The Devil's Dictionary is a satirical dictionary written by American journalist and author Ambrose Bierce. Originally published in 1906 as The Cynic's Word Book, it features Bierce's witty and often ironic spin on many common English words. Retitled in 1911, it has been followed by numerous "unabridged" versions compiled after Bierce's death, which include definitions absent from earlier editions. The Devil's Dictionary began as a serialized column during Bierce's time as a columnist for the San Francisco News Letter, a small weekly financial magazine founded by Frederick Marriott in the late 1850s. Although a serious magazine aimed at businessmen, the News Letter contained a page of informal satirical content titled "The Town Crier". Bierce, hired as the "Crier"'s editor in December 1868, wrote satire with such irreverence and lack of inhibition he was nicknamed "the laughing devil of San Francisco". Bierce resigned from "The Town Crier"[when?] and spent three years in London. Returning to San Francisco in 1875, he made two submissions to the News Letter in hopes of regaining his old position. Both were written under aliases. One, entitled "The Demon's Dictionary", contained Bierce's definitions for 48 words. Later forgotten in his compiling of The Devil's Dictionary, they were added almost a century later to an Enlarged Devil's Dictionary published in 1967. Though Bierce's preface to The Devil's Dictionary dates the earliest work to 1881, its origins can be traced to August 1869. Short of material and recently possessed of a Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, he suggested writing a "comic dictionary" for the "Town Crier". To a quote from Webster's entry for "Vicegerents", "Kings are sometimes called God's vicegerents", he added the italicized rejoinder, "It is to be wished they would always deserve the appellation," then suggested Webster might have used his talent to comic effect. Comic definitions were not a regular feature of Bierce's next column ("Prattle", in the magazine The Argonaut, of which he became an editor in March 1877). Nevertheless, he included comic definitions in his columns dated November 17, 1877 and September 14, 1878. It was in early 1881 that Bierce first used the title, The Devil's Dictionary, while editor-in-chief of another weekly San Francisco magazine, The Wasp. The "dictionary" proved popular, and during his time in this post (1881-86) Bierce included 88 installments, each comprising 15-20 new definitions.n 1887, Bierce became an editor of The San Francisco Examiner and introduced "The Cynic's Dictionary". This was to be the last of his "dictionary" columns until 1904, and it continued irregularly until July 1906. A number of the definitions are accompanied by satiric verses, many of which are signed with comic pseudonyms such as "Salder Bupp", "Orm Pludge", and "Father Gassalasca Jape, S.J.