The Devil's Dictionary
n. The gift or power of being in all places at one time, but not in all
places at all times, which is omnipresence, an attribute of God and the
luminiferous ether only. This important distinction between ubiquity and
omnipresence was not clear to the mediaeval Church and there was much bloodshed
about it. Certain Lutherans, who affirmed the presence everywhere of Christ's
body were known as Ubiquitarians. For this error they were doubtless damned,
for Christ's body is present only in the eucharist, though that sacrament
may be performed in more than one place simultaneously. In recent times
ubiquity has not always been understood -- not even by Sir Boyle Roche,
for example, who held that a man cannot be in two places at once unless
he is a bird.
UGLINESS, n. A gift of the gods to certain women, entailing virtue without humility.
ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to
UN-AMERICAN, adj. Wicked, intolerable, heathenish.
UNCTION, n. An oiling, or greasing. The rite of extreme unction
consists in touching with oil consecrated by a bishop several parts of
the body of one engaged in dying. Marbury relates that after the rite
had been administered to a certain wicked English nobleman it was discovered
that the oil had not been properly consecrated and no other could be obtained.
When informed of this the sick man said in anger:
UNDERSTANDING, n. A cerebral secretion that enables one having it to know a house from a horse by the roof on the house. Its nature and laws have been exhaustively expounded by Locke, who rode a house, and Kant, who lived in a horse.
His understanding was so keen
UNITARIAN, n. One who denies the divinity of a Trinitarian.
UNIVERSALIST, n. One who forgoes the advantage of a Hell for persons of another faith.
URBANITY, n. The kind of civility that urban observers ascribe to dwellers in all cities but New York. Its commonest expression is heard in the words, "I beg your pardon," and it is not consistent with disregard of the rights of others.
The owner of a powder mill
USAGE, n. The First Person of the literary Trinity, the Second and Third being Custom and Conventionality. Imbued with a decent reverence for this Holy Triad an industrious writer may hope to produce books that will live as long as the fashion.
UXORIOUSNESS, n. A perverted affection that has strayed to one's own wife.