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Cynics Word Book

Front cover of a 1907 British edition of The Cynic's Word Book.

Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary is perhaps the funniest dictionary you will ever read. It was first published in 1906 as The Cynic's Word Book and republished under its present title in 1911.

Some sample definitions are:

Dictionary, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.
Turkey, n. A large bird whose flesh when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude. Incidentally, it is pretty good eating.

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