Preface  |  A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  |  J , K  |  L  |  M  |  N  |  O  |  P  |  Q, R  |  S  |  T  |  U  |  V  |  W  |  X, Y, Z  |  Index


D.C. mus. 1. Don’t Clap. 2. ‘Ditto, Chaps’ (it saves the conductor telling them).

DEACON n. 1. the lowest kind of CHRISTIAN. 2. a warning sign, usually located by the sea.

DEAD HEAT n. 1. when the fire is out. 2. Anything in such a raging heat that it would kill you.

DEBILITATE vb. to think.  

DECALOGUE n. ten persons speaking at once.

DECEASE n. an incurable disease.

DECIMAL n. a fraction with a point.

DEFECTIVE VERB n. a verb that has accidentally lost some of its parts and hence is never employed in speaking good English.

DEFICIT n. what you have got when you have not got as much as you had when you had nothing.

DELIRIUM n. a kind of flower.


Animation by Stefan Petrovic

DELUDE vb. to make happy.

DEMOCRACY n. 1. government by demons. 2. a system of government where everybody may be a little bit better than everybody else.  

DEPOPULATION vb. opening a new bottle of soda.


Above: Depopulation actually means to reduce sharply the population (for example, by war, disease, or relocation). Pop means a sweet fizzy drink and is also the noise a cork makes when someone opens the bottle. We can understand this kid's way of thinking. And we like it! (Illustration by Tosh Bibb.)

DERELICT n. a queer way of speaking.

DESECRATE vb. to release classified information.

DETECTIVE n. a man who searches for mysteries in his private clothes.

DEVOLUTION n. something to do with Satan.

DIABOLIC adj. having diabetes.

DIATRIBE n. a food plan for the whole clan.

DICTATOR n. a man who talks a lot.

DICTIONARY n. a book written by people who think that they can spell better than anybody else.

DIERESIS n. a mark under a, o, u, to give them the sound of s.

DILEMMA n. what you get when you graduate.

DISESTABLISHMENT n. moving a shop to new premises.

DISPERSE vb. to pick someone’s pocket.

DIVORCE SUITS n. special clothes worn when the wedding is all over. 

DOCTORS Being a doctor is a very good trade. Doctors have almost always nice black whiskers at the side, and are tall men. They are also very fierce looking, but they are very useful. Doctors are men who never walk.

Doctors are skinny men, with black eyes and coats. Doctors bring babies to good little boys’ houses. I was very good, and he brought my mother ours. It is a little GIRL and it is called Agnes. The doctor has seen me three times for the purpose, coz I have headaches. My mother looks at me, and cries when he’s gone. I never tells mother I have headaches, except it hurts me very much. I love my mother.

I wish my head was same as other boyses. Yesterday I asked Webster if he ever felt dizzy, and he said no. All boys I ask says no. What the doctor gives me makes me feel worser. But mother likes me to take it, so I don’t mind. I wish I was man but I’d rather be a woman like mother.

Doctors haven’t loud voices like men you hear in the street, but their eyes are brighter. I am not so frightened of doctors as police. When I’m in BED I can’t sometimes go to sleep. I dreamed one night that the doctor came upstairs all in the dark, and took me out of bed, and gave me to a policeman to bury. But I woke up just before he buried me, and my mother was kissing me and crying. Mother says doctors can cure nearly all things, and that they are kind men. Headaches is not dangerous.

[Editor’s note: The writer of this essay, Harry Sharman, died not long after writing this essay, of a brain fever at the age of 12, the result of a fall].

DOGMA n. the mother of puppies.

DOGMATIC adj. 1. powered by DOGS. 2. allergic to dogs. 


Animation by Stefan Petrovic

DOGS The dog is the commonest kind of all living brutes. Its legs are four, and one tail of all sizes. Cats are very common in all large towns and streets, but dogs are more so. There is only 3 things wiser than the dog, which is ourselves, all monkeys, and all ELEPHANTS.

The kinds of dogs is numerous; for how many kinds of cats can you find except house and wild? But dogs are namely, bull-dogs, Newfoundlands, turriers, and other numerous. You may call the colours numerous, except pink, red, and blue. Many people actually think numerous colours is not the best.

The thing about dogs is that they keep gentlemen’s houses safe when they are asleep. Only think how frightened a robber must feel, when, just as he is putting his face to the keyhole, he hears a sharp growl on the other side of the keyhole. Then the robber runs away quick, for he does not know whether it is a lady’s dog or a bull-dog. When the robber gets home and thinks about it, he thanks the dog in his heart for having taught him a lesson not to commit sin, for it is the 8th commandment.

When a dog makes for a cat, this poor creature runs away, like as you’ve seen. If there is a tree, the cat scatters up it, and begins licking itself on a branch, and the dog can just do nothing else than smell round the bottom of the tree, to see whether it is a hollow one. It’s never a hollow one, and so the dog has to always go along back. But if there’s no trees just round, the dog gets the cat in the corner of a door or two brick walls.

Then the cat makes her body twice as big as what is flesh and bone, by standing her hairs up straight, and she spits and sneezes all over the dog, so as he can’t see what he’s doing. Then while he’s clearing his eyes a bit, she scratches him in the nose, which, you know, of all parts of the dog’s flesh, its nose has got the littlest skin over it. You might say there was no skin, only a bit of meat. The dog feels just as if he was caught with a fishing hook, and he runs right away thinking to himself he thought the cat was a little one when he see it in the yard.

Cats and dogs

Ladies’ dogs have more sense than all other dogs. They won’t eat bread, or anything like that. They have big eyes, and they can sit still longer than other dogs.

I once read a wonderful tale of a dog which had a sore leg. I forget how it got itself round. The leg was very sore.

Also about two or three tales of Newfoundlands saving children from drownding. They were all saved before they had gone down three times, and the Newfoundland was patted. Them’s Newfoundlands you see with their tongues hanging out, bigger than bull-dogs, and bent legs walking soft. If you think they can’t swim on account of them walking a bit lame, it is not true, for look at them there children. There has never been one boy or GIRL drownd in this world where Newfoundlands was walkin round the pond.

DOLT n. grown-up person.

DORMER adj. more dorm.

DRUNK adj. future tense of drink.

DRY FARMING n. milking COWS without wetting the teats.


DYNASTY n. a posh word for ‘the runs’.