Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quips and Quotations (Lucifer's Lexicon Edition)

absurdity n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.

adherent n.: A follower who has not yet obtained all that he expects to get.

admiration n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.

circus n.: A place where horses, ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women and children acting the fool.

fashion n.: A despot whom the wise ridicule and obey.

mad adj.: Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.

ocean n.: A body of water occupying two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.

patience n.: A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.

selfish adj.: Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.

sweater n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.

--Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


  1. When I read "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" as a youth, my sense of the world changed. Ambrose Bierce was a remarkable writer. And the Lucifer's Lexicon is another wonderful piece of work.

  2. LOVE The Devil's Dictionary - it's so sarcastic and cleverly biting. I keep thinking I am a bitter enough old piece of work to make some meaningful contribution to it, if only I felt a little sharper. Thanks, Kirk. This was a fun read. Haven't done any Bierce in decades.

  3. @Badger--Yes, I liked that story, too. Without giving anything away, I seem to recall it involving a noose and some wishful thinking.

    @Leslie--You know, Les, I was originally going to use just ONE definition, but then I thought, well, that one is a good one, too, and that one...and before you know it, I had ten. I could easily have done twice that many. Maybe I'll do a sequel one day.

  4. I like that finally someone recognized that little bit of desperation that comes with patience.

  5. @Cram Cake--That was my favorite of all the definitions.