The Devil's Dictionary

Jan 10, 2002
Outside Magazine

Vel·cro™ (n)

ta·lus (n): see "scree."

The Big E (n): Everest. (Sorry, elephantiasis!)

thread the nee·dle (v): to negotiate a dangerously tight section of singletrack, rapids, or glades. Which, incidentally, is a good time to reflect on just how cheap and replaceable actual thread is.

tight (adj): somewhere between "epic" and "gnarly," with a "sick" pallor.

torched (adj): bone-tired, as in "My legs are torched·" Less funny when that line is uttered by someone whose legs are literally on fire and you say, "I hear you, man. I hear you."

Tour (n): the Tour de France. Frankly, the route is more efficient by train.

tree hug·ging (v): "first base" for environmental fanatics.

tricked-out (adj): refers to a particularly cool new product, such as a bike with lots of expensive aftermarket parts. Sometimes used to describe the consumer who paid for them.

Vel·cro™ (n): definition written by special guest Larry King: How did we ever manage without Velcro? ...Bengal tigers are the only mammal that can drink salt water ...For my money, Myrna Loy was the best actress of her time—or any other time! ...Yellowstone is bigger than it looks in person.

vert (n): the amount of vertical drop on a ski run. The French like to insist "vert" refers to the color green, but doesn't that add extra incentive to change its meaning, if only to mess with their heads?
whip·per (n): a fall onto a rope. Often results in a whipper-lasher-to-the-climberer.

white·wa·ter (n): a river characterized by rapids, used by rafters and kayakers. Little-known fact: Water is actually rather colorless unless it's kind of churning around for some reason.

yard sale (n): a fall that spreads your gear from point of impact to its final resting place. Despite its name, rarely a moneymaker, and also hard to advertise in advance.

ye·ti (n): mythic, hairy Himalayan beast that has never been photographed, with the exception of Hollywood films in which James Caan appears without a shirt.

zonked (adj): worn out from an epic adventure of some sort, be it biking, mountaineering, or writing a list of definitions clarifying the Outside lexicon. Eventually results in lacking the wit and energy to write jokes or whatever, etc., etc.

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