Damon Runyon

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Damon Runyon (1884 – 1946) American author and journalist, famed for his vernacular portraits of the Broadway gambling scene.


  • Always try to rub against money, for if you rub against money long enough, some of it may rub off on you. (A Very Honorable Guy)
  • Some day, somewhere … a guy is going to come to you and show you a nice brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is never broken, and this guy is going to offer to bet you that the jack of spades will jump out of this deck and squirt cider in your ear. But, son … do not bet him, for as sure as you do you are going to get an ear full of cider. (From the short story The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown, Collier's Weekly, January 28, 1933. Used with slightly different wording in the musical Guys and Dolls -- both the 1950 stage and the 1955 film versions.)
  • I long ago come to the conclusion that all life is six to five against. (A Nice Price)


  • The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.
  • He who tooteth not his own horn, the same shall not be tooted.
    • Guys and Dolls
  • Trust, but verify (on wikipedia)


  • You felt he was laughing at the world, not with it.
    • Fred Lieb
  • Under no circumstances does he get good natured until noon. If he has to get up early in the morning you have to converse with him in signs most of the day because he pants so hard that his mouth cannot open in conversation. He is a lovely travelling companion, if he happens to be in the next coach.
    • Frank Finch, quoted in A Gentleman of Broadway by E. P. Hoyt