Posts Tagged ‘Ambrose Bierce’


AGNOSTIC, n. 1. An atheist who craves social acceptance; 2) A person who feels superior to atheists by merit of his ignorance of the rules of logic and evidence.

(Adding weight to the second definition, Pew Research Center just released a poll showing that agnostics were two-and-a-half times more likely than atheists to hold at least one irrational new age belief [“new age” being pronounced as a single word starting with “s” according to Penn & Teller] — in spiritual energy; psychics; reincarnation; and/or astrology. Agnostics were only slightly less credulous in this regard than Christians.)

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

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


graphic by J.R. Swanson

FREE ENTERPRISE, n. A system in which a few are born owning billions, most are born owning nothing, and all compete to accumulate wealth and power. If those born with billions succeed, it is due to their personal merits. If those born owning nothing fail, it is due to their personal defects.

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

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


Ambrose Bierce

LABOR, n. One of the processes by which A acquires property for B.

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–from The Devil’s Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce


Ambrose Bierce

DISOBEDIENCE, n. The silver lining to the cloud of servitude.

–Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary


BIRTHDAY. n. A milepost on the march to death.

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— This one is not from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary, but it will be if we ever get around to publishing a further expanded edition. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

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


PRIEST, n. A holy individual who follows — often to excess — the divine injunction to “love the little children.”

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

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


GUTLESSNESS, n. According to the savvy political strategists who have guided the Democratic Party for decades, a certain route to victory.

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

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