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 

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

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


© 2005-2019 Alastair McIntyre