Sundays with Ambrose (part one).

by Ezekiel Fry

Every Sunday, it will be our pleasure here at American Gloom to bring you a few definitions from the caustic world of Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary. I hope you enjoy Bierce’s tragicomic insight into American life as much as I do.


Aborigines, n. Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country. They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize. (1)


Commerce, n. A kind of transaction in which A plunders from B the goods of C, and for compensation B picks the pocket of D of money belonging to E. (17)


History, n. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools. (51)


Monarchical Government, n. Government. (82)


NOTE: The Edition of Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary that I will be referencing is the “Dover Thrift Edition.” All pagination refers to that edition. ISBN: 0-486-27542-6