Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Cross-grained; perverse; stubborn; tough; also, reluctant.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • To the suffering and sorrowful she came with words of comfort and consolation, and with words of chiding or of cheer to the "thraward" and the erring, who had helped to make their own trouble.

    Allison Bain, or, By a Way she knew not

  • The Five Dissenting Brethren and the other "thraward wits" in the Assembly could still persevere in their struggle with the Presbyterian majority, debating every proposition that implied a surrender of Congregationalism, and conscious that in so impeding a Presbyterian settlement they were pleasing a growing body of their fellow-countrymen.

    The Life of John Milton Volume 3 1643-1649

  • You'll have thraward folk to counter you, and folk kind and foolish to praise you and your words and works, whatever they may be.

    David Fleming's Forgiveness

  • They were whiles poor enough, and whiles had thraward folk to deal with; but trouble never seemed to trouble them when they bore it together.

    Janet's Love and Service

  • The Five Dissenting Brethren and the other “thraward wits” in the Assembly could still persevere in their struggle with the Presbyterian majority, debating every proposition that implied a surrender of Congregationalism, and conscious that in so impeding a Presbyterian settlement they were pleasing a growing body of their fellow-countrymen.

    The Life of John Milton

Comments

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  • Splendid, qms! Rocky and Bullwinkle Effect.

    March 18, 2018

  • Natasha sounds good to me. This could be the Rocky and Bullwinkle effect.

    March 18, 2018

  • Ok Bruce. 

    March 18, 2018

  • I'd go with Natasha for the Russian sheila.

    March 17, 2018

  • Sheila, like a lot of slang 'canonised' by 1970s Aussie movies, is rarely heard these days except in an ironic sense.

    March 17, 2018

  • Remember when every 18th century poem had a hooker named Celia?

    March 17, 2018

  • I’ve had some more thoughts on iconic names. I have been trying to think of women’s names that have the same uniquely identifying value as men’s names and I am having trouble. ‘Ivan’ can mean a generic Russian man but can ‘Svetlana’ mean a generic Russian woman or is it just the name of a specific Russian woman? If I tell a joke featuring ‘Pierre,’ ‘Alphonse,’ or ‘Gaston’ you now that he is a French stereotype but I don’t think the same is true of ‘Francoise’ or ‘Marianne,’ even though this last is an official symbol of the French nation.

    Is this an artifact of historic male supremacy or do women’s names just better permeate national boundaries? I know the Aussies have adopted the Irish ‘Sile’ (after demoting the initial uppercase letter) as ‘sheila,’ to mean a young woman. Is this still current? I don’t think it is used to mean a specifically Australian woman. I will be happy to be corrected in this assumption and enlightened by examples of nationally iconic women’s names.

    March 17, 2018

  • Yes! I had forgotten about Jock. I have used that before when a single syllable would do. Hamish is very good too. I will file that one away. Since Erin McKean has such an abiding fondness for Scottish utterance I need to have some on the shelf.

    My friend Roo writes to tell me of the Aussie habit of addressing redheaded men as Bluey. I suppose this is akin to the custom of calling bald men Curly or large men Tiny. Is there a handy word or phrase for this convention?

    March 17, 2018

  • My mother used to say 'How did you go against the Hamishes?' when we played against a soccer team that was predominantly Scottish.

    March 17, 2018

  • Hmmm, I probably would have recognised Jock or MacDuff as a generic Scotsman. Not sure why Sandy slipped by.

    People in Indonesia used to refer to white foreigners as John.

    Australians? Skippy probably works. Skip is a little bit derogatory.

    March 17, 2018

  • I have used ‘Sandy’ as a generic name for a Scotsman. A quick google search confirms that it has been so employed before. It is used in Caledonia as a diminutive of ‘Alexander’ and possibly some other more formal names. I used to use ‘Angus’ for this but now I have a grandnephew by that name so it feels awkward to attribute opinions, behaviors or attitudes to Angus.

    I can use ‘Ivan’ and all would recognize that I mean ‘a Russian,’ or ‘Guido’ and a generalized Italian would be understood. What might be some other generic names? Many years ago I resided in the Philippines and learned that the locals were happy to address all Americans as ‘Joe.’

    I have a correspondent in Perth who signs himself ‘Roo.’ There is a notorious Tasmanian who uses the handle ‘bilby.’ Is there a generic moniker for marsupials that we could apply to all Australians?

    March 17, 2018

  • Who's Sandy?

    March 16, 2018

  • The Scots are said to be froward

    But Sandy asserts it’s a foul word.

    It’s Sassenach sport

    A Scotsman can thwart

    Insisting it ought to be thraward.

    Note: The OED identifies this as a Scottish variation of ‘froward.’

    March 16, 2018