chosen, alighted and floated well, but swiftly came down to the fair practitioner. Some trouble followed in gaining the delicate touch of line and winch, and knack of recovery essential to workmanlike up-stream casting, but the amiable pupil, being a listener rather than a talker, was quick to learn, and the lesson was over when the vicar arrived. To him Lammy soon contrived to explain ...
— Lines in Pleasant Places - Being the Aftermath of an Old Angler • William Senior

... only indispensable thing. We have seen a class wrought by special tricks and devices to the highest pitch of excited attention,—fairly panting with eagerness, all eyes and ears, on the very tiptoe of aroused mental activity,—yet learning nothing. The teacher had the knack of stirring them up and lashing them into a half frenzy of excited expectation, without having any substantial knowledge wherewith to reward their eagerness. With all his one-sided skill, he was but a mountebank. To real, successful teaching, there must be these two things, namely, the ability ...
— In the School-Room - Chapters in the Philosophy of Education • John S. Hart

... knowledge in the household and the courts, there was little else for any one to do than engage in farming, fishing, and trading with the Indians, or turn carpenter and cobbler according to demand. The artisan became a farmer, though still preserving his knack as a craftsman, and expended his skill and his muscle in subduing ...
— The Fathers of New England - A Chronicle of the Puritan Commonwealths • Charles M. Andrews

... Chesterton is one of the best conversationalists of the day. Conversation is a queer thing; so many people talk without having anything to say; others have a great deal to say and never say it. Chesterton can undoubtedly talk well; he has a knack of finding subjects suitable to the company; though he does not talk very much of things of the day; he is naturally mostly interested in books. Given a kindred soul the two will talk and laugh by ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Patrick Braybrooke

... himself at fourteen And practise from morning to e'en; And when he's of age, If he will, I'll engage, He may capture the heart of a queen! It is purely a matter of skill, Which all may attain if they will: But every Jack He must study the knack If he wants to make ...
— Songs of a Savoyard • W. S. Gilbert

... care not; the sooner I am starved, the sooner I am rid of wedlock. I shall learn the knack to fast o' days; you have used me to ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... ashamed of himself. He had a knack of keeping his head above water, even in reverses, which usually stood him in good stead. But after that mournful scratch match with Cazenove and Wade, he certainly did ...
— Follow My leader - The Boys of Templeton • Talbot Baines Reed

... I suppose, but he's just as good as the real. He's a natural knack at putting bones in their places, and all that sort of thing. There was a man broke his leg horribly at Thirlwall the other day, and Gibson was out of the way, and Marshchalk set it, and did it famously, they said. So go, Ellen, and bring us word ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Susan Warner

... and soon acquired a remarkable knack: she had a fine light hand: and it is an art easily learned by an attentive and careful woman. Indeed they can beat the men at it, if they will ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... yet, from this habit, no one perhaps gave more, or appeared to do so with more malice, as his countenance was radiant with good-humour, at the very time when his knuckles were taking away your breath. What made it worse, was, that he had a knack of seizing the coat lappet with the other hand, so that escape was difficult; and when he had exhausted all his reasoning, he would follow it up with a pressure of his knuckles under the fifth rib, saying, "Now you feel the force of my ...
— The Poacher - Joseph Rushbrook • Frederick Marryat

... one pretext or another, appropriated to himself everything on which he could lay his hands. My father, however, was himself pretty shrewd in money matters, having inherited along with his fortune a rare knack at keeping it. His father was a goldsmith in the time of King Edward, and enjoyed the marked favor of ...
— When Knighthood Was in Flower • Charles Major

... a minute, Bob," said Mr. Waterman. Bob handed it over and his tutor showed him how to cast. Bob was awkward at first but he was soon casting very nicely. Bob was so interested trying to get the knack of casting that he wholly forgot that he was on a lake full of trout. He was therefore very much surprised to feel his fly ...
— Bob Hunt in Canada • George W. Orton

... this. And yet I thought myself a fine fellow, I warrant you. And these sums! why man! I must make you my agent. I need one, I'm sure; for though I get an accountant every two or three years to do up my books, they somehow have the knack of getting wrong again. Those quarries, Mrs. Browne, which every one says are so valuable, and for the stone out of which receive orders amounting to hundreds of pounds, what d'ye think was the profit I made last year, according to ...
— The Moorland Cottage • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... was the father of the Moonbeam, Mr. Horsball himself having come there since the days in which Fred Pepper first became familiar with its loose boxes. No one knew how he lived or how he got his horses. He had, however, a very pretty knack of selling them, and certainly paid Mr. Horsball regularly. He was wont to vanish in April, and would always turn up again in October. Some people called him the dormouse. He was good-humoured, good-looking after a horsey fashion, clever, agreeable, and quite willing to submit ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... discredit of which extends to our ladies generally—in short, she exposes the country before foreigners. Then for the natives, she catches some poor boy just loose upon the world, dances with, flatters him—for she has a knack of flattering people without seeming to do so, especially by always appearing to take an interest in what is said to her,—keeps him dangling about her for a while; then some day he says or does something to make a fool ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851 • Various

... chin in his hand and brooded over his comfortless past and cheerless future. He could just remember his mother—and he preferred not to remember his father, who was less kind to him than were strangers. That was his past. And the future—always to be a cow-puncher? There was his knack for drawing; if he could study and practice, perhaps even the Little Doctor would not dare call him ignorant then. Not that he cared for what she might say or might not say, but a fellow can't help hating to be reminded of something that he knows ...
— Chip, of the Flying U • B. M. Bower

... appear to have the knack of getting their wishes granted. Jack is one of that ilk. Just as he made the remark, Davenport sauntered in and, finding out what was going on, volunteered to tell a ghost story himself—something that had happened to his grandmother, or maybe it was his great-aunt; I ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1902 to 1903 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... oldest of the trio, was one of those level-headed chaps who had a knack of doing the right thing at the right time. His judgment had been proven good in many a tight place and under many thrilling conditions. As a result, he was generally looked up to as a leader by the others, although it must be admitted that Adrian was also a lad ...
— The Broncho Rider Boys with Funston at Vera Cruz - Or, Upholding the Honor of the Stars and Stripes • Frank Fowler

... is, what can be done by a person from twenty-one years of age to fifty. I know no husbandry-work (mowing hardly excepted) that is not equally within the power of all persons within those ages, the more advanced fully compensating by knack and habit what they lose in activity. Unquestionably, there is a good deal of difference between the value of one man's labour and that of another, from strength, dexterity, and honest application. But I am quite ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... otherwise divorced and married; his eyes are not at home in an English landscape or with English houses; his ear continues to remark the English speech; and even though his tongue acquire the Southern knack, he will still have a strong Scotch accent of ...
— Memories and Portraits • Robert Louis Stevenson

... you believe that the departing of that first Summer was a sad matter to him. He had done his best, you see, and a whole new world of trying had been thrown open to him. And really he was beginning to get the knack of that kind of weaving. And she was a fine big apple-cheeked woman ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1915 - And the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... learn to ride horseback. When once acquired, we shall never forget it. The first few lessons will make us feel discouraged, because the jolting and jarring every one receives in learning to ride almost make it appear that we can never acquire the knack, but remember that even the cowboy has had to go through the same experience. A beginner should only ride a gentle horse. In case we do take a tumble, it is well to take our first lesson on soft ground ...
— Outdoor Sports and Games • Claude H. Miller

... now, with a clear ripple of joyousness, at some passing quip between our host and sharp-tongued Lady Berenicia, both of whom employed pretty liberally their Irish knack of saying witty, biting things. The sound came strangely to my ears, as if it were some other ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... Return from Calvary" is the latest thing in religious art, they think themselves bound to put their names down for proofs. How could they refuse? The canvasser dipped the pen in the ink for them, and he has a knack of making ...
— Modern Painting • George Moore

... anybody who indulges in it, whether he makes them the object of it or not. They bore with it, when turned against slavery, from one or two distinguished humorists, because its effectiveness was plain; but we doubt whether any man who had the knack of seeing the ludicrous side of things ever really won their confidence, partly owing to their own natural want of humor, and partly to their careful cultivation of a habit of solemnity of mind as the only thing that can make an "advanced" position really tenable, to say nothing of comfortable. ...
— Reflections and Comments 1865-1895 • Edwin Lawrence Godkin

... knack of hymn-writing, and the translations from the Greek which he has published in this book will be a welcome ...
— Hymns of the Greek Church - Translated with Introduction and Notes • John Brownlie

... manners which Mrs. Furze knew that she herself lacked, and Charlie Colston, aged twenty-eight, was still disengaged. It was Mrs. Furze's way when she proposed anything to herself, to take no account of any obstacles, and she had the most wonderful knack of belittling and even transmuting all moral objections. Mr. Charlie Colston was a well-known figure in Eastthorpe. He was an only son, about five feet eleven inches high, thin, unsteady on his legs, smooth-faced, unwholesome, ...
— Catharine Furze • Mark Rutherford

... rather shabby. So much liquor had been spilled on the billiard table that the balls stuck to it. Once the game got started though, Lantier recovered his good humor and began to flaunt his extraordinary knack with a cue. ...
— L'Assommoir • Emile Zola

... replied, 'but I seemed to them as one that mocked.' Now, this of talking, and, especially, of talking about religious things to children, is one of the most difficult things in the world,—that is, to do it well. Some people have the happy knack of talking to their own and to other people's children so as always to interest and impress them. But such happy people are few. Most people talk at their children whenever they begin to talk to them, and thus, without knowing ...
— Bunyan Characters - First Series • Alexander Whyte

... We took two-hourly spells at the tiller. The men who were not on watch crawled into the sodden sleeping- bags and tried to forget their troubles for a period; but there was no comfort in the boat. The bags and cases seemed to be alive in the unfailing knack of presenting their most uncomfortable angles to our rest-seeking bodies. A man might imagine for a moment that he had found a position of ease, but always discovered quickly that some unyielding point was ...
— South! • Sir Ernest Shackleton

... is puff!" laughed Ulrich. "When I snap the twigs, you always hear them say 'knack, knack,' and 'knack' is a word too. The juggler Caspar's magpie, ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... less eccentricities, and caused him to be more or less popular among his neighbours and dependants. But this was not to be. All great families have their secret unpleasantnesses, and in these the Tichbornes were by no means behindhand. The Tichbornes generally had a knack of disagreeing, and this feeling was shown in excelsis by James, the father of Roger, and his wife, who lived abroad for many years, she being French in every sentiment, while the husband was but naturalized, and now and again exhibited a desire to return to ...
— Celebrated Claimants from Perkin Warbeck to Arthur Orton • Anonymous

... sift all matters brought before him to the bottom, had rendered the young officer very popular among the natives. They knew they could get justice from him direct. There was no necessity to bribe underlings: he had the knack of extracting the truth from the mass of lying evidence always forthcoming in native cases; and even the defeated party admired the manner in which the fabric of falsehood was pulled to pieces. But the main reason of his popularity was his ...
— Rujub, the Juggler • G. A. Henty

... is properly slung it hangs almost straight, with very little sagging. To get in properly, one grasps two hoops near the head, and, with an agile spring, throws body and feet into the canvas bed. This requires a knack, and is learned only after a more or less painful experience. A three-inch mattress and two blankets go with each outfit. For sheets a bag-like mattress cover is used, and, in lieu of the downy pillows of home, the sailor must be content with his ...
— A Gunner Aboard the "Yankee" • Russell Doubleday

... not, even for him, an easy job. He had the knack and the training but, in addition, there was the necessity of establishing a rapport with the other mind. Since he was a physicist and not a politician, it was much easier to get information from the mind of Sonya Malekrinova ...
— The Foreign Hand Tie • Gordon Randall Garrett

... being poor, I have taught myself to do without them. An occasional model would only disturb my ideal conception of the figure, and be a positive impediment in my career. As for painting by an artificial light,' he would continue, 'that is simply a knack I have found it necessary to acquire, my days being engrossed in ...
— The Wrong Box • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... such perfect little dinner-parties as Aunt Marjorie. She had a knack of finding out each of her guests' particular weaknesses with regard to the dinner-table. She was no diplomatist, and her conversation was considered prosy; but with Mr. Merton to act the perfect host and to lead the conversation into the newest ...
— A Young Mutineer • Mrs. L. T. Meade

... is good to the old man," said Gottfried, himself almost regretting the lad's avocation. "My eyes are failing me, and he is aiding me with the graving of this border. He has the knack that no teaching will impart to ...
— The Dove in the Eagle's Nest • Charlotte M. Yonge

... cavalry regiments that have lately trooped through our cities from various States of the Union, on their way to the banks of the Potomac, must in candor, if with reluctance, acknowledge that we are not just yet a nation of horsemen. That our troopers have got a knack of 'sticking on' we will admit; but there are ways of fulfilling that necessary condition with more ease to the horse, more grace in the action, and more certainty of being able to use the weapons with precision, than the present very unartistic ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 1, July, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... rhythms, and you must get the right accent on those syncopated beats or taps or you cannot get the knack of doing a buck dance properly. So it is most important that you practice over and over again the four kinds of "taps" and "hops" which I shall describe now. First of all, stand in an imaginary circle the diameter of your feet, ...
— The Art of Stage Dancing - The Story of a Beautiful and Profitable Profession • Ned Wayburn

... sly fellow, and he had a knack of turning up whenever one wanted to do a civil thing by that poor girl. Where is ...
— The Trial - or, More Links of the Daisy Chain • Charlotte M. Yonge

... questions and moving impracticable resolutions in sonorous harangues, often prepared for them by outside hacks, their own colleagues soon taught them that such methods were no longer likely to pay even for purposes of advertisement. The majority quickly acquired a knack of suppressing wind-bags and bores quietly and effectively. The Act of 1919 reserved to Government the appointment of the President of the Assembly for the first four years, after which he will be chosen by the Assembly itself. Not even the House of Commons could ...
— India, Old and New • Sir Valentine Chirol

... answered, coolly. "But you see, Mr Merry, British seamen have a knack of getting into impregnable places, as we ...
— Marmaduke Merry - A Tale of Naval Adventures in Bygone Days • William H. G. Kingston

... in this world more difficult to manage than a common or garden ladder; among other peculiarities it has a most unpleasant knack of kicking out suddenly just as everything appears to be going smoothly, which is apt to prove disconcerting to the novice. However, after sundry mishaps of the kind, I eventually got it reared up to the window, and a moment afterwards ...
— My Lady Caprice • Jeffrey Farnol

... these tastes redeemed by very amiable qualities beneath the smooth external surface. There was plenty of feminine spite as well as feminine delicacy. To the marked fear of ridicule natural to a sensitive man Walpole joined a very happy knack of quarrelling. He could protrude a feline set of claws from his velvet glove. He was a touchy companion and an intolerable superior. He set out by quarrelling with Gray, who, as it seems, could not stand his dandified airs of social ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... painfully off Ras Mohammed, which obliged us with its own peculiar gusts; and the 'Akabah Gulf, as usual, acted wind-sail. A long dtour was necessary in order to spare the mules, which, however, are much less liable to injury, under such circumstances, than horses, having a knack of learning to ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 1 • Richard Burton

... stale rhetoric about closer fellowship and the higher life. No one ever approximately equalled Bernard Shaw in the power of finding really fresh and personal arguments for these recent schemes and creeds. No one ever came within a mile of him in the knack of actually producing a new argument for a new philosophy. I give two instances to cover the kind of thing I mean. Bernard Shaw (being honestly eager to put himself on the modern side in everything) put himself on the side of what is called the feminist movement; ...
— George Bernard Shaw • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... He had one outdoor knack—that of lighting matches in a wind and inducing refractory wood to burn. His skill had often been called into requisition in the igniting of beach fires, and the so-called "camp fires" of girls. He collected dry twigs from the sunny places, cut slivers ...
— The Claim Jumpers • Stewart Edward White

... morning I accompanied Mr Waugh to Kildwick, whither we walked on the canal bank. On the way, the Lancashire poet proved himself an intensely interesting and instructive companion. He had a large stock of funny stories, and possessed quite a knack of imparting his sensible advice to one in an inoffensive and almost unnoticeable manner. During the journey I said little, but thought much. At Kildwick we inspected the "Lang Kirk," and other places of note in the locality, ...
— Adventures and Recollections • Bill o'th' Hoylus End

... about a ranch isn't worth knowing. I've got to go up to the house now to look over some accounts and I'm going to leave you in his care. You remember, Sandy, that little scrap in Mexico I told you about? Well, these are the boys that stood at my back. They've got a knack for getting into a shindy on the slightest provocation and I look to you to keep them out of trouble. I warn you though that ...
— Bert Wilson in the Rockies • J. W. Duffield

... garden, raising small fruits and berries, and even maintaining a hen roost. Some people (I would I could honestly include myself) have a gift for making things grow and getting crops that are worth the work that has gone into them. Likewise there is such a thing as possessing a knack with that unresponsive and perverse creature, the hen. Possibly good gardening and an egg-producing hen-yard are the result of willingness to take infinite pains but, out of my disappointments and half successes, ...
— If You're Going to Live in the Country • Thomas H. Ormsbee and Richmond Huntley

... bellows of a man. I do hear he's heating up th' old Squire Moyle's soul to knack an angel out of en. He'll find that a job and a half. You mark my words, there'll be Dover over in your ...
— The Ship of Stars • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... some not very pleasing stories about himself, but one of them shows us what a knack he had for seeing the comic side of things, and perhaps for seeing comedy where it never existed. Upon one occasion he was invited to a friend's house where the family were in the habit of assembling for prayers, and he had no sooner got inside, than he began to fear he should laugh, ...
— Pictures Every Child Should Know • Dolores Bacon

... without a perceptible movement of his arm, shot Benton Sharp through the heart. It seems that the new Commissioner of Insurance, Statistics, and History has been an old-time Indian fighter and ranger for many years, which accounts for the happy knack he has of handling ...
— Roads of Destiny • O. Henry

... however, of the Moral-Plays had vigour enough, it appears, to propagate themselves into the drama of comedy and tragedy after the main body of them had been withdrawn. An apt instance of this is furnished in A Knack to know a Knave, entered at the Stationers' in 1593, but written several years before. It was printed in 1594, the title-page stating that it had been "acted sundry times by Edward Alleyn and his company," and that it contained "Kempe's applauded merriments of ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... obituary notice in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, Eha "had a special genius for seizing the striking and characteristic points in the appearance and behaviour of individual species and a happy knack of translating them into print so as to render his descriptions unmistakable. He looked upon all creatures in the proper way, as if each had a soul and character of its own. He loved them all, and was unwilling to hurt any of them." These characteristics are well shown in this book, for one is able ...
— Concerning Animals and Other Matters • E.H. Aitken, (AKA Edward Hamilton)

... I've never been a good one at managing folk; one severe look turns me sick, and then I say just the wrong thing, I'm so fluttered. Now I should like nothing better than to take Nancy home with me, but Tom knows nothing but that his sister is dead, and I've not the knack of speaking rightly to Will. I dare not do it, and that's the truth. But you mun not think badly of Will. He's so good hissel, that he can't understand how any one can do wrong; and, above all, I'm sure he loves ...
— Lizzie Leigh • Elizabeth Gaskell

... lost any of his knack for surprises," muttered Danny. "And if we, who know his old tricks, can't fathom him at all, what are the other seven of ...
— Dick Prescotts's Fourth Year at West Point - Ready to Drop the Gray for Shoulder Straps • H. Irving Hancock

... a lover of the play and all that belonged to it. Dramatic literature he knew fully. He was one of the not very numerous people who can read a play: a knack, the fruit of much knowledge and some imagination, comparable to that of reading score. Few men better understood the artificial principles on which a play is good or bad; few more unaffectedly enjoyed a piece of any merit of construction. ...
— Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin • Robert Louis Stevenson

... not quite so certain of that, Digby," answered Captain Brine. "But if she is not an enemy, she is the Diamond frigate, commanded by Sir Sydney Smith. He has a wonderful knack of disguising his ship. I have known him to deceive the French themselves, and quietly to sail under a battery, look into a port, and be out again before he was suspected. He delights in such sort of work, and is not over bashful in describing afterwards what he has done. We shall soon, however, ...
— True Blue • W.H.G. Kingston

... into position, and other matters of a similar kind where mere brute strength was required. Moreover, their steaming apparatus acted to perfection; and after the first two days—during which they were acquiring the knack of working together, and generally "getting the hang of things," as Nicholls expressed it—everything went like clock-work. They averaged six complete strakes of planking—three on either side of the hull—sawn, trimmed, steamed, and fixed, per diem; and as there happened to be thirty strakes ...
— Dick Leslie's Luck - A Story of Shipwreck and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... And even if you are trained, no amount of medical nursing will prepare you for a bad surgical case. To begin with, I had never nursed a patient so tall and heavy that I couldn't lift him by sheer strength and a sort of amateur knack. ...
— A Journal of Impressions in Belgium • May Sinclair

... that," she murmured, and added with a touch of sarcasm: "The knack of making a catch phrase is often very agreeable, but presupposes no ...
— Wings of the Wind • Credo Harris

... Master Porges stripped, horsed, and stoutly flogged then and there. This he did by the simple device of calling up his agents by name, having the general's knack of judging men. Master Porges was a pursy man, but there were burlier than he; a couple of lean stablemen made good practice with the stirrup-leathers. At the end the entire herd were his slaves. One fetched his horse, another his ...
— The Forest Lovers • Maurice Hewlett

... generally, his scowls and his sullenness, his deficiency in the daring and impudence that had warmed their hearts towards Dick, and, above all, his strange knack of getting them into trouble—for he seldom received what he considered an indignity without making a formal complaint—all this brought him as much hearty dislike and contempt as, perhaps, the ...
— Vice Versa - or A Lesson to Fathers • F. Anstey

... his long, light curls. Certainly, one can see that Madame Violette has a never-to-be-forgotten grief, but what a kind and grateful glance she gives her husband! Could anything be more touching than Louise Gerard, that excellent old maid, the life of the house, who has the knack of making pleasing order and elegant comfort reign in the house, while she surrounds her mother, the paralytic Grandmother Gerard, with every care? Truly, Amedee has arranged his life well. He loves and is loved: he has procured for mind and body valuable ...
— A Romance of Youth, Complete • Francois Coppee

... often wonder where exactly the limits of your patience are. With me they have withdrawn into infinite space—I've never been able to reach them. But every one else seems to have a knack—well, somebody must cook. You tell me Annalise won't. Perhaps she really can't. Anyhow I cannot mention it to her, because it would be too horrible to have her flatly refusing to do something I told her to do and yet not be able to send her ...
— The Princess Priscilla's Fortnight • Elizabeth von Arnim

... Marley was paying house-to-house visits among his humbler parishioners. Though his conversation was the weak point to which attention has been drawn, Hugh Woodgate nevertheless possessed the not too common knack of chatting with the poor. He had the simplicity which made them kin, and his sympathy, unlike that of so many persons who consider themselves sympathetic, was not exclusively reserved for the death-bed and the ruined home. He wrote letters for the illiterate, ...
— The Shadow of the Rope • E. W. Hornung

... little at first, and then turned pale. Now the woods were as full of as delicate, as subtle, as grateful, and, I wot, far healthier and purer odors than this; but this represented to Jeff the physical contiguity of Miss Mayfield, who had the knack—peculiar to some of her sex—of selecting a perfume that ideally identified her. Jeff looked around cautiously; at the foot of a tree hard by lay one of her wraps, still redolent of her. Jeff put down the bag which, in lieu of a market basket, he was carrying on his shoulder, ...
— Jeff Briggs's Love Story • Bret Harte

... lost in the mere spending of money, and Diana in the mere guarding of it. Smith looked at her again and again. Her eyes and mouth were set in her face the wrong way—which was really the right way. She had the knack of saying everything with her face: her silence was a sort of ...
— Manalive • G. K. Chesterton

... picture, with a stern and criticising eye. He also looks upon life as a picture, but to catch its beauties, its lights,—not its defects and shadows. On the former he loves to dwell. He has a wonderful knack at shutting his eyes to the sinister side of anything. Never beat a more kindly heart than his; alive to the sorrows, but not to the faults, of his friends, but doubly alive to their virtues and goodness. Indeed, people seemed to grow ...
— Washington Irving • Charles Dudley Warner

... be done but keep her quiet, and Ethel went away to be miserable; Flora tried to comfort her by saying it was unfortunate, but no doubt there was a knack, and everyone could not manage those things; Margaret was easier now, and as to papa's anger, he did not always mean ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... Isle of Refuge,' Julia Peters named it. She has a knack at inventing names. The island is fifteen feet long by twelve wide; and it has a rock that ...
— The Nursery, January 1873, Vol. XIII. - A Monthly Magazine for Youngest People • Various

... but of course it is considered by her friends in society that since she went in for business she can't refuse to meet anyone. Dick sat next to her, and had on the other side of him Mrs. ——, who likes celebrities without the knack of selection, and whose invitations nowadays I believe are never accepted at once, but are kept open as long as possible to see if something better won't turn up. Then came Mrs. Romedek and Mr. Westington; he looking ...
— The Smart Set - Correspondence & Conversations • Clyde Fitch

... really very much distressed. Feng Tzu-ying then explained that he knew a young doctor who had made a study of his profession, Chang by surname, and Yu-shih by name, whose learning was profound to a degree; who was besides most proficient in the principles of medicine, and had the knack of discriminating whether a patient would live or die; that this year he had come to the capital to purchase an official rank for his son, and that he was now living with him in his house. In view of these circumstances, not knowing but that if, perchance, the case of our daughter-in-law ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... taught Judy her niche in the temple of art. She was not destined to be a great artist, but she had a keen wit, and a knack of discovering fun in everything, and in later years it was in caricature, not unkind, but truly humorous, that Judy made her greatest successes, ...
— Judy • Temple Bailey

... sir,—I know that," replied Mr. Brown; "but it will be of use to your friends; it will be inestimable to any old aunt, sir, any maiden lady living at Hackney, any curious elderly gentleman fond of a knack-knack. I knew you would know some one to send it to as a present, even though you should not want ...
— The Disowned, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... Croly, her husband, long a newspaper man of admitted power and executive force, Mrs. Croly was a constant help, as he too was to her. From him she learned not a little of her topical discernment and technical knack. He was never afraid of ability in whomever found, and he rejoiced that the sex of his wife, and the novel fact that she was the first woman in America to write daily for publication, gave to her and her subjects a vogue ...
— Memories of Jane Cunningham Croly, "Jenny June" • Various

... considerately knocking me out of it again, thereby depositing me with much skill and science flat upon the hearth-rug. This manouvre he repeated with great success during some half hour or so, at the end of which time I began to discover the knack with which it was done, and proceeded to demonstrate the proficiency I was making, by a well-directed blow, which, being delivered with much greater force than I had intended, sent Coleman flying across the room. ...
— Frank Fairlegh - Scenes From The Life Of A Private Pupil • Frank E. Smedley

... that she cannot throw a stone at a hen in the way in which a stone properly should be thrown at a hen, made suitable atonement for this articular oversight by endowing her joints with the facile knack of turning on exactly the right angle, with never danger of sprain or dislocation, for the subjugation of a back-latching frock. Moreover, years of practice have given her adeptness in accomplishing this achievement, ...
— The Life of the Party • Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

... think it a great pity that he had not settled himself ashore in a good city practice," continued Dr. Ferris. "He had a great knack at pleasing people and making friends, and he was always spoiling for want of work. I was ready enough to shirk my part of that, you may be sure, but if you start with a reasonably healthy set of men, crew and officers, and keep good discipline, and have no accidents ...
— A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches • Sarah Orne Jewett

... a wry face. This was not her idea of enjoyment. She went back to the goose sad at heart, for Miss Ruby had a knack of enforcing her wishes. ...
— I Saw Three Ships and Other Winter Tales • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... Marion, you have always a very fine knack of setting off your arguments. But still, sir, I can't see things in that light. For a man, sir, to go and trump up a pack of claims against me, and all of them because I can't credit him in the abominable extent he wishes, to fall upon me and ...
— The Life of General Francis Marion • Mason Locke Weems

... vein— (We know we have a happy knack that way. We have observed, moreover, that young men Are fond of good advice, and so are girls; Especially of that meandering kind, Which winding on so sweetly, treats of all They ought to be and do and think and wear, As one may ...
— Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Jean Ingelow

... most dramatic happenings have the knack of settling down into the commonplace,—and so in due course the days at the Palazzo d'Oro went on tranquilly,—Manella being established there and known as "la bella Signora Seaton" by the natives of the little ...
— The Secret Power • Marie Corelli

... said Milray, "but it's not surprising. I wish I could see your face distinctly; I've a great curiosity about matching voices and faces; I must get Mrs. Milray to tell me how you look. Where did you pick up your pretty knack at reading? In ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... before the players are visible, the disk is seen bounding round some curve, to the great danger of one's legs. He whose disk whirls the farthest wins a point. It is an excellent walking game, and it requires some knack to play the disk evenly along the road. Often the swiftest disks, when not well-directed, bound over the hedges, knock themselves down against the walls, or bury themselves in the tangled ditches; and when well played, if they chance to hit a stone in the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860 • Various

... one's brother to three o'clock's happiness in the 'extraordinary mesmeric discourse' of one's friend. All this, and the rest of the serene and happy inspired daily life which a piece of 'unpunctuality' can ruin, and to which the guardian 'angel' brings as crowning qualification the knack of poking the fire adroitly—of this—what can one say but that—no, best hold one's tongue and read the 'Lyrical Ballads' with finger in ear. Did not Shelley say long ago 'He had no more imagination than a pint-pot'—though in those days he used to walk about France and ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

... my dear sir," said Hilderman cheerily. "You scientist fellows have a knack of making your difficulties a little greater than they really are, in order to get more credit for surmounting them. I know your little ways. I'm an American, you know, professor; you can't get ...
— The Mystery of the Green Ray • William Le Queux

... bare spiritual facts of machinery is not denied. What seems to be lacking in the machines from the artistic point of view at present is a mere knack of making the faces plain and literal-looking. Grasshoppers would be more appreciated by more people if they were made with microscopes on,—either the grasshoppers or ...
— The Voice of the Machines - An Introduction to the Twentieth Century • Gerald Stanley Lee

... disappointment, however, he was not long suffered to enjoy. The curate happened that day to dine with him: his visits, indeed, were more properly to the aunt than the nephew; and many of the intelligent ladies in the parish, who, like some very great philosophers, have the happy knack at accounting for everything, gave out that there was a particular attachment between them, which wanted only to be matured by some more years of courtship to end in the tenderest connection. In this conclusion, indeed, supposing the premises to have ...
— The Man of Feeling • Henry Mackenzie

... your fault," Mrs. Caldwell rejoined. "You have an unhappy knack of separating yourself from every one. Look at your Uncle James. He ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... life, for twenty-five years, had dealt kindly. He had perfect health, an income more than sufficient for his needs, a profession which interested without monopolizing him, a thoroughly contented disposition, and the happy knack of surrounding himself ...
— The Coming of Bill • P. G. Wodehouse

... himself strongly at the hinge with earth-ingrained hands—to discourse on polities and religion, and to opine that our policy in China was "neither my eye nor my elber." "The little lady," as he called Hester, had a knack of drawing out Abel; but to-day, as he did not see her, she slipped past him, and, crossing the church-yard, sat down for a moment in the porch to regain her breath, under the card of printed texts offered for the consideration of his flock by their ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley

... to speak again upon public matters for some time, perhaps a month or two; but I mean, never lose view of that great object; pursue it with discretion, but pursue it always. 'Pelotez en attendant partie'. You know I have always told you that speaking in public was but a knack, which those who apply to the most will succeed in the best. Two old members, very good judges, have sent me compliments upon this occasion; and have assured me that they plainly find it will do; though they perceived, from ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... pilot in those days by the name of Jack Leonard who was a perfectly wonderful creature. I do not know that Jack knew anymore about the river than most of us and perhaps could not read the water any better, but he had a knack of steering away ahead of our ability, and I think he must have had an eye that could see farther ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... mind for the present what those conclusions are, Mr. Betteredge. I haven't brought you out here to draw me like a badger; I have brought you out here to ask for some information. You might have given it to me no doubt, in the house, instead of out of it. But doors and listeners have a knack of getting together; and, in my line of life, we cultivate a healthy taste for ...
— The Moonstone • Wilkie Collins

... old knack of catching a tune, Moll. Come hither, wench, and sit upon my knee, for I do love ye more than ever. Give me a buss, chuck; this fine husband of thine shall not have ...
— A Set of Rogues • Frank Barrett

... evidently furnished in great haste, with the happy-go-lucky and individual knack of those accustomed to traveling and improvising a dwelling place;—divans with cheap and showy chintzes, skins of the American llama, glaring imitation-Oriental rugs, and on the walls, prints from the periodicals between gilt moldings. On a table were displayed ...
— Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) - A Novel • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... would need to bring a wary mind to his work. For though the old master of Lennon House has not lain twenty years in his grave, he is already swollen into a legendary character. Anecdotes have grown upon his memory like barnacles, and any man in those parts with a knack of invention has only to foist his stories upon Dermod to ensure a ready credence. There are, however, definite facts. He practised an ancient and tyrannous hospitality, keeping open house upon the road to Letterkenny, and forcing bed and ...
— The Four Feathers • A. E. W. Mason

... mighty good knack of catching his rainbows, anyhow," answered Hallam; "and you'd better not let the idea get away with you that he isn't a force to be reckoned with. He's young yet, and very new to business, but you remember it was he who first suggested the Through ...
— A Captain in the Ranks - A Romance of Affairs • George Cary Eggleston

... of Lords for breach of privilege, and attended himself to stimulate the resentment of his friends. Curll appeared at the bar, and, knowing himself in no great danger, spoke of Pope with very little reverence. "He has," said Curll, "a knack at versifying, but in prose I think myself a match for him." When the orders of the House were examined, none of them appeared to have been infringed. Curll went away triumphant, and Pope was left to ...
— Lives of the English Poets: Prior, Congreve, Blackmore, Pope • Samuel Johnson

... at Montreal, Shag a little shy at first amidst all the grandeur and wealth of Hal's home, but covering that shyness with a quiet dignity that sat very well on his young shoulders. With a wonderful knack of delicacy, Hal would smooth out any threatened difficulty for the Indian boy—little table entanglements, such as new dishes or unaccustomed foods. But Shag was at times surprisingly outspoken, and the first night at dinner ...
— The Shagganappi • E. Pauline Johnson

... anything to them; but we will pass them and proceed. You have heard of the sins of his youth, of his apprenticeship, and how he set up, and married, and what a life he hath led his wife; and now I will tell you some more of his pranks. He had the very knack for knavery; had he, as I said before, been bound to serve an apprenticeship to all these things, he could not have been more cunning, he could not have ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... I tried to follow his good example, in my own way, by helping the boys over knotty points in "math" and "phil." I had taught district school one winter before going to West Point, and hence had acquired the knack of ...
— Forty-Six Years in the Army • John M. Schofield



Words linked to "Knack" :   natural endowment, gift, talent, endowment



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