The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
The secret to getting ahead is getting started.
The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.
Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.
Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.
I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.
If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
What would men be without women? Scarce, sir...mighty scarce.
Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.
Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.
Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.
The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?
Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.
I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.
Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
A dollar picked up in the road is more satisfaction to you than the ninety-and-nine which you had to work for, and money won at faro or in stock snuggles into your heart in the same way.
Everything has its limit -- iron ore cannot be educated into gold.
A little citizenship ought to be taught at the mother's knee and in the nursery.
Good citizenship would teach accuracy of thinking and accuracy of statement.
A sincere compliment is always grateful to a lady, so long as you don't try to knock her down with it.
A man with a hump backed uncle mustn't make fun of another man's cross eyed aunt.
Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
A man will do many things to get himself loved. He will do all things to get himself envied.
A conspiracy is nothing but a secret agreement of a number of men for the pursuance of policies which they dare not admit in public.
Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere.
Consider the average intelligence of the common man, then realize 50% are even stupider.
A jay hasn't got any more principle than a Congressman. A jay will lie, a jay will steal, a jay will deceive, a jay will betray; and four times out of five, a jay will go back on his solemnest promise.
A crowded police docket is the surest of all signs that trade is brisk and money plenty.
An ecstasy is a thing that will not go into words; it feels like music.
Custom is petrification, nothing but dynamite can dislodge it for a century.
I am not given to exaggeration, and when I say a thing I mean it.
Half of the results of a good intentions are evil; half the results of an evil intention are good.
All human rules are more or less idiotic.
In writing, I shall always confine myself strictly to the truth, except when it is attended with inconvenience.
A newspaper is not just for reporting the news as it is, but to make people mad enough to do something about it.
I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts.
Everybody's private motto: It's better to be popular than right.
An injurious truth has no merit over an injurious lie. Neither should ever be uttered. The man who speaks an injurious truth, lest his soul be not saved if he do otherwise, should reflect that that sort of a soul is not strictly worth saving.
I do not allow my schooling to interfere with my education.
Are you so unobservant as not to have found out that sanity and happiness are an impossible combination?
A sense of humor is the one thing no one will admit to not having.
Eloquence is the essential thing in a speech, not information.
I deal with temptation by yielding to it.
A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes.
Be virtuous and you will be eccentric.
Don't use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
Don't go around thinking the world owes you a living. It was here first.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog: nobody really enjoys it, and the frog generally dies as a result.
Few things are more irritating than when someone who is wrong is also very effective in making his point.
Custom is custom: it is built of brass, boiler-iron, granite; facts, reasonings, arguments have no more effect upon it than the idle winds have upon Gibraltar.
Every inventor is a crackpot until his idea succeeds.
A crime persevered in a thousand centuries ceases to be a crime, and becomes a virtue. This is the law of custom, and custom supersedes all other forms of law.
All gods are better than their reputation.
A group of men in evening clothes looks like a flock of crows, and is just about as inspiring.
A gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years.
Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.
I don't want my girl to be so skinny she can knife me with her knee.
A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.
Always tell the truth; then you don't have to remember anything.
I can last two months on a good compliment.
I can speak French but I cannot understand it.
A circle is a round straight line with a hole in the middle.
Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail.
Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It's like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won't fatten the dog.
A good memory and a tongue tied in the middle is a combination which gives immortality to conversation.
Children and fools always speak the truth.
Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.
An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it.
All good things arrive unto them that wait -- and don't die in the meantime.
As to the adjective: when in doubt, strike it out.
Quotes by Mark Twain are featured in:
Words Of Wisdom Quotes