juggler

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

juggle +‎ -er

Noun[edit]

juggler (plural jugglers)

  1. Agent noun of juggle; one who either literally juggles objects, or figuratively juggles tasks.
    • 2014, Jelani Cobb, “The Path Cleared by Amiri Baraka,” The New Yorker, 15 January, 2014,[1]
      Baraka was part trickster and part provocateur, a brilliant juggler of genres, ideas, and identities, whose career spanned nearly six decades.
    • 2016, Jule Scherer, “Going out for the first time as a mum,” stuff.co.nz, 15 March, 2016,[2]
      Since the babies were born I’ve turned into a 24/7 milking machine, a bilingual nursery-rhyme jukebox, a prolific laundress, a bum-wiping wizard, a baby juggler and two-armed synchronised cuddler.
  2. A person who practices juggling.
    • 1821, William Hazlitt, Table-Talk (Volume I), London: John Warren, Essay 9, p. 181,[3]
      Coming forward and seating himself on the ground in his white dress and tightened turban, the chief of the Indian Jugglers begins with tossing up two brass balls, which is what any of us could do, and concludes with keeping up four at the same time, which is what none of us could do to save our lives, nor if we were to take our whole lives to do it in.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapter 60,[4]
      Thus the whale-line folds the whole boat in its complicated coils, twisting and writhing around it in almost every direction. All the oarsmen are involved in its perilous contortions; so that to the timid eye of the landsman, they seem as Indian jugglers, with the deadliest snakes sportively festooning their limbs.
    • 1902, Arnold Bennett, The Grand Babylon Hôtel, Chapter One,[5]
      The waiters, commanded by Jules, moved softly across the thick Oriental rugs, balancing their trays with the dexterity of jugglers, and receiving and executing orders with that air of profound importance of which only really first-class waiters have the secret.
    • 1926, Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam,[6]
      Only when a juggler misses catching his ball does he appeal to me.
  3. (obsolete) A person who performs tricks using sleight of hand, a conjurer, prestidigitator.
    • c. 1589, William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors, Act V, Scene 1,[7]
      [] Along with them
      They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-faced villain,
      A mere anatomy, a mountebank,
      A threadbare juggler and a fortune-teller,
      A needy, hollow-eyed, sharp-looking wretch,
      A dead-looking man: this pernicious slave,
      Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer []
    • 1661, Robert Boyle, The Sceptical Chymist, London: J. Crooke, Dialogue 1, pp. 14-15,[8]
      Dialectical subtleties, that the Schoolmen too often employ about Physiological Mysteries, are wont much more to declare the wit of him that uses them, then increase the knowledge or remove the doubts of sober lovers of truth. And such captious subtleties do indeed often puzzle and sometimes silence men, but rarely satisfy them. Being like the tricks of Jugglers, whereby men doubt not but they are cheated, though oftentimes they cannot declare by what slights they are imposed on.
    • 1728, John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera, Act I, Scene 1,[9]
      Come hither, Filch. I am as fond of this Child, as though my Mind misgave me he were my own. He hath as fine a Hand at picking a Pocket as a Woman, and is as nimble-finger’d as a Juggler.
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, Volume 4, Letter 56, p. 357,[10]
      Doubtless the pleasure is as great
      In being cheated, as to cheat.
      As lookers-on find most delight,
      Who least perceive the juggler’s sleight;
      And still the less they understand,
      The more admire the sleight of hand.
    • 1789, John Trusler, The Habitable World Described, Volume 4, Part 3, p. 19,[11]
      According to Mr. Gmelin’s account, [the Samojede magicians] are tolerable jugglers. Some have the art of plunging a knife into the body, without making a wound; and apparently wringing off their heads, by fastening a cord round their necks, and suffering two persons to draw it tight, and afterwards setting it on again. But these tricks are seen only among those magicians who require but little art to deceive their countrymen; and, indeed, to speak seriously, such a Siberian juggler, would cut but a very indifferent figure at a European fair.
  4. (dated) A magician or wizard. (Can we verify(+) this sense?)
  5. Misspelling of jugular.
    • 2016, “Ulster now the only provincial title that means anything — John Gildea,” Donegal Now, 29 January, 2016,[12]
      The defensive system they were playing hampered them from going for the juggler.
    • 2016, “Unrest in Kashmir,” Asian Tribune, 28 August, 2016,[13]
      [They] declare that Kashmir is their juggler vein.

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