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Literature and Ideas

fib

n.

The Devil's Dictionary

Ambrose Bierce

A lie that has not cut its teeth. An habitual liar’s nearest approach to truth: the perigee of his eccentric orbit.

When David said:  "All men are liars," Dave,
    Himself a liar, fibbed like any thief.
    Perhaps he thought to weaken disbelief
By proof that even himself was not a slave
To Truth; though I suspect the aged knave
    Had been of all her servitors the chief
    Had he but known a fig's reluctant leaf
Is more than e'er she wore on land or wave.
No, David served not Naked Truth when he
    Struck that sledge-hammer blow at all his race;
        Nor did he hit the nail upon the head:
For reason shows that it could never be,
    And the facts contradict him to his face.
        Men are not liars all, for some are dead.

Bartle Quinker