for writers and readers….

MONDAY CREATIVE WRITING EXERCISE because it’s a good way to start the week HUMOUR

Ambrose Bierce was an American writer and journalist who disappeared in 1913 when reporting on the Mexican Rebellion. Famous for his sardonic wit, probably his most famous work is THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY.

 Here’s a small sample

 AIR, n. A nutritious substance supplied by a bountiful Providence for the fattening of the poor.

BACKBITE, v.t. To speak of a man as you find him when he can’t find you.

BORE, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.


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.

 COWARD, n. One who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.

DAWN, n. The time when men of reason go to bed. Certain old men prefer to rise at about that time, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach, and otherwise mortifying the flesh. They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old, not because of their habits, but in spite of them. The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the others who have tried it.

DIPLOMACY, n. The patriotic art of lying for one’s country.

FIDELITY, n. A virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.

GENEROUS, adj. Originally this word meant noble by birth and was rightly applied to a great multitude of persons. It now means noble by nature and is taking a bit of a rest.  

You can download the complete dictionary here for free from Project Gutenberg


How about making a few entries for a modern Devil’s Dictionary? Words such as bargain, auction, democracy, music, newspapers, politics etc etc might need to be re-defined….

Devil's Dictionary

Devil’s Dictionary (Photo credit:

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This entry was posted on March 25, 2013 by in Muse and tagged , , .


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