A Cynic's Dictionary

A Cynic's Dictionary

cynic (’sin-ick) n.—One who no longer believes in the comforting illusions and protective half-truths that others use unreflectively to get through their lives.


administration, n.—An abstract concept that disguises a concrete problem of government; an administration of 4.4 million people, such as the United States has attained, has been found to be incapable of administering to 310 million citizens, though it is comforting to know that every group of 70 people has an administrator looking after them.

aristocracy, n.—The rule of a state by its ablest and often richest people; where this is not allowed, as has happened in the United States since the popular election of the Senate and the formation of the civil service, there is established the unshatterable illusion that anyone is fit to govern.


beetle, n.—Despite those clinging to a contrary belief fostered by the Bible about the primacy of man, in Nature’s design beetles are by far the most popular species, for which J.B.S. Haldane once said the Creator had “an inordinate fondness”; of all known species, 75 percent are insects, and 60 percent of those are beetles.

bureaucracy, n.—lit., government by desks; usu. the body...

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