Thinking Man's Dictionary
Compiled and Continued by Kevin Solway
Ability: the natural equipment to accomplish some small part of the meaner ambitions distinguishing able men from dead ones.
Abrupt: without ceremony.
Absence: that which makes the heart grow fonder - of somebody else.
Absolute: independent, irresponsible.
Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
Abyss: the distance between truth and sanity. /
Academe: an ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught.
Academy: a modern school where football is taught.
Academics: those employed by their peers to produce papers and books of references to their peers. /
Accident: an inevitable occurrence due to the action of immutable natural laws.
Accountability: the mother of caution.
Acknowledge: to confess.
Adherent: a follower who has not yet obtained all that he expects to get.
Admiration: (1) ignorance. (2) our polite recognition of someone else's resemblance to ourselves.
Admonition: gentle reproof, as with a meat-axe.
Adore: to venerate expectantly.
Adult: an obsolete child.
Advertising: (1) the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket. (2) the art of making whole lies out of half truths.
Affectation: a woman's whole life.
Age: that period of life in which we compound for the vices that we still cherish by reviling those that we have no longer the enterprise to commit.
Agitators: a set of interfering, meddling people, who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community and sow the seeds of discontent among them. That is the reason why agitators are so absolutely necessary.
Air: a nutritious substance supplied by bountiful Providence for the fattening of the poor.
Alimony: (1) bounty after the mutiny. (2) the cash surrender value of a husband. (3) a system whereby when two people make a mistake, one of them continues to pay for it. (4) the high cost of leaving. (5) the screwing you get for the screwing you got.
Allah: the Mohammedan Supreme Being, as distinguished from the Christian, Jewish, and so forth.
Alliance: in international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that they cannot separately plunder a third.
Alone: in bad company.
Altar: the place whereon the priest formerly raveled out the small intestine of the sacrificial victim for purposes of divination and cooked its flesh for the gods. The word is now seldom used, except with reference to the sacrifice of their liberty and peace by a male and female fool.
Altruism: (1) mowing your neighbour's lawn. (2) the art of doing unselfish things for selfish reasons.
Ambition: (1) the last refuge of the failure. (2) the grand enemy of all peace. (3) an overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.
America: the best half-educated country in the world.
Amnesty: the state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.
Amusement: the happiness of those that cannot think.
Anxiety: that which provides us with something to think about while watching television.
Ape: an animal with the effrontery to resemble man.
Apology: (1) to repeat an insult with variations. (2) the foundation for a future offense.
Appeal: in law, to put the dice into the box for another throw.
Applause: the echo of a platitude.
April fool: the march fool with another month added to his folly.
Architecture: the art of how to waste space.
Ardor: the quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.
Arrest: formally to detain one accused of unusualness.
Art: (1) lying, and the telling of beautiful untrue things. (2) artlessness. (3) prostitution.
Art, abstract: a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.
Articulate: unaware of the foolishness of what one is saying. /
Artist: one who doesn't see things as they are, but as he is.
Artlessness: a certain engaging quality to which women attain by long study and severe practice upon the admiring male, who is pleased to fancy it resembles the candid simplicity of his young.
Atheism: (1) the vice of a few intelligent people. (2) one point beyond the Devil.
Atheist: (1) one who has no invisible means of support. (2) beloved of God. / (3) one who knows he was not merely created. /
Author: one who has his head in the clouds and his feet behind the sales counter.
Autumn: a time when the hills put out weeds.
Bait: a preparation that renders the hook more palatable. The best kind is beauty.
Barometer: an ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
Beard: the hair that is commonly cut off by those who justly execrate the absurd Chinese custom of shaving the head.
Beauty: (1) the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband. (2) feminine of intellect. /
Bed: the place where marriages are decided.
Beggar: one who has relied on the assistance of his friends.
Belladonna: in Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
Benedictines: an order of monks otherwise known as black friars. ("Black friars in this world, fried black in the next")
Best-seller: the gilded tomb of a mediocre talent.
Bigot: a blind man with sight.
Birth: the first and direst of all disasters.
Bishop: the politician of Churches.
Blank-verse: unrhymed iambic pentameters - the most difficult kind of English verse to write acceptably; a kind, therefore, much affected by those who cannot acceptably write any kind.
Blues: music for the prematurely aged and profoundly unhappy. /
Bohemian: (1) a person who works to live but does not live to work. (2) a person open to the suspicion of irregular and immoral living. (3) a person conventionally unconventional.
Books: (1) a screen to keep us from a knowledge of things. (2) either dreams or swords. (3) the mind's food, not exercise!
Boredom: (1) the desire for desires. (2) what happens when we lose contact with the Universe.
Boundary: in political geography, an imaginary line between two nations separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other.
Boy: a cross between a god and a goat.
Brain: (1) an apparatus with which we think that we think. (2) an appendage of the genital glands.
Bravery: an accident of circumstance.
Bride: a woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
Businessman: (1) one who has all the air, the distraction and restlessness and hurry of . . . a criminal. (2) one who is too lazy to do anything noble.
Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
Calamity: 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.
Cannibal: a gastronome of the old school who preserves the simple tastes and adheres to the natural diet of the pre-pork period.
Cemetery: an isolated suburban spot where mourners match lies, poets write at a target and stone-cutters spell for a wager.
Character: what history knows of us. /
Charity: that which deals with symptoms instead of causes.
Charm: (1) a delusion of fleeting beauty. (2) the power to make someone else feel that both of you are wonderful.
Cheat: the girl who loves you back. /
Child: (1) love's by-product. (2) one who stands halfway between an adult and a t.v set.
Childhood: the period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth - two removes from the sin of manhood and three from the remorse of age.
Child prodigy: a child who knows as much when it is a child as it does when it grows up.
Children: a great comfort in your old age - and they help you reach it faster, too.
Chivalry: (1) the deportment of a man toward any woman not his wife. (2) a man's inclination to defend a woman against every man but himself.
Christ: (1) a man who was born at least 5,000 years ahead of his time. (2) an anarchist who succeeded.
Christian: (1) one who follows the teachings of Christ insofar as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin. (2) one who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the needs of his neighbor. (3) one who believes that love is worth more than intelligence. (4) one who makes atheism more appealing. / (5) one who is an atheist only in fair weather. /
Christianity: (1) the paganization of monotheism. (2) the Femme Fatale of all religions. (3) the Devil's imitation of a quality of evil he can only imagine. /
Church: (1) a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there. (2) an organization that swaps off treasures in heaven for cash down.
Circumstance: what determines all our thoughts and acts.
Circus: a place where horses, ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women and children acting the fool.
Civilization: (1) a coat of paint that washes away when the rain falls. (2) the time when men learn to live off one another instead of off the land.
Clairvoyant: a person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron - namely, that he is a blockhead.
Classics: primitive literature.
Clock: a reminder that you still have a lot of time left.
Clothes: (1) remembrances of our lost innocence. (2) wrappings worn by men for warmth, women for spite, and children because they have to. (3) the reflection of one's self respect (lack of).
Comedian: a man on the slow slide to oblivion.
Comedy: an escape, not from truth but from despair: a narrow escape into faith.
Comfort: a state of mind produced by contemplation of a neighbour's uneasiness.
Commendation: the tribute that we pay to achievements that resemble, but do not equal, our own.
Commerce: the school of cheating.
Committee: a group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary.
Common-sense: the reason so many people can be wrong at the same time.
Communism: the opiate of the intellectuals.
Communist: a frustrated capitalist.
Commuter: one who spends his life in riding to and from his wife.
Compromise: (1) an ignoble truce between the duty of a man and the terror of a coward. (2) such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.
Compulsion: the eloquence of power.
Computer: a million morons working at the speed of light.
Conceit: worst when it is not. /
Congratulations: the civility of envy.
Conscience: (1) an inner voice that warns us somebody is looking. (2) the voice of men in man. (3) cowardice.
Conservatism: (1) a bag with a hole in it. (2) organized hypocrisy. (3) preserving the past for no reason whatsoever. / (4) preserving the best from the past without knowing what is best. /
Conservative: (1) a statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from the liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. (2) one who is in office. (3) one who can't see the difference between radicalism and an idea. (4) one who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run. (5) men who have learned to like the new order forced upon them by radicals.
Consolation: the knowledge that a better man is more unfortunate than yourself.
Conspiracy: as in agreeing with everyone else to never speak the truth, and to plead ignorance that one is doing such. /
Consult: to seek another's approval of a course already decided on.
Contempt: the feeling of a prudent man for an enemy who is too formidable to be opposed.
Contentment: (1) moral laziness, the epitome of depravity. (2) the smother of invention. (3) being satisfied with what you haven't got. (4) the best powder for women's faces.
Controversy: a battle in which spittle or ink replaces the injurious cannonball and the inconsiderate bayonet.
Convent: a place of retirement for women who wish for leisure to meditate upon the vice of idleness.
Conversation: a vocal competition in which the one who is catching his breath is called the listener.
Coquetry: innocent cruelty.
Coronation: the ceremony of investing a sovereign with the outward and visible signs of his divine right to be blown skyhigh with a dynamite bomb.
Corporation: an ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
Corruption: everything we see before us today.
Courage: (1) doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're afraid. (2) the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death. (3) a quality no one admits he lacks totally. (4) salvation. (5) the only virtue. /
Courtesy: (1) fictitious benevolence. (2) a gift notable in well-bred people and courtesans.
Cowardice: (1) the surest protection against temptation. (2) to sin by silence.
Craft: a fool's substitute for brains.
Creed: (1) an ossified metaphor. (2) the shell of a lie. (3) the grammar of religion.
Crime: to publish a book that offers nothing absolutely new, or which is no better than existing books - being a backwards step. /
Criminal: someone who gets caught.
Criticism: the art of appraising others at one's own value.
Critic: a person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him.
Critics: people who quarrel over the meaning of books that don't have any. /
Crowd: wherever there is . . . untruth.
Cult: a religion with no political power.
Culture: (1) reading. (2) anything that people do and monkeys don't. (3) the icing on the cake which is the same from place to place - men are men and women are women.
Cunning: (1) a characteristic of animals which is called discretion in men. (2) the faculty that distinguishes a weak animal or person from a strong one. It brings its possessor much mental satisfaction and great material adversity.
Curiosity: (1) hope. (2) an objectionable quality of the female mind. The desire to know whether or not a woman is cursed with curiosity is one of the most active and insatiable passions of the masculine mind. (3) the desire to learn something harmless - the engine of science. /
Curse: energetically to belabor with a verbal slap-stick.
Custom: a tyrant.
Cynic: (1) a man who tells you the truth about your own motives. (2) a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, and not as they ought to be. (3) a person who knows everything and believes nothing. (4) one who looks down on those below him. / (5) one who went without when God was handing out congeniality to lies. /
Cynicism: (1) a euphemism for realism. (2) intellectual dandyism.
Damsel: a female who prepares a man for marriage.
Dance: to leap about to the sound of tittering music, preferably with arms about your neighbor's wife or daughter. There are many kinds of dances, but all those requiring the participation of the two sexes have two characteristics in common: they are conspicuously innocent, and warmly loved by the vicious.
Daring: one of the most conspicuous qualities of a man in security.
Dawn: the time when men of reason go to bed.
Dead: the majority.
Death: (1) the bursting of a cell. (2) to stop sinning suddenly.
Debate: the death of discussion. /
Debauchee: one who has so earnestly pursued pleasure that he has had the misfortune to overtake it.
Decide: to succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another set.
Defenceless: unable to attack.
Degradation: one of the stages of moral and social progress from private station to political preferment.
Delegation: an article of merchandise that comes in sets.
Deliberation: the act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
Delusion: the father of a most respectable family, comprising Enthusiasm, Self-denial, Faith, Hope, Charity and many other goodly sons and daughters.
Democracy: (1) a condition where people believe that other people are as good as they are. (2) a political system where votes substitute for brains. (3) a political system where every man has the right to be his own oppressor. (4) mob rule. (5) he who founds on the people founds on mud. (6) a form of religion - the worship of jackals by jackasses.
Destiny: (1) a tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure. (2) to leave the known for the unknown.
Devil: (1) compromise. (2) God when drunk.
Dictionary: a malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.
Die: to leave off dying and do the thing once for all.
Dignity: the absence of love. /
Diplomacy: (1) the art of letting someone have your way. (2) the patriotic art of lying for one's country.
Diplomat: (1) one who has learned that you can't bend a nail by hitting it squarely on the head. (2) forever poised between a cliche and an indiscretion. (3) one who thinks twice before he says nothing.
Discretion: to be indiscreet discreetly.
Disobedience: (1) the rarest and most courageous of virtues... seldom distinguished from neglect; the laziest and commonest of virtues. (2) the silver lining to the cloud of servitude.
Disobey: to celebrate with an appropriate ceremony the maturity of a command.
Dissenter: the dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
Distance: the only thing that the rich are willing for the poor to call theirs, and keep.
Distress: a disease incurred by exposure to the prosperity of a friend.
Divination: the art of nosing out the occult. Divination is of as many kinds as there are fruit-bearing varieties of the flowering dunce and the early fool.
Dog: a kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world's worship. This Divine Being in some of his smaller and silkier incarnations, takes, in the affection of Woman, the place to which there is no human male aspirant.
Dreamer: (1) one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. (2) all men of action.
Dreams: children of an idle brain.
Dullard: a member of the reigning dynasty in letters and life. According to the most trustworthy statistics the number of adult Dullards in the United States is but little short of two hundred millions, including the statisticians.
Duty: that which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.
Eccentricity: (1) originality without sense. (2) a method of distinction so cheap that fools employ it to accentuate their incapacity.
Economy: purchasing the barrel of whiskey that you do not need for the price of the cow that you cannot afford.
Edible: good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
Editor: one who separates the wheat from the chaff and prints the chaff.
Education: (1) capacity for further education. (2) all the minds of the past. (3) that which shows a person how little other people know. (4) the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent. (5) persuasion. (6) that which has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading. (7) a process which makes one rogue cleverer than another. (8) to reverence superiority and accept a fact though it slay him is the final test of an educated man. (9) something that puts one almost on a level with the commercial classes.
Egoism: (1) the very essence of the noble soul. (2) a case of mistaken nonentity.
Egotism: that which enables a man in a rut to think he is in the groove.
Ejection: an approved remedy for the disease of garrulity. It is also much used in cases of extreme poverty.
Eloquence: the art of orally persuading fools that white is the color that it appears to be. It includes the gift of making any color appear white.
Enemy: those who have more accurate insights about you than you do yourself.
Enemy, the: made up of human beings just like us - that's why they can't be trusted.
Entertainment: any kind of amusement whose inroads stop short of death by dejection.
Envy: emulation adapted to the meanest capacity.
Epigram: Any sentence spoken by anybody who is in the public eye at the moment.
Epitaph: an inscription on a tomb, showing that virtues acquired by death have a retroactive effect.
Equality: (1) a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane person has ever given his assent. (2) the offspring of envy and covetousness. (3) womens' right to do absolutely whatever they want to do. /
Erudition: dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.
Ethnology: the science that treats of the various tribes of Man, as robbers, thieves, swindlers, dunces, lunatics, idiots and ethnologists.
Eulogy: praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power, or the consideration to be dead.
Evangelist: a bearer of good tidings, particularly (in a religious sense) such as assure us of our own salvation and the damnation of our neighbors.
Evil: (1) whatever springs from weakness. (2) suggesting to a forty five year old woman that she looks only twenty five. /
Exception: a thing which takes the liberty to differ from other things of its class, as an honest man, a truthful woman, etc.
Excess: in morals, an indulgence that enforces by appropriate penalties the law of moderation.
Executive: an officer of the Government, whose duty it is to enforce the wishes of the legislative power until such time as the judicial department shall be pleased to pronounce them invalid and of no effect.
Exile: one who serves his country by residing abroad, yet is not an ambassador.
Experience: (1) the teacher of fools. (2) the wisdom that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again. (3) what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.
Expert: (1) one who has focused all his ignorance on to one subject. (2) one who avoids the small errors as he sweeps on to the grand fallacy. (3) a person who can take something you already know and make it sound confusing.
Expostulation: one of the many methods by which fools prefer to lose their friends.
Eye: the traitor of the heart.
Face: a book where men may read strange things.
Fact: something that ceases to exist when ignored.
Failure: the fear of failure.
Faith (religious): (1) the beast. (2) consists of believing things because they are impossible. (3) before all and above all, wishing God may exist. (4) belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without possibility. (5) trying to believe what reason deems untrue. /
Faith (intellectual): (1) self-reliance. (2) courageously believing in what you know to be true. /
Fame: (1) an inscription on a grave. (2) chiefly a matter of dying at the right time. (3) to have an insane person imagine he is you.
Familiarity: a relation into which fools are providentially drawn for their mutual destruction.
Famous: conspicuously miserable.
Fanatics: noncreative men of words.
Fanaticism: the fashionable creed of tomorrow, the established religion of the day after, and trite is the multiplication table the very next day.
Fascism: (1) capitalism in decay. (2) capitalism plus murder.
Fashion: (1) a despot whom the wise ridicule and obey. (2) vulgarity. (3) that phantom born of the unnatural intercourse of woman's reflection with itself. (4) a woman's entire life. /
Fear: the start of wisdom.
Felon: a person of greater enterprise than discretion, who in embracing an opportunity has formed an unfortunate attachment.
Female: one of the opposing, or unfair, sex.
Fib: a lie that has not cut its teeth. An habitual liar's nearest approach to truth: the perigee of his eccentric orbit.
Fiction: the good end happily, the bad unhappily - that is what fiction means.
Fiddle: an instrument to tickle human ears by friction of a horse's tail on the entrails of a cat.
Fidelity: A virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
Flatterer: (1) one whose throat is an open coffin. (2) flatterers look like friends, as wolves like dogs. Like cats, they lick and then scratch. (3) one who says to your face what they wouldn't say behind your back.
Flirting: simply enjoying the company of the opposite sex without wanting sex. /
Folly: that "gift and faculty divine" whose creative and controlling energy inspires Man's mind, guides his actions and adorns his life.
Fool: (1) one who is without anxiety. (2) one who lacks the wish to personally know everything about life, death, and the purpose of all existence./ (3) a person who pervades the domain of intellectual speculation and diffuses himself through the channels of moral activity. He is omnific, omniform, omnipercipient, omniscient, omnipotent.
Foreign Aid: taxing poor people in rich countries for the benefit of rich people in poor countries.
Forgetting: woman's first and greatest art.
Free speech: (1) no such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists. (2) something that is allowed because nobody listens.
Free will: fate. /
Friend: (1) the name for a more constant acquaintance. (2) one who has no comprehension of the harm you are doing him. /
Friendless: having no favors to bestow. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.
Friendship: (1) loneliness relieved of the anguish of loneliness. (2) a ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul.
Funeral: a pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker, and strengthen our grief by an expenditure that deepens our groans and doubles our tears.
Future: that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.
Gaiety: the reckless ripple over depths of despair.
Gambling: poverty of mind.
Garden: a thing of beauty and a job forever.
Genealogy: an account of one's decent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.
Generosity: the giving away of that which is not yours anyway. /
Genius: (1) to believe your own thought. To believe that what is true for you is ultimately true. (2) a sledgehammer. / (3) the fruit of labour and thought. (4) soul. (5) the ability to put into effect what is in your mind. (6) something one can become.
Gentleman: one who does not tell the naked truth in the presence of ladies.
German: a hero born, and believes that he can hack and hew his way through life.
Gesticulation: any movement made by a foreigner.
Ghost: the outward and visible sign of an inward fear.
Golden age: never the present age.
Golf: a good walk spoiled.
Gossip: (1) the art of saying nothing in a way that leaves practically nothing unsaid. (2) cannibalism. (3) the opiate of the oppressed.
Gratitude: lively expectation of benefits to come.
Grave: the place where beauty fades.
Great men: (1) meteors that burn so that the earth may be lighted. (2) only an actor playing out his own ideal. (3) almost always bad men. (4) insist on publishing their letters before they die. /
Greatness: saying what is true.
Greece: from heroes to shopkeepers.
Grief: the pleasure that lasts the longest.
Guru: the most effective pick-up routine yet devised. /
Habeas Corpus: a writ by which a man may be taken out of jail when confined for the wrong crime.
Habit: the shackle of the free.
Hair: (1) the beauty of women. (2) the bane of women.
Happiness: (1) a good stomach and an evil heart. (2) tranquillity and occupation. (3) ignorance. (4) to be very busy with the unimportant.
Harassment: whatever a man did before he stepped over an imaginary line a woman drew after he stepped over it.
Harsh: truthful. /
Hatred: the most sublime force in life. To love is to surrender; to hate is to carry on.
Heart: the place the Devil dwells in.
Hell: (1) Heaven enjoying itself. (2) a city much like London.
Helpmate: a wife, or bitter half.
Hermit: a person to whom civilization has failed to adjust itself.
Hero: one who is afraid to run away.
Highbrow: (1) a man who has found something more interesting than a woman. (2) a person educated beyond his intelligence. History: the record of the follies of the majority.
Hollywood: (1) paradise with a lobotomy. (2) a town that has to be seen to be disbelieved. (3) a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.
Honeymoon: (1) the time during which the bride believes the bridegroom's word of honor. (2) the vacation a man takes before beginning work under a new boss.
Honesty: honesty is the best poverty.
Hope: (1) the great falsifier of truth. (2) a mask the dying person wears. (3) the dream of those who are awake. (4) the fawning traitor of the mind.
Hospitality: the virtue which induces us to feed and lodge certain persons who are not in need of food and lodging.
Humility: (1) an awful lot of hard work. / (2) so calculating. / (3) man making himself a worm.
Humour: (1) laughing at what you haven't got when you ought to have it. (2) emotional chaos remembered in tranquility. (3) the sense of the Absurd which is despair refusing to take itself seriously.
Husband: (1) one who, having dined, is charged with the care of the plate. (2) a sweetheart who pushed his luck too far.
Hydrogen: a light, colourless, odourless gas, which, if given enough time, turns into people.
Hypochondriac: someone who enjoys bad health.
Hypocrite: one who, professing virtues that he does not respect, secures the advantage of seeming to be what he despises.
I: the first letter of the alphabet, the first word of the language, the first thought of the mind, the first object of affection. Its plural is said to be "We", but how there can be more than one myself is doubtless clearer to the grammarians than it is to the author of this incomparable dictionary.
Idealist: one who will make any sacrifice as long as it won't hurt business.
Idiot: a member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.
Idleness: the ultimate purpose of the busy.
Ignoramus: someone who doesn't know something that you learned yesterday.
Ignorant: (1) happy and beautiful. / (2) wicked and ugly. /
Ignorance: (1) stupidity reduced to science. (2) a soft . . . easy . . . pillow. (3) the solidified wisdom of ages. (4) not innocence, but sin.
Imagination: (1) the one weapon in the war against reality. (2) a warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.
Imbecility: a kind of divine inspiration, or sacred fire affecting censorious critics of this dictionary.
Immigrant: an unenlightened person who thinks one country better than another.
Immodest: having a strong sense of one's own merit, coupled with a feeble conception of worth in others.
Impatience: sometimes a sign that a person values their life and is not prepared to waste it on lies and trivialities. /
Impropriety: the soul of wit.
Impulsive: following reason without a second thought. /
Inarticulate: (1) the state of being unconvinced that what you are saying is worth saying. / (2) the state of being unconvinced that the people to whom you are speaking should hear what you have to say. / (3) thinking about what you are saying. /
India: (1) children in a herd. / (2) happy people living in a sewer. /
Indifferent: imperfectly sensible to distinctions among things.
Indirect: less blatently direct. /
Indiscretion: the guilt of woman.
Individuals: what people are because everyone else is. /
Infatuation: love that is not returned. /
Ink: A villainous compound chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.
Insanity: a rational adjustment to an insane world.
Intellectual: (1) one who stands firmly on both feet in mid-air on both sides of an issue. (2) one who produces endless quandaries for himself and others by sleight of brain.
Intimacy: a relation into which fools are providentially drawn for their mutual destruction.
Intuition: reason in a hurry.
Inventor: a person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.
Ireland: a country full of genius, but with absolutely no talent.
Irony: (1) an insult conveyed in the form of a compliment. (2) gravity hidden beneath jest. /
Irreligion: the principal one of the great faiths of the world.
Jealousy: (1) the friendship one woman has for another. (2) concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping. (3) one of the consequences of love.
Job: (1) A low mean lucrative busy affair. (2) Petty, piddling work; a piece of chance work.
Joss-sticks: small sticks burned by the Chinese in their pagan tomfoolery, in imitation of certain sacred rites of our holy religion.
Journalism: the challenge of filling the space.
Jury: a group of twelve people of average ignorance chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
Justice: a commodity which in a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.
Juvenile delinquent: a child who starts acting like his parents.
Kin: an affliction of the blood.
Kindness: (1) loving people more than they deserve. (2) a brief preface to ten volumes of exaction.
Kiss: a word invented by the poets as a rhyme for "bliss." It is supposed to signify, in a general way, some kind of rite or ceremony appertaining to a good understanding; but the manner of its performance is unknown to this lexicographer.
Knowledge: when you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it.
Labour: one of the processes by which A acquires the property of B.
Lady: (1) to have nothing to do, but listlessly to go they scarcely care where, for they cannot tell what. (2) one who never shows her underwear unintentionally.
Land: a part of the earth's surface, considered as property.
Language: (1) the dress of thought. (2) the music with which we charm the serpents
guarding another's treasure.
Laughter: (1) the hickup of the fool. (2) maliciousness with a good conscience.
Lawful: compatible with the will of a judge having jurisdiction.
Lawyer: one skilled in circumvention of the law.
Laziness: (1) the mental alertness to avoid hard work. (2) unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree. (3) there is no such thing. Everyone works hard at whatever they want to do. /
Learning: the kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.
Lecture: a means of transferring information from notes of the lecturer to the notes of the student without passing through the minds of either.
Lecturer: one with his hand in your pocket, his tongue in your ear and his faith in your patience.
Letters: the world's unwritten sonnets.
Liar: (1) the aim of the liar is simply to charm, to delight, to give pleasure. He is the very basis of civilized society. (2) Two kinds: (a) the genuine liar who knows himself to be lying, and (b) the evil liar who lies even to himself. /
Liberty: one of Imagination's most precious possessions.
Library: (1) rows of tombstones that aren't worth reading. / (2) proof that publishers reject the seed and publish the chaff. / (3) a maze in which the goal is to find something worth reading.
Lie: (1) a fault in a boy, an art in a lover, an accomplishment in a bachelor, and second nature in a married woman. (2) a very poor substitute for the truth, but the only one discovered to date.
Life: (1) the pursuit of the superfluous. (2) a stress designed to keep you alive long enough to either reproduce or grow wise, but rarely both. / (3) life to the wise is death to the fool. / (4) a maze in which we take the wrong turning before we have learned to walk. (5) far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about. (6) a man puts his best foot forward and it gets stepped on. (7) a tragedy wherein we sit as spectators for a while and then act our part in it. (8) that intangible quality which is added to existence when you drink Coca-Cola.
Likeable: to be likeable one must be happy and cheerful. To be happy and cheerful one's brain must die. /
Linen: a kind of cloth the making of which, when made of hemp, entails a great waste of hemp.
Listening: a very dangerous thing. If one listens one may be convinced.
Literature: (1) the art of writing something that will be read twice. (2) only what people would say to each other if they had the chance. (3) a monumental proof enough against death.
Living: (1) the art of knowing how to believe lies. (2) the process of reacting to stress.
Lock-and-key: the distinguishing device of civilization and enlightenment.
Logic: the art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.
Logician: he deposits on a sheet of paper a certain assemblage of syllables, and fancies that their meaning is riveted by the act of deposition.
Longevity: uncommon extension of the fear of death.
Love: (1) a temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder. This disease, like caries and many other ailments, is prevalent only among civilized races living under artificial conditions; barbarous nations breathing pure air and eating simple food enjoy immunity from its ravages. It is sometimes fatal, but more frequently to the physician than to the patient.
Luminary: one who throws light upon a subject; as an editor by not writing about it.
Lunarian: an inhabitant of the moon, as distinguished from a Lunatic, one whom the moon inhabits.
Mad: affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
Madman: a man who has lost everything except his reason.
Magic: an art of converting superstition into coin.
Magnet: something acted upon by magnetism.
Magnetism: something acting upon a magnet.
Magnificent: having a grandeur or splendor superior to that to which the spectator is accustomed, as ears of an ass, to a rabbit, or the glory of a glow-worm, to a maggot.
Maiden: a young person of the unfair sex addicted to clewless conduct and views that madden to crime. The genus has a wide geographical distribution, being found wherever sought and deplored wherever found.
Majority: one man with courage makes a majority.
Male: a member of the unconsidered, or negligible sex. The male of the human race is commonly known (to the female) as Mere Man. The genus has two varieties: good providers and bad providers.
Mammon: the god of the world's leading religion. His chief temple is the holy city of New York.
Man: (1) animals used by words. Animals who live by catchwords. (2) something that likes to do a lot of unnecessary things. (3) principally the organ of the accumulated smut and sneakery of 10,000 generations of weaseling souls. (4) the only animals able to do art, and evil. / (5) animals who strive for extinction with the tools of emotion. / (6) anything that calls itself intelligent. / (7) today's most sophisticated computer. / (8) an imitative creature - of apes rather than angels. / (9) a small, infinitely frail thing, which can be crushed in a snap by a falling branch. / (10) a species which owes much of its genetic inheritance to rapists, wife thieves, and sex maniacs in general. /
Manners: a contrivance of wise men to keep fools at a distance.
Martyr: one who moves along the line of least reluctance to a desired death.
Masses: (1) individuals minus quality. (2) the great identifiable majority, characterized by a feeling of general satisfaction, and spouting the first thing that comes into its head.
Matrimony: friendship under difficult circumstances.
Media: the plural of mediocre.
Mediocrity: excellence to the mediocre.
Memory: a beaten path in the brain.
Metaphysics: the finding of bad reasons for what we believe on instinct.
Mercy: a virtue of the weak.
Metaphor: the greatest thing in style . . . a mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances.
Middle age: (1) when every person you meet is only a composite of other people whom you have met. (2) a time when you'll do anything to feel better, except give up what's hurting you. (3) later than you think and sooner than you expect. (4) when a narrow waist and a broad mind begin to change places.
Millennium: the period of a thousand years when the lid is to be screwed down, with all reformers on the under side.
Mine: belonging to me if I can hold or seize it.
Mini Skirt: the distillation of 5000 years of female wisdom. /
Minority: they that have achieved all that is noble in the history of the world.
Miracle: an event described by those to whom it was told by men who did not see it.
Mirror: the conscience of women. They never do a thing without first consulting it.
Misdemeanor: an infraction of the law having less dignity than a felony and constituting no claim to admittance into the best criminal society.
Misfortune: that which makes one man superior to another.
Modesty: (1) one of the seven deadly virtues. (2) enhancing your charm by pretending not to be aware of it. (3) the attitude of mind that precedes the pounce. (4) with people of only moderate ability modesty is mere honesty; but with those who possess great talent it is hypocrisy. (5) the beauty of women.
Money: (1) a kind of disease which those who have it don't like to spread. (2) the measure of our distrust.
Monkey: a malicious mirror.
Monogamy: an obsolete word meaning a fidelity complex.
Moral: conforming to a local and mutable standard of right. Having the quality of general expediency.
Morality: (1) to discover Ultimate Truth and then to share your wisdom with everyone else. / (2) to renounce the traditional maxims of your community without hesitation or discussion. /
Moron: one who is content with a serene state.
Mother: (1) the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. (2) a woman who decorates her life with babies. (3) the dead heart of the family, spending father's earnings on consumer goods to enhance the environment in which he eats, sleeps and watches television. (4) the most automated appliance in any household.
Motherhood: women's mafia.
Motive: what people have instead of purpose. /
Mouse: an animal which strews its path with fainting women.
Mouth: in man, the gateway to the soul; in woman, the outlet of the heart.
Multitude: a crowd; the source of political wisdom and virtue.
Murder: to obscure the truth. /
Mystery: whatever we refuse to understand. /
Mysticism: the attempt to get rid of mystery.
Mythology: the body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.
Nation: a body of people who feel they are a nation.
Nationalism: a defensive movement against the crude encroachments of civilization.
Natural: a very difficult pose to maintain.
Necessary evil: an evil we like so much that we don't want it abolished.
Necessity: the spur of genius.
Negative: positive thinking. /
Neurotic: anybody who thinks you mean it when you ask how he is.
News: anything that makes a woman say "For heaven's sake!"
Newspapers: (1) a daily spiritual death. (2) a device unable to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization.
Newtonian: pertaining to a philosophy of the universe, invented by Newton, who discovered that an apple will fall to the ground, but was unable to say why. His successors and disciples have advanced so far as to be able to say when.
Nihilist: someone who does not believe in anything. That is, a purely literary product.
Noble: has come to mean being strong enough to stand-up against reality. /
Nonsense: the objections that are urged against this excellent dictionary.
Nostalgia: a longing for a place you wouldn't move back to.
Novel: (1) a short story padded. (2) a species of composition bearing the same relation to literature that the panorama bears to art. (3) the only relaxation of the intellectually unemployed. (4) what you write if you have something to say, but don't think it's worth writing in a readable form. /
Oath: in law, a solemn appeal to the Deity, made binding upon the conscience by a penalty for perjury.
Oaths: the fossils of piety.
Oblivion: fame's eternal dumping ground. A place where ambitious authors meet their works without pride and their betters without envy.
Obscenity: untruth. /
Obsolete: no longer used by the timid. Said chiefly of words.
Obvious: (1) that which is never seen until someone expresses it. (2) that which is never seen less than when it is well expressed. / (3) the most difficult question to answer.
Occident: the part of the world lying west (or east) of the Orient. It is largely inhabited by Christians, a powerful sub-tribe of the Hypocrites, whose principal industries are murder and cheating, which they are pleased to call "war" and "commerce." These, also, are the principal industries of the Orient.
Old: offensive to the popular taste, as an old book.
Old age: (1) an emotion which comes over us at almost any age. (2) more than ever, a time to consider whether you are not more of a hindrance to society than a help. / (3) a person is old when they have deserted their ideals.
Omen: a sign that something will happen if nothing happens.
Opiate: an unlocked door in the prison of Identity, leading into the jail yard.
Opportunity: a favorable occasion for grasping a disappointment.
Optimism: (1) fatty degeneration of intelligence. (2) the instinct to lie. (3) an intellectual disorder, yielding to no treatment
Optimist: (1) one who believes (a) that good arises out of evil, and (b) that there is no evil. / (2) a proponent of the doctrine that black is white. (3) a bridegroom who thinks he has no bad habits.
Orator: one waving in the wind of his own eloquence.
Oratory: (1) the art of making deep noises from the chest sound like important messages from the brain. (2) a solitary vice performed in public. (3) a conspiracy between speech and action to cheat the understanding.
Originality: (1) truthfulness. / (2) undetected plagiarism. (3) the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it.
Orthodoxy: agnosticism towards deeper meaning.
Overeat: to dine.
Pacifist: a deceased pacifist.
Paedophilia: attraction to women. /
Painting: (1) a picture of paint. (2) an expression in the veiling medium of colour.
Pantheism: the doctrine that everything is God, in contradistinction to the doctrine that God is everything.
Paradox: when premature insight clashes with prevailing nonsense.
Parasite: anyone who is a hindrance to the survival of wisdom and the human species. /
Parents: what children never think of when falling in love.
Passion: (1) not fake. (2) the winds necessary to put everything in motion, that usually cause storms. (3) fashion.
Past: the best prophet of the future.
Pastime: a device for promoting dejection. Gentle exercise for intellectual debility.
Patience: a minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
Patron: Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery.
Peace: (1) a period of cheating between two periods of fighting. (2) a short pause between wars for enemy identification.
Pedestrian: the variable (and audible) part of the roadway for an automobile.
Pen: a formidable weapon, but a man can kill himself with it a great deal more easily than he can other people.
Pensioner: a kept patriot.
Perseverance: a lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.
Person: an animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what she thinks she is as to overlook what she indubitably ought to be.
Personality: what you are when people are around; character is what you are when everybody goes home.
Pessimism: wisdom relative to optimism but cowardice relative to wisdom. /
Pessimist: (1) one who has been intimately acquainted with an optimist. (2) a man who tells the truth prematurely.
Philanthropist: a thief who enjoys tossing a penny or two to beggars.
Philistine: one whose mind is the creature of its environment, following the fashion in thought, feeling and sentiment. He is sometimes learned, frequently prosperous, commonly clean and always solemn.
Philosopher: he who can analyze his delusions.
Philosophy: (1) much words. / (2) homesickness - the longing to be at home everywhere.
Picture: a representation in two dimensions of something wearisome in three.
Piety: reverence for the Supreme Being, based upon His supposed resemblance to man.
Pity: (1) remembering yourself. (2) one remove from love.
Plagiarism: (1) stealing from thieves. (2) taking something from one man and making it worse. (3) the privilege of the appreciative man.
Plagiarists: all the makers of dictionaries. (With the exception of this esteemed lexicographer)
Planned Economy: where everything is included in the plans except economy.
Platitude: (1) an idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and (b) that is not true. (2) a thought that snores in words that smoke. (3) the wisdom of a million fools in the diction of a dullard. (4) all that is mortal of a departed truth. (5) a jellyfish withering on the shore of the sea of thought. (6) the fundamental element and special glory of popular literature.
Platonic love: the gun you didn't know was loaded.
Pleasure: the least hateful form of dejection.
Plunder: to take the property of another without observing the decent and customary reticences of theft. To wrest the wealth of A from B and leave C lamenting a vanished opportunity.
Pocket: the cradle of motive and the grave of conscience. In woman this organ is lacking; so she acts without motive, and her conscience, denied burial, remains ever alive, confessing the sins of others.
Poem: what happens when an anxiety meets a technique.
Poet: someone who is astonished by everything.
Poetry: (1) a kind of ingenious nonsense. (2) an extravagance you hope to get away from. (3) language in which a man explores his own amazement. (4) a pleasant air but a barren soil. (5) Devil's wine. (6) the imaginative expression of strong feeling, usually rhythmical.
Politeness: the most acceptable hypocrisy.
Politician: (1) a statesman who approaches every question with an open mouth. (2) an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.
Politics: (1) a means of livelihood affected by the more degraded portion of our criminal classes. (2) the diversion of trivial men who, when they succeed at it, become important in the eyes of more trivial men.
Polygamy: a house of atonement, or expiatory chapel, fitted with several stools of repentance, as distinguished from monogamy, which has but one.
Poor: the only class of people who have time to cultivate the intellect.
Popularity: (1) to mingle with the erring throng. (2) what one buys at the cost of self respect.
Population explosion: (1) humanity trying to immortalize itself in the final grand achievement of extinction. / (2) one of the consequences of love. /
Possession: the whole of the law.
Possessions: we only possess what we renounce; what we do not renounce escapes us.
Poverty: a great wealth, provided one is also short of a wife and family. /
Praise: when you praise someone you call yourself his equal.
Pray: to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Prayer: the most odious of concealed narcissisms.
Preacher: a man who advises others concerning things about which he knows nothing.
Predicament: the wage of consistency.
Pre-existence: an unnoted factor in creation.
Prejudice: a raft onto which the shipwrecked mind clambers and paddles to safety.
Preposterous: the idea that murder is a crime.
Present, the: elastic, to embrace infinity.
Presentable: hideously appareled after the manner of the time and place.
Press, the: a method of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.
Price: value, plus a reasonable sum for the wear and tear of conscience in demanding it.
Priest: one who speaks what all fools feel. /
Principles: another thing no woman can understand. /
Printing: (1) a multiplication of mind. (2) an as yet unrecognized contributor to overpopulation and noise pollution. / (3) a way in which a fool can inflict mortal wounds to innocent children on a global basis even long after he is dead. / (4) something wise men cannot afford, and cannot find anyone to pay for it.
Prison: a monument to neglected youth.
Professors: those who go to college and never get out.
Progress: (1) in antiquity . . . the appearance of great men; in modern times . . . the appearance of great inventions. (2) life means progress, and progress means suffering.
Propaganda: the diminution of the love of truth by the falsehoods which interest dictates.
Property: (1) theft. (2) a sacred trust expressly granted by God, the Bible, and the Recorder's Office.
Prosperity: (1) the consequence of rapidly spending the planet's irreplaceable capital. (2) the best protector of principle. (3) the surest breeder of insolence.
Psychiatrist: one who lets you see why you are unhappy.
Psychiatry: the art of teaching people how to stand on their own feet while reclining on couches.
Psychoanalysis: the disease it claims to cure.
Psychology: (1) the science that tells you what you already know in words you don't understand. (2) as unnecessary as directions for using a poison. (3) nothing. /
Public opinion: the people's tyranny.
Public: the monkeys outside the cage.
Pun: puns are to words what wit is to ideas.
Punishment: (1) the justice that the guilty deal out to those that are caught. (2) having wisdom forced upon you by your own intelligence. /
Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
Queen: a woman by whom the realm is ruled when there is a king, and through whom it is ruled when there is not.
Question: something that fools raise which wise men answered a thousand years ago.
Rabble: the greater part of the masses, omnipotent on condition that it do nothing.
Racism: is the snobbery of the poor.
Racist: a fraction of whose ideas about other races are true. /
Radical: one who wants to tackle evil at the root.
Rattlesnake: Our prostrate brother.
Realism: the art of depicting nature as it is seen by toads.
Reality: what truths should take account of. /
Reason: (1) the arithmetic of the emotions. (2) the greatest enemy that faith has.
Reconsider: to seek a justification for a decision already made.
Recreation: a particular kind of dejection to relieve a general fatigue.
Redemption: deliverance of sinners from the penalty of their sin, through their murder of the deity against whom they sinned.
Reform: (1) to reform a grown man, you must begin with his grandmother. (2) a thing that mostly satisfies reformers opposed to reformation.
Refusal: denial of something desired. Refusals are graded in a descending scale of finality thus: the refusal absolute, the refusal conditional, the refusal tentative and the refusal feminine. The last is called by some casuists the refusal assentive.
Recognition: what one desires from people who are more concerned with what they are doing than with what you have done. /
Reformer: (1) a man who rides through a sewer in a glass-bottomed boat. (2) one who educates the people to appreciate the things they need.
Regret: the beginning of a new life.
Religion: (1) hope and fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. (2) something that is upheld because it is good enough for children. (3) that which women and children should be protected from. / (4) a speculative hypothesis with no supporting evidence that reason proves invalid. / (5) the art of having faith in God without knowing what God is, or even if He is possible. / (6) a consciously accepted system of make-believe. (7) a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism. (8) the best armour in the world, but the worst cloak. (9) ritual and the truth of dogma. (10) a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he were certain. (11) the fashionable substitute for belief. (12) induced insanity. (13) the opiate of the masses.
Reporter: a writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a tempest of words.
Reputation: what you seem to be like.
Resident: unable to leave.
Respectable: rich. Decent means poor.
Respectability: The offspring of a liaison between a bald head and a bank account.
Responsibility: (1) the way of doing the right thing - and of shortening life. (2) a detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one's neighbor.
Revenge: biting a dog because the dog bit you.
Revolution: a successful effort to get rid of a bad government and set up a worse.
Riches: (1) the savings of many in the hands of one. (2) the reward of toil and virtue.
Rite: a religious or semi-religious ceremony fixed by law, precept or custom, with the essential oil of sincerity carefully squeezed out of it.
Ritual, religious: the most effective form of thought prevention ever developed. /
River: an aspect of Nature which lies behind the cottages and billboards.
Road: a strip of land along which one may pass from where it is too tiresome to be to where it is futile to go.
Robber: a candid man of affairs.
Romance: a self-induced state of hallucination that leaves one finally unromantic.
Rostrum: in Latin, the beak of a bird or the prow of a ship. In American, a place from which a candidate for office energetically expounds the wisdom, virtue and power of the rabble.
Rubbish: worthless matter, such as the religions, philosophies, literatures, arts and sciences of the tribes infesting the regions lying due south from Boreaplas.
Ruin: to destroy. Specifically, to destroy a maid's belief in the virtue of maids.
Ruins: our monuments.
Sabbath: a weekly festival having its origin in the fact that God made the world in six days and was arrested on the seventh.
Safety: never to feel secure.
Sanity: a cozy lie.
Satire: an obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author's enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness. Satire requires wit, so it has been largely replaced by humour, which is tolerant and sympathetic.
Satirist: (1) a being with an eye in the back of his head who fills up with straw and sawdust all illusions. (2) a man who discovers unpleasant things about himself and then says them about other people.
Savage: (1) the most conservative of human beings. (2) those who are content to be what they are.
Scriptures: the sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.
Seducer: a man whom women have trained to please women - man made mirror. /
Seduction: for men, being in the right place at the right time; for women, beauty. /
Self-esteem: an erroneous appraisement.
Selfishness: (1) devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others. (2) seeking your own good at the world's cost. (3) the only real atheism.
Self-sacrifice: the effect of prudence on rascality.
Semantics: the art of telling someone they agree with you when they don't. /
Seminar: a place where you can learn in two hours what it takes a professor three months to teach.
Sentimentality: sentiment that rubs you up the wrong way.
Sex: the castration of man. /
Sexism: maintaining that the sexes are equal. /
Sexual Revolution: conquest of the last frontier, involving the efficient management and manipulation of reproductive organs for the purpose of establishing the New Puritanism.
Shyness: egotism out of its depth.
Silence: (1) having nothing to say and saying it. (2) the door of consent.
Silk: a material which enables women to go naked in clothes.
Sincerity: what a woman likes in a man, as opposed to honesty. /
Skepticism: unbelief in cause and effect.
Sleep: an eight-hour peep show of infantile erotica.
Society: a cage for idiots.
Sociologist: a scientist who blames crime on everything and everyone, except the person who commits it.
Soft: untrue. /
Song: that which is not worth saying is sung.
Sophistication: the ability to yawn without opening your mouth.
Sorcery: the ancient prototype and forerunner of political influence.
Sorrow: the future tense of love.
Soul: nothing apart from the senses.
Speech: the small change of silence.
Spiritual: (1) anything enjoyable that is not easily or comfortably explained. / (2) golf. /
Spring: spring has come when you can put your foot on three daisies at once.
Statistics: figures used as arguments.
Style: (1) the man himself. (2) a noble manner in an easy manner. (3) the physiognomy of the mind, and a safer index to character than the face. (4) the best style is truth. (5) knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.
Suburbia: (1) the projection of dormitory life into adulthood. (2) where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then
names the streets after them.
Success: (1) consuming more irreplaceable resources than others. / (2) having something to offer that morons regard as valuable. / (3) earning more money than your wife can spend, or, for women, finding such a man. (4) go with the crowd.
Suicide: what every gentleman promises to do if he breaks his vow to his beloved.
Superior man: an uneasy obligation.
Superstition: (1) a premature explanation that overstays its time. (2) the belief that all stage kisses give no satisfaction to the actor or actresses.
Suspicion: a coward's virtue.
Sweater: a garment worn by a child when its mother feels chilly.
Tabloids: fast reading for the slow thinking.
Tact: (1) tongue in check. (2) the ability to describe others as they see themselves. (3) the art of not saying what everyone else is thinking. (4) to lie about others as you would have them lie about you.
Take: to acquire, frequently by force but preferably by stealth.
Talk: to commit an indiscretion without temptation, from an impulse without purpose.
Teacher: (1) the vanity of teaching often tempts a man to forget he is a blockhead. (2) one who in his youth, admired teachers. (3) one whose mission it should be not to make his pupils think, but to make them think right. (4) one who frees his students from extreme modernity.
Telephone: an invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.
Telescope: a device having a relation to the eye similar to that of the telephone to the ear, enabling distant objects to plague us with a multitude of needless details. Luckily it is unprovided with a bell summoning us to the sacrifice.
Theology: (1) obsolete psychology. (2) the intent of which is not to tell the truth but to satisfy the questioner. (3) an effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing . . . it is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is opposed to every other form of rational thinking.
Theosophy: an ancient faith having all the certitude of religion and all the mystery of science.
Thinker: a person who aims where your head ought to be.
Thinking: often only a flash between two long nights, but this flash is everything.
Thoughts: what you are today, what you will be tomorrow.
Time: (1) the press-agent of genius. (2) the most valuable thing a person can spend.
Today: yesterday's effect and tomorrow's cause.
Tradition: (1) the democracy of the dead. (2) that part of history which has proven to be of
value for the present age.
Tragedy: (1) that there should one man die ignorant who had the capacity for knowledge. (2) the utter impossibility of changing what you have done.
Translation: (1) commentary that is sometimes better than the source. / (2) the safest translation is word-for-word.
Travel: (1) too often, instead of broadening the mind it only lengthens the conversation. (2) a fools paradise. A childish delight in being somewhere else. (3) a traveller must have the back of an ass to bear all, a tongue like the tail of a dog to flatter all, the mouth of a hog to eat what is set before him, and the ear of a merchant to hear all and say nothing. (4) life in a brothel.
Treaty: an agreement which ceases to be when the parties come into conflict.
Trial: a formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record the blameless characters of judges, advocates and jurors.
Trouble: mistaking love for beauty, success for brains, and television for civilization. /
True love: an old-fashioned sentiment.
Truth: (1) the object of philosophy, but not of philosophers. (2) stranger than fiction but not as popular. (3) what keeps honest men poor. (4) what is true is possible. (5) a flower in whose neighbourhood others must wither. (6) often the refuge of those too cowardly to lie. / (7) truth should not be spoken, but communicated. / (8) realized by faith, once it has been arrived at by reason. / (9) an ingenious compound of desirability and appearance.
T.V: (1) chewing gum for the eyes. (2) automated day-dreaming. (3) the glass teat. (4) the plug-in drug. (5) the crystal bucket. (6) remote control death. (7) democracy at its ugliest. (8) the bland leading the bland. (9) that which enables you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home.
Ugliness: a gift of the gods to certain women, entailing virtue without humility.
Unconscious, the: a realm of potential hell.
University: a place where pebbles are polished and diamonds are dimmed.
Useless: remembering how many days there are in a year. /
Vacation: two weeks when you learn where to stay away from next year.
Vagabond: when rich, is called a tourist.
Verse: a special illness of the ear.
Vice: a creature of such hideous mien that the more you see it, the better you like it.
Virtue: (1) a quality which has never been as respectable as money. (2) insufficient temptation. (3) an inexpensive vice. (4) revenge
Vituperation: satire, as understood by dunces and all such as suffer from an impediment in their wit.
Vulgarity: concealment of truth, or affectation.
War: (1) the only sport that has any intelligible use. (2) a by-product of the arts of peace.
Wealth: (1) any income that is at least one hundred dollars more a year than the income of one's wife's sister's husband. (2) difficult to dignify. /
Whole: that which has a beginning, a middle and an end.
Wise: a reputation that is built by agreeing with everybody.
Wit: (1) the epitaph of an emotion. (2) a form of sex display; a flexing of the superior muscles. / (3) the only weapon with which it is possible to stab oneself in one's own back. (4) the terse intrusion into an atmosphere of serene mental habit of some uncompromising truth. (5) so shining a quality that everybody admires it; most people aim at it, all people fear it, and few love it except in themselves. (6) cultured insolence. (7) the salt with which the humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.
Witticism: a sharp and clever remark; what the Philistine is pleased to call a "joke".
Woman: (1) an animal usually living in the vicinity of Man, and having a rudimentary susceptibility to domestication. (2) a temple built upon a sewer. (3) a promise that cannot be kept.
Women: the maintenance class.
Women's rights: men's duties.
Wonder: the effect of novelty on ignorance.
Word: a word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in colour and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used.
Words: (1) things to kill time until our emotions make us inarticulate. (2) the most powerful drug used by mankind.
Work: (1) two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relative to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid. (2) what you do so that some time you won't have to do it any more. (3) only one kind: discovering the truth about life and death and then living in accordance with it . . . all else is folly. /
World: the prophecy of worlds to come.
Writing: (1) giving the reader the most knowledge in the least time. (2) the art of putting black words on white paper in succession until the impression is created that something has been said. (3) the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators. (4) a real writer is someone who has something genuinely important to say to others, and not merely to himself. /
X: in the algebra of psychology "x" stands for Woman's mind.
Xerox: A trademark for a photocopying device that can make rapid reproductions of human error, perfectly.
Yawn: a pertinent remark.
Yesterday: the tomorrow that got away.
Youth: life as yet untouched by tragedy.
Zoo: (1) a place which prevents people from getting at the animals. (2) an excellent place to study the habits of human beings.
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