Open main menu

Wikiquote:Reference desk

 Stop! Note: This is not a help page for problems with Wikiquote.

See the Village pump for Wikiquote-specific questions. Before posting a question here, you may also want to see if one of these pages can better answer your question:

Wikiquote discussion pages (edit) see also: requests
Village pump
comment | history | archive
General policy discussions and proposals, requests for permissions and major announcements.
Reference desk
comment | history | archive
Questions and discussions about specific quotes.
All Wikiquote: namespace discussions 1 2 3 4 5 - All discussion pages 1 2 3 4 5

The Wikiquote Reference desk serves the same function as a library reference desk. Do you have a specific question about quotations that you want answered by volunteers at Wikiquote? Ask below!

How to ask a question

  • Please give questions a meaningful title so you'll be more likely to get a meaningful answer.
  • Be specific and clarify your question, describing specifically what you'd like answered.
  • Please sign your question by typing --~~~~ (that's two hyphens and four tildes) at the end. This will stamp the date and time and your user ID on your posting. (You can also sign --anon.)
  • Please do not list your e-mail address, as questions aren't normally answered by e-mail. Also, be aware that the content on Wikiquote is extensively copied to many websites, and so making your e-mail address public here may make it very public throughout the Internet.
  • Please check back for updates occasionally. A complete answer may be developed over a period of days.
  • To continue a question, edit your question section (by clicking the [edit] link on right side of its header line). Please do not start multiple sections about the same topic.
  • Please remember that readers of all ages visit this page.
  • Please avoid using all capital letters; not only do they make a question harder to read, but they are often interpreted as impolite or shouting.
  • Questions will be answered by humans, not by a computer. This page is not a search engine.

How to answer a question

  • Please be thorough, providing as much of the answer as you are able.
  • Be concise, not terse. Please write in a clear and easily understood manner. Keep your answer within the scope of the question as stated.
  • Link to articles on Wikiquote or Wikipedia which may have further information relevant to the question.
  • The Reference desk is not a soapbox. If you wish to argue a particular viewpoint, please do so on an appropriate talk page.


Who said “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”? Who attributed it to Winston Churchill?Edit

We are assured by that this was not Winston Churchill. I have to admit it is not even all that interesting or well-constructed, just one of those warm and woolly things company communications departments seem to love. But since (which appears to me a drivel dispenser) attributes it to him, it would be nice to have it refuted – or do they just make them up themselves there? --PJTraill (talk) 12:04, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Any website that collects unsourced quotations is bound to be unreliable. If you look at Wikiquote's Winston Churchill page, you'll find this quote already listed under the "Misattributed" section. It was (mis)attributed to Churchill in Never Give in: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill (1995) by Stephen Mansfield, p. 224, and in many later publications, but the phrase itself goes back at least to the 1940s. ~ DanielTom (talk) 12:34, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Is KJIVA appropriate for inclusion?Edit

I've come here via enWP, where there's a whole walled garden concerning this rapper (all articles are currently at AFD). I don't know what Wikiquote's inclusion criteria are, but perhaps somebody can have a look at KJIVA. (And I actually also don't know either whether this is the right place to ask this question, so apologies if this is the wrong venue). Thanks! --Randykitty (talk) 16:43, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

Hello Kitty. Not really the right place to ask, but that's okay. I am already watching the Wikipedia discussions on this person[1] and related article farm[2][3][4][5][6][7] and ancillary pages[8][9][10]. Depending on the outcome, I will either speedy-delete it, or propose routine deletion, or if the outcome is indecisive, take it to a vote here. It looks like an open-and-shut case to me, but it is usually best to wait for matters to settle at Wikipedia first, in order to avoid duplicating (and protracting) the arguments. ~ Ningauble (talk) 17:06, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
Great, thanks! For my education, what would have been the right place to go? (I don't often come here, but might be useful in future). With all those articles in this farm, you really need all your 7 eyes! ;-) --Randykitty (talk) 17:50, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Randykitty, in more than eight years at Wikiquote this is the first time anyone remarked on my pseudonymsake. This board is nominally used to research the origins of quotations. The Village pump is more suited to discussing general wiki affairs. (As a smaller community, we have a lot less special-purpose discussion boards than Wikipedia does.) ~ Ningauble (talk) 21:47, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
 Y Deleted. Thanks for staying on top of this Randykitty. ~ Ningauble (talk) 16:58, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

A great American Indian chief said...Edit

What American Indian chief said "You are a nation of liars and thieves" ? —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

Gen. Douglas MacArthur quoteEdit

The following quote has been attributed to Gen. Douglas MacArthur. I need someone to confirm or deny it.

Quote. "No one who has experienced war has escaped unscathed. The scars are more apparent for some than others. They are reminders of the precious price that is paid for Freedom."

Please confirm or deny it.

Many thanks.


When "duty" becomes "joy"Edit

What is the title/who is the author of the poem that concludes with the thought: "..when my duty becomes my joy" ?

Looking for a quote confirmation, "The best government is the worst government"Edit

Hello :)

Many years ago, I heard passing reference to an alleged quote by the Chamber of Commerce (National) in the 1920's or thereabouts.

Supposedly, someone representing them said "The best government is the worst government" or words to that effect. The intimation being that they wanted a weak federal government that would allow them to act without regulation.

I have not been able to verify this quote in the years since and I am wondering if anyone is able to debunk this. (or bunk it, as the case may be :)

Any search I have done is stymied by innumerable quotes by Lincoln and Churchill.

Thank you for any help!

Edit: Also, if this is not the correct place to post this kind of question could you please note the correct forum?—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

I can't find that exact quote. "The best government is that which governs least" (or "That government is best which governs least"—from the opening sentence of Henry David Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government"—and "The best government is the one that governs [the] least") are popular variants. I'm also reminded of Bertrand Russell's remark in The Problem of China: "Nine-tenths of the activities of a modern Government are harmful; therefore the worse they are performed, the better." ~ DanielTom (talk) 09:45, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

---OP - Yeah, I had found those and similar quotes, but the one I was looking for was purportedly by the US Chamber of Commerce

Correction of name in title of Wikiquote pageEdit

I just created a new Wikiquote page on John Diamond (doctor) but I see that the title of the Wikiquote page has the name Diamond with a lower case d rather than with a capital D. How can a correction be made?--Yachef (talk) 11:51, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

Hi Yachef. See Help:How to move a page. (I fixed it for you.) ~ DanielTom (talk) 12:30, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

Udonis HaslemEdit

I searched for free use quotes but found none. any help? thank you. --Quoteofzod (talk) 03:03, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

author of this quote?Edit

"You are all part of my waking dream, and when I when I die, I'll take you all with me."