Heath Robinson

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Heath Robinson

  (British)
if a machine or system is Heath Robinson, it is very complicated in a way that is funny, but not practical or effective
Usage notes: Heath Robinson was an English artist who drew strange, complicated machines that could do simple jobs.
My granny's got this great Heath Robinson device for slicing eggs.
See also: Robinson
References in classic literature ?
In his despair he wandered on over the heath, never looking where he put his feet, and full of sorrowful thoughts.
The police of the division have been instructed to keep a sharp lookout for straying children, especially when very young, in and around Hampstead Heath, and for any stray dog which may be about.
My dear, it is only a beautiful little heath, which that nice old gardener would make me take; but if it is in your way, I will have it in my lap directly.
For the heath, which was the third part of our plot, I wish it to be framed, as much as may be, to a natural wildness.
As they crossed the heath again on their way home they surprised the dwarf, who had emptied out his bag of precious stones in a clean spot, and had not thought that anyone would come there so late.
They walked, then, across the heath, which stretched between the mole and the cavern, listening to every noise, in order better to avoid an ambush.
The road from Chiltern Grange is a lonely one, and at one spot it is particularly so, for it lies for over a mile between Charlington Heath upon one side and the woods which lie round Charlington Hall upon the other.
She made up her mind to act instantly upon the knowledge thus gained, and cast her mind in amazement back to the scene upon the heath, when she had yielded, heaven knows why, for reasons which seemed now imperceptible.
TWO Blighted Beings, haggard, lachrymose, and detested, met on a blasted heath in the light of a struggling moon.
It was Halpin Frayser's impression that he was to be garroted on his native heath.
Leaving the thumbless archer and his brood, the wayfarers struck through the scattered huts of Emery Down, and out on to the broad rolling heath covered deep in ferns and in heather, where droves of the half-wild black forest pigs were rooting about amongst the hillocks.
when the soft wind "with his sweet breath inspired hath in every holt and heath the tender crops"; when the little birds make new songs, then "longen folk to go on pilgrimages, and palmers for to seeken strange lands, and especially from every shire's end of England, to Canterbury they wend.
There was a space of open heath on one side of him, and the stonewall and gates of a farmhouse inclosure on the other.
The change in the native vegetation of the planted part of the heath was most remarkable, more than is generally seen in passing from one quite different soil to another: not only the proportional numbers of the heath-plants were wholly changed, but twelve species of plants (not counting grasses and carices) flourished in the plantations, which could not be found on the heath.
My garden is surrounded by cornfields and meadows, and beyond are great stretches of sandy heath and pine forests, and where the forests leave off the bare heath begins again; but the forests are beautiful in their lofty, pink-stemmed vastness, far overhead the crowns of softest gray-green, and underfoot a bright green wortleberry carpet, and everywhere the breathless silence; and the bare heaths are beautiful too, for one can see across them into eternity almost, and to go out on to them with one's face towards the setting sun is like going into the very presence of God.