from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. One that turns a roasting spit.
- n. A roasting spit that can be turned.
- n. A dog formerly used in a treadmill to turn a roasting spit.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A person employed in turning a spit for the purpose of roasting meat.
- n. A short-legged, long-bodied dog, now extinct, bred to run on a wheel to turn a spit.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One who turns a spit; hence, a person engaged in some menial office.
- n. A small breed of dogs having a long body and short crooked legs. These dogs were formerly much used for turning a spit on which meat was roasting.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A person who turns a spit.
- n. A kind of dog of small size, long-bodied and short-legged, formerly used to work a kind of treadmill-wheel by means of which a spit was turned.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a roasting spit that can be turned
Buffon calls the turnspit the _Basset à jambes torses_, but some of the breed are said to have straight legs.
At the mention of the word “wheel” several turnspit dogs, who had been brought to church as foot warmers, ran for the door.
The picture above is of Whiskey, the last surviving specimen of a turnspit dog, albeit stuffed.
I remember him a little dirty turnspit boy in the house of Avenel, that every body in a frosty morning like this warmed his fingers by kicking or cuffing! and now he is
There is even a sort of turnspit Selenite, very common, whose duty and only delight it is to apply the motive power for various small appliances.
All good people of either persuasion, royalty or commonalty, knowing his kitchen-range to be cold, no longer would play turnspit.
I showed them my economical furnace, my turnspit by clock – work, my roasting apparatus, and my vaporiser.
The physiology of taste; or Transcendental gastronomy. Illustrated by anecdotes of distinguished artists and statesmen of both continents by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Translated from the last Paris edition by Fayette Robinson.
Hence, when he waddled across the court to and from his old grey pony, he somewhat resembled a turnspit walking upon its hind legs.
Chowder, having paid his compliments to a female turnspit of his own species, in the kitchen, involved himself in a quarrel with no fewer than five rivals, who set upon him at once, and drove him up stairs to the dining room door, with hideous noise: there our aunt and her woman, taking arms in his defence, joined the concert; which became truly diabolical.
And as the cuck had thrown her slush at me, because I had taken part with Chowder, when he fit, with the turnspit, I resolved to make a clear kitchen, and throw some of her fat into the fire.