Wit Quotes

Quotations about Wit

Wit is folly, unless a wise man has the keeping of it. ~ English proverbs

The greatest advantage I know of being thought a wit by the world is that it gives one the greater freedom of playing the fool. ~ Alexander Pope

Avoid witticisms at the expense of others. ~ Horace Mann

Great wits, like great beauties, look upon mere esteem as a flat insipid thing; nothing less than admiration will content them. ~ Jeremiah Seed

The mere wit is only a human bauble. He is to life what bells are to horses–not expected to draw the load, but only to jingle while the horses draw. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Digression is the soul of wit. Take the philosophic asides away from Dante, Milton or Hamlet’s father’s ghost and what stays is dry bones. ~ Ray Bradbury

Some people seem born with a head in which the thin partition that divides great wit from folly is wanting. ~ Robert Southey

He who has provoked the shaft of wit, cannot complain that he smarts from it. ~ Samuel Johnson

It is inconceivable how much wit it requires to avoid being ridiculous. ~ Sebastien Roch Nicolas Chamfort

Brevity is the soul of wit. ~ William Shakespeare

Every witticism is an inexact thought; that which is perfectly true is imperfectly witty. ~ Walter Savage Landor

Wit is of the true Pierian spring, that can make anything of anything. ~ George Chapman

Wit appreciates wit. ~ Coelius

He who doesn’t lose his wits over certain things has no wits to lose. ~ Gotthold Lessing

For when the wine is in, the wit is out. ~ Thomas Becon

Look, he’s winding up the watch of his wit; by and by it will strike. ~ William Shakespeare

The banalities of a great man pass for wit. ~ Alexander Chase

The well of true wit is truth itself. ~ George Meredith

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

The monuments of wit survive the monuments of power. ~ Francis Bacon

When the drink is in the wit is out. ~ Sonia Sims

Less judgment than wit, is more sail than ballast. ~ William Penn

She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit. ~ W. Somerset Maugham

Truth, when witty, is the wittiest of all things. ~ Julius Charles Hare

There are many witty men whose brains can’t fill their bellies. ~ American Proverbs

Wit is a form of force that leaves the limbs at rest. ~ George Eliot

Anger makes dull men witty — but it keeps them poor. ~ Francis Bacon

The distrust of wit is the beginning of tyranny. ~ Edward Abbey

Wit is the most rascally, contemptible, beggarly thing on the face of the earth. ~ Colley Cibber

Wit is the lightning of the mind. ~ C. T. Kaeuffer

Surprise is so essential an ingredient of wit that no wit will bear repetition. ~ Sydney Smith

Wit is not fed, but sharpened with applause; For wealth is solid food, and wit but hungry sauce. ~ John Dryden

Wit in conversation is only a readiness of thought and a facility of expression, or (in the midwives’ phrase) a quick conception, and an easy delivery. ~ Alexander Pope

There’s a hell of a distance between wisecracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words. ~ Dorothy Parker

Too much wit makes the world rotten. ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Wit spares no one. ~ Jerome Ustariz

Wit is an unruly engine, wildly striking sometimes a friend, sometimes the engineer. ~ George Herbert

To be comic is merely to be playful, but wit is a serious matter. To laugh at it is to confess that you do not understand. ~ Ambrose Bierce

Wit, like poetry, is insusceptible of being constructed upon rules founded merely in reason. Like faith, it exists independent of reason, and sometimes in hostility to it. ~ Christian Nestell Bovee

A witty saying proves nothing. ~ Voltaire

Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food. ~ William Hazlitt

Wit is well-bred insolence. ~ Aristotle

A thing well said will be wit in all languages. ~ John Dryden

Real wit is shown in language. We need language. ~ Maya Angelou

Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you. ~ Elsie De Wolfe

Some wits, too, like oracles, deal in ambiguities, but not with equal success; for though ambiguities are the first excellence of an imposter, they are the last of a wit. ~ Edward Young

Wit is the only wall between us and the dark. ~ Mark Van Doren

Where judgment has wit to express it, there’s the best orator. ~ William Penn

Wit is educated insolence. ~ Aristotle

Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure. ~ J. K. Rowling

Those who object to wit are envious of it. ~ William Hazlitt

Don’t put too fine a point to your wit for fear it should get blunted. ~ Miguel de Cervantes

He seemeth to be most ignorant that trusteth most to his wit. ~ Plato

Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which, before their union, were not perceived to have any relation. ~ Mark Twain

There was a monstrous deal of stupid quizzing and common-place nonsense talked, but scarcely any wit. ~ Jane Austen

I think humor is warmer, and wit is colder. Wit is judgment, whereas humor invites some sort of response. ~ Fran Lebowitz

A wise man will live as much within his wit as within his income. ~ Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield

A clever wit is always timeless. ~ Kate Wingfield

Humor is consistent with pathos, whilst wit is not. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Reader, if you are gifted with nerves like mine, aspire to any character but that of a wit. ~ Charles Lamb

Wit catches of wit, as fire of fire. ~ Fulke Greville

Wit can render instant aid or lasting harm. ~ Lewis F. Korns

Witticism. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a “joke.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

He’s winding up the watch of his wit. By and by it will strike. ~ William Shakespeare

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

True wit is nature to advantage dressed, what oft was thought, but never so well expressed. ~ Alexander Pope

Melancholy men are of all others the most witty. ~ Aristotle

Wit, after all, is a mighty tart, pungent ingredient, and much too acid for some stomachs; but honest good humor is the oil and wine of a merry meeting. ~ Washington Irving

Wit is something more than a gymnastic trick of the intellect; true wit implies a beam of thought into the essence of a question, a flash that lights up a situation. Wit suggests the delicate but delightful play of a rapier in the hands of a master. ~ Arthur Lynch

I don’t like jokes in speeches; I do like wit and humor. A joke is to humor what pornography is to erotic language in a good novel. ~ James Humes

The wittiest man is one who says a good thing, and appears not to know it. ~ John Van Buren

If you want to be witty, work on your character and say what you think on every occasion. ~ Marie-Henri Beyle Stendhal

There’s no possibility of being witty without a little ill-nature — the malice of a good thing is the barb that makes it stick. ~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Wit is the epitaph of an emotion. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

He must be a dull Fellow indeed, whom neither Love, Malice, nor Necessity, can inspire with Wit. ~ Jean de la Bruyère

Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike. ~ Anne Germain De Stael

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

Next to being witty yourself, the best thing is being able to quote another’s wit. ~ John Christian Bovee

Wit is the Fruitful Womb where Thoughts conceive. ~ Daniel Defoe

Ev’n wit’s a burthen, when it talks too long. ~ John Dryden

Wit malignantly employed is like a crackling fire that with every fresh blaze sends out sparks. Take care that you are not burnt. ~ John Thornton

Many would live by their Wits, but break for want of Stock. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Wit is a weapon. Jokes are a masculine way of inflicting superiority. But humor is the pursuit of a gentle grin, usually in solitude. ~ Frank Muir

For we seldom admire the wit, when we dislike the man. ~ Jeremiah Seed

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

Antithesis may be the blossom of wit, but it will never arrive at maturity unless sound sense be the trunk and truth the root. ~ Charles Caleb Colton

A man cannot please long who has only one kind of wit. ~ François de la Rochefoucauld

Humor wades across a brook, wit jumps over it. ~ Austin O’Malley

Wit is a sword; it is meant to make people feel the point as well as see it. ~ G. K. Chesterton

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

Your wits make others witty. ~ Catherine the Great

Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Wit Quotes

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