Ambrose Bierce’s Devilish Definitions


forbidden, p.p. Invested with a new and irresistible charm.

governor, n. An aspirant to the United States Senate.

gratitude, n. A sentiment lying midway between a benefit received and a benefit expected.

haughty, adj. Proud and disdainful, like a waiter.

hedgehog, n. The cactus of the animal kingdom.

hireling, n. A mercenary wretch who serves another person for wages, as distinguished from the respectable functionary who receives a salary.

homesick, adj. Dead broke abroad.

hunger, n. A peculiar disease afflicting all classes of mankind and commonly treated by dieting. It is observed that those who live in fine houses have it the lightest. This information is useful to chronic sufferers.

reservation, n. A place where wicked Indians are taught the Christian virtues.