Devil's Dictionary

I have recently come across this intriguing dictionary called 'Devil's Dictionary' written by Ambrose Bierce, one of nineteenth-century America's most renowned satirists. Bierce was a popular columnist and he wrote for several San Francisco and London newspapers during his 40 years's long career. Between 1881 and 1886 Bierce published his sardonic definitions in 'The Wasp'. They were published as a collection in 1906 and in 1911 under the title of 'Devil's Dictionary'.



Take a look at some of his definitions:

Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.

Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy

Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.

Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.

Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.

Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;" as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.

Apologize: To lay the foundation for a future offence.

Self-evident, adj. Evident to one's self and to nobody else.

Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.

Incest, n. In many parts of the Bible Belt, the most popular form of dating.

Bride, n. - A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.


Ambrose Bierce


And try to guess what these definitions might stand for...

(if you know, write it down in the comments!)


1. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.

2. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.

3. A prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coins out of your pocket.


Glossary:
come across - natknąć się na
intriguing - intrygujące
renowned - znany / uznany
satirist - satyryk
columnist - felietonista
sardonic - sardoniczny
wasp - osa

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