The Devil’s Dictionary: “Werewolf”

In our continuing quest to revisit a classic, or even a curiosity from the past and see how relevant it is, we continue with The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. Originally published in newspaper installments from 1881 until 1906. You might be surprised how current many of the entries are.

A young Ambrose Bierce

A young Ambrose Bierce

For example, here is a definition for the word Werewolf. The Old definition is Bierce’s. The New definitions is, in many cases, an update. Sometimes little change is needed. Sometimes more. From time to time, just as it was originally published, we will come back to The Devil’s Dictionary, for a look at it then and how it applies today. Click on Devil’s Dictionary in the tags below to bring up the other entries.

OLD DEFINITION
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 bestial 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.”.

NEW DEFINITION
Werewolf, n. A politician that was once, or is sometimes, a man (or woman). All werewolves are of evil disposition, having assumed a bestial form to gratify a bestial appetite, but some, transformed by sorcery, are as humane (or high-functioning sociopath) and is consistent with an acquired taste for human flesh. Some neighbors 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 ‘Christian’ politician.”

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1 Comment

Filed under 2015, definitions, Devil's Dictionary

One response to “The Devil’s Dictionary: “Werewolf”

  1. Pingback: The Devil’s Dictionary: “Werewolf” | Blog of JOKES

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