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


O.B.E. 1. Objects of the British Empire. 2. Order of the Blue ELEPHANT. 3. Observation Balloon Erector.

O.M. On the Make. (Lots of politicians get these letters.)

OASIS n. a futile spot in a desert.

OBITER DICTUM n. Oh, bitter saying!

OBLIVIOUS adj. without a liver.

OBOE n. an American tramp.

OCEANIA n. a continent which contains no land.  

OCTOGENARIAN n. 1. a person with eight toes. 2. someone who studies octogens. 3. one who has lived for eight generations. 4. one born in October. 5. one who feeds OCTOPUSES.


Above: one of the several confused schoolboy definitions of octogenarian. Here, a real octogenarian (someone in their 80s) feeds an octopus. (Illustration by Tosh Bibb.)  

OCTOPUS n. 1. a cat with eight sides. 2. a person who hopes for the best. Cf. OPTIMIST.

OCULIST n. a fish with eight long arms and ten tacles. Cf. OCTOPUS.  

ODDITY n. an epic poem by Homer. See also, IDIOCY.

OEDIPUS COMPLEX n. liking your mother as if she were a normal woman.

OMELETTE n. 1. a charm which is worn around the neck. 2. a play by Shakespeare.

OMINOUS adj. 1. power to be all-present. 2. power to eat everything.

ONEROUSLY adv. by oneself.

OPOSSUMS n. the twelve men who followed Jesus.  

OPTIMIST n. 1. a man who looks after your eyes. 2. a woman who MARRIES two husbands. Ant. — PESSIMIST. Cf. OCTOPUSES.

ORNITHOLOGY n. the study of ornies.

ORTHODOXY n. when you don’t think for yourself.

OSTRACISE vb. when an ostrich sticks his head in the sand. See also, HOSTAGE.  

OVERDRAFT n. when the BANKER gets wind of your condition.

OXYGEN n. 1. the stuff of which oxo is made. 2. the plural of ox.