Artful Dodge: A Guide to Mastering the Skill of Avoiding Trouble
Artful Dodge: What Does It Mean and Where Does It Come From?
If you have ever heard someone say "that was an artful dodge" or "he is an artful dodger", you may have wondered what they meant by that. An artful dodge is a clever or skillful way of avoiding something, especially a question or a responsibility. For example, if someone asks you a difficult or embarrassing question, you may use an artful dodge to change the subject or give a vague answer. Or if someone tries to catch you doing something wrong, you may use an artful dodge to escape or divert their attention.
But where does this expression come from? And how can we use it in different contexts? In this article, we will explore the origin and meaning of artful dodge, as well as some examples of its usage in literature, games, music, and everyday life.
The Origin of Artful Dodge
The term artful dodge is derived from the name of a famous fictional character: the Artful Dodger. The Artful Dodger is one of the main characters in Charles Dickens's 1838 novel Oliver Twist. He is a young pickpocket who works for the criminal mastermind Fagin. He is also a mentor and friend to Oliver Twist, the orphan protagonist of the story.
The Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist
The Artful Dodger's real name is Jack Dawkins, but he is known by his nickname because of his skill and cunning in stealing and evading capture. He is described as "a snub-nosed, flat-browed, common-faced boy enough; and as dirty a juvenile as one would wish to see; but he had about him all the airs and manners of a man". He is also very confident, witty, and charming, often using slang and humor to impress or deceive others.
The Artful Dodger introduces Oliver to Fagin's gang of child thieves, who live in a hideout in London's slums. He teaches Oliver how to pick pockets and survive on the streets. He also helps Oliver escape from some dangerous situations, such as being arrested by the police or kidnapped by the villainous Bill Sikes. However, he is not entirely loyal or altruistic, as he sometimes puts his own interests above Oliver's.
The Artful Dodger's nickname implies that he is not only good at dodging trouble, but also at dodging moral responsibility. He does not seem to have any qualms or regrets about his criminal lifestyle. He is proud of his abilities and reputation, and he enjoys the thrill and challenge of his work. He does not care much about the consequences or the victims of his actions. He is, in a way, a dodger of both the law and the conscience.
The Artful Dodge in Magic: The Gathering
The Artful Dodger is not only a literary character, but also a card in the popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering. The card is called Artful Dodge, and it belongs to the blue color, which represents logic, manipulation, and trickery. The card was first printed in 2012, in the set Dark Ascension.
The card Artful Dodge is a sorcery, which means it is a spell that has a one-time effect and then goes to the graveyard (discard pile). The effect of Artful Dodge is to make a target creature unblockable for one turn, meaning that it can attack the opponent without being stopped by their creatures. The card also has flashback, which means it can be cast again from the graveyard for a different cost, and then exiled (removed from the game).
The card Artful Dodge relates to the concept of artful dodge in several ways. First, it allows the player to avoid or overcome an obstacle, such as a blocker or a defender. Second, it requires the player to be clever or skillful in choosing the right target and timing for the spell. Third, it gives the player a second chance to use the spell, which can be seen as a way of dodging the normal rules or limitations of the game.
The Artful Dodge in Other Contexts
The Artful Dodger is not only a literary character and a card game term, but also a name that has been used by various other entities, such as a literary magazine and a musical act. These entities have adopted the name Artful Dodger to express their identity and style.
The Artful Dodger as a Literary Magazine
The Artful Dodge is an American literary magazine based in Wooster, Ohio, at the College of Wooster. It was founded by Daniel Bourne in 1979 in Bloomington, Indiana. The magazine publishes poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and translations from around the world. It has featured writers such as Czesław Miłosz, William S. Burroughs, Giannina Braschi, Charles Simic, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Ronald Wallace.
The Artful Dodge magazine chose its name to reflect its vision and mission. According to its website, "The name Artful Dodge reflects our interest in work that dodges expectations yet doesn't sacrifice accessibility or craftsmanship". The magazine aims to showcase diverse and creative voices that challenge and surprise the readers. It also seeks to dodge the boundaries and barriers of language and culture by promoting cross-cultural dialogue and understanding.
The Artful Dodger as a Musical Act
The Artful Dodger is also a name that has been used by different bands and artists in the music industry. For example:
Artful Dodger was an American power pop/rock band formed in 1973 in Fairfax, Virginia. They were influenced by the Beatles, Faces, and the Rolling Stones. They released four albums between 1975 and 1980, and had some minor hits such as "Wayside" and "Think Think". They disbanded in 1981, but reunited in 2005 for some live shows.
Artful Dodger were a UK garage duo consisting of songwriters and producers Mark Hill and Pete Devereux. They achieved fame in the late 1990s and early 2000s with their hit singles such as "Re-Rewind", "Movin' Too Fast", "Woman Trouble", and "Please Don't Turn Me On". They collaborated with singers such as Craig David, Robbie Craig, Lifford Shillingford, and Romina Johnson. They split up in 2001, but Hill continued to use the name Artful until 2014.
Artful Dodger is an American rapper from New York City. He is known for his witty and humorous lyrics and his freestyle skills. He has released several mixtapes and albums since 2006, such as "The Renaissance", "The Stolen Legacy", "The Art of Rap", and "The Return of the Jedi". He has worked with artists such as
The Last Artful, Dodgr is an American hip hop recording artist from Portland, Oregon. She was born Alana Chenevert in 1987 and started rapping and performing in 2011. She gained wider recognition and acclaim in 2016 with her single "Squadron" released via EYRST. She has also collaborated with artists such as Anderson .Paak, Aminé, Mark Ronson, and Neill Von Tally.
These bands and artists have chosen the name Artful Dodger to express their musical identity and style. They have used their creativity and skill to dodge the expectations and conventions of their genres. They have also drawn inspiration from the original Artful Dodger character, who was a master of disguise and deception.
The Artful Dodge in Everyday Life
The Artful Dodger is not only a name that has been used by various entities, but also a concept that can be applied to everyday life. We can use artful dodge in our writing and speaking, as well as recognize and avoid it in others.
How to Use Artful Dodge in Writing and Speaking
Artful dodge can be a useful technique to enhance our writing and speaking skills. It can help us to:
Add humor, irony, or subtlety to our communication. For example, we can use artful dodge to make a joke, a sarcasm, or a double entendre.
Avoid answering a question or a topic that we don't want to address. For example, we can use artful dodge to change the subject, give a vague or evasive answer, or deflect the question back to the asker.
Make our communication more interesting and engaging. For example, we can use artful dodge to create suspense, mystery, or intrigue.
Here are some tips and examples of how to use artful dodge effectively:
Be aware of your audience and purpose. Artful dodge can be appropriate or inappropriate depending on the context and the tone of your communication. For example, using artful dodge in a formal or serious situation may be seen as disrespectful or dishonest.
Be creative and original. Artful dodge can be more effective if you use your imagination and wordplay. For example, instead of saying "I don't know" or "I don't remember", you can say "I'm not sure" or "It escapes me".
Be confident and smooth. Artful dodge can be more convincing if you deliver it with confidence and fluency. For example, instead of hesitating or stuttering, you can speak with clarity and conviction.
Here are some examples of artful dodge in writing and speaking:
How old are you?I'm as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth.
Did you do your homework?I did something that looked very much like it.
What are you doing this weekend?I have some plans that involve a couch and a TV.
Who ate the last cookie?Whoever did it must have been very hungry.
Do you love me?Is the Pope Catholic?
How to Recognize and Avoid Artful Dodge in Others
Artful dodge can also be a deceptive technique that others may use to manipulate or mislead us. It can be used by others to:
Avoid telling the truth or admitting a mistake. For example, others may use artful dodge to lie, deny, or cover up something they did wrong.
Avoid taking responsibility or action. For example, others may use artful dodge to procrastinate, delay, or escape something they should do.
Avoid giving information or explanation. For example, others may use artful dodge to withhold, hide, or confuse something they know.
Here are some signs and examples of how others may use artful dodge deceptively:
They change the subject or divert the attention. For example, they may ask a question, make a comment, or tell a story that is unrelated to the original topic.
They give a vague or evasive answer. For example, they may use generalizations, qualifiers, or modifiers that weaken or obscure their answer.
They deflect the question or the topic back to you. For example, they may ask you what you think, how you feel, or what you would do.
Here are some examples of artful dodge in others:
Where were you last night?Where do you think I was?
Why are you late?You know how traffic is.
How much do you earn?Enough to get by.
What are your qualifications?I have a lot of experience in this field.
Are you cheating on me?How can you say that? I love you.
Here are some tips and examples of how to spot and counter artful dodge in others:
Be alert and curious. Artful dodge can be detected if you pay attention and ask follow-up questions. For example, you can ask for clarification, evidence, or examples.
Be firm and persistent. Artful dodge can be challenged if you insist and repeat your question or topic. For example, you can say "That's not what I asked" or "That doesn't answer my question".
Be calm and respectful. Artful dodge can be resolved if you communicate with civility and honesty. For example, you can say "I understand your point, but I need to know the truth" or "I appreciate your answer, but I'm not satisfied with it".
Here are some examples of how to spot and counter artful dodge in others:
Where were you last night?Where do you think I was?I don't want to guess. I want you to tell me.
Why are you late?You know how traffic is.Traffic is not an excuse. You should have left earlier.
How much do you earn?Enough to get by.That's not very specific. Can you give me a range?
What are your qualifications?I have a lot of experience in this field.What kind of experience? Do you have any degrees or certificates?
Are you cheating on me?How can you say that? I love you.Loving me doesn't mean you're faithful. Are you seeing someone else?
In conclusion, artful dodge is a concept that has various meanings and applications. It originated from the name of a fictional character, the Artful Dodger, who was a clever and skillful pickpocket in Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist. It also became a card in the trading card game Magic: The Gathering, which allows the player to make a creature unblockable for one turn. It has been used as a name by various entities, such as a literary magazine and a musical act, who express their identity and style through their creativity and skill. It can also be used as a technique in writing and speaking, to add humor, irony, or subtlety to our communication, or to avoid answering a question or a topic that we don't want to address. However, it can also be used deceptively by others, to avoid telling the truth, taking responsibility, or giving information. Therefore, we need to be aware and careful of how we use and encounter artful dodge in our everyday life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common or interesting questions about artful dodge:
Is artful dodge a compliment or an insult?
It depends on the context and the tone of the speaker. Artful dodge can be a compliment if it is It depends on the context and the tone of the speaker. Artful dodge can be a compliment if it is used to praise someone's cleverness or skill in avoiding something. For example, "That was an artful dodge. You really got out of that sticky situation." Artful dodge can also be an insult if it is used to criticize someone's dishonesty or cowardice in avoiding something. For example, "That was an artful dodge. You really don't have the guts to face the truth."
Is artful dodge the same as lying?
Not necessarily. Artful dodge is a way of avoiding something, but not always by lying. Sometimes, artful dodge can involve telling the truth, but in a vague or indirect way. For example, "I'm not feeling well" can be an artful dodge to avoid going to a party, but it can also be true. Sometimes, artful dodge can involve not telling anything at all, but changing the subject or diverting the attention. For example, "Look, a bird!" can be an artful dodge to avoid answering a question, but it doesn't involve lying.
Is artful dodge a good or a bad thing?
It depends on the situation and the intention. Artful dodge can be a good thing if it is used for a positive or harmless purpose. For example, using artful dodge to make a joke, to protect someone's feelings, or to escape from danger can be beneficial. Artful dodge can also be a bad thing if it is used for a negative or harmful purpose. For example, using artful dodge to lie, to hurt someone's reputation, or to evade justice can be detrimental.
Who are some famous examples of artful dodgers?
There are many famous examples of artful dodgers in history and fiction. Some of them are:
Odysseus: The hero of Homer's epic poem The Odyssey, who used his cunning and wit to overcome many obstacles and enemies on his way back home from the Trojan War.
Huckleberry Finn: The protagonist of Mark Twain's novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, who used his creativity and resourcefulness to escape from his abusive father and to help his friend Jim, a runaway slave.
Sherlock Holmes: The detective of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories and novels, who used his logic and observation to solve many mysteries and crimes.
James Bond: The spy of Ian Fleming's novels and films, who used his charm and gadgets to complete many missions and to seduce many women.
Ferris Bueller: The character of John Hughes's film Ferris Bueller's Day Off, who used his charisma and cleverness to skip school and to have a fun day with his friends.
How can I improve my artful dodge skills?
There are some ways to improve your artful dodge skills. Some of them are:
Read more books and watch more movies that feature artful dodgers. You can learn from their examples and techniques.
Practice your vocabulary and grammar. You can use more words and sentences to express yourself more clearly and creatively.
Practice your improvisation and storytelling. You can use your imagination and humor to come up with more ideas and scenarios.
Practice your confidence and smoothness. You can use your voice and body language to deliver your message more convincingly and fluently.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article about artful dodge. If you have any thoughts or questions about this topic, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. Thank you for your time and attention. 71b2f0854b