Saturday, April 30, 2005


Piracy, n. Commerce without its folly-swaddles, just as God made it.

2005 Update: The restoration of popular entertainment to its authors.

Friday, April 29, 2005


Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.

2005 Update: A silken glove around a rusty hook.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Prehistoric, adj. Belonging to an early period and a museum. Antedating the art and practice of perpetuating falsehood.

2005 Update: Pertaining to events the satire of which is forgotten.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Siren, n. One of several musical prodigies famous for a vain attempt to dissuade Odysseus from a life on the ocean wave. Figuratively, any lady of splendid promise, dissembled purpose and disappointing performance.

2005 Update: A scurrilous term for an honest broker who simply trades what a man hasn't for whatever he has.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Clio, n. One of the nine muses, Clio's function was to preside over history- which she did with great dignity, many of the prominent citizens of Athens occupying seats on the platform, the meetings being addressed by messrs. Xenophon, Herodotus and other popular speakers.

2005 Update: An annual award given for excellence in advertising. Although hardly noteworthy among honors and awards for success in deceit and misdirection, it does look nice on the mantle.

Monday, April 25, 2005


Clairvoyant, n. A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron- namely, that he is a blockhead.

2005 Update: adj., Having the power to see into the future for a good hiding place.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Zeus, n. The chief of the Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog. Some explorers who have touched upon the shores of America, and one who professes to have penetrated a considerable distance into the interior, have thought that these four names stand for as many distinct deities, but in his monumental work on Surviving Faiths, Frumpp insists that the natives are monotheists, each having no other god than himself, whom he worships under many sacred names.

2005 Update: Purveyor of lightning and chef laureate of the United States.

Friday, April 22, 2005


Kiss, n. 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.

2005 Update: A broken promise to the better self.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Rostrum, n. In Latin, the beak of a bird or the prow of a ship. In American, a place from which which a candidate for office energetically expounds the wisdom, virtue and power of the rabble.

2005 Update: A platform for the public humiliation, torture and execution of truth.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Bride, n. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.

2005 Update: A lure admirably suited to catching fishermen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Manicheism, n. The ancient Persian doctrine of an incessant warfare between Good and Evil. When Good gave up the fight the Persians joined the victorious opposition.

2005 Update: An ancient religion which in the Roman Empire was once the prime competition to and blended with early Christianity. Requiring decisive choice, Manicheism is thought to be extinct. The debate among theologians as to whether this represents a victory or loss continues.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Exile, n. One who serves his country by residing abroad, yet is not an Ambassador.

2005 Update: Punishment of a latter country for the crimes of a former.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Low-bred, adj. "Raised" instead of brought up.

2005 Update: Aware of one's provenance. Lacking the sophistication of someone who mistakes the man of the house for their father.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Intention, n. The minds sense of the prevalence of one set of influences over another set; an effect whose cause is the imminence, immediate or remote, of the performance of an involuntary act.

2005 Update: A chosen course of action, the consequences of which the blessed are rescued from by providence through failure.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Astrology, n. The science of making the dupe see stars. Astrology is by some held in high respect as the precursor of astronomy. Similarly, the night-howling tomcat has a just claim to reverential consideration as precursor to the hurtling bootjack.

2005 Update: The practice of ennobling personality defects by projecting into the heavens what's resented by the neighbors. Autoidolatry.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Divination, n. 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.

2005 Update: The transformation of fantasy into opinion. See Statistical Analysis, Journalism, Polling, U.S. Intelligence agencies. (Thanks Weirsdo, sorry cuzz)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Minister, n. An agent of a higher power with a lower responsibility. In diplomacy an officer sent into a foreign country as the visible embodiment of his sovereign's hostility. His principle qualification is a degree of plausible inveracity next below that of an ambassador.

2005 Update: A specialist in the universal.

Monday, April 11, 2005


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

2005 Update: In egg-rolls and politics, the stuffing.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


Congress, n. A body of men who meet to repeal laws.

2005 Update: 1. A legislative body elected to correct the future by caning the present and debasing the past.
2. The Holy Ghost of the constitutional trinity.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Ostrich, n. A large bird to which (for its sins, doubtless) nature has denied that hinder toe in which so many pious naturalists have seen a conspicuous evidence of design. The absence of a good working pair of wings is no defect, for, as has been ingeniously pointed out, the ostrich does not fly.

2005 Update: The evolutionary successor to the owl as mascot for the fourth estate. Cultural naturalists debate whether the Ostrich itself will soon suffer the fate of it's predecessor, replaced by a really cute caged songbird. Or a plump turkey with a blogger account.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Duel, n. A formal ceremony preliminary to reconciliation of two enemies. Great skill is necessary to its satifactory observance; if awkwardly performed the most unexpected consequences sometimes ensue. A long time ago a man lost his life in a duel.

2005 Update: The noblest and most becoming aspiration that remains to someone who has already been a Senator and a Governor.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Diaphragm, n. A muscular partition separating disorders of the chest from disorders of the bowels.

2005 Update: A form of birth control growing obsolete due to the innovation of the internet, especially weblogs.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Lawyer, n. One skilled in circumvention of the law.

2005 Update: A priest to the godless, advisor to the deranged, treasurer to the bankrupt and constant companion of the unfaithful. Both the doctor and the lawyer can trace their profession to ancient barbers; in the lawyer's case, John the Baptist's.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Conversation, n. A fair for the display of minor mental commodities, each exhibitor being too intent upon the arrangement of his own wares to observe those of his neighbor.

2005 Update: A homeopathic remedy for thought and action.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Geographer, n. A chap who can tell you offhand the difference between the outside of the world and the inside.

2005 Update: In the contemporary United States, someone who knows there are fifty states, can find some of them on a map, and knows the capitol of their own. Generally, a foreigner on the cusp of naturalization. In Ancient Persia, Herodotus.

Friday, April 01, 2005


Fool, n. 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. He it was who invented letters, printing, the railroad, the steamboat, the telegraph, the platitude, and the circle of the sciences. He created patriotism and taught the nations war- founded theology, philosophy, law, medicine and Chicago. He established monarchical and republican government...And after the rest of us shall have retired for the night of eternal oblivion he will sit up to write a history of human civilization.

2005 Update: Anyone who enters politics as a voter, finance as an investor or a casino to bet.