Features
Featured Essay
Featured Link

Full Collections
Essays (425)
Quotations (6095)
Links (715)
Books (232)

Other Pages
About Us
Authors
Awards
Bookseller Affiliations
Contact Us
Cookies
Editorial Board
Excellent Essays
Excellent Sites
Liberal Magic
Mush Quotations
Our New Look
Privacy Policy
Sign Up!
Submissions
Amazon.com online bookstore
  


Ambrose Bierce
1842 - 1914

Journalist in New York, London, San Franciso, and Washington. His column in the San Francisco Examiner, called "The Prattler", was hugely popular and is considered to be some of his best work. Bierce also wrote fiction, but he is best know for Cynics Word Book (1906), later retitled The Devil's Dictionary (1911). He disappeared in Mexico during a civil war there and was presumed dead.


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

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Mugwump, n. In politics one afflicted with self-respect and addicted to the vice of independence. A term of contempt.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Truth: An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
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.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Future: that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Cynic: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Politics: the conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Revolution: in politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Adage, n. Boned wisdom for weak teeth.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Conservative: a statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Bigot: one who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
I am for preserving the ancient, primitive distinction between right and wrong.