Make your own free website on Tripod.com

NetRadio
Visit NetRadio


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

V

VALOR
n. A soldierly compound of vanity, duty and the gambler's hope.
    "Why have you halted?" roared the commander of a division and

Chickamauga, who had ordered a charge; "move forward, sir, at once."

    "General," said the commander of the delinquent brigade, "I am

persuaded that any further display of valor by my troops will bring

them into collision with the enemy."

VANITY
n. The tribute of a fool to the worth of the nearest ass.
    They say that hens do cackle loudest when

        There's nothing vital in the eggs they've laid;

        And there are hens, professing to have made

    A study of mankind, who say that men

    Whose business 'tis to drive the tongue or pen

        Make the most clamorous fanfaronade

        O'er their most worthless work; and I'm afraid

    They're not entirely different from the hen.

    Lo! the drum-major in his coat of gold,

        His blazing breeches and high-towering cap --

    Imperiously pompous, grandly bold,

        Grim, resolute, an awe-inspiring chap!

    Who'd think this gorgeous creature's only virtue

    Is that in battle he will never hurt you?

                                                     Hannibal Hunsiker

VIRTUES
n.pl. Certain abstentions.
VITUPERATION
n. Saite, as understood by dunces and all such as suffer from an impediment in their wit.
VOTE
n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
TOP


NetRadio
Visit NetRadio

W

W
(double U) has, of all the letters in our alphabet, the only cumbrous name, the names of the others being monosyllabic. This advantage of the Roman alphabet over the Grecian is the more valued after audibly spelling out some simple Greek word, like epixoriambikos. Still, it is now thought by the learned that other agencies than the difference of the two alphabets may have been concerned in the decline of "the glory that was Greece" and the rise of "the grandeur that was Rome." There can be no doubt, however, that by simplifying the name of W (calling it "wow," for example) our civilization could be, if not promoted, at least better endured.
WALL STREET
n. A symbol for sin for every devil to rebuke. That Wall Street is a den of thieves is a belief that serves every unsuccessful thief in place of a hope in Heaven. Even the great and good Andrew Carnegie has made his profession of faith in the matter.
    Carnegie the dauntless has uttered his call

    To battle:  "The brokers are parasites all!"

    Carnegie, Carnegie, you'll never prevail;

    Keep the wind of your slogan to belly your sail,

    Go back to your isle of perpetual brume,

    Silence your pibroch, doff tartan and plume:

    Ben Lomond is calling his son from the fray --

    Fly, fly from the region of Wall Street away!

    While still you're possessed of a single baubee

    (I wish it were pledged to endowment of me)

    'Twere wise to retreat from the wars of finance

    Lest its value decline ere your credit advance.

    For a man 'twixt a king of finance and the sea,

    Carnegie, Carnegie, your tongue is too free!

                                                         Anonymus Bink

WAR
n. A by-product of the arts of peace. The most menacing political condition is a period of international amity. The student of history who has not been taught to expect the unexpected may justly boast himself inaccessible to the light. "In time of peace prepare for war" has a deeper meaning than is commonly discerned; it means, not merely that all things earthly have an end -- that change is the one immutable and eternal law -- but that the soil of peace is thickly sown with the seeds of war and singularly suited to their germination and growth. It was when Kubla Khan had decreed his "stately pleasure dome" -- when, that is to say, there were peace and fat feasting in Xanadu -- that he
                        heard from afar

    Ancestral voices prophesying war.



    One of the greatest of poets, Coleridge was one of the wisest of

men, and it was not for nothing that he read us this parable.  Let us

have a little less of "hands across the sea," and a little more of

that elemental distrust that is the security of nations.  War loves to

come like a thief in the night; professions of eternal amity provide

the night.

WASHINGTONIAN
n. A Potomac tribesman who exchanged the privilege of governing himself for the advantage of good government. In justice to him it should be said that he did not want to.
    They took away his vote and gave instead

    The right, when he had earned, to eat his bread.

    In vain -- he clamors for his "boss," pour soul,

    To come again and part him from his roll.

                                                       Offenbach Stutz

WEAKNESSES
n.pl. Certain primal powers of Tyrant Woman wherewith she holds dominion over the male of her species, binding him to the service of her will and paralyzing his rebellious energies.
WEATHER
n. The climate of the hour. A permanent topic of conversation among persons whom it does not interest, but who have inherited the tendency to chatter about it from naked arboreal ancestors whom it keenly concerned. The setting up official weather bureaus and their maintenance in mendacity prove that even governments are accessible to suasion by the rude forefathers of the jungle.
    Once I dipt into the future far as human eye could see,

    And I saw the Chief Forecaster, dead as any one can be --

    Dead and damned and shut in Hades as a liar from his birth,

    With a record of unreason seldom paralleled on earth.

    While I looked he reared him solemnly, that incadescent youth,

    From the coals that he'd preferred to the advantages of truth.

    He cast his eyes about him and above him; then he wrote

    On a slab of thin asbestos what I venture here to quote --

    For I read it in the rose-light of the everlasting glow:

    "Cloudy; variable winds, with local showers; cooler; snow."

                                                         Halcyon Jones

WEDDING
n. A ceremony at which two persons undertake to become one, one undertakes to become nothing, and nothing undertakes to become supportable.
WEREWOLF
n. A wolf that was once, or is sometimes, a man. All werewolves are of evil disposition, having assumed a bestial form to gratify a beastial appetite, but some, transformed by sorcery, are as humane and is consistent with an acquired taste for human flesh.
    Some Bavarian peasants having caught a wolf one evening, tied it

to a post by the tail and went to bed.  The next morning nothing was

there!  Greatly perplexed, they consulted the local priest, who told

them that their captive was undoubtedly a werewolf and had resumed its

human for during the night.  "The next time that you take a wolf," the

good man said, "see that you chain it by the leg, and in the morning

you will find a Lutheran."

WHANGDEPOOTENAWAH
n. In the Ojibwa tongue, disaster; an unexpected affliction that strikes hard.
    Should you ask me whence this laughter,

    Whence this audible big-smiling,

    With its labial extension,

    With its maxillar distortion

    And its diaphragmic rhythmus

    Like the billowing of an ocean,

    Like the shaking of a carpet,

    I should answer, I should tell you:

    From the great deeps of the spirit,

    From the unplummeted abysmus

    Of the soul this laughter welleth

    As the fountain, the gug-guggle,

    Like the river from the canon [sic],

    To entoken and give warning

    That my present mood is sunny.

    Should you ask me further question --

    Why the great deeps of the spirit,

    Why the unplummeted abysmus

    Of the soule extrudes this laughter,

    This all audible big-smiling,

    I should answer, I should tell you


    With a white heart, tumpitumpy,

    With a true tongue, honest Injun:

    William Bryan, he has Caught It,

    Caught the Whangdepootenawah!



    Is't the sandhill crane, the shankank,

    Standing in the marsh, the kneedeep,

    Standing silent in the kneedeep

    With his wing-tips crossed behind him

    And his neck close-reefed before him,

    With his bill, his william, buried

    In the down upon his bosom,

    With his head retracted inly,

    While his shoulders overlook it?

    Does the sandhill crane, the shankank,

    Shiver grayly in the north wind,

    Wishing he had died when little,

    As the sparrow, the chipchip, does?

    No 'tis not the Shankank standing,

    Standing in the gray and dismal

    Marsh, the gray and dismal kneedeep.

    No, 'tis peerless William Bryan

    Realizing that he's Caught It,

    Caught the Whangdepootenawah!

WHEAT
n. A cereal from which a tolerably good whisky can with some difficulty be made, and which is used also for bread. The French are said to eat more bread per capita of population than any other people, which is natural, for only they know how to make the stuff palatable.
WHITE
adj. and n. Black.
WIDOW
n. A pathetic figure that the Christian world has agreed to take humorously, although Christ's tenderness towards widows was one of the most marked features of his character.
WINE
n. Fermented grape-juice known to the Women's Christian Union as "liquor," sometimes as "rum." Wine, madam, is God's next best gift to man.
WIT
n. The salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.
WITCH
n. (1) Any ugly and repulsive old woman, in a wicked league with the devil. (2) A beautiful and attractive young woman, in wickedness a league beyond the devil.
WITTICISM
n. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted, and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a "joke."
WOMAN
n.
        An animal usually living in the vicinity of Man, and having a

    rudimentary susceptibility to domestication.  It is credited by

    many of the elder zoologists with a certain vestigial docility

    acquired in a former state of seclusion, but naturalists of the

    postsusananthony period, having no knowledge of the seclusion,

    deny the virtue and declare that such as creation's dawn beheld,

    it roareth now.  The species is the most widely distributed of all

    beasts of prey, infesting all habitable parts of the globe, from

    Greeland's spicy mountains to India's moral strand.  The popular

    name (wolfman) is incorrect, for the creature is of the cat kind.

    The woman is lithe and graceful in its movement, especially the

    American variety (felis pugnans), is omnivorous and can be

    taught not to talk.

                                                       Balthasar Pober

WORMS'-MEAT
n. The finished product of which we are the raw material. The contents of the Taj Mahal, the Tombeau Napoleon and the Granitarium. Worms'-meat is usually outlasted by the structure that houses it, but "this too must pass away." Probably the silliest work in which a human being can engage is construction of a tomb for himself. The solemn purpose cannot dignify, but only accentuates by contrast the foreknown futility.
    Ambitious fool! so mad to be a show!

    How profitless the labor you bestow

        Upon a dwelling whose magnificence

    The tenant neither can admire nor know.



    Build deep, build high, build massive as you can,

    The wanton grass-roots will defeat the plan

        By shouldering asunder all the stones

    In what to you would be a moment's span.



    Time to the dead so all unreckoned flies

    That when your marble is all dust, arise,

        If wakened, stretch your limbs and yawn --

    You'll think you scarcely can have closed your eyes.



    What though of all man's works your tomb alone

    Should stand till Time himself be overthrown?

        Would it advantage you to dwell therein

    Forever as a stain upon a stone?

                                                             Joel Huck

WORSHIP
n. Homo Creator's testimony to the sound construction and fine finish of Deus Creatus. A popular form of abjection, having an element of pride.
WRATH
n. Anger of a superior quality and degree, appropriate to exalted characters and momentous occasions; as, "the wrath of God," "the day of wrath," etc. Amongst the ancients the wrath of kings was deemed sacred, for it could usually command the agency of some god for its fit manifestation, as could also that of a priest. The Greeks before Troy were so harried by Apollo that they jumped out of the frying-pan of the wrath of Cryses into the fire of the wrath of Achilles, though Agamemnon, the sole offender, was neither fried nor roasted. A similar noted immunity was that of David when he incurred the wrath of Yahveh by numbering his people, seventy thousand of whom paid the penalty with their lives. God is now Love, and a director of the census performs his work without apprehension of disaster.
TOP


X

X
in our alphabet being a needless letter has an added invincibility to the attacks of the spelling reformers, and like them, will doubtless last as long as the language. X is the sacred symbol of ten dollars, and in such words as Xmas, Xn, etc., stands for Christ, not, as is popular supposed, because it represents a cross, but because the corresponding letter in the Greek alphabet is the initial of his name -- Xristos. If it represented a cross it would stand for St. Andrew, who "testified" upon one of that shape. In the algebra of psychology x stands for Woman's mind. Words beginning with X are Grecian and will not be defined in this standard English dictionary.


NetRadio
Visit NetRadio

Y

YANKEE
n. In Europe, an American. In the Northern States of our Union, a New Englander. In the Southern States the word is unknown. (See DAMNYANK.)
YEAR
n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.
YESTERDAY
n. The infancy of youth, the youth of manhood, the entire past of age.
    But yesterday I should have thought me blest

        To stand high-pinnacled upon the peak

        Of middle life and look adown the bleak

    And unfamiliar foreslope to the West,

    Where solemn shadows all the land invest

        And stilly voices, half-remembered, speak

        Unfinished prophecy, and witch-fires freak

    The haunted twilight of the Dark of Rest.

    Yea, yesterday my soul was all aflame

        To stay the shadow on the dial's face

    At manhood's noonmark!  Now, in God His name

        I chide aloud the little interspace

    Disparting me from Certitude, and fain

    Would know the dream and vision ne'er again.

                                                      Baruch Arnegriff



    It is said that in his last illness the poet Arnegriff was

attended at different times by seven doctors.

YOKE
n. An implement, madam, to whose Latin name, jugum, we owe one of the most illuminating words in our language -- a word that defines the matrimonial situation with precision, point and poignancy. A thousand apologies for withholding it.
YOUTH
n. The Period of Possibility, when Archimedes finds a fulcrum, Cassandra has a following and seven cities compete for the honor of endowing a living Homer.
        Youth is the true Saturnian Reign, the Golden Age on earth

    again, when figs are grown on thistles, and pigs betailed with

    whistles and, wearing silken bristles, live ever in clover, and

    clows fly over, delivering milk at every door, and Justice never

    is heard to snore, and every assassin is made a ghost and,

    howling, is cast into Baltimost!

                                                        Polydore Smith

TOP


NetRadio
Visit NetRadio

Z

ZANY
n. A popular character in old Italian plays, who imitated with ludicrous incompetence the buffone, or clown, and was therefore the ape of an ape; for the clown himself imitated the serious characters of the play. The zany was progenitor to the specialist in humor, as we to-day have the unhappiness to know him. In the zany we see an example of creation; in the humorist, of transmission. Another excellent specimen of the modern zany is the curate, who apes the rector, who apes the bishop, who apes the archbishop, who apes the devil.
ZANZIBARI
n. An inhabitant of the Sultanate of Zanzibar, off the eastern coast of Africa. The Zanzibaris, a warlike people, are best known in this country through a threatening diplomatic incident that occurred a few years ago. The American consul at the capital occupied a dwelling that faced the sea, with a sandy beach between. Greatly to the scandal of this official's family, and against repeated remonstrances of the official himself, the people of the city persisted in using the beach for bathing. One day a woman came down to the edge of the water and was stooping to remove her attire (a pair of sandals) when the consul, incensed beyond restraint, fired a charge of bird-shot into the most conspicuous part of her person. Unfortunately for the existing entente cordiale between two great nations, she was the Sultana.
ZEAL
n. A certain nervous disorder afflicting the young and inexperienced. A passion that goeth before a sprawl.
    When Zeal sought Gratitude for his reward

    He went away exclaiming:  "O my Lord!"

    "What do you want?" the Lord asked, bending down.

    "An ointment for my cracked and bleeding crown."

                                                            Jum Coople

ZENITH
n. The point in the heavens directly overhead to a man standing or a growing cabbage. A man in bed or a cabbage in the pot is not considered as having a zenith, though from this view of the matter there was once a considerably dissent among the learned, some holding that the posture of the body was immaterial. These were called Horizontalists, their opponents, Verticalists. The Horizontalist heresy was finally extinguished by Xanobus, the philosopher-king of Abara, a zealous Verticalist. Entering an assembly of philosophers who were debating the matter, he cast a severed human head at the feet of his opponents and asked them to determine its zenith, explaining that its body was hanging by the heels outside. Observing that it was the head of their leader, the Horizontalists hastened to profess themselves converted to whatever opinion the Crown might be pleased to hold, and Horizontalism took its place among fides defuncti.
ZEUS
n. The chief of Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog. Some explorers who have touched upon the shores of America, and one who professes to have penetrated a considerable distance to the interior, have thought that these four names stand for as many distinct deities, but in his monumental work on Surviving Faiths, Frumpp insists that the natives are monotheists, each having no other god than himself, whom he worships under many sacred names.
ZIGZAG
v.t. To move forward uncertainly, from side to side, as one carrying the white man's burden. (From zed, z, and jag, an Icelandic word of unknown meaning.)
    He zedjagged so uncomen wyde

    Thet non coude pas on eyder syde;

    So, to com saufly thruh, I been

    Constreynet for to doodge betwene.

                                                               Munwele

ZOOLOGY
n. The science and history of the animal kingdom, including its king, the House Fly (Musca maledicta). The father of Zoology was Aristotle, as is universally conceded, but the name of its mother has not come down to us. Two of the science's most illustrious expounders were Buffon and Oliver Goldsmith, from both of whom we learn (L'Histoire generale des animaux and A History of Animated Nature) that the domestic cow sheds its horn every two years.

TOP


NetRadio
Visit NetRadio