Quotable Quotes


One of the things I learned during three decades as a newspaper reporter is that very few people ever say anything truly memorable. Sure, they’ll come up with a quote or two from time to time that is perfectly adequate for a news story, but nothing that people will commit to memory or jot down for later use. So the exceptions, when they occur, are worth celebrating. That’s why I always keep an eye out for a great quote.
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Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.
Edward Abbey

Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could.
Abigail Adams

Knowledge is a fine thing, and mother Eve thought so; but she smarted so severely for hers, that most of her daughters have been afraid of it since.
Abigail Adams

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have to at least consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
Douglas Adams

The difficulty with this conversation is that it’s very different from most of the ones I’ve had of late. Which, as I explained, have mostly been with trees.
Douglas Adams

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
Douglas Adams

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with potatoes.
Douglas Adams

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
Douglas Adams

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
Douglas Adams

Everyone carries his own inch-rule of taste and amuses himself by applying it, triumphantly, wherever he travels.
Henry Adams

Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.
John Adams

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
Muhammad Ali

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
Fred Allen.

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.
Woody Allen

When I was kidnapped, my parents snapped into action. They rented out my room.
Woody Allen

It’s not that I’m afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.
Woody Allen

You have only one friend in the world, yourself.
Svetlana Alliluyeva

Paradise is exactly like where you are right now . . . only much, much better.
Laurie Anderson

I am sometimes asked: “Why do you spend so much of your time and money talking about kindness to animals when there is so much cruelty to me?” I answer: “I am working at the roots.”
George Thorndike Angell

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou

Failure is impossible.
Susan B. Anthony

Beware of the person of one book.
Thomas Aquinas

The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
Hannah Arendt

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
Aristotle

There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad. I play the good kind.
Louis Armstrong

What do you hang on the walls of your mind?
Eve Arnold

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
Arthur Ashe

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
Isaac Asimov

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
Isaac Asimov

If God can work through he, he can work through anyone.
Francis of Assisi

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
Augustine

If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.
Marcus Aurelius

Life is life, whether in a cat or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage.
Sri Aurobindo

Roads go ever ever.
Bilbo Baggins

Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.
James Baldwin

Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.
James Baldwin

I love America more than any other country in the world, and exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.
James Baldwin

The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.
James Baldwin

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.
James Baldwin

Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead.
Lucille Ball

Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.
Honoré de Balzac

Behind every great fortune there is a crime.
Honoré de Balzac

The only difference between a good shot and a bad one is if it goes in or not.
Charles Barkley

The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.
J. M. Barrie

The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery. They’re the kind of people who’d stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire . . . . The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn’t bother to stop because they’d want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club.
Dave Barry

Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
Dave Barry

Love thy neighbor as yourself, but choose your neighborhood.
Louise Beal

Too few people understand a really good sandwich.
James Beard

A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.
Henry Ward Beecher

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.
Saul Bellow

There seems to be no lengths to which humorless people will not go to analyze humor. It seems to worry them.
Robert Benchley

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn three times before lying down.
Robert Benchley

The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him.
Robert Benchley

A real hangover is nothing to try out family remedies on. The only cure for a real hangover is death.
Robert Benchley

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.

Ernest Benn

There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.
Elizabeth Bennet (Jane Austen)

Me wife Mary and I have been married for forty-seven years and not once have we had an argument serious enough to consider divorce; murder, yes, but divorce, never.
Jack Benny

The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholder from them but by the hand of tyranny.
Jeremy Bentham

The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but rather, “Can they suffer?”
Jeremy Bentham

You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.
Yogi Berra

Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.
Yogi Berra

You can observe a lot by just watching.
Yogi Berra

You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.
Yogi Berra

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.
Yogi Berra

I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.
Yogi Berra

If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.
Yogi Berra

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra

Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.
Yogi Berra

He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.
Yogi Berra

The covers of this book are too far apart.
Ambrose Bierce

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity . . .  and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.

William Blake

Courtesy, modesty, good manners, conformity to ethical standards are universal, but what constitutes courtesy, modesty, good manners, and ethical standards is not universal.
Franz Boas

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
Erma Bombeck

Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.
Erma Bombeck

There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.
Erma Bombeck

Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake.
Napoleon Bonaparte

History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.
Anthony Bourdain

Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.
Anthony Bourdain

It’s very rarely a good career move to have a conscience.
Anthony Bourdain

We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.
Louis D. Brandeis

You can get by on charm for about 15 minutes. After that, you better know something.
H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language.
H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
Lenny Bruce

Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.
James Bryce

History is much more the product of chaos than of conspiracy.
Zbigniew Brzezinski

Manners are of more importance than laws.
Edmund Burke

When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick.
George Burns

You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there.
George Burns

I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things . . . I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.
Leo Buscaglia

There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.
Susan Cain

Art should not be lugubrious.
Alexander Calder

Sometimes I think that the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us
Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes)

An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, stays bought.
Simon Cameron

The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
Albert Camus

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus

You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
Al Capone

Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.
George Carlin

If we could just find out who’s in charge, we could kill him.
George Carlin

When you’re born, you get a ticket in the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.
George Carlin

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.
George Carlin

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
George Carlin

Teach a parrot the terms “supply and demand” and you’ve got an economist.
Thomas Carlyle

Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.
Jim Carrey

I knew a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.
Johnny Carson

I was so naive as a kid I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing.
Johnny Carson

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
Rachel Carson

There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.
Willa Cather

All our interior world is reality, and that, perhaps, more so than our apparent world.
Marc Chagall

In the end, everything is a gag.

Charlie Chaplin

Their teachers have been the birds themselves, when they sang to them, the sun when it left its glow of crimson behind it at setting, the very trees, and wild herbs.
Anton Chekhov

The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.
Kate Chopin

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Winston Churchill

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
Winston Churchill

If you are going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
Winston Churchill

I think I can save the British Empire from anything — except the British.
Winston Churchill

Saving is a good thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you.
Winston Churchill

In a disordered mind, as in a disordered body, soundness of health is impossible.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

A room without books is like a body without a soul.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Opera, next to Gothic architecture, is one of the strangest inventions of western man. It could not have been foreseen by any logical process.
Kenneth Clark

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
Arthur C. Clarke

Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.
Jean Cocteau

How I have walked . . . day after day, and all alone, to see if there was not something among the old things which was new!
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

Posthumous fame is a plant of tardy growth, for our body must be the seed of it.
Alex Colville

Politeness is the first virtue, and the origin perhaps of all the others.
André Comte-Sponville

If you think in terms of years, plant a seed; if it terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.
Confucius

Don’t vote, it only encourages them.
Billy Connolly

Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first call promising.
Cyril Connolly

People think that mathematics is complicated. Mathematics is the simple bit, it’s the stuff we can understand. It’s cats that are complicated.
John Conway

Last night I dreamed I ate a ten-pound marshmallow, and when I woke up the pillow was gone.
Tommy Cooper

The sea, once it casts it spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
Jacques Cousteau

When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.
Norm Crosby

Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.
Billy Crystal

I tried to think but nothing happened!
Curly

The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad.
Salvador Dali

I have never killed anyone, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.

Clarence Darrow

I have suffered being being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a (heck) of a lot more if I had been understood.
Clarence Darrow

Now shall I walk / Or shall I ride? / “Ride,” Pleasure says; / “Walk,” Joy replied.
W. H. Davies

Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.
Dorothy Day

The graveyards are full of indispensable men.
Charles De Gaulle

I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive. but I have photographs of her.
Ellen DeGeneres

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.
Ellen DeGeneres

Nothing says holidays like a cheese log.
Ellen DeGeneres

I think; therefore I am.
René Descartes

If we look straight and dee[ into a chimpanzee’s eyes an intelligent self-assured personality looks back at us. If they are animals, what must we be?
Frans de Waal

Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts.
Charles Dickens

I’m nobody. Who are you?
Emily Dickinson

I think all sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story.
Isak Dineson

There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honor.

Benjamin Disraeli

I prayed for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
Frederick Douglass

I consider that a man’s brain originally like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.
Arthur Conan Doyle

Words are but the vague shadows of the volumes of what we mean. Little audible links, they are, chained together with great inaudible feelings and purposes.
Theodore Dreiser

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.
Ariel Durant

They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.
Bob Dylan

Chaos is a friend of mine.
Bob Dylan

If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.
Gordon A. Eadie

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
Abba Eban

Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.
José Maria de Eça de Queiroz

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire like is thank you, it  will be enough.
Meister Eckhart

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Thomas Edison

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
Albert Einstein

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Albert Einstein

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
Albert Einstein

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
Albert Einstein

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
Albert Einstein

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
Albert Einstein

What do we live for; if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?

George Eliot

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Imitation is suicide.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be yourself in a word that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you, horseradish, for being neither a radish nor a horse. What you are is a liar food.
Jimmy Fallon

Don’t keep reaching for the stars because you’ll just look like an idiot stretching that way for no reason.
Jimmy Fallon

We look on past ages with condescension, as a mere preparation for us . . . but what if we’re only an after-glow of them?
J. G. Farrell

Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.
W. C. Fields

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
W. C. Fields

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.
W. C. Fields

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle the with bull.
W. C. Fields

It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.
W. C. Fields

The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.
W. C. Fields

As machines become more and more efficient and perfect, so it will become clear that imperfection is the greatness of man.
Ernst Fischer

If I must be alone, I refuse to be alone as if it were something weak and distasteful, like convalescence.
M. F. K. Fisher

Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg until it is broken.
M. F. K. Fisher

Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy,
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Draw your chair to the edge of the precipice and I’ll tell you a story.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.
Shelby Foote

Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.
Henry Ford

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
Anatole France

We seem to think that we can substitute an irreplaceable and irretrievable beauty with something which we have created ourselves.
Pope Francis

Nature is filled with words of love, but how can we listen to them amid constant noise?
Pope Francis

I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.
Anne Frank

How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts!
Benjamin Franklin

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
Benjamin Franklin

A bank is a place where they end you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.
Robert Frost

We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box.
Robert Fulghum

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.
Margaret Fuller

If it has tires or testicles, you’re going to have trouble with it.
Linda Furney

I would never go outside if I didn’t have kids.
Jim Gaffigan

I’ve been busy. What are we unnecessarily outraged about now?

Jim Gaffigan

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Galileo Galilei

I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Mahatma Gandhi

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Mahatma Gandhi

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
Mahatma Gandhi

Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.
Mahatma Gandhi

I’m a lover of my own liberty, and so I would do nothing to restrict yours. I simply want to please my one conscience, which is God.
Mahatma Gandhi

In China, when you’re one in a million, there are 1,300 people just like you.
Bill Gates

I shut me eyes in order to see.
Paul Gauguin

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
André Gide

Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.
Seth Godin

Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It’s better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.
Diane Grant

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
Vivian Greene

You can pretend to be serious; you can’t pretend to be witty.
Sacha Guitry

As through this world I rambled I’ve seen lots of funny men. Some will rob you with a six-gun. And some with a fountain pen.
Woody Guthrie

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.
Jack Handey

It is only a paper moon / Sailing over a cardboard sea / But it wouldn’t be make-believe / If you believe in me.
Yip Harburg

Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not.
G. H. Hardy

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
L.P. Hartley

Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people.
Heinrich Heine

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.
Ernest Hemingway

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
Ernest Hemingway

There is no friend as loyal as a book.
Ernest Hemingway

To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning.

Hermann Hesse

Political correctness is tyranny with manners.
Charlton Heston

If not us, who? if not now, when?
Hillel the Elder

The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
Sherlock Holmes

The best thing in the world being a strong house held in serenity where man and wife agree.
Homer

People who throw kisses are hopelessly lazy.
Bob Hope

If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.
Edward Hopper

Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.
Elbert Hubbard

I do not need my freedom when I’m dead. / I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.
Langston Hughes

All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.
Victor Hugo

There are three stages of scientific discovery: first people deny it is true; then they deny it is important; finally, they credit the wrong person.
Alexander von Humboldt

Maybe this world is another planet’s Hell.
Aldous Huxley

Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.
Thomas henry Huxley

All true wisdom is only to be found far from the dwellings of men, in the great solitudes; and it can only be attained through suffering.
Igiugarjuk

Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first.
Steve Irwin

If from infancy you treat children as gods, they are liable in adulthood to act as devils.
P. D. James

I am not afraid . . . I was born to do this.
Joan of Arc

I hold that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

Thomas Jefferson

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility toward every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
Thomas Jefferson

If we estimate dignity by immediate usefulness, agriculture is undoubtedly the first and noblest science.
Samuel Johnson

No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.
Samuel Johnson

When a man is tired of London,, he is tired of life.
Samuel Johnson

One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thought.
Samuel Johnson

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
Samuel Johnson

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.
Erica Jong

I can’t think of anything more exciting than the surface of things. Just appearance.
Alex Katz

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.
Garrison Keillor

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.
Helen Keller

Because in the end you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.
Jack Kerouac

People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.
Soren Aabye Kierkegaard

Here’s what I don’t understand about rioting. If you’re going to destroy a city for no reason, why destroy your own city? Move one city over.
Jimmy Kimmel

I miss the days when Halloween was a simple holiday about making ritual sacrifices to evil spirits to ensure a plentiful harvest.
Jimmy Kimmel

I never learned anything while I was talking.
Larry King

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Martin Luther King Jr.

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important also.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Sometimes you’re the windshield; sometimes you’re the bug.
Mark Knopfler

To me all men are equal: there are jackasses everywhere, and I have the same contempt for them all. No petty prejudices!
Karl Kraus

Dogs are a link to paradise.
Milan Kundera

The moment I heard of America, I loved her. The moment I knew she was fighting for freedom, I burnt with the desire of bleeding for her.
Marquis de Lafayette

The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.
Doug Larson

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.
Doug Larson

We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no larger ones.

François de La Rochefoucauld

Freedom is enjoyed when you are so well armed. or so turbulent, or inhabit a country so thorny that the expense of your neighbor’s occupying you is greater than the profit.
T. E. Lawrence

We pick politicians by how they look on TV and Miss America on where she stands on the issues. Isn’t that a little backwards?
Jay Leno

If it wasn’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever.
David Letterman

Wherever we’ve travelled in this great land of ours, we’ve found that people everywhere are about 90% water.
David Letterman

I believe I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans. Am I either one? Absolutely not. Ladies and gentlemen, I am an American.
David Letterman

There’s no business like show business, but there are several businesses like counting.
David Letterman

Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines.
David Letterman

I write to rejoin the community of mankind.
Primo Levi

It is easier to judge the mind of a man by his questions rather than his answers.
Pierre-Marc-Gaston de Lévis

No book is worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty.
C. S. Lewis

I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better.
A. J. Liebling

The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation.
Abraham Lincoln

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?

Abraham Lincoln

No matter how much the cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.
Abraham Lincoln

When I do good, I feed good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.
Abraham Lincoln

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.
Abraham Lincoln

I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
Abraham Lincoln

I can make more generals, but horses cost money.
Abraham Lincoln

The difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that the pessimist is usually better informed!
Clare Boothe Luce

No good deed goes unpunished.
Clare Boothe Luce

Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.
Niccolo Machiavelli

It’s useless to hold a person to anything he says while he’s in love, drunk, or running for office.
Shirley MacLaine

The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.
René Magritte

We have the Bill of Rights. What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities.
Bill Maher

Any war that requires the suspension of reason as a necessity for support is a bad war.
Norman Mailer

Truth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the whole world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it.
Maimonides

An exile’s only country is his country’s literature.
Andrei Makine

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.

Nelson Mandela

In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people.
Wilma Mankiller

Don’t look for society to give you permission to be yourself.
Steve Maraboli

You must be proud, bold, pleasant, resolute, / And now and then stab, as occasion serves.
Christopher Marlowe

If it weren’t for my lawyer, I’d still be in prison. It went a lot faster with two people digging.
Joe Martin

A day without sunlight is like, you know, night.
Steve Martin

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
Groucho Marx

I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.

Groucho Marx

I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.
Groucho Marx

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
Groucho Marx

A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.
Groucho Marx

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.

Groucho Marx

Why should I care about posterity? What’s posterity ever done for me?
Groucho Marx

Nuts.
U.S. Army Gen. Clement McAuliffe, responding to a German surrender demand during World War II

Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in one ahead.
Bill McGlashen

Baseball is what we were, football is what we have become.
Mary McGrory

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule —  and both commonly succeed, and are right.
H. L. Mencken

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
H. L. Mencken

Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
H. L. Mencken

Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.
H. L. Mencken

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
H. L. Mencken

The cynics are right nine times out of ten.
H. L. Mencken

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out . . . without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.
H. L. Mencken

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
H. L. Mencken

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
H. L. Mencken

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
H. L. Mencken

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.
Thomas Merton

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
Thomas Merton

We do not exist for ourselves.
Thomas Merton

Perhaps I am stronger than I think.
Thomas Merton

The trouble with eating Italian food is that, five or six days later, you’re hungry again.
George Miller

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
A.A. Milne

At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words “fuck off” much more frequently.
Helen Mirren

I prefer a pleasant vice to an annoying virtue.
Molière

It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I’m right.
Molière

A learned fool is more a fool than an ignorant fool.
Molière

It’s true Heaven forbids some pleasures, but a compromise can usually be found.
Molière

Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
Claude Monet

My life has been nothing but a failure.
Claude Monet

Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand it, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.
Claude Monet

I would like to paint the way a bird sings.
Claude Monet

Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.
Marilyn Monroe

Let us banish the strangeness of death; let us practice it, accustom ourselves to it, never having anything so often present in our minds.
Michel de Montaigne

My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.
Michel de Montaigne

Ignorance is the softest pillow on which a man can rest his head.
Michel de Montaigne

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.
Michel de Montaigne

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
Monty Python’s Flying Circus

What are the three words guaranteed to humiliate men everywhere? “Hold my purse.”
François Morency

If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Having nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
William Morris

Where’s your will to be weird?
Jim Morrison

Who wouldn’t be a mountaineer? Up here all the world’s prizes seem nothing.
John Muir

A politician who climbs high over the bodies of the slain is described as vile or great according to the degree of his success.
Robert Musil

I do not like to get the news, because there has never been an era when so many things were going so right for so many of the wrong persons.
Ogden Nash

Myself, I rather like the bat. / It’s not a mouse, it’s not a rat. / It has no feathers, yet has wings. / It’s quite inaudible when it sings.
Ogden Nash

No matter what hyenas sound like, they are not actually laughing.
Bob Newhart

My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son of a bitch.
Jack Nicholson

The tendency to claim God as an ally for our partisan values and ends is the source of all religious fanaticism.
Reinhold Niebuhr

At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid.
Friedrich Nietzsche

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Just taught my kids about taxes by eating 38 percent of their ice cream.
Conan O’Brien

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
Flannery O’Connor

I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.
Flannery O’Connor

I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life — and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.
Georgia O’Keeffe

Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.
P. J. O’Rourke

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.
P. J. O’Rourke

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
P. J. O’Rourke

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.
P. J. O’Rourke

Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.
Robert Orben

Political language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
George Orwell

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
George Orwell

Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
Thomas Paine

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.
Thomas Paine

The best beer in the world is the one in my hand.
Charlie Papazian

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.
Dorothy Parker

Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.
Dorothy Parker

I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
Dorothy Parker

Now I know the things I know, and I do the things I do; and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you!
Dorothy Parker

That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.
Dorothy Parker

You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.
Rosa Parks

The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.
Blaise Pascal

When government accepts responsibility for people, then people no longer take responsibility for themselves.
George Pataki

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dump bastard die for his country.
George S. Patton

One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.
Pope Paul VI

You cannot look at a sleeping cat and feel tense.
Jane Pauley

I’d horsewhip you if I had a horse.
S. J. Perelman

Before, I wandered as a diversion. Now I wander seriously and sit and read as a diversion.
Walker Percy

Why is art beautiful? Because it’s useless. Why is life ugly? Because it’s all ends and purposes and intentions.
Fernando Pessoa

If two wrongs don’t make a right, try three.
Laurence J. Peter

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.
Laurence J. Peter

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
Pablo Picasso

I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.
Sylvia Plath

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.
Plato

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
Plato

He who pleases is of more importance to his fellow man than he who instructs.
Edgar Allan Poe

A little learning is a dangerous thing.
Alexander Pope

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
Terry Pratchett

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.
Elvis Presley

If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.
Dan Quayle

Politicians are people who, when they see the light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.
John Quinton

I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months mater you have to start all over again.
Joan Rivers

Hunting is not a sport. In a sport, both sides should know they’re in the game.
Paul Rodriguez

Never miss a good chance to shut up.
Will Rogers

There’s only one thing that can kill the movies, and that’s education.
Will Rogers

I don’t know jokes; I just watch the government and report the facts.
Will Rogers

People are getting smarter nowadays; they are letting lawyers, instead of their conscience, be their guide.
Will Rogers

Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
Will Rogers

You can’y say that civilizations don’t advance . . . for in every war they kill you in a new way.
Will Rogers

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
Andy Rooney

It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.
Andy Rooney

The 50-50-90 rule: anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there’s a 90 percent probability you’ll get it wrong.
Andy Rooney

Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.
Andy Rooney

I’m always on the lookout for something good about people. Often months go by.
Andy Rooney

Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.
Andy Rooney

Do I have opinions that might piss people off? Yes - that’s what I’m here for.
Andy Rooney

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.
Eleanor Roosevelt

A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.
Eleanor Roosevelt

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.
Theodore Roosevelt

If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth

If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.
J. K. Rowling

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
Bertrand Russell

Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
Bertrand Russell

The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened.
Saki

I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.
Carl Sandburg

A country without a memory is a country of madmen.
George Santayana

Only the dead have seen the end of war.
George Santayana

Hell is other people.
Jea-Paul Sartre

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
Allen Saunders

Death seems to provide the minds of the Anglo-Saxon race with a greater fund of amusement than any other subject.
Dorothy L. Sayers

Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain.
Friedrich Schiller

The past is another country; where is the road leading there?
Karel Schoeman

Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed. In the second, it is opposed. In the third, it is regarded as self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Happiness is a warm puppy.
Charles M. Schulz

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.
Charles M. Schulz

Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile.
Albert Schweitzer

Television? The word is half Greek, half Latin. No good can come of it.
C. P. Scott

I haven’t the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.
David Seders

Every time I’m in the woods, I feel like I’m in church.
Pete Seeger

A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.
Jerry Seinfeld

According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two! Does that sound right? That means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.
Jerry Seinfeld

People who read the tabloids deserve to be lied to.
Jerry Seinfeld

Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.
Jerry Seinfeld

I don’t want to hear the specials. If they’re so special, put ‘em on the menu.
Jerry Seinfeld

I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells.
Theodor Seuss Geisel

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
Theodor Seuss Geisel

This above all: to thine own self be true.
William Shakespeare

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
William Shakespeare

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.
George Bernard Shaw

The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don’t have it.
George Bernard Shaw

War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.
William Tecumseh Sherman

If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.
William Tecumseh Sherman

I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers.
William Tecumseh Sherman

You gotta love livin’, baby, cause dyin’ is a pain in the ass.
Frank Sinatra

If the country is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to fight for.
Eugene B. Sledge

We wanted, it seemed, what we already had, a lover and a friend to create with, side by side. To be loyal, yet free.
Patti Smith

The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing.
Socrates

To find yourself, think for yourself.
Socrates

The difference between a cow and a bean can begin an adventure.
Stephen Sondheim

The important thing in writing is the capacity to astonish. Not shock — shock is a worn-out word — but astonish.
Terry Southern

All that you can imagine you already know.
Stephen Spender

Sleep is an excellent way of listening to an opera.
James Stephens

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.
Jon Stewart

Fatherhood is great because you can ruin someone from scratch.
Jon Stewart

Well, it turns out idiocy is bipartisan.
Jon Stewart

I may not be a first-rate composer, but I am a first-class second-rate composer.
Richard Strauss


Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
Billy Sunday

Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi


As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.
Hunter S. Thompson

The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.
Henry David Thoreau

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

Our life is frittered away by detail . . . simplify, simplify.
Henry David Thoreau

Men have become the tools of their tools.
Henry David Thoreau

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
Henry David Thoreau


I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, to discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
Henry David Thoreau

I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.
Henry David Thoreau

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
Henry David Thoreau

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.
Henry David Thoreau

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
Henry David Thoreau

I keep a mountain anchored off eastward a little way, which I ascend in my dreams both awake and  asleep.
Henry David Thoreau

Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?
James Thurber

The dog has got more fun out of Man than Man has got out of the dog, for the clearly demonstrable reason that Man is the more laughable of the two animals.
James Thurber

The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself.
James Thurber

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
James Thurber

There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception.
James Thurber


The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.
Henry Tilney (Jane Austen)

Not all of those who wander are lost.
J. R. R. Tolkien

Everything natural — every flower, tree, and animal — has important lessons to teach us if we would only listen.
Eckhart Tolle

Why isn’y there a special name for the tops of your feet?
Lily Tomlin

All my life, I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific.
Lily Tomlin

No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.
Lily Tomlin

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

I do not believe in shooting anything that cannot shoot back.
Harry S. Truman


A gentleman is simply a patient wolf.
Lana Turner

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
Mark Twain

I was young and foolish then; now I am old and foolisher.
Mark Twain

Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.
Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
Mark Twain

The rule is perfect: In all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
Mark Twain

It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.
Mark Twain

I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
Mark Twain

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it ad remove all doubt.
Mark Twain


There are lies, damned lies and statistics.
Mark Twain

When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade without further introduction.
Mark Twain

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
Mark Twain

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain

What is Man? Man is a noisome bacillus whom Our Heavenly Father created because he was disappointed in the monkey.
Mark Twain

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
Mark Twain

Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience; this is the ideal life.

Mark Twain

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.
Mark Twain

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
Mark Twain

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.
Mark Twain

I would rather be the first painter of common things than second in higher art.
Velázquez


You will travel in a land of marvels.
Jules Verne

The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so.
Gore Vidal
 

Let us read and let us dance — two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.
Voltaire

Common sense is not so common.
Voltaire

Love truth, and pardon error.
Voltaire

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
Voltaire

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: “O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it.
Voltaire

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
Voltaire

It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.
Voltaire

Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.
Kurt Vonnegut

Why is this thus? What is the reason of this thusness?
Artemus Ward

The sun has a right to “set” where it wants to, and so, I may add, has a hen.
Artemus Ward


It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us in trouble. It’s the things we know that ain’t so.
Artemus Ward

Let us all be happy and live within our means, even if we have to borrow money to do it with.
Artemus Ward

I am happiest when I am idle. I could live for months without performing any kind of labor, and at the expiration of that time I should feel fresh and vigorous enough to go right on in the same way for numerous more months.
Artemus Ward

In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.
Andy Warhol

I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.
George Washington

I have always considered marriage as the most interesting event of one’s life, the foundation of happiness or misery.
George Washington

It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.
Darrin Weinberg

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Mae West


When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.
Mae West

I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.
Mae West

Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck.
Joss Whedon

I would really rather feel bad in Maine than feel good anywhere else.
E. B. White

I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade . . . and try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.
Ron White

Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

Walt Whitman

The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.
Walt Whitman

I celebrate myself, and sing myself.
Walt Whitman