|Wikiquote discussion pages see also: requests|
General policy discussions and proposals, requests for permissions and major announcements.
Questions and discussions about specific quotes.
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
- 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  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.
"For most men the pursuit of God means not running away quite as fast."Edit
Does anyone know who said, and the exact wording on the following?
Men who rule men rule men who rule machines and men who rule money rule them both.
How many films do you list at WikiQuote please?Edit
- If we add up the sum total of all pages in each of the subcategories of Category:Films, and exclude Category:Film stubs and Category:Fictional characters, it equates to approximately 1683 films. However, because this approximation is prone to error, especially with entries duplicated between subcategories, it's best you check out the category tree structure of Category:Films and its attendant subcategories yourself. Or alternatively, you can try and count the number of films listed on our page List of films. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 09:07, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
M A S H quoteEdit
"ladies and gentlemen take my advice, take off your pants and slide on the ice.".....sydney freidman.
Wisdom from trees.Edit
Anyone know a quote that runs broadly as follows:
There's more wisdom to be found in one hour spent looking at a tree than a hundred years reading books.
Why would a site be black listed, and how do I get it off such a listEdit
I wanted to add www.mansonquotes.com to Marilyn Mansons quote page but it said that it was black listed. why? How does that get removed? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 05:27, 28 June 2010
- Sites are normally blacklisted because they're heavily abused as a form of link spamming, where spambots will typically insert them everywhere into our articles in order to increase search engine optimization (SEO) in terms of Google PageRanks for the sites they link to. You can ask an administrator to whitelist your site by posting at Wikiquote:Administrators' noticeboard, but if your site has been abused by spambots, I doubt the proposal would pass. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 09:07, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
getting permission to use a quote. Also identifying where a quote is fromEdit
I want to use a quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes in my novel. How do I get permission? Also, where did this quote occur. "I don't give a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would die for simplicity on the other side of complexity." Thanks 254 932-6745 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 18:19, 6 March 2011
Colonization, assimilation and civilizing missionsEdit
who coined the saying and is this the whole saying? 'You stay in your village and I will stay in mine, If your sheep eat our grass we may kill you, If our sheep have no grass we may kill you anyway. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 03:53, 26 April 2011
Name of movieEdit
I am looking for a movie that is a few years old. I am collecting some dancing/cheerleading/gymnastics movies with great music and for the life of me I can't remember the title of one I want.
Ceaser's wife without doubtEdit
Where is this line from? Do anyone know the whole quote?Edit
"between good and evil stands a warrior" Does anyone: 1) know the whole quote; 2) know where it comes from radio, tv, movie? I know it was used in a tv ad recently but i am wondering about the original usage. --lsid—This unsigned comment is by Lsid (talk • contribs) 01:53, 31 July 2011.
Ronald Reagan quoteEdit
When (where and in what context) did Ronald Reagan say: "What Energy Crisis?"? Thank you. My e-mail address is: email@example.com—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 17:26, 6 September 2011
Who said? QuoteEdit
Who said: "Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes; it is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results" —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 14:38, 22 September 2011
how did daniel and friedrich keep warm in the winterEdit
how did fredrich keep warm in the winter what danger did rosa face afer being fired from her job how did the group of young people punish the man who was stealing his childrens bread —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 23:27, 1 November 2011
quote about aging and re-experiencing adolescenceEdit
Looking for a quote that was part of Andrew Zuckerman's photo exhibit "Wisdom". I saw it in Toronto this year. The theme of the quote was that as the speaker became older, he/she felt they were increasingly going into an adolescent period, rather than becoming older and wiser. —This unsigned comment is by Connected (talk • contribs) 15:39, 9 November 2011.
A Question About a Denise Levertov QuotationEdit
I cannot locate or identify the source of the following quote by Denise Levertov; can you help me, please?
Acknowledgement, and celebration, of mystery probably constitutes the most consistent theme of my poetry from its very beginnings. Because it is a matter of which I am conscious, it is possible, however imprecisely, to call it an intellectual position; but it is one which emphasizes the incapacity of reason alone (much though I delight in elegant logic) to comprehend experience, and considers Imagination the chief of human faculties. It must therefore be by the exercise of that faculty that one moves toward faith, and possibly by its failure that one rejects it as delusion. Poems present their testimony as circumstantial evidences, not as closing argument. Where Wallace Stevens says, "God and the imagination are one," I would say that the imagination, which synergizes intellect, emotion and instinct, is the perceptive organ through which it is possible, though not inevitable, to experience God. A Poets View (1984)
That's the way it goes. . . . . First your money then your clothes.Edit
Does anyone know the rest of this verse?
In my memory, was:
That's the way it goes... first your money, then your clothes, next your wife and then your life... That's the way it goes. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 18:01, 23 June 2012
marvelous simply marvelous darlingEdit
Unknown quote about FatherEdit
Need help finding a quote I read a long time ago. Can't remember the exact words, just the content. It said: when i was young, my father was smart and know everything; when i grow up, i see that my father didn't know much of anything; when i was old and he was gone, wish he was still around to give me advice. That's the content i recall from memory, most likely not the exact wording. Similar to Mark Twain quote but Twain's quote only have 2 parts about being at 14 and 21 years old. I'm fairly sure this quote has 3 parts about being very young, being teenage year and being old age; very sure about the old age part. It's what i remember the most from the quote. Thanks for helping me find it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 15:14, 27 March 2012
How can I find out if I have an authentic signature of Mr. Kipling?--126.96.36.199 17:21, 7 May 2012
Poem by James Allen OR Ella Wheeler WilcoxEdit
Can you clearly determine who wrote this poem? I suspect that Mr Allen quoted Ms Wilcox without credit. (As a Man Thinketh, end of chapter 2) I found contradictions between your site and theotherpages.org with the credit given to either James Allen or Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
YOU will be what you will to be; Let failure find its false content In that poor word "environment," But spirit scorns it, and is free, It masters time, it conquers space, It cows that boastful trickster Chance, And bids the tyrant Circumstance Uncrown and fill a servant's place. The human Will, that force unseen, The offspring of a deathless Soul, Can hew the way to any goal, Though walls of granite intervene. Be not impatient in delay, But wait as one who understands; When spirit rises and commands, The gods are ready to obey. The river seeking for the sea Confronts the dam and precipice, Yet knows it cannot fail or miss; You will be what you will to be!
“Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards.” Who said it?Edit
“Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards.”
I’ve seen it attributed to Diogenes but that doesn’t seem to be right.
Quote about cows and wallsEdit
I have been looking for a quote about how walls work well because the cows do not test them. I think it may be by Anais L
Source of a famous Rosa Luxemburg quotationEdit
"Those who do not move, do not notice their chains" is a much quoted statement attributed to Rosa Luxemburg, and to no other. However, I cannot find the document source for the quote anywhere. --188.8.131.52 08:25, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
A quote from Terry EagletonEdit
I'd like to get the citation of Terry Eagleton's quote: "The marginal has occupied the central position whereas the central has retreated to the marginal"when he refered to the contemporary Bitish poetry.Sorry I foegot where I read it. I'm now in need of this citation because I want to quote it in my recent book. I'll be very much grateful if anyone could help. Thanks! Emma Liang from China
- Hi Emma, could this be it?—
- «The poets who seem to me to matter most are those ‘"skewed" to the dominant social wisdom [...] in the sense of having access to historical or symbolic resources, submerged allegiances and affiliations’ and characterised the period ‘as (very broadly) polarized between [...] writing, where the marginal becomes somehow central, and a self-absorbed, knowing, postmodernist ironizing’.»
- —Terry Eagleton, "surveying British poetry of the 1980s for Poetry Review", as quoted in D. Kennedy Sheffield Hallam Working Papers: Value (2001).
- The earliest appearance I could find of this quote was in: The Poetry Review, Vol. 79 (Poetry Society of America, 1989), p. 278. DanielTom (talk) 14:24, 14 November 2013 (UTC) posted 15:06, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Possible Nelson Mandela quotes on communism?Edit
I found found a few claims online that claim the following quotes are from the late Nelson Mandela. I checked the Wikiquote page on Mandela but did not find these. Is there any truth behind these being attributed to him. I was trying to make a point that it is strange that those who consider Mandela a hero are often those who believe communism is an evil philosophy. Here are the quotes:
"The cause of communism is the greatest cause in the history of mankind!"
"Under a Communist Party government, South Africa will become a land of milk and honey. Political, economic and social rights will cease to be enjoyed by whites only. They will be shared equally by whites and non-whites. There will be enough land and houses for all. There will be no unemployment, starvation and disease. Workers will earn decent wages; transport will be cheap and education free."
“Communists everywhere fight to destroy capitalist society and to replace it with socialism, where the masses of the common people, irrespective of race or color, will live in complete equality, freedom and happiness. They seek to revolutionize society and are thus called revolutionaries. Those who support capitalism with its class divisions and other evils and who oppose our just struggles to end oppression are called counter revolutionaries.”
“In our own country, the struggles of the oppressed people are guided by the South African Communist Party and inspired by its policies. The aim of the S.A.C.P. is to defeat the Nationalist government and to free the people of South Africa from the evils of racial discrimination and exploitation.”
--184.108.40.206 22:01, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Schrodinger quote referenceEdit
Where and when did Erwin Schrodinger write, “Quantum physics thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe.” --220.127.116.11
- He didn't. Fritjof Capra did, in his book The Tao of Physics (1975). ~ DanielTom (talk) 22:50, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Fritjof Capra said, "Quantum theory thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe." ...theory, not physics.... There's numerous examples of people using the Schrodinger quote, “Quantum physics thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe,” but I can't find a reference to where and when he said it. Hopefully he did actually say it. --18.104.22.168 02:59, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
a quote from a british prime minister telling a senior doctor that he intended to control the professionEdit
something along the lines of "doctor, we mean to control/enslave/nobble you"
How/Where can I add my entry? Geoffrey Forrest.
- You don't appear to be notable enough to have a Wikiquote page, as of yet. Please see my reply at Wikiquote:Requested entries#People. As a rule, it is best to let other people create a page for you, if you are notable, rather than doing it yourself. Take care, DanielTom (talk) 12:52, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
How to handle a quotation misattributed to Carl Sagan but quoted under him anyway?Edit
The line absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is often attributed to Carl Sagan. In looking to check it, I found it on his page here, but twice: once as a sourced quotation and once as a misattribution, well sourced to Martin Rees.
I'm a fairly experienced Wikipedian, but not much experienced here. ISTM that once a quote from person X is demonstrated as misattributed to person Y, it shouldn't be listed as a quote under Y at all, except in the "Misattributed" section. I couldn't find guidance on that here, so I commented that quote out of Sagan's page—
- Carl Sagan#The Demon-Haunted World : Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995), Ch. 12 : The Fine Art of Baloney Detection, p. 221
—and put a note on the Talk page, at the end of a long discussion about this quote that was mostly not relevant to the misattribution.
- Hello. I restored that quotation because it actually does appear in the book, and is adequately sourced. I don't see a good justification here for the removal of said sourced material – indeed, I see the opposite, as the reference made to it in the "Misattributed" section would stop making sense if that quote was removed. If you wish, you may add a note next to the quote, clarifying that it was Martin Rees who originated it, but please do not remove the sourced quote. ~ DanielTom (talk) 22:31, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I saw this on someones twitter account. Is this out of a book? Where can I find this saying? (Her smile stops shooting stars in their spiral. No starry night covers her luster without stare. Dawn stretches out eagerly for her awake)
Please email me back at firstname.lastname@example.org
The following quote has been attributed to Lyndon Baines Johnson and while it sounds like something he could or would have said, I cannot find it documented anywhere. I want to know if it is a true quote. I do, of course, recognize that he might have said it in company that would have not captured the moment. "I will have these niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years". Please advise if it is a documented quote.—This unsigned comment is by ProudTexan62 (talk • contribs) .
- Hi. Apparently the earliest source attributing it to LBJ was Kessler's book Inside The White House (1996). This attribution to LBJ also appears in other published works, e.g., here (2001, with no citation/source given), and here (citing "The American Sentinel, Sept 1997, p. 9"). Cheers. ~ DanielTom (talk) 13:24, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
- Expanding on the first source, Ronald Kessler's Inside the White House (Simon and Schuster, 1996), here is the quotation in context (p. 33): «During one trip, Johnson was discussing his proposed civil rights bill with two governors. Explaining why it was so important to him, he said it was simple: "I'll have them niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years."»  Citation given: «Interview on March 28, 1993, with MacMillan.»  ~ DanielTom (talk) 14:03, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
My eyes are up hereEdit
I've always found this an amusing and pithy response to the male habit of starting at something other than a woman's face while conversing. When I came across it at Know Your Meme, which currently traces its print use to newspapers in 1996, I thought that this has got to have a much older provenance. So far, the earliest print occurrence I've found (courtesy Google Book Search) is by Kathie Lee Gifford, who mentions it in her autobiography:
- I put my mike up and started talking, but he wouldn't meet my eyes. He wasn't even close. Missed by about a foot. "Excuse me," I wisecracked. "Those are my breasts. My eyes are up here."
Since it's hard to believe that this is the first print version, let alone the first utterance, I didn't think it wise to create a Kathie Lee Gifford article just to establish it. So I'm posting this here to see if anyone wants to do some deeper research into the phrase's origins. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 03:05, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
How to find some anonymous quotesEdit
Many people search some jokes on the Internet, which is a particular type of quotes without any known author.
- Precisely sorted: it's categorized into Category:People and we can't get a desired topic (like jokes) in the table of content.
- Sourced, it can be a problem with Wikiquote:What_Wikiquote_is_not#Wikiquote_is_not_a_collection_of_your_personal_quotes.
That's why I propose to split it in different categories, eventually:
- In a new namespace.
- With one page per anonymous quote: if these quotes are some titles (at least there 255 first characters) then we can get the same list as now in a category.
“Your enemy is in your gardern with missiles that can destroy your major cities”
Thank you to anyone who could inform me about the one who quotes that. I would like the identity and when (day, month, year). This sentence is extracted from a syllabus concerning the Cold War and was apparently pronounced around the Cuban crisis in 1962.
Thank you in advance to all of you,
"I will not die, it's the world that will end."Edit
Ayn Rand quotes this saying here, but says she can't remember who said it... I tried, but also couldn't find it (though it vaguely reminds me of Lucretius). Can anyone find its true author/source? ~ DanielTom (talk) 22:46, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
"One sees the sun slowly set, yet one is surprised when it suddenly becomes dark."Edit
Isaac Asimov book about physicistsEdit
I don't know if I am asking this in the right place. Does anyone know how to find a book by Isaac Asimov about the leaps of insight physicists made after having worked on a problem for a long time and then doing something, for example taking a bath, and suddenly they just knew the answer they were seeking? It would have one chapter about that interspersed with another chapter that was fictional. It is written for lay adults, not for elementary students. I have searched the listing he made by categories, but I cannot tell which book it might be. I really really want to find that book - I loved it so much. Can anyone help lead me to an Asimov expert?--HLDREDDOGII (talk) 03:56, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Thomas Jefferson - The Eyes Of VigilanceEdit
Former US Congressman Ron Paul attributed the quote "Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed" to American Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson. I have been unable to confirm this. If anyone is able to confirm these are the words of Thomas Jefferson, could it please be added to the appropriate Wikiquote page. --22.214.171.124 20:45, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
TE Lawrence: "Nothing is written" quote provenanceEdit
Hi. Here's a challenging one: did TE Lawrence ever say anywhere "Nothing is written" as his character did in Lawrence of Arabia? I can't seem to find reference to it regarding anything but the film. I would have thought it would have showed up in a google search if it was in his Seven Pillars of Wisdom, but I'm having no luck. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 126.96.36.199 21:58, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
- Hello. The film is based on his book, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and "Nothing is written" is not in the book. This leads me to believe that he never did say it, although of course I can't be sure. I couldn't find any book or journal, published before the film, that attributes this line to him, and later attributions are all linked to the film. (Exception: Here, "Nothing is written" is attributed to him, and the date "1917" is given, but no source is provided.) ~ DanielTom (talk) 22:58, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
- Thanks. Hmmm.... I don't have permissions to view that link. Is there any way to screen capture it? Was the book that cites it published before the film? Thanks again. Would like to really figure this one out.... 188.8.131.52 23:37, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
- Haha maybe he said it or wrote it in Arabic, which would make it a true nightmare to figure out... 184.108.40.206 23:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
- No, it was published in 2013. (That's why it has no credibility.) If the link I provided above doesn't work for you, try searching "T.E. Lawrence (1917, attr.)" on Google Books (use quotation marks), and you will probably be able to see it. ~ DanielTom (talk) 23:45, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
- This educated write-up seems to assume it wasn't:
- " "Nothing is written!" probably the greatest single line in the greatest single motion picture of all time - Lawrence of Arabia. Obviously something was written (that line for one) and Robert Bolt was the man who wrote it. Bolt was an English playwright, which, all things being equal, usually consigns one to a life of anonymity. David Lean and Sam Spigel hired Bolt to produce the screenplay to Lawrence of Arabia. It was his first ever screenplay and at the 1962 Academy Awards Bolt’s brilliant penmanship was rewarded as only Hollywood could do so. They gave the Best Screenplay Oscar to Horton Foote for editing a novel Harper Lee had written a couple years earlier.
- "That said (or written) Bolt may not have come up with the line . . . the screenplay for Lawrence was largely written by Michael Wilson who was fired in pre-production. Bolt rewrote huge slabs of it so “Nothing is written” could have been written by either . . . it sure as hell wasn’t written by Foote. "
- 220.127.116.11 23:49, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
- Source: http://reubenstein.com/recent.asp?category_id=7&ID=28
- 18.104.22.168 23:53, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
- Right, the credit should go to the screenwriters. ~ DanielTom (talk) 00:03, 12 September 2014 (UTC) P.S. I think it's more likely that it was Wilson who wrote it, not Bolt, because apparently Seven Pillars was for Bolt his "prime, almost [his] only source", while Wilson seems to have taken greater liberties: "Wilson's first draft of the screenplay includes events from Seven Pillars along with characters and incidents of his own invention" – we are also told that "Bolt consulted Wilson's earlier script". Source: True to the Spirit: Film Adaptation and the Question of Fidelity (Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 160. ~ DanielTom (talk) 00:40, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
- Thanks. Hmmm.... I don't have permissions to view that link. Is there any way to screen capture it? Was the book that cites it published before the film? Thanks again. Would like to really figure this one out.... 22.214.171.124 23:37, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I used to know where I read this, hadn't thought of it in years...until about 3 years ago. And, I can't remember who it was, and it's making me nuts.Edit
The quote as I remember it was pretty close to the following: "The greatest division within mankind is not between the 'haves and have nots; it lies between those who can sleep and those who cannot'". I really hope it rings a bell with someone.
Lincoln quote citation needed: "I know the Norwegians, No immigrants have served America better than they." AEdit
"I know the Norwegians, No immigrants have served America better than they." Abraham Lincoln
I need a source citation.
mark hennick Madison Torske Klubben Historian
Who said "If there are two fish fighting in the middle of the ocean, the English are behind it somehow"Edit
It was described to me as being something Ghandi said, but I cannot find any reference to it.
Please help! I need to know who wrote this quote:Edit
“I like the darkness. There’s something to the feeling of not knowing your surroundings, not seeing the color of things as they appear, but as they truly are. There is something about the unknown, the quiet, the cold. There’s something unspoken about the dark, something I can never quite put words to. Something terrifying yet beautiful.” Jen (email@example.com)
JFK on DCEdit
According to many places on the internet and at least one more reputable source (The Economist) John F. Kennedy reportedly called Washington, D.C. a city of "Southern efficiency and Northern charm". Could anyone help source this? It definitely strikes me as the sort of clever quip attributed to a well-loved figure. --BDD (talk) 01:30, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
- @BDD: 1971's Congressional Record, Volume 117, Part 20 page 25955 credits it to Kennedy but 1954's The Army Wife by Nancy Shea page 337 says that it's a "long-standing local witticism". This is shortly after Kennedy joined the Senate and the book does not attribute it to him. —Justin (koavf)❤T☮C☺M☯ 01:38, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Who said this quote about power?Edit
For many years I have thought that the following was said by Harold Wilson:
"If you want power write the first draft"
It has proved a correct statement many times but I have recently tried to check whether it was Harold Wilson or someone else that said it but I cannot find reference to the quote anywhere. Have I imagined it?