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The Devil's Dictionary

From Academic Kids

The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce, was originally a newspaper serialization that offered an interesting reinterpretation of the English language in which cant and political double-talk were neatly lampooned. It has inspired dozens, if not hundreds, of imitations, both in its day and in the Internet age. Recent examples include The Computer Contradictionary and The Devil's Dictionary X.

Some definitions, such as that of marriage (see below) were considered scandalous or amoral or both by certain parts of society.

Published in 1911, various editions are currently in print including ISBN 0195126270, by Oxford University Press, and ISBN 0820324019. It is also available online through Project Gutenberg.

Some examples

African 
A nigger that votes our way.
Cat 
A soft indestructible automaton provided by Nature to be kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle.
Cynic 
A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.
Electricity 
The cause of all natural phenomena not known to be caused by something else.
Innards 
The stomach, heart, soul, and other bowels.
Marriage 
The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.
Mayonnaise 
One of the sauces that serve the French in place of a state religion.
Wife 
The bitter half.

External links

Template:Wikiquote

fr:Dictionnaire du Diable

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