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Tell on   /tɛl ɑn/   Listen
Tell on

verb
1.
Give away information about somebody.  Synonyms: betray, denounce, give away, grass, rat, shit, shop, snitch, stag.
2.
Produce an effect or strain on somebody.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Tell on" Quotes from Famous Books



... breathing so softly that he could hardly discern any life at all, and his heart almost stopped with fear. He picked her up and fanned and patted her into wakefulness again and then turned desperately to the window and looked down. There was no one he knew or who knew him as far as he could tell on the street, and he determined recklessly to ...
— Gallegher and Other Stories • Richard Harding Davis

... chuckled Hugh. "It was silly on the part of Chief Wambold. But then, of course, Nick has made him a whole lot of trouble in the past. So only one fellow has been taken, and he refuses to tell on his pal, ...
— The Chums of Scranton High at Ice Hockey • Donald Ferguson

... occurred in the course of an hour. But in each case the imperturbable colonel returned with the same hearty words upon his lips: "Now, gentlemen, let's take a drink, and then I'm ready to talk." Then as the smooth brandy began to tell on the deacons, they gradually modified their estimate of the landlord's sins and their personal duty, until at length one of them rose from his chair and turning to the other said: "Waal, I guess Col. Balcom ain't the wust sort o' man in the world—come, ...
— The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 1, January 1886 - Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 1, January, 1886 • Various

... lively. She was having a gay career of flirtations, when Henrietta joined her. She did not at all want a younger sister, particularly a sister with a pretty complexion. Three years of parties had begun to tell on her own, which was of special delicacy. She and Henrietta had never grown to like one another, and now there went on a sort of silent war, an unnecessary war on Louie's side, for she had a much greater gift with partners ...
— The Third Miss Symons • Flora Macdonald Mayor

... his office to plead her case, fearing Mrs. Spragg's intervention. For some time past Mr. Spragg had been rather continuously overworked, and the strain was beginning to tell on him. He had never quite regained, in New York, the financial security of his Apex days. Since he had changed his base of operations his affairs had followed an uncertain course, and Undine suspected that his breach ...
— The Custom of the Country • Edith Wharton

... and Holmes, Brayton directed, as often as possible, charges through the center, or right-end rushes. But almost half of the time Lehigh seemed bent on bearing down the Army's left end. The hard work was beginning to tell on ...
— Dick Prescott's Third Year at West Point - Standing Firm for Flag and Honor • H. Irving Hancock

... where their still is will greatly please the revenue officers," said Judge LeMonde, "but won't you get yourself into trouble if you tell on your friends?" ...
— The Kentucky Ranger • Edward T. Curnick

... lady to whom he had been engaged in early youth had perished at sea, and he had remained single for her sake. He had to struggle, too, in his business relations, with the embarrassments incident to a sinking colony; and though a West Indian climate was beginning to tell on his constitution, his circumstances though tolerably easy, were not such as to permit his permanent residence in Scotland. He returned in the following year to Jamaica; and I saw, some time after, in a Kingston paper, an intimation of his election to the Colonial House ...
— My Schools and Schoolmasters - or The Story of my Education. • Hugh Miller

... they emerged together into the cold winter twilight and turned up Madison Avenue. These walks home from the station gave them a little more time to themselves than if they had driven; and there was always so much to tell on both sides. This time the news was all good: the work at Westmore was prospering, and on Justine's side there was a more cheerful report of Mr. Langhope's health, and—best of all—his promise to give them Cicely for ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... punish me, I know you will," she burst out. "Papa, don't you think it's a little mean to make me tell on myself and then punish me for what you find ...
— Elsie at Nantucket • Martha Finley

... saying he oughtn't to put his best foot foremost," he agreed. "We'd all do that, if we only knew how. And I'm not saying he ought to tell on himself, or that anybody's got any business getting under his guard. I don't hanker to know anybody's faults, or to find out what they've got up their sleeves besides their elbows, unless I have to. Why, I'd as soon ask a fellow to take ...
— Slippy McGee, Sometimes Known as the Butterfly Man • Marie Conway Oemler

... Spain an' France an' Germany, whar they talk all them useless tongues, an' after a while it takes a whirl clean 'roun' Africa an' Asia, an' sees goodness knows what, an' then goes slippin' off to see islands in oceans that I ain't ever heard tell on. Jumpin' Jehoshaphat but ain't that a movin' an' ...
— The Free Rangers - A Story of the Early Days Along the Mississippi • Joseph A. Altsheler

... would have worked than we employed, but we used the precaution of taking the names of those engaged. The tall men became exhausted soonest, while the shorter men worked vigorously still—but a couple of days' hard work seemed to tell on the best of them. It is doubtful if any but meat-eating people can stand long-continued labour without exhaustion: the Chinese may be an exception. When French navvies were first employed they could not do a tithe of the work of our English ones; but when the ...
— The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume I (of 2), 1866-1868 • David Livingstone

... observed Mark, 'that that's a state of things as opens one of the jolliest look-outs for domestic architecture that ever I heerd tell on.' ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... of these woods!" Chatty Squirrel shouted angrily. "You have no right in here. You are just sneaking around trying to catch somebody. But you can't. I won't let you. I'll tell on you. Look here, everybody. Here is old Brushtail the Fox. I know you, Mr. Brushtail. I've seen you before in the woods up along the Deep River. Look out, everybody! Brushtail is around. He's right under this tree, ...
— Doctor Rabbit and Brushtail the Fox • Thomas Clark Hinkle

... of doors there was a blinding glare, and the heat had drawn the scent out of the unseasoned pine with which Tarrong was mostly built, till the air was filled with a sort of incense. Peggy came in hot and short-tempered. The strain was beginning to tell on her nerves, and, from a remark or two she let fall, Blake saw that she might be inclined to give trouble if ...
— An Outback Marriage • Andrew Barton Paterson

... his paw at the darkening hills beyond which was a great hostile army—"the sight of all these refugees spilt out of their cities and homes as though a great hand had tipped up the earth, is beginning to tell on us, my lads. We are spending our reserve force, and we ...
— The Soul of the War • Philip Gibbs

... going to meeting to-day," chuckled the naughty boy, "and I don't believe grandma'd ever tell on me if ...
— Good Cheer Stories Every Child Should Know • Various

... It's simply the country town beginning to tell on him. He is curious about new guests, and Miss Carrington hadn't mentioned your coming! He suggested, in a vague sort of way, that there was something familiar about you, but he didn't attempt to particularize. It ...
— In Her Own Right • John Reed Scott

... world. Why, how do they make electricity nowadays? By the fall of water from a height, and the higher the level from which it descends, the mightier the force which it generates in the descent. So nobody will tell on the world like the man who lives above it. The height from which a weight rushes down measures the force of its dint where it falls, and of the energy with which it comes. 'He shall dwell ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... map done," said John, "and many a time after this we'll talk it all over, and we can tell on the map right where we were ...
— The Young Alaskans in the Rockies • Emerson Hough

... goin' to tell on you? Yup; that's what I mean. You get rid of Thomas and squelch that law case, and I'll keep mum. You ...
— Cy Whittaker's Place • Joseph C. Lincoln

... had to keep kind o' quiet. I seed ye once afore, 'n' I come near shootin' ye, thinkin' ye was a raider. Am mighty glad I didn't, fer Easter is powerful sot on ye. Sherd thought I could resk comm' down to the wed-din'. They hev kind o' give up the s'arch, 'n' none o' the boys won't tell on me. We'll have an old-timer, I tell ye. Ye folks from the settle-mints air mighty high-heeled, but old Bill Hicks don't allus go bar'footed. He kin step purty high, 'n' he's a-goin' to do it at that weddin'. ...
— A Mountain Europa • John Fox Jr.

... floated until a big ship passed us and brought us here." She spoke between bites, very calmly, as though her tale, as thrilling as any of Samuel's dream adventures, was no uncommon story for a dainty little maid to tell on a spring morning. ...
— The New Land - Stories of Jews Who Had a Part in the Making of Our Country • Elma Ehrlich Levinger

... of a Hundred Sorrows." (He was the only Chinaman I know who used bad-sounding fancy names. Most of them are flowery. As you'll see in Calcutta.) We used to find that out for ourselves. Nothing grows on you so much, if you're white, as the Black Smoke. A yellow man is made different. Opium doesn't tell on him scarcely at all; but white and black suffer a good deal. Of course, there are some people that the Smoke doesn't touch any more than tobacco would at first. They just doze a bit, as one would fall asleep naturally, and next morning they are ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... Merwyn I scarcely know. He is with him now, and has watched every night since Arthur's return. I never saw any one so changed, or else we didn't understand him. He is tireless in his strength, and womanly in his patience. His vigils are beginning to tell on him sadly, but he says that he will not give up till the crisis is past. If Arthur lives he will owe his life largely to one who, last summer, appeared too indolent to think of anything but his own pleasure. How we often misjudge people! They were boys ...
— An Original Belle • E. P. Roe

... indeed I cannot; it would be so mean in me. You must punish me any way I deserve, sir; I am willing to bear it; but I cannot tell on the boys." ...
— Miss Ashton's New Pupil - A School Girl's Story • Mrs. S. S. Robbins

... ridiculous only that he looked, what he felt, forlorn. The place was beginning to tell on him, used to the rough and the open; the smooth and the closed ...
— The Beach of Dreams • H. De Vere Stacpoole

... too and said they would go to the dance. some people was not at home and so i gave their tickets to the next house. it took me till 8 o'clock and i got 1 dollar for it. i dont believe those girls that dident get their tickets will care much about going ennyway. i gess the Head girls wont want to tell on me another time. ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume X (of X) • Various

... the window open, and read aloud to improve herself in the art, and practised writing and drawing, or read in some book Miss Starbrow had recommended to her. With all her time so agreeably filled she did not feel her loneliness, and the life of ease and plenty soon began to tell on her appearance. Her skin became more pure and transparent, although naturally pale; her eyes grew brighter, and could look glad as well as sorrowful; her face lost its painfully bony look, and was rounder and softer, ...
— Fan • Henry Harford

... have been our bad day, for Georgia felt her very first bite from the strap that afternoon, and on the way home volunteered not to tell on me, if grandma did not ask. Yet grandma did, the first thing. And when Georgia reluctantly said, "Yes," grandma looked at me and shook her head despairingly; but when I announced that I had already had two strappings, ...
— The Expedition of the Donner Party and its Tragic Fate • Eliza Poor Donner Houghton

... destiny; but she, with a woman's perspicacity, knew better. She thought it at least probable, if not certain, that I should return after long years; she waited patiently, and when at last I did return there was no need to tell on what errand. ...
— Philip Gilbert Hamerton • Philip Gilbert Hamerton et al

... to resort to sitting up late, and studying after the rest of the household had retired. As her room was on the third floor, she had no difficulty in pursuing this plan without anyone being aware of it, but burning the midnight oil soon began to tell on ...
— Patty's Summer Days • Carolyn Wells

... and proved excellent. They reached the water-hole by easy stages, the wagon now being heavily laden, and gave the cattle a day's rest here. The doctor was forced to abandon his idea of getting a buffalo, as every pound of weight would tell on the oxen, but he cared little ...
— The Rogue Elephant - The Boys' Big Game Series • Elliott Whitney

... persons work with their hands, and some with their heads, and some with their hearts. Abraham's head is always at work—he isn't like most other boys. And as far as his heart—Well, I do love that boy, and I am his step-mother, too. He's always been so good to me that I love to tell on't. His father, I'm thinkin', is rather hard on him sometimes. Abe's heart knows mine and I know his'n, and I couldn't think more on him if he was my own son. His poor mother sleeps out there under the great trees; but I mean to be such a mother ...
— In The Boyhood of Lincoln - A Tale of the Tunker Schoolmaster and the Times of Black Hawk • Hezekiah Butterworth

... it as fully as is possible with the slightest effort which is possible: it shrinks from no needful circumstances, as little as it inserts any which are needless. The precise peculiarity is not merely that no incidental circumstance is inserted which does not tell on the main design: no art is fit to be called art which permits a stroke to be put in without an object; but that only the minimum of such circumstance is inserted at all. The form is sometimes said to be bare, ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... ago. I wouldn't say this dogone prairie 'ud be the best place to start resurrectin' it. No, sir! There's too many chances for that—seein' we're on a branch line. There's the track—it might give way. You never can tell on a branch line. The locomotive might drop dead of senile decay. Maybe the train crew's got drunk, and is raisin' hell at some wayside city. You never can tell on a branch line. Then there's that cargo ...
— The Law-Breakers • Ridgwell Cullum

... without saying a word. 'Dear Grandma! She won't tell on us for throwing stones at her,' said Daisy to herself. 'Then I'll tell, that's what I'll do!' she added ...
— A Hive of Busy Bees • Effie M. Williams

... talked with from time to time said that the Belgians were advancing, and that several skirmishes had taken place; that a big engagement was expected during the night or in the morning. We passed the last of the German outposts about two miles this side of Malines, but for fear we might tell on them, they would not tell us whether we had any more of their kind ahead of us. We shot along through the open country, between the last Germans and the edge of Malines, at a fairly good rate, and kept a lookout for the English flag, which we had been given to understand was flying from the tower ...
— A Journal From Our Legation in Belgium • Hugh Gibson

... fellows from prison will lie." Grant that. Grant that here are twenty of the greatest liars in the State about to leave prison in course. But they have no opportunity, while there, for mutual conversation and planning a particular story to tell on leaving; nor do they even know of having an opportunity, outside, to talk with me or any particular one. They severally leave their confinement, each giving account of his experience, which I put down. On looking these carefully over, a line of substantial agreement ...
— The Prison Chaplaincy, And Its Experiences • Hosea Quinby

... left us his shining example to note, And Stuart has captured his uniform coat; But 'tis puzzling enough, as his deeds we recall, To tell on whose shoulders his mantle should fall; While many may claim to deserve it, at least, From Hunter, the Hound, down to Butler, the Beast, None else, we can say, without risking the trope, But himself can be ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... Salmon, Little Salmon, these are names to me now. All I can remember is long days of toil at the oar, fighting the growing obsession of mosquitoes, ever pressing on to the golden valley. The ceaseless strain was beginning to tell on us. We suffered from rheumatism, we barked with cold. Oh, we were weary, weary, yet the trail ...
— The Trail of '98 - A Northland Romance • Robert W. Service

... trowe ye? suich a fantasye Fell me to mynd, that ay me-thoght the bell Said to me: "Tell on, man, quhat the befell." ...
— A Literary History of the English People - From the Origins to the Renaissance • Jean Jules Jusserand

... people are enjoying their trips. We are, aren't we?" cried the happy Mother, hugging the little ugly dog in her arms. "And they won't know;—they can't laugh at us. We'll never let them know we couldn't bear it another minute, will we? The Boy sha'n't tell on us." ...
— The Very Small Person • Annie Hamilton Donnell

... cannot suppose I doubted for a moment of a good-will which I have had abundant proof of. I only took the occasion your considerate letter gave me, to tell the simple truth which my forty years' silence is a sign I would only tell on compulsion. I never thought your critic had any less generous motive for alluding to the performance as he did than that which he professes: he doubtless heard the account of the matter which Macready and his intimates gave currency to at the time; and which, being confined ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... don't think she'll tell on me. But she says I'm going to be awful sick. I was once ...
— A Little Question in Ladies' Rights • Parker Fillmore

... visitor of my father, and Mr. Grote used to say that he always knew by the Monday morning's article whether Black had been with my father on the Sunday. Black was one of the most influential of the many channels through which my father's conversation and personal influence made his opinions tell on the world; cooperating with the effect of his writings in making him a power in the country such as it has rarely been the lot of an individual in a private station to be, through the mere force of intellect and character: and a ...
— Autobiography • John Stuart Mill

... that by itself would make a complete sentence? What are the subject and the predicate of this added sentence? By a piercing shriek of delight does what? Of what use are the phrases at first and toward the brook in sentence 2? What group of words is joined to looked to tell on what occasion or how often? Find in this group a subject, a predicate, and an object complement. What connects this group to looked? What two sentences does but here bring together? Does the semicolon show ...
— Graded Lessons in English • Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg

... out. The wearing work, under very unhealthy conditions, was beginning to tell on every one. Half of the camaradas had been down with fever and were much weakened; only a few of them retained their original physical and moral strength. Cherrie and Kermit had recovered; but both Kermit and Lyra still had ...
— Through the Brazilian Wilderness • Theodore Roosevelt

... cold indifference, assumed I admit to hide my excessive joy at his safe return, "tell on, and be quick about it. I suppose you lost your way and ...
— She and Allan • H. Rider Haggard

... everything seemed to annoy her now—had begun to tell on our beautiful Kate, or whether the gayety of the winter both at home and in Washington, where she had spent some weeks during the season, had tired her out, certain it was that when the spring came the life had gone out of her step and the color ...
— Kennedy Square • F. Hopkinson Smith

... had been accomplished, when the little girl grew quite impatient, and Hope bade Harry swim on before her, and land his charge. Light and buoyant as the child was, her tightened clasp had begun to tell on him. ...
— Malbone - An Oldport Romance • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... more reason to eschew evening parties that I slept two mornings till past eight; these vigils would soon tell on my utility, as the divines call it, but this is the last day in town, and the world shall be amended. I have been trying to mediate between the unhappy R.P. G[illies] and his uncle Lord G. The latter talks like ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... it out," he advised. "If she got on to this! But I'll never tell on you, Matilda." He patted her shoulder assuringly. "So ...
— No. 13 Washington Square • Leroy Scott

... Nothing? You are so depressed—and yet you've just had such a success as will tell on ...
— Woman on Her Own, False Gods & The Red Robe - Three Plays By Brieux • Eugene Brieux

... which had got damaged in the fray, and the process of wiping his face with his cuff changed the white facings of his jacket to red. The negro cymbal-player was the only one whose damages were not to be ascertained, as a black eye would not tell on him, and his lips could not be more swollen than nature had made them. On the procession went, however; but the rival mob, the Eganites, profiting by the delay caused by the row, got ahead, and entered the town first, with their pipers and fiddlers, hurrahing their way in good humour down ...
— Handy Andy, Volume One - A Tale of Irish Life, in Two Volumes • Samuel Lover

... fight took place, the whole business would have been interesting. The spectators were well dressed and well behaved, the boxers were beautiful athletes, and there was nothing repulsive about the swift exchange of lightning blows until the baking heat began to tell on the men; then it was disagreeable to see two gallant fellows panting and labouring for breath. We often hear that boxing is discredited. Rubbish! Ask Jerry about that, and you will learn that any company of men who care to subscribe L25 may see a combat ...
— The Chequers - Being the Natural History of a Public-House, Set Forth in - a Loafer's Diary • James Runciman

... he was a boy—it was a regular hunt— No, it hadn't been his fault, but Walter Wells'— But he had been caught and shut up in the attic, where his father gave him a chance to recollect that it is cruel to torment animals—but it really had been Walter's fault, only he wasn't going to tell on him—and then, after he had been alone, he had knocked his head against the wall in his rage at the injustice ...
— Banzai! • Ferdinand Heinrich Grautoff

... chase indeed was beginning to tell on his own mount. Flecks of foam flew from its lips; its neck was wet with sweat; the whistle of its breath was audible to the engineer at every stride. For as both men had realized that now the end could not be far off, they had pushed their horses ...
— In the Shadow of the Hills • George C. Shedd

... canting toward the west. The continual work in the intense heat, without food or water, was beginning to tell on both horses and men. The rhino was weakening faster. But only one hour of daylight remained, and if the beast could hold out till dark ...
— Stories from Everybody's Magazine • 1910 issues of Everybody's Magazine

... enough to give me the benefit of these first impressions of my character. They are as comprehensive, no doubt, as those of the British traveller in America. Tell on, as ...
— Flint - His Faults, His Friendships and His Fortunes • Maud Wilder Goodwin

... you tarnal Greaser," exclaimed Dick, "your jig's danced, an' you must settle with the fiddler. If I only had you out on the prairie, I'd larn you a few things I reckon you never heern tell on. Come here, you keerless feller, an' tell me if you 'member what I said to you ...
— Frank Among The Rancheros • Harry Castlemon

... I, lowering the pistol, to their great relief, "there's more eyes on you and your confederates than you think. Murder is no way to help Ireland. Tell on Tim if you dare. My pistol can carry in the dark, and the first of you that has a word to say against him ...
— Kilgorman - A Story of Ireland in 1798 • Talbot Baines Reed

... snatched up his cap when he heard Walters coming, grinned painfully, pulling his straggly red and white beard nervously. The strain was beginning to tell on his iron nerves. He removed the cap, and with a few muttered words went back to the game, but there was a dangerous gleam in his fishy blue eyes, and the grizzled tufts of red hair above his eyes lowered threateningly. A man who is getting swamped in a game of checkers is not in a mood to bear ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 22, September, 1891 • Various

... he already had Harmony's address in the Wollbadgasse. Peter was not subtle, no psychologist, but he had seen during the last few days how the boy watched Harmony's every word, every gesture. And, perhaps, when loneliness and hard work began to tell on her, McLean's devotion would win its reward. McLean's devotion, with all that it meant, the lessons again, community of taste, their common youth! Peter felt old, ...
— The Street of Seven Stars • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... boat half around in spite of my cumbersome steering apparatus. We were drenched by the sprays constantly, and the boat occasionally shipped water. By and by, powerful as my comrade was, his great exertions began to tell on him, and he was anxious that I should change places with him till he could rest a little. But I told him this was impossible; for if the steering oar were dropped a moment while we changed, the boat would slue around ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... apparently taking any chances. He appears to have been overly cautious, and was disposed to adopt the old-time method of plodding along the beaten trail. Here again he made a mistake in taking "the longest way around" to reach Stevensville, while the intense heat and dust began to tell on his troops, which compelled him to halt at New Germany about 11 o'clock. Before reaching there he was informed of the disaster at Ridgeway by parties who had arrived from the battle-field. Why, then, ...
— Troublous Times in Canada - A History of the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870 • John A. Macdonald

... Maud, and tell on," said little Margaret, nestling closer to her friend, and laying her head against her arm as she leaned on ...
— The Black Douglas • S. R. Crockett

... knew! You had the great equine trio ready, and look at the miles they have done since sunset to prove it! You, P.D., favorite trooper of our household cavalry! You, Wrath of God, don't be afraid to make an inward smile, for your face will never tell on you! You, Jag Ear, beat a tattoo with the fragment of the gothic glory of burrohood, for we rest, to go on all the faster when the heat of the ...
— Over the Pass • Frederick Palmer

... your awn feelin' like, mister. I must have it. I caan't sleep no more wi'out knawin' the best or worst. You be the justest man ever I seed or heard tell on out the Scriptures. An' I wants 'e to gimme your opinion like. S'pose you was the Judge an' I comed afore 'e an' the Books was theer and you'd read 'em an' ...
— Lying Prophets • Eden Phillpotts

... great deal to tell on all sides, and the dinner lasted over an hour. The Stanhopes and the Lanings had had a grand time while at Santa Barbara and the widow was much improved in health, so much so, in fact, that she was now practically a well woman. Those who had been in the Far West listened ...
— The Rover Boys on the River - The Search for the Missing Houseboat • Arthur Winfield

... and it was so welcome that they were almost glad to lose money on their greenbacks, which the conductor of the omnibus would take only at a discount of twenty cents. At breakfast next morning they could hardly tell on what country they had fallen. The waiters had but a thin varnish of English speech upon their native French, and they spoke their own tongue with each other; but most of the meats were cooked to the English taste, and the whole was a poor imitation of an American hotel. During their stay the same ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... said Eddy, simply, with a curious mixture of ruefulness and defiance. Then he added: "If you want to be mean enough to tell on a feller, after he's been the means of your having such a supper as that (and you were hungry, too; you needn't say you wasn't; you ate an awful ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... afternoon—denounced his superior and had to be threatened with court-martial and death. Sam went finally, but he sat in a hot open place and swore at the battalion and the war in general, and finally went to sleep in the broiling sun. These things began to tell on patriotism. Presently Lieutenant Clemens developed a boil, and was obliged to make himself comfortable with some hay in a horse-trough, where he lay most of the day, violently denouncing the war and the fools that invented it. Then word came that "General" Tom Harris, who was in command ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... compromised—bound by the action of a member of his clan, as it were. Then we'll have a wedding and after the wedding we'll all be thrown out of The Dreamerie to make room for Master Don and his consort. So, it appears to me, since Mr. Daney has warned you not to tell, mother dear, that he cannot afford to tell on you himself—no, not even to save his ...
— Kindred of the Dust • Peter B. Kyne

... answer: "I answer ingenuously, as he desires, and fully, as I conceive, These materials of Prelacy are ordination." Remember you said, "many materials of Prelacy." I beseech you, Sir, How many is ordination? Ordination, ordination, ordination; tell on till you think you have made many materials; and, withal, tell us (if this be the meaning, that ordination should be retained without any power of ecclesiastical government in the ministry) how was it imaginable that he could ...
— The Works of Mr. George Gillespie (Vol. 1 of 2) • George Gillespie

... Mi. Tell on; there is nothing I should like better. Indeed, if I were given my choice between hearing your story, and having my late dream of riches over again, I don't know which I should decide on. 'Twas a sweet vision, of joys above all price: yet not above ...
— Works, V3 • Lucian of Samosata

... in his eyes that I suppose I ought to have understood, but I can scarcely blame myself, for the accumulated strain, not only of the last three days and nights, but of the whole arduous month of my cruise with Davies, was beginning to tell on me, now that safety and success were at hand. I handed up the chart through the companion, and then crept into the reeling fo'c'sle and lay down on the spare sail-bags, with the thunder and thump of the seas around and ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... or to a shallow he is often rather crushed and pressed to death than anything else, and the skin sometimes has not got a single toothmark in it. Not a single hound has succeeded in biting through, but there is a different story to tell on the other side. A terrier has his jaw loose and it has to be bound up, such a crushing bite has he had. There are torn shoulders, necks, and limbs, and specks of blood on the nostrils and coats of the other ...
— The Life of the Fields • Richard Jefferies

... clash of spears, shouts of onset, and the shrieks of the wounded, as sixty thousand men fought hand to hand on one small field, rose like the clamor from battling demons in the infernal world. Hour after hour of carnage passed, and still no one could tell on whose banners victory would alight. The gloom of night was darkening over the exhausted combatants, when the winding of the bugle was heard in the rear of the Austrians, and a band of four hundred Bavarian horsemen came plunging down an eminence into the disordered ranks of Frederic. ...
— The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power • John S. C. Abbott

... inside to make the grain closer: I've heerd tell on that dodge. If you warn't so far from the "Corner," we could fix our sugar together, an' make but one bilin' of it, for you'll want a team, an' you don't know nothin' about maples.' Zack's eyes were askance upon Robert. ...
— Cedar Creek - From the Shanty to the Settlement • Elizabeth Hely Walshe

... Who masked would to his house in couples come, To understand your matrimonial doom; To know what kind of man you were to marry, And how long time, poor things, you were to tarry; Your oracle is silent; none can tell On whom his astrologic mantle fell; For he, when sick, refused the doctor's aid, And only to his pills devotion paid, Yet it was surely a most sad disaster, The saucy pills at ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... Miss Digby's money! It's t' meanest scheme I iver heard tell on! I'm fair shamed ...
— The Hallam Succession • Amelia Edith Barr

... back to England. Lord John had benefited in health by wintering abroad; he was still vigorous enough to resist in the House of Lords the claim of the United States for the Alabama indemnity, and to give a presidential address to the Historical Society; but the years were beginning to tell on him. ...
— Lady John Russell • Desmond MacCarthy and Agatha Russell

... him, oh, ketch him, Run ter de roos' en fetch him! He ain't gwine tell On de dinner bell— ...
— Camp and Trail - A Story of the Maine Woods • Isabel Hornibrook

... customs, strange trees and flowers, beasts and birds, from the glittering snows of North America to the orchids of the Cape, from beautiful Pera to the lily-covered hills of Japan, and who in no place rose above the fret of domestic worries, and had little to tell on their return but of the universal misconduct of servants, from Irish "helps" in the colonies, to compradors and China-boys at Shanghai. But it was not so with the Captain's wife. Moreover, one becomes ...
— The Peace Egg and Other tales • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... the other hand, was very glad to accept a scholarship,—"As a loan of course," she stipulated. She had practically supported herself for the whole four years at Harding, and the strain and worry had begun to tell on her. A little easier time this year would mean better fitness for the necessarily hard year of teaching that was to follow, without the interval of rest that Rachel counted upon. Emily's mother was dead now, and her father made no effort to help his ambitious daughter. She ...
— Betty Wales Senior • Margaret Warde

... also made his will and left you his mining claims, all merely prospects so far. He says you know how he came to feel as he does about Brown and Fowler. However that may be, it certainly is the dirtiest story I ever heard one man tell on others and, dying though he was, I begged Curly to let me tear the paper up and let the story go into the grave with him. But he held me to my promise, so I'm sending it to you, with this apology for contaminating ...
— The Enchanted Canyon • Honore Willsie Morrow

... and the needle revolves treacherously, you can never tell on which side you should look out for squalls, and the end of it is that you know neither the true nor apparent day's work. An ass with his chart is better off than ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... "And I can tell on which side every one here is." Then going round the table, I touched the shoulder of each of the company, saying, "A Jew!—No Jew!" and bursts ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... things abound on me;[FN173] wherefore, if it like thee, O king, I will relate unto thee [somewhat] of that which befell kings of old time of the perfidy of their women and of the calamities which overtook them by reason of these latter." "How so?" asked the king. "Tell on." "Hearkening and obedience,"answered Shehrzad."It hath been told me, O king, that a man once related to a company ...
— Tales from the Arabic Volumes 1-3 • John Payne

... "You are going to tell on yourself.... You are going back to your regiment.... It will be your own idea, too; it has been your own idea all the while—your secret desire every moment ...
— Special Messenger • Robert W. Chambers

... if it don't sound good!" declared that worthy, when, at last, the tale had been completed. "But thar's lots of mighty good soundin' yarns goin' 'round camp, 'bout wonderful gold mountains an' caves of gold. Howsomever, I never heer'd tell on anybudy's really findin' any on 'em; an', I reckon, 'most on 'em is jest lies. But that thar map seems tew give y'ur yarn a look like th' truth; an', I reckon, them tew skunks must have believed th' yarn, ...
— The Cave of Gold - A Tale of California in '49 • Everett McNeil

... all this disturbance by appealing straight to the scout-master, who would have asked Bumpus to tell on his honor if he had what did not belong to him. But it did not suit the boy to do this. He was naturally rather obstinate, and ...
— The Boy Scouts' First Camp Fire - or, Scouting with the Silver Fox Patrol • Herbert Carter

... of it," he said. "They're nobbut a set o' fullish boys as plays they tricks, and if you tell on 'em they'll give it ...
— Patience Wins - War in the Works • George Manville Fenn

... depends on keeping this thing dark. I must get rid of that dreadful money as quickly as possible. I thought my luck was going to turn; but it is far too good to be true that I might keep such a large sum of money safely. Poor Kitty! yes of course, I'm sorry for her; but she is certain to tell on me. She would think nothing of getting me into the most terrible scrape. I—I am bound to think ...
— Wild Kitty • L. T. Meade

... started in August. Sow radishes and successive crop of lettuce. Cooler weather begins to tell on late- planted crops. Give cabbage, cauliflower, etc., deeper cultivation. "Handle" celery wanted for ...
— Home Vegetable Gardening • F. F. Rockwell

... dear old father down to an untimely grave. I made a promise on his death-bed that I would not drink any more, and for six long years I kept that promise, but at last I broke it. I again became a drunkard, which began to tell on my wife. I promised her that I would not drink, but that promise was broken time after time. Within this year, in the week of prayer, I attended the prayer-meetings, asked prayers for me, and on the night following, I erected the family altar, which had for four years been neglected, ...
— The Wonders of Prayer - A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer • Various

... a long discussion, and Bob and Frank were content to do as Mr. Temple proposed. Jack, perforce, agreed, although the strain of the last few days, which he had carried alone, was beginning to tell on him and he yearned for instant action. He showed the others to their rooms, Bob and Mr. Temple sharing Mr. Hampton's room, and Frank bunking in ...
— The Radio Boys on the Mexican Border • Gerald Breckenridge

... "You have trusted me," he said, "and I will honor your confidence. To the world the story I tell on this canvas shall be ...
— An Unpardonable Liar • Gilbert Parker

... your secrets," Signy answered, with gentle reproach in her tone; and her brother answered promptly, "No, you never tell on me, that is true—though you sometimes let things out by mistake. But you are a trump all the same, Signy; you are; and as good as a boy. I sometimes wish you were a boy. But if you were you'd plague me. Small boys always do plague their big brothers—but you ...
— Viking Boys • Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby

... with me of old friends and past times, we warmed ourselves into a wish, that all who remained of the club should meet and dine at the house which once was Horseman's, in Ivy-lane. I have undertaken to solicit you, and therefore desire you to tell on what day next week you can ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... Herbert responded gloomily; and the thought of each, unknown to the other, was the same, consisting of a symbolic likeness of Wallie Torbin at his worst. "I ought to tell on Florence; by rights I ought," said Herbert; "but I've decided I won't. There's no tellin' what she wouldn't do. Not that she could do ...
— Gentle Julia • Booth Tarkington

... We don't mean to be saucy. But we have agreed not to tell on the other. Father leaves it to us and to you, Auntie. Neither of us wish to leave our dear, dear home. Therefore we shall not tell you which is Dora, ...
— The Girls of Central High on Lake Luna - or, The Crew That Won • Gertrude W. Morrison

... voluminous letters to Leila, and received in return her dear childish scrawls. But the strain of her absence began to tell on him. He began to feel the pull toward old pleasures and distractions. Then one day Jerry Tuckerman arrived on the scene. The next night, he and Barry and the other radiant musketeers motored over to Baltimore by moonlight. Barry did not come home the ...
— Contrary Mary • Temple Bailey

... of surprise cast upon him seemed to his alert anxiety to betoken suspicion. "Laws-a-massy, naw!" exclaimed his interlocutor. "Ye air the fust one that hev named sech ez that in these diggin's, fur I'd hev hearn tell on it, sure, ef thar hed been enny sech ...
— The Moonshiners At Hoho-Hebee Falls - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... dinner with a German. He bites her an' she hits him with a cabbage. Thin they'se a play about an English gintleman iv th' old school who thries to make a girl write a letter f'r him an' if she don't he'll tell on her. He doesn't tell an' so he's rewarded with th' love iv th' heroine, an honest English girl out ...
— Mr. Dooley's Philosophy • Finley Peter Dunne

... but where was the child? The queen put it off strangely. The conference could be delayed no longer. It opened without the intended makeweight, and the court of France was less inclined to make concessions for a peace. The delay began to tell on the bourse at Antwerp. The Fuggers and the Schertzes drew their purse-strings, and made difficulties in lending more money to the emperor.[471] The plenipotentiaries had to separate after a few meetings, having effected ...
— The Reign of Mary Tudor • James Anthony Froude

... particularly downcast and desperate. Since the capture of Lew Flapp, he had been without a companion in whom to confide, and the peculiar loneliness among utter strangers was beginning to tell on him. This was one reason why he had told Sack Todd so much ...
— The Rover Boys on the Plains - The Mystery of Red Rock Ranch • Arthur Winfield

... man's thoughts are like actors performing in the air and all the crowding stars for audience! You know in your soul you'd rather have me out there, going it all by myself, than raising thunder over town. And you know, too, it doesn't tell on me; it doesn't show! You couldn't guess, to save your life, how much I've had ...
— The Two Vanrevels • Booth Tarkington

... stairs which were trodden so often by Galileo in going up to make his astronomical observations; in climbing spirally around the hollow cylinder in the dark, it was easy to tell on which side of the Tower we were, from the proportionate steepness of the staircase. There is a fine view from the top, embracing the whole plain as far as Leghorn on one side, with its gardens and grain fields spread out like a vast map. In a valley of the Carrarrese Mountains ...
— Views a-foot • J. Bayard Taylor

... the little fellow, with a half sob; "but I thought I knowed how to manage it. But I'm never goin' to try again, no siree. But won't I get it when they hear all about me bein' in the water! Wish you wouldn't tell on me. Pop'll just give me hot cakes for not mindin' him. Please don't tell. I'll promise never to get in this old boat ...
— Fred Fenton on the Crew - or, The Young Oarsmen of Riverport School • Allen Chapman

... pleased when I do. You can feel when people do not like you to tell things. At the Home when you told tales they whipped the child that was bad, and then they whipped you for telling tales. It didn't seem as if that was quite fair, so I tried never to tell on anyone." ...
— A Modern Cinderella • Amanda M. Douglas

... uplifting from their fell repast, That sinner wip'd them on the hairs o' th' head, Which he behind had mangled, then began: "Thy will obeying, I call up afresh Sorrow past cure, which but to think of wrings My heart, or ere I tell on't. But if words, That I may utter, shall prove seed to bear Fruit of eternal infamy to him, The traitor whom I gnaw at, thou at once Shalt see me speak and weep. Who thou mayst be I know not, nor how here below art come: But Florentine thou seemest of a ...
— The Divine Comedy, Complete - The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell • Dante Alighieri

... without event. At the slightest sound they all jumped. Their sleeplessness was beginning to tell on them and their nerves were still obsessed by the unnaturalness of their experience. It was a long time before they quieted down, but the night passed without interruption. So did the next day. Another day went by and another, and during this time they ...
— Angel Island • Inez Haynes Gillmore

... which militate against the idea of the final success of the Colony. The Syrian climate is not adapted to Europeans, and year by year it must infallibly tell on the Germans, exposed as they are to sun and miasma. It is true that Haifa is, perhaps, the healthiest place in Palestine, yet even here they suffer from fever and dysentery, and if they should attempt to spread inland, they will find ...
— The Contemporary Review, January 1883 - Vol 43, No. 1 • Various

... it's reasonable to suppose that when I wear out it will be for good and all, too. There isn't anything of us, as I look at it, except the potentiality of experiences. The experiences come through the passions that you can tell on the fingers of one hand: love, hate, hope, grief, and you may say greed for the thumb. When you've had them, that's the end of it; you've exhausted your capacity; you're used up, and so's your character,—that often dies before the ...
— A Pair of Patient Lovers • William Dean Howells



Words linked to "Tell on" :   impact, inform, denounce, touch, sell out, shop, touch on, bear upon, affect, bear on



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