The New Devil’s Dictionary: Home is …
RUDYARD KIPLING WROTE, “WORDS ARE THE MOST POWERFUL DRUG USED BY MANKIND.” It is true. Some words convey ideas and thoughts that immediately awaken remembered experiences. What we remember may differ for each of us, but together the things we recall define the word.
Let’s explore this with the word HOME.
Home has garnered definitions from many sources, some by authors you’ll recognize. Here are a few.
THAT’S THE PART OF THE WORLD WHERE people know when you’re sick, miss you when you die, and love you while you live. Samuel Johnson
Where you live with your loved ones.
The place of last resort, open all night. Ambrose Bierce
No place is home until two people have latch keys.
A great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience. Sidney Smith
A place where you can scratch any place you itch. Henry Ainsley
Where the mortgage is.
The girl’s prison and the woman’s workhouse. George Bernard Shaw
The modern idea of home has been expressed as the place one goes from the garage. George Wickersham
The strength of a nation. Lydia H. Sigourney
A school of power. Ralph Waldo Emerson
The place where, when you go there, they have to take you in. Robert Frost
A place where the great are small and the small are great.
An instrument for measuring the degree of civilization a people has attained. Moritz Alsberg
Something you somehow haven’t to deserve. Robert Frost
A shelter from all terror, doubt, division.
A restaurant which never closes.
Not where you live but where they understand you. Christian Morgenstern
Home means wife. Mishnah Yoma
The abode of the heart. Elbert Hubbard
Any old place I hang my hat.
Where we love is home. Oliver Wendell Holmes
The first boon of heaven: and it is well that it is so, since it is that which is the lot of the mass of mankind. Thomas Jefferson
A place where hearts are of each other sure. John Keble
A place we go to change our clothes so as to go somewhere else. Elbert Hubbard
(In a home) each of an affectionate couple may be willing … to die for the other, yet unwilling to utter the agreeable word at the right moment. George Meredith
TO CONTINUE THIS COLUMN, your ideas and contributions are not only welcome, but needed. No definition has to be unique as words, not too surprisingly, have many meanings.
Use Devilsdefinitions@gmail.com to submit definitions to be included in future columns. Identify yourself, name and phone number, and indicate if you want your name printed with your definition. Thank you and enjoy.
Richard Lubin is a Benicia resident.