It has been a hundred years since Ambrose Bierce first published his satirical classic (unfortunately as The Cynic’s Word Book, a title he did not choose), so we thought for the summer season, we would update a few terms to reflect the current state of our language.
Ass, n. A public singer with a good voice but no ear. In Virginia City, Nevada, he is called the Washoe Canary, in Dakota, the Senator, and everywhere the Donkey. The animal is widely and variously celebrated in the literature, art and religion of every age and country; no other so engages and fires the human imagination as this noble vertebrate. Indeed, it is doubted by some (Ramasilus, lib. II., De Clem., and C. Stantatus, De Temperamente) if it is not a god; and as such we know it was worshiped by the Etruscans, and, if we may believe Macrobious, by the Cupasians also. Of the only two animals admitted into the Mahometan Paradise along with the souls of men, the ass that carried Balaam is one, the dog of the Seven Sleepers the other. This is no small distinction. From what has been written about this beast might be compiled a library of great splendor and magnitude, rivalling that of the Shakespearean cult, and that which clusters about the Bible. It may be said, generally, that all literature is more or less Asinine.
“Hail, holy Ass!” the quiring angels sing;
“Priest of Unreason, and of Discords King!”
Great co-Creator, let Thy glory shine:
God made all else, the Mule, the Mule is thine!”
The Skwib Update:
Ass, n. A fundamental part of the human anatomy.
Ass-, prefix forming nouns and adjectives, overtly colorful and/or meaningless: ass-face, ass-hat, ass-clown, etc.
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Original photo by: deefha, and you’ll have to ask him who the Praha tagger was.