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The Devil's Dictionary
Can you name the words as defined by Ambrose Bierce in his satirical book The Devil's Dictionary?
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I noticed a couple other versions of this idea, but they're a bit messy. I've done my best here to pick definitions that are both funny and guessable, and to include a variety of alternate responses.
The Writer's Life
The mother of caution.
This word has no definition.
A preparation that renders the hook more palatable. The best kind is beauty.
The first and direst of all disasters.
An apparatus with which we think what we think.
A soft, indestructible automaton provided by nature to be kicked when things go wrong.
The period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth.
One who in an emergency thinks with his legs.
To leap about to the sound of music, preferably with arms about your neighbor's wife or daughter.
The time when men of reason go to bed.
The patriotic art of lying for one's country.
To perform successfully the functions of mastication, humectation, and deglutition.
An instrument used chiefly for the purpose of putting dead animals into the mouth.
A political condition that every nation supposes itself to enjoy in virtual monopoly.
That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.
A machine which makes a Frenchman shrug his shoulders with good reason.
An instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody's pocket.
An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant.
A villainous compound chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.
An interior convulsion, producing a distortion of the features and accompanied by inarticulate noises.
One skilled in circumvention of the law.
The kind of fortune that never misses.
An arboreal animal which makes itself at home in genealogical trees.
Appointing your grandmother to office for the good of the party.
No longer used by the timid. Said chiefly of words.
Generating disagreeable emotions or sensations, as the advance of an army against its enemy.
A proponent of the doctrine that black is white.
In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
A rich old gentleman who has trained himself to grin while his conscience is picking his pocket.
A parlor utensil operated by depressing the keys of the machine and the spirits of the audience.
To take the thought or style of another writer whom one has never, never read.
The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
The purchase of that which neither belongs to the seller, nor can belong to the buyer.
Evident to one's self and to nobody else.
The part of an animal's spine that has transcended its natural limitations.
To acquire, frequently by force but preferably by stealth.
A device enabling distant objects to plague us with a multitude of needless details.
Once too often.
The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
A permanent topic of conversation among persons whom it does not interest.
An animal usually living in the vicinity of Man, and having a rudimentary susceptibility to domestication.
A fictional country, invented to confuse and traumatize schoolchildren.
This was written in 1911. Not bloody likely.
Verb: To get no work done whatsoever.
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