The DICT Development Group

Search for:
Search type:

Database copyright information
Server information

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
  ============ devil ============
  The original data is available from:
  The original data was distributed with the notice shown below. No
  additional restrictions are claimed.  Please redistribute this changed
  version under the same conditions and restriction that apply to the
  original version.
              The Internet Wiretap 1st Online Edition of
                        THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
                            AMBROSE BIERCE
             Copyright 1911 by Albert and Charles Boni, Inc.
                 A Public Domain Text, Copyright Expired
                         Released April 15 1993
                   Entered by Aloysius of &tSftDotIotE
  _The Devil's Dictionary_ was begun in a weekly paper in 1881, and was
  continued in a desultory way at long intervals until 1906.  In that
  year a large part of it was published in covers with the title _The
  Cynic's Word Book_, a name which the author had not the power to
  reject or happiness to approve.  To quote the publishers of the
  present work:
      "This more reverent title had previously been forced upon him by
  the religious scruples of the last newspaper in which a part of the
  work had appeared, with the natural consequence that when it came out
  in covers the country already had been flooded by its imitators with a
  score of 'cynic' books -- _The Cynic's This_, _The Cynic's That_, and
  _The Cynic's t'Other_.  Most of these books were merely stupid, though
  some of them added the distinction of silliness.  Among them, they
  brought the word 'cynic' into disfavor so deep that any book bearing
  it was discredited in advance of publication."
      Meantime, too, some of the enterprising humorists of the country
  had helped themselves to such parts of the work as served their needs,
  and many of its definitions, anecdotes, phrases and so forth, had
  become more or less current in popular speech.  This explanation is
  made, not with any pride of priority in trifles, but in simple denial
  of possible charges of plagiarism, which is no trifle.  In merely
  resuming his own the author hopes to be held guiltless by those to
  whom the work is addressed -- enlightened souls who prefer dry wines
  to sweet, sense to sentiment, wit to humor and clean English to slang.
      A conspicuous, and it is hoped not unpleasant, feature of the book
  is its abundant illustrative quotations from eminent poets, chief of
  whom is that learned and ingenius cleric, Father Gassalasca Jape,
  S.J., whose lines bear his initials.  To Father Jape's kindly
  encouragement and assistance the author of the prose text is greatly

Contact=webmaster@dict.org Specification=RFC 2229