Top quotes

More than one newspaper has been ruined by the brilliant writer in the editor’s chair — Newspaper publisher Lord Camrose 1879–1954 


Gentlemen, include me out — Sam Goldwyn


If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair 

— Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm


The next time I send a dumb sonofabitch to do something, I go myself 

— Michael Curtiz


I want my sons to surpass me, because that's a form of immortality.

— Kirk Douglas


Bring on the empty horses — Michael Curtiz, while directing The Charge of the Light Brigade in 1936


A man may fight for many things: his country, his principles, his friends, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. Personally, I’d mud wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn — Edmund Blackadder, played by Rowan Atkinson in the eponymous TV series (script: Richard Curtis and Ben Elton).


If you can’t drink it, for God’s sake don’t cook with it — the late TV chef Keith Floyd 

(as told by Rick Stein).


When I see lovers' names carved in a tree, I don't think it's cute, I just find it strange that so many people have knives on a date — Bill Murray


They tried to kill us. We survived. Now let’s eat — Jewish irony


I want a man who's kind and understanding. Is that too much to ask of a millionaire? — Zsa Zsa Gabor


Sometimes I wonder if men and woman really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit, now and then — Katharine Hepburn


You find out who your real friends are when you're involved in a scandal 

— Elizabeth Taylor


Most woman set out to try to change a man, and when they have changed him, they don't like him — Marlene Dietrich


The problem with people who have no vices is that, generally, you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues — Elizabeth Taylor


Man doesn't control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him — Groucho Marx


Only good girls keep diaries; bad girls don't have time — Tallulah Bankhead


Money you haven't earned is not good for you — Robert Maxwell


The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue

 —Dorothy Parker


I’m not a heavy drinker. I can sometimes go for hours without touching a drop

— Noel Coward


I love children, especially when they cry, for then someone takes them away — Nancy Mitford


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


Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt....President Herbert Hoover


The prospect of a lot of dull MPs in close proximity, all thinking for themselves, is what no man can face with equanimity — W.S.Gilbert


Nanny, nanny, it's that lefty off the telly!...One of Jacob Rees-Mogg's children running away after opening the door of the family home to Channel 4 Newsreader Jon Snow.


Hv gvn p vwls fr Lnt — Lenten resolution in The Times


It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing — Gertrude Stein


Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the Bible says, love your enemy — Frank Sinatra


Weapons are like money, no one knows the meaning of enough — Martin Amis


The average man is more interested in a woman who is interested in him than he is in a woman with beautiful legs — Marlene Dietrich


Youth is wasted on the young — George Bernard Shaw


I don't mind living in a man's world, as long as I can be a woman in it — Marilyn Monroe


It's not good to cross a bridge until you get to it — Dame Judi Dench 


A man would prefer to come home to an unmade bed and a happy woman than to a neatly-made bed and an angry woman — Marlene Dietrich


I like being over the hill, I've discovered there's a whole new landscape — Jane Fonda


Marry someone as unlike you as you possibly can or you are going to drift away from sheer boredom — Fay Wheldon who is on her third husband


Modest about our national pride, and inordinately proud of our national modesty — Ian Hislop on Britain


I drink too much. Last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it — Rodney Dangerfield


Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whisky makes it go round twice as fast — Compton Mackenzie



When I read about the evils of drinking I gave up reading — Henry Youngman, American comedian  


So many times I have a speech ready, but no dice. Always the bridesmaid, never the mother. Now I win, I have no speech — Michael Curtiz accepting the Oscar for directing Casablanca  


I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy — Dorothy Parker 


Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way — Daniele Vare


There are two kinds of fools. One says: 'This is old therefore it is good.' The other says: 'This is new therefore it is better.' — William Ralph Inge


Money isn't everything. I've got money and I've got everything and they are not the same — Robert Maxwell


Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana — Groucho Marx


If things were half as bad as some people persist in believing, I'd have retired with a bottle of scotch and a pistol a long time ago — Robert Maxwell


Two fish in a tank, one says to the other: You drive; I’ll man the guns — Tommy Cooper


Scatter my ashes in Fleet Street. Who knows, the breeze might carry my mortal remains to an unseen crevice, some forgotten ledge where my sprit will hear again the laughing voices in the night — Derek Jameson in his autobiography Farewell to the Last of the Hot Metal Men


If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair — Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm


It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do — Jerome K Jerome


Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language — Henry James


Caution: This truck is full of political promises — Sign on the back of septic tank lorry


The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes — only sooner — Tallulah Bankhead


Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words — Mark Twain 


I hate writing. I love having written — Dorothy Parker


Isn't that the excitement of growing up: to think you know it all and then realise you don’t — Claire Fox 

Nobody who says: "I told you so" has ever been, or will ever be, a hero — Ursula K Le Guin


I checked the actuarial tables and the lowest death rate is among six-year-olds. So I decided to eat like a six-year-old. It's the safest course I can take — Warren Buffett, the world’s third-richest man who eats McDonald's chicken nuggets three times a week.


I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin — Oscar Levant, actor, composer and actor.


God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road — Karen Blixen


Everyone feels 25 until the day they die — Martin Kemp, Spandau Ballet


It is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring — Marilyn Monroe


The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity — Dorothy Parker 


A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for some people 

— Thomas Mann


Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration. The rest of us just get up and go to work 

— Stephen King


My approach to newspapers was based on the idea that when you looked at the front page you said: 'Good heavens', when you looked at the middle page you said: 'Holy smoke', and by the time you got to the back page well, I'd have to utter a profanity to show how exciting

— Arthur Christiansen


If you drink, don't drive. Don't even putt — Dean Martin


Politicians and diapers must be changed often and for the same reason — Mark Twain


If you don't tell the truth about yourself, you can't tell it about other people — Virginia Woolf


Woke up, watched Grandstand. Wrote Candle in the Wind. Went to London, bought Rolls-Royce. Ringo Starr came for dinner — Diary entry by Elton John


The problem with doing nothing is not knowing when you are finished — Nelson DeMille


Even I don't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford — Cindy Crawford


When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading — Paul Horning


24 hours in a day and 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?  I think not! — H L Mencken


Age is just mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter — Mark Twain


Don’t just do something, sit there! — Ronald Reagan to eager presidential aides


Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster. For when  you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you — Friedrich Nietzsche


Who's this Greek chap Clitoris they're all talking about? — Lord Albemarle telling friends in the Turf Club about an obscene libel trial in 1918


The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision — Anon in the Telegraph


Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact — George Eliot


If I've learned one lesson from life it is: if you don't stand for something, you'll stand for anything — Ginger Rogers


A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it   

— Bob Hope


Streets full of water. Please advise — Robert Benchley’s telegram to his editor at the New Yorker on arrival in Venice


You can have friends or you can correct people's grammar — Author and sub-editor May Norris


Many congratulations. Can I be a bridesmaid? — Robert Cameron Corbett on hearing of his brother Arthur’s engagement to April Ashley, a transexual


Sometimes, when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed.  Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I did not drink this beer they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, it is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver — Babe Ruth


Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men 

— Joseph Conrad


The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age — Lucille Ball


In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag — W H Auden


In Heaven, all the interesting people are missing — Friedrich Nietzsche


If you want to know what God thinks about money, just look at the people he gave it to — Dorothy Parker


A journalist who has never worked for the Express is like a soldier who has never marched to the sound of gunfire — Brian Inglis


Tell him I was too fucking busy — or vice-versa — Dorothy Parker


Inside most people you read about in history books is a child who fiercely resisted toilet training — George Packer


I never gave anybody hell! I just told the truth and they thought it was hell — Harry S Truman


Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy — Benjamin Franklin


When we drink,we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So let's all get drunk and go to heaven — George Bernard Shaw


Please stop publishing pictures of Theresa May in embraces with EU leaders. They seem to be false, gratuitous, disingenuous, if not to say pervy. They are so unnecessary when the reality is that they all hate each other and must detest kissing her while she probably fears another Barnier snog — letter to the I newspaper 


Negotiate with them? But they want to drive us into the sea, to destroy us. The destruction of Israel is not negotiable — Menachem Begin  explains why he will not talk to the Palestine Liberation Organisation


As I sat, strapped in my seat waiting during the countdown, one thought kept crossing my mind — every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder — astronaut John Glenn.


When the white missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land — Desmond Tutu


America is the only country where a significant proportion of the population believes that professional wrestling is real but the moon landing was faked — David Letterman


I'm not a paranoid, deranged millionaire. I'm a billionaire — Howard Hughes


Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so — Douglas Adams


The only reason they say 'Women and children first' is to test the strength of the lifeboats — Jean Kerr


When a man opens a car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife — Prince Philip


I've been married to a communist and a fascist, and neither would take out the garbage 

— Zsa Zsa Gabor


The best cure for sea sickness, is to sit under a tree — Spike Milligan


Everybody was so gaga about Steve Jobs, but I picture him in hell running from demons who want a selfie — Jim Carrey


A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing Emo Philips


With so many things coming back in style, I can't wait until morals, respect and intelligence become a trend again — Denzel Washington 


If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign?   — Albert Einstein


I have kleptomania but when it gets bad I take something for it — Robert Benchley


Some of the best advice I've been given: Don't take criticism from people you'd never go to for advice — Morgan Freeman


Having more money doesn't make you happier. I have 50 million dollars but I'm just as happy as when I had 48 million — Arnold Schwarzenegger


My wife just left me because of my obsession with cricket. It’s really hit me for six — Anon


Every family is a war but some are more civil than others — Novelist Namwali Serpell


There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz SL500 — Frank Sinatra


We code named it Operation Arse so we'd all be clear who we were talking about — Scottish Tories who organised a stop-Boris plot


 

© 2005-2019 Alastair McIntyre