[PDF] ✅ The Unabridged Devils Dictionary By Ambrose Bierce – Motyourdrive.co.uk

The Unabridged Devils Dictionary files The Unabridged Devils Dictionary , read online The Unabridged Devils Dictionary , free The Unabridged Devils Dictionary , free The Unabridged Devils Dictionary , The Unabridged Devils Dictionary 556062f72 If We Could Only Put Aside Our Civil Pose And Say What We Really Thought, The World Would Be A Lot Like The One Alluded To In The Unabridged Devil S Dictionary There, A Bore Is A Person Who Talks When You Wish Him To Listen, And Happiness Is An Agreeable Sensation Arising From Contemplating The Misery Of Another This Is The Most Comprehensive, Authoritative Edition Ever Of Ambrose Bierce S Satiric Masterpiece It Renders Obsolete All Other Versions That Have Appeared In The Book S Ninety Year HistoryA Virtual Onslaught Of Acerbic, Confrontational Wordplay, The Unabridged Devil S Dictionary Offers Some , Wickedly Clever Definitions To The Vocabulary Of Everyday Life Little Is Sacred And Few Are Safe, For Bierce Targets Just About Any Pursuit, From Matrimony To Immortality, That Allows Our Willful Failings And Excesses To Shine ForthThis New Edition Is Based On David E Schultz And S T Joshi S Exhaustive Investigation Into The Book S Writing And Publishing History All Of Bierce S Known Satiric Definitions Are Here, Including Previously Uncollected, Unpublished, And Alternative Entries Definitions Dropped From Previous Editions Have Been Restored While Nearly Two Hundred Wrongly Attributed To Bierce Have Been Excised For Dedicated Bierce Readers, An Introduction And Notes Are Also IncludedAmbrose Bierce S Devil S Dictionary Is A Classic That Stands Alongside The Best Work Of Satirists Such As Twain, Mencken, And Thurber This Unabridged Edition Will Be Celebrated By Humor Fans And Word Lovers Everywhere


10 thoughts on “The Unabridged Devils Dictionary

  1. says:

    Ambrose Bierce was an American cynic A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be and wit The salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out This, his most famous Conspicuously miserable and enduring work, started as a weekly newspaper column in 1881, was initially published in 1906 as The Cynic s Word Book , and then in 1911 as The Devil s Dictionary I think the earlier title is apt, though the final choice was probably provocative at the time Bierce wasn t a lexicographer A pestilent fellow who, under the pretense of recording some particular stage in the development of a language, does what he can to arrest its growth, stiffen its flexibility and mechanize its methods , and this isn t a conventional dictionary A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic Instead, he immodestly Having a strong sense of one s own merit, coupled with a feeble conception of worth in others describes it as a most useful work.You will find aphorisms Predigested wisdom aplenty, along with poems and quotes from other writers Many of the entries reflect his views on politics A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles The conduct of public affairs for private advantage , on religion A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable and lawyers One skilled in circumvention of the law The political ones are still remarkably relevant today There are also oddly prosaic words like kilt A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland and dentist A prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coins out of your pocket and custard A detestable substance produced by a malevolent conspiracy of the hen, the cow and the cook Below, I ve listed a few of my favourite quotations The act of repeating erroneously the words of another , but not all are quoted in full PoliticsVOTE, n The instrument and symbol of a freeman s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.ELECTOR, n One who enjoys the sacred privilege of voting for the man of another man s choice.CONSERVATIVE, n A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.OVERWORK, n A dangerous disorder affecting high public functionaries who want to go golfing fishing.DICTATOR, n The chief of a nation that prefers the pestilence of despotism to the plague of anarchy.PATRIOTISM, n In Dr Johnson s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.INVASION, n The patriot s most approved method of attesting his love of his country.ReligionPRAY, v To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.CHRISTIAN, n One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.FAITH, n Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.The LawINNOCENCE, n The state or condition of a criminal whose counsel has fixed the jury.DICE, n Small polka dotted cubes of ivory, constructed like a lawyer to lie on any side, but commonly on the wrong one.JUDGE, n A person who is always interfering in disputes in which he has no personal interest An official whose functions, as a great legal luminary recently informed a body of local law students, very closely resemble those of God.OtherKANGAROO, n An unconventional kind of animal which in shape is farther than any other from being the square of its base It is assisted in jumping by its tail which makes very good soup.EDUCATION, n That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.EGOTIST, n A person of low taste, interested in himself than in me.ALONE, adj In bad company.CENSOR, n An officer of certain governments, employed to suppress the works of genius Among the Romans the censor was an inspector of public morals, but the public morals of modern nations will not bear inspection.LIBERTINE, n Literally a freedman hence, one who is in bondage to his passions.LIBERTY, n One of Imagination s most precious possessions.ACQUAINTANCE, n A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.LOVE, n A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder It is sometimes fatal, but frequently to the physician than to the patient.WHITE, adj and n Black.ELOQUENCE, n 1 The art of orally persuading fools that white is the color that it appears to be.OPTIMIST, n A proponent of the doctrine that black is white.OPTIMISM, n The doctrine, or belief, that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is wrong It is hereditary, but fortunately not contagious.BIRTH, n The first and direst of all disasters.CHILDHOOD, n The period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth two removes from the sin of manhood and three from the remorse of age.Source and ImitatorYou can access the whole thing here www.thedevilsdictionary.comIt is of its time, so a few of the definitions do not sit comfortably with modern sensibilities.There is also Rick Bayan s 1994 The Cynic s Dictionary, which I reviewed HERE.


  2. says:

    CYNIC, n A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic s eyes to improve his vision A hundred years before Twitter and other social media, uber cynic and epic tough old guy Ambrose Bierce found a way to say everything he meant, ugly and in yer face prose but in a scholarly and artful way in the Devil s Dictionary SUCCESS, n The one unpardonable sin against one s fellows In literature, and particularly in poetry, the elements of success are exceedingly simple, and are admirably set forth in the following lines by the reverend Father Gassalasca Jape, entitled, for some mysterious reason, John A Joyce The bard who would prosper must carry a book, Do his thinking in prose and wearA crimson cravat, a far away look And a head of hexameter hair.Be thin in your thought and your body ll be fat If you wear your hair long you needn t your hat Begun in 1881, published in a weekly newspaper and then collected and published in 1906, Bierce took words and attributed to them a different kind of meaning one in which his cynicism is paraded out amongst the rest of us and his razor s edge intelligence is demonstrated in definition after definition LOVE, n A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder This disease, like caries and many other ailments, is prevalent only among civilized races living under artificial conditions barbarous nations breathing pure air and eating simple food enjoy immunity from its ravages It is sometimes fatal, but frequently to the physician than to the patient Most notable for modern readers is the virtuosity of Bierce s designs Today we live in a world of terse headlines and hash tag wit, but it is beneficial to revisit Bierce and see a master of the language display a rapier jocularity SLANG, n The grunt of the human hog Pignoramus intolerabilis with an audible memory The speech of one who utters with his tongue what he thinks with his ear, and feels the pride of a creator in accomplishing the feat of a parrot A means under Providence of setting up as a wit without a capital of sense.


  3. says:

    Hi, my name is Ambrose Bierce Chances are, you have never heard of me Or, if so, likely from my Devil s Dictionary, which I will quote in parentheses throughout this column I was once an idealistic youth I even believed in Santa Claus when I was a small child But when my mother told me the truth, I was very angry with her and am, to some extent, to this day I don t like when people lie to me and the world is full of liars I have spent my career as a journalist exposing liars and giving them the rhetorical whipping they deserve.I have had an interesting life I am 71 years old and embarking on a new adventure I am headed to Mexico to report on the Revolution, now in its third or fourth year, and to join the forces of Pancho Villa I am in El Paso and will cross the border to Juarez In a hotel room in Laredo, I left a trunk of books and a manuscript that exposes that scoundrel William Randolph Hearst, for whom I published my Prattle column in the San Francisco Examiner and worked for other of his publications for 30 years.My Civil War stories you may have heard of or even read Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge were popular in their day Those stories are based on my harrowing experiences fighting at Shiloh, Chickamauga and getting wounded in the head at Kennesaw Mountain for the Union in the Indiana Infantry Regiment Later, I helped General Hazew map the far west When my promised promotion did not happen, I settled in San Francisco to pursue a career in journalism But the only job i could get was as a night watchman at the Treasury Mint Building I used my spare time to educate myself by methodically and voraciously reading history and classical literature And I kept writing and my freelance work was picked up by several San Francisco publications until I got hired by the News Letter where I published my Town Crier column before I moved to London with my wife, Molly, for a three year stint When I came back to San Francisco, I started a new column at the Argonaut, titled The Prattle, which would later carry over to several publications, including the San Francisco Examiner I called out hypocrites of all kinds, especially politicians, but also evangelicals who would throw rocks at the Chinese then go into church to praise Jesus Christian One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor I always defended the Chinese, as well as Jews, and the black man against racism, which brings me to the loathsome Denis Kearney who formed the Workingman s Party Though an immigrant himself, Irish, Kearney was hostile to immigrants not like himself, especially the Chinese They were his favorite scapegoat The Chinese worked on the most dangerous section of the railroad, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, that allowed the Central Pacific and Union Pacific to link in May 1869 in Utah as the first transcontinental railroad After this, the Chinese came to San Francisco to look for work Kearney s solution to the competition was to run the Chinese out of town But he went too far when his followers armed themselves to destroy the Chinese and overthrow the city government I regularly attacked that immortal ass, and though they got the bizarre Isaac Kalloch elected for mayor, their fall was just as swift as their rise For 20 years, I went after the Big Four, the Rail Rogues, led by that scoundrel Stealand Landford Particularly egregious was the Mussel Slough tragedy in the San Joaquin Valley Even worse was the Funding Bill that came before Congress that would cancel the Western railroads indebtedness to the federal government for land grants and loans Mr Hearst sent me to Washington, DC, to lead the newspaper attack there Rail baron Collis Huntington tried to bribe me on the steps of the Nation s capital He told me Name your price Every man has his price I shot back, in front of many witnesses, My price is 75 million to be handed to the Treasurer of the United States My efforts are credited with getting the bill defeated My writing career got started and developed during the period after the Civil War, what my colleague and rival, Mark Twain, called the Gilded Age, a time of rapid industrial and economic growth, but also the consolidation of wealth and power in the hands of a few I kept a human skull on my desk as a reminder of my mortality Some call me a cynic a blackguard whose faulty vision sees thing as they are and a misanthrope, and therefore abnormal In matters of thought and conduct, to be independent is to be abnormal, to be abnormal is to be detested Some call me Bitter Bierce I pack a revolver at all times, ever since Charles de Young, the owner of the San Francisco Chronicle, was shot dead by the mayor s son after the newspaper published a derogatory piece about the mayor But now, I confess I feel like a hack My journalism and stories will be forgotten in a generation, if that I have also been a bad family man, mostly absent from my wife Molly, who divorced me and died young, and my three children Some think Molly was a saint, but I have my own idea of what a saint is a dead sinner, revised and edited.Things went bad after we moved to San Rafael, a clime that the doctors thought would be better for my chronic asthma, and my mother in law, Mrs Daly moved in with us She was a most insufferable woman No wonder her wealthy husband lived the life of a reclusive in the mining camps I preferred to stay in the City than going home When I did go home, I expected the children to be clean, well mannered, and studious, but did nothing to help them in that regard I fear I was a bad example to the children, particularly to my older son, Day.My most colorful, productive, and sometimes annoying journalism association was with the newspaper publisher, William Randolph Hearst His father, George, grew up in a log cabin in Missouri After the death of his father, George headed for the Gold Rush in California, where he and his partners found gold, but also ran a general store, and raised livestock and did farming It was in 1859 when they heard of the Comstock Silver Lode in Nevada They took a stake in a silver mine and managed to pull out 38 tons of high grade ore and transport it to San Francisco to be smelted Their fortune was made George continued to expand his mining interests, including the Homestake gold mine in South Dakota, where I tried my luck, staying in the town of Deadwood, but with no success.Back in Missouri, George met Phoebe than 20 years his junior and they got married and moved to San Francisco where they had their only child, William George bought a ranch in San Simeon and financed a thoroughbred horse stable He bought the San Francisco Examiner as payment for a gambling debt After he died, Phoebe gave to many universities, especially University of California, Berkeley, where she became the first female regent George sent his reluctant son, William, to Harvard, where he got himself expelled When he returned to California, his father gave him the San Francisco Examiner as something to keep him occupied, Little did his father know how seriously his son would take it Only two weeks after he got the paper in February, 1897, Mr Hearst sailed across the Bay to seek me out in Oakland I encountered a tall, slender man with pale eyes and a diffident manner I am from the San Francisco Examiner, he explained in a voice like the fragrance of violets made audible, and backed a little away Oh, I said, You come from Mr Hearst Then that unearthly child lifted his blue eyes and cooed I am Mr Hearst Little did I know then that Mr Hearst would become the P.T Barnum of publishing, staging current events as much as reporting on them For example, he had one staff writer get himself committed to an insane asylum by jumping off a steamer in the middle of the San Francisco Bay and rave like a lunatic when the rescuers pulled him out After a month in the asylum, he emerged perfectly sane to write a harrowing account of his experience there Another reporter jumped off a ferry boat to test how long it would take to rescue him If he couldn t swim, he would have drowned Winifred Sweet, a redheaded former chorus girl dressed up as a homeless woman, faked a collapse, and was taken to a hospital for the poor where she was successively insulted, pawed, given a hot mustard emetic, and turned back out on to the street A front page expose in the Monarch of the Dailies as Hearst called the Examiner led to a staff shakeup at the hospital and a visit to the newsroom by the chief physician, threatening violence A burly colleague of Miss Sweet knocked him out cold It was not long before the Examiner circulation reached 300,000.Hearst wanted me to revive my Prattle column to help boost the circulation of the Examiner, which was then at 30,000 I was given complete editorial freedom and did not have to come into the office to write This kept me away from bores, people who talk when I wish them to listen When I did drop by from time to time, I always seemed to end up in a pub crawl with some of the other journalists to see who could hold their liquor best Not since drinking with Jack London did I find such even matches Most people know the story of William Randolph Hearst and his publishing empire, but I want to add this note about him personally He had not a friend in the world Nor does he merit one He is inaccessible to the conception of an unselfish attachment or a disinterested motive Perhaps he was aware that to befriend means to make an ingrate.Well, I better be off Mexico is calling If you hear of my being stood up against a Mexican stone wall and shot to rags please know that I think it s a pretty good way to depart this life It beats old age, disease, or falling down the cellar stairs To be a Gringo in Mexico ah, that is euthanasia


  4. says:

    The blurb of my copy sufficiently covers what to expect from this book Originally entitled The Cynic s Word Book, it is an irreverent word book of cynical and sardonic wit To provide however a accurate expectation of the iconoclastic definitions and passages herein contained, here s Bierce s rendition of the Demagogue Thou shalt no God but me adore Twere too expensive to have .No images nor idols makeFor Robert Ingersoll to break.Take not God s name in vain selectA time when it will have effect.Work not on Sabbath days at all, But go see the teams play ball.Honour thy parents That createsfor life insurance lower rates.Kill not, abet not those who kill Thou shall not pay thy butcher s bill.Kiss not thy neighbor s wife, unlessThine own thy neighbor doth caress.Don t steal thou lt never thus competeSuccessfully in Cheat.Bear not false witnes that is low But hear tis rumoured so and so.Covet thou naught that thou hast not.By hook or crook, or somehow, got Bierce was nicknamed Bitter Bierce for his distinctive sardonic view of human life, he was further known for sporting his incomparably fitting motto of Nothing matters He disappeared without a trace in 1913 in an attempt to cover the Mexican Revolution This work of his was originally a newspaper publication, and then was published in book in 1906 This is well written and incomparably so, but I strongly recommend not to read this in one sitting but in a multitude of encounters, picking it up occasionally, letting his wit and humor slowly but intricately lull you away from a consummately unrivaled bad day at the office.


  5. says:

    Bierce was well known for his caustic wit This book is literally a small dictionary of words, the definitions of which are a biting commentary on human nature The man was definitely a pessimist in his attitude toward the human race I wouldn t recommend reading this in a single sitting, it s hard to put down I like to pick it up occasionally, especially if I m in a bad mood If nothing else, it spruces up your insults.


  6. says:

    Hilarious A sarcastic compilation of definitions, published in 1906 Warning if you can t stomach sexist and racist jokes, read gingerly LOL moments Abominable adj The quality of another s opinions.Abroad adj At war with savages and idiots To be a Frenchman abroad is to be miserable to be an American abroad is to make others miserable.Abuse n The goal of debate.Accuracyn A certain uninteresting quality carefully excluded from human statements.Achievementn The death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.Acquaintance n A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to Actuallyadv Perhaps possibly.Adam s Apple n A protuberance on the throat of a man, thoughtfully provided by Nature to keep the rope in place.Admirability n My kind of ability, as distinguished from your kind of ability.Admonition n Gentle reproof, as with a meat axe Friendly warning.Apathetic adj Six weeks married.Bald adj Destitute of hair from hereditary or accidental causes never from age.Betrothed pp The condition of a man and woman who, pleasing to one another and objectionable to their friends, are anxious to propitiate society by becoming unendurable to each other.Bore n A person who talks when you wish him to listen.Boundary n In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other.Bride n A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.Brute n See Husband.Calamity n A than commonly plain and unmistakable reminder that the affairs of this life are not of our own ordering Calamities are of two kinds misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.Canonize v.t To make a saint out of a dead sinner.Caterpillar n The capitalist of insects before he gets his start in life.Circumlocution n A literary trick whereby the writer who has nothing to say breaks it gently to the reader.Client n A person who has made the customary choice between the two methods of being legally robbed.Comfort n A state of mind produced by contemplation of a neighbor s uneasiness.Confession n A place where the priest sits to forgive the big sins for the pleasure of hearing about the little ones.Congratulation n The civility of envy.Consolation n The knowledge that a better man is unfortunate than yourself.Corporation n An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.Day n A period of twenty four hours, mostly misspent.Delusion n The father of a most respectable family, comprising Enthusiasm, Affection, Self denial, Faith, Hope, Charity and many other goodly sons and daughters.Deposit n A charitable contribution to the support of a bank.Dice n Small polka dotted cubes of ivory, constructed like a lawyer to lie on any side, but commonly on the wrong one.Disenchant v.t To free the soul from the chains of illusion in order that the lash of truth may draw blood at a greater number of points.Distance n The only thing that the rich are willing from the poor to call theirs, and keep.Economy n Purchasing the barrel of whisky that you do not need for the price of the cow that you cannot afford.Egotist n A person of low taste, interested in himself than in me.Elope v.i To exchange the perils and inconveniences of a fixed residence for the security and comfort of travel.Equal adj As bad as something else.Expectation n The state or condition of mind which in the procession of human emotions is preceded by hope and followed by despair.Fault n One of my offenses, as distinguished from one of yours, the latter being crimes Feast n A festival A religious celebration usually signalized by gluttony and drunkenness, frequently in honor of some holy person distinguished for abstemiousness.Fidelity n A virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.Fraud n The life of commerce, the soul of religion, the bait of courtship and the basis of political power.Genealogy n An account of one s descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.Gratitude n A sentiment lying midway between a benefit received and a benefit expected.Habit n A shackle for the free.Heavenn A place where the wicked cease from troubling you with talk of their personal affairs, and the good listen with attention while you expound your own.Historyn An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.Home n The place of last resort open all night.Homesick adj Dead broke abroad.Houseless adj Having paid all taxes on household goods.Idiot n A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.Ignoramus n A person unacquainted with certain kinds of knowledge familiar to yourself, and having certain other kinds that you know nothing about.Immaculate adj Not as yet spotted by the police.Infancy n The period of our lives when, according to Wordsworth, Heaven lies about us The world begins lying about us pretty soon afterward.Leisure n Lucid intervals in a disordered life.Luminary n One who throws light upon a subject as an editor by not writing about it.Marriage n The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.Meeknessn Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worthwhile.Misfortune n The kind of fortune that never misses.Morning n The end of night and dawn of dejection.Mortality n The part of immortality that we know about.Mosquito n The spore of insomnia, as distinguished from Conscience, the bacillus of the same disease I am the master of all things Man cried Then, pray, what am I the Mosquito replied.Optimist n A proponent of the doctrine that black is white.Out of doors n That part of one s environment upon which no government has been able to collect taxes.Perdition n The loss of one s soul also the place in which it can be found.Pessimism n A philosophy forced upon the convictions of the observer by the disheartening prevalence of the optimist with his scarecrow hope and his unsightly smile.Philosophy n A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.Picture n A representation in two dimensions of something wearisome in three.Pillage v To carry on business candidly.Pray v To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.Prescription n A physician s guess at what will best prolong the situation with least harm to the patient.Present n That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.Read v To get the sense of something written, if it has any Commonly, it has not.Responsibility n A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one s neighbor.Riches n The savings of many in the hands of one.Rite n A religious or semi religious ceremony fixed by law, preceptor, and customs with the essential oil of sincerity carefully squeezed out of it.Sauce n The one infallible sign of civilization and enlightenment.Twice adv Once too often.Vote n The instrument and symbol of a freeman s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.Wit n The salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out..


  7. says:

    Ambrose Bierce is that funny, sardonic uncle who always disagrees with your father at family reunions He s a highly intelligent person who probably knows they re the smartest in most rooms and laughs at the stupidity and hypocrisy of others, but subtly enough not to be understood by them.I must admit I loved this book I tend to be cynical myself at times, and so agree with Mr Bierce I think cynics are bluntly honest with themselves, and their distrust of people relies in a high awareness of their own feelings and motives And they are usually smart men It is well known that intelligent people have a keen sense of self irony and sarcasm, because they see the truth in things which is not a happy truth Laughing at it is the best weapon against madness However, it s a depressing way to see the world, and it involves a certain blindness to the light People are bad, that s true They are dishonest, deceitful, greedy and cruel But people are also beautiful, and kind, and wise It s kind of twisted to see the world in just one way, and although cynics claim to understand the truth, they only grasp half of it and close their eyes to the other.I have not removed any starts for disagreeing with the book s philosophy Bierce gets his point across well as I said, he s a clever guy There are some parts of this book that are outdated, though, and don t make much sense today, so I couldn t five star it.


  8. says:

    Dictionary, n A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.Having many times come across piercingly disquieting quotes from Bierce, I decided to read the dictionary itself, cantankerous literary warts and all Some of the references have aged better than others some will be better understood by American readers But what remains, distilled and universal, is dark, dark stuff Bierce exhibits the blackest parts of the human soul to the eventual chagrin of every reader Yes For no matter how much you re keen on cynical humour, no matter how much you chuckle at the first 65 definitions, the 66th for example, I m not being precise here will make you cringe Perhaps there s a reason why abridged versions exist and why it would be best to take only an occasional sip from this particularly bitter fountain of wit.Here are some of my favourite definitions beginning with A.Abstainer, n A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure Achievement, n The death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.Adore, v.t To venerate expectantly.Advice, n The smallest current coin.Air, n A nutritious substance supplied by a bountiful Providence for the fattening of the poor.Allegory, n A metaphor in three volumes and a tiger.Alliance, n In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other s pocket that they cannot separately plunder a third.Alone, adj In bad company.April Fool, n The March fool with another month added to his folly.Argue, v.t To tentatively consider with the tongue.If you enjoyed that, this dictionary may be to your liking However, you have been warned small sips only.


  9. says:

    If you re a fan of sardonic wit, as I am, you want the biggest possible DEVIL S DICTIONARY This one has over 400 pages, as compared to one budget edition with only 144 pages Wikipedia proclaims Ambrose Bierce 1842 1914 an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist It s in the last capacity, as satirist, that Bierce s DEVIL S DICTIONARY 1911 achieved and maintained its gloriously irritable fame This book is chock full of mini masterpieces of snark, arranged in parody dictionary format, such as Barometer An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.Bore A person who talks when you wish him to listen.Painting The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic and my favorite Politics Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles This book may not be for everybody, but to paraphrase Alice Longworth Roosevelt, if you like this sort of thing, come sit by me Highly recommended for the arch wit and Americana as well.


  10. says:

    A collection of witty, mischievous and biting criticisms aimed at a liberal number of topics and people Spicy.Mimic Le dictionnaire des id es re ues Gustave Flaubert


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