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Sunday, July 7, 2013


Definitions (104 entries)

These are definitions of various 'stuff'. Not the kind you find in most dictionaries.
 In fact, many are from Ambrose Bierce's "Devils Dictionary." Two good examples
are CRIMINAL, and, of course, SEX.
A -
ACADEME, n. An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught.
  Ambrose Bierce
2.  ACADEMY, n. [from ACADEME] A modern school where football is taught.
  Ambrose Bierce
3.  ACTING, n: The most minor of gifts and not a very high class way to earn a living.
After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four.
  Katherine Hepburn
4.  ADMIRATION, n: Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
  Ambrose Bierce
ARCHITECTURE, n: The art of how to waste space.
  Philip Johnson
B -

1.  BIRTH, n: The first and dirtiest of all disasters.
  Ambrose Bierce
2.  BOUNDARY, n: In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations,
separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of another.
  Ambrose Bierce
3.  BOY, n: a noise with dirt on it.
  Not Your Average Dictionary
4.  BUDGET, n:
  (1)An orderly system for living beyond your means.
  (2)An attempt to live below your yearnings.
5.  BUG, n: An aspect of a computer program which exists because the programmer
was thinking about Jumbo Jacks or stock options when s/he wrote the program.
  Not Your Average Dictionary
6.  BUGS, pl. n: Small living things that small living boys throw on small living girls.
  (1) A person who cuts red tape sideways.
  J. McCabe
  (2) A politician who has tenure.
BUSINESS, n: The art of extracting money from another man's pocket without
 resorting to violence.
  Max Amsterdam
C -

1.      CABBAGE, n: A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a
2.      man's head.
  Ambrose Bierce
3.      CAT, n:
  (1) A soft, indestructible automation provided by nature to be kicked when things
4.       go wrong in domestic circles.
  Ambrose Bierce
  (2) A lapwarmer with a built-in buzzer.
3.  CAPITOL, n: the seat of misgovernment.
   Ambrose Bierce
4.  CELEBRITY, n: One who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.
   H.L. Mencken
5.  CELEBRITY, n: A person who works hard all his life to become well known,
then wears dark glasses to avoid being reognized.
   Fred Allen
6.  CENSOR, n: A man who knows more than he thinks you ought to.
  Granville Hicks
7.  CHEF, n: Any cook who swears in French.
8.  CHEMICALS, n: Noxious substances from which modern foods are made.
9.  CHRISTIAN, n: One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely
 inspired book admirably suited to the   spiritual needs of his neighbors.
  Ambrose Bierce
10.             CINEMUCK, n: The combination of popcorn, soda, and melted chocolate
which covers the floors of movie theaters.
11.             COMMAND, n: In computer science, a statement presented by a human
and accepted by a computer in such a manner as to make the human feel as if he
 is in control.
12.             COMMERCE, n: A kind of transaction in which A plunders from B the
goods of C, and for compensation B picks the pocket of D of money belonging to E.
  Ambrose Bierce
13.             COMMITTEE, n: A group of the unfit, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary.
14.             COMPROMISE, n: An agreement whereby both parties get what neither
 of them wanted.
15.             CONFERENCE, n: A gathering of important people who singly can do
 nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.
   Fred Allen
16.             CONSCIENCE, n: The inner voice that warns us that someone may be
  H.L. Mencken
17.             CONSERVATIVE, n: A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils,
as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
  Ambrose Bierce
18.             CORPORATION, n: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit
without individual responsibility.
  Ambrose Bierce
19.             COWARD, n: One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.
  Ambrose Bierce
20.             CRIMINAL, n: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient
capital to form a corporation.
  Howard Scott
21.             CRITIC, n: One who boasts of being "hard to please" because nobody tries
 to please him.
  Ambrose Bierce
CYNIC, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they
 ought to be.
  Ambrose Bierce
D -

1.  DAY, n: A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
   Ambrose Bierce
2.  DELIBERATION, n: The act of examining one's bread to determine which side
 it is buttered on.
   Ambrose Bierce
3.  DEMOCRACY, n: The recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are
 right more than half the time.
  E. B. White
5.      DEPRESSION. n: A period during which we have to get along without the things
6.       our grandparents never dreamed about.
5.  DESTINY, n: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure.
  Ambrose Bierce
6.  DIET, n: The penalty for exceeding the feed limit.
DIPLOMACY, n: The art of saying 'nice doggie' till you can find a rock.
  Wynn Catlin
E -

1.  ECONOMIST, n: A man who states the obvious in terms of the incomprehensible.
  Alfred A. Knopf
2.  EDITOR, n: A person employed on a newspaper whose business it is to separate
 the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.
  Elbert Hubbard
3.  ELBONICS, n:The art of maneuvering for the center armrest in a theater or
4.  ETIQUETTE, n: The little things you do that you don't want to do.
5.  EXECUTIVE, n: A man who talks to the visitors while others are doing the
7.      EXPERIENCE, n: What causes a person to make new mistakes instead of the
8.      same old ones.
  (1) An ordinary man away from home giving advice.
   Oscar Wilde
  (2) Someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows
absolutely everything about nothing.
  Nicholas Murray Butler
  (3) An expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what's really
 going on to be scared.
  P.J. Plauger
  (4) An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes which can be made
in a very narrow field.
  Niels Bohr
  (5) A person who is never in doubt but often in error.

F -

1.  FAIRY TALE, n: a horror story to prepare children for the newspapers.
2.  FAKIR, n: a psychologist whose charismatic data have inspired almost religious
 devotion in his followers, even though the sources seem to have shinnied up a rope
and vanished.
3.  FAMOUS, adj: Conspicuously miserable.
  Ambrose Bierce
4.  FIDELITY, n: A virtue particular to those about to be betrayed.
  Ambrose Bierce
5.  FOG LAMPS, n: obnoxiously bright lamps mounted on the fronts of automobiles;
used on dry, clear nights to indicate that the driver's brain is in a fog.
6.  FUTURE, n: That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true,
and our happiness is assured.
  Ambrose Bierce
FURBLING, v: Having to wander through a maze of ropes at an airport or bank, even
 when you are the only person in line.
  Rich Hall

G -

GOLF, n:
  (1) A futile endeavor to place an insignificant white ball into an
 obscure little hole, using weapons entirely ill-suited to the task.
  (2)A sport wherein one balances a ball an inch-and-a-quarter in diameter on a ball 8,000 miles in diameter, and then tries to hit the
 small one.

H -

1.  HANGOVER, n: A self-inflicted wound.
2.  HOPE, n: The feeling you have that the feeling you have isn't permanent.
  Jean Kerr
3.  HORSE SENSE, n: Stable thinking.
HOSPITAL BED, n: A taxi parked with the meter running.

I –
1.      IDIOT, n: A member of a large and powerful tribe whose
2.      influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.
  Ambrose Bierce

J -

1.      JOURNALIST, n: A professional whose job it is to explain to others what it
2.       personally does not understand.
  Lord Northcliffe
JUDGE, n: A law student who marks his own papers.
  H.L. Mencken
K -

1.      KISS, n: A course of procedure, cunningly devised, for
2.      the mutual stoppage of conversation when words are
3.      superfluous.
  Oliver Herford

L -

1.  LABOR, n: One of the processes by which A acquires property for B.
  Ambrose Bierce
2.  LIBERAL, n: A conservative that has been smugged by reality.
LITIGATION, n: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a
  Ambrose Bierce
M -

1.      MARRIAGE, n: An institution which is popular because it combines the
2.       maximum of temptation with the minimum of opportunity.
  George Bernard Shaw
3.      MEETING, n: An assembly of people coming together to decide what person
4.       or group not represented in the room must solve a problem.
  (1)When your age starts to show around your middleThe art of raising eyebrows
 instead of the roof.
  (2)That time of life when you'd rather not have a good time than recover from it.
  Fletcher Henderson
N -

NATION, n: A society united by its ancestry and by common
 hatred of its neighbors.
  W.R. Inge

O -

1.      OPPORTUNIST, n: One who goes ahead and does what you always planned
2.       to do.
3.      OPTIMISM, n: The doctrine, or belief, that everything is beautiful, including
4.       what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is
5.      wrong. It is held with greatest tenacity by those most accustomed to the mischance
6.       of falling into adversity, and is most acceptably expounded with the grin that
7.       apes a smile. Being a blind faith, it is inaccessible to the light of disproof –
8.      an intellectual disorder, yielding to no treatment but death. It is hereditary,
9.      but fortunately not contagious.
  Ambrose Bierce
ORATORY, n: The art of making deeo noises from the chest sound like important
 messages from the brain.
P -

1.      PAIN, n: An uncomfortable frame of mind that may have a physical basis in
2.      something that is being done to the body, or may be purely mental, caused by
3.       the good fortune of another.
  Ambrose Bierce
3.      PAINTING, n: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing
4.       them to the critic.
  Ambrose Bierce
3.  PATRON, n: A customer who doesn't ask prices.
4.  PEDESTRIAN, n: Someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in
 the tank.
  (1) A rich (and usually bald) old gentleman who has trained himself to grin
6.      while his conscience is picking his pocket.
  Ambrose Bierce
  (2) One who gives away what he should give back.
6.  PHILOSOPHY, n: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
  Ambrose Bierce
7.  PLATITUDE, n: An idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and (b) that
 is not true.
  H.L. Mencken
8.  POISE, n: The art of raising eyebrows instead of the roof.
  (1) A person whose job is to tell students how to solve the problems of life he
 avoided by becoming a professor.
  (2) One who talks in someone elses sleep.
  W.H. Auden
10.             PROPAGANDA, n: Baloney disguised as food for thought.
  Cincinnati Inquirer
PURITANISM, n: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
  H. L. Mencken
Q -

QUOTATION, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words
of another. The words erroneously repeated.
  Ambrose Bierce
R -

1.      RESPONSIBILITY, n: A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God,
2.       Fate, Fortune, Luck or one's neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to
3.       unload it upon a star.
  Ambrose Bierce
2.  ROCK 'N' ROLL, n: Monotony tinged with hysteria.
  Vance Packard
RETRACTION, n: The revision of an insult to give it wider circulation.
S -

1.  SCIENCE, n:An orderly arrangement of what at the moment appear to be facts.
2.  SEX, n: The most fun you can have without laughing.
  Anonymous, from Webster's Unafraid Dictionary
3.  SPOUSE, n: Someone who'll stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn't have
 had if you'd stayed single.
4.      STATISTICAL ANALYSIS, n: Mysterious, sometimes bizarre, manipulations
5.      performed upon the collected data of an experiment in order to obscure the fact
6.      that the results have no generalizable meaning for humanity. Commonly, computers
7.       are used, lending an additional aura of unreality to the proceedings.
5.  STATISTICIAN, n: A person who can draw a mathematically precise line from an unwarranted assumption to a foregone conclusion.
SWEATER, n: Garment worn by child when it's mother is feeling chilly.
  Ambrose Bierce
T -

1.  TACT, n: The art of saying nothing when there is nothing to say.
TRUTH, n: An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance. Discovery
of truth is the sole purpose of philosophy, which is the most ancient occupation of
the human mind and has a fair prospect of existing with increasing activity to the
 end of time.
  Ambrose Bierce
U -

1.  URBAN COWBOY, n: One who is typically all hat and no cow.
USER, n: The word computer professionals use when they mean "idiot."
  Dave Barry
V -

1.      VACATION, n: Time off to remind employees that the business can get along
2.      without them.
VIRUS, n: A Latin medical term meaning, 'your guess is as good as mine.'
W -

1.    WAR, n: A by-product of the arts of peace...
  Ambrose Bierce

Z -

ZEAL, n: A certain nervous disorder afflicting the young and inexperienced.
   Ambrose Bierce

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