Being a collection of quotable quotes, which seek to redefine, or perhaps, only to clarify the meaning behind everyday english words.
The index below provides links to the various terms being defined, and clicking on the hyperlink in a definition will return you to the index.
The ability to conceal one's own ability.
Duc de la Rochefoucauld
A person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
The kind of man you wouldn't want to drink with even if he did.
George Jean Nathan
A statement of belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
The last recourse of those who know not how to dream.
Eighty-five percent confusion and fifteen percent commission.
Something delicately poised between cliché and indiscretion.
Archbishop Robert Runcie
Anyone you don't like who drinks more than you do.
An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living, and made ridiculous by friends when dead.
The last refuge of the failure.
A country where you can buy a lifetime supply of aspirin for a dollar, and use it up in two weeks.
A country that doesn't know where it's going but is going to break the speed limit to get there.
The place where you can say what you think without even thinking.
The happiness of those who cannot think.
People who believe that if you keep throwing steaks at a tiger, he'll become a vegetarian.
A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ.
What you join to see the world, meet interesting people - and kill them.
Frank Lloyd Wright
Someone who must know how to convince others of the truth of his lies.
The most extreme form of censorship.
George Bernard Shaw
A crutch for those who can't stand the reality of God.
Somebody with no invisible means of support.
Unrivalled vehicles for telling the truth - about others.
Nine months interest on a small deposit.
A man who never made the same mistake once.
People who know more about women than married men; if they didn't, they'd be married too.
Lower class love child.
Tina Spencer Knott
What's in the eye of the beerholder.
The poor man's opera.
The Science of pulling habits out of rats.
A country invented by the British to annoy the French.
Charles de Gaulle
The number one book of the ages, written by a committee.
Louis B. Mayer
A case of two rites making a wrong.
Having one husband too many. Monogamy is the same.
One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
Czarism in overalls.
George Jean Nathan
The dunce's derisive term for all knowledge that transcends his own impertinent ignorance.
Little old ladies of both sexes.
Funny little portable pieces of thought.
What they make films out of, for TV.
A fellow who can change the subject back to his topic of conversation faster than you can change it back to yours.
A man who, when you ask him how he is, he tells you.
Bert Leston Taylor
A vital consideration for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
A lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.
Boy Scout Troop
A lot of boys dressed as jerks, led by a jerk dressed as a boy.
Something that starts working the moment you're born and doesn't stop until you stand up to speak in public.
Things which are all very well in their place - outdoors and several miles away.
Being the only one who knows you're afraid.
Franklin P. Jones
The best in the world - if you can survive it.
The longest running farce in the West End.
What defends the status quo long after the quo has lost its status.
The romantic dream of those who never went there.
Someone fed up with people.
Dead labour which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks.
Our society's recognition of the sanctity of human life.
A wonderful thing, but you can't snuggle up to it on a cold night.
Like the dictionary says, "A headlong rush, usually downhill".
The tribute mediocrity pays to genius.
Not an inherited characteristic.
A more depraving and corrupting practice than anything pornography can produce.
Being mistaken at the top of one's voice.
The score upon which reality is written.
The ability to get the answer yes without having asked the question.
Milk's leap towards immortality.
A series of happy delusions.
The time of life when one makes faces in a mirror. Middle age is when the mirror gets even!
A man's inclination to protect a woman from every man but himself.
One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book, admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbour.
Possibly a good idea, if somebody tried it.
George Bernard Shaw
Not a concrete jungle, but a human zoo.
Millions of people being lonely together.
A self-perpetuating oligarchy.
A race between education and catastrophe.
What is next to impossible.
What the police find when they fail to find what they're looking for.
God's way of telling you you're making too much money.
A funny way of being serious.
The tribute we pay to achievements that resemble, but do not equal, our own.
A cul-de-sac sown which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.
John A. Lincon
A group of people who keep minutes and waste hours.
The collection of prejudices acquired by the age eighteen.
Socialism with electricity.
The path of least persistence.
The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece.
What used to mean half a loaf is better than no bread, but among modern statesmen it seems to mean half a loaf is better than the whole loaf.
A polite form of self-imposed torture.
What you reach when you get tired of thinking.
A gathering together of important people who single can de nothing, but together decide that nothing can be done.
What your mother told you before you were six years old.
An anticipation of the opinions of others.
Someone who believes in reform, but not now.
A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from a liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
Someone who demands a square deal for the rich.
The worship of dead revolutions.
Items that should be carried on every conceivable occasion.
An agreement that's binding only on the weaker party.
More dangerous enemies of truth than lies.
The slang of the prigs who write history and essays.
A man with a new idea - until it succeeds.
A walking area that's not all it's cracked up to be.
A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh.
A game invented by religious fundamentalists to explain the idea of eternal hell to non-Christian indigenous peoples of the former British Empire.
Not enough people to make a minority.
Little more than another name for hope.
A sentimentalist afraid of himself.
A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
What politically correct doctors call a Negative Patient Outcome
A slave's freedom.
The first time a young girl is seen drunk in public.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
What a man makes when he can't get anyone to serve on a committee.
An institution in which the whole is equal to the scum of its parts.
The worse form of government - except for all the others.
The art of saying "Nice doggie" 'till you can find a rock.
To do and say, The nastiest thing in the nicest way.
A person who thinks twice before saying nothing.
Animals that are so intelligent that, within a few weeks of captivity, they can train a man to stand on the edge of their pool and throw them food three times a day.
White people sending black people to fight yellow people to protect the country they stole from red people.
A person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he really meant.
A man who leaves no turn unstoned.
George Bernard Shaw
An alcoholic who doesn't have to go to all those boring old meetings.
A drug so strong it makes white people think that they can dance.
A method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices.
When the air is full of speeches...and vice versa.
The ability to describe Kim Basinger without using one's hands.
Someone with all the qualities of a poker, except its occasional warmth.
A platitude on its night out.
Esentially Silly People
Esprit de Corps
That typically English characteristic for which there is no English translation.
The expression that makes people think you know more than you do.
The art of making company feel at home...when you wish they were.
A man who had his works cut out for him.
An ulcer with authority.
A philosophy with no future.
Someone who swims with the tide - but faster.
Someone who has made all the mistakes that can be made, but in a very narrow field.
The way the other fellow spends his money.
Anything you buy that is of no earthly use to your wife.
Not wanting to know what is true.
Re-doubling your effort when you've forgotten your aim.
Anyone who disagrees with you.
A woman, usually ill-favoured, in whom the film-making instinct has replaced the maternal one.
Putting all your eggs in one bastard.
Someone who says things to your face that he wouldn't dare say behind your back.
A bit like a cigarette - all right as long as you don't inhale.
An expression of considered desire coupled with an admission of its impracticality.
Attention without intention.
Women whose favourite man is...the next one.
God's waiting room.
Glenn le Grice
A stratagem to throw an offender off his guard and catch him red-handed in his next offence.
God's apology for relations.
A man who can re-wrap a new shirt and not have any pins left over.
One per cent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration.
A patient wolf.
Somebody who need not necessarily _know_ Latin, but he should at least have forgotten it.
Sheep from broken homes, according to Liberals.
Operationally, somebody who's beginning to resemble not a ruler, but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat.
Sir Julian Huxley
Merely stays of execution.
The art of saying nothing in a way that leaves practically nothing left unsaid.
When you hear something you like, about someone you don't.
The only known vessel that leaks from the top.
A necessary evil in its best state; in its worst- an intolerable one.
The mother of invention.
The wrath of grapes.
An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
The good time that's been had by all.
An end in itself.
A man who can listen to the William Tell overture without thinking of Robin Hood.
A fable agreed upon.
People who can trace their ancestry all the way back to their parents.
Someone who, when he is bought, will stay bought.
The universal liar.
The most effective way of getting rid of vermin - providing a sufficient number of them fall off their horses and break their necks.
The noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.
One who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
Waiting in a hurry.
Your irreverence towards my deity.
The phrase that wakes up the audience.
A perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.
The mother of necessity.
A race of people who don't know what they want and are prepared to fight to the death to get it.
Irish Literary Movement
Two writers on speaking terms with one another.
One who believes that the firing squad should be democratically elected.
A law student who marks his own examination papers.
A place with all kinds of gambling devices - roulette tables, slot machines, wedding chapels...
Someone who'll do anything to win a case - even tell the truth.
The opiate of the masses.
A conservative who's been arrested.
A man too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel.
People who can understand everything but people who don't understand them.
The basic building blocks of good manners.
The art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Half a dozen writers living in the same country who detest each other cordially.
The question minus the answer.
The extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real.
Insanity with a collaborator.
A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
A useless piece of flesh at the end of a penis.
The second strangest sex in the world.
A reasoning rather than a reasonable animal.
What are especially the needs of the plain - the pretty can get away with anything.
A book in which the first chapter is written in poetry and the rest in prose.
The first step towards divorce.
A triumph of habit over hate.
A licence for two people to insult each other.
Neither a verb or a noun, but a sentence.
Revd James Simpson
Essentially a product of the bourgeois mind.
Sex with someone you love.
The plural for mediocre.
Amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
Something that's written not so much to inform the reader as to protect the writer.
A mechanical device that increases sexual arousal in women.
An attempt to prove the incredible by an appeal to the unintelligible.
The time of your life when, instead of combing your hair, you start 'arranging' it.
A woman's most erogenous zone.
One performed on someone else.
Any one that will do what the label says.
A man who hates women as much as women hate each other.
One who, when his wife is away, washes the dishes - both of them.
A virtue only in those who are thought to have an alternative.
What happens when painters stop looking at girls, and persuade themselves that they have a better idea.
Literary creations with a beginning, a muddle and an end.
The only sure bait to use when you angle for praise.
The gentle art of enhancing your charm by pretending not to be aware of it.
What leaves a lot to be desired.
What is in most cases two per cent moral, forty-eight per cent indignation, and fifty per cent envy.
Vittorio de Sica
Simply the attitude we adopt towards people we dislike.
Always a mistake; one should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.
Something invented to confirm human loneliness.
Someone else's religion.
The repetition of unpalatable truths.
One who, when he hears thunder, takes a bow.
Someone better-looking than you are.
A society united by a delusion about its ancestry, and a common hatred of its neighbours.
A political ideology which suggests that every little group of human twerps with its own slang, haircut and pet name for God should have its own country as well.
Proof that hell is full and the dead walk the earth.
The smotherer of invention.
People who build castles in the air. (Psychotics live in them, and psychiatrists collect the rent.)
A country of thrifty million sheep, three million of whom think they're human beings.
A device unable to distinguish between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilisation.
George Bernard Shaw
The new conformity.
A seductive liar.
A woman who thinks about sex as much as the average man.
A widespread ailment.
Whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.
One of the peculiarly dangerous months in which to speculate in stocks. The others are January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, November and December.
A very high price to pay for maturity.
Not so bad when you consider the alternative.
Simone de Beauvoir
The night before a play is ready to open.
George Jean Nathan
A survey which claims to show what voters are thinking, but which only succeeds in changing their minds.
A person who strikes a 50-50 deal in such a way that he insists on getting the hyphen as well.
Someone who tells you to cheer up when things are going his way.
The art of making a loud noise like a deep thought.
The fine art of remembering what you heard, but forgetting when you heard it.
What has replaced the cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfilment.
what you must pass through in order to get from your apartment to a taxi-cab.
The root of knowledge.
Fe^tes worse than death.
A document treacherously inflicted upon a citizen going abroad, exposing him as an alien and pointing him out for special reprobation and outrage.
Something that, when you look like it, it's time to go home.
An arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.
George Jean Nathan
The conviction that your country is superior to all others because you were born in it.
George Bernard Shaw
People who always talk of dying for their country, but never of killing for it.
In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
A continuation of war by other means.
Vo Nguyen Giap
Stupidity that read a book.
A building in America that has five sides...on every issue.
A man who has been compelled to live with an optimist.
A man who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.
Someone who burns his bridges before he gets to them. v Anon.
A man who thinks that all women are bad. (An optimist is who who hopes they are.)
A parasite on misery.
George Bernard Shaw
Someone with a problem for every solution.
Somebody who doesn't care for philosophy.
To the real world what masturbation is to sex.
Despair's shot at happiness.
The nearest thing I have to a sex life these days.
When everything is included in he plans...except economy.
The interval between the introduction and the first kiss.
Somebody who's tall, dark and hands.
What happens when anxiety meets technique.
A person with whose politics you don't agree. (If you agree with him, he's a statesman.)
David Lloyd George
An animal that can sit on the fence and still keep both ears to the ground.
A fellow who will lay down your life for his country.
One who approaches every situation with an open mouth.
People who divide their time between running for office, and running for cover.
People who shake your hand before an election, and your confidence after.
A Science derived from two words: "poli" meaning many, and "tics" meaning small bloodsucking insects.
Where people come to their census.
To arrive at a stupid conclusion slowly.
Something that's very good in poetry but very bad in the house.
Henry Ward Beecher
The ultimate aphrodisiac.
The diplomatic name for the law of the jungle.
When you talk to God. Not to be confused with schizophrenia, which is when He talks back.
Something you should never end a sentence with.
A child who plays the piano when he ought to be in bed.
One who talks in someone else's sleep.
A man who asks you a lot of expensive questions your wife will ask you for nothing.
A man who goes to a strip show to watch the audience.
A sex maniac who failed the practicals.
Confession without absolution.
The only disease which mistakes itself for the cure.
A vulgar, impertinent, anonymous tyrant who deliberately makes life unpleasant for anyone who is not content to be the average man.
The male equivalent of childbirth.
The lowest form of wit - unless you thought of it first.
The virtue of the bored.
The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.
A pigment of the imagination.
A man with both feet planted firmly in the air.
A person whose left hand doesn't know what his other left hand is doing.
What makes flowers grow - and taxis disappear.
A somnambulist walking backwards.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
A crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.
A woman's natural food, upon which she thrives.
Sir Arthur Pinero
An ideology that's making a comeback.
A monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.
A fashionable substitute for belief.
Excellent stuff for keeping coming people quiet.
The process of going up alleys to see if they're blind.
Resting on one's quarrels.
Cheques that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
Shallow things, because they aim at reproducing what never existed, or what has perished with the age that gave them birth.
A trivial shift in the emphasis of suffering.
Someone who ends up either as an oppressor or a heretic.
The price charged for any article abroad.
People who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read.
An appetite that no misfortune can satisfy.
A dead sinner, revised and edited.
The sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.
A man who discovers unpleasant things about himself and then says them about others.
Breadcrumbs in battle dress.
The beginning of faith.
The first step on the road to philosophy.
A collection of successful recipes.
The art of systematic over-simplification.
The skin rash of the emotionally insecure.
The secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.
The Bank Holiday of cynicism.
The invention of a very clever venereal disease.
An emotion in motion.
The only game that becomes less interesting when played for money.
The last important human activity not subject to taxation.
The feeling you have when you agree with the woman who loves you that you are the man she thinks you are.
One of the hardest arguments to refute.
Material invented so women could go naked in clothes.
One of the leading causes of statistics.
The study of people who don't need to be studied...by people who do.
The playfield of Satan.
Tranquillity remembered in emotion.
A man who knows more and more about less and less.
William James Mayo
A man who knows everything about something and nothing about everything else.
The plural of spouse.
Like death by drowning - a delightful sensation after you cease to struggle.
Having a chip on both shoulders.
Those who can go directly from an unwarranted assumption to a preconceived conclusion.
Like a bikini: what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.
Something you beat a dogma with.
Knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.
What's counted sweetest by those who ne'er succeed.
Failure disguised as money.
The ultimate revenge.
The ability to describe others as they see themselves.
A place where madness is sold by the bottle.
An illusion that you only glimpse when you win.
A woman's rhetoric.
A device that permits people who haven't anything to do to watch people who can't do anything.
The longest amateur night in history.
A medium - because it is neither rare nor well done.
Where old movies go when they die.
A nice age for a woman - especially if she happens to be forty.
Only a bench covered with velvet.
What wounds all heels.
A small sum of money you give to someone because you're afraid he wouldn't like not being paid for something you haven't asked him to do.
The virtue of a man without convictions
What is always better organised than freedom.
Really the most conventional convention.
Satire in disguise.
What thin people call fat people - and vice versa.
What a college becomes when it looses interest in it's students.
A place where they polish pebbles and dim diamonds.
The quicksand of reason.
Other people's pride.
People who look enough like their food to be classed as cannibals.
Finley Peter Dunne
The repartee of the illiterate.
Only vices in disguise.
Duc de La Rochefoucauld
George Bernard Shaw
Its own disappointment
Any badly-paid job which someone has taken out of choice.
Simply the conduct of other people
Capitalism with the gloves off.
The national industry of Prussia.
Comte de Mirabeau
What fish fuck in.
Any income that's at least $100 more a year than the income of one's wife's sister's husband.
The day of a man's life when he realises that he can't face another date with a legal secretary who wants to be a nightclub comedienne.
A man whose intake of pep pills overbalances his consumption of tranquillisers just enough to leave him sufficient energy for his weekly visit to the psychiatrist.
Big increase in street crime.
A myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others.
A woman who tries to turn an old rake into a lawn-mower.
The art of knowing what to overlook.
The salt of conversation, not the food.
A diet waiting to happen.
People who should be obscene and not heard.
The great foes of reality.
That which expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
C. Northcote Parkinson
The curse of the drinking classes.
A nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.
Interest paid on trouble before it falls due.
Someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people
The process of putting one's obsessions in order.
A nervous disorder afflicting the young and inexperienced.