Friday, December 18, 2009


LAPIDATE, v.t. To rebuke with stones. St. Stephen, for example, was lapidated like a Chinaman*.
Lamented St. Steve,
What Christian can grieve
For the way that you came to your death?
For the monument fair
Of memorial stones
Was reared in the air
O'er your honored bones
Ere yet you'd relinquished your breath.
No doubt as your soul exhaled
You were thanked by resolution;
For the builders' design had failed
Except for your execution.
2009 Update: To blog at close range.

*A note on the language- Among the sects of humanity that Bierce was especially caustic towards were the anti-chinese populists of his era who lobbied in the halls of power to limit immigration and, alternately, committed acts of violence in the alleys of San Francisco. In one case, which might have inspired this definition, a Chinese woman was found murdered, of which Bierce wrote "The cause of her death could not be accurately ascertained, but as her head was caved in it is thought by some physicians that she died of galloping Christianity of the malignant California type."

All of which is to say, Bierce was a honky man of his time and I have intentionally omitted a few racist definitions. I included this entry out of confidence that he did not intend to insult Chinese people, but rather James Sensenbrenner who deserves it.


Jim said...

Doug, you worked hard on this.
All that comess to my mind is that I've had several dilapidated cars in my life.

pia said...

Love the Bierce explanation
all I can think of is this sounds like something to do with the digestive system and an operation

k. riggs gardner said...

Good grief. All I can think of (right now) is that Doug reads twitter feeds entirely out of context. I wouldn't put too much stock in 140 characters or less.

weirsdo said...

It is inadvisable for Homo sapiens in crystalline domiciles to lapidate.

k. riggs gardner said...

Economics (image of a crystal ball sitting on a page of stock returns)
(germaine to the dismal science, politicians, and blog commenters)

"The science of explaining tomorrow why the predictions you made yesterday didn't come true today."

Anonymous said...

Lapidate: Wonder how many politicians get a Lap i date and don't tell their spouses?

TLP said...

After you lapidate someone, they are dilapidated. But what I want to know is, if they are relapidated, are they still stoned?

quilly said...

Well, no point in reducing the word to it's smallest part, thanks to Thom. I may lapidate him!

[Excuse me. I must go fill my pockets with rocks and take a stroll down the lane.]

Jamie Dawn said...

I don't like today's word. It is hitonious. Too many people have suffered death by lapidation. That poor Chinese woman, Iranians, Afghanis, and others who dare to commit "crimes" such as being born a certain race, homosexuality, fornication, political insurrection, or for just plain pissing one's husband off.
Jesus was right on when he said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

I'm done preaching now.

Anonymous said...

enjoyed the line
Christianity of the malignant
California type...would update
to read...
Malignant Christians
of the
American type...

may this time of year
allow these folks
to find the true
meaning of their faith
though i doubt any will
empty their pockets of stones,
because they seem to enjoy
may the God of gods
assist them in finding
their souls...

stone-free in flor-i-da


weirsdo said...

Yes, Karen. Or as my grandfather put it, "the study of theories and why they don't work."

Ariel the Thief said...

Mr. Derbyshire, we all know Pascover is an idiot but we try to be kind to him, you can read it in every western story that indians were kind to the idiot, as they could not fight for themselves. Nitty Fox spoke!

Lapidate - to lynch without robe

Doug The Una said...

Jim, I've had a few lapidated ones.

Pia, we'll hear about that first on Good Morning America, I guess.

Karen, I don't read twitter feeds much at all.

So they say, Weirsdo.

Karen, quotation is the art facete.

Less than you'd probably think, Thom. Or more.

Impersonating a Derbyshire is a crime punishable with becoming John Derbyshire.

Almost certainly, TLP.

Happy stoning, Quilly.

I agree with you and Jesus, Jamie Dawn.

Bear it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to empty his pockets, probably. Peace.

Weirsdo, your grandfather could have saved me some time.

Thanks, Fox. I feel well defended.

Cie Cheesemeister said...

I have never been lapidated, fortunately. I have, however, been egg-idated, on my last day of eighth grade, and that hurt enough.

High Priestess Julia! said...

If you were howling at the time, you may indeed be Truly Blessed, O Cheesemeister! Sleep well!

Doug The Una said...

Cheesemeister, you were halfway to custard.

Prophesy, Julia.