BAAL, n. An old deity formerly much worshiped under various names.
BABE or BABY, n. A misshapen creature of no particular age, sex, or
Ere babes were invented
The girls were contended.
Now man is tormented
Until to buy babes he has squandered
His money. And so I have pondered
This thing, and thought may be
'T were better that Baby
The First had been eagled or condored.
BACCHUS, n. A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse
Is public worship, then, a sin,
That for devotions paid to Bacchus
The lictors dare to run us in,
And resolutely thump and whack us?
BACK, n. That part of your friend which it is your privilege to
BACKBITE, v.t. To speak of a man as you find him when he can't find
BAIT, n. A preparation that renders the hook more palatable. The
BAPTISM, n. A sacred rite of such efficacy that he who finds himself
But whether the plan of immersion
Is better than simple aspersion
Let those immersed
And those aspersed
Decide by the Authorized Version,
And by matching their agues tertian.
BAROMETER, n. An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of
BARRACK, n. A house in which soldiers enjoy a portion of that of
BASILISK, n. The cockatrice. A sort of serpent hatched form the egg
BASTINADO, n. The act of walking on wood without exertion.
BATH, n. A kind of mystic ceremony substituted for religious worship,
The man who taketh a steam bath
He loseth all the skin he hath,
And, for he's boiled a brilliant red,
Thinketh to cleanliness he's wed,
Forgetting that his lungs he's soiling
With dirty vapors of the boiling.
BATTLE, n. A method of untying with the teeth of a political knot
BEARD, n. The hair that is commonly cut off by those who justly
BEAUTY, n. The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a
BEFRIEND, v.t. To make an ingrate.
BEG, v. To ask for something with an earnestness proportioned to the
Who is that, father?
A mendicant, child,
Haggard, morose, and unaffable -- wild!
See how he glares through the bars of his cell!
With Citizen Mendicant all is not well.
Why did they put him there, father?
Obeying his belly he struck at the laws.
Oh, well, he was starving, my boy --
A state in which, doubtless, there's little of joy.
No bite had he eaten for days, and his cry
Was "Bread!" ever "Bread!"
What's the matter with pie?
With little to wear, he had nothing to sell;
To beg was unlawful -- improper as well.
Why didn't he work?
He would even have done that,
But men said: "Get out!" and the State remarked: "Scat!"
I mention these incidents merely to show
That the vengeance he took was uncommonly low.
Revenge, at the best, is the act of a Siou,
But for trifles --
Pray what did bad Mendicant do?
Stole two loaves of bread to replenish his lack
And tuck out the belly that clung to his back.
Is that all father dear?
There's little to tell:
They sent him to jail, and they'll send him to -- well,
The company's better than here we can boast,
And there's --
Bread for the needy, dear father?
Um -- toast.
BEGGAR, n. One who has relied on the assistance of his friends.
BEHAVIOR, n. Conduct, as determined, not by principle, but by
Recordare, Jesu pie,
Quod sum causa tuae viae.
Ne me perdas illa die.
Pray remember, sacred Savior,
Whose the thoughtless hand that gave your
Death-blow. Pardon such behavior.
BELLADONNA, n. In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly
BENEDICTINES, n. An order of monks otherwise known as black friars.
She thought it a crow, but it turn out to be
A monk of St. Benedict croaking a text.
"Here's one of an order of cooks," said she --
"Black friars in this world, fried black in the next."
"The Devil on Earth" (London, 1712)
BENEFACTOR, n. One who makes heavy purchases of ingratitude, without,
BERENICE'S HAIR, n. A constellation (Coma Berenices) named in honor
Her locks an ancient lady gave
Her loving husband's life to save;
And men -- they honored so the dame --
Upon some stars bestowed her name.
But to our modern married fair,
Who'd give their lords to save their hair,
No stellar recognition's given.
There are not stars enough in heaven.
BIGAMY, n. A mistake in taste for which the wisdom of the future will
BIGOT, n. One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion
BILLINGSGATE, n. The invective of an opponent.
BIRTH, n. The first and direst of all disasters. As to the nature of
BLACKGUARD, n. A man whose qualities, prepared for display like a box
BLANK-VERSE, n. Unrhymed iambic pentameters -- the most difficult
BODY-SNATCHER, n. A robber of grave-worms. One who supplies the
"One night," a doctor said, "last fall,
I and my comrades, four in all,
When visiting a graveyard stood
Within the shadow of a wall.
"While waiting for the moon to sink
We saw a wild hyena slink
About a new-made grave, and then
Begin to excavate its brink!
"Shocked by the horrid act, we made
A sally from our ambuscade,
And, falling on the unholy beast,
Dispatched him with a pick and spade."
Bettel K. Jhones
BONDSMAN, n. A fool who, having property of his own, undertakes to
Philippe of Orleans wishing to appoint one of his favorites, a
BORE, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
BOTANY, n. The science of vegetables -- those that are not good to
BOTTLE-NOSED, adj. Having a nose created in the image of its maker.
BOUNDARY, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two
BOUNTY, n. The liberality of one who has much, in permitting one who
A single swallow, it is said, devours ten millions of insects
every year. The supplying of these insects I take to be a signal
instance of the Creator's bounty in providing for the lives of His
Henry Ward Beecher
BRAHMA, n. He who created the Hindoos, who are preserved by Vishnu
O Brahma, thou rare old Divinity,
First Person of the Hindoo Trinity,
You sit there so calm and securely,
With feet folded up so demurely --
You're the First Person Singular, surely.
BRAIN, n. An apparatus with which we think what we think. That which
BRANDY, n. A cordial composed of one part thunder-and-lightning, one
BRIDE, n. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
BRUTE, n. See HUSBAND.