devil's dictionary – 'J' is for not much really

my favourite man from the 1800’s is ambrose bierce. partly because he wrote the devil’s dictionary, but mainly because i think he’s kind of hot and like i’ve said before, he really knows how to rock that mo.


see, told you.

so we’ve made as far as the jays.
this is what my boyfriend, mr bierce, has to say about j. (so far it’s the only letter that he’s prefaced with a comment – so i’m guessing as far as letters go he kind of likes this one.)

he says:

‘J is a consonant in English, but some nations use it as a vowel – nothing could be more absurd. Its original form, which has been but slightly modified was that of the tail of a subdued dog, and it was not a letter but a character, standing for a latin verb, jacere ‘to throw’, because when a stone is thrown at a dog the dog’s tail assumes that shape.’

if you say so mr bierce. so ‘j’ is for…

jealous, adj. Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.

jester, n. An officer formerly attached to a king’s household whose business it was to amuse the court, attired absurdly. the king himself being attired with dignity. it took the world some centuries to discover that the king’s own conduct and decrees were sufficiently ridiculous for the amusement not only of his court but of all mankind.

jews-harp, n. An unmusical instrument, played by holding it fast with the teeth and trying to brush it away with the finger.

justice, n. A commodity which in a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.

and then i turned the page, but that’s all he wrote. so here endeth the jays! not the most prolific letter. the ‘J’ was obviously too busy running around a park throwing stones at dogs to come up with more words. although if i was ambrose bierce i would have definitely tossed a big fat ‘j’ is for joint in there somewhere.

see you soon for the kays, okay?



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