The Project Gutenberg EBook of Josh Billings' Old Farmer's Allminax, by 
Henry Wheeler Shaw

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Title: Josh Billings' Old Farmer's Allminax
       1870-1879, with Comic Illustrations

Author: Henry Wheeler Shaw

Release Date: July 10, 2012 [EBook #40191]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Margo Romberg, Chris Curnow and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)


front cover

title page

Copyright, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879, by

Copyright, 1902, by WM. H. DUFF



zodiac signs


Tew kno exackly whare the sighn iz, multiply the day ov the month bi the sighn, then find a dividend that will go into a divider four times without enny remains, subtrakt this from the sighn, add the fust quoshunt tew the last divider, then multiply the whole ov the man's boddy bi all the sighns, and the result will be jist what yu are looking after.


Amazi begot Hezaki, Hezaki begot Eldad, Eldad begot Behomath, Behomath begot Zepheniah (Zepheniah waz a conumdrum maker, sum ov which hav been handed down down), Zepheniah begot Ezekiel, Ezekiel begot Issacher (Issaker waz a bad speller, which haz bin handed down too), Issaker begot Nehemiah, Nehemiah begot Methuseler, Methuseler begot Nabob (Nabob waz a snob), Nabob begot Jerrymiah, and Jerrymiah begot Absolum Billings (who is admitted bi every boddy who remembers him tew be the most humblyest looking man in the 9th Century). Absolum begot Josh, and so they kept bizzy begotting.

After the Billings family once struck the front name, Josh, they clung tew it. I find over 6 hundred ov that name extant, besides a grate menny who haz bekum extanted.

The Billings hav bin a helthy old breed az fur back az i have dug for them, which they owe principally tew a milk diet. It iz sed that Behomath Billings, one ov our pristines, could drean a cow perfektly dry at one sitting. If this iz so, it helps explain the great amount ov milk in the Billings natur.

I dont find enny old bachelors, nor old maids, amung our ansesstors, inkrease and multiply haz alwus bin the battle cry of the Billings.



Josh Billings' Farmers' Allminax


"We seldum notis the current Amerikan literature ov the day, but the Billings Allminax, soon tew be issued by Carleton, is a work for the mothers of the Amerikan Union."—London Times, June 6th, 1869.

"Josh Billings' Farmers' Allminax iz az phull ov gems az a diamond neklace, az phull of knowledge az Webster's Spellin Book, and az phull of cooking and cures az a parson's wife."—London Atheneum, May 31st, 1869.

"The virtewous thoughts in Josh's Allminax iz gin cocktails for the idle, and brandy straights for the viscious."—Atlantik Semi-Monthly, May 3d, 1869.

"The Billings' Allminax will prove a rare acquisition tew Amerikan literature; the astronomikal calculashuns are unique, the language elegant, the moral perfekt, the sentiments just, and the whole thing extremely bully."—Boston Ledger, May 1st, 1869.

"In theze daze of tawdry novels, imbecile poetry, and florid historys, it iz charming tew take up such a brilliant thing az Josh Billings' Farmers' Allminax, whare philosophy and sentiment frolik together, and whare wit sits in state, with one arm around the waist ov morality."—Omaha Patriot, July 4th, 1869.


This month waz named after one Janus, a sharp sighted old chap, with a face like a pikaxe, so that he could look both ways at once, back onto the old year, and forward onto the new one. At the latter part ov his life he died of a thaw, leaving a snug little property, sum six or seven hundred dollars, which akordin tew one ov the bye-laws ov hiz will, waz invested in tin back thermometors, and distributed amung the suffering poor ov his native village, az mementoze ov Janus.


Tew find the square root ov a hog's noze, turn him into a gardin patch.

Tew enjoy a good reputashun, giv publickly, and steal privately.

Tew remove grease from a man's karakter, let him strike sum sudden ile.

Tew giv oysters an extra good relish, eat them at sumboddy else's expense.

Tew git wrong things out ov yure child's head,—comb it often.

rattlesnake sticking out of hole

I never argy agin a suckcess, when i see a rattlesnaixs hed sticking out ov a whole, i bear off to the left, and say to miself—that hole belongs to that snaix.=

Josh Billings

cider barrels

Cider may be a good temprance beverage, but i hav seen folks git so drunk on it, that they couldn't tell one ov the 10 commandments from a bye law or a base bawl klub.=

Josh Billings

Q.–What iz an old bachelor?
A.–The hero ov a cot bedstead.

He who bi farmin would git ritch,
Must plough, and so, and dig, and sich,
Work hard all day, sleep hard all nite,
Save every cent, and not git tite.

almanac January 1870


This month haz but 28 days, the extreme kold weather that prevails haz puckered up the month. Once in four years thare iz a big melt and then the month swells, and haz 29 days. This month iz looked upon az unpleasant, and it iz unpleasant for digging out woodchucks, but for setting in front of the fire, and skinning apples, and snapping the seeds at the galls, it kant be beat. The name ov this month is derived from an old Chinese word (now lost) which means condem kold.


In buying roast beef, dont forgit, that roast beef, tew be bully, must be tuff.

Be kerful how yu soke yure makrel, too mutch sokeing, takes the wear out ov them.

In selekting a yung goose for yure table, dont forgit tew remember, that the longer a goose has lived in this world, the more experience he will hav, when he cums tew be chawed.

Keep a cow, and then the milk wont hav tew be watered but once.

Q.–What iz the best kure for lazyness?
A.–Milking a cow on the run, and living on the milk.

Bring out yure bran nu cutter,
And git yure galls consent,
Then hitch up Dobbin, or sum other kruttur,
And let the animile went.

almanac February 1870


This month derives her pedigree from the Danish verb "Whizz," which means to blow, to wheeze, to snort, to pitch in endways, and crossways, to shake winder blinds, to smash barn doors, to skare pigs, to brake clothes lines, to make men sware, and wimmin balky. March iz principally immense for wind, but whare it all cums from, and whare it all goes to, are prize conumdrums which i kant untangle Dogs kreated this month invariably hav the bark on.


Rathbun's "Old oaken bucket washing masheen." For washing, bleaching, bileing, wringing, starching, blueing, hanging out, drieing, ironing, marking, fluting, and folding clothes, this lovely masheen haz no competitor in the male, or femail world. This iz the only masheen in the western hemisphear, that takes the inside cloth oph from a man's back on the keen jump, and puts it back agin, in 15 minnitts, washed, dried, ironed, starched, the buttons sowed on, and the collar turned down. Ask for Rathbun's Old oaken bucket washing masheen, and keep asking till yu git it, and when yu hav got it, hug it tew yure buzzum.

Q.–Will yu pleaze to define suicide?
A.–Suicide iz cheating the doktors out ov a job.

Mend fences now, and diches dig, Lay in some cow, and little pig, For milk, and pork, Iz what enables a man tew do a good square day's work.

almanac March 1870


"April, dear April, chuck full ov charms, Cum, cum, oh cum, tew mi arms,"

thus warbled the poet, more than twelve thousand years ago, and he knew his bizz, he had the right sting in him, he want none ov yure pedigree poets, nor dispepshee poets, nor whiskee poets.

Dandylions planted this month are almost sure tew hed out, so are tud stools, so are hed cheeze. This month iz also helthy for planting onions, onions are a luxury, and are good for a bad breth, or are bad for a good breth, i hav forgot which, but either way iz right.


☛ In fishing for musketoze dont wait for them tew bite the seckond time.

☛ The best bait for bed bugs, iz tew sleep three in a bed.

☛ The best mark for target praktiss iz an old maskuline goose, one goose will last yu for five years shooting, and when he finally gits struck with lightning, and begins tew perish, yu kan melt him up, and git out the lead.

☛ The best kind ov a spear, for bullfrogging, iz a four tined dung fork, when you git the tines all full, shoulder the fork, and put for home.

Q.–How long kan a goose stand on one leg?
A.–Try it,—that's the way the goose found out.

Jethro Sparks cum tew town, Athwart a kussid mule, He wound hiz ears around hiz nek, And called him April Phule.

almanac April 1870


May iz the belle ov the year, she haz worn the belt for five thousand years. If May hadn't hav been a sensible girl, she would hav bin spilte long ago with poetry and stanzy. But she is an independant kritter, and dont care one kuss for stanzy. This iz an eazy month tew fall in love, our naturs are now fully thawd out, after the late kold snap, and like a little melted brook, begin tew look around, tew find another little melted brook tew mix with. Oh! how precious and delightsum it iz to mix. Hive bees during this month, if yu hav got sum, if not, hive sumboddy else's.


Feb. 1st. To Ambrose Griddle, Esq., a pattent for a hen's egg, which beats the natral egg for awl purposes, except, cooking, hatching, and eating.

April 13th. To Ezra Push, Jun., a pattent for a one wheeled velosipede. This wise instrumentality haz two handles tew it, and iz purswaded by taken hold ov the handles, and walking between them with a shove moshun. If it wasn't a velosipede, it would be an old fashioned wheelbarrow.

March 10th. To David Gibson, for a pattent goose yoke. These yokes are packed in cotton wool, and sent bi express all over the face ov the earth, they are sudden tew yoke a goose with, and no goose should be without one.

dog pulled along on lead

I thank the Lord that thare iz one thing in this world that money kant buy, and that iz,—the wag ov a dogs tail.=

Yure Unkle, Josh Billings

chained bull

The infidel argys just az a Bull duz chained to a post, he bellows, and paws, but he don't git loose from the post i notiss.=

Not mutch, Josh Billings

Q.–What will yu compare old maids to?
A.–Embers on the harth, from which the sparks have fled.

The Rooster now with burstin thrut, Proklaims the rozy morn, And cacklin hens are telling us, Another egg is born.

almanac May 1870


June iz twin sister tew May, lacking a month. She iz named after Juno, the spouze ov Jupiter, and she waz a stirring woman. June iz the mother of rozes and milk. June iz the stepmother of good gras butter, she iz also grate granmother ov Bakon and Spinnage. June iz a praktikal gusher, and i love tew stand one side, and let her gush,—i hav made it a rule never tew git in the way ov a gush ov enny kind,—i say tew everything, gush! oh, gush!


To make a cheap soup, take 5 drops ov good strong onion juice, add 2 gall's ov water, bile 10 minnitts karefully, and seazon with a couple ov phatt cockroches.

To make a hoe kake, take a hoe and bile it tew a thin jell, and then,—let her kake

Tew skin a Eel, turn him inside out, and remove the meat with a Jack plane

Tew make a hen lay 2 eggs a day, reazon with her; if that dont dew, threaten to chastize her if she dont.

Tew learn yure offspring to steal, make them beg hard for all that yu giv them.

Q.–Whi are robbers like rain?
A.–Bekauze they fall on the just and the unjust.

Now bate yure hook, and find a brook,
Where water runs the fasstest,
Thare lays the trout, jist jerk him out,
And chuck him in yure basket.

almanac June 1870


July iz the sixth month, which ackounts for its being so near the middle ov the year. It derives its name from "Julos" a hot old phellow, who settled near the equator, at an early day, and kept every boddy in hiz naberhood, in a profound swett. July haz menny features ov interest, the principle one ov which, iz, the payment ov semi-annual interest, by most ov the banks, on the fust day ov the month, upon their principal. This iz a fine old custom, and i hope it will be kept up, for i own a leetle bank stock, and take sum interest in the principle.


"Rogers grate western hoss rake."

John Rogers revolving, expanding, uncerimonius, self-adjusting, self-contrakting, self-sharpening, self-greasing, and self-righteous Hoss Rake, iz now, and forever, offered tew a generous publik. Theze rakes are az eazy tew keep in repair az a hitching post, and will rake up a paper ov pins, sowed broad kast, in a ten aker lot ov wheat stubble. Theze rakes kan be used in the winter for a hen roost, or be sawed up into stove wood for the kitchen fire. No farmer, ov good moral karakter, should be without this rake, not even if he haz to steal one.

Q.–Whare do the vain go tew when they die?
A.–The barbers shop.

Young man!–let hornets be, and dont go nigh
The pizen snaik tew mutch.
For during the month ov Julii,
They aint helthy tew the tutch.

almanac July 1870


This month, for sum reazon, haz got a hot way ov doing things. Awl natur unties her corsets and loafs bi the side ov brooks, with stockingless feet, tew ketch the cool words ov singing waters, and watch the bubles ov sweet, that rize on the noze ov the green frog, az they set down on themselfs, on the moss upholstered stones.

Butter spreads itself freely during this month. Snakes slip eazy, and Cupid crawls behind the shadder ov a dieing roze, and shutes hiz gun at the galls, and boys.


Tew milk a kicking cow, stand oph about 10 foot, and holler "So I darn you."

Tew make light bread, do az the bakers do,—call 9 ounces a pound.

Tew make oxtale soup, bile an ox in a pot, and let the caudel continuation hang over the edge ov the pot and drip.

Tew git at the solid kontents ov yure wife's tongue, be verry sweet with the new skool mom in yure distrikt.

Tew break a mule—commence at his head.

Q.–What iz the capacity ov an omnibus?
A.–The same az a grave yard, it takes all that cums.

Now chop doun oats.
And hew doun barley,
Rize with the sun,
And go tew bed arly.

almanac August 1870


September iz named after "Septus" which thrashed out into Amerikan, means seven. I wouldn't take 500 dollars for the latin i know, and i don't kno mutch nuther. Sept. iz a lakadaisikal month, mello az the dekayed side of a punkin, and as sensitive az a boarding school miss, during her fust quarter in french. Natur makes her will this month—hogs root violently—birds hold convenshuns, and adjourn down south—tree toads boost each other up trees and warble sum anthems—katydids chew musick and spit it out freely, and bull frogs post their books.


In shooting at a deer that looks like a calf, always aim so az tew miss it if it iz a calf, and to hit it if it iz a deer.

In fishing for krabs, use yure fingers for bait, yu kan feel them when they fust bite.

Dont fire at a bumble bee on the wing, not till he settles, then take good aim, and knok him endways.

In bobbing for Eels, use a raw potato, yu may not bag much Eels, but yu kan bag a bob, that yu kan hand down tew yure ancestors untarnished.

man combing mustash

Thare are but fu sights in this life, more sublime, and pathetick than to see a poor, but virtiuous yung man, struggling—with a mustash.=

It iz thus, Josh Billings.

man at signpost

I hav seen men so fond ov argument, that they would dispute with a guide board, at the forks ov a kuntry road, about the distance to the next town.=

What fools, Josh Billings

Q.–How fast duz sound travel?
A.–The sound ov a dinner horn travels one mile in a seckond.

This month pull flax,
And teeth that ake.
Lay in bees wax,
And emptins kake.

almanac September 1870


October iz one ov the fall months, Adam iz sed tew hav fell this month, but sich assershuns are like standing oph a half a mile, in a cloudy day, and guessing at the number ov fleas on a dorg, more sincere, than sartain. The strongest attrakshun for me, in this month, iz her natral cider; the man who don't admire good natral cider, must be a condem phool.

Prepare for a hard winter during this month, bi repenting ov yure sins, and gitting up a good big wood pile.


Theze churns are the pride ov invenshun, the genius ov improvement, a viktory over time, and a conquest ov labor. They will fetch butter from cream in 2 seckonds, from milk in 2 minnitts, and from water, inside ov a very short time. Better be without a spellin book, or even a pack of kards, in a growing family, than not tew hav one ov Peck's Churns. Peck iz a philanthropist, every housewife in the world, should put on a clean white apron, hold up both hands on high, and shout, Bully!! oh! Bully! for Peck.

Buy Bristow's double-thread, cross-stitch, rivet-seam, dovetail-hemmer, lighting-movement, krank-moshun sowing masheen. Theze masheens took all the premiums at the late lamented Paris imposishun, and one ov them, which waz sent tew a farmer in Tiogy county last fall, on trial, sowed up the whole family in a hard not, in less than three days, besides sowing fourteen acres of winter rye.

Q.–Will you pleaze to state what lies are?
A.–Lies are the grease on the snaiks belly.

The yello korn now scents the gale,
And harvest boys the milk maids wake,
With matin songs, in praizes of,
Hasty puddin, and Johnny kake.

almanac October 1870


Everyboddy wants tow be sassy at November—to turn her the cold shoulder—tew nuss all their old akes anew—tew look az sour az a pot-bellyed pickle—tew hunt for a kat's tale tew step at,—but i aint! November iz when i harvest mi happiness, when i gather into mi pious korn krip, the moral sowing ov the whole year. I am only sorry for one thing during the month ov November, and that iz, that i am sich a poor, weak, unsartin, sinnerly cuss, and that mi nabers aint much better than i am.


1st. If your boarders take sugar, and milk, in their kaughphy, dont put in mutch sugar, bekauze yu kno they hav milk, and dont put in but little milk, bekauze they hav sugar.

2d. Bukwheat kakes made out ov wheat bran kost less, and soak up molasses more carefully.

3d. In negotiating for sassige, do yure bizzness with the bolony men, then you kno what yu are gitting yu kant alwus tell what country sassige kontains.

4th. Be kind tew cockroaches, for they often make a plate of butter last a whole week, and when you pray, alwus pray for the light eaters.

Q.–What iz the eazyest vittles tew digest?
A.–A good joke.

Pick apples now, and cider make,
And in a barrel juice it,
Then git a straw, without a flaw,
And through the straw seduce it.

almanac November 1870


This iz the last month in the Josh Billings Farmers Alminax. Other dutys, ov a maskuline natur hav forced us tew haul in our gang plank. We would like tew hav hung on a month or two longer, and made a big thing ov it. Dear Reader we must part, and it iz like pulling angleworms out ov their holes, almost sure tew part the angleworms. I shall think ov yu az long az i liv, please tew resiprokate, when yu remember me, by uttering a tear. I hav taken a kontrakt tew remove the muskeeters from the State ov Nu Jersee, west of the Rocky Mountains, tew their new reservashun, and i am anxious tew git the bulk ov them started before they thaw out. I may lose mi life in the undertakin, but i have bin told by good judges, that it is sweet tew die for ones country. I kant tell whether this iz so or not, i never tried it. Good bye, this kussid muskeeter kontrakt iz wearing on me.


Joel Biggs' Sticking Salve.

A thing well stuck, iz stuck forever.
This salve will stick enny man.
It will undoubtedly stick the "coming man."
It haz stuck every man that haz cum yet.
No family should be without this matchless sticker.
(Unless they are too much stuck up allreddy.)
It iz put up in sticks twenty feet long,
To stick a man at a distance.

Q.–Let us hear yu define water?
A.–Water iz,—iz goose bitters.

Pile hi the harth, with beechen wood,
Load down the kitchen table,
Fill up the old klay pipe,
And go it while yure able.

almanac December 1870


There will be eklipses this year which have been overlooked by other Allminax makers.

First.—Thare will be semiockasional eklipses ov the moon, kauzed bi brandy smashes gitting between that virtewous and pale old woman, and the eyes ov sum ov our most promising young men.

Second.—There will be a few eklipses ov the Son, kauzed bi the old gentleman cutting oph the supplys ov Charles Fitz Henry Augustus. (Bully for the old gentleman.)

Third.—Thare will be domestik eklipses (visibel only tew the naked eye) kauzed bi the new Comet Sorosis jumping out ov her pasture, and cantering around promiskuss.

Fourth.—Thare will be teetotal eklipse during the whole of the Year 1870, ov all other Allminax, throughout the earth, upper and lower kanada, and sum parts ov Nu Jersee, kauzed bi the immense circulashun ov the Josh Billings' Farmers' Allminax.

Pordunk Valley Railroad


1. Conduktors are positively forbid trieing tew pass each other on a single track.

2. Passengers are warned ov the great danger ov standing on the platforms,—menny a promising man haz lost hiz life by having a platform drop from under him.

3. Positively no droves ov cattle or swine allowed on this road unless they are travelling the same direckshun the trains are.

4. Engineers are earnestly requested tew keep their cow ketchers well greased, and will bear in mind that when a cow iz ketched the hide belongs tew them; but the beef and tallo iz tew be sent immejiately tew the president of the road.

5. Enny switchman running a train oph from the trak will be find 10 dollars, and interest on the fine at the rate of 4 per cent per annum untill the fine iz paid.

6. No konduktor iz invited tew remain on this road 10 minnits who hasn't heard ov the 10 commandments, espeshily the one which sez "thou shalt not spondulick thyself with the dimes ov another."

7. No charges made on this road for coroners' inquests.


Josh Billings' Farmers' Allminax


"Giv me liberty, or giv me deth, but if i kant hav either, giv me Josh Billings' allminax for 1870."

"It kured mi wife ov wanting to die."

"It iz like peper sass in a hot day."

"The Billings Allminax will go father in a family than 12 dozen ov ginger popp."

"When i am sad and lonely, i fli tew its pages, like a bumblebee tew a full blown dandylion."

"It gave me grate presence ov mind."

"My wife brings up her ophspring, and duz all her plain sowing bi yure allminaxes."

"How cooling, and perforating it iz."


The hornet iz a red hot child ov natur, ov sudden impreshuns, and a sharp konklusion. The hornets alwus fites at short range, and never argy a case, they settle all ov their disputes bi letting their javelin fly, and are az certain, and az anxious tew hit, az a mule iz. Hornets bild their nest whereever they take a noshun to, and seldum are asked to move, for what would it profit a man tew murder 99 hornets, and have the one hundred one hit him with hiz javelin. I kan't tell you jist tew a day how long a hornet kan live, but I kno from experience, that every bug, be he hornet or sumboddy else, who iz mad all the time, and stings every good chance he kan git, generally outlives all ov his nabors.


To make good ginger-snaps, take one pound of ginger, stir in a half dozen ov lively snaps, do them to a brown, and then lock them up, or the yung ones will hook them.

To learn a dog tew follow well, tie him tew the hind end ov an express train.

To find out whether a man has got a good moral karakter or not, ask him pleasantly.

To cure herring,—use Godfrey's Kordial.


The Cockroach iz a bug at large. He iz one ov the luxurys ov civilizashun. The Cockroach iz born on the fust ov May, and the fust ov November semi-annually, and iz reddy for use in fifteen days from date. They are born four from each egg, and consequently they are all twins; thare iz no sich thing in the annals ov natur, az a single cockroach. Their food seems to consist, not so mutch ov what they eat, az what they kan git into, and often finding them ded, in the soup, at mi boarding house, I have cum tew the painful conclushun, that the cockroach kan't swim, but that he kan float for a long time.


1. Don't undertake tew liv with yure mother-in-law, but if wuss cums tew a wussness, let yure mother-in-law liv with yu.

2. Never let yure husband kno more than one haff the affeckshun yu hav for him.

3. Don't name a yung one after a bachelor brother, nor a bachelor sister.

4. Observe theze rules fondly, keep yure feet dri, and yure hair slick, and yu will prove a model wife, (and after that), an acceptable widder.

man sitting with feet up on seat opposite

I notiss one thing,—the man who rides on the kars every day, iz satisfied with one seat, but he who rides once a year, wants 4.=

That's so. Josh Billings

man writing poetry

The man whom yu kant git to write poetry, or tell the truth, untill yu git him haff drunk aint worth the investment.=

No sir. Josh Billings

Q.–Who waz the best dead beat?
A.–Cain: he dead beat his brother Abel.

He who by the plough would thrive,
Must no 2 forty kattle drive,
But worry the ground to and fro,
With horned kritters who skasely seem to go.

almanac January 1871


The Swine, (almost always) hav four legs, tho thare iz sum remarkable exceptshuns to this rule. Swine are good quiet boarders; they alwus eat what is sot before them, and don't ask enny phoolish questions. The Swine kan be larnt a great menny amusing things, sich az highsting the front gate oph from the hinges, and finding a hole in the fence to git into the cornfield, but it iz dredful hard work for them tew find the same hole tew git out at, espeshily if yu are in a hurry to hav them. This haz never bin fully explained, but speaks vollums for the swine. Swine can all root well, a swine that kant root well, iz a poor job.


1. Marriage iz a fair transackshun on the face of it.

2. Sum marry for buty, and never diskover their mistake; this iz lucky.

3. Sum marry for pedigree and feel big for six months, and then cum tew the conklusion, that pedigree aint no better than skim-milk.

4. Sum marry tew pleaze their relashuns and are surprized that their relashuns don't kare a cuss for them afterwards.

5. Marry Yung!—thare iz but one good excuse for a marriage late in life, and that iz,—a seckond marriage.

Q.–What iz the best thing out yet for real comfort?
A.–An aking tooth.

Now gather round the kitchen fire,
And pile the chunks on hier and hier,
Git out the old fiddle and partners choose,
And shake her down in your cowhide shoes.

almanac February 1871


Angleworms are ov earth, earthy, and crawl for a living. The angleworm, tho full of grit, iz not quarrelsome. It is sed (by naturalists) that angleworm ile, rubbed on the back ov the neck will cure a man ov lieing. I don't beleave this, unless it kills the man. Death is the only safe cure (that haz bin diskovered yet) for the falssehood disseaze. Angleworms are used by sum people az an artikle ov diet—(to ketch fish with). They are handy tew put onto a hook, and are dredful handy tew take oph agin, az every wicked person knows who haz fished all day Sunday for daice in a mill-pond.


To make boarding-house hash, take a little ov every thing, a good deal ov nothing, and throw in a chunk ov sumthing; jam to a mux, cook over a kold fire, season with hair pins, and sarve it up on the jump.

To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.

To find the solid contents ov a mule's hind legg, feel ov it clussly.

Q.–Who iz the coming man?
A.–The female suffragist.

Dear girls and boys, take mi advice,
And don't go on the rotten ice;
For many a gal has fell chuck in,
And thus has ketched her final ducking.

almanac March 1871


The Goat iz a coarse wollen sheep, with a cracked voice and a sanguine digestion. They had rather steal a rotten turnip out ov a garbage barrell than cum honestly bi a peck ov oats. They strike from the hed insted ov the shoulder, and are az likely tew hit the mark az a bumblebee iz. They are faithfull kritters in the hour ov adversity, and will stick tew a man az long az he lives in a shanty. They kan klimb evrything but a greased pole, and are alwus poor in the boddy, but phatt in the stummak. What they eat seems tew all go tew appetight. A phatt Goat would be a literary curiosity.


Awarded to Velosipede Riders in 1870.

To Abram Parsons, a premium ov 33-1/8 dollars for riding a velosipede down the back stairs ov a gimnazium, and knocking out 18 ov hiz front teeth, and distorting hiz noze.

To Nimrod Sturgiss, a copper medal with 9 dollars, and a nu pair ov dorg skin gloves, for riding a velosipede into a mill-pond, and gitting drowned.

To Marshall Peaboddy Smith, a puss ov 2 dollars, and a life membership in the mackerel club, for riding a velosipede over a nu milch cow, and splitting a telegraph pole from top tew bottom.

Q.–Define the "fust impreshun."
A.–A mother's kiss.

April phool was born this month,
A simpleton, but clever;
And tho 4000 years ov age,
He's just az big a phool az ever.

almanac April 1871


The cat hath been called a domestik animile but i never could tell whyfore. All thare iz domestix about a cat iz, yu kant loze one; they are as tuff to loze az a bad reputashun iz. Yu may send one out ov the state done up neatly in a meal-bag, and the next morning yu will find him along side ov the kitchen stove reddy tew be stepped on. They are az sollum az Mozes, but az phull ov the devil as Judas Iskariott Esq. Thare iz only one thing about a cat that i like, and that iz, they are very reasonable; a little money, well put, will go a grate way in cats. Cats are very plenty in this world just now I counted 18 from mi boarding house windo, one moon lite nite last summer, and it want the best kind ov a nite for cats neither.


To pick out a tender goose, pinch him, and if he squeals, buy him.

To make good sharp pickles, whittle oph both ends ov them tew a pint.

To find how fur a frog kan jump, set a Frenchman to meazureing hiz jumps.

To git the affectashun out ov a man, make him sea sick, (when a man iz sea sick he iz inclined tew thro up all phoolish things).

fiddle player

Thare iz nothing so hard for us to understand, and so eazy for others, az that we hav fiddled our tune out.=

Kindly yure. Josh Billings

man with three dogs

Thare iz no man so poor but what he kan afford to keep one dog,—and i hav seen them so poor, that they could afford to keep three.=

J. Billings Esq

Q.–What waz the name of Shakspear's dog?

Now plant oats and gardin sass,
Yoke geese, and black snakes kill;
Set hens; set traps for thieving rats;
Set what you please, but don't set still.
almanac May 1871


The codfish iz the fruit ov the oshun, which accounts for their being so salt. They are good eating for a wet day; they are better than an umbreller to keep a man dry. They want a good deal ov freshning before they are eaten, and want freshning a good deal afterwards.

If i can have plenty ov codfish for breakfast, i can generally manage tew make the other two meals out of cold water.



For drawing lightning, theze rods hav grate strength and endurance.

They will draw litening from the uttermost parts ov the earth, or pull it in two.

Yu may bury one of theze rods 10 foot under ground, and litening will hunt till it finds it.

Yu mite az well undertake tew eskape natral deth, or a constable's warrent, az tew eskape litening with one ov theze rods ov yure house.

Buy one ov Melkisidek's rods, and if yu haint got enny house tew put it on, you kan set it up at the forks ov the road, and steal all the litening in the naberhood.

Q.–What iz a good "_counter irritant_"?
A.–A young dri goods clerk.

In this month, more than all the rest,
Things seem tew jump their very best;
Carrots and yungones, purp and kitten,
Like Joner's gourd, are up, and gittin.

almanac June 1871


The fly iz not only a domestik critter, but a friendly one. How they git born i don't kno, but i hav thought they didn't wait tew be born, but come just az they am. Menny ov them are cut off in the flower of their youth, and usefulness. Sum loze their lives by lighting too near the rim ov a toad's mouth, and fall in when the toad gaps. Thousands find a watery grave, bi gitting drowned,—in milk-cans. Flys morally considered are like other human beings, they wont light on a good helthy spot in a man, not if they can find a place that iz a little raw. I beleave they are ov temprate habits, and altho they hang around grocerys a good deal, i never see a fly the wuss for liquor, but i hav often seen liquor, that waz a good deal the wuss for flys.


Wanted, several fust class yung men, with mustash, tew hang around the vestibules ov the different churches in amerika, and stare at the females az they pass out.

Yung men who understand the use ov tobacco prefered.

No yung men accepted who kant stare the brass buttons oph from a military coat, at twenty paces.

This iz a rare chance for yung men ov real genius.

Salary payable weekly.

References exchanged.

Q.–When iz a ship az sick az her passengers are?
A.–When she heaves too.

Hornets now are on the wing,
Red hot, and crazy for to sting:
Oh, don't go ni the tarnal kritters!
For they are sure, and pizon hitters.

almanac July 1871


Roosters are the pugilists among birds, and having no suitable shoulder tew strike from, they strike from the heel. When a rooster gits whipped the hens all march off with the other rooster if he aint haff so big, or so hansum. It is pluck that wins a hen. Roosters az a class wont do enny household work; yu kant git a rooster tew pay enny attenshun tew a yungone. They spend most ov their time in crowing and strutting, and once in a while they find a worm, which they make a grate fuss over, calling their wives up from a distance, apparently tew treat them, but jist az the hens git thare, this elegant cuss bends over, and gobbles up the worm.

Jist like a man for all the world!


Tew git rid ov cockroaches,—sell yure house, and lot, and flee tew the mountains.

Tew make a slapjax that will do grate service,—cut it out ov buckskin, and fri it tew a koal black on a greaseless griddle.

Tew pick out a good husband!—shut up both eyes, grab hard, and trust in the Lord.

Tew make a kat mad,—trod on her continuashun.

Q.–Why iz woman like an echo?
A.–Bekauze she will hav the last word.

All nature bileth.
Roosters pant and so do lizzards;
The mules upon the dusty road
Kan't raise a trot, to save their gizzards.

almanac August 1871


The monkey iz only valuable tew look at, and wonder what in thunder he iz a going tew do next. He haz not got a Webster head, but hiz face iz a biled down dew drop ov malishus cunning. He resembles the skey terrier in the bild ov hiz features, and skratches his head az natral az the school boy,—and probably for similar reasons. They are sumtimes kept az pets, but if enny boddy should pet me with a monkey, i should send him right back bi the same person who brought him, marked with Baldwin The Clothiers trademark,—C. O. D.


1. No man must chu enny tobbacko on the sabbath day unless he goes down cellar and duz it.

2. No yung woman haz a right tew be had in matrimony unless she kan make a good doe nut out ov rhy bran, and one that will keep a year in a damp place, without loseing its twist.

3. If a man gits drunk, he must git drunk on Nu England rum.

4. No man shall be entitled tew work on the road, or set on the jury, who aint handy with the 10 commandments.

man with hair in middle parting

If a young man haint got a well ballanced hed, i like to see him part hiz hair in the middle.=

Dont yu, Josh Billings

whist players fighting

It iz one ov the hardest things on earth for a man to learn,—that he plays a third rate game ov whist.=

No doubt, Josh Billings

Q.–What is wealth?
A.–Baggage at the risk of the owner.

The carrion crow sits straddle the fence,
Trying az hard az he can to weep,
Az he thinks ov death and its consequence
To spavined hosses and rickety sheep.

almanac September 1871


The Raccon iz a native amerikan. His family consists ov one wife, and three children, who liv with him on the inside ov a tree. During the winter he ties himself up in a hard knot, and lays down bi hiz fire side. When spring opens, he opens too, and goes out tew see how the chickens hav wintered. I never knew a raccon tew want enny thing long, that he could steal quick. I hav had tame coons bi the dozen, but i dont advise enny boddy tew cultivate coons; they want as much waiting on az a blind mule on a tow path, and thare aint enny more real proffit in them, than thare iz in a stock dividend, on the Erie railroad.


Tew freshen a salt mackerel,—tow him one summer behind a steam bote.

Tew make a man good mad,—starch hiz stockings a leetle too stiff.

Tew be one ov the "oldest inhabitants," remember very well, when yung Nebudkenezzer waz a babe.

Tew be happy,—eat molasses, and swing on a gate.

Q.–What did Joner do while in the whale's stumak?
A.–The best thing he did waz tew git out ov it.

Sweet cider now, and punkin pize,
And maidens fair, and doughnuts greasy:
Who wouldn't be a farmer's boy,
So phull ov phun, so free and eazy?

almanac October 1871


The Fox iz a literary bird; he waz a genius long before akedemick honors flourished; he waz a poet, skoller, and sage, before the days ov Homer and Herodotus; and in our times he iz the Ben Butler ov diplomacy, and the Brigham Yung ov matrimonial ethicks. The fox haz no moral honesty but he haz got a grate supply of politikal honesty. If another Fox in hiz parish wants a good phatt goose, he will work hard tew git him the goose, and having cleaned the meat all oph from the subburbs ov the goose, giv hiz politikal friend the bones, telling him with a smile in hiz eye, "that every thing iz lovely and the goose hangs hi."



Cures hooping coff, meazels, pane in the side, mumps, teething, cancer, rickets, redgum, and bawling.

Cures gout, hang nails, wont go tew sleep, stummak ake, and want every thing they see.

Removes warts, wens, wigglings, an wizenface.

Mothers lament for Madam Filkins liquor for babes.

Babes bawl for it.

Nurses pray for it.

Fathers buy it bi the barrell.

Q.–What iz ginger pops?
A.–Gim-nastick water.

The bullfrog haz hung up hiz fiddle,
The bug and the cricket are still;
No more can be heard in the marshes,
The musketo fileing hiz bill.

almanac November 1871


Whenever yu see a flok ov geese all standing on one leg, except the old gander, and he chawing hiz cud, look out for a south-west wind tewmorow, or the next day, or the day after, or at sum fewter time.

Should thare be cold weather during Febuary, and should roosters refuse to crow, and the taxgatherer forgit tew call on yu, yu will hav tew trust in Providence, and go it blind, for thare aint no man kan prognostix what will cum next.

Whenever dogs are seen travelling around with nothing to do and old maids refuse their tea, and hop vines wont klimb, and grind stuns wont grind, then yu may expekt a lite crop ov oats, and beans wont pay for harvesting.

If the sun rizes in the east, and sets in the west, and the bull frogs sings sams in the marshes, and thare aint no pulling hair in the family circle, things are about az near right az yu can git them.

Should there be no dew on the grass, in the morning before sunrise, it iz an infallible prognostix, that thare didn't enny dew fall.

Whenever yu see two crows on the railfence, one white and the other black, edgeing up to each other, look out for a nigger in the wood pile.

Q.–What is pity?
A.–Cheap charity.

Now kil pigs and bucher hens,
Murder geese and ducks that quack,
Chop down wood, and sassage make,
And evenings play—Hylojack.

almanac December 1871


Beloved Farmers:

Agrikultur iz the mother ov farm produce; she iz also the step-mother ov gardin sass.

Rize at haff past 2 o'clock in the morning, bild up a big fire in the kitchen, burn out two pounds ov kandels, and grease yure boots.

Wait pashuntly for da brake. When day duz brake, then commense tew stir up the geese and worry the hogs.

Too mutch sleep iz ruinous tew geese and tew hogs. Remember yu kant git ritch on a farm, unless yu rize at 2 o'clock in the morning, and stir up the hogs and worry the geese.

The happyest man in the world iz the farmer; he rizes at 2 o'clock in the morning, he watches for da lite tew brake, and when she duz brake, he goes out and stirs up the geese and worrys the hogs.

What iz a lawyer?—What iz a merchant?—What iz a doktor?—What iz a minister?—I answer, nothing

A farmer iz the nobless work ov God; he rizes at 2 o'clock in the morning, and burns out a haff a pound ov wood and two kords ov kandels, and then goes out tew worry the geese and stir up the hogs.

Beloved farmers, adew.

Josh Billings.


Fredom Senter, Nov. 17th, 1870.

Friend Billings:

Thi Allmanax for 1871 waz good for the flesh, az well az for the soul ov man; it fatted me distinktly on the ribs. I remane thine.

Obadiah Broadbrim.

Mr. Billings:

We shall hereafter embody yure Allmanaxes in our journal.

Editor of London Athaneum.

Dear Josh Billings:

Enklosed in this letter, yu will find 17 cents for one allmanaxt; i am poor, and this iz all the money i hav got, and i haint got no live mother.

Charley Briggs, Jun.

Klamburgh, Oktober 30, 1870.

Dear Misser Josh:

The lor bles yuse, and yuse allmanaksts for 1871; it made dis chile perspire gratuitussly wid bliss.

Yure cullud person friend,

Josepheen Johnsing.

Mister Joshua Billings:

I hav both ov yure 2 allmanaxes for 1870 and 1871, and wish yu would send me bi the barrow yure allmanaxes for 1872 and 1873 and 1874, exklusive. I will emit the munny in a fu daze. No more now from yure loveing friend, Jerusha Sheldon, dauter ov widdo Sheldon, near Spraker's Mill, on the Coshokton pike.


The yung gentleman born this month will remane a bachelor untill hiz 16 year, and will hav kurly hair. He will finally settle down still, and marry for life. Hiz father will be a grate lover ov phast horses. He will liv tew be over 60 years ov age, and die worth about 750 dollars, klear ov awl debt.

The yung lady born this month will kno how tew pla on the pianner, and nit worsted. She will be a blondy, and be near sited, and fall in luv with grate diffikulty. She will finally git wedded tew the man she marrys, and her whole life will be eazy. If she marrys the seckond time her husband will be a dentist or an alderman.


Dont preach the gospel for less than 850 dollars a year, salary payable quarterly in advance.

A congregashun who kant afford tew pay 850 dollars a year, want a missionary more than they do a klergyman.

Be sure and run the church; don't let the church run you.

Az i sed up at the top, git az mutch ov yure salary az possible in advance, for i dont kno ov enny det so hard tew kollekt az a minister's salary, after it once gits kold.

man at dentist

It iz so eazy to advise another fellow to set down in a dentists chair, and hav a big dubble tooth jerkt out, that i hav often wondered whi we didn't try it ourselfs.=

Less so. Josh Billings

huge money bag

I say to 2 thirds ov the ritch people in this world—make the most ov yure money, for it makes the most ov yu.=

Happy thought.= Josh Billings

Q.–Who had the best artikle ov pashunce?
A.–Job. His pashunce waz biled down to a spot.

A stirring man iz nabor Bush,
Yu never ketched him idle;
Six daze he works, and sundaze he
Salts geese, and reads the bible.

almanac January 1872


The man born this month will be good looking, but too mutch prone tew toe in when he walks. He will hav 2 wifes, and a small hand, except when he plays whist; then he will hav a big one. Hiz fust wife will be kross-eyed, but hiz seckond one will be kross all over. He will hav 4 children, who will all pass through the meazles, with grate credit tew themselfs and no disgrace tew the meazles.

The yung female born during this month will show grate judgement in sorting her lovers, and will finally marry a real estate agent. She will hav a phew failings; but who cares? she wouldn't be interesting if she didn't. At 28 she will be a widow, and at stated intervals will be inklined tew gush a little. (For the sake of variety we say, let her gush.)


(To kure bed bugs.)

Bile the bed bugs tew a gravy; then take equal parts ov sassyfrass rutes and mingle with the gravy; then find a hoel in the ground that aint occupied; then pour the gravy into the hoel; then fasten up the hoel with 2 pounds ov gunpowder; then tutch off the hoel with a 10 foot poel; then run like litening. If this don't kure the bed bugs, and the hoel too, they hav both got it the natral way, and kan't be healed.

Q.–What iz the surest gait on the road?
A.–A toll-gate.

Sim Blodget waz an awful brag,
Alwus telling sumthing or nuther,
"Square Brown and he kept 60 cows!"
The square kept 59, and Sim the tuther.

almanac February 1872


The man born this month will be inklined tew blow a little. He will be a domestik man, and will kno how to rok the kradle and pare potatoze. He will marry the only daughter of a widdo, and will be a good judge of mothers-in-law. He will die about the usual time in life, and leave a house and lot, with a small mortgage on it. He never will run for offiss but once, and then will git beat.

The woman who appears this month will be an old maid till she is 20 years old, and then will sudenly put a stop tew this kind ov bizzness, by investing in a yung man. She will be a good housekeeper, and kno how tew make a plum puddin, with the plums left out. She will hang on to her buty till she iz about 45; after that, she will hav to take her chances.


Professor John Spruce (graduate) begs leaf tew inform the citizens ov Pordunk village that he will open a school for male yung men, over Nikodemus Bradley's waggon shop, in whitch will be taught the nobel art of chawing gum, in all the hier branches.

Private lessons administered tew yung ladiz at their boarding-house. The Professor pledges himself tew teach, in six easy lessons, the gum-chawing science tew a spot.

N. B.—Seckond hand gum alwus on hand, for sale low.

Q.–Who iz the champion ov lite weights?
A.–The Nu Jersey muskeeter.

Dame Barker had a yerling hen,
Who swore she'd set, or raze the dickens;
The dame sot her on an ear ov korn,
And razed a bushel an haff ov chickens.

almanac March 1872


The man born this month will hav a liquid temprament, but not necessarily inklined tew licker. Hiz grate aim will be tew git married; and he will git hiz bird, bi marrying a butiful and also good-looking wife. They will liv happy az two lambs, and leave one son, whom they intended should be president ov the United States, but who very wisely konkluded tew be a merchant taylor.

The lady born this month will hav blew eyes, and a full set ov teeth. Her heart will be az tender az a porterhouse steak. She will keep a lap dorg, who will hav weak eyes, and whose christian name will be Fanny. She will die and leave a bed-quilt, which will go down tew posterity, with upwards of 7 hundred blocks in it.



Job Sargent, being ov sound mind, and expressly afrade ov the devil, dont hesitate tew say that his klensing sope will take the spots oph from everything.

1st. It will remove the spots from a coach dog in 3 daze.

2d. It will take the spots oph from a ten ov dimonds in 15 minnits.

3d. Kan the leopard change his spots?—i answer it kan, bi using Job Sargent's only klensing sope.

4th. Persons ov a spotless reputashun, and anxious tew keep so, will never be without this sope.

5th. Job Sargent never told a lie—so did George Washington.

Q.–What iz the fastest trotting-time on reckord?
A.–I dont kno az I kare.

A sloven farmer waz old Snyder;
He spent his time a drinkin syder.
Together he worked a cow and muel,
And never sent his boys tew skewel.

almanac April 1872


The gentleman who invests hiz life in this month will be very quick tempered, espeshily when a hornet lights on him in anger. His mother will set a good deal by him, espeshily when he iz in the kradle. He will hav the mumps very light, and will spend most ov his life intending tew marry, but will die at last with a half dozen old maids on hiz hands. The wash wimmin will remember him az the man who never wore paper collars.

The lady born this month will fust be a bud, and afterwards a blossom. Her heart will be az full ov twitter as a kanary bird on a perch. She will hav twilight hair. She will hav menny lovers. She will be reasonabel fond ov silk clothes, but her grate joy will be in a bonnet. She will hav az little jealousy az it is prudent for a woman tew hav.


To learn a kat how tew bite—feed her on kat nip tea.

To remove goose pimples (from a goose)—loose the goose.

To kure a weak back—lay still for a week ahead.

To make yure mark—fall out ov a third story windo.

To ketch a bad kold—lay down on the ground, and watch for it, bi moonlite.

cats at night

Kats are plenty. I kounted 18 from mi boarding hous window one night last summer—and it wasn't a fust rate nite for kats neither.=

A sollum fakt. Josh Billings

third rate fiddler

One ov the most unfortunate men in this world—iz a third rate fiddler,=

Yure warm friend
Josh Billings

Q.–Who got the fust caneing?

Now in the ground hide unyun seed,
Bury korn, and beetz, and lettiss;
Chuck in sum peas, and lima beans,
If the arth dont seem tew wettish.

almanac May 1872


The male individual born during June will be one of 7 children, but not the only one. He will hav 3 brothers, and one sister, who will marry a hard shell baptist preacher. He will studdy law, and enter the profeshun with gilt edge prospekts, but his fust klient being a counterfiter, whom he succeeds in gitting clear, and receiving 50 dollars in counterfit money for his services, disgusts him with the bizzness.

The female who appears on the platform this month will alwus hav cause tew wonder whi she did it. Her father will be a skool teacher, and he will bring her up in the distrikt skool bizzness. At 29 years and six months she will marry, and will be well edukated in the dutys ov a wife, for she will understand Daball's arithmetik, and parseing, just az eazy az falling down the cellar stairs. She will hav but one son, and he will be edukated oph from hiz feet at an early age.



Phelix Phungus (dog dokter), late ov the royal vetenary college, and 12 years in a doggery in the old country, offers hiz services tew the Pordunk people. He kan remove fleas from a dog in 16 minnits; he kan take the krook out ov a dog's tail in 13 minnits; he kan learn a dog tew lie in front ov a fire all day in 12 minnits; he kan tell how fast a dog kan run hitched tew a tin pail in 3 minnits; and kan tell how mutch sassage he will make bi just hefting him. Consultashuns free.

P. P. D. D. Phelix Phungus, Dog Doktor.

Q.–Who waz the weakest man?
A.–Fred Bennett couldnt lift hiz note for fifteen dollars.

Mary Moore iz a farmer's lass,
She's winsum az a pozy;
The chap who ketches Mary Moore,
Wont be no kuntry josey.

almanac June 1872


The man mortal who cums tew the scratch this month will be a grate lover ov politikal life, and after menny stormy trips will settle in hiz natiff village a konstable, elekted by 19 majority. He will liv tew be ripe with old age, and hiz posterity will wonder how he managed tew spend a whole life in politiks, and keep out ov state prizon. (Hiz posterity probably aint aware that a term in state prizon iz a good kard tew run for offiss on.)

The girl born this month will flash like a streak ov yello sunshine. She will be sought after like the balm ov menny flowers. She will hav poetry for breakfast, and spend the rest ov the day on zephyrs and chocalate karamels. The man who gits her for a wife will change into a butterfly, and the two will be seen, sum sweet nite this month, flieing away to the song ov the crickets.


Dont be diskouraged if yure mustash dont gro; it sumtimes happens whare a mustash duz the best, nothing else duz so well.

Dont be afrade ov enny thing that iz honarable, and dont forget that the best friend that God haz given enny one iz hiz conscience.

Larn tew wait!—this iz a hard gait for a yung man tew travel, but iz the surest way tew git thare.

If you hav got sum wild oats (and a phew wont spile yu) git them in arly, and sow them deep, so they will rot in the ground.

Q.–Which are two ov the lost arts?
A.–Modesty, and good home-made bread.

To brake a mule, or yoke a steer,
Bob Fletcher waz a reddy lad;
He and his mother worked the farm—
Krewel deth had took away his dad.

almanac July 1872


The gentleman born this month will hav one eye to the main chance, and the other eye on the collatterals. He will be sharper than good cider vinegar, and will go at a transackshun like a skotch tarrier at a rat hole. He will be az honest az a hornet, and make az few blunders. He will liv tew be old. Hiz wife will die young—tired out trying tew keep up with him.

The feminine creashuns ov this month will be grate admirers ov the sterner sex. They will fall in luv easy, but will make az phew blunders az enny other wimmin. They will be guided bi the impulses ov their naturs, which in most wimmen iz a safer card than their judgements. If I hadnt got one ov the best wifes that the world haz yet produced, I should be inclined to ask (humbly) for one ov the August-as.



Adam Dipthong (chicken champion) invites a discerning world tew peruse hiz egg-dispensing poultry.

His "Hail Columbys," crossed on his "Star Spangled Banners," iz a hen who, for purity ov step, swavity of plumage, and modesty ov deportment, kant be beat.

His "Last Roze ov Summer," hiz "Merry wives ov Windsor," and hiz "Love lies bleeding," az a style ov poultry, haz no competitors in the whole horizon. His "Kiss me Quicks," chastised with a delikate sprinkling ov his "Meet me bi moon lite alone," as pullets, hav alwus stood the test; and az roosters, are alwus reddy "tew fite it out on this line" (or enny other) "if it takes all summer."

Q.–Who waz the fust brewer?
A.–Satan; he brewed mischief.

Come, farmers all, both grate and small.
The fields with yello grain are wavy;
Bring out yure boys, and laffing galls,
And make the bukweat cry Peccavy.

almanac August 1872


The man born this month will be what iz called a wit. He will be az phull ov wit az a bottle ov ginger-pop. He kant hardly wait to hav the cork pulled out, and when the cork iz pulled out it will take a 2 quart bowl to hold a haff pint ov the phizz. He will make jokes which will be az natral az blunders, and will keep hiz whole family (inkluding the hired girl) betwixt a suprise and a guess. He will hav a house phull of children, who will be the best jokes he perpetrates.

The lady born this month will be mistress ov the situashun. She will hav menny admirers, but will lead them a dusty chase. After a while she will marry, and bekum az serious az a white mice in a wire trap. Her husband will be az proud of her az a third lutenant ov hiz fust epaulettes. Her children will be brought up to toe the mark, and, tho different from all the other wimmin in the naborhood, she will be admired more than reproved.


Never swop hosses with a deakon—not if yu belong tew the same church he duz.

If yu hav got a hoss that you ask 200 dollars for, and are offered 75 dollars for him, alwus sell him; dont spile a good hoss trade for 125 dollars.

If you should, bi acksident, git hold ov a sound hoss, git shut of him az soon az yu kan, for yu wont be happy with him.

If, in swopping hosses, yu git kornered, and kant lie, postpone the trade untill next day.

Noboddy ever expekts tew buy a hoss without gitting cheated; tharefore, if a hoss jockey dont lie, he loses one ov his blessed privileges.

mouse in church

Mice kan liv enny whare fust rate except in a church.—they fatt very slo in a church.—this shows that they kant liv on religion, enny more than a minister kan.

Yures. Josh Billings

women's rights march

Whenever i see a real hansum woman engaged in the "wimmin rights" bizzness, i am a going to take off mi hat, and jine the proceshun.—

See if i dont. Josh Billings

Q.–Whi iz the meazles like fresh mackrel?
A.–They run in schools, and hav tew be kaught before they can be had.

Deakon John Jones waz a pius man,
But for one thing I kant lend praze;
'Twas asking pardon bekauze he swore,
When his old ram knokt him end waze.

almanac September 1872


The male man usherd into existence this month will be ov an enquiring mind. The fust thing he will enquire for will be sum good cider. He will studdy divinity at fust, but will quit that and bekum a konduktor on a hoss rale-rode; this pays better, and haz more perquisites. He will marry the woman ov his choice, which iz good, provided the choice iz all right. His hair will turn grey before he dies, but after he dyes he will hav black hair the rest of hiz days.

The woman born this month will be short ov stattue, and acquainted with grief. She will want a grate menny things, in this world, that aint handy tew be got. She will marry just about the right time, and undertake tew liv with her mother in law, which iz a diffikult kontrakt tew fill. The wimmin born this month are like a rhode island greening, ripen slow, and are most delightful away long into the winter.

☛ TO LET. ☚

Enny person having an easy pill to take, that will restore a shatterd reputashun, without change ov diet tew the pashunt, kan hav this advertising space hily reazonable.

Enquire of

little bird

Q.–Whare did Adam strike when he fell?
A.–On hiz kneeze, I hope.

Bukwheat kakes this month lay in,
Eat freely of pork and sassage;
Theze things kind Heaven givs to us,
Who in this world works our passage.

almanac October 1872


The gentleman born this month will be a hard worker, but phond ov old wine. He will forgit tew pay sum ov hiz debts, but will hav a blue eye, and be a good singer. He will marry between 18 and 45, and be an excellent judge ov hash on toast. He will liv a grate length, and reach deth by a cirkuitous route.

She who cums tew see us this month will be az welkum az a dandylion in the buzzum of winter. She will be a dutiful dauter, a warm-harted sister, a tender mother, and a handsum wife—(Kind Heaven! send us az menny ov this sort az convenient.)


Hire an offiss on the main street of the village, and stay in the offiss.

When yu do go out, alwus go on the jump.

Dont never talk mutch on enny subjek, but alwus look kussid misterious.

Seldum go tew church, but when yu do, alwus leave before the church duz.

Charge everyboddy like thunder and litening.

If yu pholler theze rules clussly, and don't suckceed, yu kan kum tew the konklushun that the doktrine bizzness ain't so good as it waz last year.

Q.–Who waz the best-preserved woman that ever lived?
A.–Lot's wife.

Jane Lovell waz a farmer's wife,
A wife waz she wuth having, too;
For when Jane Lovell rooled up her sleeves,
Things round that hous begin tew flew.

almanac November 1872


The man born this month will hav a sanguine temprament. He thinks he iz in luv with every woman he meets, and wont git married till late in life. When he duz git wedded, he is a-going tew wed a woman who haz been playing the same game he haz—falling in love with every man she meets. They are both ov them going tew git cheated the wust way.

The girl born this month, tho late in the season, is a-going tew ketch up before she gits through. She wont remane single, and iz a-going tew be a leetle diffikult tew manage double. She will see Naples, but iz too smart to die right off on that account. She will admire menny men, but will love but one, and that iz her husband. If her husband iz smart enuff to know this, they will travel through life like 2 pigeons.


Tew kure the bight ov a krab, soke the krab's feet in bileing hot water.

Tew find the kontents ov a gallon ov whiskee, multiply a pint ov fusil ile bi 8 pints ov Venice turpentine.

Tew kure the gout, liv on Boston krackers, and saw wood for 25 cents a kord.

Tew make a goose good eating, bring her up tenderly.

Tew keep kats from being et up bi rats, muzzle the rats.

Q.–How did robins git their name?
A.–By robin cherry-trees.

The farmer leads an eazy life,
12 hours a day ends hiz labors,
Evenings pares apples for cider sass,
Or hauls over the coals hiz nabors.

almanac December 1872


1st. Skarsity beets are the hardest kind ov beats to beet; their grate skarsity makes them beet all other kind ov beats.

2d. Turnups should be planted near the top ov the ground, if yu want them tew turn up good.

3d. Egg plants iz good, but eggs sot under a stiddy hen will produce more chickens than they will tew plant them.

4th. Potatoze are gennerally a helthy krop, but they are liable tew hav weak eyes.

5th. Cowcumbers do the best in a lot bi themselfs; it aint best tew cumber up a kitchen gardin with cows.

6th. Oats will gro on sum warm land, but tew yield well they hav got tew be thrasht; it iz jiss so with beans, only beans has got to be poled fust, and thrasht afterwards.

7th. Rye duz the best on a dry and thirsty sile, espeshily old rye; too mutch water will drown out old rye.

8th. Tud stools will do well on a wet earth; so will tuds; but woodchucks must hav a gravelly sile.



The byrometer will rize very sudden this morning at Pordunk, 3 foot, and fall the like amount at Sakramento City. The diffikulty in the weather for the last 2 days, which haz predominated at Boston and around New Orleans, waz owing tew the byrometer at Pordunk being took down and sent tew the blacksmith's shop for repairs.

Clear weather haz existed at Goose kreek, and northwest ov Montreal, with a growing tendency tew wind gustiness.


Ambrozial weather will permeate all around Pordunk for the next 16 months, with rain and snow; and all sorts ov stuff in the ballance ov the United States of America.

The probabilitiz iz that the abuv probabilitiz will assimilate themselfs tew the principal probabilitiz in the case.

If they don't, du notiss will be giv.

In the mean time be kalm, be dignified, and don't be skeered.



Aries is a latin ram. He is kompozed ov wool all over, and horns in front. How Aries, the ram, got into the zodiak bothers me to this day, but he probably jumpt in out ov sumboddys back lot. This is all owing tew bad fences. Aries waz born soon after the diskovery ov this world by Kaptain Kook, the perambulator. Since the days ov Aries the hydraulik ram haz been born, a very hard ram tew fleece. Aries haz the post ov honor amung the sighns in the zodiak, and presides over the head ov the human anatomy. This iz a just kompliment tew hiz kapacity for putting a hed onto things. Aries, the ram, tho he haz no literary pretenshuns, haz made menny brilliant hits in hiz day.


Take one quart ov red cow's milk.

Strain all the water out ov the milk.

Puntch the milk severely with santy cruize rum.

Ramify it well with white sugar.

Koruskate sum nutmeg on the brow ov it.

Drink tew the Amerikan Eagle standing.

(This recipee haz been in the Billings family going on 300 years, and iz desighned for one person, and always hits the mark.)

red hot hornet

The Hornet iz a red hot child ov natur, and haz a bizzness end to him.=

Respekfully, Josh Billings

cockroach in soup plate

The cockroach dont liv on what he eats, but what he kan git into, and often finding him ded in mi soup, i hav cum to the konklushun, that he kant swim, but that he kan float for a long time=

Josh Billings

Q.–What would be a good motto for a taylor?
A.–Let her rip.

Joel Briggs waz born down east,
Hiz hight waz 6 feet 2,
Hiz panterloons waz striped,
And hitched beneath hiz shu.

almanac January 1873



One ov the best behaved animiles in the whole zodiak is Taurus the zodiak bull. He is alwus laying down flat sunning himself. He dont hav ennything tew employ hiz mind with only in fli time. Fli time iz alwus a bizzy time with Taurus. The bull down here nowdaze iz a sour headed old codger who goes swareing up and down the turnpike about sumthing, but in the daze ov Virgil he had golden horns, and poetry in hiz veins. Menny folks hav asked me what on earth they wanted a bull in the zodiak for, and i hav always sed, it waz just az necessary az tew hav bulls in Wall street. This always seemed tew satisfy their questions prodigiously. Taurus governs the nek in the sighns ov the zodiak, which haz giv rise to that tender, and klassikal sentiment, called "bull necked."


Dear One.—Enklosed please find 10 Dollars—if you kan.


Kum home! kum home! mi dear husband, i freely forgiv yu for all i hav did.


Waz the lady in blue, who trod on the gentleman's toe in gray, in the 8th avenew kars last frida nite corned, or waz it the toe that waz corned?—References exchanged.


Q.–Who fust struk ile?

Joel Briggs a pedlar waz,
A pedlar ov renoun,
He delt in tin ware and sitch,
And druv from toun tew toun.

almanac February 1873



Cancer iz a hard sheld krab, and haz 2 sets ov leggs, which are lokated on the starbord side ov their pussons. Cancer travels on hiz muscle, and thare aint no individual sighn in the zodiak ov hiz size kan whip him. I hav studdyed the krab clussly, and et him sloly, and I dont kno him yet. Crabs bight with their feet, and hang on like the rumatiz. Biled krab is good but a man must eat them bi the day, he would starve to deth eating them bi the job. Krabs are kaught bi tieing a knot onto the end ov a string, and dropping it down into the water whare the krab iz, and when yu haul in the string, perhaps yu hav krab, and perhaps yu hav knot. This iz the way a grate menny things in this world are not kaught. In the zodiak Cancer rules the brest. I should rather hav a blister plaster in mi buzzum than a krab or a cancer.


Enny one having a helthy goose, ov good moral karakter, will hear ov a purchaser by addressing Solaman Wainscote, Pordunk P. O.

The goose must be broke tew eat grass.

One that knoze how to lay 2 eggs a day prefered.

If the goose should be a leetle tuff, no matter.

What we want iz a smart goose, no kussid phool goose wanted.

Q.–Who iz the greatest hero ov modern times?
A.–Josh Ward, heroed a mile in 4 minitts.

Once hiz hoss had been a nag,
A trotting nag at that,
But now he waz a pelter,
And enny thing but phatt.

almanac March 1873



One ov the best preserved females ov the age iz Virgo the Virgin. She dont look an hour older than she did in the spring ov 1818 when i fust saw her. Virgo haz lite blu eyes and yeller hair, and i should esteem her to weigh about 117 pounds. Virgo haz menny admirers, and report sez, she haz had menny good trades offered her (one waz a duke) but she deklines matrimony. I congratulate her spunk. If she haz got a good lone hand i like to see her play it, even if she gits ukered. I hope Virgo will remain whare she iz for life, for she iz the only sighn in the zodiak that i love tew witness. Thare iz one thing about Virgo that pleazes me wonderful, and that iz, when the grecian bend waz raging on earth, and crooking most all the other wimmin, she never bent a bit. Hallelujah! for Virgo.


The widdo Betsey Brown will receive proposals sealed at her residence No. 86 Hopvine St. for the next 90 daze.

Kontraktors must state their best offers.

Diagrams of the widdows looks kan be had at the above No.

The widdo reserves the privilege ov refusing all offers.

The highest Bidder gits the worm.

Agents needn't applikate.

Q.–Whi iz the kodfish like a sailor?
A.–Bekauze he iz an old salt.

'Twas Joels way t' stop hiz kart,
At every hous and shop,
Fust tew tell a bit ov nuze,
And then propoze tew swop.

almanac April 1873



Next to the hornet, the skorpion seems tew me to be pretty mutch all ded loss. I never had mutch faith in enny kind ov a kritter who waz bilt only tew bite. Skorpions do the best in a hot naberhood. If a man should take all the skorpions in the world up into the northern part ov Nu Hampshire he would loze money on them. They wouldn't thaw out thare in time for bizzness. I never hav seen a skorpion only in the zodiak, and i aint sorry for this. If thare should ever be a fite in the zodiak i hope it will be krab and skorpion. This would be a fite in which no one would care whitch whipt. I kant tell yu just now how the skorpion got aboard ov the zodiak, but bi looking at hiz piktur i should say he stood 2 good chances tew do it, one waz tew enter hed fust, and the other waz to change ends and go in that way.


A malteese soprano kat, about 12 months old, singing old hundred on a picket fence, late last thursda nite, whichever person owns sed kat will find him (or her, according tew circumstansis) in a vakant lot, just bak ov our hous, still butiful in death.


Found an old blew kotting umbrel worth nothing, in place ov a nu silk one worth 12 dollars and fifty cents, if the person who lost the blew kotting umbrel bi finding the other one, hasn't had time enuff yet tew repent ov hiz blunder, 60 days longer will be granted him tew weep over the ackcident.

youth blowing horn

Yung man, dont be afrade to blo yure own horn, but dont blo it in front ov the proceshun, go to the rear and do it.=

Yure Uncle, Josh Billings.=

chest full of old clothes

The reputashun that a man gits from hiz ansestors, often wants az mutch altering to fit him, az their old clothes would.=

It iz truly thus, Josh Billings.=

Q.–What iz a blunderbuss?
A.–Kissing the wrong woman.

Joel would swop for enny thing,
Tin ware for rags, or brass,
Jews harps for kats, brooms for beans,
Wood bowls for apple sass.

almanac May 1873



Kaprikornus the zodiak gote iz a sheep with hair on him, and kan eat enny thing he kan swallow if it chokes him. They infest all over kreashun, but are thikker in the upper part of Nu York citty ackording tew populashun than otherwise. Their principal bizzness is tew fite, and giv milk, they average about a quart ov milk, and four knokdowns a day. They kant klimb a greast pole, but kan kreep up the side of a rok az natral az a wood-bine kan. They hav a krak in their foot, and also one in their voice, and a mustash on their bottom lip. Aries and Kaprikornus are the two buts ov the zodiak. In the zodiak Kaprikornus governs the kneeze, and people born under this sighn are apt tew be knok kneed.


A bright bay poodle dorg, 5 dollars reward, ov a warm natur, and no questions asked, with one white foot behind, will be paid for hiz return, when he stole away, with flowing ears, or waz strayed by sumboddy, answers tew Kristopher Kolumbust, with a brass colar, exchange papers pleaze copy, and haz a frantik tale.

Q.–How menny skruples in one dram.
A.–This depends upon who takes the dram.

His kart waz a karavan,
Piled hi with every kind
Ov dikker yu kould name,
Besides sumthin hitched behind.

almanac June 1873



Pisces are the only two fishes we hav enny account ov who hav bin able tew swim on land and not tutch bottom. It iz now over 4000 years since they cum ashore and took lodgings in the zodiak. It haz alwus been a fish-bone ov kontenshun amung the natral philosophers whether they belong tew the kodfish, or the sucker family. I hav bin asked mi opinyun on this topick a 100 thousand times, but hav alwus maintained grate solemnity on the subjekt. It is alwus mi way when i dont kno nothing about enny thing, to look learned, and smile wisdum. Mi private opinyun iz, that pisces iz a pikerel, or a porgy, or a perch, and weighed originally about 9 pounds, but i dont want to bet on this. I kant tell whether Pisces would bite on an angleworm or not, but i think thare iz sum law aginst fishing in private ponds. Pisces iz a game fish, but what hiz game iz i dont kno, but probably hi lo Jak, or draw poker.


Here she lize—the queen ov pize,
Aunt Sally Ann Von Blixen,
Apple, and mince, kustard, and quince,
She couldn't be beat in mixen.

Sakred this spot—stir her up not—
Her grace all lay in pi fixen,
Better sa i—go without pi,
Than wake up this old vixen.

Q.–What breed ov hens set the best?
A.–Thoze without leggs.

For 50 miles round about,
When Joel cum along,
The wimmin all tur ned out,
For swopping mity strong.

almanac July 1873



Aquarius duz the sprinkling pot bizzness for the zodiak. He kan be seen enny klear day up in the zodiak laying the dust which the other zodiakers kik up. He iz a quiet old gent about 5 foot 6, and wears a wool hat, and a bull's eye watch. Who hiz ansestors waz no one kan tell. He iz an old bachelor now, but they tell me, up in the zodiak, that he alwus takes the most pains when he sprinkles in front ov Virgo. Thare iz a tradishun in Pordunk, that Aquarius was once a tempranse lekturer, but gitting too thin for the bizzness waz translated, and sot to sprinkling in the zodiak. Aquarius haz charge ov the leggs amung the sighns in the zodiak, and i notis that water iz better for the legs than sum other fluids i know.



Teacher. What kind ov a bird iz a Heron?

Skoller. A herring iz a small fish, az full ov bones az a fine tooth comb.

Teacher. To what genus duz the Kat belong?

Skoller. The musikal genius, they lay around daze, and chant around nites.

Teacher. Which iz the wizest fowl?

Skoller. The owl sir, bekause he hoots at most things.

Teacher. What kind ov fish are plentyest in market during dog days?

Skoller. Smelts sir.

Teacher. Class in botany may set down.

Q.–How menny geese duz it take to make a flok?
A.–One would satisfy me.

Sheep skins, goose yokes, and frying pans,
Basswood cheeze from Goshen,
Bob sleds, brass rings, and bears ile,
Waz sum ov Joels noshuns.

almanac August 1873



Sagittarius iz the William Tell ov the zodiak. He kan hit an apple on the top ov Virgo's hed 200 paces oph, and not only halve the apple into quarters, but knok the seeds 27 different direkshuns. He wins the cigars at all the target excursions in the zodiak. In shooting at a muskeeter once who had lighted onto the tail ov Leo, he aimed a leetle too delikate, and dekapitated the dorsal extenshun ov Leo. This waz looked upon bi all the other phellows in the zodiak az a supplementary shot. Leo waz laid up in the horsepittol for 6 months, but hiz codicil gru out about 2 foot more than it waz before. Sagittarius iz the comik genius ov the zodiak, and on fourth of Julys shutes pennys oph from a stik, injun fashion. In the zodiak sighns Sagittarius oversees the thighs, but for what I dont seem tew kno.


A mail child, Eleven months old, well broke tew the bottle, 9 teeth kut, lite sunset hair, without spot or blemish, no parents ov enny ackount, hard tew kry, dont bite, shows sighns ov genius, and haz had wackshination.

Enquire within.

bulldog in gateway

I never question a suckcess enny more than I do the right ov a bull dog to lie in hiz own gateway.=

no I dont, Josh Billings.=

man with good umbrella

The diffrence between a mistake, and a blunder.

When a man sets down a poor umbreller, and takes up a good one, he makes a _mistake_, but when he sets down a good umbreller, and takes up a poor one, he makes a _blunder_.=

Excuse haste. Josh Billings

Q.–When duz a fly git badly stuck?
A.–When he fools with mollassis.

When puter knives went oph slo,
Joel waz a kunning kuss,
He could just turn to and swop
An old hoss dredful cluss.

almanac September 1873



Sixteen ounces to the pound wrongs no man. I dont want enny better evidence that things are strikly on the square in the zodiak than the fakt, that they keep a pair ov skales up thare, and they are alwus level. Thare iz a grate deal ov native honesty in a pair of skales. When i begun life, i looked upon every boddy az honest az a pair ov skales, but the skales hav dropt oph from my eyes since, and i begin tew look upon things more az they am. I look upon every man now az strikly honest, who kan prove it. I want honesty weighed out to me just az i do mi sassage, 16 ounces tew the pound. Honesty that lacks an ounce in every pound aint worth a kuss. The ounce that iz lacking iz just what beats us. In the zodiak concern Libra holds the reins over the anitomikal hoss.


One ov the smartest things a man kan do, iz to drink peper sass.

One ov the safest things a man kan do, iz to ride a saw hoss.

One ov the surest things a man kan do, iz tew slip up on the ice.

One ov the lazyest things a man kan do, iz tew eat soup with a fork.

One ov the longest things a man kan do, iz to long for perfekt happiness.

One ov the handyest things a man kan do, is to giv hiz note for 90 daze.

Q.–Whi iz a lie called a yarn?
A.–Bekauze it iz dubble and twisted.

'Tis the fate ov kunning men,
Ofttimes tew pla the fule,
So with Joel when he swopt
Horses for a balky mule.

almanac October 1873



Leo iz the only real lion that haz been allowed tew run around loose amung folks. Thus far he haz abstained from human flesh. Thare iz a report in the zodiak that he and Taurus had sum words about 15 thousand years ago, but i kant git hold ov the fakts in the case. Leo waz born in the smart little village ov Numidia in the state of Africa, ov unknown parents, and iz now 260 thousand years old. Leo will probably end hiz days in the zodiak, and i hav looked at Leo's piktur in the zodiak gallery and dont hesitate tew rekomend him az a good job for all in search ov a disinterested lion. The lion iz like an auckshioneer in one respekt, hiz grate strength lays in hiz jaw. In the sighns ov the zodiak Leo akts on the heart, and this ackounts for the human heart being so tuff. Next to the gizzard, the heart iz the tuffest piece ov meat in the whole human kritter.


President. Have yu a gold kronometer worth 300 dollars?

Konduktor. Not mutch!

President. Do yu keep a trotter?

Konduktor. Not enny!

President. Hav yu enny dimond rings?

Konduktor. Nary!

President. Do yu own a fiteing dog?

Konduktor. Nothing ov the sort!

President. How much bank stock have yu got?

Konduktor. Not a red!

President. We shant want yu,—the Pordunk valley rale rode haz got done furnishing konduktors with these things.

Q.–What did Adam and Eve weigh when they left Paradise?
A.–They weighed ankor and haint dropt it since.

He sold the mule for 3 dollars'
Worth ov honey in the comb,
Then got himself between the shafts,
And hauld the waggin home.

almanac November 1873



I have asked several literary people if they would tell me whoze two children the Gemini waz, but they all shook their heds, and begun tew whissell. Maybe they thought i waz a kondem phool. I would just like tew know all about this. Thare iz 2 things in this life for which we are never fully prepared, and them iz twins. The zodiak twins are a kupple ov nice little phellows, if their piktur aint mistaken on the subjekt I never hav saw them only in their pikturs. Twins are two very interesting acksidents tew happen in sumboddy elses family, but one twin at a time suits me the most. In the zodiak sighns, the Gemini akt on the arms. I have alwus noticed that when a person haz twins the sighns are in the arms.


Teacher. Which iz the most stubborist animile?

Skoller. The klam, he wont budge a bit!

Teacher. Who iz the most open gaited animile?

Skoller. The swine, he kan open enny kind ov a gate!

Teacher. Which iz the most sure footedest animile?

Skoller. The mewel, he kan hit a man twice in a seckond 10 foot oph.

Teacher. Who iz the most foolishest animile?

Skoller. The goose, he dont kno enuff to go in when it rains.

Teacher. Class in metaphisicks may set down.

Q.–What iz the hardest thing a man kan do?
A.–Tend sumboddy else's baby.

Hiz wife (God bless her) went out tew push,
And learn whi this waz sutch,
Joel dropt a tear, and sed,
"Hannah! I've swopt once tew mutch."

almanac December 1873


Whenever yu see a yung man hanging around a korner grosery, and drinking 3 cent gin every time he kan git enny boddy tew ask him, yu kan make up yure mind that he haz bin unanimously nominated for the stait prizon, and will probably git his elekshun.

Whenever yu see an old goose setting on a post hole, and trieing tew hatch the hole out, yu kan cum tew the konklushun that she is strikly a one idee goose.

Whenever a forlorn kat gits under yure windo, in a hot nite, and begins tew holler, yu may kno that kat wants sumthing,—killing, probberbly.

Whenever yu see a dog stop suddintly, in the road, with a flee onto him, and begin tew flea round, and round, after himself, untill he falls down, and rools over, yu will say tew yureself, that dorg iz like the wicked, he fleas, when no man perseweth.


The "Josh Billings Allminax" iz one ov our tex books, at the Pordunk Feminine Institoot.

Mrs. Charity Skidmore, A.M.

Medisin Book—Ugh!!

Spotted tail, Chief ov the Pawnees.

Full ov thought, full ov pathos, full ov phun.

John Brace, L.L.D.

It's a big thing, bi Jupiter.

Billy Murdok.

How spontaneous! How pathetic! How preponderating! How!—How are yu Josh!

Doktor Blake.

Oh yu pesky thing, Josh! yu are too killing.

Sally Ann Sprauge.



Adam Billings waz the fust ov the Billingses. He waz verry phatt. Little did he dream ov the glorious krop that waz a going tew spring up from hiz sowing. He waz born, az near as i kan figger, about the year 1200, more or less. Hiz temper iz represented az being az even az the figger 2. Hiz habits were az pure az the mountain dew; he never drinkt enny spiritous rum, nor root elevators. He went barefutt untill hiz 32d year, and ever afterwards luved the naked futt. He waz a good danser, and realized thoze blessed old shake downs, now gone and fled. He waz named after the original Adam, and iz sed, bi them who remember them both, tew resembel him mutch in the kast ov hiz face. He waz too fond ov the marvelous, he wouldn't tell a lie exackly, but he could cum az near tew it, az a swallo kan to a frog's noze, when they skim a mud puddle. Adam Billings iz now ded, i beleave, but if he aint, and this should meet hiz eye, he kant, i think, but admire the square manner in which his luvely relik haz handled his case. Adam Billings didn't leave much reputashun behind him, but what he did leave, is fair tew middling. We nee'r shall see him more. Probably not. Too true. Rather melankolly than otherwise.


Thare iz naut so hard for grief tew handle,
Az the man whoze ribs are phatt 's a kandle.

runaway cow

Josh Billings, and the Yung Man.=

Yung Man, dont kry for spilt milk, but pik up yure pail, and milking stool, and go for the next Cow.=

Yures affekshionately, Josh Billings.

man with tight boot

Tite Boots

Thare iz only one thing that kan be sed in favour ov tite Boots—they make a man forgit all his other Sorrows.= Josh Billings.

Q.–What iz ginger pop?
A.–Gimnastic water.

In Pordunk town thare lived a man,
A man ov small posseshion,
Hezekiah Birch waz hiz name,
A teacher bi profeshun.

almanac January 1874



Zepheniah Billings waz a phiddler bi birth and purswashun. He also had another natral gift, and that waz tew owe everyboddy. Late in life he quit phiddling, and took up shumaking; but the world lost a good phidler bi the operashun, and got a kussid poor shumaker. Oh! 'tis ever thus. At hiz final deth he owed upwards ov 70 dollars, and hiz leavings konsisted ov one old phiddle, and a pint ov bass wood shupegs. He would travel on foot 7 miles tew a kuntry tavern, and phiddle all nite at a kuntry bawl for 75 cents, and owe the landlord two dollars and a half nex morning for vittles and drink. Zeph' was an unprofitable man to know, for he couldn't tend an evening meeting, on sunday, without running into det to sumboddy. It waz sed ov him, that he waz never known tew shed a tear or pa a det. He died finally, and i presume he was saved; but he may hav bin lost, for accidents will happen in the uppermost familys. He had a cool hed, and a warm harte. Bless Zepheniah Billings, he was a ripe skollar on the phiddle, and could pla "Tare her down Sal," and sich dear old sweet-savoured things, klean up tew perfekshun. He haz gone now, allass! allass! but i am prepared tew say, in the language ov another, "Bully for yu, Zepheniah!" All flesh iz grass. So iv'e bin told. Funny. Mutch.


To kure the fidgits and calm the bile, The phiddle iz like kastor ile.

Q.– What iz man?
A.– Live dirt.

For twenty long and weary years,
He meekly workt for others good,
And well he taught the distrik skool,
Boardin round the naborhood.

almanac February 1874



Jehossiphat Billings waz a very kluss man; he never waz known tew waste ennything, by giving it away. The grate extravaganse ov hiz life, and the one he never forgot tew speak ov, waz giving 3 dollars towards bilding the Pordunk meetin hous. After he giv the munny, he took such a deep interest in the work on the metin house, that the kommitty waz obliged tew giv him bak the munny to git shut ov him. He swore he'd sue them for the interest on the munny, but he never did. Jehoss' Billings waz one ov them kind ov men who mistake avarice for ekonemy. He died at the age of 63, if i hav sarched right, from an overdose ov klam chowder drank at a free lunch. Jehossiphatt Billings had his phailings, but rekless extravaganse want amung the lot, he also had his virteus, but blind and irrepressible generosity want among this lot neither. He waz buried, without eny fuss, in the year 1286. What has bekum ov him I kant state. Sleep on, Jehossiphat, in thi slumbers. I would like tew say sum more about Jehoss', but i kant without telling the truth. Truth iz sumtimes like a hot pertato, the only way tew handle it eazy, is tew drop it. I will dri up here. The end. Hush! Lay low.


The klussest man i ever knu,
Waz Deakon Erastus Meggs,
Tew save expense, he oft would sett,
Hiz pullets on spile-ed eggs.

Q.–What iz hash?
A.–A konfidense game.

He sawed the wood and bilt the fires,
And while the boys were playing,
Hurried, and swept the skool hous out,
And dun a little praying.

almanac March 1874



Melkisidek Billings waz a dandy ov the old skool, and also a lover. He loved the whole entire femail populashun. He parted hiz hare in the middle, and did it unkommon even. He had one grate weakness which grew on him, and that waz the length ov hiz little finger-nale. Historians say that this finger-nale gru tew be a yard in length, but it strikes me that this must be a profound lie. He waz a very punktillious man, in hiz every-day wear, and drest chuck up tew the fashun. Melkisidek hadn't mutch branes, but he didn't need much, for hiz bizzness thru life waz the lover bizzness. Just before he died he marrid, and left one dauter, a sentimental offspring, who afterwards run away, at the age ov 16, with a dansing master. Mel' Billings waz ov the nuter jender, he hadn't karakter enuff to do enny hurt, and ov kourse kouldn't do enny good. He died about the right time, anno dominoze, 1695, and waz buried comfortably in the grave yard, at lower Pordunk town. Melkisidek Billings waz mi ansesstor, and that waz kind in him. He had an epitaff on hiz stone which i dont rekolekt ov ever seeing in print before, and for the benefit ov those who studdy theze memorandums i will translate it. "An honest man iz the nobless work ov God." Good, aint it? Rather!


Dandys are a harmless crew,
Ov the butterfly purswashun;
Happy with a nektie new,
Hero's ov sum small ockashun.

Q.–Define twins?
A.–2 mutch.

In this big, but pekuliar world,
Not a friend had Hezekiah,
The boys put pins into hiz chair,
And water in hiz hair diah.

almanac April 1874



Soloman Billings waz born the 26th ov May, 1322, old stile. He waz knone fur and near for hiz chunks ov wisdum, but, like Soloman ov old, he could talk wisdum better than he could do it. This iz the way with all the wize men i hav met lately. Soloman Billings waz a leetle slippery, but he managed tew git thru life without slipping down mutch, and died reazonably well. He waz sed, bi all who knu him, tew be chuk full ov wisdum; he could tell, bi looking at the egg, how mutch a goslin would weigh before it waz born, and when the best time waz tew set a hen or a gate-post. Sol's mouth waz full ov wisdum; litening couldn't strike a tree, just for fun, but what he would preach a moral sermon from the tex. He waz dredful sertain ov what he did kno, and want the least bit unsertain ov what he didn't kno. I find in digging down tew the hard pan ov Soloman, mi ansesstor, that he had a grate deal ov vanity, a large amount ov impudense, a good supply ov inkredulity, just the things, for all the world, tew make a wize phool out of. He died az aforesed, and i look bak upon him az one who haz departed this life. Adew, Soloman, mi ansesstor. Deth iz tuff. Sumwhat! I will add, quite.


Wisdom chunks are chunkier far,
Than all the chunks that chunky ar.

man fastening collar

Josh Billings Ultimatum.

The man who kan wear a paper collar, a whole week, and keep it klean,—aint good for enny thing else.=

Jess so, Josh Billings.

man pulling bull by the tail

Josh Billings, and the Bull.

Never take the Bull bi the horns Yung Man, but take him bi the tale. Then yu kan let go when yu want to.=

Yure warm friend, Josh Billings

Q.–What iz ignorance?
A.–Raw happiness.

The skule kommitty made him work,
(How krewel and unphealling,)
For less than a bartender gits,
And nary chance for stealing.

almanac May 1874



Duteronomy Billings waz a square man. He waz az square az the bloks on a checker-board. He waz just the same kind ov a man in the fall, az he waz in the spring ov the year; yu didn't hav tew winter him tew find out who he waz. He alwus did az he agreed, but waz dredful bakward about agreeing. Duteronomy waz immense in one thing, and that waz the length ov hiz noze. He had more noze ackordin, than enny man in history. One writer ov the eleventh sentury, sez hiz noze waz 8 inches in length, and another makes it a frackshun over 10 inches; i will split the difference, and call it 7. If Dute' waz alive now, i think he would sustain mi figgures. In writing theze details ov mi ansesstors, i am guided bi a luv tew do a square thing, and if i er, it will be all owing tew mi luk. I never waz right lucky since I had the meazles. They took place in the 14th year ov mi age, when i lived with mi unkle. I had them too thik. Duteronomy Billings waz named after old Duteronomy ov bible times, and az ansesstors run, he waz a very good kind ov a one tew hav. He died az he had lived, exackly square. In konklushun i will say lie still dear Dute', yu hav got a square thing. Thare iz force in the idee. I may add, grate force. Very. Indeed.


Sum men are oktagon,
And sum three-sided are,
'Tis mortal tuff tew find one
Who iz kompletely square.

Q.–Define the hen?
A.–A lay member.

Tho kivvered o'er with sich abuse,
He never fout agen it,
The very wuss that Hez' would kuss,
Waz the simple word KONDEMIT.

almanac June 1874



Porkanbeans Billings lived and throve in the 16th sentury. He loved a horse with grate power. He could swop a horse clusser than enny man that imparshall history tells ov. He iz sed tew have swopped Deakon Absolem Featherweight, klean out ov a 5 year old sorrel horse, at one swop, and the deakon waz looked upon az almost insurmountable in a dikker. Not tew disguise the fakt, Porky Billings waz a hoss jockey ov the anshunt daze, one who hung around the village tavern, and alwuss had on hand an old flag-tailed pelter, with a glass eye, tew trade with ennyboddy. I dont feal like bragging ov Porkanbeans az an ansesstor, but i must say, az a horse jockey, (if all reports are trew) i feal proud ov him. I forgot tew state, that Porky left no property. Thare iz a grate deal ov genius in the horse-swop bizzness but fu assetts. Porkanbeans died instantly, sumwhare about the fust ov the 17th sentury. He waz struk bi the hind feet ov a mule. Moral karakter even wont save a phello-being from dissolushun, when a mule goes for him with both hind feet at once. Sich iz life. Sich iz the mule. Porkanbeans haz my sympathy, he also haz mi tears, but i dont serpose they will be worth mutch tew him now, he iz too ded. Fairwell old phello-being, fairwell mi ansesstor. Deth iz our porshun. I think i kan say this without making a phool ov miself. Undoubtedly. Yes. Jiss so.


Tew swop a horse and not git beat,
Iz sumthing nice tew brag on,
I tried it once, and that's the time
I lost a horse—and waggon.

Q.–Pleaze defin a good wife?
A.–A silent partner in the consarn.

Dont talk to me ov anshunt Job,
Ov biles he had a plenty,
But they were all one breed ov biles,
Leastwise 19 out ov twenty.

almanac July 1874



Jamaika Billings waz sed bi good judges ov the artikle, tew be the lazyest man that ever visited this world. At the age ov 14 he waz pronounced bi the doktors too lazy tew ketch flies. He waz named after hiz unkle who had a grate speshiality in the jamaika-rum line, and who could float more ardent speerits, on an evener keel, than enny human kraft in thoze daze. Jamaika lived tew a grate extent; sum say that he waz 160 when he died, and sum put it at 142, but all giv in that he didn't di from enny disseaze, but kind ov lazyed tew deth. He waz born tired, and never outgru it. He marrid at 37, but hiz wife left him at the end ov the fust month ov their nupshalls, taking with her all the pussonell affekts, whitch were a kupple ov cedar wash-tubs, and a seckond-hand buggy harness, brass-mounted. Her fust name waz Polly Ann. They never met afterwards, if they did, history dont kno it. Jamak'e Billings didn't hav enny vice tew speak ov, he waz even too lazy for that. He seems tew hav spent hiz life in hanging around places, keeping ragged and phatt on nothing. He died in Old Pordunk, and i suppoze waz burried, but history dont say so, in jiss so menny words. He waz mi ansesstor, but i kant help it. Can I? I hav bin told not. Queer.


I never knu, in all mi life,
Enny man tew go krazy,
Who alwuss took things setting down,
And kultivated hiz lazy.

Q.–What iz a cock loft
A.–A roosters hed.

But in a distrik skool i kno,
Each boy's a bile uncommon,
And must a diffrent poultiss hav,
Tew git a hed upon em.

almanac August 1874



Ekleeziastiks Billings waz a Puritan bi natur and occupashun. He waz az puritan az spring lam soaked in mint saus. Sum ov the most kold and thawless stok in all Nu England oozed from Ekleeze' Billings. He waz kreated nominally in the year 1570, and had hiz trunk packed tew cum over in the May Flower, but didn't cum. He cum over the nex fall, and went immejiately into the pilgrim bizzness. Ekleeziastiks kept a grocery store, and never sanded hiz sugar, nor watered hiz Nu England rum without fust asking tew be forgiv for it. How pure! how lam like! Ekleeziastiks waz very tall, but then he waz very thin; he waz over 6 feet perpendiklar, and not quite 7 inches thru. He weighed 146 with hiz winter clothes and cowhide boots on. He preserved hiz thinity unto deth. He died from eating too mutch garden-truk. How sad! how disinterested! Ekleesiastiks had one virtew which shines tew this day, he waz very saving ov hiz clothes. Hiz best blu koat, with brass buttons on, and a sharp tail tew it, he wore for 18 years, and then kut oph the buttons and had it prest out, and sent it tew the heathen. Ekleeze' waz both a saving and a libral kuss. He lived tew be over 90, and then died game; he wouldn't hav enny doktor. He dispized doktors bills. How touching! Truly. How touchful! Really.


Blest iz the man who iz partikular,
And duz all things up perpindikular.
(Chorus.) Ri fol de rol, ri folderikular.

Josh holding the twins

Josh Billings, and the Twins. =

Thare iz 2 things in this world for which we are never fully prepared, and that is.—twins.=

Jess so, Jess so, Josh Billings.

man swallowing oyster on half shell

Josh Billings on the haff shell.=

The man who swallowed the fust oyster, from the haff shell must hav been astonished, at the sudden way it waz dun, but I dont beleave he waz more suprized, than the oyster waz.= Josh.=

Q.–Define honesty?
A.–The wag ov a dogs tail.

The only kind ov konsolashun
This man got, aint worth a kuss,
For 'twas PITTY,–and we all kno
PITTY iz but mild disguss.

almanac September 1874



Luke Billings waz a skool-master ov the Nu England type and shaddo. He waz an uprite and an austere man, az uprite az a sperm kandle, and az austere az hoss-radish. I look bak onto Luke's memoirs and pitty him, for i pitty awl distrikt-skool masters, all mothers-in-law, and all grass widders. Luke Billings spent hiz whole life in the distrik-skool spekulashun, and died az poor az a salt kodfish. Hiz assetts konsisted ov a pocket-komb and a nu testament. He used tew board round the naborhood, and waz alwuss az hungry az a pikrel. He never had enny friends, nor enny enemys; he waz like a gide-board in this respek. Luke Billings never got marrid, he hadn't the time tew spare. He waz severely engaged, for 26 years, tew Nancy Burbanks, but they both died intestate. They sleep cluss together, in the old grave-yard, at lower Pordunk. Sleep on! sleep on! dear old virgin couple, and pay no attenshun tew noboddy. Lukey wore hiz hare long behind, and kept a distrik skool 34 years 6 months and 17 daze. Oh, dear! oh, dear! Luke i pitty yu. Luke Billings iz an ansesstor that i look bak upon every now and then with my memory, and want tew fite sumboddy on hiz ackount. Fairwell, luvely Luke. Fairwell Lukey. Fairwell. Enuff sed.


From keeping skool, and the pay,
Two things pestiverous,
I feel az tho' I'd like to say,
Good Lord! deliver us.

Q.–What iz a husband?
A.–Gander ov the ockashun.

Much rather would i hav a man,
Than offer me hiz pitty,
Hit me rite smart long side the hed,
For that mite make me gritty.

almanac October 1874



Nebudkennezzar Billings waz an orphan bi birth, and kept a hotel, he did. When yu got fride pork at hiz house, it waz fride pork, it waz. Yu didn't hav a bill ov fare tew tell what it waz, yu didn't. Hiz wife waz smarter than chane litening, and kleaner than a ghost, she waz. Her hash didn't hav enny paving-stuns, nor kart-wheels in it, it didn't. Yu mite az well hunt for the lost tribes ov Izrael on her premises, az to hunt for a kokroach, yu mite. Neb's wife had red hare, and waz bony put together, and could fri pork, tend bar, harness a hoss, trade with a peddlar, and make a gin-sling that could almost talk, she could. Nebudkennezzar Billings waz a pollytishioner, and run hard for konstable in old Pordunk, for menny times, he did. It iz justiss tew hiz memoirs tew state, that tho he run well, the offiss alwuss beat him, it did. He never got elekted, he didn't. How prekarious! how impekunious! how transhunt! Alass! alass! Neb' waz kreated in 1502, and dissoluted in 1569, and spent hiz whole life in the hash bizzness, he did. Hiz wife waz boss while here on earth, and will undertake tew be hereafter, she will. But she kant, kan she? She kant. Happy it iz that thare iz a thussness in theze things. Thrice happy. Even nobby. That's so.


Every man thinks he kan keep a hotel,
But O! how delusiv and rash,
For thare aint no kind ov bizzness so mixt,
Az doing a klean job in hash.

Q.–What iz pitty?
A.–Cheap charity.

Enny man who a skool haz kept
Ten years, (krewel fate allass!)
Ought tew hav hiz shuze pulled oph,
And be turned out tew grass.

almanac November 1874



Mushanmilk Billings waz one ov mi earliest efforts in the way ov ansesstors. He was begot during the 11th or 12th sentury, or thareabouts. He derived hiz name from hiz grate ability tew conquer mush and milk. Titus Odistes, a celebrated writer in thoze days, sez he haz known him tew eat a potash kittle ov puddin and milk, at one sitting. I kant state whether this iz sutch or not, for i never met Mushanmilk personally. He died previous tew mi birth. Titus Odistes also sez, that Mushanmilk had a very sweet disposishun, how sweet, he dont tell us, but from what i kno ov the latter-day saints, amung the Billings family, it couldn't hav bin quite up tew the best brand ov Nu Orleans mollassiss. He waz sed tew be number One in modesty, and sitch like, but this dont exackly conspire with what i know ov the Billings'es. Cheeck haz alwus been reckoned amung our virtews. In taking a square look bak upon mi ansesstors, i find that they were rather a thin set. I find that their ambishun waz the result ov vanity. Their honesty the effekt ov edukashun. Their charity, the luv ov novelty. Their philosophy, able tew bear the stummuk-ake ov others with heroik fortitude, but not worth a kuss in their own; and their virteus generally, more the growth ov their pride than ov their humility. What a pitty! Echo answers, "Jiss so." Man iz an angleworm. He iz. Verily.


Thare aint to-day, so just a vittle,
Az mush,—rite hot, from out the kittle.

Q.–Define salt kodfish?
A.–Vittles and—drink.

Instid ov this, how trew it tis,
The skoolmaster iz treated,
Like one we owe 50 dollars,
And wont admit we've cheated.

almanac December 1874


We would rather be the author of Josh Billings' Farmer's Allminax for 1875, than be elected captain of a malitia company.

Coonhollow Demokrat.

Josh Billings' Farmer's Allminax for the year 1875, is just hatched out; it is like a Thanksgiving pudding, full of rich things; buy it, and set down in a corner, and read, and be happy once, if you never are again.

Boston Pilgrim.

We have a copy of Josh Billings' Allminax on tap, and draw sweet liquor from it each hour; no man can buy our copy, no man can borrow it, and he who steals it, will finally die.

New Orleans Budget.

Saw my right leg off, lift my scalp up, innoculate me with the contents of a six shooter, if Josh Billings' Farmer's Allminax for 1875 aint the bullyest brick the civilized world has ever laid eyes on.

Texas Daily Bandit.

Josh Billings' Farmer's Allminax is once more in our midst; like an oyster on the half shell, it can be took standing, sitting down, or on the run.

Lowell Examiner.


"A pearl ov grate price."

Deakon Mozes Mills.

"I reckomend this allminax to all persons out ov a job."

Israel Pugh.

"Az konsise az a kambrik needle."

E. R. Dunkan.

"This allminax iz az phull ov sharp things az a hedgehog's back."

Ezra Fisk.

"Az natral in the family, and quite az catching, az the meazles."

Dokt. J. Munson.

"Oh lud! i never did peruze enny thing haff so mutch like it."

Widdo Jane Perkins.

"Tis too sweet for enny thing."

Miss Matilda Ann Brown.

"It iz a lofty produkshun, full ov immense wisdum, graphick delineation, and koruskating generalitys."

John Mead, A. M.


Honesty iz like munny, a man haz got to work hard to get it, and then haz got to work harder to keep it. Honesty iz the best kard in the pak; it iz allwuss trumps, and thare iz no man big phool enuff but what he kan play it right every time. Honesty haz been praised more, and praktised less, than enny ov the virtews, but it stands in need ov no ones praise, and fears no ones rebuke. Honesty iz all the virtew that a man needs, and all that an angell haz. Honest men are skarse, and what i am afrade ov now iz, they are going to be skarser. From Adam's day to ours, and from now untill the judgement time, an Honest man haz been, and will be, "The noblest work of God." Pope's deskripshun ov an honest man iz the simplest, and yet the strongest language, that ever haz been used.


A bizzy-body iz like a ritch cheeze,—full ov little things.

When a man aint good for ennything else, he iz just right to sett on a jury.

mosquito on sleeping man's nose

The musketo iz born ov poor but industrious parents,—but haz in hiz veins, sum ov the best blood in the Country=

Yures for 90 Days. Josh Billings=

man showing eggs to hen

Dont hurry things mi sweet friend. The best time to sett a hen,—iz when the hen iz reddy.=

Try it—Josh Billings.=

Q.–What's yure favourite piece ov skulpture?
A.–The mile-stun nearest home.

Erly the Nuze Boy crawls from hiz koal box,
Tho sno on the hard ground may lay,
And skuds for the nuze paper offiss,
To get his supply for the day.

almanac January 1875


Grit iz a good thing to hav, but yu dont want too mutch ov it. I hav known folks who had so mutch grit, that they didn't kno when they waz whipt. This dont pay. I like to see a man who aint afrade to fite a wind-mill, when she iz in phull blast, but i dont kare to see him do it, for a wind-mill iz a hard job to thrash, and they dont kno neither when they hav got enuff. Grit and spunk, are two twins, and their mother iz Courage, and their father iz Bravery. I have seen grit, and spunk, and even courage, that didn't hav a bit ov bravery in them. Bravery allwuss ackts from a principle. Grit may be rite, and may be rong. It aint very certain, or partiklar whitch. Gritty men aint allwuss luvly, they are too mutch like sandpaper to handle, allwuss reddy for a skratch. I like grit in everything, except mi hash, thare iz when i kant bear it. Giv every man yu meet a good big haff ov the turnpike, but if he insists upon the whole ov it, the religion ov the Billings family iz to arbitrate the kase at onst. If a man smotes yu on one cheek, turn him the other one if yu like, but dont let him smote that. This aint fair.


It iz az diffikult to define a sukcess, az it iz to ackount for the meazles.

Coquets make better wives than Prudes do, but thank the Lord, thare iz better ones in market than either ov them.

Q.–What's yure opinyun ov Rats?

Now having arrived at the offiss,
He goes in for nonsense, and noize,
And strives to git hold ov hiz papers,
Before the rest ov the boys.

almanac February 1875


Charity iz a blessed privilege; it lifts poor human natur up to the level ov the angells, and sheds the lite ov heaven on our pathway. It iz the most butiful ov all the impulses ov the heart, and the eazyest to execute. Thare iz not a thought that goes out kindly to welkum a child ov sorrow, but what iz kredited in the grate book ov everlasting life, under the head ov Charity. Thare iz not a gift, not even a kup of kold water, thare iz not a self sakrafice ov enny kind, thare iz not a virtewous wish, nor a kind hope, but what kan be kounted amung the jewels ov charity. Charity hath no markit-price here, nor hereafter, thare iz menny a penny in the grate box that will kount out brighter, at the last day, than enny dollar that iz thare. But thoze people who are the soonest to melt with charity, are often the soonest to freeze up,—i have seen them so fastidious that they couldn't meet an objikt ov charity, without plunging their hand into one pocket, and taking out a ten cent piece, put it right bak into the other, thus satisfying their charity, and saving their munny at the same time.


All the philosophy in the world, wont make a hard trotting hoss ride eazy.

One ov the most unfortunate individuals i kno ov, iz a third-rate fiddler.

Q.–How's yure mother-in-law?
A.–Helthy, i thank yu, how's yures?

Now having his merchandize purchased,
He's out in the sno, and the sleet,
And yells like a "brave" on the war path,
Az swiftly he runs thru the street.

almanac March 1875


Fun is the cheapest fisick that haz bin diskovered yet, and the eazyest to take. Fun pills are sugar coated, and no change ov diet iz necessary while taking them. A little fun will sumtimes go a grate ways, i hav known men to liv to a good old age on one joke, which they managed to tell az often az once a day, and do all the laffing themselves besides that waz done. But thare iz lots ov pholks who kant see enny phun in enny thing, yu couldn't fire a joke into them with a double barrell gun, 10 paces off, they go thru life az sollum az a cow. Menny people think it iz beneath their dignity to relish a joke, sutch people are simply fools, and dont seem to kno it. The Billings family are allwuss on the lookout for fun, it iz sed ov Dexter Billings, one ov our pristines, that he had to be kept under 500 dollar bonds all the time, to keep him from laffing in church. Ackordin to all ackounts this Dexter Billings waz a cuss. Fun iz the pepper and salt ov every day life, and all he really wiz men who hav ever lived, hav used it freely for seazoning.


The man who kan set himself to work, at enny thing, on 5 minnitts notiss, haz got one of the best trades i kno ov.

Virtew that kant whip Vice, in a fair stand up fite, enny time, aint worth having.

Q.–What's yure favourite style of buty?
A.–Mi mother's.

"Er'es the Errald, Times, Sun, World, and Tribune,"
Iz the yung merchants ear piercing kry,
"Got the orfull smash up on the rale rode,"
And a kuntryman stops him to buy.

almanac April 1875


One ov the eazyest things in this world iz a loose boot, it iz just az eazy az falling oph from a log, when yu are fast asleep. The man who fust invented tite boots committed suiside, so i hav been told, this waz kind in the phellow. But if he had committed suiside before he had been born, it would hav been kinder still. Eazy boots are one ov the luxurys ov life, what the other luxurys are i dont kno, and dont kare. Enney man who kan wear a tite boot, and enjoy it, iz either a martyr, or a phool, it makes but little difference which. Tite boots produce korns, bunyons, and swareing, and thare iz only one thing kan be said in their favour, they make a man forgit all hiz other sorrows. An eazy boot will humanize a sinner faster than two mishionary kan. Vanity iz the Godfather ov tite boots, and just so long az men mistake a number eleven foot, for a number nine boot, just so long we shall see them limping around, with boots on two sizes too small. Next to a klear conshience, for solid cumfort, and every day wear, cums an eazy boot.


After trieing for more than 35 years to hav mi own way in all things, i have finally cum to the konklushun, to split the difference.

Everyboddy seems to konsider himself a kind ov moral half bushel, to meazzure the worlds frailtys in.

man and evil-looking mule

Mules are like sum men, very corrupt at harte.—I hav known them to be good mules for 6 months, just to git a good chance to kik sumboddy= Josh Billings=

man scratching a flea

Yu kant do ennything fust rate with a flea on yu,—except sware, and fleas aint afrade ov that.=

Yures respekfully. Josh Billings=

Q.–What's yure favourite flower?
A.–Buckwheat flour.

Another boy rushes to serve him,
But our hero wont stand it no how,
So he pockets the kuntryman's munny,
And fixes himself for a row.

almanac May 1875


Woman iz the glass ware ov kreashun. She iz luvly, and brittle, but she haz run up everything we really enjoy in this life from 25 cents on the dollar to par. Adam, without Eve, would hav been az stupid a game az playing checkures alone. Thare haz been more butiful things sed in her praze than thare haz ov enny other animate thing, and she is worthy ov them all. She is not an angell tho, and i hope she wont never go into the angell bizzness. Angells on earth dont pay. The only mistake that woman haz ever made iz to think she iz a better man than Adam.

Adam iz captin, and i am reddy to admit, that he iz often a dreadphull poor one too. Woman iz the power behind the throne, she holds all the best playing kards in the pak, and her own good sense ought to teach her not to be in enny hurry to play them. I hav allwus sed, and i beleaf it still, that the time to be karfullest iz when you hav a hand phull ov trumps.


If i had 75 children i would be sure and learn 60 ov them to allwus shut the door after them when they went out, and i wouldn't kare whether the other 15 ever learnt mutch or not.

Yung man, yu better be honest than cunning, and it iz hard work to be both.

Q.–What's yure favourite color?
A.–Blood bay.

They "go in" like a pair ov yung tigers,
And neither seems anxious to stop,
Till they are suddenly brought to their senses,
By a vigilant, fierce looking "cop."

almanac June 1875


What a man kant win in this world bi politeness aint worth having. Politeness iz just as natrul az fun iz, and iz the cheapest way to git a living i kno ov. It haz made more friends than enny thing else ever haz, and haz kept them longer. It dont kost enny more to be polite than it duz to be happy, and enny man iz a phool who kant be either, if he iz a mind to. I hav known it to sukceed whare every thing else had failed, and i never knu it to fail, whare it undertook to sukceed. It iz az eazy to apply az the "poor mans plaster," and it will allwus stik whare it iz stuk. Next to honesty, politeness iz queen bee in the hive, and the man who iz thoroly honest and thoroly polite, haz nothing to fear, or hope for. Politeness, without honesty, iz a good deal risky, but sumtimes the wust we kan call it iz, "a pleazant fraud."


The best abuzed woman ov the 19th century iz the average mother in law.

One ov the most perfekt viktorys yu kan achieve over enny man, iz to beat him in politeness.

Q.–Who's yure favourite proze author?
A.–Noah Webster.

He takes them away to the stashun,
Whare both are krestfallen and meek,
And after a lektur on fiteing,
The kids are discharged by the "beak."

almanac July 1875


Thare iz no fluid known to mortal man, that haz got more bakbone, and less tangle leg, in a quart ov it, than good, old 1776, Egg Nogg. Our grand dads drank it fluently, and thankt the Lord, az it meandered sloly down their thruts. It iz bilt out ov sider, and fresh egg, and iz az phull ov fun, and innosense, az a kittens tail. Enny man who haz moral skruples about drinking a glass ov fresh made egg nogg, had better git hiz morality insured aginst acksidents at once, for he iz in danger ov having hiz morality kompletely eradikated from the face ov the earth. Morality that kant stand egg nogg, iz a weak sister. I luv egg nogg, and hope i allwuss shall. I kant tell yu now when egg nogg waz fust diskovered, nor who the lucky kritter waz who fust found it out, but i would giv 15 dollars at least to know that it waz one ov mi ansesstors. I am orphull proud ov the anshunt Billing'es and enny glory that fluktuates around them, kind ov circumambiates around me. This may look like weakness in me, but it iz natur, and i dont beleav in allwuss snubbing natur. I say let yure natur kind ov go it, onst in a while.


Mi experience in life thus far haz been, that 7, wont go into 5, and hav mutch ov ennything left over.

I hav herd lies so well told that a man would allmost be a phool not to beleave them.

Q.–What's yure favourite perfume?

At liberty now out they skamper,
But before their days work they renew,
Our hero remarks to hiz rival,
"Tommorow, I'll take kare ov yu."

almanac August 1875


Faith iz the right bower ov hope. If it want for faith thare would be no living in this world, we couldn't even eat hash with enny safety. Human knolledge iz very short, and dont reach but a little ways, and even that little ways iz twilite, but faith lightens up the road, so that we kan see to read the letterings on the mile stuns az we travel. Faith has won more viktorys than all the other pashuns ov the harte put together, for faith iz one ov them kind ov warriors that dont kno when she is whipt. But faith iz no milk sop, but a live fighter, she dont set down and gro stupid with resignashun, and git weak with the buty ov her attributes, but she is the heroine ov a forlorn hope. I think now if i couldn't hav but one ov the moral attributes i would take it all in Faith, and tho i mite make sum fust rate blunders, i would do a rushing bizzness amung the various kinds ov dri bones that iz lieing around loose in the world. Faith haz allwus been one ov the best holts ov the Billings family, from the daze ov Noah, down to now.


Experience ackts on sum pholks vitals just az it duz on a bull tarrier, he dont fairly git over one whipping before he begins to look around for another.

The vulgar allwuss notiss everything they see.

monkey scratching its head

The monkey iz one ov our poor relashuns, and skratches hiz hed az natral az a skool boy duz,—and probably for simular reazons.=

Funny, aint it, Josh Billings

lion eating a lamb

Thare may cum a time, when the Lion, and the Lam will lie down together,—i shall be az glad to see it az enny boddy,—but i am still betting on the Lion.=

Truly, Josh Billings.

Q.–What's yure favourite amuzement?

He meets with a smooth faced old villain,
Who ov a bad stamp would git free,
But the boy twiddles hiz fingers, and sez,
"Yu kant kum that ere over me."

almanac September 1875


Ekonemy iz the art ov allwuss gitting the worth ov yure munny, and gitting the right change bak, and it iz also the art ov making 10 cents, once in a while, go az fur az a shilling. It iz like an ear fur musik, it has got to be born the same time yu are, or not at all. Yu kant larn an extravagant person to be ekonomikal enny more than yu kan learn a muskeeter to quit eating, when he haz got enuff. Thiz iz funny, but it iz too true to laff at. Ekonemy iz the mother-in-law ov Prosperity, and she iz one ov them kind ov mother-in-laws that never made enny disturbanse in the family. Ekonemy haz made more munny in this world than spekulashun ever haz, and thare iz another thing about it, she allwuss hangs on to it. Thare iz only one trubble about ekonemy, it sumtimes runs into avarice, and then all itz buty iz destroyed. It iz better to be a spendthrift, than a mizer. The Billings family hav allwuss bin noticed in history for their ekonemy. Jericho Billings, one ov our primevals, kept the same pair ov boots 26 years, but he wore out 9 souls, and 5 pairs ov upper leathers in the meantime.


Cunning men are like a hand saw,—they only hav teeth on one side ov them.

Next in point ov meanness, to doing a man an injury, iz to do him a favour, and every now, and then, remind him ov it.

Q.–Who's yure favourite painters?
A.–Sunrize and sunset.

Having sold out hiz papers, our hero,
To some cheap hash hous skampers away,
And after he calls for hiz luncheon,
He reckons his gains for the day.

almanac October 1875


Thare are certain things in this world that seem just az tho they waz born for each other, and ham, and egg, are two ov them things. Altho they cum from quite different lokalitys, they must be twins, for they are so often seen together. If i kan hav all the ham, and egg i want, kodphish bawls may tak a bak seat for the present. Vittles and drink hav allwuss been a staple artikle with human natur, and when they play out, i am reddy to quit. Sum pholks are so etherial that they kan liv on the smell ov biled kabbage, but i must hav a chunk ov the kabbage. Pholks may talk about ambrozial nektar az mutch az they pleze, they kant phool me with enny ov thoze kind ov essences, for i hav lived just long enuff to find out, that the best ov society, hav got to hav their biled vittles, kind ov reglar, even if they tak them on the sli, or they will soon peg out. Natur is natur, and she will hav her ham, and egg. Natur iz a little raw once in a while, but she allwuss stands up for her rights, and tho yu may defraud her, yu kant kompromise with her. Ham, and egg, was a bevarage long before Noahs freshet.


Good breeding makes all kondishuns ov life equal.

Anger allwus hurts us more than it duz the other phellow which we git mad at.

Q.–What's yure idea ov happiness?
A.–Tite gluvs, and eazy boots.

After greedily eatin his luncheon,
He lies bak and snoozes a bit,
And when nite cums you'll find him enjoying,
A seat in the Bowery pit.

almanac November 1875


The pissmire iz a blak bugg about 23 times az big az the ant, and az phull ov important bizzness az the chairman ov a wimmins rights convenshun. They hav thirteen konsekutive leggs on each side ov their boddys, and allwuss travel on the run. They are like sum men, ever hunting for sumthing to do, but never was known to find it. I hav seen them travel for two hours, bakwards, and forwards, and not git 3 feet from whare they started from, stopping every now and then to listen. The pissmire iz the loafer amung bugs, and like other loafers, livs from hand to mouth. Their home iz a hole in the ground, but call on them az often az yu pleze, yu will never find them in. They git up late, and go to bed late, and are allwuss hungry, and hollow. They are az lazy az mollassis in the month ov Febuary, and az useless az an extra dog in a family. Pissmires are a poor speculashun, i wouldn't giv 50 cents for the whole krop.


If yu are going to giv a man enny thing giv it to him cheerfully, and quick, dont make him git down on hiz kneeze in front ov yu, and listen to the 10 commandments, and then yu giv him 5 cents.

The man who is allwuss confessing hiz sins, and never quitting them, iz the most onsartin sinner i kno ov.

Q.–Who's yure favourite heroine in romanse?
A.–Old Mother Hubbard.

When the sensashun drama is ended,
Our hero remembers with pain,
That the plezzures ov life are but fleeting,
And he goes for hiz koal box again.

almanac December 1875


Josh Billings' Farmer's "Allminax" has come again, it is as welcome, and genial, as dew to the parched earth.—London Speckletator.

It is joy for the fireside, it is rest for the weary.—Newburyport Guardian.

Fresher, fairer, more fertile, and funny than ever, may its sweet face look in upon us for all time, delightfull Josh Billings' "Allminax," record of the past, bright promise of the future.—Savannah Amarinth.

How crisp! how tart!—London Queen.

Josh Billings' Farmer's "Allminax" is a bright jewel in the current literature of the day.—Louisville Dispatch.

Bless the dear little waif, we love it, and who shall chide us for loveing!—Lady's Journal.

We have received Mr. Joshua Billings' Farmer's "Allminax" for 1876, and shall notice its contents at our very earliest convenience.—Edinburgh Review.

It's a square deal, chuncky and smart.—Texas Blade.


Dik Blister waz arrested yesterday bi offiser Pinkerton for trieing tew pass a counterfit omnibuss, on a 50 cent driver, ov the 23' street line ov stages. Held for examinashun.

It iz sed (but not offishall) that Mr. & Mrs. Punchinello will not visit the white mountains next season. Their dauter Betsey Punchinello iz sed tew be engaged to the Baron Von Chalk, and the family will enter seklushun on this ackount.

A writer in Blackwood's magazine estimates that thare haint been, in all, over 200 fleas killed since the flood.

On dit, that Dick Manchester haz quit the 3 kard monte bizzness, and iz starring it legitimately, at Sing Sing, on a 2 years engagement.

We are pleased tew notiss the growing popularity ov Mr. & Mrs. David Jibboom, their respektibility iz now fully established, having appeared on the avenew with a two hoss carriage, and a slitely coloured driver, with a velvet hat band, and two rows of brass buttons.

The latest agony in poodles iz saffron, with steel coloured eyes.

Matilda O'Brigham, four days in her last place, with a karakter, will receive proposals at her residence in makrel row. No objekshuns to going into the country for the summer az companyun tew a lady provided suitable references are given. Lessons on the piano will be taken instead ov the usual presents expekted from the family.


I hav watched the donkey with a grate deal ov pashunt anxiety. They are about 3 foot hi, and sumthing like three foot six inches lengthwize. They hav a normal appetight, and will eat all the time, and more too. They aint partikular about their vittles, and will tri hard to swallo a hoss shu, but they kant do it. The donkey iz one ov naturs jokes, a sort ov pun on a horse, which i could never see the point to. They are az sett in their ways, az a gate post, and are the only live things that are too mutch for a klub. They will stand more pounding than a sheaf ov wet oats, without shelling out. The donkey haz 2 ears, and only 1 tale, and the ears are to the rest ov their boddy, like two steeples to a church. The donkey iz a sober, and misterious kuss. Fairwell yu sad, and thinking kritter, i may never again rite yure memoirs, but whether I dont, or do, I shall allways respekt yu, az a donkey, that's all. Az a cluss studdy, the donkey iz az full ov interest, az a mile stun, with the letterings all worn oph. Donkeys will liv forever, or thareabouts, and retain their buty, and intelligence to the last. Adew you graven image, you solid one, adew!


To lie about a man never hurts him, but to tell the truth about him sumtimes duz.

I think it iz good taste, and also good judgement, when a man prays for the sins ov the people, that he should count himself in.

man with fishing rod; goat eating out of his basket

I hav known men so pious that when they went out a fishing on Sunday, they allwuss prayed for good luk

a fakt, Josh Billings

wine bottle lablelled milk, man/fly drinking

The fly is a friendly kritter, tho i never see him the wuss for liquor,—but i hav often seen liquor, that waz a good deal the wuss for flys.

Jess so Josh Billings

Q.–Who iz the meanest man?
A.–He who peeks thru a key hole.

John Simpson waz a bachelor,
Ov forty, perhaps ov forty-three,
With the dispepshy onto him,
Wuss than enny man yu ever see.

almanac January 1876


Whenever a man gits ded broke, and kant think ov nothing to raze a breeze with, and hiz uncle wont hav him boarding at hiz house enny more, and the heels ov hiz boots hav knawed the bottom ov his pantaloons all off, he takes rubarb root, and a fu katnip blossoms, and sum tan bark, and sokes them for 14 hours in sum cheap whiskey, and goes hedlong into the liver renovating bizzness. He plasters every fence, saw mill log, stun wall, and cow's back, from Portland Maine to Stockton Californy, with red, and yello hand bills, offering to heal the halt, make the blind talk, and the deaf see, and renew the inside, and outside, ov all kreashun, for a dollar and twenty five cents a bottle. He takes rooms at sum fust klass hotel, drives 8 in hand, and never iz seen, only on the jump. He iz az full ov bizzness az a deputy superintendant ov a Sunday skool, on a piknik day, and call on him when yu will, to kollekt yure little bill ov 7 dollars, he haz just left for Baltimore, or wont be home from Nu Orleans, untill week after next. Theze men are not all ov them unskrupulous, they are kunning kritters, who hav found out, that mankind to be happy, must be cheated.


It iz the prudes in this world that need the most watching, coquets are too kareless to be dangerous.

Most men are like a hop vine, if they dont hav sum kind ov a pole to klimb, and then stik to it, they wont promulgate mutch hops.

Q.–Please define old bachelors.
A.–Pickled Krabs.

Sum friend told John to travel,
Twelve miles on the jump each day,
Before he et enny brekfasst,
And not loiter upon the way.

almanac February 1876


I hav written sevral very poplar obituary notisses ov the krow, but find that i hav stated a good deal about them that wazn't jist so, and left unsed mutch that waz true. The krow iz az cunning az a Tombs lawyer, and just about az mutch ov a ded beat. Yu kant ketch one in a trap, and if you should, yu could not bile one in a pot, soft enuff to eat, in 3 weeks. A tame krow, and a civilized injun, may be a moral triumph on the face ov it, but when yu cum to examine the other side ov it, yu will find that yu hav overdid the bizzness. If all the krows, and injuns, in this world were tame and, civilized, yu could bid fairwell to all other manuel, and mental labor, and spend all yure time, and talents, studying the pesky, infernal kritters. Krows assemble in the fall ov the year, 30 thousand ov them, or more, in council, and appoint their deakons for the following year. At this grate kawkuss, rezolushuns ov a inflamitory natur are passed, daming the farmers for putting up skare krows in the kornfields, plans are laid for next years stealings, and each krow swopping wives, the meeting disseminates, and the krows fli away.


Dont keep but one dog, no one but a pauper kan afford to keep three.

If yu are going to make amuzements a stiddy bizzness, ketching flies iz az good az enny.

Q.–What are bording-houses?
A.–Asylums for cockroaches.

John heard next that dieting,
Waz the only thing 'twould kure him,
Liv on a jill of soup a day,
And they offered to insure him.

almanac March 1876


The kroton bug are dirty blak kusses, without enny pedigree, and ov no more use than an extra fli in a plate ov soup. They hang around wet and damp places, and are all the time either going in, or comeing out, ov every krak in that naborhood. Thare iz no begining, nor end, to their number, and if yu bore a hole with a gimblet, enny whare near a plug basin, the next day the krotons will be az thick around it, az tho a nu 3 cent gin mill had just been opened thare. What they liv on no naturalist knows, or dassent tell, and yu kant git rid ov them, enny more than you kan skare the flies out ov a sugar hogshed, by hollering at them. They are allwuss on the move like a grasshopper, but what they are about, or would like to hav, they kant even tell them selfs. Thare iz a powder advertized which they say will klean the kroton bugs all out ov the house in 4 days. I am no gambler, but i will give the powder 7 days the start, and then bet on the bugs. Thare is only one sure way to git the krotons out ov a house, burn up the house and let a strong east wind blo the ashes away.


The devil allwuss keeps the gide boards that lead to hiz dominions, fresh painted, and in good order.

I never knu a man yet who waz allwuss watching his helth, to die enny whare near az soon az he expekted to.

Q.–Define a pig.
A.–Pork in pantaletts.

For two years John lived on nothing,
And walkt like a ghost on a raid,
'Till he lookt like the piktur abuv,
Which kost us a "V" to hav made.

almanac April 1876


The kuntry skool mom iz allwuss about 23 years, and six months old, and remains rite thare for a term ov years. She wears her hair either kut short, or hanging around in ringlets, and iz az precise in every thing, az a pair ov Fairbanks' improved platform skales. She never laffs out loud, and seldum even smiles, but when she duz, she duz it ackording to the rules laid down by Murray, for speaking, and pronouncing, the English language propperly. She iz the very oil ov propriety, and would rather be four years behind the fashions in bonnetts, than to spell a word wrong, or parse a sentence inkorrektly. The kuntry skool mom seldum dies an old maid, she gits marrid to sum man who haz less larning than she haz, and he thinks (az he ought to) that thare aint another sutch a larnt woman az hiz wife iz, in all kreashun. With all her precise foolishness i luv, and respekt, the kuntry skool mom, she taut me mi letters, and larnt me how to spel, she waz pashunt while i waz stupid, she soothed me when i waz frackshus, and she often (good soul) giv me a titbit from her luncheon at noon time. May Heaven bless, and comfort her, for she iz poorly paid, and iz stepmother to every boddys yung ones.


A man will liv longer on onions, and abuse, than on enny other 2 things i kno ov.

Yung man, mark yure goose up hi, two thirds ov the world hav no other idea of value, only by the price that iz put onto things.

Q.–What iz honesty?
A.–The wag ov a dogs tail.

Johnny then bought a hard trotter,
And rode himself weak az a rag,
Then sold him for 19 dollars,
Just haff that he gave for the nag.

almanac May 1876


Next to the apple, for every day wear, cums the red currant. They are allmost az necessary, and common, for sweetmeats, in all well regulated familys, az hash iz for brekfasst. They gro on a low bush, and they gro so thick, that yu couldn't stik another one on, without knocking off two. They are about the size ov a dubble B shot, and when they are ripe, are az red az the eye of a wild pigeon. They are az sour az the blood ov a lemon, but plenty ov sugar kures them ov this malady. Currants are good green, ripe, and haff ripe, and are cheaper than herring, and not haff so full of bones. Thare iz a grate menny things i had rather do, in a hot day, than pik currants but i hav dun it all day, when i waz a boy, and got a ninepence at night for the job. I am more than haff a century old now, but i kan look bak and see just how brite, and how big, one ov them ninepences used to be. A hundred dollars aint haff so mutch munny now, az they waz then. I wish ı waz a boy agin, and knu ov life what i kno now, ı would bind miself, if I could allwuss be a boy, to pik currants for a ninepence a day, az long az the currants held out.


A jealous man iz allwuss anxious to beleave what he doubts the most.

Too grate a luv ov popularity makes a munky ov a man.

man at ease, feet in boots on mantelpiece

Next to a klear conshunce, for solid cumfort, cums an eazy boot.=

Try both. Josh Billings

two men throwing dice

Dont dispize yure poor relashuns, they may bekum suddenly ritch sum day, and then it will be awkward to explain things to them.=

Undoubtedly so, Josh Billings.

Q.–Define a perfume.
A.–Rape ov the flowers.

Five years John spent hunting tonicks,
He drank all the kures in the land,
And lost so mutch flesh he waz forced
To hold up hiz pants with each hand.

almanac June 1876


Ever since Adam waz ordered to root, or perish, thare haz been an endless lot ov labor saving masheens, invented, az plenty, and menny ov them az useless, az tudstools in an old meadow. Theze invenshuns are generally pattented, and to be a good pattent rite vender, and sell a man an injun rubber litening rod, who haz allreddy got two, requires more genius, than to be consul to the Azore Islands. I have seen theze litening rod fellows sell a man a rod who wouldn't hav one at enny price, and after they had got hiz house all covered over with one, and got the munny for it, git one onto hiz barn, and pig pen, and git hiz note for them, with his nabors endorsement, for 9 months, with 7 per cent interest from date. I should be a mizerable hand to sell a pattent rite miself, but just the rite kind ov a man to buy one. It iz a grate wonder that I dont own a dozen now, that would be az useless to enny boddy az a pair ov pattent crutches would be to a lame grasshopper. I hav got a grate deal ov pattent rite kuriosity in my compound, and am allways hanging around things that hav got a little mistery in them, but i suppoze i hav got a grate deal ov caushun too. But now I think ov it, kuriosity, and caushun, well mixt, are a hard thing to sell a pattent rite to.


The fust 3 notes i endorsed i had to pay, and i hope it will be jiss so with the next 3.

It aint no kredit for enny man, to work for nothing, and board himself.

Q.–What are sassages?

Our pashunt now took to reading,
He studdid the liver ov man,
Untill he knu what ailed him,
A heap less, than when he began.

almanac July 1876


Peaches and kream will convert enny man who iz worth saving. The peach haz a doun on them, like the doun on a maiden's cheek, but it aint haff so plezant to git onto the lips. Peach brandy iz made out ov the peach, this licker haz been called mellow, but like all other licker that i hav tried, it will lay out a saint, just az flatt az it will a sinner. The fakt ov it iz, thare aint no kind ov ardent rum, i dont kare how artless, and gentle the name ov it iz, or how ritch, and mello yu may call it, but what will throw him who wrassells with it, be he phool, or be he philospher. Thare iz only one piece ov humanity that kan stand ardent speerits, and he iz an injun, and he kant stand it, only just long enuff to git civilized. When peach brandy is fust made it iz az hot az a streak ov litening, and just about az sudden. I once drank a tea spoon full ov it warm from the still, and it waz 20 minnitts be fore i could draw a long breath. I waz az hot inside az a chimney on fire. I thought it would brake out and blaze sum whare, but it didn't happen to.


I konsider all profeshions that are honest, honorabell enuff, but i hav thought, that a travelling korn doktor, waz the last one i should adopt, just for the sake ov glory.

Thare iz one thing about a mule that i allwuss did like, the minnitt that you begin to flatter them, then they begin to kik.

Q.–Define dispepshy.
A.–Nightmare ov the stummuk.

John bought next a kord of hard wood,
And sawed like a man on a bet,
It bent him dubble,—if it hadn't,—
John would have sawed at it yet,

almanac August 1876


The bumble bee iz a kind ov big fly who goes muttering, and swareing around the lots, during the summer, looking after little boys to sting them, and stealing hunny out ov the dandylions, and thissells. He iz mad all the time about sumthing, and dont seem to kare a kuss what people think ov him. A skool boy will studdy harder enny time to find a bumble bees nest than he will to git hiz lesson in arithmetik, and when he haz found it, and got the hunny out ov it, and got badly stung into the bargin, he finds thare aint mutch margin in it. Next to poor mollassis, bumble bee hunny iz the poorest kind ov sweetmeats in market. Bumble bees hav allwuss been in fashion, and probably allwuss will be, but whare the fun, or proffit lays in them, i never could cypher out. The proffit dont seem to be in the hunny, nor in the bumble bee neither. They bild their nest in the ground, or enny whare else they take a noshun too, and aint afrade to fite a whole distrikt skool, if they meddle with them. I dont blame the bumble bee, nor enny other fellow, for defending hiz sugar, it iz the fust, and last Law ov natur, and i hope the law wont never run out. The smartest thing about the bumble bee iz their stinger.


Mice very seldum cum out ov a hole that iz clussly watched.

I fully beleave in ghosts, but I never herd yet ov two persons seeing the same ghost, at the same time.

Q.–Define thunder.
A.–Lightning on a bust.

John's minister called on him now,
His case exciting alarm,
The good man sed, "John is all right,"
Only go to work on a farm.

almanac September 1876


The yello jacket iz ov the wasp purswashun, and iz about one size smaller than the common blak hornet, and iz az mutch hotter, in hiz coolest moments, than enny other bug, az jersey litening iz hotter than ice kream. They are the most krewel fighters in existence, and will hit a man, or beast, four times in a seckond, in the same spot. They are az yello az gold, and when they are good mad, they blaze like a kandle. When a yello jacket gits mad all the way through, he will fite a brush heap on fire, just az quick az he will a mile stun. I hav seen them pitch on to each other, and having killed their man, close up the fite by stinging themselfs to death. Dont go near a yellow jacket's nest in the month of August, unless yure life iz insured, not even a hard shell Baptist, or a missionary, would be safe in that naborhood. They kant tell a friend from a foe, and I think would sting a potash kittle, a dozen times, and not mistrust it waz iron. They make homes for themselfs out in the lots amungst the ploughed ground, and i hav seen them bile out ov their nests like a distrikt skool let out for noon, or a smothered fire, and pitching into the oxen, farmer, and plough, drive the whole party, on the jump, off from the premises.


Most men are like vinegar, the older they gro, the sourer they git.

Lazy men, and black ants, are allwuss hunting for a job.

smug man with gun, dead mule

Thare iz no phun in gitting kikt bi a mule, but thare iz lots ov phun in knowing that he kant do it agin.=

How is this, Josh Billings

man falling downstairs, loving couple in background

Falling in luv, iz like falling down stairs.—we never kan tell exackly how the thing waz did.=

In haste, Josh Billings

Q.–Deskribe old maids.
A.–Embers from which the sparks hav fled.

Our hero soon found out a place,
With a farmer, kind hearted indeed,
Who let him ho corn for nothing,
And only charged John for his feed.

almanac October 1876


Probably the sharpest man that the world haz been blest with thus far iz the natral born Yankee pedlar. He takes to the bizzness just az handy az a yung duk takes to the water, who haz been hatched out by mistake amung a lot ov hen's eggs. He kan see just whare the proffit lies in a dicker, and aint afrade to invest hiz whole pile, at a minnitt's notiss, in an assorted lot ov goose yokes. He begins life yung, and like the bizzy ant, gits up arly, and eats on the run. Az long az he keeps honest he iz sure to sukceed, but sumtimes hiz genius iz too mutch for hiz integrity, and every boddy gits to be az frade ov him, az they are ov a hornet. The hornet iz the smartest bug in kreashun, but haint got no friends. The world luvs to be cheated, but they want to hav it dun bi an honest man, and not bi a hornet, and then they never seem to git tired ov it. I hav seen Yankee pedlars who allwus cheated every boddy they traded with, but they allwuss did it so honest, and square, that every boddy seemed to be happy when their turn cum. But the old fashioned Yankee pedlar, with his little red painted kart, and bobtail pony, like the letterings on the mile stuns, iz fast fading away.


Stik and hang yung man, it iz the last six inches in a race that allwuss wins the munny.

If yu want to find out just how mean, and dishonest, yu hav allwuss been, git a nominashun, and run for sum offiss.

Q.–What are oaths?
A.–Sin in italicks.

John read in a hand bill somewhare,
That salt water was shure to save him,
So he went forthwith to Long Branch,
And hired a man to bathe him.

almanac November 1876


For a red hot speciality, yu hav got to hunt kreashun cluss, to find an equal, to the kuntry hoss jockey. He iz allwuss a man ov plezant temperament, vain ov hiz opinyuns, often ov more fancy than judgement, and quik to decide. He haz but little real affecksun for a hoss, and only luvs him, for the cheat that iz in him. He iz allwuss reddy to trade for enny thing, from a yerling kolt, to the kavalry hoss that Gen Butler rode, at the battle ov Brandywine. He never knows when he gits cheated, and ever thinks, that the last nag he got, iz the best one he ever owned. He iz not bothered with too mutch conscience, and would az soon lay out a travelling preacher in a swop, az hiz own father-in-law, and do it without enny malice, but just for the honor ov the profeshun. I dont kno whi it iz, that a man kan trade cows and be pious, or swop oxen, and be a good deakon, or even negoshiate dogs, and be lookt upon favourably, but when he goes into the hoss trading enterprize, if he kant cheat, he haz mistaken hiz calling, and aint happy. The hoss jockey iz sumtimes honest from policy, and the man who iz simply honest from policy, needs az mutch watching az a hive ov bees do, who are just gitting reddy to swarm.


If yu want to find out the utter weakness ov munny, just try to hire a dubble tooth to stop akeing.

A boy will learn to sware well, in just haff the time it takes to learn the 10 commands.

Q.–What iz a fiddle?
A.–A ticklish thing.

John kept growing wusser and wuss,
Thinner, and thinner each day,
At last he waz nothing but mist,
And an East wind blu him away.

almanac December 1876


Josh Billings still livs, and his Allminax for 1877 iz full ov joy for the sad, and rest for the weary.

Atlantik Monthly.

How natural, how happy, how concise, how forcible, it is, Josh Billings' Allminax for 1877.

Appleton's Journal.

Welcome, sweet morsel of delight, ever funny, and ever profound, Josh Billings' Farmer's Allminax for the current year.

Harpers' Bazzar.

Bully for you Josh, hit 'em agin, slay, and spare not, may you outlive Methuseler, and not haul in your gang plank until Gabriel cries, "All a board."

Springfield Republican.

Aroma of lovelyness, perfume of joy, essence of tiltilation, breath of beauty, seance of bliss, Josh Billings' Allminax for 1877.

Lady's Book.

Q.–How iz yure mother-in-law?
A.–Pretty well i thank yu, how iz yures?

Hawk eyed, and spileing for a fight,
If enny one thinks they kan lick him,
Just let them put up the spondulicks,
And trot out the other game chicken.

almanac January 1877


Dear Bob.—The most disgusting kritter to me, in the whole ov the United States ov Amerika, iz an overgrown boy, ov about fifteen summers, who haz bekum the terror ov the whole family, and spends hiz spare time hammering the cow, and stirring up the pig, and chickens. If the father, or father-in-law, ov one ov these youths, will lend him to me, if i dont civilize him, or kill him in ninety days, i will agree to forfit 50 dollars, and the cloth for a new alpacka dress.

P. S.—Send on the boy at once, at mi expense, i am just now out ov a job.—J. B.

Dear Steve.—It iz hard work to be in luv and not akt phoolish, but luv iz the only thing i kno ov that makes pholly excusable. Luv haz made sum kind ov a phool ov every man it haz attacked since the days ov Adam, and it made the biggest kind ov a phool ov him. Wisdum, and ambishun iz no protekshun aginst the disseaze, for Soloman evaporated before it like the dew before the morning sun, and even good old David wilted like the hewn grass.

Dear Hank.—When yu strike ile pull out yure auger at onst, and begin to barrell the ile, menny a man haz kept on untill he bored klean thru and sum other phellow kaught the grease at the bottom.


Ministers often point out to us, poor sinners, the strate, and narrow gauge, az the only way to git to heaven, while they hav got a private turnpike ov their own that 2.40 kan be made on.

Waiting to be whipt iz the most uninteresting period in boyhood life.

Q.–What iz the smartest thing that a man kan do?
A.–To drink pepper sass.

An ugly lump is the Tarrier Bull,
For fighting allwuss reddy,
With Mike O'Rowke he travels,
And his name iz one eyed Teddy.

almanac February 1877


The alligator iz an original kritter, a chip of the old block, and az ugly to kontemplate az a congo darkey. They are residents ov Florida, and gro 12 feet, and nine inches and then halt. Their teeth are all tushes, and their mouth iz az full ov them az a buzz saw iz. Their eys are sot up, and down, in their hed like a chinamans, and they hav an appetight equal to 18 distrikt skool masters. They are the krokerdiles ov Amerika, and lay eggs az eazy az a hen duz, but dont kackle when they cum oph from the nest. They are grate cowards but aint afrade ov yung pork, or little darkeys, and kan eat all the time, or go without eating, az long az a gold fish kan. The alligator waz made for sum usefull purpose, but like the muskeeter, the bedbugg, and the kokroach, their usefullness haz been karephully hid from us. Yu kan shoot a hundred alligators a day on the St. Johns river, but you kant bag one, and thare aint enny more game in them, than thare iz in a rotten log. They are long lived, and liv, if mi memory serves me right, 4 thousand years, and their grate strength lays in their tails. They hiss when they are angry like a tea kittle, and want az mutch room to turn round in az a fore and aft skooner.


I hav known whiskey to make a man generous, but when he got sober agin, he would git square with himself, bi being meaner than ever.

The man who iz rekless ov hiz life holds it at just about its market value.

Q.–What are the 2 luxurys ov life?
A.–Eazy boots, and a snug conshience.

Darwin sez, we hail from the munky,
And Darwin knows all about this thing,
But while i respekt mi poor relashuns,
From whitch, pray tell me, did the munky spring.

almanac March 1877


The loafer iz a thing who iz willing to be dispized for the privilege ov abusing others. He occupys all grades in sosiety from the judge on the bench clear down to the ragged kritter who leans aginst the lamp posts, and fites flies in August. He haz no pride that iz worthy, and no delikasy that enny boddy kan hurt. During his boyhood he kills kats, and robs all the hens nests in the naborhood. During hiz middle life he begs all the tobacco he uses, and drinks all the cheap whiskey he kan at sumboddy else's expense. During hiz old age he winters in the alms houses, and summers in the sugar hogsheds, and when he cums to die, he iz buried in a dich, like an omnibuss horse, with hiz old shuze on. The loafer cares nothing for publik opinyun, and this alone, will make enny man a loafer. The loafer rather covets disgrase, and when a man gits az low down az this, he haz got az low down az he kan git in this world without digging. We hav no reliable ackount ov the fust loafer, and probably shant hav ov the last one, but in mi opinyun, they hav existed just about az long az man haz. If Cain want a loafer, pray what waz he?


Woman hav allwuss been more than a match for man, Adam held the best kards, but he didn't kno how to play them well.

Thare iz one trait ov the human karakter that the devil himself must envy, and that iz, the more we hav injured a man, the more we dispize him.

Q.–Who fust struk ile?

Long, lank, lean, and lemon colored,
An orphan, without friends, or place,
A target for every ones brik bat,
The yaller dog runs a dusty race.

almanac April 1877


Heaven bless the stummuk ake, if it want for this, menny ov us deakons wouldn't hav no good excuse for hot rum.

The saddest ov all sights sad in this world, iz a child with a broken spirit.

Man kant make cirkumstanses, but he kan take them bi the horns, insted ov the tale.

Dont parade yure sorrows before the world, but bury them az the dogs do their old bones, and then growl if enny boddy offers to dig them up.

Klubs are a place whare most people go to git rid ov themselfs.

A trained child to me iz a kind ov horror, i like to see them rekless with innosense.

The boy who iz pikt out to be the genius ov the family is allwuss sure to be the biggest dohed in the whole lot.

man speaking into speaking tube

The only way to tire a phool out, iz to listen to him, and agree to every thing he sez =

Affekshionately Josh Billings

man with exploding gun

I hav seen men load a dubble barrell gun klear up to the muzzell, to kill a chipping bird with, and git knokt hed over heels, when. the gun went off.—and miss the bird besides.=

A literal fakt, Josh Billings

Q.–What kind ov a pen do plagarists use?
A.–A steal pen.

Thou mewel!—thou art mi horror,—
Desaitfull, and dang'rous kritter,—
Az humbly az satan himself,
And besides a pizon hitter.

almanac May 1877


Dear Luke.—I kant bear to see enny man strike a dog, i kno dogs are full ov fleas, but i kno they are full ov affeckshun too. I am very sad when i think that affeckshun iz no protekshun to man, nor kritter in this kold, and ironklad world. It would seem that a lamb ought to git along thru life more fluently than a hornet duz, but they duzzent, and i also notiss that the most suckcessful hornets are thoze who are bilt with a stinger on both ends ov them. I love the lambs, but respekt the hornets.

Dear Mose.—All the humorist that i am acquainted with are sad, and sober kusses. I never knu a fust rate humorist who waz a good laffer, they are willing to make other people laff, but prefer themselfs to stand by and look on. If Mark Twain should be kaught laffing, hiz friends would immejately put him to bed and send for hiz family physician. Nasby, the grate politikal satirist, waz never known to smile but once, and then he, and Pogram, were in the bak end ov the grosery at the crossroads, but the cauze ov hiz mirth iz a profound sekret to this day. The best laffers i hav ever knu, whare thoze who lafft at their own jokes.


If yu are determined to bet enny how, bet yure bottom dollar the fust time, and then go into sum more respektable bizzness.

Thare are no weeds in this world that wilt so quick, az the weeds ov the widower.

Q.–What iz yure favourite name for a Boy?
A.–George Washington, Lafayette, Napoleon, Ulyssess Grant.

The poodle iz a frowzy bird,
A hiding place for fleas, and varmin,
Wimmin lug them round for pets,
And call them "luv," and "duv," and "charming."

almanac June 1877


One ov the most ingenious, and hardest workers amung the whole lot ov little bugs in kreashun iz the common spider. They will do more work on a web, in six hours, than a man could do in his whole life time, and do a mutch better job into the bargin. Spiders are the meanest reptiles that hang around the footstool, for they are the only ones that i kan think ov now, that set traps for their viktims. They are az mean az a man in this respekt. Thare iz no fun in a spider, he iz az lonesum az a mizer, he spends hiz whole life making webs, and watching them, and allways lays at the mouth ov hiz hole, reddy to back in out ov danger. A man will go out ov hiz way rather than step on a kricket, and would rather skare a fly than kill him, az sazzy az he iz, but he goes for a spider with both feet, and seems to feel melankolly if he happens to miss him. Spiders hav no friends in this world, and the reazon must be bekauze their naturs are viscious, and cunning. Theze two traits will make even man an outlaw, and they akt just the same way on the spider. I dispize the spider, and aint afraid to tell him so.


Every man thinks he iz the principal bull frog in the puddle, and rather than argy the case, i am willing to think so too.

Mizery luvs company but iz allwuss jealous,—there never waz a man yet but what thought hiz lame back was a good deal lamer than hiz nabors.

Q.–What iz a mint julep?
A.–A refuge for cheap whiskey.

Full of cunning, and low deceit,
With stolen cream, and chickens fat,
Sweetly in dreams he lays at yure feet,
Judas Iskariott, in shape ov a kat.

almanac July 1877


The milksop iz a human being who has not the stamina ov a man, nor the weakness ov a woman. He iz a hibrid ov the nuter gender, without karakter enuff to make him respekted, or dispized. These kind ov pholks are innosent enuff if they are well watched, but they need az mutch watching az a blind baby duz. They occupy quarters about haff way between a phool, and an ideot. If milksops would only keep still but few would suspekt them, but how strange it iz, that the thinner a man iz, the more anxious he iz to get into a strong light.


The mizer digs hiz heart out hollow to stow away hiz munny in. He akumulates bi littles, and never opens hiz harte, only on a krak, to let another shilling in. An old mizer iz a sad sight enuff, but next to an ideot, a yung mizer iz the most revolting thing on earth. Mizers enjoy what they dont use, looze what they save, and die possessed ov the only treasure that iz ov no use to them. The most terrible sarkasm iz a mizers phuneral, the heir often makes it gorgeous, and expensiv, and then pitches hedlong into the pile the old phool haz left.


Advice iz generally like the bred and cheese we giv to beggars, thrown over into the fust vacant lot they cum to.

Bigots, enthusiasts, and clothes pins, all hav the same sized heds on them.

Q.–Pleze to define buty?
A.–Buty iz a blank catridge.

Short haired, and nervous az a ghost,
Answering to "Bill," or "Ned" or "Fan,"
Death on rats, and sirloin steak,
Behold the sparkling, Black and Tan.

almanac August 1877


Lazyness seems to be az natral az onions, and just about az helthy too. The lame, and the lazy, hav allwuss been provided for, sumboddy haz allwuss waited on them, and sumboddy allwuss will. I dont luv lazy pholks, i dont even respekt them, but i kant help but admire the way they eat. I never knu a lazy man that didn't hav a good appetight and a square digestion. Lazyness iz the fust law ov natur, and for that reazon is entitled to sum respekt. Lazy folks are allwuss good natured, i hav seen them so docile that they wouldn't fite flies. Lazyness iz often mistaken for shifflessness, but thare iz az much diffrence az thare iz between a hornet, and a fly. I had rather watch two raskalls than one shiftless kuss. Thare are sum things that will hurry lazyness, but death is the only sure kure for shifflessnes.


Laffter iz the joy ov the soul comeing to the surface to hav a good time. The mule kant laff, and the devil wont. Laffing iz az natral az the meazles, and allmost as ketching, but the man who will laff when he dont feel like it, iz a grate koward to say the least, and may be a grate villain. Next to logick, to prove things, cums laffing, and the hardest man for ennyboddy, or enny thing, to beat, iz he who laffs at every thing.


I hav figgered onto it, and find that civilizashun kosts about 90 cents on the dollar.

One quarrellsum dog will demoralize all the curs in hiz naborhood.

Q.–Who iz the best lawyer?
A.–He who duz the least bizzness.

What he kant steal must be tied down,
Ever reddy to caw, and to go,
Thare's nothing so full ov the devil,
Az the life, and labors, ov a tame krow.

almanac September 1877


The duk iz a foul, naturalists say so, and common sense teaches it. Wild duks are very good shooting, and very good missing too, unless you understand the bizzness. I hav shot at them all day, and got nothing but a few tale feathers, but that satisfied me, for i am crazy for all kinds ov sport, you know. Thare are sum kind ov duks that are very hard to git even if you do kill them. I shot one whole afternoon, three years ago, at sum dekoy duks, and never got one ov them. I never hav told even mi wife ov this, and hope no one will repeat it.


The crane iz neither flesh, nor foul, but a sad mixtur ov theze two things. He mopes along the banks ov kreeks, and wet places, looking for sumthing he haz lost. He haz a long bill, long wings, long legs, and iz long all over. He livs upon lizzards, and frogs, and sleeps standing on one leg, like a gide board. Sumtimes he tips over in hiz dreams, and then hiz bill enters the ground like a pikax. When he flies thru the air he iz az gracephull az a wind mill that haz broke away from its fastenings. Cranes are not very plenty on this earth, but at the last quotations, the supply just about equals the demand.


The reputashun that a man gits from hiz ansesstors often wants az mutch altering to fit him, az their old clothes would.

How menny people thare are in this world who work for the devil all the time, and then look to the lord for their pay.

man washing windows with poodle

I dont never expekt to hav enny Poodle, but if i ever do, he must make up hiz mind to be tied onto a long stik every Saturday and be used for washing windows on the outside=

Jess so. Josh Billings.

man drinking water from street pump

If i kan hav all the salt makrell i want for brekfasst, I kan manage to make the other two meals out ov kold water.=

Yes. Josh Billings.

Q.–Will yu define luck?
A.–Luck iz driftwood.

This Nu Foundland weighs 94 pounds,
And to save children iz willing,
If yu haint no pond, nor children to save,
The dog aint worth a shilling.

almanac October 1877


Dear Snyder.—Yu tell me that yu hav got the blues, and want to kno how to git shut of them. The following resipees will heal yu in 90 days if yu stik to them klussly. To wit, marry sum delikate only dauter of 22 summers (more or less) and take yure mother in law home with yu to board, this will oil the pores of the sistem, and the blues will eskape like steam out of the noze of a tea kittle. Once more, hire out to keep a distrikt skool for 9 dollars per month, and hash around the naborhood, or take a 3 year old kiking heifer to brake to milk, this will open yure swareing valves, and so hurry the blood, that the blues will leave yu in disgust, and fasten their fangs on to sum other phellow. Againly, go down into sum marsh in the kingdum ov Nu Jersey fishing for frogs in the month ov August, and fish with one hand, and slap muskeeters with the other, and the blues will take the hint and vacate yure natur like a shooting-star. Try either ov the abuv alteratives, dear Snyder, and if they dont work, go into the bak yard of sum Irish woman and kut her clothes line when it iz filled with the weeks washing, and if yu dont git the blues taken out ov yu, and a good deal else besides, yu are a morbid kuss and wont pay for experimenting on.


Hero's are skarse, but the man who kan make poverty respektable, is one ov them.

If yu would eskape envy, abuse, and taxes, yu must liv in a deep well, and only cum out in the nite time.

Q.–Who iz the dearest old aunt?
A.–The one whoze bank account iz all right.

The Rackcoon haz a striped tail,
And steals green korn amazing,
Hiz hide iz worth 6 bits perhaps,
But coons wont pay for raizing.

almanac November 1877


The owl iz a grizzly grey package, and haz a grate round face az sober, and intelligent az a cheshire cheese. They kant see bi dalite, but can see by starlite to pik up a pin. They hunt for a living, and are very smart, and sudden, on a field mouse, or a meddo mole. The most wonderphull thing about an owl iz the sollum importanse ov the whole kritter, az he sits on hiz perch, looking over kreashun, just az tho he owned the whole ov it. Next to a newly elekted Justiss ov the Peace, seated on hiz throne, with a poor devil before him charged with the emoshional krime ov stealing a string ov onions, the owl haz more rare, and unfathomable wisdum in hiz face than enny thing on earth. I hav looked at them for haff an hour stiddy, in a shop window, to see if they winkt, untill i waz ashamed ov mi impudense, but theze owls, i found out afterwards, waz stuffed. I would thank enny one to tell me if an owl ever duz wink, and if so, how often. Owls liv to a good old age, but are not good for diet, they are one ov the fu things we kno ov, that the more yu bile them, the tuffer they gro. Biled owl iz the most ungratefull vittles that enny man ever sot in front ov. I never et enny biled owl but once, and that waz 40 years ago, and i kan taste it now, every time i think ov it.


I kno ov people so fond ov contradickshun that it wouldn't surprize me to hear them disputing with a guide board, at the forks ov sum kuntry road, about the distance to the next town.

Falling in luv iz like falling down stairs, we never kan tell exackly how the thing waz did.

Q.–Who iz the biggest hipokrit?
A.–He who calls vice plezzure.

Az lean in flesh az a grid iron,
Sollum he sits, the old Fox hound,
Hiz ears hang down like wet rags,
And hiz keen noze studdys the ground.

almanac December 1877


Josh Billings' "Farmer's Allminax" for the year 1878 is now on our desk, and why will the friends of this man allow him to disgrace himself, and humanity too, by spreading such nonsense broadcast through the land?

St. Louis Advance.

Vile trash! when are we to be released from this annual overflow, this ideotick Allminac? Kind heaven, tell us when.

Milwaukee Daily Bread.

Over Ninety Thousand of Josh Billings' "Farmer's Allminax" are sold each year. How long iz this to continue? Will not the publick arise in their insulted dignity, and drive this pest from the world?

Boston Pilgrim.

Shoot him! shoot the "Allminax" maker.

Arkansas Bowie Knife.

Alass! alass! is there no eskape, is thare no place in the wide world that we can fly to, and be free from this sickening visit—this yearly avalanche? A curse on "Josh Billings' Farmer's Allminax."

Chicago Budget.

The yung Trotter at first,
Az he stands bi hiz dam,
Is all legs like a shanghi,
And az meek az a lam.

almanac January 1878


The cuckoo iz about the size ov four small robins, and iz one ov the fust birds to tell us that spring haz fairly cum. This iz kind in the cuckoo, and they ought to hav a vote ov thanks, and a gold medal besides. Their song iz a good deal like the song ov a tin whissell, all in one key, but enny kind ov a song, from enny living kreature, iz acceptable. These birds hav one spot in their naturs entirely diffrent from enny animate thing I kno ov, they dont seem to possess the least particle ov affeckshun for their little cuckoos. They never bild enny nests, but lay their eggs in other birds nests, and let them do the hatching. This would be called smart in a man, but seems to me, iz darn mean in a bird. I wonder whare they lernt this trick.


The jackdaw, like the raven, iz born ov blak parents, and iz about one quarter the size ov the common krow. Their food seems to konsist ov enny thing, and their appetights are az klamarous az a distrikt skool just let out to play, at lunch time. They lay two eggs, and both eggs would probberly hatch out if they waz solid, for the Jackdaw iz bound to liv, and prosper. They luv man, and his ways, and are allwuss found az kluss to him az they kan git.


The best relief for the rumatiz, that haz been diskovered yet, iz to find sum phellow who haz got the gout bad, and then pitty him.

About the time a man haz got old enuff to travel a good gait on hiz experience, death taps him on the shoulder, and wants him just around the corner.

But he grows like a weed,
'Till he iz four years old,
He iz hi headed, and rangey,
Flat-footed, and bold.

almanac February 1878


Kontentment iz not one ov mi strong holts, i never am kontented unless i am fast asleep. If i could hav mi choice, to be thoroly kontented with things az i find them in this world, or be a Rockaway klam, i would be the klam.


Luv iz a game for young folks to pla at, but when a man gits az old, and az homely az i am, and takes a hand at it, he iz sure to git ukered. If ten waz the game, Cupid could giv an old phellow seven points, and then beat him badly.


Milk Puntch iz a fluid that i do luv extrornary well, and aint ashamed to oun it. But whether it iz the milk in it, or the puntch in it, that suits me so well, i aint obliged to tell. Human natur iz weak yu kno, and needs a little puntching up, in a hot day.


Nonsense iz one ov mi prinsipal weaknesses, i luv it in any shape, but az quails on toast improve the quails, and dont hurt the toast, so i prefer to hav mi nonsense bilt on sense. Good nonsense iz one ov the rarest artikles in the literary bazaar, and allwuss commands admirashun, and fetches a good price.


Human beings are natral slovens, yu hav got to hold a yung one tight to wash hiz face the fust time, and to comb hiz hair, yu hav acktually got to run him down.

The man who haint never bin cheated, dont kno so mutch az he will sum day before long perhaps.

Then he iz harnesst, and broke,
A hard task indeed,
And, handled quite gently,
To draw out his speed.

almanac March 1878


The centaur iz not an Amerikan, but blooms in the land far away to the eastward, whare the muskeeto iz unknown, and whare the pensiv kokroach putteth in no appearance. He is haff horse, and haff sum other phellow, and hunts for fun, and sumthing to eat. He haz got a hed on him like Demostheneze ov old, and wears hiz hair short in front, but flooded down on hiz nek, and over hiz shoulders, like a growth ov yung hop vines, in a hot house. Hiz instrument iz a bo, and arro, and he kan assassinate the stupendous elephant 440 yards distant, or pik a single feather off from the top ov a humming birds hed on the fly The centaur allwuss hunts on horsebak, and leads a free and cheap life. When in the ackt ov shooting the vast elephant, or the remorseless tiger, hiz hed iz thrown finely bak, hiz eye gleams like a lost jewell, hiz hair quivers like an aspen leaf, courage smiles in hiz face, hiz breast grows wider, and the muscles in hiz arm hang down like hornets' nests, hiz tale whips the air, and hiz hooffs ov steel ring on the turf. I hav et plain hash untill i am tired ov it, and would like no better phun than to mount a centaur, without enny bridle on him, and with a mermaid in front ov me, and a ghost behind, take a free, and rekless ride, a ride ov genius, to the ends ov the earth. But I suppoze I should git sik ov this, in a day, or two, and want to ride sumthing else.


Poverty haz been called safe, but poverty even, haz got to lock up its mouldy bread, and cheeze, or loze it.

Honesty iz the rarerest welth enny one kan possess, and yet all the honesty in the world, aint lawful tender for a loaf ov bread.

When he reaches six years,
He iz called a full horse,
And iz thought fit to trot,
For a puss on the course.

almanac April 1878


The auckshioneer iz an unfortunate individual who duz other peoples lieing for 10 dollars a day, and boards himself. He haz got az mutch jaw az a wolf trap, and as mutch cheeck az a 10 year old mule. He takes up the profeshun quite often on the same principle that a horse doktor duz hiz, not bekause he iz fit for the bizzness, but just to hav one in the naborhood. His gratest pride iz to mingle what he calls humor with hiz talk when he iz on the block, but hiz jokes are gennerally az level az a kold slapjax. He iz at the hight ov hiz ambishun when he haz worried a laff out ov the bistanders, and uses the same rhetorick, and similees, when he sells out a line ov bank securitys, that he duz, when he closes out an old one-eyed pelter, under a chattell mortgage, in frunt ov the kourt house. A kuntry auckshioneer, and a kuntry horse jockey, are two wonderphull cusses, in the rural deestrikts. I hav been an auckshioneer and kno what i am talking about.


The old maid iz the last gooseberry left on the bush, ded ripe, and reddy to fall off at the fust good shake. She iz sumtimes a leetle hard to suit, but iz quite often the most charming relick in the naborhood. Next to mothers in law, old maids hav been abuzed more than enny thing human, but they all ov them hav a warm spot in their hearts, that enny decent person iz welkum to krawl into, and sun themselfs.


Too mutch attenshun to little things spiles a man for bigger ones, I kno a fellow who kan make a fust rate whissell out ov a pigs tail, and this iz all he kan do.

Wit, in a woman, kan never replace the want ov buty.

young man embracing two girls

About the hardest thing a fellow kan do, iz to spark 2 girls at one time, and preserve a good average =

Try it. Josh Billings

man driving a gig

I dont insist upon pedigree for a man, or horse—if a horse kan trot fasst. and honest, the pedigree iz all right, if he kant, i wouldn't giv a shilling a yard for hiz pedigree.= so, Josh Billings

Five years ov fasst work,
He iz bunged up, and done,
Knee sprung, and spavined,
Hiz spirit iz gone.

almanac May 1878


I receaved a circular yesterday inviting me to buy a ticket in a gift distrubiting skeme, i didn't invest, i hav often bought into theze magnificent chances, and all that i hav ever drawed yet, waz the wool over mi eyes. A cow that will leak 18 quarts of milk per diem iz a good one, but one that will flow 30, iz better. This may look like an assershun ov mine, but the more yu look into it, the more milk yu will diskover. Thare aint but fu cows that will giv 30 quarts ov milk a day unless yu irrigate it well. I kant say if it will pay yu to keep a cow, or not, yu kan buy a "Readdy Reckoner," at enny ov the book stores, for 75 cents, and they tell all about theze things. If i waz called upon to advise a Mother in law, i should tell her never to suggest enny thing in the family at all, if she sees the babys stockings agin the stove, burning up, let them burn, if she sees the kat stealing kream, off from the top ov the milk kans, let her steal, if thare iz enny thing lost, and the whole household are hunting for it, and she knows right whare it iz, keep mum, and let them hunt. I kant tell whitch iz the best breed ov lap dogs, all i kno about the diffrent breeds iz that the whole lot are a kussid shame, and noosance. Rats are very growthy, so growthy, that yu dont need but one good helthy rat to commence operations with, and in three years, yu will hav rats to spare.


Next to going barefoot, for solid cumfort, cums an old shoe.

I beleave in ghosts,—only a little,—just ennff to keep up an assortment.

Now to a street kar,
Staggering he goes,
Receiving for pay,
Only curses and blows.

almanac June 1878


Dear Laubenhimer.—I dont know who writ "Babes in the Woods," but who ever did, hit natur. I hav forgot now the diagnosis ov the book, all i kan remember iz, i red it when i waz a boy, and i bought one 25 years after that for mi son, and only last week, bought another for mi grandson, and when he grows up to be a man, and iz wed, and haz results, he will buy it for hiz children. Robinson Kruso, Jak the Giant Killer, and babes in the woods, will wear az long az allminaxes will. I dont kno az thare iz a partikle ov bible truth in them, but they are so wonderphull, that if they didn't never cum to pass, it seems az tho they ought to.

Dear Onderdonk.—Thare iz only one way to brake a kiking heifer, and that iz, to stop her growth bi deth. When a heifer gits to kiking, the smartest mishionary in the world kant console her, she will kik over her own mother, just az liberally az she will a perfekt stranger.

They will allways manage to stand middling still untill yu git the pail just about full, and then for fear they wont hit it, they will kik with both feet to oust, and squeal into the bargain. After they hav kikt the milk over, they are perfektly resighned, and will stand and chew their kud, and let yu milk them for two hours if yu want to.


The fust man that waz murdered in this world waz the only pure one living at that time.

I like to see all things true to natur, even a hornet that kant sting, is a melankolly failure.

Next to a kart,
He plods, and he moans,
A skeleton phantom,
A mere rak ov bones.

almanac July 1878


The rhinosseross iz strikly a forrin invenshun, and i am glad ov it. They are a one horned experiment, and that horn grows on the tip ov their nose. If they are haff az unhappy az they look, they are the most mizerable kritters ever invented. Their great value is in their skarsity, if they waz az plenty az organ grinders, they wouldn't be enny more of a luxury. If i waz offered mi choice between a rhinosseross, and an anakondy, i should figger on them cluss, for a fortnight, and then refuse to take either.


Little blu eyed innocent, i saw yu one year ago, this very day, in this same cold, and sunless spot, (perhaps it mite hav been yure sister) far away from human eyes, or human footsteps. It waz winter then, so it iz now, but they call it spring. Yu are too gentle for this cheerless place, do the fairys visit yu, and whisper words ov luv and hope. Yu need'nt hang yure hed and tremble, i wont hurt yu, gladly would i swop places with yu, neglected az yu are, yu kant be lost, i may be. Stay right whare yu are little innosent, the fust luv sik maiden i kum akrost, i will send to keep yu company, she will hav a lot ov silly, and soft things, to tell yu.


A "Stool Pigeon" iz one, who iz willing to be az wicked az he knows how, but who haz to be taught all the iniquity, ov enny consequence, that he possesses.

Men who hav the most real power, sho it the least, while thare aint a more terrible engine ov the law, than a fresh elekted constable.

When he kant pull a pound,
And won't even try,
He iz dropt bi his owner,
And turned out to die.

almanac August 1878


The old bachelor iz born in the maskuline way, but often changes hiz base, to the nuter gender. He thinks he haz got a good lone hand, but in playing it, allmost allways gits ukered. Sumtimes, late in life, he makes up hiz mind to git marrid, and then, allmost invariably, thare are two partys, who are disapointed.


The quack knows he iz a ded beat, but he allso knows that mankind luv to be cheated. He allwuss haz sum speshiallity, and the more difikult iz the disseaze, the more brazen iz he, in hiz offers to kure it. He preys upon the unfortunate, and it would be az unprofitable to prove malpraktiss aginst him, az it would bigamy, aginst a wharf rat.


The deakon iz the fust lutenant in a meeting house. He iz a good christian man, but hiz kreed iz too often az mutch bother to him, az a yoke iz to a goose. He iz az full ov bizzness, and proviso's az a wimmins rites convenshen. He often haz more pitty than branes, and generally, more fuss, than either. A good deakon, in a naborhood, iz a substanshall blessing, and bad deakons, thank Heaven, hav allwuss been skarse.


The world iz bankrupt in morals, and if kind heaven wont settle with us, for 10 cents on the dollar, the devil will git the whole thing bi foreclosure.

Yu may make a servant ov a friend, but yu kant make a friend ov a servant, it aint natral.

The street boys git at him,
And ride him around,
'Till he staggers, and stumbles,
And falls to the ground.

almanac September 1878


The grasshopp iz a flippant bug. He iz likewise a kuss. He iz green for color, and haz several leggs, or more, i disremember whitch. They kan fli, hop, walk, sit still, or run, and are born ov eggs, a dozen from each egg, proberbly. They are an inch and a quarter in length, and are sumtimes a frackshun over. They are laid, hatchid out, git their manhood, and die off in 75 days, this iz aktual bizzness, and shows enterprize, in a lofty degree. What they are good for, haz been concealed from us, for wize reazons, but the evil they kan commit, iz sumtimes equal to a famine. I hav seen every green thing, on the flatt ov the earth, for 50 miles in diameter, et up bi them, and millyuns ov them besides starving to deth. I have seen the air filled with them like a shower ov sand, and nothing but stone fences, and McAdam roads, proof aginst their appetights. To be et up bi grasshopps, to be consumed bi muskeeters, or mangled bi a mule, hav allways been the three deaths that i hav voted aginst. But az mutch az i fear the dedly hopper, i had rather face a mile square ov them, all alone, in the month ov August, or i had rather cross the Newark marshes, bi moonlite, in Juli, when muskeeters are in their consumate glory, or even fondle the sportive mule, than to hav a nusepaper kritick, who writes for 8 dollars a week, git after me.


The slowest time on reckord,—is skool time.

The man who forgivs, and dont forgit, compounds for 50 cents on the dollar.

man weeping over dead mule

I dont take enny phoolish chances, if i waz called upon to mourn over a ded mule, i should stand in front ov him, and do mi weeping.=

J. Billings Esq.

man falling down hill

When a man gits to going down hill, it duz seem, az tho every thing had been greased for the ockashun.

Josh Billings

Thare he struggles, and groans,
'Till he iz knockt on the hed,
And the once rapid trotter,
Lies pulseless and ded.

almanac October 1878


The apple iz the oldest fruit on reckord, and one ov the best. The fust ackount we hav ov it, was in the gardin ov Eden. Eve iz sed to hav et the fust one, and pronounced it good, and made Adam take a bight. The eating ov this apple never has been konsidered mutch ov a hit for the rest ov us. The apple will keep longer than enny other fruit, if it aint eaten, and kan be workt up into apple sass, and dumplings, with grate suckcess.

I kan tell a mans tru karakter, bi what he eats, or drinks, clusser than i kan to hear him deliver a tempranse lektur. Talk of all kinds iz artyfishall, but vittles, and drinks, iz natur. Whenever yu see a man cussing, and swareing at apple sass, and good light dumplings, yu can bet 10 dollars, on mi ackount, that he aint a good fireside man. Apples also, when they are well squeezed, produce cider, which iz next to milk, az a fertilizer. Egnogg owes most ov its glory unto cider. Champane wine would be dredphull skarse in market if it want for cider, and good sharp vinegar would be az unkommon az piety, or tru affeckshun, if it wazn't for cider. Jersey lightning also kums from cider, this iz the only wicked thing i ever knu cider to do. Jersey lightning haz scalded more people than hot water ever haz, and killed more than Minnie rifles.


Thare iz nothing which a chaste, and refined woman detekts so quick as the atmosphere ov an impure man.

Contentment has been praized more, and prakticed less, than enny other condishun ov life.

Now they kart him away—
Forgot, and forsaken,
To far-famed "BARREN ISLAND,"
The Trotter iz taken.

almanac November 1878


I hav lived in boarding houses long enuff to decide, that most ov them are the most cheerless, and unfriendly places on earth. The alms house, or the hospital, iz a more luvly spot to liv in, than the average boarding house. They are kept bi females, gennerally about 45, or 46, years old, and never gits enny older, who wears a blak allpacka dress, az slippery, and shiny, as a piece ov pattent leather, and who kan blo a butcher klean out ov hiz stall, or lift the false hair oph from the heds, ov one ov her Bridgets, when she gets to argueing the case hot.

Her house iz furnished from top to bottom with faded furniture, the spoils ov a thousand aukshun sales, which iz the only place she visits, except the meat, and vegetable markets Everything on the table, and about the house, inkluding attendance, iz meazzured out at the rate ov about nine ounces to the pound, and the whole thing runs dry, and squeaking like the axles ov a waggon, in want ov grease. Thare iz not one solitary, genuine cumfort, in theze concerns, and men, and wimmin, liv, year after year, in theze hash asylums, cursing them every day, and without the moral force to desert them.

I was once told ov one landlady who kept a party ov four young fellows in her house, two months longer than they wanted to stay, bi putting a ten cent stamp into the hash every morning. The landlady dealt out the hash, and managed to get the stamp every time.


The way of the transgressor iz hard,—and there ain't no transgressor kan dodge it neither.

Experience iz about all that old age can boast ov, and how often iz even this ov the bitterest kind.

Thar hiz hide is stript off,
And two dollars brings,
And his bones are workt up,
Into buttons and things.

almanac December 1878


Guessing iz a dredphull poor trade, i had just about az soon hav a man tell me a lie az to guess at a thing, in case ov doubt ask yure wife, when the sun shines wimmin are butterflys, and luv to bask in its rays, but when the dark hours cum, and even hope begins to look over its shoulder, ask yure wife about it, and she will either puntch a hole thru the klowd, or lift up one corner ov it, and sho yu a star, I luv babys, i luv them bekauze they are aktually necessary, I luv them bekauze they wont lie, I luv them bekauze they may be the next president sum time, i luv them bekauze i waz a baby once miself, and perhaps sumboddy loved me, i hav sumtimes thought gamblers were az honest az they kan afford to be, they allwuss giv notiss before hand that they will cheat you if they kan, I beleave in one wife, one dog, and one friend, with a few cheerfull acquaintances thrown in to make up the assortment, doenutts and cheeze are lawful tenders in Nu England, nine doenutts, a quarter ov a pound ov old cheeze, and a pint ov sharp sider, iz a luncheon fit for a nuly elekted Justiss ov the Peace, or a trakt pedlar, dandys are things ov the past, I havn't seen a regular full blossomed, old fashioned dandy, going on now seven years, I* * * * * *


When a coquet falls in luv, she falls in all over, prudes make a mental reservashun.

I would rather number amung mi intimates, an ideot, or even a pikpocket, than infidel.

"Now is the winter ov our diskontent."

almanac January 1879


The book canvasser iz a red hot being, az untiring az a fox hound, and az free from diffidence az a fish pedlar. He works hiz way into every spot in kreashun, and will often sell a book to a man, for hiz own price, who swore at first that he wouldn't take it az a gift. He will travel more miles in a day, on less hash, than a stage horse, and kan stand more abuse than a chinaman. The book canvasser haz bekum the terror of the land, and mankind hide from him az they would from the taxgatherer, or a case ov the small pox. I rather like the book canvasser, when a man pitches into me, and offers to sell me 650 pages ov "Doktor John Hirsute's modified diagnosis ov the cappilliary attrakshun," and stiks to it untill he gits the book onto me, i am delighted with the man, and proud ov miself. It takes genius to do theze things, and i luv genius in all shapes, whether it appears az the author ov a dikshionary, or the pattentee of bar soap, warrented to take the letterings off from a mile stone in three washings. The book canvasser haz mi hottest prayers for hiz sukcess, and tho i never ov late subskribe for enny thing, not even to buy the new klergyman an independant seckond hand trotting kronometor, still i am allwus reddy to reckomend him to mi nabors.


"Throw fisick to the dogs," is a very old proverb, but whare will yu find the dog that will tutch it?

Experience teaches us mutch, but learns us little.

Two Perch—possibly one Smelt.

almanac February 1879


The chipmunk iz the smallest of the squirrell tribe. They are striped goods, having three blak lines wove into them, running the same way the squirrell duz. Az a spekulator in corn the chipmunk stands at the hed ov all the small operators, beating the blujay, in hiz yearly operashuns about a quart. The chipmunk carrys hiz corn in hiz mouth, and when he cums out ov a cornfield loaded with the cereal, his cheeks stik out like a duch baby's. Sumtimes the chipmunk iz kaught and kept in a cage, and iz made to turn a wheel for a living, this iz the only usefull work they hav ever been known to do. I hav often lookt at them at work in their wheels, and dont kno which i pitty the most, the chipmunk, or the party who has to tend them, both of them mite be in better bizzness. They are the only insekt who dig their holes and sho no pile ov dirt at the entrance. I hav asked sevral smart men what bekums ov the dirt, but they all shook their heds and lookt awfull wize. When i waz a boy i used to ketch chipmunks bi running away from skool, and the day that I brought in two ov them waz a big day for me.


The devil iz a very cunning phellow, but the blunders he makes allwuss eats up the profitts in hiz bizzness.

A dandy iz an individul whoze usephullness in this world depends entirely upon the fit ov hiz clothes.

On the War Path.—The hit ov the seazon.

almanac March 1879


Three kard monte iz a game ov chance, the chance iz, that yu will git badly beat, unless yu play it alone. When thare iz 2 plays the game, sumbody iz bound to git hurt. Girls are a more risky crop to raize than boys, if a boy makes a bad blunder, he kan wipe out the slate once, or even twice, and begin again, but a girl kant. I kant tell who old Probabilitiz iz, but he iz a smart kuss, aint he? Whiskee iz one ov the tonicks, i think, but i aint sure, i kno it iz one ov the tanglelegs, for I hav seen it tried often. Yu kan sell a fast horse in Nu York at yure own price, provided he iz fast enuff. But dont bring enny 3 minnitt kattle to Nu York, the ice kream, and the milk men, drive faster than that. Our old fellows, in Nu York, menny ov them who hav seen 70 years, when they go out onto the hard roads, dont take enny but 2.25 dust. Speaking ov kats mi opinyun remains unchanged, they are az full ov flaws, az a March wind iz. Yu kan make a lawyer, or a minister ov your son, either ov them are decent callings enuff, but neither ov them will make him respektabel, unless they are well filled Nuzepaper hacks are harder workt, and poorer fed, than livery stable horses. Authors, and skribblers, az a klass, are a self konsaited, and seedy set, and I believe a literary man, when he gits poor, and shiny, iz the poorest looking kritter on the footstool.


No atheist, with all hiz boasted bravery, haz ever dared to advertize his beleaf, on hiz tomb stun

A baby iz a necessity, but twins allwuss did seem to me, to be ov a spekulative natur.

Bound for Wall Street.—Bring on yure Bear.

almanac April 1879


Muskeeters are a game bug, but they wont bite at a hook. Thare iz millyuns ov them kaught every year, but not with a hook, this makes the market for them unstiddy, the supply allways exceeding the demand. The muskeeto iz born on the sly, and cums to maturity quicker than enny other ov the domestik animiles. A muskeeter at 3 hours old iz just az reddy, and anxious, to go into bizzness for himself, az ever he iz, and bites the fust time az sharp, and natral, az red pepper duz. The muskeeter haz a good ear for musik, and sings without notes. The song ov the musketo iz monotonous to sum folks, but in me it stirs up the memorys ov other days. I hav lade awake, all nite long, menny a time and listened to the sweet anthems ov the muskeeter. I am satisfied that thare want nothing made in vain, but i kant help thinking how mighty kluss the musketoze kum to it. The muskeeter haz inhabited this world since its kreashun, and will probably hang around here until bizzness closes. Whare the muskeeter goes to in the winter iz a standing konumdrum, which all the naturalists hav giv up, but we kno he dont go far, for he iz on hand early each year with hiz probe fresh ground, and polished. Muskeeters must be one ov the luxurys ov life, they certainly aint one ov the necessarys, not if we kno ourselfs.


Thare iz a time for all things, and the best time to hold our tungs, iz when we feel az tho we had the most to say.

The man who gambles, or drinks whiskey, kant chooze hiz assoshiates.

horse trading

If yu trade horses with a jockey yu kant git cheated but once.—but if yu trade with a deakon yu may git cheated twice.—once in the horse, and once in the deakon =

Perhaps. Josh Billings

man fishing

Patience iz a good thing for a man to hav. but when he haz got so mutch ov it. that he kan fish all day long, without enny bate on hiz hook,—Lazyness, iz what's the matter ov him.=

Exackly so. Josh Billings

Dubletts—a lucky throw.

almanac May 1879


Next to rhy bread, beans hav been called by the poets, and philosphers the cumfort, and staff ov life. The bean iz all food, thare iz no more waste in them, than thare iz in a pint ov cold water, when a man iz auphull dry. Beans are all colors, and most shapes, flat, round, oblong, square, and 3 cornered, and a quart ov them put into a pot, and biled 2 hours, will meazzure a gallon, and a haff, when they cum out. This makes them a better dividend paying seed than enny thing we kno ov. Beans are az old az Esau, he sold out for bean porridge. Beans gro on the jump, and thare aint but phew things that kan beat a bean klimbing a pole. I luv beans, but dont hanker for them. But beans, and me wont quarrell. Baked beans are a grate necessity in Nu England, and not to hav a platter ov them for Sunday dinner, iz lookt upon thare az being stuck-up to the neighbors. One ov the old blue laws ov Massachusetts waz, "thou shalt eat baked beans on Sunday." I kan remember now ov eating baked beans, and rhy, and injun bread every Sunday, when i waz a boy, and luving it, bekauze i waz obliged to.


The happyest time in enny ones life, iz the fust 20 minnitts after they hav had an akeing tooth jerkt out.

Imaginashun never filled a man's stummak yet, yu kant git pork, and beans, by dreaming about them.

A Shell-Fish—pretty mutch all shell.

almanac June 1879


Q.—What iz the best religious kreed to hav?

A.—Charity. If a man will swop off all the religious kreed he haz got on hand, and invest the proceeds in charity, he will allwus be proud ov the job.

Q.—Will yu pleze define an Enthuziast?

A.—An Enthuziast iz a party who beleaves about 4 times az mutch az he kan prove, and who kan prove about 4 times az mutch az ennyboddy else beleaves.

Q.—What three things hav dun the most to civilize the world?

A.—The Bible, the looking-glass, and the muskett

Q.—Whitch iz the most reddy animile?

A.—The mule—they alwuss sleep standing, so to be on hand when the kiking begins to flow.

Q.—What iz the quikest food on reckord?

A.—The oyster on the haff shell—they kan be et sitting, standing, or on the run.

Strayed or Stolen.—Return to P. T. Barnum.

almanac July 1879


The gorrilla iz a free-born citizen ov Western Afrika, and in point ov intilekt, averages well with the rest ov the natives. They are about 5 foot 3 in hight, and hav got a sanguine temper, wuss than a fish womans. I never saw but one gorrilla, and he waz not filled with life, but waz filled with straw. I dont want to see another, it weakens mi respekt for mi ansesstors. They are four legged, and kan walk purpendikular, or horizontal, but when they do walk uprite, they are the wust looking relashuns we hav. They liv alone, and are more terrible in a ruff and tumble fite, than enny person that livs. I hav allwuss wondered whi sum one didn't import one into this country, and match him for 2 thousand dollars to fite in a ring. I am oppozed to ring battles, but when this skirmish takes place, i want to be there, and bet my patrimony on to the gorrilla. May the best man win. The gorrilla haz a good appetight, for one that haint been kultivated, and will eat enny thing he kan ketch, from a coloured brother to an anakondy The gorrilla iz no doubt good for sumthing, but what that iz i kant tell, nor dont want to know. Farewell yu auphull, ugly, mizerable kuss.

The end ov the gorrilla.


The devil holds poor kards, but he allwuss plays them mighty well.

A man with a very small hed iz like a pin without enny, very apt to git into things beyond hiz depth.

Sweet 16 (sub rosa 38).

almanac August 1879


Q.—When iz the right time to marry?

A.—Enny whare between 21, and ninety-four years.

Q.—What iz a woman's chief joy in this world?

A.—Her own or sumboddy else's baby.

Q.—Which iz the most diffident, and humbel kritter amung the animals?

A.—A bobtailed kat, probberbly.

Q.—How menny yards ov 5 dollar silk duz it take to make a dress.

A.—I dont kno, but it allwuss takes 2 yards and a haff more than yu buy the fust time.

Q.—What do mankind gennerally take the most pride in?

A.—In sumthing their nabors haint got, nor kant git.

Q.—What two persons in the whole congregashun, need the clusset watching?

A.—A praying pollytisian, and an offishus deakon.

Q.—How iz the best way to git rid ov kokroaches?

A.—Sell out yure house, and lot, and jine the gipseys.

Q.—What cums the nearest to makeing a woman sware?

A.—To hav her clothes line brake when it iz full ov a Monday's washing.

Q.—Which iz the two most thankless jobs in this world?

A.—To keep skool, and be an undertaker.

Q.—How do yu define experience?

A.—Experience iz the science ov finding out how deep a mill pond iz, by wading into it, and drowning.


I kant help but respekt the heathen, they hav made az good a showing on their kapital, az the christians hav.

Next to the mother in law, cums the Grandmother, to regulate the cook, the kat, and the baby.

For full particulars enquire ov E. & T. Fairbanks & Co.

almanac September 1879


The dumplin are about the natral size ov yure phist, made out ov dough, and filled with apples. They are served up hot, with sum sweet-tasteing liniment on them, and are az eazy to struggle with az a sugar-plum. They aint so good kold az they ought to be. Kold dumplin, and raw potatoe, eat similar. I never et apple dumplin yet, without thanking the Lord for that one, and the Landlady for another one. Four apple dumplins, at one sitting, iz just about mi size. I wish i knu who invented theze kind-hearted balls, i would like to weep over hiz memory. Punkin pi, and apple dumplin, hav dun az mutch to civilize man az enny two missionarys that hav ever lived. Good vittles iz next to good morals enny how. Yu may talk about virtew az mutch az yu pleze, yu kant never inokulate a man with virtew fust rate on an empty stummuk. Giv a man four apple dumplin, with sum good kind ov ointment on them, and after he haz et them, and they hav settled down to hard pan, yu kan krawl up to him on either side, with a dose of morality, or even sum new kind of sope, for taking spots out ov clothes.


Thare iz nothing about a man that will outlast a nikname, it will stik to him, az long az a bobtale will to a dog.

Most people repent ov their sins bi thanking God they aint so wicked az their nabors.

man falling on waterlogged ice

Thare iz one thing i notiss.—When a man falls down on the ice, whare the water iz an inch, and a haff deep, he never seems to feel proud ov the job =

Josh Billings

goose, head down, entering barn

The goose, like sumother folks, haz more politeness than thare iz enny need ov.—i hav seen them lower their heds, in going into a barn door, 18 foot high.=

I hav. Josh Billings

When the pinch comes, he is thar.

almanac October 1879


Punkin pi iz the sass ov Nu England. They are vittles and drink, they are joy on the haff-shell, they are glory enuff for one day, and are good kold or warmed up. I would like to be a boy again, just for sixty minnitts, and eat miself phull ov the blessed old mixtur. Enny man who dont luv punkin pi, wants watching cluss, for he means to do sumthin mean the fust good chance he kan git. Giv me all the punkin pi i could eat, when i waz a boy, and i didn't kare whether sunday-skool kept that day or not. And now that i hav grown up to manhood, and hav run for the legislature once, and only got beat 856 votes, and am thoroly marrid, thare aint nothing i hanker for wuss, and kan bury quicker, than two-thirds ov a good old-fashioned punkin pi, an inch and a halff thik, and well smelt up, with ginger and nutmeg. Punkin pi iz the oldest Amerikan beverage i kno ov, and ought to go down to posterity with the trade mark ov our grandmothers on it; but i am afrade it wont, for it iz tuff even now to find one that tastes in the mouth at all az they did 40 years ago.


Noboddy really luvs to be cheated, but it duz seem az tho every one waz anxious to see how near they could cum to it.

The wust tyrant in the world iz the wife ov a henpekt husband.

Sarching for the Bulls Eye.

almanac November 1879


⁂ H. J. B.—If the lady with lavender poodle, would like tew swop dogs, Barney O'Toole iz her man.

B. O'Toole.

⁂ D.—Dont menshun it; mum iz the word. Star ov buty, the goose hangeth hi.


Sweetness.—Virtew iz her own cashier; the violet iz blu; the racoon haz a bushy tail; man waz made tew mourn; meet me at the pea-nut stand.


Spongkake.—Dost luv me? The kold moon listened when yu breathed a vow in Bridget Costello's ear; dont go back on me Patrik, if thou dost, be jabbers i will hav satisfackshun.


Bill Mustach.—Dont put on airs; how about that box ov 5 cent cigars yu owe for? Yure wash-woman mourns yure abscence.

Sam Peel.

A strong Butter (I don't like strong butter).

almanac December 1879




By Major J. B. Pond.


"It is distinctly one of the most interesting books of the year from any point of view."—Rochester Sunday Herald.

"It is many a day since I have read so fascinating a book of reminiscences. Many a day—or perhaps I should have said a 'night'—for this volume has given me delight during hours, when, according to the laws of nature, I should have been asleep."—Neweil Dwight Hillis.

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"Adorned by many pictures, never before published."—Detroit Journal.

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"Major Pond goes deep into his subject, tarnishing pen-portraits that are admirably clear and graphic."—The Mail and Express.

The whole book, stuffed as it is with anecdotes and extracts from personal letters, is marvelously interesting."—Boston Transcript.

"All the world loves a teller of stories, and readers will surely take approvingly to the man who gives them so much of entertaining reading as is found in Major Pond's 600 pages of bright personal description."—N. Y. Times.

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It is a handsome octavo volume, 5-3/4 x 8-3/4 inches, of 620 pages, with nearly 100 half-tone portrait illustrations. Beautifully bound in English silk cloth, with gold stamp on side, gilt top. At all Bookstores. $3.50.




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The wayward spelling and punctuation are special features of this text. I have therefore made no attempt to correct apparent typos or missing punctuation marks, as at least SOME of the errors are intentional.

There are only three exceptions:

1. the correction of "C" to "G" in line 11 of page 36;

2. the insertion of the missing number 1 in the list on page 38;

3. the insertion of the missing number 1 in the list on page 45.



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