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Best of Anonymous

(215 entries, updated July, 2020)

One of the characteristics of quotations is that they're most meaningful in context - when we know who said them, and better yet, when and why. However, many things get repeated or passed around so many times that the attributions are lost. This happens most frequently with 'cute' or 'humorous' materials - the kind most people are likely to spread by word of mouth.

This collection, therefore, provides a place for such material - unattributed quotations, mottos, and rhetorical questions of various sorts. Most, though not all, are humorous. There are a few surprising pearls of wisdom here or there. And remember, just because you heard your favorite comic or political commentator say something, it does not mean they invented it. They probably just can't remember where they saw it first, and thought they did. Have a browse, and remember things like "You don't have to stay up nights to succeed, you have to stay awake days." -- that is, unless you're working 3rd shift...


  1. Accident: A condition in which presence of mind is good, but absence of body is better.

  2. All easy problems have already been solved.

  3. All men should freely use those seven words which have the power to make any marriage run smoothly: You know dear, you may be right.

  4. Always borrow money from a pessimist; they don't expect to be paid back.

  5. Amnesia used to be my favorite word, but I can't remember why.

  6. Always try to do things in chronological order; it's less confusing that way.

  7. Anarchy may not be the best form of government, but it's better than no government at all.

  8. An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.

  9. Anyone can count the seeds in an apple.
    No one can count the apples in a seed.

  10. Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

  11. Applying computer technology is simply finding the right wrench to pound in the correct screw.

  12. Artificial Intelligence is the study of how to make real computers act like the ones in movies.

  13. Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

  14. As a general rule, the freedom of any people can be judged by the volume of their laughter.

  15. As of 1992, they're called European Economic Community fries.

  16. As you grow older, you stand for more and fall for less.

  17. Be kind to unkind people - they need it the most.

  18. A bore is someone who persists in holding his own views after we have enlightened him with ours.

  19. A bore is someone who, when you ask him how he is, tells you.

  20. Bumper sticker: Auntie Em: Hate you, hate Kansas, taking dog. Dorothy

  21. Buracracy is a challenge to be confronted with a righteous attitude, a tolerance for stupidity, and a bulldozer when necessary.

  22. Business is like a wheelbarrow. Nothing ever happens until you start pushing.

  23. Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.

  24. Cole's Law: Thinly sliced cabbage.

  25. Computers are not intelligent. They only think they are.

  26. Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.

  27. Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.

  28. Condense soup, not books!

  29. Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation.

  30. Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  31. Conscious is when you are aware of something, and conscience is when you wish you weren't.

  32. Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.

  33. A day without sunshine is like night.

  34. Democracy is mob rule, but with income taxes.

  35. The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

  36. Doing nothing gets pretty tiresome because you can't stop and rest.

  37. Don't give other people a piece of your mind unless you can afford it.

  38. Don't ring for death.
    Knock on his door and run,
    He hates that.

  39. Do not follow where the path may lead....go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

  40. Don't have a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

  41. Don't believe everything you hear or anything you say.

  42. Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.

  43. Eschew obfuscation.

  44. Every revolutionary idea - in science, politics, art, or whatever - evokes three stages of reaction in a hearer:
    --It is completely impossible - don't waste my time.
    --It is possible, but it is not worth doing.
    --I said it was a good idea all along.

  45. Every survival kit should include a sense of humor.

  46. Every time history repeats itself the price goes up.

  47. Familiarity breeds attempt.

  48. Fertility is hereditary. If your parents didn't have any children, neither will you.

  49. Find expression for a sorrow and it will become dear to you. Find expression for a joy, and you will intensify its ecstasy.

  50. Footprints on the sands of time are never made by sitting down.

  51. For a man to truly understand rejection, he must first be ignored by a cat.

  52. Foresight is knowing when to shut your mouth before someone suggests it.

  53. Form follows function, and often obliterates it.

  54. Free advice generally costs more than the other kind.

  55. A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

  56. Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

  57. Frogs are smart--they eat what bugs them.

  58. The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.

  59. Given a choice between two theories, take the one which is funnier.

  60. Good judgment comes from experience, and experience--well, that comes from poor judgment.

  61. A good sermon leaves you wondering how the preacher knew all about you.

  62. The greatest threat towards future is indifference.

  63. Had this been an actual emergency, we would have fled in terror and you wouldn't have been notified.

  64. Half of the people in the world are below average.

  65. He is truly wise who gains wisdom from another's mishap.

  66. He who hesitates is not only lost, but miles from the next exit.

  67. The high cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.

  68. Hindsight is an exact science.

  69. Horses just naturally have mohawk haircuts.

  70. How can you tell when sour cream goes bad?

  71. The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity. The rest is overhead for the operating system.

  72. The human race is faced with a cruel choice: work or daytime television.

  73. I can handle pain until it hurts.

  74. If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.

  75. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  76. If at first you don't succeed, redefine success.

  77. If at first you do succeed - try to hide your astonishment.

  78. If everything is coming your way, then you're in the wrong lane.

  79. If I ever needed a brain transplant, I'd choose a teenager's because I'd want a brain that had never been used.

  80. If the car industry behaved like the computer industry over the last 30 years, a Rolls-Royce would cost $5, get 300 miles per gallon, and blow up once a year killing all passengers inside.

  81. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he'd have put them on my knees.

  82. If the hours are long enough and the pay is short enough, someone will say it's women's work.

  83. If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people?

  84. If the human brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't.

  85. If the odds are a million to one against something occuring, chances are 50-50 it will.

  86. If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

  87. If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.

  88. If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

  89. If you hear an onion ring, answer it.

  90. If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the precipitate.

  91. If you eat a live frog in the morning, nothing worse will happen to either of you for the rest of the day.

  92. If you think nobody cares you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

  93. I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.

  94. I'm objective; I object to everything.

  95. In a survey taken several years ago, all incoming freshman at MIT were asked if they expected to graduate in the top half of their class. Ninety-seven percent responded that they did.

  96. Include the success of others in your dreams for your own success.

  97. Indecision is the key to flexibility.

  98. In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, however, there is.

  99. Introducing "lite", the new way to spell "light", with 20% fewer letters!

  100. Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be?

  101. I shot an arrow into the air, and it stuck.

  102. I still miss my ex-wife, but my aim is getting better.

  103. I talk to myself because I like dealing with a better class of people.

  104. It may be that your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

  105. I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.

  106. It makes no difference whether you win or lose until you lose.

  107. It's bad luck to be superstitious.

  108. It's easy to get lost in thought if it's not familiar territory to you.

  109. It's hard to make a program foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

  110. It's not what you say in your argument, it's how loud you say it.

  111. It's only a game until you lose.

  112. I wash everything on the gentle cycle. It's much more humane.

  113. Just because your doctor has a name for your condition doesn't mean he knows what it is.

  114. Just when you think you've finally hit bottom, someone tosses you an anchor.

  115. Keep your head and your heart going in the right direction and you will not have to worry about your feet.

  116. "Knock, Knock.
    Who's there?
    Don't be silly - opportunity doesn't knock twice!"

  117. Lead me not into temptation. I can find it myself.

  118. Life would be so much easier if everyone read the manual.

  119. The light at the end of the tunnel is usually a "No Exit" sign.

  120. Like winter snow on summer lawn, time past is time gone.

  121. Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.

  122. Marriage means commitment. Of course, so does insanity.

  123. The meek shall inherit the earth---they are too weak to refuse.

  124. A metaphor is like a simile.

  125. Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

  126. Misers make wonderful ancestors.

  127. Mistakes are often the stepping stones to utter failure.

  128. The more sins you confess, the more books you will sell.

  129. The most effective answer to an insult is silence.

  130. Nearly everyone is in favor of going to heaven but too many are hoping they'll live long enough to see an easing of the entrance requirements.

  131. Never appeal to a man's "better nature." he might not have one.

  132. Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.

  133. Never call a man a fool. Borrow from him.

  134. Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely.

  135. The nice thing about standards is, there are so many to choose from.

  136. Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain.

  137. No man knows what true happiness is until he gets married. By then, of course, its too late.

  138. Nothing is as easy as it looks.

  139. The number you have dialed is imaginary. Please divide by 0 and try again.

  140. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

  141. Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

  142. One essential to success is that you desire be an all-obsessing one, your thoughts and aims be co-ordinated, and your energy be concentrated and applied without letup.

  143. One nice things about egotists -- they don't talk about other people.

  144. The one who says it cannot be done should never interrupt the one who is doing it.

  145. The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you are in the bathroom.

  146. People seldom know what they want until you give them what they ask for.

  147. People with narrow minds usually have broad tongues.

  148. The philosophy exam was a piece of cake - which was a bit of a surprise, actually, because I was expecting some questions on a sheet of paper.

  149. Philosophy is a game with objectives and no rules.
    Mathematics is a game with rules and no objectives.

  150. Plants do not have the power of locomotion -- except perhaps for kudzu.

  151. Punctuality is disappointing if no one is there to appreciate it.

  152. Q: How do you spell "onomatopoeia"?
    A: The way it sounds.

  153. Q: What do you get when you cross an ethernet with an income statement?
    A: A local area networth.

  154. Quantum particles: The dreams that stuff is made of.

  155. A rolling stone gathers momentum.

  156. Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Some poems rhyme

  157. Sarcasm helps keep you from telling people what you really think of them.

  158. A smile confuses an approaching frown.

  159. Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world.

  160. Some men go through a forest and see no firewood.

  161. Some people march to the beat of a different drummer. And some people tango!

  162. Sorry, but my karma just ran over your dogma.

  163. The speed of time is one second per second.

  164. A Stanford research group advertised for participants in a study of obsessive-compulsive disorder. They were looking for therapy clients who had been diagnosed with this disorder. The response was gratifying; they got 3,000 responses about three days after the ad came out. All from the same person.

  165. Status quo. Latin for "the mess we're in."

  166. Stealing a rhinoceros should not be attempted lightly.

  167. A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.

  168. Success in marriage is not so much finding the right person as it is being the right person.

  169. Support bacteria, it's the only culture some people have.

  170. Teenagers are people who express a burning desire to be different by dressing exactly alike.

  171. There's a fine line between courage and foolishness. Too bad its not a fence.

  172. There are some strings. They're just not attached.

  173. There are 3 kinds of people: those who can count & those who can't.

  174. There has been an alarming increase in the number of things you know nothing about.

  175. There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.

  176. There's an old proverb that says just about whatever you want it to.

  177. There's an old story about the person who wished his computer were as easy to use as his telephone. That wish has come true, since I no longer know how to use my telephone.

  178. There's no future in time travel.

  179. They keep saying the right person will come along; I think mine got hit by a truck.

  180. Things are more like they are today than they ever have been before.

  181. Thought for the day: What if there were no hypothetical situations?

  182. Time flies when you don't know what you're doing.

  183. To be a winner, all you need to give is all you have.

  184. Today is the yesterday you worried about tomorrow.

  185. Too many people are ready to carry the stool when the piano needs to be moved.

  186. Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

  187. The ultimate reason is "because."

  188. Until you walk a mile in another man's moccasins, you can't imagine the smell.

  189. Virtue is its own punishment.

  190. We, the unwilling,
    led by the unknowing,
    are doing the impossible
    for the ungrateful.
    We have done so much,
    for so long,
    with so little,
    we are now qualified to do anything
    with nothing.

  191. When the tide of life turns against you
    And the current upsets your boat
    Don't waste tears on what might have been
    Just lie on your back and float.

  192. What's the sound a name makes when it's dropped?

  193. What was sliced bread the greatest thing since?

  194. When all else fails, read the instructions.

  195. When all is said and done, more is said than done.

  196. When the going seems easy, you may be going downhill.

  197. When you are in it up to your ears, keep your mouth shut.

  198. When you do not know what you are doing, do it neatly.

  199. Where would we be without rhetorical questions?

  200. While money can't buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.

  201. While most peoples' opinions change, the conviction of their correctness never does.

  202. Why can you only have two doors on a chicken coop? If it had four it would be a chicken sedan.

  203. Work 8 hours, sleep 8 hours; but not the same 8 hours.

  204. Worry takes as much time as work and pays less.

  205. Writing a book is like washing an elephant: there's no good place to begin or end, and it's hard to keep track of what you've already covered.

  206. You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.

  207. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and
    You can fool all of the people some of the time, but
    You can't fool mom.

  208. You can only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

  209. You cannot achieve the impossible without attempting the absurd.

  210. You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back.

  211. You cannot tell which way the train went by looking at the track.

  212. You don't have to stay up nights to succeed; you have to stay awake days.

  213. You don't have to worry about me. I might have been born yesterday...but I stayed up all night.

  214. You'll never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

  215. Your lucky number is 321349555463482326257. Watch for it everywhere.

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