1. Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency.
2. Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what's going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?
3. Actions lie louder than words.
4. American husbands are the best in the world; no other husbands are so generous to their wives, or can be so easily divorced.
5. Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.
6. God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly.
7. God made man, and then said, "I can do better than that," and made woman.
8. If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.
9. The public doesn't want new music; the main thing it demands of a composer is that he be dead.
10. Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
11. Action: the last resource of those who know not how to dream.
12. If a child shows himself to be incorrigible, he should be decently and quietly beheaded at the age of twelve, lest he grow to maturity, marry, and perpetuate his kind.
13. The major concrete achievement of the woman's movement of the 1970's was the Dutch treat.
14. Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing they were dead and in heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in hell.
15. The only difference between sex and death is, with death you can do it alone and nobody's going to make fun of you.
16. I have always loved truth so passionately that I have often resorted to lying as a way of introducing it into the minds which were ignorant of its charms.
17. Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.
18. Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.
19. Our constitution protects aliens, drunks, and U.S. Senators.
20. The classes that wash most are those that work least.
21. As it is more blessed to give than receive, so it must be more blessed to receive than to give back.
22. An editor should have a pimp for a brother, so he'd have someone to look up to.
23. The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.
24. Marriage: a long conversation chequered by disputes.
25. I refuse to consign the whole male sex to the nursery. I insist on believing that some men are my equals.
26. An appeal is when you ask one court to show its contempt for another court.
27. It is possible to be below flattery as well as above it.
28. If the desire to kill and the opportunity to kill always came together, who would escape hanging?
29. People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.
30. Democracy is the bludgeoning of the people, by the people, for the people.
31. You can pick out actors by the glazed look that comes into their eyes when the conversation wanders away from themselves.
32. One should always be wary of anyone who promises that their love will last longer than a weekend.
33. The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents and the last half by our children.
34. Virtue is its own punishment.
35. Honesty: the most important thing in life. Unless you really know how to fake it, you'll never make it.
36. Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
37. Most people enjoy the inferiority of their friends.
38. Early morning cheerfulness can be extremely obnoxious.
39. Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad name.
40. Every man with a belly full of classics is an enemy of the human race.
41. The woman who cannot tell a lie in defense of her husband is unworthy of the name of wife.
42. No one traveling on a business trip would be missed if he failed to arrive.
43. Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists.
44. A loving wife will do anything for her husband except stop criticizing him and trying to improve him.
45. My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpet or ruin our lives.
46. I'm a controversial figure: my friends either dislike me or hate me.
47. She's afraid that if she leaves, she'll become the life of the party.
48. What a blessing it would be if we could open and shut our ears as easily as we open and shut our eyes.
49. Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
50. Giving a man space is like giving a dog a computer; the chances are he will not use it wisely.
51. Men should not try to overstrain their goodness more than any other faculty.
52. To fall in love you have to be in the state of mind for it to take, like a disease.
53. I derive no pleasure from talking with a young woman simply because she has regular features.
54. If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done.
55. The love of money is the root of all virtue.
56. To some lawyers all facts are created equal.
57. I like a friend better for having faults that one can talk about.
58. Tell us your phobias, and we will tell you what you are afraid of.
59. Reverence: the spiritual attitude of a man to a god and a dog to a man.
60. I think every woman is entitled to a middle husband she can forget.
61. A child of my own! Oh, no, no, no! Let my flesh perish with me, and let me not transmit to anyone the boredom and the ignominiousness of life.
62. In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
63. Honesty is a good thing, but it is not profitable to its possessor unless it is kept under control.
64. God invented whiskey to keep the Irish from ruling the world.
65. Marriage: putting one's hand into a bag of snakes on the chance of drawing out an eel.
66. I'd horsewhip you if I had a horse.
67. It takes a wonderful brain and exquisite senses to produce a few stupid ideas.
68. The average man does not know what to do with his life, yet wants another one which will last forever.
69. Everyone would like to behave like a pagan, with everyone else behaving like a Christian.
70. When everybody is somebody, then no one's anybody.
71. There are few sorrows in which a good income is of no avail.
72. Advertising is 85 percent confusion and 15 percent commission.
73. Tristan and Isolde were lucky to die when they did. They'd have been sick of all that rubbish in a year.
74. Contrary to popular belief, English women do not wear tweed nightgowns.
75. Once I make up my mind, I'm full of indecision.
76. Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and I'll forgive Thy great big joke on me.
77. Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it.
78. I am not sincere, not even when I say I am not.
79. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four. (4/1)
80. All my life, affection has been showered upon me, and every forward step I have made has been taken in spite of it.
81. Boys don't make passes at female smart-asses.
82. It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly.
83. I make a fortune from criticizing the policy of the government, and then hand it over to the government in taxes to keep it going.
84. A dollar saved is a quarter earned.
85. A large section of the intelligentsia seems wholly devoid of intelligence.
86. There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence.
87. One's need for loneliness is not satisfied if one sits at a table alone. There must be empty chairs as well.
88. The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.
89. He marries best who puts it off until it is too late.
90. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.
91. In our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.
92. I know what love is: Tracy and Hepburn, Bogart and Bacall, Romeo and Juliet, Jackie and John and Marilyn...
93. Nowadays a citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter.
94. To a woman the first kiss is just the end of the beginning, but to a man it is the beginning of the end.
95. Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense.
96. Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter.
97. They have Easter egg hunts in Philadelphia, and if the kids don't find the eggs, they get booed.
98. The continued propinquity of another human being cramps the style after a time unless that person is somebody you think you love. Then the burden becomes intolerable at once.
My illness is due to my doctor's insistence that I drink milk, a whitish
fluid they force down helpless babies.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing
Man is a natural polygamist: he always has one woman leading him by
the nose, and another hanging onto his coattails.
I am not young enough to know everything.
There are scores of thousands of human insects who are ready at a moment's
notice to reveal the will of God on every possible subject.
The impotence of God is infinite.
One of the simple but genuine pleasures in life is getting up in the
morning and hurrying to a mousetrap you set the night before.
There are more bad musicians than there is bad music.
Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if
you can stop people talking.
An ideal wife is one who remains faithful to you but tries to be just
as charming as if she weren't.
Judge: a law student who marks his own papers.
Marriage is a bribe to make a housekeeper think she is a householder.
Animals have these advantages over man: they have no theologians to
instruct them, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits
over their wills.
I used to be a lawyer, but now I am a reformed character.
The trouble with wedlock is that there's not enough wed and too much
Women dress alike all over the world: they dress to be annoying to other
No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes
than a public library.
Carlyle said, "A lie cannot live;" it shows he did not know
how to tell them.
A good listener is usually thinking about something else.
She ain't my mother, so I ain't gonna get her nothin'. (referring to
his wife re a mother's day gift.)
My main reason for adopting literature as a profession was that, as
the author is never seen by his clients, he need not dress
America: the only country in the world where failing to promote yourself
is regarded as being arrogant.
Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
122. Logic is like the sword; those who appeal to it shall perish by it.
123. I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you dislike?
Only the winners decide what were war crimes.
The pencil sharpener is about as far as I ever got in operating a complicated
piece of machinery with any success.
The proof that man is the noblest of all creatures is that no other
creature has ever denied it.
Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time
Autobiography is an unrivalled vehicle for telling the truth about other
Muscles come and go; flab lasts.
A man's mother is his misfortune, but his wife is his fault.
You can be a rank insider as well as a rank outsider.
Wars teach us not to love our enemies but to hate our allies.
I can't understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when
he can easily buy one for a few dollars.
The ocean is a body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made
for man--who has no gills.
You must first have a lot of patience to learn to have patience.
Of all the unbearable nuisances, the ignoramus that has traveled
is the worst.
Calamities are of two kinds; misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune
There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and
that is to contradict other philosophers.
Before marriage, a man declares that he would lay down his life to serve
you; after marriage, he won't even lay down his newspaper to talk to
No one can have a higher opinion of him than I have--and I think he
is a dirty little beast.
I hate the Pollyanna pest who says that all is for the best.
The only thing I like about rich people is their money.
Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.
It's a good idea to obey all the rules when you're young just so you'll
have the strength to break them when you're old.
Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and unto God the things
that are God's; and unto human beings, what?
In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances,
profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.
If more than ten percent of the population likes a painting it should
be burned, for it must be bad.
There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist.
If we weren't all so interested in ourselves, life would be so uninteresting
we couldn't endure it.
151. In America you can go on the air and kid the politicians, and the
politicians can go on the air and kid the people.
A husband should not insult his wife publicly, at parties. He should
insult her in the privacy of the home.
Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.
There ought to be one day--just one--when there is open season on senators.
The world makes up for all its follies and injustices by being damnably
People are much to solemn about things--I'm all for sticking pins into
The best reason I can think of for not running for President of the
United States is that you have to shave twice a day.
Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty.
You must have taken great pains, sir; you could not naturally have been
so very stupid.
My father never raised his hand to any one of his children, except in
I fell asleep reading a dull book and dreamed I kept on reading, so
I awoke from sheer boredom.
There's always an easy solution to every human problem--neat, plausible,
Marriage: a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and
the remaining chapters in prose.
The comfortable estate of widowhood is the only hope that keeps up a
The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
I don't like her. But don't misunderstand me: my dislike is purely platonic.
Psychoanalysts are father confessors who like to listen to the sins
of the father as well.
My motto is: Contented with little, yet wishing for more.
Any man who, having a child or children he can't support, proceeds to
have another, should be sterilized at once.
Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts.
Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain.
I've posed nude for a photographer in the manner of Rodin's Thinker,
but I merely looked constipated.
Pity the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Statistics show that we lose more fools on July 4th than on all other
days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock,
that one Fourth of July per year is not inadequate, the country has
Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real
with the ideal never goes unpunished.
For a while we pondered whether to take a vacation or get a divorce.
We decided that a trip to Bermuda is over in two weeks, but a divorce
is something you always have.
The first kiss is stolen by the man; the last is begged by the woman.
Platitude: an idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and
(b) that is not true.
It's hard to decide if TV makes morons out of everyone or if it mirrors
Americans who really are morons to begin with.
I have never found in a long experience of politics that criticism is
ever inhibited by ignorance.
Never get married while you're going to college; it's hard to get a
start if a prospective employer finds you've already made one mistake.
If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit
in my name in a Swiss bank.
A sign of celebrity is that his name is often worth more than his services.
All professions are conspiracies against the laity.
Nothing to me is more distasteful than that entire complacency and satisfaction
which beam in the countenances of a newly married couple.
Foolish writers and readers are created for each other.
I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.
Politicians are the same the world over; they promise to build a bridge
even when there is no river.
If the Prince of Peace should come to earth, one of the first things
he would do would be to put psychiatrists in their place.
When I became President, what surprised me most was that things were
just as bad as I'd been saying they were.
Progress might have been all right once, but it went on too long.
The trouble with my wife is that she is a whore in the kitchen and a
cook in bed.
I don't mind a little praise--as long as it's fulsome.
There ought to be a room in every house to swear in.
It is after you have lost your teeth that you can afford to buy steaks.
Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.
Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when called upon
to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.
Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies.
It is often pleasant to stone a martyr, no matter how much we admire
I think, therefore Descartes exists.
The trouble with this country is that there are too many people going
about saying, "The trouble with this country is..."
Most vegetarians look so much like the food they eat that they can be
classified as cannibals.
Make money and the whole nation will conspire to call you a gentleman.
203. There are three intolerable things in life--cold coffee, lukewarm
champagne, and overexcited women.
Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity
has made them good.
There is no passion like that of a functionary for his function. Anybody
can win, unless there happens to be a second entry.
To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements
for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
Popularity is the one insult I have never suffered.
Never lie when the truth is more profitable.
Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.
Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
I was much distressed by next door people who had twin babies and played
the violin; but one of the twins died, and the other has eaten the fiddle--so
all is peace.
A lot of women are getting alimony who don't earn it.
When you consider what a chance women have to poison their husbands,
it's a wonder there isn't more of it done.
I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated
sufficiently to reason incorrectly.
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists--that
is why they invented hell.
Success is a great deodorant.
Civilization is the distance man has placed between himself and his
The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world
in which it is overestimated.
A woman drove me to drink, and I never even had the courtesy to thank
Gentility is what is left over from rich ancestors after the money is
Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves
and how little we think of the other person.
The chief objection of playing wind instruments is that it prolongs
the life of the player.
Even in civilized mankind faint traces of monogamous instinct can be
perceived. 224. Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does
any harm to ask for what you want.
A woman will buy anything she thinks the store is losing money on.
Having the critics praise you is like having the hangman say you've
got a pretty neck.
The French are just useless. They can't organize a piss-up in a brewery.
He's a fine friend. He stabs you in the front.
The place where optimism flourishes most is the lunatic asylum.
I am a gentlemen: I live by robbing the poor.
If dogs could talk, it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one.
I despise the pleasure of pleasing people that I despise.
Television is more interesting than people. If it were not, we should
have people standing in the corners of our rooms.
People would never fall in love if they had not heard love talked about.
The difference between a violin and a viola is that a viola burns longer.
The only time some fellows are ever seen with their wives is after they've
War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with
larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.
The reason that lovers never weary each other is because they are always
talking about themselves.
Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in
Nobel prize money is a life-belt thrown to a swimmer who has already
reached the shore in safety.
I have a perfect cure for a sore throat: cut it.
When you're in love it's the most glorious two and a half days of your
243. The world is so dreadfully managed, one hardly knows to whom to complain.
244. The more you observe politics, the more you've got to admit that each party is worse than the other.
245. Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.
Most affections are habits or duties we lack the courage to end.
Over in Hollywood they almost made a great picture, but they caught
it in time.
The making of a journalist: no ideas and the ability to express them.
We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet
is the mental institution of the universe.
Say what you will about the Ten Commandments; you must always come back
to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
I can understand companionship. I can understand bought sex in the afternoon.
I cannot understand the love affair.
The second half of the twentieth century is a complete flop.
Vox populi, vox humbug.
I don't drink; I don't like it -- it makes me feel good.
Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the
Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out faster
than the Christmas spirit.
The trouble with us in America isn't that the poetry of life has turned
to prose, but that it has turned to advertising copy.
Television has raised writing to a new low.
A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.
There are several ways to apportion the family income, all of them unsatisfactory.
261. Everybody winds up kissing the wrong person good night.
262. My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.