Devil's Dictionary – C (page 1)  Subscribe E-mail  Words Bookshop  Link to this Site  Take Our Survey  Add to Favorites

BORED? Play our free word gamesINTERACTIVE HANGMAN

Devil's Dictionary: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

<< Previous Page Index Page Next Page >>

CAABA, n. A large stone presented by the archangel Gabriel to the patriarch Abraham, and preserved at Mecca. The patriarch had perhaps asked the archangel for bread.

CABBAGE, n. A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.

The cabbage is so called from Cabagius, a prince who on ascending the throne issued a decree appointing a High Council of Empire consisting of the members of his predecessor's Ministry and the cabbages in the royal garden. When any of his Majesty's measures of state policy miscarried conspicuously it was gravely announced that several members of the High Council had been beheaded, and his murmuring subjects were appeased.

CALAMITY, n. A more than commonly plain and unmistakable reminder that the affairs of this life are not of our own ordering. Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.

CALLOUS, adj. Gifted with great fortitude to bear the evils afflicting another.

When Zeno was told that one of his enemies was no more he was observed to be deeply moved. "What!" said one of his disciples, "you weep at the death of an enemy?" "Ah, 'tis true," replied the great Stoic; "but you should see me smile at the death of a friend."

CALUMNUS, n. A graduate of the School for Scandal.

CAMEL, n. A quadruped (the Splaypes humpidorsus) of great value to the show business. There are two kinds of camels – the camel proper and the camel improper. It is the latter that is always exhibited.

CANNIBAL, n. A gastronome of the old school who preserves the simple tastes and adheres to the natural diet of the pre-pork period.

CANNON, n. An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.

CANONICALS, n. The motley worm by Jesters of the Court of Heaven.

CAPITAL, n. The seat of misgovernment. That which provides the fire, the pot, the dinner, the table and the knife and fork for the anarchist; the part of the repast that himself supplies is the disgrace before meat. Capital Punishment, a penalty regarding the justice and expediency of which many worthy persons – including all the assassins – entertain grave misgivings.

CARMELITE, n. A mendicant friar of the order of Mount Carmel.

As Death was a-rising out one day,
Across Mount Camel he took his way,
Where he met a mendicant monk,
Some three or four quarters drunk,
With a holy leer and a pious grin,
Ragged and fat and as saucy as sin,
Who held out his hands and cried:
"Give, give in Charity's name, I pray.
Give in the name of the Church. O give,
Give that her holy sons may live!"
And Death replied,
Smiling long and wide:
"I'll give, holy father, I'll give thee – a ride."

With a rattle and bang
Of his bones, he sprang
From his famous Pale Horse, with his spear;
By the neck and the foot
Seized the fellow, and put
Him astride with his face to the rear.

The Monarch laughed loud with a sound that fell
Like clods on the coffin's sounding shell:
"Ho, ho! A beggar on horseback, they say,
Will ride to the devil!" – and thump
Fell the flat of his dart on the rump
Of the charger, which galloped away.

Faster and faster and faster it flew,
Till the rocks and the flocks and the trees that grew
By the road were dim and blended and blue
To the wild, wild eyes
Of the rider – in size
Resembling a couple of blackberry pies.
Death laughed again, as a tomb might laugh
At a burial service spoiled,
And the mourners' intentions foiled
By the body erecting
Its head and objecting
To further proceedings in its behalf.

Many a year and many a day
Have passed since these events away.
The monk has long been a dusty corse,
And Death has never recovered his horse.
For the friar got hold of its tail,
And steered it within the pale
Of the monastery gray,
Where the beast was stabled and fed
With barley and oil and bread
Till fatter it grew than the fattest friar,
And so in due course was appointed Prior.

G. J.

CARNIVOROUS, adj. Addicted to the cruelty of devouring the timorous vegetarian, his heirs and assigns.

CARTESIAN, adj. Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, Cogito ergo sum – whereby he was pleased to suppose he demonstrated the reality of human existence. The dictum might be improved, however, thus: Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum – "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;" as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.

CAT, n. A soft, indestructible automaton provided by nature to be kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle.

This is a dog,
This is a cat.
This is a frog,
This is a rat.
Run, dog, mew, cat.
Jump, frog, gnaw, rat.

Elevenson


<< Previous Page Index Page Next Page >>

The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, online at Fun-With-Words.com.

How to Order a Copy of this Book

There are two versions of this book available. First, there is The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, as originally published in 1911. This is identical to the online version on the Fun-With-Words.com website, with almost 1,000 entries.

The second, which we recommend highly, is The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, which has about 1,600 citations.

The Devil's Dictionary The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary
Same as 1911 edition
Approx. 1,000 Citations
Extra material: 1,600 Citations
With additional annotation
Buy from Amazon US Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK Buy from Amazon UK

Do you know anyone else who would enjoy this? Email this page to a friend.
Also: Sign up for our free web site updates here.

[Top of Page] [Home Page] ©1999-2014 Fun-with-words.com
Recommended Book:
The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary ...
Buy this book at Amazon
View all in this category:
General Wordplay Books
Hundreds more books at:
Wordplay Book Store




 
achluophobia
is the fear of darkness
Click for more phobia words