Posts Tagged ‘Ambrose Bierce’

Ambrose Bierce

“Religions are conclusions for which the facts of nature supply no major premises.”

–Ambrose Bierce, Collected Works

Ambrose BierceFREEDOM, n. Exemption from the stress of authority in a beggarly half dozen of restraint’s infinite multitude of methods. A political condition that every nation supposes itself to enjoy in virtual monopoly.

Liberty. The distinction between freedom and liberty is not accurately known; naturalists have never been able to find a living specimen of either.

–Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

WORSHIP, n. 1) In the United States, a term incomplete unless preceded by the word “military”; 2) The attitude of a dog to a man, a man to a god, and the media to the military.

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(with apologies to Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary and its definition of Reverence: “The spiritual attitude of a man to a god and a dog to a man”)

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–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary scheduled for June 2016

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover


BENEFACTOR, n. One who makes heavy purchases of ingratitude, without, however, materially affecting the price, which is still within the means of all.

–Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

"Fork" illustration by J.R. Swanson

FORK, n. An instrument used chiefly for the purpose of putting dead animals into the mouth . . .

–Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary; illustration by J. R. Swanson

VEGANS, n. pl. Vegetarians on steroids. The subspecies “vegans with a vengeance” have been known, through sheer force of personality, to induce meat consumption in lifelong vegetarians, and have made a healthy, ecologically sound diet less popular than oral herpes. As the old joke goes, “Don’t worry about whether any of your dinner guests are vegans—they’ll let you know.”

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–from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded)

(with apologies to whoever came up with the joke at the end of the definition; if you know, please leave a comment)

MORAL, adj. 1) In the conventional religious sense, anything tending to increase human misery, as in “moral conduct” and “moral standards”; 2) A term of self-approbation used by those who enjoy locking other human beings in cages.

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–From the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary