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The Dumbbell's Dictionary
Jack W. Richey
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Gym, n. Short for gymnasium. I’m reminded of the tale of the girl who, upon coming
home from school one afternoon, informed her parents that she had been required to
undress for gym, and got spanked for it.
Habit, n. The uniform of a Nun; could be habit-forming.
Hairy places, n. Why do humans have certain areas of the body covered with hair? I do
not refer to the small and irregular hairs of the arms and legs here, but rather to the dense
patches of hair on the head, in the armpits, and surrounding the genitalia. It has been
surmised that the hair covering is to alert the body to invasion of its most important and
vulnerable parts. Thus, the hair on the head alerts the brain to impending attack.
Underarm hair is of course on a straight line to the heart. And then we have pubic hair,
surrounding the genitalia, such hair being able to give warning of danger to the
Now, here is my question, in regard to pubic hair. If it exists to protect the reproductive
systems, why doesn’t it begin to fall out after a female is old enough to stop ovulating, or
after a male is old enough to stop producing sperm? This ageing does not, of course,
affect the brain and the heart.
Alexander Hamilton, n. One of the most important Founders. Co-author of the Federalist
Papers, and America’s first Secretary of the Treasury. He left us with this concerning
immigration: “The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common
national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the
citizens from foreign bias and prejudice; and in that love of country which will almost
invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family….Some
reasonable term ought to be allowed to enable aliens to get rid for foreign and acquire
American attachments; to learn the principles and imbibe the spirit of our government;
and to admit of a probability at least, of their feeling a real interest in our affairs.”
Furthermore, I refuse to believe that his „Report on Manufactures’ to the first Congress
was meant as a precursor to John Kenneth Galbraith’s „The New Industrial State.’
Hamlet, n. One of Shakespeare’s, and one of the Bard’s most enduring characters. When,
around 1600, Hamlet mentioned that there was something rotten in the State of Denmark,
little did he know that he would be describing twenty-first century America under the
John Hancock, n. Ever wonder where the saying, „Put your John Hancock right here,’
which we’ve all heard many times, originated? Here’s my theory, and I think it’s a good
one. You see, John Hancock was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
His was the largest and most flamboyant of all the signatures attached to that document,
as will attest anyone who has seen a copy of the Declaration. Q.E.D.
Hangover, n. Better than an overhang.
Hannibal, n. Carthaginian General who kicked Rome’s butt at the Battle of Cannae in 216
B.C., during the Second Punic War. Not to be confused wit Hannibal Lecter, the
infamous cannibal of the late 1980’s movie.