Quotes 7

When Insults Had Class ( no 4-letter words )

These glorious insults are from an era when cleverness with words was still valued,
before a great portion of the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words,
not to mention waving middle fingers.


The exchange between Churchill and Lady Astor: She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison," and he said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."


A member of Parliament to Disraeli:
"Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."

"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "on whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."
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"He had delusions of adequacy."
Walter Kerr
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"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
Winston Churchill
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"A modest little person, with much to be modest about."
Winston Churchill
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"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
Clarence Darrow
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"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).
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"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
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"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
Moses Hadas
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"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."
Abraham Lincoln
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"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
Mark Twain
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"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
Oscar Wilde
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"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... If you have one."
George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
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"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... If there is one."
Winston Churchill, in response.
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"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." -
Stephen Bishop
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"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."
John Bright
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"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial" -
Irvin S. Cobb
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"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others." -
Samuel Johnson
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"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
Paul Keating
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"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
Jack E. Leonard
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"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt."
Robert Redford
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"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."
Thomas Brackett Reed
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"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."
Charles, Count Talleyrand
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"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."
Forrest Tucker
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"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"
Mark Twain
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"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
Mae West
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"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
Oscar Wilde
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"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... For support rather than illumination."
Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
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"He has Van Gogh's ear for music"
Billy Wilder

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