Everyone loves good Mark Twain quotes, right? Samuel Clemens (the man who wrote under the pseudonym Mark Twain) embodied snark before it was a thing, and he was prolific, so there are quotes from him about everything.
Before we get to the funny stuff, a note about accuracy:
There’s something you should know about Mark Twain: he’s misquoted. A lot.
I live in Connecticut, the home of the Mark Twain House, so I thought they might be a good source of accurate Twain quotes. The Twain House, as it turns out, recommends Twain Quotes, a database of attributed quotes by and about Mark Twain. The site was put together by Twain scholar Barbara Schmidt, and it’s one of the few sources of reliable Twain quotes. Schmidt has organized the quotes by subject, and there’s a citation for every single quote. She’s also included Twain’s newspaper articles and links to other resources. Everything on the site is the real deal.
If you’re looking for reliable Mark Twain quotes in book form, Schmidt recommends The Quotable Mark Twain, by R. Kent Rasmussen.
You can also get accurate quotes from the Twain House itself (although the site directs you to Schmidt’s database).
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Top Famous Mark Twain Quotes
- Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
- The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
- Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.
- With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.
- Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.
- All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.
- Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life.
- The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
- Do something every day that you don’t want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
- I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.
- Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.
twain quotes politics
- It is wiser to find out than suppose.”
- We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
- Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
- Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would rather have talked.
- The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
- It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
- Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
- Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.
- Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings. It consist mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one’s head.
- A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.
quotes by mark twain
- The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.
- Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.
- Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.
- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
- The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.
- Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.
- The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
- It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Best mark twain
- To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.
- Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
- Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
- I can live for two months on a good compliment.
- It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
- A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
- A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.
- I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
- Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.
- Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
Interesting quotes by mark twain
- The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
- Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
- Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.
- Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.
- 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.
- Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.
- Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
- There’s one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he’s crooked.
- Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.