Από το σατιρικό λεξικό του Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”.
Για τον συγγραφέα, εδώ.
The mother of caution.
The death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.
Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
To venerate expectantly.
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.
To lay the foundation for a future offence.
An instinct thoughtfully implanted by Providence as a solution to the labor question.
That part of your friend which it is your privilege to contemplate in your adversity.
A house in which soldiers enjoy a portion of that of which it is their business to deprive others.
To make an ingrate.
A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
A soft, indestructible automaton provided by nature to be kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle.
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.
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.
A place where horses, ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women and children acting the fool.
The civility of envy.
A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him.
A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
The time when men of reason go to bed. The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the others who have tried it.
An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave-driver.
To lie about another. To tell the truth about another.
Unable to attack.
A physician's forecast of the disease by the patient's pulse and purse.
A method of confirming others in their errors.
The silver lining to the cloud of servitude.
A method of distinction so cheap that fools employ it to accentuate their incapacity.
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.
That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
The art of orally persuading fools that white is the color that it appears to be. It includes the gift of making any color appear white.
All there is in the world if you like it.
A despot whom the wise ridicule and obey.
Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.
A ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul.
That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.
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.
A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody's pocket.
A sentiment appropriate to the occasion of another's superiority.
A person whose vices and follies are not sociable.
The human race, collectively, exclusive of the anthropoid poets.
One who, professing virtues that he does not respect, secures the advantage of seeming to be what he despises.
A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.
A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.
Having a strong sense of one's own merit, coupled with a feeble conception of worth in others.
A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.
Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.
A commodity which is a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.
The music with which we charm the serpents guarding another's treasure.
The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.
One of Imagination's most precious possessions.
The distinguishing device of civilization and enlightenment.
An art of converting superstition into coin. There are other arts serving the same high purpose, but the discreet lexicographer does not name them.
An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth.
The kind of fortune that never misses.
A blessing that is of no advantage to us excepting when we part with it. An evidence of culture and a passport to polite society.
The comparative degree of too much.
The body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.
The objections that are urged against this excellent dictionary.
The eleventh twelfth of a weariness.
The doctrine, or belief, that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is wrong. Being a blind faith, it is inaccessible to the light of disproof; an intellectual disorder, yielding to no treatment but death. It is hereditary, but fortunately not contagious.
A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
An armed force for protection and participation.
The most acceptable hypocrisy.
A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.
An erroneous appraisement.
Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.
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.
Dumb and illiterate.
A gift of the gods to certain women, entailing virtue without humility.
The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.