I am a great lover of quotes, sayings and aphorisms. Here are a few of my favorites. 




"Women and cats do as they damned well please, and men and dogs had best learn to live with it."


    -- Alan Holbrook


"To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs."


    -- Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)


"You may have heard that a dean is to faculty as a hydrant is to a dog."


    -- Alfred Kahn


"Physician: One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well."


    -- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)


"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person."


    -- Andrew A. Rooney


"I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves."


    -- August Strindberg


"When two dogs fight for a bone, and the third runs off with it, there's a lawyer among the dogs."


    -- German proverb


"Man is a dog's idea of what God should be."


    -- Holbrook Jackson


"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 (1894-1961)


"Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."


    -- Mark Twain (1835-1910)


"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man."


    -- Mark Twain (1835-1910)


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog."


    -- Mark Twain (1835-1910)


"A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down."


    -- Robert Benchley (1889-1945)


"If dogs don't go to heaven, when I die I want to go wherever they went."


    --  Attributed to Will Rogers


"You think there will not be dogs in heaven?  I tell you, they will be there long before any of us."


    -- Robert Louis Stevenson



“A witty saying proves nothing.”

        -- Voltaire

“Fine words! I wonder where you stole them.”

        -- Jonathan Swift

“If you steal from one another it's plagiarism; if you steal from many, it's research.”

        -- Wilson Mizner


"War is a blessing compared with national degradation."

        -- Andrew Jackson

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight: nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety: is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions and blood of better men than himself."

        -- John Stuart Mill

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace.  We ask not your counsel or your arms.  Crouch down and lick the hands of those who feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you.  May posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

        -- Samuel Adams

"The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves, whether they are to have any property they can call their own, whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed and themselves confined to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die."

        -- General George Washington in an address to the Continental Army

Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'

    -- William Shakespeare, "The Life of King Henry V," Act IV, Scene 3


“'To the Workers of the World, I am sorry.'“ -- Karl Marx”

        -- (Seen on the side of an East German factory)

“In Germany they first came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me - and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

        -- Pastor Martin Niemoller

“When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don't deal drugs. When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I'm innocent. When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don't own a gun. Now they've come for the first amendment, and I can't say anything at all.”

        -- Tim Freeman

“None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license.”

        -- John Milton

"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant."

-- John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), On Liberty, 1859


“The government has no source of revenue, except the taxes paid by the producers. To free itself -- for a while -- from the limits set by reality, the government initiates a credit con game on a scale which the private manipulator could not dream of. It borrows money from you today, which is to be repaid with money it will borrow from you tomorrow, which is to be repaid with money it will borrow from you day after tomorrow, and so on. This is known as ‘deficit financing.’ It is made possible by the fact that the government cuts the connection between goods and money. It issues paper money, which is used as a claim check on actually existing goods -- but that money is not backed by any goods, it is not backed by gold, it is backed by nothing. It is a promissory note issued to you in exchange for your goods, to be paid by you (in the form of taxes) out of your future production.”

        -- Ayn Rand;  Philosophy: Who Needs It, “Egalitarianism and Inflation”

“I am interested in politics so that someday I will not have to be interested in politics.”

        -- Ayn Rand

"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."

-- George Bernard Shaw


"Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third may profit by their example!"

        -- Patrick Henry

"The system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not."

        -- Fredrich August von Hayek:

"In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit."

    -- Ayn Rand

"I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the judicial safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice."

        -- Fredrich August von Hayek:

"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."

        -- Robert A. Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

“Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”

        -- George Bernard Shaw

“The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

        -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC (106-43 BC)

“Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. In area after area -- crime, education, housing, race relations -- the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them."

        -- Thomas Sowell, Is Reality Optional? [a collection of essays]

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on the human face -- forever . . . And remember that it is forever.”

        -- George Orwell (1903-1950), 1984

"When the State is most corrupt, then the laws are most multiplied.

        -- Tacitus

“The greater the hold of government upon the life of the individual citizen, the greater the risk of war.”

        -- John Hospers

“Do we need more laws? God forbid! We need more righteousness, more freedom, and more godly men -- and fewer laws.”

        -- R.J. Rushdoony

“The question nowadays is not what makes government work.  The question is how do we make it stop.”

        -- P. J. O'Rourke (1947 - )

"Government usually doesn't work.  It doesn't work because it is political.  People who are wise, good, smart, skillful, or hardworking don't need politics, they have jobs.  The difference between the political process and an honest life is the difference between parading around waving picket signs while hollering catcalls in front of the White House and getting up
in the morning to go make a living."

        -- P. J. O'Rourke

"Governments and citizens blend together only in the imaginations of political theorists. Government is, and always will be, an alien power over private citizens. There is no magic in a ballot box that makes government any less coercive."

        --  James Bovard, Freedom in Chains

“A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.”

        -- G. Gordon Liddy

"The modern definition of 'racist' is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal."

         -- Peter Brimelow, National Review (2/1/93)

"Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses."

        -- H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."

        -- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."

-- P.J. O'Rourke (1947 - )


"Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God."

        -- G. K. Chesterton, Christendom in Dublin (1933)


“Never buy a sweater that don't match your cat.”

    -- Modine Gunch

"I always knew that I would look back on my tears and laugh, but I never thought I would look back on my laughter and cry."

        -- Youssef Ali (AKA Cat Stevens)

"You know you're getting old when you look at a beautiful 19-year-old girl and you find yourself thinking, "Gee, I wonder what her mother looks like . . . "

        -- Unknown

“To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee.”

    -- William H. Walton

"When you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you."

    -- Nietzsche

"The man who says he is willing to meet you halfway is usually a poor judge of distance."

        -- Laurence J. Peter

"The danger from computers is not that they will eventually get as smart as men, but we will meanwhile agree to meet them halfway."

        -- Bernard Avishai

"The fellow who says he'll meet you halfway usually thinks he's standing on the dividing line."

        -- Orlando A. Battista

"The present is so short that it is past upon being named."

        -- Luis Vives

“It's easier to get forgiveness than permission.”

    -- Grace Murray Hopper

"90% of my salary I spent on books and women.  The other 10% I wasted."

        -- Erasmus McGraw

"Men are nicotine-soaked, beer-besmirched, whisky-greased, red-eyed devils."

        -- Carry Nation (1846?-1911)

"The gentleman will please remember that when his half-civilised ancestors were hunting the wild boar in Silesia, mine were princes of the earth."

        -- Judah Philip Benjamin (1811-1884), said in reply to an anti-Semitic remark made by a senator of German origin:


“The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.”

 -- Saint Thomas Aquinas

"To those who were robbed of life:  the unborn, the weak, the sick, the old, during the dark ages of madness, selfishness, lust and greed for which the last decades of the twentieth century are remembered . . . "

        -- C. Everett Koop, MD

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head."

        -- St. Seraphim of Sarov

"We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow."

        -- Fulton Oursler

"The fight between them [Theist and Atheist] is as to whether God shall be called God or shall have some other name."

        -- Samuel Butler 1835-1902, Note Books XXII


“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward in the same direction.”

         --Antoine De Saint-Exupery

"Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves."

        -- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

"The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of Love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire."

        -- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


"Some scientists claim that hydrogen because it is so plentiful is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen and that is the basic building block of the universe."

-- Frank Zappa


"There's no underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

-- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)


“There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking.”

        -- Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)

“If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, riddle them with bullets.”

        -- David Bedno (davidbe@sco.COM)

"Many of the greatest things that man has achieved are not the result of consciouslhy directed thought, and still less the product of a deliberately coordinated effort of many individuals, but of a process in which the individual plays a part which he can never fully understand."

        -- Fredrich August von Hayek:

"Stupidity is the devil. Look in the eye of a chicken and you'll know. It's the most horrifying, cannibalistic, and nightmarish creature in this world."

-- Werner Herzog


"Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week."


-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


"The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality."

        -- H.L. Mencken


“A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.”

        -- Samuel Butler (1835-1902), said in 1885

“Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics German, the lovers Italian and it's all organised by the Swiss. Hell is where the chefs are British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, the police German and it's all organised by the Italians.”

        -- Unknown

“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.”

        -- George Bernard Shaw

“Don't think of it as being outnumbered, think of it as a wide target selection.”

        -- Unknown

“Courage consists not in blindly overlooking danger, but in seeing it, and conquering it. “

        -- Richter (1763-1825)

“The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.”

        -- B. F. Skinner

"When I hear the word 'culture,' I reach for my revolver."

        -- Often incorrectly attributed to Hermann Goering (and variously to others)

Actually, it was a line spoken by a character in an obscure pro-Nazi German play.

"Wenn ich Kultur höre ... entsichere ich meinen Browning."  (“When I hear the word ‘culture’ I release the safety-catch on my Browning.”)

            -- "Schlageter" by Hanns Johst (1890-?), 1934, Spoken by the character Friedrich Thiemann

 “Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.”

        -- Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology

“I've had a wonderful evening, but this wasn't it.”

        -- Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing; if you can fake that, you've got it made.”

        -- Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

“If you owe the bank $100, that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem.”

        -- John Paul Getty

“Life is merely the slowest possible rate at which you can die.”

        -- Unknown

“Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the rejected.”

        -- Jimmy Cannon (1910-1973)

"The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future."

        -- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author; Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 3.

"Between the ages of 16 and 60 no man is completely sane except for the 10 minutes immediately following orgasm."

        -- Dapper Dan Collins, 20th century utilitarian philosopher, con-man and robber of coin-boxes

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

         -- George Carlin

"My parents just came back from a planet where the dominant lifeform had no bilateral symmetry, and all I got was this stupid F-Shirt."

        -- Unknown

"The first and the best victory is to conquer self.  To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile."

        -- Plato

"The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

        -- Mohandas Gandhi

“Every man has within himself a continent of undiscovered character. Happy is he who proves the Columbus of his soul.”

        -- Goethe (1749-1832)

“Whatever you are from nature, keep to it; never desert your own line of talent. Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed; be anything else, and you will be ten thousand times worse than nothing.”

        -- Sydney Smith (1771-1845)

"Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties--but right through every human heart--and all human hearts."

        -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.”

        -- T. E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

"The other day a woman came up to me and said, 'Didn't I see you on television?' I said, 'I don't know. You can't see out the other way.'"

-- Emo Philips


"It all goes back, of course, to Adam and Eve -- a story which shows among other things, that if you make a woman out of a man, you are bound to get into trouble."

        -- Carol Gilligan

"When the going gets weird the weird turn pro."

        -- Hunter S. Thompson

"I'm in a big dilemma about my Big-Leg Emma."

        -- Frank Zappa

"My skin still burns in places where she toucked me . . . "

        -- David Allan Coe

"Polka tots make polka teens, and polka teens make human beans!"

        -- Big Joe ("The Big Joe Polka Show," RFDTV), www.polkacatalog.com

"No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up."

-- Lily Tomlin


"If the signals are flashing and the gates are all down,
 and the whistle is blowing in vain,
 if you stay on the tracks, ignoring the facts,
 then don't blame the wreck on the train."

        -- Greg Tamblyn

"The great masses of the people . . . will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one."

-- Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)


"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

-- Arthur C Clarke.


"No matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, turn around."


-- Old Turkish Proverb


"You don't need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows."


-- Bob Dylan, 1965


"Never less alone than when alone."


-- Carthusian Saying


"Nothing worth doing can be accomplished in a single lifetime."


-- Reinhold Neibuhr


"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; give a man a fully charged electric eel and he'll never bother you for anything else ever again."

            -- Anonymous

"Don't mistake kindness for weakness, baby."

-- Albert Collins, Blues Singer


"He who would tell the truth should keep one foot in the stirrup."


-- Old Turkish Proverb


"When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey"

        -- Old Arab proverb

“A ship in harbor is safe-- but that is not what ships are for.”

        -- John A. Shedd

“Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

        -- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

“Archbishop: a Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ.”

        -- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

“Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.”

        -- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

"Immorality:  the morality of those who are having a better time."

        -- H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

"I am past scorching; not easily canst thou scorch a scar."

-- Herman Melville (Perth the Blacksmith in Moby Dick)


“An alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do.”

        -- Dylan Thomas

“No doubt Jack the Ripper excused himself on the grounds that it was human nature.”

        -- A.A. Milne (1882-1956)

“A man who has never made a woman angry is a failure in life.”

        -- Christopher Morley (1890-1957)

“Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.”

        -- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

"In the midst of winter, I realized that deep within me was an invincible summer."

-- Albert Camus


"Idleness is an enemy of the soul."


-- Rule of St. Benedict


"The human spirit lies open to God alone, for it is a fathomless depth."


-- St. Seraphim of Sarov


"Establish yourself in God and then you will be helpful to others."


-- St. Seraphim of Sarov


"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines."


-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)


" . . . one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one."

        -- Luke 22:36

"History is a set of lies agreed upon."

-- Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)


"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace."


--Amelia Earhart


"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."


-- Douglas Adams


"Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps."


-- Emo Philips


"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once."


-- Unknown


"Perfection is reached not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away."


Complete, unedited, uncategorized, unexpurgated list of quotes

back to Bill Nourse's Home Page

This page last updated on July 24, 2009.

Hits since September 1, 2012.