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the devils dictionary
n. A robber of grave-worms. One who supplies the young physicians with that with which the old physicians have supplied the undertaker. The hyena.

"One night," a doctor said, "last fall,
I and my comrades, four in all,
When visiting a graveyard stood
Within the shadow of a wall.
"While waiting for the moon to sink
We saw a wild hyena slink
About a new-made grave, and then
Begin to excavate its brink!

"Shocked by the horrid act, we made
A sally from our ambuscade,
And, falling on the unholy beast,
Dispatched him with a pick and spade."
—Bettel K. Jhones

(also: The Devil's Dictionary)


the devils dictionary
n. A woman who for their slight of her personal charms revenges herself upon men by caricaturing science, art, letters or learning.

"They call me a blue-stocking!" madam exclaimed;
"why, of all ladies, should I, sir, be named
From the hue of my stockings, which man never spied?"
"Nor ever desired to," the villain replied

(also: The Devil's Dictionary)


the devils dictionary
n. The part of a whale which is to that creature what beauty is to a woman—the thing for which it is pursued.

During his past illness a dose of some kind of oil was administered to him by mistake, whereupon one of the ladies of his household began to weep. Some one attempting to comfort her, "Never mind," said the patient; "I've had my oil; let her have her blubber."
—Unpublished Memoirs of the late John B. Felton

(also: The Devil's Dictionary)


the devils dictionary
n. The first and direst of all disasters. As to the nature of it there appears to be no uniformity. Castor and Pollux were born from the egg. Pallas came out of a skull. Galatea was once a block of stone. Peresilis, who wrote in the tenth century, avers that he grew up out of the ground where a priest had spilled holy water. It is known that Arimaxus was derived from a hole in the earth, made by a stroke of lightning. Leucomedon was the son of a cavern in Mount Ætna, and I have myself seen a man come out of a wine cellar.

(also: The Devil's Dictionary)

berenice's hair

the devils dictionary
n. A constellation (Coma Berenices) named in honor of one who sacrificed her hair to save her husband.

Her locks an ancient lady gave
Her loving husband's life to save;
And men—they honored so the dame—
Upon some stars bestowed her name.
But to our modern married fair,
Who'd give their lords to save their hair,
No stellar recognition's given.
There are not stars enough in heaven.

(also: The Devil's Dictionary)
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