Extracts from the Cynic’s Wordbook – Part VIII – the letter D

See previously entered letters C, J, K, M &c. here.

  1. Dad – noun A father whom his vulgar children do not respect.
  2. Dandy – noun One who professes a singularity of opinion with regard to his own merits, accentuating his eccentricity with his clothes.
  3. Day – noun A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
  4. Decide – verb To succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another set.
  5. Defame – noun To lie about another. To tell the truth about another.
  6. Defraud – verb To impart instruction and experience to the confiding.
  7. Demon – noun A man whose cruelties are related in the newspapers.
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Extracts from the Cynic’s Wordbook – Part VIII – the letter D

See previously entered letters C, J, K, M &c. here.

  1. Dadnoun A father whom his vulgar children do not respect.
  2. Dandynoun One who professes a singularity of opinion with regard to his own merits, accentuating his eccentricity with his clothes.
  3. Daynoun A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
  4. Decideverb To succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another set.
  5. Defamenoun To lie about another. To tell the truth about another.
  6. Defraudverb To impart instruction and experience to the confiding.
  7. Demonnoun A man whose cruelties are related in the newspapers.
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Extracts from the Cynic’s Wordbook – Part VI – the letter R

Previous entries: P, M, K, C, J. Notice I have listed double the number of extracts under this letter. This is simply because these are some of the finest in the whole book by Bierce. A little bonus for you to chew and occasionally swallow and digest. Read on:

  1. Recruit – noun A person distinguishable from a civilian by his uniform and a soldier from his gait.
  2. Reform – noun A campaign transparency, which is laid aside as soon as it has served its purpose; a thing that mostly satisfies reformers as opposed to reformation.
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Extracts from the Cynic’s Wordbook – Part V – the letter J

You have been with me through entries under the letters P, M, K, and C. Today, we shall read through J.

  1. J – is a consonant in English, but some nations use it as a vowel–than which nothing could be more absurd. Its original form, which has been but slightly modified, was that of the tail of a subdued dog, and it was not a letter but a character, standing for a latin verb, jacere, ‘to throw,’ because when a stone is thrown at a dog the dog’s tail assumes that shape. This is the origin of the letter, as expounded by the renowned Dr Jocolpus Bumer, of the University of Belgrade, who established his conclusions on the subject in a work of three quarto volumes and committed suicide on being reminded that the j in the Roman alphabet had originally no curl.
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Extracts from the Cynic’s Wordbook – Part IV – the letter C

Today is the day of the letter C. ’nuff said. Or maybe, ’nuff seen. Whatever that means. We’ve read through P, M and K. Read on.

  1. Cabbage – noun A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.
  2. Calamity – noun A more than commonly plain and unmistakable reminder that the affairs of this life are not of our own ordering. Calamities are of two types: misfortune to ourselves and good fortune to others.
  3. Capital – noun The seat of misgovernment. That which provides the fire, the pot, the dinner, the table and the knife and fork for the anarchist.
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Extracts from the Cynic’s Wordbook – Part III – the letter K

~ Pour elle.~

The letter KThis is the third letter we are coming to this month, the letter K. We have already seen P and M before and have no doubt enjoyed them immensely. Today, we shall see what Bierce has to offer us for the letter K.

  1. Kangaroonoun An unconventional kind of animal which in shape is farther than any other from being the square of its base.
  2. Killverb To create a vacancy without nominating a successor.
  3. Kiltnoun A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland.
  4. Kindnessnoun A brief preface to ten volumes of exaction.
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Extracts from the cynic’s wordbook – Part II – the letter M

~This post is dedicated to my own blog. For being there.~


In my last post I gave you ten of what I thought were the finest ‘Devil’s definitions’ of words in Bierce’s ‘The Devil’s Dictionary.’ Today, I shall outline some more, this time from the letter M. This is arguably the most entertaining of all letters in our English language–at least that which is present in the strange dictionary in question. Read on below:

  1. Madnoun Affected by a high degree of intellectual independence; not conforming to social standards of thought, speech and action derived by the conformants from study of themselves; at odds with the majority; in short, unusual.
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