Cunning


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Cunning

See also Trickery.
Adler, Irene
cleverly foiled Sherlock Holmes and the King of Bohemia. [Br. Lit.: Doyle “A Scandal in Bohemia” in Sherlock Holmes]
Artful Dodger
nickname for the sly pickpocket, John Dawkins. [Br. Lit.: Oliver Twist]
Asmodeus
clever, hell-born hero. [Fr. Lit.: Le Diable Boiîteux, Walsh Modern, 31]
Autolycus
craftiest of thieves; stole neighbors’ flocks by changing marks. [Gk. Myth.: NCE, 192]
Bamber, Jack
law clerk with “strange wild slyness.” [Br. Lit.: Pickwick Papers]
Bolingbroke, Henry
cleverness and timing bring him England’s crown. [Br. Lit.: Richard II]
Borgia, Cesare
(1476–1507) unscrupulously plotted against friend and foe. [Ital. Hist.: Plumb, 59–61]
Brer Fox
sly trickster; outwits everyone. [Children’s Lit.: Uncle Remus]
Bunny, Bugs
for whom no trap is too tricky. [Comics: Horn, 140]
cheetah
pounces without warning on prey. [Western Folklore: Jobes, 320]
Cleopatra
manipulates Antony through her “infinite variety.” [Br. Lit.: Antony and Cleopatra]
crow
symbolizes one who lives by his wits. [Western Folklore: Jobes, 388]
Dido
contracts for as much land as can be enclosed by an oxhide; by cutting it into a strip she obtains enough to found a city. [Rom. Legend: Collier’s VI, 259]
Dolius
epithet of Hermes, meaning ‘crafty.’ [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 124]
Fabius
delayed meeting Hannibal’s troops; wore them down; hence, fabian. [Rom. Hist.: Espy, 177]
Figaro
ingeniously contrives means to his own ends. [Fr. Lit.: Barber of Seville; Marriage of Figaro]
fox
symbol of cleverness and deceit. [Animal Symbolism: Mercatante, 84–85]
Foxy Grandpa
shrewd old man always turns the table on mischievous kids. [Comics: Horn, 602]
Helena
tricks husband into fulfilling marital duties. [Br. Lit.: All’s Well That Ends Well]
Hippomenes
beat the swift Atalanta in a race by distracting her with golden apples. [Gk. Myth.: Bulfinch]
Isabella
frustrates captor while pretending compliance. [Ital. Opera: Rossini, Italian Girl in Algeria, Westerman, 118–119]
jackal
outwits the tiger; imprisons him. [Hindu Folklore: Mercatante, 55]
Little Claus
grows rich by tricks and extortions. [Dan. Lit.: Andersen’s Fairy Tales]
Malengin
carries net on back to “catch fools with.” [Br. Lit.: Faerie Queene]
Marion, Francis
(1732–1795) Revolutionary general, nick-named the “Swamp Fox.” [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 308]
Morgiana
female slave cleverly dispatches 40 thieves. [Arab. Lit.: Arabian Nights, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”]
Odysseus
wily and noble hero of the Odyssey. [Gk. Lit.: Odyssey]
Oriol, Father
shrewd landowner with admirable bargaining ability. [Fr. Lit.: Mont-Oriol, Magill I, 618–620]
Panurge
“received answers in twelve known and unknown tongues.” [Fr. Lit.: Gargantua and Pantagruel]
Philadelphia lawyer
clever at finding fine points and technicalities. [Am. Usage: Misc.]
Road Runner
thrives on outwitting Wile E. Coyote. [Comics: “Beep Beep the Road Runner” in Horn, 105]
Sawyer, Tom
hoodwinks friends into painting fence. [Am. Lit.: Tom Sawyer]
Scheherazade
escapes being put to death by telling stories for 1001 nights. [Arab. Lit.: Arabian Nights]
serpent
subtly deceives Eve in the Garden. [O.T.: Genesis 3:1]
Sinon
induces Trojans to take in wooden horse. [Rom. Lit.: Aeneid]
spider ophrys
indicates cleverness. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 177]
third little pig
outwits Wolf; lures him into boiling water. [Children’s Lit.: Bettelheim, 41–45]
Weller, Samuel
ingeniously rescues his master, Mr. Pickwick, from many scrapes. [Br, Lit.: Dickens Pickwick Papers]
Whipple, Molly
outwits ferocious giant and gains his talismanic possessions. [Br. Fairy Tale: “Molly Whipple” in Macleod, 58–641
wolf
symbol on coats of arms. [Heraldry: Halberts, 16]
References in classic literature ?
The words are expressly intended to mislead some person -- yourself in all probability -- and the cunning which has put them to that use is a cunning which (as constantly happens when uninstructed persons meddle with law) has overreached itself.
Now, the watchers saw all the cunning of his fight, and those of them who hated Jikiza shouted aloud.
By the aid of cunning architects he had first blasted his harbour into shape, then built his hotels and pleasure-palaces, and then leased them to dependants of his who knew the right sort of people, and who knew that it was as much as their lease was worth to find accommodation for teetotal amateur photographers or wistful wandering Sunday-school treats.
We lent to Alexander the strength of Hercules, The wisdom of our foreheads, the cunning of our knees; We bowed our necks to service: they ne'er were loosed again,-- Make way there--way for the ten-foot teams Of the Forty-Pounder train!
When the old woman saw that the powers of her magic were of so little avail, she had recourse to cunning.
Skill, coolness, audacity, and cunning he possessed in a superior degree, and it must be a cunning whale to escape the stroke of his harpoon.
Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw, In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of the Head Wolf is Law.
It is a point of cunning, to wait upon him with whom you speak, with your eye; as the Jesuits give it in precept: for there be many wise men, that have secret hearts, and transparent countenances.
I am master of a hundred arts, and have into the bargain a sackful of cunning.
Fast and furious was the fighting as the nobles of Salensus Oll sprang, time and again, up the steps before the throne only to fall back before a sword hand that seemed to have gained a new wizardry from its experience with the cunning Solan.
You remember, perhaps, that you were in full possession of your reason during this succession of fantastic images; even that you acted with extraordinary logic and cunning while surrounded by murderers who hid their intentions and made great demonstrations of friendship, while waiting for an opportunity to cut your throat.
That," quoth the Friar, "is a practical question upon which the cunning rules appertaining to logic touch not.