ORATORY, n. A conspiracy between speech and action to cheat the understanding. A tyranny tempered by stenography.
NOMINATE, v. To designate for the heaviest political assessment. To put forward a suitable person to incur the mudgobbling and deadcatting of the opposition.
RIDICULE, n. Words designed to show that the person of whom they are uttered is devoid of the dignity of character distinguishing him who utters them.
Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
FIDDLE, n. An instrument to tickle human ears by friction of a horse's tail on the entrails of a cat.
ALONE, adj. In bad company.
Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
RADICALISM, n. The conservatism of to-morrow injected into the affairs of to-day.
Gout, a physician's name for the rheumatism of a rich patient.
LANGUAGE, n. The music with which we charm the serpents guarding another's treasure.
Women and foxes, being weak, are distinguished by superior tact.
Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
X, n. In our alphabet being a needless letter has an added invincibility to the attacks of the spelling reformers, and like them, will doubtless last as long as the language.
Women of genius commonly have masculine faces, figures and manners. In transplanting brains to an alien soil God leaves a little of the original earth clinging to the roots.
SIREN, n. One of several musical prodigies famous for a vain attempt to dissuade Odysseus from a life on the ocean wave. Figuratively, any lady of splendid promise, dissembled purpose and disappointing performance.
MONUMENT, n. A structure intended to commemorate something which either needs no commemoration or cannot be commemorated.
OBSOLETE, adj. No longer used by the timid. Said chiefly of words. A word which some lexicographer has marked obsolete is ever thereafter an object of dread and loathing to the fool writer.
Friendship: A ship big enough for two in fair weather, but only one in foul.
Advice, the smallest current coin.
WASHINGTONIAN, n. A Potomac tribesman who exchanged the privilege of governing himself for the advantage of good government. In justice to him it should be said that he did not want to.
Exhort, v.t. In religious affairs, to put the conscience of another upon the spit and roast it to a nut-brown discomfort.
AMATEUR, n. A public nuisance who mistakes taste for skill, and confounds his ambition with his ability.
Backbite: To ''speak of a man as you find him'' when he can't find you.
In Physicia Baal is still worshiped as Bolus, and as Belly he is adored and served with abundant sacrifice by the priests of Guttledom.
Before undergoing a surgical operation, arrange your temporal affairs. You may live.
Patriotism is as fierce as a fever, pitiless as the grave, blind as a stone, and irrational as a headless hen.
The fact that boys are allowed to exist at all is evidence of a remarkable Christian forebearance among men.
A book which the Mohammedans foolishly believe to have been written by divine inspiration, but which Christians know to be a wicked imposture, contradictory to the Holy Scriptures.
There is no place, it seems, free from the intrusion of Man, who stretches out his hand for everything, even that which is in the air.
BEG, v. To ask for something with an earnestness proportioned to the belief that it will not be given.
History -- An account mostly false, of events unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.
Abscond -- to move in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.
A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.
Self-evident, adj. Evident to one's self and to nobody else.
To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
Erudition - dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.
Self-esteem, n. An erroneous appraisal.
RUMOR, n. A favorite weapon of the assassins of character.
Genius -- to know without having learned; to draw just conclusions from unknown premises; to discern the soul of things.
INTERPRETER, n. One who enables two persons of different languages to understand each other by repeating to each what it would have been to the interpreter's advantage for the other to have said.
NOTORIETY, n. The fame of one's competitor for public honors. The kind of renown most accessible and acceptable to mediocrity. A Jacob's-ladder leading to the vaudeville stage, with angels ascending and descending.
SYCOPHANT- One who approaches Greatness on his belly so that he may not be commanded to turn and be kicked. He is sometimes an editor.
Cat: a soft indestructible automaton provided by nature to be kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle.
Electricity is the power that causes all natural phenomena not known to be caused by something else.
Alien -- an American sovereign in his probationary state.
Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.
The natural equipment to accomplish some small part of the meaner ambitions distinguishing able men from dead ones. In the last analysis ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity.
War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.
Bigot: One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
Trial. A formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record the blameless characters of judges, advocates and jurors.
ORTHODOX, n. An ox wearing the popular religious joke.
OPERA, n. A play representing life in another world, whose inhabitants have no speech but song, no motions but gestures and no postures but attitudes.
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.
Income is the natural and rational gauge and measure of respectability.
LOVE, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder.
PESSIMISM- philosophy forced upon the convictions of the observer by the disheartening prevalence of the optimist with his scarecrow hope and his unsightly smile.
Mesmerism, n. Hypnotism before it wore good clothes, kept a carriage and asked Incredulity to dinner.
To those who view the voyage of life from the port of departure the bark that has accomplished any considerable distance appears already in close approach to the farther shore.
Sabbath -- a weekly festival having its origin in the fact that God made the world in six days and was arrested on the seventh.
The covers of this book are too far apart.
Custard: A detestable substance produced by a malevolent conspiracy of the hen, the cow, and the cook.
VIRTUES, n.pl. Certain abstentions.
Pun: A form of wit, to which wise men stoop and fools aspire.
Bride: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
COMPULSION, n. The eloquence of power.
SACRED, adj. Dedicated to some religious purpose; having a divine character; inspiring solemn thoughts or emotions; as... the Cow in India; the Crocodile, the Cat and the Onion of ancient Egypt.
Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
A single swallow, it is said, devours ten millions of insects every year. The supplying of these insects I take to be a signal instance of the Creator's bounty in providing for the lives of His creatures.
GRAPESHOT, n. An argument which the future is preparing in answer to the demands of American Socialism.
Reality, n. The dream of a mad philosopher. That which would remain in the cupel if one should assay a phantom. The nucleus of a vacuum.
OBSERVATORY, n. A place where astronomers conjecture away the guesses of their predecessors.
A funeral is a pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker.
OLD, adj. In that stage of usefulness which is not inconsistent with general inefficiency, as an "old man." Discredited by lapse of time and offensive to the popular taste, as an "old" book.
Teetotaler, n. One who abstains from strong drink, sometimes totally, sometimes tolerably totally.
Introduction -- a social ceremony invented by the devil for the gratification of his servants and the plaguing of his enemies.
One who, professing virtues that he does not respect, secures the advantage of seeming to be what he despises.
OVATION, n. n ancient Rome, a definite, formal pageant in honor of one who had been disserviceable to the enemies of the nation. A lesser "triumph.
PREFERENCE, n. A sentiment, or frame of mind, induced by the erroneous belief that one thing is better than another.
MINISTER, n. An agent of a higher power with a lower responsibility. In diplomacy, an officer sent into a foreign country as the visible embodiment of his sovereign's hostility.
Honorable, adj.: Afflicted with an impediment in one's reach. In legislative bodies, it is customary to mention all members as honorable; as, "the honorable gentleman is a scurvy cur.."
Ambition. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.
TRUTHFUL, adj. Dumb and illiterate.
RUBBISH, n. Worthless matter, such as the religions, philosophies, literatures, arts and sciences of the tribes infesting the regions lying due south from Boreaplas.
Nominee. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honorable obscurity of public office.
REACH, n. The radius of action of the human hand. The area within which it is possible (and customary) to gratify directly the propensity to provide.
Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.
Oyster, n. A slimy, gobby shellfish which civilization gives men the hardihood to eat without removing its entrails!
IMAGINATION, n. A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.
Pleasure, n. The least hateful form of dejection.
R.I.P. A careless abbreviation of "requiescat in pace," attesting to indolent goodwill to the dead. According to the learned Dr. Drigge, however, the letters originally meant nothing more than "reductus in pulvis."
A wedding is a ceremony at which two persons undertake to become one, one undertakes to become nothing, and nothing undertakes to become supportable.
DELEGATION, n. In American politics, an article of merchandise that comes in sets.
RICE-WATER, n. A mystic beverage secretly used by our most popular novelists and poets to regulate the imagination and narcotize the conscience.
A leech who, having penetrated the shell of a turtle only to find that the creature has long been dead, deems it expedient to form a new attachment to a fresh turtle.
CANNON, n. An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.
IDLENESS, n. A model farm where the devil experiments with seeds of new sins and promotes the growth of staple vices.
Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.
Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.
Wine, madam, is God's next best gift to man.
Alone, adj. In bad company.
Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.
Fashion, n. A despot whom the wise ridicule and obey.
Barometer, n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
ILLUSTRIOUS, adj. Suitably placed for the shafts of malice, envy and detraction.
Grammar, n. A system of pitfalls thoughtfully prepared for the feet of the self-made man, along the path by which he advances to distinction.
AUTHENTIC, adj. Indubitably true -- in somebody's opinion.
RECOUNT, n. In American politics, another throw of the dice, accorded to the player against whom they are loaded.
PIANO, n. A parlor utensil for subduing the impenitent visitor. It is operated by depressing the keys of the machine and the spirits of the audience.
A person of greater enterprise than discretion, who in embracing an opportunity has formed an unfortunate attachment.
Truth is so good a thing that falsehood can not afford to be without it.
HUMORIST, n. A plague that would have softened down the hoar austerity of Pharaoh's heart and persuaded him to dismiss Israel with his best wishes, cat-quick.
ORTHOGRAPHY, n. The science of spelling by the eye instead of the ear.
ALLEGORY, n. A metaphor in three volumes and a tiger.
Heaven: A place where the wicked cease from troubling you with talk of their personal affairs, and the good listen with attention while you expound on yours.
ART, n. This word has no definition. Its origin is related by the ingenious Father Gassalasca Jape as "One day a wag -- what would the wretch be at? Shifted a letter of the cipher RAT, And said it was a god's name!.
Mace, n. A staff of office signifying authority. Its form, that of a heavy club, indicates its original purpose and use in dissuading from dissent.
Cemetery, n. an isolated suburban spot where mourners match lies, poets write at a target and stone cutters spell for a wager.
EXECUTIVE, n. An officer of the Government, whose duty it is to enforce the wishes of the legislative power until such time as the judicial department shall be pleased to pronounce them invalid and of no effect.
Acknowledge, v.t. To confess. Acknowledgment of one another's faults is the highest duty imposed by our love of truth.
BRANDY, n. A cordial composed on one part thunder-and-lightning, one part remorse, two parts bloody murder, one part death-hell-and-the-grave and four parts clarified Satan.
Linen, n. A kind of cloth the making of which, when made of hemp, entails a great waste of hemp.
Spring beckons! All things to the call respond; the trees are leaving and cashiers abscond.
SELFISH, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.
Christians and camels receive their burdens kneeling.
San Francisco is the place where most people were last seen.
Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
CLERGYMAN, n. A man who undertakes the management of our spiritual affairs as a method of better his temporal ones.
TENACITY, n. A certain quality of the human hand in its relation to the coin of the realm. It attains its highest development in the hand of authority and is considered a serviceable equipment for a career in politics.
DISOBEDIENCE, n. The silver lining to the cloud of servitude.
Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.
OBSTINATE, adj. Inaccessible to the truth as it is manifest in the splendor and stress of our advocacy.
Self-restraint is indulgence of the propensity to forgo.
RABBLE, n. In a republic, those who exercise a supreme authority tempered by fraudulent elections. The rabble is like the sacred Simurgh, of Arabian fable -- omnipotent on condition that it do nothing.
WITCH, n. (1) Any ugly and repulsive old woman, in a wicked league with the devil. (2) A beautiful and attractive young woman, in wickedness a league beyond the devil.
SATIETY, n. The feeling that one has for the plate after he has eaten its contents, madam.
MONOSYLLABIC, adj. Composed of words of one syllable ... Commonly Saxon -- that is to say, words of a barbarous people destitute of ideas and incapable of any but the most elementary sentiments and emotions.
GEOGRAPHER, n. A chap who can tell you offhand the difference between the outside of the world and the inside.
INTIMACY, n. A relation into which fools are providentially drawn for their mutual destruction.
O God! what a thing it is to be a ghost, cowering and shivering in an altered world, a prey to apprehension and despair!
DEPENDENT, adj. Reliant upon another's generosity for the support which you are not in a position to exact from his fears.
MOUSE, n. An animal which strews its path with fainting women.
Birth: The first and direst of all disasters.
Miss, n. A title which we brand unmarried women to indicate that they are in the market.
The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
Meekness: uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.
It has been observed that one's nose is never so happy as when thrust into the affairs of others from which some physiologists have drawn the inference that the nose is devoid of the sense of smell.
SPOOKER, n. A writer whose imagination concerns itself with supernatural phenomena, especially in the doings of spooks.
DIARY, n. A daily record of that part of one's life, which he can relate to himself without blushing.
A bad marriage is like an electrical thrilling machine: it makes you dance, but you can't let go.
The wife, or bitter half.
SCARABAEUS, n. The sacred beetle of the ancient Egyptians, allied to our familiar "tumble-bug." It was supposed to symbolize immortality, the fact that God knew why giving it its peculiar sanctity.
Acquaintance. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog.
Religion is the daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
He who ignores the law of probabilities challenges an adversary that is seldom beaten.
There's no free will," says the philosopher; "To hang is most unjust." "There is no free will," assents the officer; "We hang because we must.
Love is a temporary insanity curable by marriage.
Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
Children who have proven themselves to be incorrigible by the age of twelve should be quickly and quietly beheaded, lest they grow to maturity, marry, and perpetuate the likeness of their being.
PHILISTINE, n. One whose mind is the creature of its environment, following the fashion in thought, feeling and sentiment. He is sometimes learned, frequently prosperous, commonly clean and always solemn.
NON-COMBATANT, n. A dead Quaker.
Fork: An instrument used chiefly for the purpose of putting dead animals into the mouth.
The Senate is a body of old men charged with high duties and misdemeanors.
Congratulations is the civility of envy.
Battle, n., A method of untying with the teeth a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.
MOUTH, n. In man, the gateway to the soul; in woman, the outlet of the heart.
BAIT, n. A preparation that renders the hook more palatable. The best kind is beauty.
In this world one must have a name; it prevents confusion, even when it does not establish identity. Some, though, are known by numbers, which also seem inadequate distinctions.
NEPOTISM, n. Appointing your grandmother to office for the good of the party.
When in Rome, do as Rome does.
A nation that will not enforce its laws has no claim to the respect and allegiance of its people.
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.
Bacchus, n.: A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.
REFERENDUM, n. A law for submission of proposed legislation to a popular vote to learn the nonsensus of public opinion.
MONSIGNOR- A high ecclesiastical title, of which the Founder of our religion overlooked the advantages.
REVOLUTION, n. A bursting of the boilers which usually takes place when the safety valve of public discussion is closed.
PIG, n. An animal ("Porcus omnivorus") closely allied to the human race by the splendor and vivacity of its appetite, which, however, is inferior in scope, for it sticks at pig.
Dentist: a prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coin out of your pocket.
BODY-SNATCHER, n. A robber of grave-worms. One who supplies the young physicians with that with which the old physicians have supplied the undertaker.
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
MAN, n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be.
Bigamy, n. A mistake in taste for which the wisdom of the future will adjudge a punishment called trigamy.
ELEGY, n. A composition in verse, in which, without employing any of the methods of humor, the writer aims to produce in the reader's mind the dampest kind of dejection.
COMMENDATION n. The tribute that we pay to achievements that resembles but do not equal our own.
CRAYFISH, n. A small crustacean very much resembling the lobster, but less indigestible.
No more the swindler singly seeks his prey; To hunt in couples is the modern way A rascal, from the public to purloin, An honest man to hide away the coin.
REAR, n. In American military matters, that exposed part of the army that is nearest to Congress.
Opposition, n. In politics the party that prevents the government from running amuck by hamstringing it.
An immaterial but visible being that inhabited the air when the air was an element and before it was fatally polluted with factory smoke, sewer gas and similar products of civilization.
Polite, adj. Skilled in the art and practice of dissimulation.
Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
HOMŒOPATHIST, n. The humorist of the medical profession.
A less popular name for the Second Person of that delectable newspaper Trinity, the Roomer, the Bedder, and the Mealer.
REDRESS, n. Reparation without satisfaction.
OWE, v. To have (and to hold) a debt. The word formerly signified not indebtedness, but possession; it meant "own," and in the minds of debtors there is still a good deal of confusion between assets and liabilities.
DEJEUNER, n. The breakfast of an American who has been in Paris. Variously pronounced.
War: A by-product of the arts of peace.
Good-bye -- if you hear of my being stood up against a stone wall and shot to rags please know that I think that a pretty good way to depart this life. It beats old age, disease or falling down the cellar stairs.
Critic, n. A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him.
Resolute, adj. Obstinate in a course that we approve.
Cynicism is that blackguard defect of vision which compels us to see the world as it is, instead of as it should be.
IMPENITENCE, n. A state of mind intermediate in point of time between sin and punishment.
CLOCK, n. A machine of great moral value to man, allaying his concern for the future by reminding him what a lot of time remains to him.
CALAMITY, n. A more 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.
PREHISTORIC, adj. Belonging to an early period and a museum. Antedating the art and practice of perpetuating falsehood.
ARSENIC, n. A kind of cosmetic greatly affected by the ladies, whom it greatly affects in turn.
FREEBOOTER, n. A conqueror in a small way of business, whose annexations lack of the sanctifying merit of magnitude.
Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him. In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference.
A modern school where football is taught.
Responsibility: A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one's neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.
Slang is the speech of him who robs the literary garbage carts on their way to the dumps.
Martyr, One who moves along the line of least reluctance to a desired death.
Riven and torn with cannon-shot, the trunks of the trees protruded bunches of splinters like hands, the fingers above the wound interlacing with those below.
Aborigines, n.: Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country. They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize.
Platitude: All that is mortal of a departed truth.
Lawyers are: One skilled in the circumvention of the law.
ORPHAN, n. A living person whom death has deprived of the power of filial ingratitude.
NOVEL, n. A short story padded.
RUSSIAN, n. A person with a Caucasian body and a Mongolian soul. A Tartar Emetic.
When you are ill make haste to forgive your enemies, for you may recover.
RADIUM, n. A mineral that gives off heat and stimulates the organ that a scientist is a fool with.
A hollow edifice erected for the habitation of man, rat, mouse, beetle, cockroach, fly, mosquito, flea, bacillus, and microbe.
In Bacon we see the culminating prime
Of British intellect and British crime.
Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.
PRE-EXISTENCE, n. An unnoted factor in creation.
INGRATE, n. One who receives a benefit from another, or is otherwise an object of charity.
Genealogy, n. An account of one's descent from a man who did not particularly care to trace his own.
Duck-bill, n. Your account at your restaurant during the canvas-back season.
NOISE, n. A stench in the ear. Undomesticated music. The chief product and authenticating sign of civilization.
Nothing is more logical than persecution. Religious tolerance is a kind of infidelity.
ROSTRUM, n. In Latin, the beak of a bird or the prow of a ship. In America, a place from which a candidate for office energetically expounds the wisdom, virtue and power of the rabble.
The poor man's price of admittance to the favor of the rich is his self-respect.
Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
Prescription: A physician's guess at what will best prolong the situation with least harm to the patient.
Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions.
DEGRADATION, n. One of the stages of moral and social progress from private station to political preferment.
PITY, n. A failing sense of exemption, inspired by contrast.
ZEUS n. The chief of Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog.
Deliberation, n.: The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
Forgetfulness -- a gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.
Positive, adj.: Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
ACCOUNTABILITY, n. The mother of caution.
ARTLESSNESS, n. A certain engaging quality to which women attain by long study and severe practice upon the admiring male, who is pleased to fancy it resembles the candid simplicity of his young.
PYRRHONISM- An ancient philosophy, named for its inventor. It consisted of an absolute disbelief in everything but Pyrrhonism. Its modern professors have added that.
PITIFUL, adj. The state of an enemy or opponent after an imaginary encounter with oneself.
Opportunity: A favorable occasion for grasping a disappointment.
Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.
Work: a dangerous disorder affecting high public functionaries who want to go fishing.
Egotism, n: Doing the New York Times crossword puzzle with a pen.
DIPLOMACY, n. Lying in state, or the patriotic art of lying for one's country.
REPORTER, n. A writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a tempest of words.
Theology is a thing of unreason altogether, an edifice of assumptions and dreams, a superstructure without a substructure.
NIRVANA- In the Buddhist religion, a state of pleasurable annihilation awarded to the wise, particularly to those wise enough to understand it.
Absence blots people out. We really have no absent friends.
BELLADONNA, n. In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
Diplomacy, n.: The patriotic art of lying for one's country.
The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.
Moral, adj. Conforming to a local and mutable standard of right. Having the quality of general expediency.
REPUBLIC, n. A nation in which, the thing governing and the thing governed being the same, there is only a permitted authority to enforce an optional obedience.
RATTLESNAKE, n. Our prostrate brother, "Homo ventrambulans."
SAINT, n. A dead sinner revised and edited.
VITUPERATION, n. Saite, as understood by dunces and all such as suffer from an impediment in their wit.
Generous, adj. Originally this word meant noble by birth and was rightly applied to a great multitude of persons. It now means noble by nature and is taking a bit of a rest.
LIFE, n. A spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay. We live in daily apprehension of its loss; yet when lost it is not missed.
With brains and honesty, some five and twenty long years as champion of all that's good.
Australia, n. A country lying in the South Sea, whose industrial and commercial development has been unspeakably retarded by an unfortunate dispute among geographers as to whether it is a continent or an island.
Monkey, an arboreal animal which makes itself at home in genealogical trees.
A violin is the revenge exacted by the intestines of a dead cat.
Adherent, n. A follower who has not yet obtained all that he expects to get.
Plagiarism, n. A literary coincidence compounded of a discreditable priority and an honorable subsequence.
IMPALE, v.t. In popular usage, to pierce with any weapon which remains fixed in the wound ... properly, to put to death by thrusting an upright sharp stake into the body, the victim being left in a sitting position.
A bride is a woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
An acquaintance is someone we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
Clairvoyant, n.: A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron -- namely, that he is a blockhead.
Women in love are less ashamed than men. They have less to be ashamed of.
FIDELITY, n. A virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
Politics, noun. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
Ardor, n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.
ARMY, n. A class of non-producers who defend the nation by devouring everything likely to tempt an enemy to invade.
PLATONIC, adj. Pertaining to the philosophy of Socrates. Platonic Love is a fool's name for the affection between a disability and a frost.
Acquaintance is a degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor and obscure, and intimate when he is rich and famous.
HYDRA, n. A kind of animal that the ancients catalogued under many heads.
IMBECILITY, n. A kind of divine inspiration, or sacred fire affecting censorious critics of this dictionary.
Optimism: The doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.
Intolerance is natural and logical, for in every dissenting opinion lies an assumption of superior wisdom.
MERCY, n. An attribute beloved of detected offenders.
KILT, n. A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland.
Exception, n. A thing which takes the liberty to differ from other things of its class, as an honest man, a truthful woman, etc.
Cribbage, n. A substitute for conversation among those to whom nature has denied ideas.
Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.
Kiss. n. A word invented by the poets as a rhyme for "bliss."
Abnormal, adj. Not conforming to standard. In matters of thought and conduct, to be independent is to be abnormal, to be abnormal is to be detested.
Politeness -- The most acceptable hypocrisy..
ROPE, n. An obsolescent appliance for reminding assassins that they too are mortal. It is put about the neck and remains in place one's whole life long.
Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
He who thinks with difficulty believes with alacrity.
That gold refines not, sweetens not a life of conjugal brutality and strife, that vice is vulgar though it gilded shine.
Curiosity, n. An objectionable quality of the female mind. The desire to know whether or not a woman is cursed with curiosity is one of the most active and insatiable passions of the masculine soul.
HYENA, n. A beast held in reverence by some oriental nations from its habit of frequenting at night the burial-places of the dead. But the medical student does that.
Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age.
Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
A miracle is an act or event out of the order of nature and unaccountable, as beating a normal hand of four kings and an ace with four aces and a king.
Education, n.: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
Miss: A title with which we brand unmarried women to indicate that they are in the market. Miss, Misses (Mrs.) and Mister (Mr.) are the three most distinctly disagreeable words in the language, in sound and sense.
Ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity.
Road, n. A strip of land along which one may pass from where it is too tiresome to be to where it is futile to go.
SCRAP-BOOK, n. A book that is commonly edited by a fool. Many persons of some small distinction compile scrap-books containing whatever they happen to read about themselves or employ others to collect.
Doubt, indulged and cherished, is in danger of becoming denial; but if honest, and bent on thorough investigation, it may soon lead to full establishment of the truth.
TELEPHONE n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.
Enthusiasm -- a distemper of youth, curable by small doses of repentance in connection with outward applications of experience.
For every man there is something in the vocabulary that would stick to him like a second skin. His enemies have only to find it.
MAGIC, n. An art of converting superstition into coin. There are other arts serving the same high purpose, but the discreet lexicographer does not name them.
You are not permitted to kill a woman who has wronged you, but nothing forbids you to reflect that she is growing older every minute.
Peace in international affairs: a period of cheating between periods of fighting.
Evolutionary biology is genuinely scientific, but more than that it opens the door to a world more marvellous than any Christian fundamentalist has ever read into the pages of the Bible.
Predilection, n. The preparatory stage of disillusion.
OUTCOME, n. A particular type of disappointment ... judged by the outcome, the result. This is immortal nonsense; the wisdom of an act is to be juded by the light that the doer had when he performed it.
Entertainment, n. Any kind of amusement whose inroads stop short of death by injection.
MISCREANT, n. A person of the highest degree of unworth. Etymologically, the word means unbeliever, and its present signification may be regarded as theology's noblest contribution to the development of our language.
Book -- Learning : The dunce's derisive term for all knowledge that transcends his own impertinent ignorance.
Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me.
ANIMAL, n. An organism which, requiring a great number of other animals for its sustenance, illustrates in a marked way the bounty of Providence in preserving the lives of his creatures.
Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
PLEONASM, n. An army of words escorting a corporal of thought.
There are two instruments worse than a clarinet -- two clarinets.
PHONOGRAPH, n. An irritating toy that restores life to dead noises.
Magpie, n.: A bird whose theivish disposition suggested to someone that it might be taught to talk.
POLITICIAN, n. An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared. When he wriggles, he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice.
ETHNOLOGY, n. The science that treats of the various tribes of Man, as robbers, thieves, swindlers, dunces, lunatics, idiots and ethnologists.
A coward is one who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.
Patriotism: The first resort of a scoundrel.
Laziness. Unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree.
ACCUSE, v.t. To affirm another's guilt or unworth; most commonly as a justification of ourselves for having wronged him.
Boundary, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of another.
Aim, n. The task we set our wishes to.
Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Insurance -- an ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table.
Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
Slang is a foul pool at which every dunce fills his bucket, and then sets up as a fountain.
PHYSICIAN, n. One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well.
History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
INADMISSIBLE- Not competent to be considered. Hearsay evidence is inadmissible ... but there is no religion in the world that has any other basis than hearsay evidence.
DOG: A kind of additional or subsidiary Diety designed to catch the overflow or surplus of the world's worship.
Alligator: The crocodile of America, superior in every detail to the crocodile of the effete monarchies of the Old World.
Riot -- A popular entertainment given to the military by innocent bystanders.
Achievement; the death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.
A popular vote to ascertain the will of the sovereign.
CEMETERY, n. An isolated suburban spot where mourners match lies, poets write at a target and stone-cutters spell for a wager.
In forgiving an injury be somewhat ceremonious, lest your magnanimity be construed as indifference.
INK, n. A villainous compound of tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic, and water, chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.
I never said all Democrats were saloonkeepers. What I said was that all saloonkeepers are Democrats.
SERIAL, n. A literary work, usually a story that is not true, creeping through several issues of a newspaper or magazine.
UBIQUITY, n. The gift or power of being in all places at one time, but not in all places at all times, which is omnipresence, an attribute of God and the luminiferous ether only.
Botany, n. The science of vegetables -- those that are not good to eat, as well as those that are. It deals largely with their flowers, which are commonly badly designed, inartistic in color, and ill-smelling.
ENVY, n. Emulation adapted to the meanest capacity.
Jealous, adj. Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.
Heathen, n. A benighted creature who has the folly to worship something he can see and feel.
PROBOSCIS, n. The rudimentary organ of an elephant which serves him in place of the knife-and-fork that Evolution has as yet denied him. For purposes of humor it is popularly called a trunk.
YOUTH, n. The Period of Possibility, when Archimedes finds a fulcrum, Cassandra has a following and seven cities compete for the honor of endowing a living Homer.
Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.
Fear has no brains; it is an idiot. The dismal witness that it bears and the cowardly counsel that it whispers are unrelated.
HERMIT, n. A person whose vices and follies are not sociable.
Future. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.
An old wine-bibber having been smashed in a railway collision, some wine was poured on his lips to revive him.
EPIGRAM, n. A short, sharp saying in prose or verse, frequently characterize by acidity or acerbity and sometimes by wisdom.
TABLE D'HOTE, n. A caterer's thrifty concession to the universal passion for irresponsibility.
To seek a justification for a decision already made.
REALISM, n. The art of depicting nature as it is seem by toads. The charm suffusing a landscape painted by a mole, or a story written by a measuring-worm.
The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations.
Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
Crowned with leaves of the laurel. In England the Poet Laureate is an officer of the sovereign's court, acting as dancing skeleton at every royal feast and singing-mute at every royal funeral.
Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are not as they ought to be.
Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
Anoint, v.: To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.
Kindness n: A brief preface to ten volumes of exaction.
An egotist is a person of low taste -- more interested in himself than in me.
So I say a name, even if self-bestowed, is better than a number. In the register of the potter's field I shall soon have both. What wealth!
Edible -- good to eat and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
ADMINISTRATION, n. An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. A man of straw, proof against bad-egging and dead-catting.
Duty -- that which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.
An auctioneer is a man who proclaims with a hammer that he has picked a pocket with his tongue.
PRIVATE, n. A military gentleman with a field-marshal's baton in his knapsack and an impediment in his hope.
WHANGDEPOOTENAWAH, n. In the Ojibwa tongue, disaster; an unexpected affliction that strikes hard.
We submit to the majority because we have to. But we are not compelled to call our attitude of subjection a posture of respect.
Admiral. That part of a warship which does the talking while the figurehead does the thinking.
Doubt begins only at the last frontiers of what is possible.
Experience -- the wisdom that enables us to recognise in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.
Marriage, n: the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.
Childhood: 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.
Magic: (n) The art of converting superstition into coin.
Adolescence: A stage between infancy and adultery.
Immortality: A toy which people cry for, And on their knees apply for, Dispute, contend and lie for, And if allowed Would be right proud Eternally to die for.
RECONCILIATION, n. A suspension of hostilities. An armed truce for the purpose of digging up the dead.
Appeal. In law, to put the dice into the box for another throw.
WAR, n. A by-product of the arts of peace. The most menacing political condition is a period of international amity.
Think twice before you speak to a friend in need.
Adolescence: The stage between puberty and adultery.
Sacerdotalist, n. One who holds the belief that a clergyman is a priest. Denial of this momentous doctrine is the hardest challenge that is now flung into the teeth of the Episcopalian church by the Neo-Dictionarians.
Consul -- in American politics, a person who having failed to secure an office from the people is given one by the Administration on condition that he leave the country.
Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
OYSTER, n. A slimy, gobby shellfish which civilization gives men the hardihood to eat without removing its entrails! The shells are sometimes given to the poor.
An absolute monarchy is one in which the sovereign does as he pleases so long as he pleases the assassins.
MONKEY, n. An arboreal animal which makes itself at home in genealogical trees.
It is evident that skepticism, while it makes no actual change in man, always makes him feel better.
Disobey n:To celebrate with an appropriate ceremony the maturity of a command.
OBLIVION, n. The state or condition in which the wicked cease from struggling and the dreary are at rest. Fame's eternal dumping ground.
OATH, n. In law, a solemn appeal to the Deity, made binding upon the conscience by a penalty for perjury.
STORY, n. A narrative, commonly untrue. The truth of the stories here following has, however, not been successfully impeached.
Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
An accident is an inevitable occurrence due to the actions of immutable natural laws.
PROPHECY The art and practice of selling one's credibility for future delivery.
Opportunity is a favorable occasion for grasping a disappointment.
Convictions are variable; to be always consistent is to be sometimes dishonest.
REPENTANCE, n. The faithful attendant and follower of Punishment. It is usually manifest in a degree of reformation that is not inconsistent with continuity of sin.
Painting, n.: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic.
WEAKNESSES, n.pl. Certain primal powers of Tyrant Woman wherewith she holds dominion over the male of her species, binding him to the service of her will and paralyzing his rebellious energies.
POCKET, n. The cradle of motive and the grave of conscience. In woman this organ is lacking; so she acts without motive, and her conscience, denied burial, remains ever alive, confessing the sins of others.
We must stop chasing dollars, stop lying, stop cheating, stop ignoring art, literature, and all the refining agencies and instrumentalities of civilization.
SORCERY, n. The ancient prototype and forerunner of political influence. It was, however, deemed less respectable and sometimes was punished by torture and death.
PRISON, n. A place of punishments and rewards. The poet assures us that -- stone walls do not a prison make.
Censor, n. An officer of certain governments, employed to supress 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.
BEGGAR, n. One who has relied on the assistance of his friends.
Irreligion -- the principal one of the great faiths of the world.
Rome has seven sacraments, but the Protestant churches, being less prosperous, feel that they can afford only two, and these of inferior sanctity.
Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo.
PHYSIOGNOMY, n. The art of determining the character of another by the resemblances and differences between his face and our own, which is the standard of excellence.
Consult: To seek approval for a course of action already decided upon.
Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man -- who has no gills.
Prejudice -- a vagrant opinion without visible means of support.
HARMONISTS, n. A sect of Protestants, now extinct, who came from Europe in the beginning of the last century and were distinguished for the bitterness of their internal controversies and dissensions.
EXISTENCE, n. A transient, horrible, fantastic dream, Wherein is nothing yet all things do seem: From which we're wakened by a friendly nudge Of our bedfellow Death, and cry: "O fudge!
Success is the one unpardonable sin against our fellows.
Suddenly to change one's opinions and go over to another party. The most notable flop on record was that of Saul of Tarsus, who has been severely criticised as a turn-coat by some of our partisan journals.
Liberty is one of the imagination's most precious possessions.
Liver, n. A large red organ thoughtfully provided by nature to be bilious with. The liver is heaven's best gift to the goose; without it that bird would be unable to supply us with the Strasbourg "pate."
SATIRE, n. An obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author's enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness.
Revelation: a famous book in which St. John the Divine concealed all that he knew. The revealing is done by the commentators, who know nothing.
The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
The classical prototype of the modern 'small hot bird.'
MANICHEISM, n. The ancient Persian doctrine of an incessant warfare between Good and Evil. When Good gave up the fight the Persians joined the victorious Opposition.
Dictionary, n. A malevolent literacy device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic.
I keep a conscience uncorrupted by religion, a judgment undimmed by politics and patriotism, a heart untainted by friendships and sentiments unsoured by animosities.
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
I believe we shall come to care about people less and less. The more people one knows the easier it becomes to replace them. It's one of the curses of London.
ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.
Compromise, n. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.
Me, pro. The objectionable case of I. The personal pronoun in English has three cases, the dominative, the objectionable and the oppressive. Each is all three.
Gunpowder, n. An agency employed by civilized nations for the settlement of disputes which might become troublesome if left unadjusted.
Psuh, n. One of the two things mainly conducive to success, especially in politics. The other is Pull.
A nutritious substance supplied by a bountiful Providence for the fattening of the poor.
HOMILETICS, n. The science of adapting sermons to the spiritual needs, capacities and conditions of the congregation.
THEOSOPHY, n. An ancient faith having all the certitude of religion and all the mystery of science.
A revolution is a violent change of mismanagement.
NECTAR, n. A drink served at banquets of the Olympian deities. The secret of its preparation is lost, but the modern Kentuckians believe that they come pretty near to a knowledge of its chief ingredient.
Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.
WRATH, n. Anger of a superior quality and degree, appropriate to exalted characters and momentous occasions; as, "the wrath of God," "the day of wrath," etc..
Alliance -- in international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.
APOTHECARY, n. The physician's accomplice, undertaker's benefactor and grave worm's provider.
A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms agains himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.
Immigrant: An unenlightened person who thinks one country better than another.
Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.
Love is a temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder.
Advice: The suggestions you give someone else which you hope will work for your benefit.
A rabbit's foot may bring good luck to you, but it brought none to the rabbit.
Respectability, n. The offspring of a liaison between a bald head and a bank account.