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  • He added that he had been told by Robert Valbringue, who lately passed that way in his return from Africa, that a sixth kind was to fly hither out of hand, which he called capus-hawks, more grum, vinegar-faced, brain-sick, froward, and loathsome than any kind whatsoever in the whole island.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • Let there be no vinegar-faced, wholesale denunciation of them, because sometimes their pranks are wild and overleap the fences of propriety.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, No. 14, December 1858

  • "I wanted to give you a welcome to the Lake; but perhaps I serenaded that vinegar-faced governess instead."

    Bluebell A Novel

  • I am about to describe the leader of the mare I bestrode was a maiden of some forty summers -- a neat, spare, vinegar-faced sylph, who had evidently long since left the matrimonial market, and had devoted herself to making one horse happy for the rest of her pilgrimage.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 12, No. 29, August, 1873

  • One of the picnic party -- a vinegar-faced woman of forty-five, with two eligibles at her side -- declared to a very intimate friend that she thought it very queer that Miss Verne should be following at Mr. Lawson's heels all the time.

    Marguerite Verne

  • But then that plagy, jealous, suspicious, old vinegar-faced Honor, and her partner Pride -- as penny-wise and pound-foolish a she-skinflint as herself -- have the monopoly of the article.

    The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851

  • Of course there are vinegar-faced philosophers who say that the Scotch custom of pairing young men and maidens in the hayfield is not without its effect on esoterics, also on vital statistics; and I'm willing to admit there may be danger in the scheme.

    Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great

  • "I should like to know the name of that vinegar-faced captain," said

    Masters of the Guild

  • He could stay out and play poker all night in perfect confidence that when he fell over the picket fence at 5 G.M. he would find no vinegar-faced old female nursing a curtain lecture to keep it warm, setting her tear-jugs in order and working up a choice assortment of snuffles.

    The Complete Works of Brann the Iconoclast, Volume 1.

  • Better the woodpile, the scolding of vinegar-faced housewives at back doors, the kindly spleen of bartenders behind provincial free-lunch counters, the amiable truculence of rural constables, the kicks, arrests and happy-go-lucky chances of the other vulgar, loud, crude cities than this freezing heartlessness.

    The Trimmed Lamp, and other Stories of the Four Million


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  • I can't find a definition for this anywhere. But the imagery seems obvious: a puckered, pinched expression of fussy, Puritanical disapproval

    March 4, 2014