The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary

Front Cover
University of Georgia Press, Dec 1, 2001 - Humor - 404 pages
149 Reviews
If we could only put aside our civil pose and say what we really thought, the world would be a lot like the one alluded to in The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary. There, a bore is “a person who talks when you wish him to listen,” and happiness is “an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.” This is the most comprehensive, authoritative edition ever of Ambrose Bierce’s satiric masterpiece. It renders obsolete all other versions that have appeared in the book’s ninety-year history.

A virtual onslaught of acerbic, confrontational wordplay, The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary offers some 1,600 wickedly clever definitions to the vocabulary of everyday life. Little is sacred and few are safe, for Bierce targets just about any pursuit, from matrimony to immortality, that allows our willful failings and excesses to shine forth.

This new edition is based on David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi’s exhaustive investigation into the book’s writing and publishing history. All of Bierce’s known satiric definitions are here, including previously uncollected, unpublished, and alternative entries. Definitions dropped from previous editions have been restored while nearly two hundred wrongly attributed to Bierce have been excised. For dedicated Bierce readers, an introduction and notes are also included.

Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary is a classic that stands alongside the best work of satirists such as Twain, Mencken, and Thurber. This unabridged edition will be celebrated by humor fans and word lovers everywhere.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
78
4 stars
44
3 stars
20
2 stars
6
1 star
1

This is probably my all-time favorite reference book. - Goodreads
Still a classic of parody, satire, wit and hilarity. - Goodreads
One to keep around to reference later. - Goodreads

Review: The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary

User Review  - Stan - Goodreads

Timeless classic of wit. Read full review

Review: The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary

User Review  - Adriana Bădoi - Goodreads

ABSURDITY, n. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion. INDIFFERENT, adj. Imperfectly sensible to distinctions among things. "You tiresome man!" cried Indolentio's wife ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

The Unabridged Devils Dictionary
1
APPENDIX
247
NOTES
271
LIST OF APPEARANCES OF DEFINITIONS
349
BIBLIOGRAPHY
383
INDEX
391
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page xv - And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out : It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire : 48 where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2001)

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) was one of nineteenth-century America’s most renowned satirists. The author of short stories, essays, fables, poems, and sketches, he was a popular columnist and wrote for several San Francisco and London newspapers during his forty-year journalism career. David E. Schultz is a technical editor. He is coeditor, with S. T. Joshi, of both A Sole Survivor, a collection of Bierce's autobiographical writings, and Lord of a Visible World, an autobiography-in-letters of H. P. Lovecraft. S. T. Joshi is a freelance writer and editor. He is the editor of The Collected Fables of Ambrose Bierce and author of H. P. Lovecraft: A Life.

Bibliographic information