The Devil’s Dictionary: Dullard (n)

“Dullard, n. A member of the reigning dynasty in letters and life. The Dullards came in with Adam, and being both numerous and sturdy have overrun the habitable world. The secret of their power is the insensibility to blows; tickle them with a bludgeon and they laugh with a platitude. The Dullards came originally from Boetia, whence they were driven by stress of starvation, their dullness having blighted the crops. For some centuries, they infested Philistia, and many of them are called Philistines to this day. In the turbulent times of the Crusades they withdrew thence and gradually overspread all Europe, occupying most of the high places in politics, art, literature, science, and theology. Since a detachment of Dullards came over with the Pilgrims in the Mayflower and made a favorable report of the country, their increase by birth, immigration, and conversion has been rapid and steady. According to the most trustworthy statistics the number of adult Dullards in the United States is but little short of thirty millions, including the statisticians, The intellectual center of the race is somewhere about Peoria, Illinois, but the New England Dullard is the most shockingly moral.” 

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. David E. Schultz and S.J. Joshi, eds. The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2000.

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