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Men are like steel — when they lose their temper, they lose their worth.

Temper is a word used to denote a variety of qualities. It derives from Temperare (to mix correctly) the Latin origin of words like "temperature" and "tempering"; it and "tempo" come, in turn, from tempus (time or season). Thus, the word "temper" can refer (at least informally) to any time- and temperature-sensitive process, a material's thermo-mechanical history, or even its composition.


  • Men are like steel — when they lose their temper, they lose their worth.
    • Anonymous proverb; though often attributed to Chuck Norris, this seems to have appeared at least as early as 1961, in an edition of The Physical Educator
  • Good temper, like a sunny day, sheds a brightness over everything; it is the sweetener of toil and the soother of disquietude.
  • The happiness and misery of men depend no less on temper than fortune.
  • Courtesy of temper, when it is used to veil churlishness of deed, is but a knight's girdle around the breast of a base clown.
    • Walter Scott, as quoted in "Gleanings from Many Minds" in The Guernsey magazine (October 1876)
  • Through certain humors or passions, and from temper merely, a man may be completely miserable, let his outward circumstances be ever so fortunate.
  • A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.
    • Proverbs 17:27, (New International Version)

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