Witty Quotes

We have collected and put the best Witty Quotes. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

May these Witty Quotes inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.

Wit is a form of intelligent humour, the ability to say or write things that are clever and usually funny. Someone witty is a person who is skilled at making clever and funny remarks. Forms of wit include the quip, repartee, and wisecrack.

'The feast of reason, and the flow of soul,' - i.e. - the wits of the age, setting the table in a roar, by James Gillray (1797)

‘The feast of reason, and the flow of soul,’ – i.e. – the wits of the age, setting the table in a roar, by James Gillray (1797)

Wit is the appearance, the external flash of imagination. Thus its divinity, and the witty character of mysticism. – Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Witty inspirations are the proverbs of the educated. – Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Witty, adventurous guys really rev my engine. – Miranda Rae Mayo

‘Guardian’ journalism itself will remain what it has always been: thoughtful, progressive, fiercely independent and challenging, and also witty, stylish, and fun. – Katharine Viner

‘Liberal Fascism’ is less an expose of left-wing hypocrisy than a chance to exact political revenge. Yet, the title of his book aside, what distinguishes Goldberg from the Sean Hannitys and Michael Savages is a witty intelligence that deals in ideas as well as insults – no mean feat in the nasty world of the culture wars. – David Oshinsky

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave. – Mahatma Gandhi

A grieving woman could sit alone on a jetty in the early morning. But not with a book in her hands. – Pia Juul

A large nose is in fact the sign of an affable man, good, courteous, witty, liberal, courageous, such as I am. – Edmond Rostand

A large nose is the mark of a witty, courteous, affable, generous and liberal man. – Cyrano de Bergerac

A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not. – Unknown

A life lived in fear is a life half-lived. – Spanish proverb

A lot of comics fly by the seat of their pants, and they pride themselves on being witty, quick, and off-the-cuff. That’s not my show. I wrote a show, and I want to do the show I wrote. I’m not interested in what the audience has to say. – Retta

A lot of people think that, as a person, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is very serious. However, he is very funny and witty. Once he opens up with you, he can be the funniest person around. – Shweta Tripathi

A painting is worth a thousand confused art-gallery visitors. – Ljupka Cvetanova

A person is wise if he listens to millions of advice and doesn’t implement any of it. – Michael Bassey Johnson

A person with a sharp tongue will eventually cut themselves. – J. Robson Koenig

A secondhand wardrobe hand clothes doesn’t make one an artist. Neither do a hair-trigger temper, melancholic nature, propensity for tears, hating your parents, or HIV. I hate to say it – none of these make one an artist. They can help, but just as being gay doesn’t make one witty… the only thing that makes one an artist is making art. – David Rakoff

A skunk is better company than a person who prides himself on being ‘frank’. – Robert Heinlein

A successful business is either loved or needed. – Ted Leonsis

A transposable aphorism is a malaise of the urge to be witty, or in other words, a maxim that is untroubled by the fact that the opposite of what it says is equally true so long as it appears to be funny. – Umberto Eco

A true friend is someone who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else. – Len Wein

A true friend overlooks your failures and tolerates your success! – Doug Larson

A witty saying proves nothing. – Voltaire

A witty woman is a treasure; a witty beauty is a power. – George Meredith

A woman can be sexy, charming, witty or shy with her shoes. – Christian Louboutin

A woman may have a witty tongue or a stinging pen but she will never laugh at her own individual shortcomings. – Irvin S. Cobb

A word of kindness is seldom spoken in vain, while witty sayings are as easily lost as the pearls slipping from a broken string. – George Dennison Prentice

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. – William James

Action will destroy your procrastination. – Og Mandino

After New York, Chicago is my favorite city. It’s just this great mix of Europe and America. The friends I have there are smart and witty and fun. – Gad Elmaleh

All mankind is divided into three groups: those who are immovable; those who are movable; and those who move. – Benjamin Franklin

All my brothers and sisters are really witty, and I would just sit back and enjoy them. – Bonnie Hunt

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. – Adlai E. Stevenson

An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind. – Mahatma Gandhi

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln

Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor. – Francis Bacon

Antonin Scalia was witty, warm, funny, and full of life. He was not only one of the most important justices in the nation’s history; he was also among the greatest. – Cass Sunstein

Arguing with a fool proves there are two. – Doris M. Smith

Art should be witty, like a good Eddie Murphy movie, to make your life a little easier and better. – William Quigley

As a general rule, when you comment on a blog, make it knowledgeable or witty and, most of all, relevant to that post – then, simply sign it with your name and your book title. Resist the urge to brag or sell your book. – J. Rose

As soon as she gets her divorce one of us is going to marry her. We don’t know which. She is about as beautiful a woman as I ever saw, and very witty and well-informed, but it would cost a good deal to keep her in diamonds. – Richard Harding Davis

Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs. – Oliver Goldsmith

Be completely honest – have you ever met someone who you thought was truly clever or interesting or witty who wore fawn? – Claudia Winkleman

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. – Plato

Being a journalist is good if you want to write books: it teaches you to get beyond the blank screen. My books have been described as froth, but there’s scope to be witty and ironic about everything in life. – Sophie Kinsella

Belief gets in the way of learning. – Robert Heinlein

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit. – William Shakespeare

Bill Gallagher’s new version of ‘The Prisoner’ is an enthralling commentary on modern culture. It is witty, intelligent and disturbing. I am very excited to be involved. – Ian Mckellen

By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day. – Robert Frost

Camels are wonderful animals. Witty, intelligent and sensitive. – Robyn Davidson

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Confucius

Comedy has to be done en clair. You can’t blunt the edge of wit or the point of satire with obscurity. Try to imagine a famous witty saying that is not immediately clear. – James Thurber

Conquered people tend to be witty. – Saul Bellow

Courtship is to marriage, as a very witty prologue to a very dull play. – William Congreve

Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece. – Ralph Charell

Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.Dr. – Seuss

Don’t make someone a priority who only makes you an option. – Unknown

Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats. – Howard Aiken

Dreams don’t work unless you do. – John C. Maxwell

Dreams have only one owner at a time. That’s why dreamers are lonely. – Erma Bombeck

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. – Unknown

Every Brit I met had the best sense of humor. They’re hilarious: very dry and witty. – Merritt Patterson

Every habit makes our hand more witty, and out wit more handy. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Everyone has a sense of humor. If you don’t laugh at jokes, you probably laugh at opinions. – Criss Jami

Everyone hears what you say. Friends listen to what you say. Best friends listen to what you don’t say. – Unknown

Everyone remembers the pop-quiz hotshot bit from ‘Speed’ because it’s extremely funny, and it’s really smart and really witty. And the notion that action movies can have dialogue that pops just as well as the explosions is something that I hope more people continue to remember. – Graham Moore

Everything deep is also simple and can be reproduced simply as long as its reference to the whole truth is maintained. But what matters is not what is witty but what is true. – Albert Schweitzer

Facebook, I’m learning, is like a man. You have to be smiley and fun and witty but sometimes you have to play it cool and just ignore it for a couple of hours. – Claudia Winkleman

Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. – John Kenneth Galbraith

Female movie stars from the pre-Code era of Hollywood, like Mae West, could be so raunchy and witty before they were edited. Sometimes they could go further in their wit than we go now. – Jane Krakowski

Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it. – Katherine Whitehorn

Fools learn from experience. Wise men learn from the experience of others. – Otto von Bismarck

Friends are like melons; shall I tell you why? To find a good one, you must one hundred try. – Claude Mermet

Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait to hear the answer. – Unknown

Generally speaking, there is more wit than talent in the world. Society swarms with witty people who lack talent. – Antoine Rivarol

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. – Thomas Alva Edison

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. – The Serenity Prayer

He wasn’t aware of it but when he smiled he looked like an amiable bear. When he didn’t smile he didn’t look amiable. – Emma Goldrick

He who wrestles with us, strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skills. Our antagonist is our helper. – Edmund Burke

Honestly, I had no idea what to do on Twitter when I started. I didn’t follow it enough. Slowly, though, I started to realize what I’m okay at. Like, I’m just not particularly witty. – David Grann

Honestly, I like someone who is really grounded, super sweet, honest. I need them to have a sense of humor. I need them to laugh at what’s funny, I need them to get jokes and be funny and be witty and sarcastic. – Casper Smart

How do I know what I think until I hear what I say? E. – M. Forster

How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win. – Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Howard Zinn was magical as a teacher. Witty, irreverent, and wise, he loved what he was teaching and clearly wanted his students to love it, also. – Alice Walker

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. – Winston Churchill

Human beings aren’t rational animals; we’re rationalizing animals who want to appear reasonable to ourselves.Eliot Aronson ?

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. – Mark Twain

I am attracted to intelligence, a witty sense of humor, an adventurous outlook on life and spiritual awareness about one’s self and the world. – Tanit Phoenix

I did buy ‘The Sun’ a few times, but I just don’t read the tabloids. Sometimes they can have genius witty headlines, but that’s all. There’s nothing to read. – Lucy Punch

I didn’t even realize I was writing songs – I thought I was just being witty and sarcastic. – Halsey

I don’t let go of concepts –I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me. – Byron Katie

I don’t miss him; I miss who I thought he was. – Unknown

I feel like there’s an obsession with pace right now in theater, with things being very fast and very witty and very loud, and I think we’re all so freaked out about theater keeping audiences interested because everybody’s so freaked out about theater becoming irrelevant. – Annie Baker

I get the impression the English kings were witty, for some reason. I feel like all you had was your wit. – Colin Quinn

I guess I’ve kind of recognized what my worth is and what my specific brand of humor is. And that’s not necessarily being the guy who’s super witty and saying a joke every second. I’m the guy who you throw in a bizarre scenario, and I’ll play it as real as possible. – Dave Franco

I had a lot of survival jobs. One was for the Witty Ditty singing-telegram company. I was in the red-and-white stripes with the straw boater hat and kazoo. Balloons. Even when you’re sleeping on a friend’s couch, you have to pay some kind of rent. – Aaron Sorkin

I have little brothers and sisters, and they annoy me a lot, but I love them so much because they’re so smart and witty. – Letitia Wright

I know the bestseller ‘Gone Girl’ doesn’t need an ounce of support from me, but that book was as sharp and witty as they come. – Jami Attenberg

I like my man to be witty; he needs a sense of humour and needs to be extremely well-mannered. – Esha Gupta

I like quips. I like whiffs of cynicism and I think they can be witty. But I don’t really know where wittiness is constructive. – Matthew McConaughey

I like witty people, people who can be witty on the spot. – Rob Brydon

I look for fun and smarts – a witty, strong sexy woman. – Josh Dallas

I love John Updike immoderately. I am profoundly shocked that he has gone because he was, for me, the greatest American writer of the second half of the 20th century. He was also a gracious, charming, and witty man. – Justin Cartwright

I love Stephen Fry. His tweets are witty, poignant, and intelligent. – Annabelle Wallis

I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you. – Roy Croft

I make grown-folks music, and I’m cool with that. I accept that. I try to be witty while also delivering a message. – Raheem DeVaughn

I mean, I do love clever and witty, but I think that the ‘Three Stooges’ were geniuses. They’d have to be for their appeal to have lasted this long. – Paula Poundstone

I might’ve been witty, but I didn’t have a shtick. So, I never considered myself a comedian. – Scott Adsit

I most enjoyed doing ‘Whites,’ a show BBC2 cancelled after one series. It had some beautiful, witty, charming scripts and was one of the most positive ensemble pieces I’ve done. I thought the end result was really special. I’m still confused about why it didn’t last longer. – Darren Boyd

I need to not be typecast as big, black, and dumb but be seen as an intelligent, witty, bold, and charismatic person. – Winston Duke

I never cared for fashion much, amusing little seams and witty little pleats: it was the girls I liked. – David Bailey

I not only use all the brains I have, but all that I can borrow. – Woodrow Wilson

I often feel I’m a disappointment to people because they expect me to be the guy in the books. When I sit next to someone at a dinner party I can see they expect me to be quick and witty, and I’m not at all. – Bill Bryson

I really started to enjoy Instagram more recently because it’s something that shows people what I’m doing and what I’m going through, but it’s so simple. I don’t have to come up with something witty; it’s just a funny photo, and you can be as artistic or as plain Jane as you want. – Alex Morgan

I say funny stuff in my lyrics to make people laugh, but it’s all in the seriousness of the music. I’m just being witty. – Rich Brian

I seem to get into situations that make people laugh, but I don’t consider myself that funny of a person. I’m not witty. I’m kind of slow in conversations. I’m not that articulate with jokes. The first time I made stuff and screened it for an audience, I was surprised what people were laughing at. – Nathan Fielder

I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail. – Abraham Maslow

I think I hang out with some pretty witty people, but we’re never that funny. – Bobcat Goldthwait

I think Irish women are strong as horses, incredibly loyal and for the most part, funny, witty, bright and optimistic in the face of devastating reality. – Fionnula Flanagan

I think that Obama is very cool. And I think he’s clever, and I think he can be witty. But I don’t think he’s funny in either the way that Reagan was funny – or John McCain and Dick Cheney are both funny in that ruthless, kind of mean way. – Mo Rocca

I was brought up by very witty people who were dealing with quite difficult things: disease and death… I was brought up by people who tended to giggle at funerals. – Emma Thompson

I was so amazingly witty when I had the No. 1 movie, you have no idea. People laughed at every single one of my jokes. Then when I hadn’t had a hit for three or four years, some of these same people pretended they didn’t see me when I walked in the room. – Rebecca De Mornay

I wouldn’t even dare read the Torah, let alone attempt a witty observation on the Torah. – Charles Grodin

I’m hopefully touring with Colin Baker next year in Perfect Strangers. I have performed with Sylvia Simms in poetry and music evenings. I would love to do those for the rest of my career – they are so fun and witty. – Louise Jameson

I’m neurotic by nature, but I’m wary of becoming more of a play than a comic – you don’t want people coming to see a man having a breakdown for two hours. I’d prefer them coming to hear my astute and witty observations. – Jon Richardson

I’m not witty. – Claire Denis

I’m shy. I am. I mean, if I get around, you know, in a room of a bunch of people especially I – you know, I don’t know or – it takes me a while to warm up. I’m – and the real me, I’m not as witty as, you know, as the comic Wanda. The comic, she’s had time to work on some things. – Wanda Sykes

I’ve always liked older women. One sad thing about being my age is that there are no older women. I used to amuse my mother’s friends even at five or six with witty turns of phrase. Somehow, I just knew how to be funny. – Howard Jacobson

I’ve been enjoying ‘Life on the Mississippi’ by Mark Twain that I picked up at the airport randomly. It’s very witty and interesting to read about his time as a steamboat pilot. – Roman Coppola

I’ve worked a lot with Noah Baumbach, and he doesn’t make it easy to like his characters, but the stories are funny and witty and there’s an edge to that kind of humanity. – Ciaran Hinds

If an apology is followed by an excuse or a reason, it means they are going to commit same mistake again they just apologized for. – Amit Kalantri

If it were not for the company of fools, a witty man would often be greatly at a loss. – Francois de La Rochefoucauld

If someone makes you feel wrong-footed, you’re unlikely to find them witty. – Rosamund Pike

If there’s ever a woman who’s smart, funny, or witty, people are afraid of that, so they don’t write that. They only write parts for women where they let everything be steamrolled over them, where they let people wipe their feet all over them. – Teri Garr

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will avoid one hundred days of sorrow. – Chinese proverb

If you fight angry, you make a lot of mistakes, and when you fight a sharp, witty fighter like me, you can’t make mistakes. – Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it’s OK. But you’ve got to shoot for something. A lot of people don’t even shoot. – Confucius

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. – Mark Twain

If you want to make enemies, try to change something. – Woodrow Wilson

If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative. – Woody Allen

Improve by 1% a day, and in just 70 days, you’re twice as good. – Alan Weiss

In fact, to gull a fool seems to me an exploit worthy of a witty man. – Giacomo Casanova

In Korean, my lyrics are witty and have twists. But translated into English, it doesn’t come over. I’ve tried writing in English, just for me, but it doesn’t work. I’ve got to know everything about a culture, and I don’t. – Psy

In major studio scripts, the girls are very similar. They’re all witty and hot. I’m more of an oddball. – Riley Keough

Intelligence is more important than strength, that is why earth is ruled by men and not by animals. – Amit Kalantri

It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. – Mark Twain

It is astonishing how long it takes to finish something you are not working on. – Unknown

It is better to play than do nothing. – Confucius

It is easier to be a lover than a husband for the simple reason that it is more difficult to be witty every day than to say pretty things from time to time. – Honore de Balzac

It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company. – George Washington

It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help. – Judith Martin

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin

It is not what you gather but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived. – Helen Walton

It is surprising what a man can do when he has to, and how little most men will do when they don’t have to. – Walter Linn

It takes a long time to grow an old friend. – John Leonard

It was great fun to hang around the Beatles. They had amazingly fast minds, and they were incredibly amusing and funny and witty. They were great. There was a very high energy surrounding them. – Pattie Boyd

It’s a weakness of mine to forget what it is I’ve just been talking about so that when people make witty allusions to it, I stare at them open-mouthed, not knowing what they’re talking about. – Howard Jacobson

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. – Tom Robbins

It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance? – Ronald Reagan

I’ll go anywhere as long as it’s forward. – David Livingstone

I’m an angel. The horns are only there to hold up the halo. – Suzanne Wrightt

John F. Kennedy brought style and charisma to the White House and a first family that captivated the country: a handsome, witty president, an elegant first lady, and two adorable young children. – Kitty Kelley

Judges ought to be more leaned than witty, more reverent than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue. – Francis Bacon

Knowledge is proud she knows so much; wisdom is humble that she knows no more. – William Cowper

Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace. – Robert J. Sawyer

Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. – Confucius

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. – George Bernard Shaw

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward. – Soren Kierkegaard

Life is not one thing after another. It’s the same damn thing over and over! – Unknown

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. – Confucius

Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. – Benjamin Franklin

Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. – Michael Leunig

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. – Peter Drucker

Many a witty inspiration is like the surprising reunion of befriended thoughts after a long separation. – Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Many people have a good aim in life, but for some reason they never pull the trigger. – Unknown

Maturity involves turning an insult into a feedback. – Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

Men are the sport of circumstances when it seems circumstances are the sport of men. – Lord Byron

Music can be witty, but it’s not funny unless it’s conceptually funny. – Alan Menken

Music has shaped men’s fashion, and transposed in a playful and witty manner its riding or military heritage. It is difficult to figure out who leads, but music and fashion are connected genetically. – Hedi Slimane

My best friend is that one who brings out the best in me. – Henry Ford

My dad was just so charismatic and witty. One day, I hope people say that I was just as good as my dad on the mic in my own way. I will never be saying ‘Space Mountain’ or ‘limousine riding,’ but I hope people say I can control an audience, that I was as captivating as him. – Charlotte Flair

My father could be very witty, even if the humor was always on the darker side of irony. – Maurice Sendak

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person. He believed in me. – Jim Valvano (basketball coach)

My goal was becoming the next David Copperfield. I learned how to be a performer by emulating him as a kid – his formula of just talking to people onstage, being free to improvise, being charming and witty with a crowd, together with great, beautiful magic. – Michael Carbonaro

My instinct is to surround myself with the company of wise, witty, wonderful women, and I have a great bank of female friends of all ages. – Rachael Stirling

My lines are witty in nature and I love to be surrounded by people who are witty. – Badshah

My mother was a terrific force in my life. Wartime-generation woman, hadn’t gone to university but should have done. Was very funny, very verbal, very clever, very witty. – Ian Hislop

My parents have always had a great sense of humor. And I really appreciate good humor in songs, witty lyrics that sneak up on you and then you listen again, and say: ‘That’s so funny.’ John Prine’s songs have always had this really witty tone. – Kacey Musgraves

My philosophy towards life is to enjoy it to the fullest and have fun. I am one of those ‘laugh-out-loud’ kinds. I am quirky, yet witty. – Bipasha Basu

My senior year of high school, I was voted ‘Wittiest.’ So, several years later, I decided to try my hand at writing humor to see if I could be witty enough to make some money. – Barbara Park

Nam June Paik’s artworks are highly intellectual, cutting-edge, and sophisticated. But he was also witty, humorous, and self-deprecating. – Ken Hakuta

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth. – Benjamin Disraeli

Never miss a good chance to shut up. – Will Rogers

Never try to be witty with U.S. airport officials. It’s always lost on them and you’ll find yourself being put back on the plane. – Johnny Vegas

Never try to have the last word. You might get it. – Robert Heinlein

Next to being witty, the best thing is being able to quote another’s wit. – Christian Nestell Bovee

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking. – Voltaire

No woman can be handsome by the force of features alone, any more that she can be witty by only the help of speech. – Kin Hubbard

No, sir, I’m not saying that charming, witty and warm copy won’t sell. I’m just saying I’ve seen thousands of charming, witty campaigns that didn’t sell. – Rosser Reeves

No-one can make you feel inferior without your permission. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Nothing is more witty and grotesque than ancient mythology and Christianity; that is because they are so mystical. – Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. – William James

Now, where does my comedy come from, like, as a human being? Yeah, when I was a kid I was dyslexic and had to go to special-ed every day and felt stupid about that and got very witty to defend myself. – Dax Shepard

Nowadays three witty turns of phrase and a lie make a writer. – Georg C. Lichtenberg

Oh yes? Can you identify yourself? Certainly. I’d know me anywhere. – Terry Pratchett

Once you have learned to love, you will have learned to live. – Unknown

One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty. – Jane Austen

One man’s theology is another man’s belly laugh. – Robert Heinlein

One movie I think is just terrific is ‘Bernie,’ with Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine. That was a great surprise to me – so witty, so entertaining, a true story, and I’m not a great Jack Black fan, but he’s great in it. I think it’s a gem. – Robert Osborne

One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory. – Rita Mae Brown

Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible. – Miguel Unamuno

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. – Confucius

People are made to be loved and things are made to be used. There is much chaos in this world because things are being loved and people are being used. – Unknown

People who can’t be witty exert themselves to be devout and affectionate. – George Eliot

Phil Hartman was brilliant, and Dave Foley is a really funny guy. Phil Hartman was actually even funnier offstage than he was onstage because he would say nasty things. Dave Foley’s very funny, very witty guy, very quick. – Joe Rogan

Playing it safe is the riskiest choice we can ever make. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

Pretending to care what men think is an art. It takes moments to learn, but lifetimes to master. I’d like to believe I’m an expert. – Dennis Sharpe

Pride only helps us to be generous; it never makes us so, any more than vanity makes us witty. – George Eliot

Rare is the person who can weigh the faults of others without putting his thumb on the scales. – Byron J. Langenfeld

Rhetoric abounds in the cemeteries of reason. – Miguel Queah

So just let me deal with it, I can be emotionally flawed and still love you all at the same time. I’m a great multitasker. – Holly Hood

Some BuzzFeed articles are written by smart people who use complete sentences. Some of the disposable lists are witty and appear to have taken some effort to put together. – Alex Pareene

Some fellows get credit for being conservative when they are only stupid. – Kim Hubbard

Soul-mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you. – Unknown

Stephen Sondheim is calculus for actors. The words are witty and brilliant and profound but complicated. – Marc Platt

Straight-forwardness, without the rules of propriety, becomes rudeness. – Confucius

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

Such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves. – Thomas Hobbes

Take care that no one hates you justly. – Publiius Syrus

Television has an awful lot to do with the Kennedy mystique and the fact that he’s frozen in people’s minds at the age of 46, and he was handsome and personable and witty and charming.Robert Dallek

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. – P. C. Hodgell

The advantage of growing up with siblings is that you become very good at fractions. – Robert Brault

The best computer is a man, and it’s the only one that can be mass-produced by unskilled labor. – Wernher von Braun

The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend. – Abraham Lincoln

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas. – Linus Pauling

The chance to be seen as a warm, witty guy is too good an opportunity for a politician to miss. – Robert Orben

The characters can’t be wittier than people are in real life. They have to be character witty. – Dylan Moran

The fashionable woman is sexy, witty, and dry-cleaned. – Mary Quant

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. – Richard P. Feynman

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make a mistake. – Elbert Hubbard

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it. – William James

The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about. – Wayne Dyer

The important thing to remember is not to forget. – Benny Bellamacina

The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else. – George Bernard Shaw

The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them. – Mark Twain

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it’s the same problem you had last year. – John Foster Dulles

The middle class is doing fine in fiction. But it’s not what gets me going. I love the working class, and everyone from it I’ve met, and think they’re incredibly witty, inventive – there’s a lot of poetry there. – Martin Amis

The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive. – Thich Nhat Hanh

The one who loves least controls the relationship. – Unknown

The only way to have a friend is to be one. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The problem human beings face is not that we aim too high and fail, but that we aim too low and succeed. – Michelangelo

The problem with a life spent reading is you know too much. – Josh Lanyon

The real fault is to have faults and not to amend them. – Confucius

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. – George Bernard Shaw

The reward of a thing done well is to have done it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The tone of good web writing grows out of email. It’s more direct, personal, colloquial, urgent, witty, efficient. It doesn’t waste your time. It reflects that engagement, responsiveness, and haste of web surfers, as opposed to the more general passivity of print readers. – Jacob Weisberg

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. – Bertrand Russell

The witty woman is a tragic figure in American life. Wit destroys eroticism and eroticism destroys wit, so women must choose between taking lovers and taking no prisoners. – Florence King

The world hates change yet it is the only thing that has brought progress. – Charles F. Kettering

There is an element of seduction in shoes that doesn’t exist for men. A woman can be sexy, charming, witty or shy with her shoes. – Christian Louboutin

There is never a better measure of what a person is than what he does when he’s absolutely free to choose. – William M. Bulger

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done. – Peter Drucker

There is still a lot to be said for the well-made, witty, clever, three-act comedy. – Terry Teachout

There weren’t any funny people in sports or the Spanish club. All the really creative, witty, funny people that made your belly hurt were in the theater program. – Sean Hayes

There’s a real emphasis on being witty in Scotland, even in crime novels. – Denise Mina

There’s no possibility of being witty without a little ill-nature. – Richard Brinsley Sheridan

They sit there in committees day after day, And they each put in a color and it comes out gray. And we all have heard the saying, which is true as well as witty, That a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee. – Allan Sherman

This is one of his most human and most amusing and witty novels. The characters are very Indian. I decided that I wanted to do a comedy, so this was just the right one. – Ismail Merchant

This too shall pass. – Persian proverb

Though lust do masque in ne’er so strange disguise she’s oft found witty, but is never wise. – John Webster

Time is a great healer, but a poor beautician. – Lucille S. Harper

To be able to ask a question clearly is two-thirds of the way to getting it answered. – John Ruskin

To be witty is not enough. One must possess sufficient wit to avoid having too much of it. – Andre Maurois

To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable. – Erich Fromm

To handle yourself, you your head; To handle others, use your heart. – Unknown

To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often. – Winston Churchill

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. – Oscar Wilde

To understand all is to forgive all. – French saying

Today there are millions of people making stuff and putting it into the world: that’s become part of our identity and it shouldn’t be limited to people who fancy themselves writers, or who are particularly witty or talented. – David Karp

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did. – Mark Twain

Twitter has restored my faith in humanity. I thought I’d hate it, but while there are lots of knobheads, there are even more lovely people. It delights me how witty and friendly most people are. – John Simm

Ultimately, Cole Porter’s music might say more about his life than any biography could. His songs, with their witty lyrics and debonair style, are an advertisement for his personality and his public persona. – Stephen McCauley

Usually when people see me, they see me as more of the soft-spoken one rather than being the witty, smart-tongued character. – Amy Acker

Want to know something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. It’s really worth fighting for — risking everything for. And the trouble is — if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. – Erica Jong

We all have times when we think more effectively, and times when we should not be thinking at all. – Daniel Cohen

We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. – Unknown

We can’t always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are. – Anais Nin

We find comfort among those who agree with us, and growth among those who don’t. – Frank A. Clark

We tend to get what we expect. – Norman Vincent Peale

Well, don’t expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear. – Suzanne Collins

What gets measured gets managed. – Peter Drucker

What I don’t like is snark for snark’s sake. If you are going to make fun of me, at least be witty while doing it. – Tim Ferriss

When I die cremate me so I can finally fit into something small. – Xondra Day

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that’s my religion. – Abraham Lincoln

When I first read ‘Outlander’ a few years ago, I was shocked to find that Jamie was the complete package: incredibly smart, incredibly witty, strong but emotionally vulnerable, passionate to a fault – and, well, the Scottish accent doesn’t hurt! I actually stopped reading at several points to swoon over something he said… he’s really that good. – Alexandra Bracken

When I imagine feminine characters in my songs, they’re often bold, strong, passionate, militant, witty, sensual, dangerous. I see those characters as skillful witnesses, figures of change and awakening. – Yasmine Hamdan

When it comes to culture, I’m sort of like Nostradamus if he’d been a handsome, witty minor celebrity with a great head of hair instead of a crusty old dude from the olden days. – Milo Yiannopoulos

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. – Confucius

When one teaches, two learn. – Robert Heinlein

Whenever an individual or business decides that success has been attained, progress stops. – Thomas J. Watson

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain

Whether I’m writing a novel about a guy mourning the death of his father or whether I’m writing a show about people killing each other, you want to hear characters speak and be funny and witty. – Jonathan Tropper

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford

Whoever best describes a problem is the one most likely to solve it. – Dan Roam

Wilde is an invaluable acquaintance. Often, in situations where I am required to appear witty, I simply steal large chunks from his works and attempt to pass them off as my own with minor modifications. – Alexandra Petri

Winning supporters over can only really be achieved by what you do, not what you say. It’s no use just smiling and shaking hands and getting quoted with witty one-liners. – Randy Lerner

Wise men are not always silent, but they know when to be. – Unknown

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. – Cyril Parkinson

Writers don’t get mad they get even in their novels. – Candace C. Bowen

Years and years ago, I did a game based on ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide’ with a company called Infocom, which was a great company. They were doing witty, intelligent, literate games based on text. – Douglas Adams

You are wise, witty and wonderful, but you spend too much time reading this sort of stuff. – Frank Crane

You can pretend to be serious; but you can’t pretend to be witty. – Sacha Guitry

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. – Naguib Mahfouz

You can’t just be crass without being witty. Angry crass is horrible. – Ali Wong

You can’t pretend to be witty because wit is dry, subtle, lacerating, cynical, elitist, and risque – all impossible to fake. Humor, on the other hand, is broad, soothing, positive, inclusive, and smutty – to make sure everybody gets it. Pretending to be humorous is easy, and a great many people are doing it. – Florence King

You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with. – Wayne Dyer

You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do. – Henry Ford

You know, you’re rather amusingly wrong. – Terry Pratchett

You will never find time for anything. You must make it. – Charles Buxton

Your wit makes others witty. – Catherine the Great

Zimbabweans are so smart and witty and able to weave together tons of situations and experiences into terminologies that are just utterly original. – Danai Gurira


Valentine's Day Quotes

Funny Valentine’s Day Quotes

Quotes From Wikiquote

  • For when the wine is in, the wit is out.
    • Thomas Becon, Catechism, 375
  • WIT, n. The salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (1911).
  • WITTICISM, n. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted, and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a “joke.”
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (1911).
  • Essere la natura de’ motti cotale, che essi come la pecora morde deono cosi mordere l’uditore, e non come ‘l cane: percio che, se come cane mordesse il motto, non sarebbe motto, ma villania.
    • The nature of wit is such that its bite must be like that of a sheep rather than a dog, for if it were to bite the listener like a dog, it would no longer be wit but abuse.
    • Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron (c. 1350), Sixth Day, Third Story (tr. G. H. McWilliam)
  • Aristotle said * * * melancholy men of all others are most witty.
    • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part I, Section III. Memb. 1. Subsect. 3.
  • We grant, although he had much wit,
    H’ was very shy of using it,
    As being loth to wear it out,
    And therefore bore it not about;
    Unless on holy days or so,
    As men their best apparel do.

    • Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto I, line 45.
  • Great wits and valours, like great states,
    Do sometimes sink with their own weights.

    • Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part II (1664), Canto I, line 269.
  • His wit invites you by his looks to come,
    But when you knock, it never is at home.

    • William Cowper, Conversation (1782), line 303.
  • Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
    And thin partitions do their bounds divide.

    • John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Part I, line 163.
  • Their heads sometimes so little that there is no room for wit; sometimes so long, that there is no wit for so much room.
    • Thomas Fuller, The Holy State and the Profane State (1642), Book IV, Chapter XII. Of Natural Fools. Maxim I.
  • As a wit, if not first, in the very first line.
    • Oliver Goldsmith, Retaliation (1774), line 96.
  • He must be a dull Fellow indeed, whom neither Love, Malice, nor Necessity, can inspire with Wit.
    • Jean de La Bruyère, The Characters or Manners of the Present Age (1688), Chapter IV.
  • To the many, witticisms not only require to be explained, like riddles, but are also like new shoes, which people require to wear many times before they get accustomed to them.
    • Full context: [striving to pervert some poor innocent and ill-used word from its lawful meaning till it ceases to have any at all — worrying some unfortunate idea till, like the hunted hare, it is worried to death — dealing in witticisms whose edge has long since been worn off by constant use ; and truly to the many, witticisms not only require to be explained, like riddles, but are also like new shoes, which people require to wear many times before they get accustomed to them.]
    • Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Francesca Carrara (1834) Chapter 77, combined edition
  • After all, wit is something like sunshine in a frost—very sharp, very bright, but very cold and uncomfortable.
    • Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Ethel Churchill (1838) Vol 1 Chapter 17.
  • On peut dire que son esprit brille aux dépens de sa mèmoire.
    • One may say that his wit shines at the expense of his memory.
    • Alain-René Lesage, Gil Blas (1715-1735), III, XI. Of Carlos Alonso de la Ventoleria.
  • Wit’s an unruly engine, wildly striking
    Sometimes a friend, sometimes the engineer:
    Hast thou the knack? pamper it not with liking;
    But if thou want it, buy it not too deare
    Many affecting wit beyond their power,
    Have got to be a deare fool for an houre.

    • George Herbert, The Temple (1633), The Church Porch, Stanza 41.
  • This man [Chesterfield] I thought had been a lord among wits; but I find he is only a wit among lords.
    • Samuel Johnson, reported in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1764).
  • Wit: a form of sex display.
    • A. R. Orage, On Love, with Some Aphorisms and Other Essays (London: The Janus Press, 1957), “Aphorisms”, p. 61.
  • For wit and judgment often are at strife,
    Though meant each other’s aid, like man and wife.

    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism (1709), line 82.
  • So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit,
    For works may have more wit than does ’em good,
    As bodies perish through excess of blood.

    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism (1709), line 302.
  • How the wit brightens! how the style refines!
    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism (1709), line 421.
  • If faith itself has different dresses worn,
    What wonder modes in wit should take their turn?

    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism (1709), line 446.
  • True wit is nature to advantage dress’d,
    What oft was thought, but ne’er so well expressed.

    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism (1709), Part II, line 97. “Wit is that which has been often thought, but never before was well expressed.” As paraphrased by Johnson, Life of Cowley.
  • You have a nimble wit; I think it was made of Atalanta’s heels.
    • William Shakespeare, As You Like It (c.1599-1600), Act III, scene 2, line 292.
  • Make the doors upon a woman’s wit and it will out at the casement; shut that and ’twill out at the key-hole; stop that, ’twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.
    • William Shakespeare, As You Like It (c.1599-1600), Act IV, scene 1, line 162.
  • Since brevity is the soul of wit,
    And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
    I will be brief.

    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1600-02), Act II, scene 2, line 90.
  • They have a plentiful lack of wit.
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1600-02), Act II, scene 2, line 201.
  • I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men.
    • William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II (c. 1597-99), Act I, scene 2, line 11.
  • Rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
    Which gives men stomach to digest his words,
    With better appetite.

    • William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar (1599), Act I, scene 2, line 304.
  • His eye begets occasion for his wit;
    For every object that the one doth catch,
    The other turns to a mirth-moving jest.

    • William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost (c. 1595-6), Act II, scene 1, line 69.
  • Your wit’s too hot, it speeds too fast, ’twill tire.
    • William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost (c. 1595-6), Act II, scene 1, line 120.
  • Great men may jest with saints; ’tis wit in them;
    But, in the less, foul profanation.

    • William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure (1603), Act II, scene 2, line 127.
  • He doth, indeed, show some sparks that are like wit.
    • William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99), Act II, scene 3, line 193.
  • A good old man, sir: he will be talking, as they say, When the age is in, the wit is out.
    • William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99), Act III, scene 5, line 36.
  • Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.
    • William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99), Act V, scene 1, line 159.
  • Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound’s mouth; it catches.
    • William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99), Act V, scene 2, line 11.
  • To leave this keen encounter of our wits,
    And fall somewhat into a slower method.

    • William Shakespeare, Richard III (c. 1591), Act I, scene 2, line 115.
  • Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting: it is most sharp sauce.
    • William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1597), Act II, scene 4, line 87.
  • Look, he’s winding up the watch of his wit; by and by it will strike.
    • William Shakespeare, The Tempest (c. 1610-1612), Act II, scene 1, line 12.
  • Those wits that think they have thee, do very oft prove fools; and I, that am sure I lack thee, may pass for a wise man; for what says Quinapalus? “Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (c. 1601-02), Act I, scene 5, line 37.
  • Against their wills what numbers ruin shun,
    Purely through want of wit to be undone!
    Nature has shown by making it so rare,
    That wit’s a jewel which we need not wear.

    • Edward Young, Epistle to Mr. Pope, Epistle II, line 80.
  • As in smooth oil the razor best is whet,
    So wit is by politeness sharpest set;
    Their want of edge from their offence is seen,
    Both pain us least when exquisitely keen.

    • Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-28), Satire II, line 118.

Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 883-86.
  • An ounce of wit is worth a pound of sorrow.
    • Richard Baxter, Of Self-Denial.
  • Que les gens d’esprit sont bêtes.
    • What silly people wits are!
    • Pierre de Beaumarchais, Barbier de Séville, I. 1.
  • Votre esprit en donne aux autres.
    • Your wit makes others witty.
    • Catherine II, Letter to Voltaire.
  • Don’t put too fine a point to your wit for fear it should get blunted.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, The Little Gypsy.
  • I am a fool, I know it; and yet, Heaven help me, I’m poor enough to be a wit.
    • William Congreve, Love for Love, Act I, scene 1.
  • Wit, now and then, struck smartly, shows a spark.
    • William Cowper, Table Talk, line 665.
  • Ev’n wit’s a burthen, when it talks too long.
    • John Dryden, Sixth Satire of Juvenal, line 573.
  • Wit will shine
    Through the harsh cadence of a rugged line.

    • John Dryden, To the Memory of Mr. Oldham.
  • Mit wenig Witz und viel Behagen
    Dreht jeder sich im engen Zirkeltanz
    Wie junge Katzen mit dem Schwanz.

    • With little wit and ease to suit them,
      They whirl in narrow circling trails,
      Like kittens playing with their tails.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, I. 5. 94.
  • Les beaux esprits lernen einander durch dergleichen rencontre erkennen.
    • It is by such encounters that wits come to know each other.
    • Andreas Gryphius, Horribilicribfax, Act IV, scene 7. Voltaire, letter to Thieriot, June 30, 1760, used the expression. See Büchmann, Geflügelte Worte. Ed. 10, p. 123.
  • Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.
    • William Hazlitt, Lectures on the English Comic Writers, Lecture I.
  • At our wittes end.
    • John Heywood, Proverbs, Part I, Chapter VIII. Psalms CVII. 27. (“Their wits”).
  • Wit is the clash and reconcilement of incongruities; the meeting of extremes round a corner.
    • Leigh Hunt, Wit and Humour.
  • Wit, like money, bears an extra value when rung down immediately it is wanted. Men pay severely who require credit.
    • Douglas Jerrold, Specimens of Jerrold’s WitWit.
  • Je n’ai jamais d’esprit qu’au bas de l’escalier.
    • I never have wit until I am below stairs.
    • Jean de La Bruyère, according to J. J. Rousseau. Esprit de l’escalier, backstair wit, is credited to M. de Treville by Pierre Nicole. For use of this phrase see The King’s English, p. 32. Note.
  • A man does not please long when he has only one species of wit.
    • François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims. No. 438.
  • A small degree of wit, accompanied by good sense, is less tiresome in the long run than a great amount of wit without it.
    • François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims. No. 529.
  • Medio de fonte leporum
    Surgit amari aliquid quod in ipsis floribus angat.

    • In the midst of the fountain of wit there arises something bitter, which stings in the very flowers.
    • Lucretius, IV. 1,133.
  • Mother Wit. (Nature’s mother wit).
    • Christopher Marlowe, Prologue to Tamerlaine the Great, Part I. Middleton, Your five Gallants (1607), Act I, scene 1. Dryden, Ode to St. Cecilia. Spenser, Faerie Queene, Book IV, Canto X, Stanza 21. Taming of the Shrew, Act II, scene 1.
  • Have you summoned your wits from wool-gathering?
    • Thomas Middleton, The Family of Love (1602-07), Act V, scene 3.
  • Nul n’aura de l’esprit, hors nous et nos amis.
    • No one shall have wit save we and our friends.
    • Molière, Let Femmes Savantes, III. 2.
  • L’impromptu est justement la pierre de touche de l’esprit.
    • Repartee is precisely the touchstone of the man of wit.
    • Molière, Les Prècieuses Ridicules, X.
  • La raillerie est un discours en faveur de son esprit centre son bon naturel.
    • Raillery is a mode of speaking in favor of one’s wit at the expense of one’s better nature.
    • Charles de Montesquieu, Pensèes Diverses.
  • Whose wit, in the combat, as gentle as bright,
    Ne’er carried a heart-stain away on its blade.

    • Thomas Moore, Lines on the Death of Sheridan, Stanza 11.
  • Wit is the most rascally, contemptible, beggarly thing on the face of the earth.
    • Arthur Murphy, The Apprentice: A Farce in Two Acts (1756).
  • Sal Atticum.
    • Attic wit.
    • Pliny the Elder, Natural History, 31. 7. 41.
  • A wit with dunces, and a dunce with wits.
    • Alexander Pope, Dunciad, Book IV, line 92.
  • You beat your pate, and fancy wit will come;
    Knock as you please, there’s nobody at home.

    • Alexander Pope, Epigram. Last phrase in Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby.
  • Some men’s wit is like a dark lantern, which serves their own turn and guides them their own way, but is never known (according to the Scripture phrase) either to shine forth before men, or to glorify their Father in heaven.
    • Alexander Pope, Thoughts on Various Subjects.
  • Generally speaking there is more wit than talent in this world. Society swarms with witty people who lack talent.
    • Comte de Rivarol, on Mme. de Staël.
  • Fine wits destroy themselves with their own plots, in meddling with great affairs of state.
    • John Selden, Table Talk, Wit.
  • Man could direct his ways by plain reason, and support his life by tasteless food; but God has given us wit, and flavour, and brightness, and laughter, and perfumers, to enliven the days of man’s pilgrimage, and to “charm his pained steps over the burning marle.”
    • Sydney Smith, Dangers and Advantages of Wit.
  • Surprise is so essential an ingredient of wit that no wit will bear repetition;—at least the original electrical feeling produced by any piece of wit can never be renewed.
    • Sydney Smith, Lectures on Moral Philosophy, No. 10.
  • One wit, like a knuckle of ham in soup, gives a zest and flavour to the dish, but more than one serves only to spoil the pottage.
    • Tobias Smollett, Humphrey Clinker.
  • Wit consists in knowing the resemblance of things which differ, and the difference of things which are alike.
    • Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, Germany, Part III, Chapter VIII.
  • It is having in some measure a sort of wit to know how to use the wit of others.
    • Stanisław Leszczyński (King of Poland), Maxims and Moral Sentences.
  • It is with wits as with razors, which are never so apt to cut those they are employed on as when they have lost their edge.
    • Jonathan Swift, Tale of a Tub: Author’s Preface.
  • Too much wit makes the world rotten.
    • Alfred Tennyson, Idylls of the King (published 1859-1885), The Last Tournament.
  • And wit its honey lent, without the sting.
    • Alfred Tennyson, To the Memory of Lord Talbot.
  • Good wits will jump.
    • George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, The Chances (1682), Act IV, scene 1. John Byrom, The Winners, line 39. Cervantes, Don Quixote, Part II, Chapter XXXVIII. Sterne, Tristram Shandy.
  • He had too thoughtful a wit: like a penknife in too narrow a sheath, too sharp for his body.
    • Izaak Walton, Life of George Herbert. Reported as Herbert’s saying about himself.
  • Nae wut without a portion o’ impertinence.
    • John Wilson, Noctes Ambrosianæ.
  • Though I am young, I scorn to flit
    On the wings of borrowed wit.

    • George Wither, The Shepherd’s Hunting.

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