Una revista de humor sin muros

A humor magazine with no walls

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

BIGAMY, n. A mistake in taste for which the wisdom of the future will adjudge a punishment called trigamy.

BIGOT, n. One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.

BIRTH, n. The first and direst of all disasters.

BLACKGUARD, n. A man whose qualities, prepared for display like a box of berries in a market—the fine ones on top—have been opened on the wrong side. An inverted gentleman.

BEFRIEND, v.t. To make an ingrate.
BEG, v. To ask for something with an earnestness proportioned to the belief that it will not be given.

BEGGAR, n. One who has relied on the assistance of his friends.

BEHAVIOR, n. Conduct, as determined, not by principle, but by breeding.

BELLADONNA, n. In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.

BASTINADO, n. The act of walking on wood without exertion.

BATH, n. A kind of mystic ceremony substituted for religious worship, with what spiritual efficacy has not been determined.

BATTLE, n. A method of untying with the teeth of a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.

BEARD, n. The hair that is commonly cut off by those who justly execrate the absurd Chinese custom of shaving the head.

BEAUTY, n. The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.

BACK, n. That part of your friend which it is your privilege to contemplate in your adversity.

BACKBITE, v.t. To speak of a man as you find him when he can’t find you.

BAIT, n. A preparation that renders the hook more palatable. The best kind is beauty.

BAPTISM, n. A sacred rite of such efficacy that he who finds himself in heaven without having undergone it will be unhappy forever. It is performed with water in two ways—by immersion, or plunging, and by aspersion, or sprinkling.

BARRACK, n. A house in which soldiers enjoy a portion of that of which it is their business to deprive others.

AUSTRALIA, n. A country lying in the South Sea, whose industrial and commercial development has been unspeakably retarded by an unfortunate dispute among geographers as to whether it is a continent or an island.

AVERNUS, n. The lake by which the ancients entered the infernal regions. The fact that access to the infernal regions was obtained by a lake is believed by the learned Marcus Ansello Scrutator to have suggested the Christian rite of baptism by immersion.

BAAL, n. An old deity formerly much worshiped under various names. As Baal he was popular with the Phoenicians; as Belus or Bel he had the honor to be served by the priest Berosus, who wrote the famous account of the Deluge; as Babel he had a tower partly erected to his glory on the Plain of Shinar. From Babel comes our English word «babble.» Under whatever name worshiped, Baal is the Sun-god. As Beelzebub he is the god of flies, which are begotten of the sun’s rays on the stagnant water. In Physicia Baal is still worshiped as Bolus, and as Belly he is adored and served with abundant sacrifice by the priests of Guttledom.

BABE or BABY, n. A misshapen creature of no particular age, sex, or condition, chiefly remarkable for the violence of the sympathies and antipathies it excites in others, itself without sentiment or emotion.

BACCHUS, n. A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.


ARREST, v.t. Formally to detain one accused of unusualness.

ARSENIC, n. A kind of cosmetic greatly affected by the ladies, whom it greatly affects in turn.

ART, n. This word has no definition.
ASS, n. A public singer with a good voice but no ear.
AUCTIONEER, n. The man who proclaims with a hammer that he has picked a pocket with his tongue.

ARDOR, n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.

ARENA, n. In politics, an imaginary rat-pit in which the statesman wrestles with his record.

ARISTOCRACY, n. Government by the best men. (In this sense the word is obsolete; so is that
kind of government.)

ARMOR, n. The kind of clothing worn by a man whose tailor is a blacksmith.

ARRAYED, pp. Drawn up and given an orderly disposition, as a rioter hanged to a lamppost.

APPETITE, n. An instinct thoughtfully implanted by Providence as a solution to the labor question.

APPLAUSE, n. The echo of a platitude.

APRIL FOOL, n. The March fool with another month added to his folly.

ARCHBISHOP, n. An ecclesiastical dignitary one point holier than a bishop.

ARCHITECT, n. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.


ANTIPATHY, n. The sentiment inspired by one’s friend’s friend.

APHORISM, n. Predigested wisdom.

APOLOGIZE, v.i. To lay the foundation for a future offence.

APOTHECARY, n. The physician’s accomplice, undertaker’s benefactor and grave worm’s provider.


APPEAL, v.t. In law, to put the dice into the box for another throw.

ALLIGATOR, n. The crocodile of America, superior in every detail to the crocodile of the effete monarchies of the Old World.

AMBIDEXTROUS, adj. Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.

AMBITION, n. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.

AMNESTY, n. The state’s magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.

ANOINT, v.t. To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.

Ambrose Bierce’s
The Devil’s Dictionary

ADORE, v.t. To venerate expectantly.
ADVICE, n. The smallest current coin.
AFFIANCED, pp. Fitted with an ankle-ring for the ball-and-chain.
AFFLICTION, n. An acclimatizing process preparing the soul for another and bitter world.
ALLIANCE, n. 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.

Ambrose Bierce’s
The Devil’s Dictionary

ABRUPT, adj. Sudden, without ceremony, like the arrival of a cannon- shot and the departure of the soldier whose interests are most affected by it.

ACCOMPLICE, n. One associated with another in a crime, having guilty knowledge and complicity, as an attorney who defends a criminal, knowing him guilty.

ACKNOWLEDGE, v.t. To confess. Acknowledgement of one another’s faults is the highest duty imposed by our love of truth.

ADAMANT, n. A mineral frequently found beneath a corset. Soluble in solicitate of gold.

ADDER, n. A species of snake. So called from its habit of adding funeral outlays to the other expenses of living.

Ambrose Bierce’s
The Devil’s Dictionary

ABSTAINER, n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others. 

 ACCORDION, n. An instrument in harmony with the sentiments of an assassin.

ACCOUNTABILITY, n. The mother of caution.
ADHERENT, n. A follower who has not yet obtained all that he expects to get.

AGITATOR, n. A statesman who shakes the fruit trees of his neighbors —to dislodge the worms

Ambrose Bierce’s
The Devil’s Dictionary

ACTUALLY, adv. Perhaps; possibly.ADMIRAL, n. That part of a war-ship which does the talking while the figure-head does the thinking.
ADMIRATION, n. Our polite recognition of another’s resemblance to ourselves.
ADMONITION, n. Gentle reproof, as with a meat-axe. Friendly warning.
AIR, n. A nutritious substance supplied by a bountiful Providence for the fattening of the poor.

Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary

ACCIDENT, n. An inevitable occurrence due to the action of immutable natural laws.

ACCOMPLICE, n. One associated with another in a crime, having guilty knowledge and complicity, as an attorney who defends a criminal, knowing him guilty.

ACHIEVEMENT, n. The death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.

ACQUAINTANCE, n. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. A degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.

ADMINISTRATION, n. An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president.

Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary

 

Ambrose Bierce (1842–c1914) was an American short story writer, journalist, poet, and Civil War veteran. A prolific and versatile writer, Bierce was regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States and a pioneering writer of realist fiction. For his horror writing, some critics have ranked him alongside Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft. He was also considered an influential and feared literary critic.
One of Bierce’s most famous works is his much-quoted The Devil’s Dictionary. Described as «howlingly funny,” it consists of satirical definitions of English words which lampoon political double-talk.
DosBufones will publish entries from Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary as a first step in an effort to become a fully bilingual magazine in the future.

 

 

Ambrose Bierce

 The Devil’s Dictionary

ABDOMEN, n. The temple of the god Stomach, in whose worship, with sacrificial rights, all true men engage.

ABNORMAL, adj. Not conforming to standard. In matters of thought and conduct, to be independent is to be abnormal, to be abnormal is to be detested.

ABSOLUTE, adj. Independent, irresponsible. An absolute monarchy is one in which the sovereign does as he pleases so long as he pleases the assassins.

ACADEME, n. An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught.

ACADEMY, n. [from ACADEME] A modern school where football is taught.

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