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artful dodger

A rogue or miscreant who avoids getting in trouble for their crimes, mischief, or bad behavior through crafty or ingenious means. Taken from the name of a clever pickpocket in Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. She's always causing mischief, but she's such an artful dodger that she always finds a way to get out of trouble.
See also: artful, dodger

(as) artful as a wagonload of monkeys

Impish or mischievous. ("Cartload" can be used instead of "wagonload.") Primarily heard in UK. Don't let those boys sit together—they're as artful as a wagonload of monkeys.
See also: artful, monkey, of, wagonload

as artful (or clever) as a wagonload (or cartload) of monkeys

extremely clever or mischievous. British informal
See also: artful, monkey, of, wagonload

Artful Dodger

a sly person, especially one involved in dubious or criminal activities. It was the nickname of Jack Dawkins, a young pickpocket in Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist. The character survives in the stage and movie musical Oliver!, which was based on the Dickens novel, but the phrase as applied to a “sneaky Pete” is now rarely if ever heard. “Dodger” in the sense of evading danger inspired the name of the Brooklyn (now Los Angeles) baseball team; in its early years in Brooklyn, the team was the “Trolley Dodgers.” Brooklyn had many streetcar lines, and to play in the streets required youngsters to dodge streetcars, and “trolley dodger” became the slang term for anyone from that borough.
See also: artful, dodger
References in periodicals archive ?
The artfulness of this layered narrative contributes to Stuck Rubber Baby's sinuous fluidity and flow, which get a visual assist from the pacing and variations in the sizes and shapes of the pictures.
Here, though, the absence of physical evidence, and the artfulness of the photographs, combine to reduce that distance.
Many of the experiences, particularly the artfulness of being loyal to your bread baker, are so explained, putting the entire story into a broader, more relatable context.
Whatever you think of Sharro's signature brand of schtick, there is an artfulness at play in capturing both a sense of the gloriously absurd, as well as a feeling of how everything, and so little, has changed.
As for the artfulness of the writing, that shows itself most of all in Briggs and Wagner having a remarkable eye for connections.
If you're near Yachats from Friday through Monday, add a little artfulness to the trip with a stop at the ninth annual Yachats Arts Guild Fall Show.
Of course, anyone who repeatedly pulls off such a feat is not relying on luck but on a wily artfulness.
When the story is told in dance, there's an added artfulness to it and there's no language barrier.
In a light-hearted document - Testament Of Intentions - he describes himself as a "bachelor of arts and artfulness, being in a state of perfect poverty and health [barring a slight cold]".
Nationalism's artfulness lies in demanding loyalty to a national interest, which it defines.
Lauren Groff has taken the struggles and pleasures of marriage and turned them into art, and in that artfulness she reminds us of the dangers and omissions that any storytelling requires.
Zapruder's artfulness with syntax, and the slow-motion effect of his lineation, is the foundation on which all his other effects stand.
He's a writer, performer and singer who can summon the juvenile glee, if not the artfulness, that Stewart employs to leaven the angst.
8220;When we set out to reinvent our website, we wanted to reflect the artfulness and high-end feel of Cigar & Spirits Magazine,” says Lincoln Salazar, chairman and publisher of Cigar & Spirits Magazine and CigarandSpirits.
With its emphasis on artfulness and narrative style, California Sunday carries echoes of The New Yorker, but with features on virtual reality and Blue Bottle Coffee instead of opera and Manhattan traffic.