Dishonesty is to act without honesty. It is used to describe a lack of probity, cheating, lying or being deliberately deceptive or a lack in integrity, knavishness, perfidiosity, corruption or treacherousness. Dishonesty is the fundamental component of a majority of offences relating to the acquisition, conversion and disposal of property (tangible or intangible) defined in criminal law such as fraud.
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- Dissimulation, even the most innocent in its nature, is ever productive of embarrassment; whether the design is evil or not, artifice is always dangerous and almost inevitably disgraceful.
- Fraud and prevarication are servile vices. They sometimes grow out of the necessities, always out of the habits, of slavish and degenerate spirits…. It is an erect countenance, it is a firm adherence to principle, it is a power of resisting false shame and frivolous fear, that assert our good faith and honor, and assure to us the confidence of mankind.
- Edmund Burke, "Letters on a Regicide Peace," letter 3, 1796–1797, The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke (1899), vol. 5, p. 414.
- Where this will end? In the Abyss, one may prophecy; whither all Delusions are, at all moments, travelling; where this Delusion has now arrived. For if there be a Faith, from of old, it is this, as we often repeat, that no Lie can live for ever. The very Truth has to change its vesture, from time to time; and be born again. But all Lies have sentence of death written down against them, and Heaven's Chancery itself; and, slowly or fast, advance incessantly towards their hour.
- You know where you are with a complete liar, but when a chap mixes some truth with his yarns, you can't trust a word he says.
- Everybody lies, but it doesn’t matter because nobody listens.
- Nick Diamos, as quoted in (Dis)trust in Software Projects: A Thrice Told Tale. On Dynamic Relationships between Software Engineers, IT Project Managers, and Customers (2007) by Dominika Latusek and Dariusz Jemielniak, The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, vol. 3(1), pp. 117-125.
- Mankind are not held together by lies. Trust is the foundation of society. Where there is no truth, there can be no trust, and where there is no trust, there can be no society. Where there is society, there is trust, and where there is trust, there is something upon which it is supported.
- When we risk no contradiction,
It prompts the tongue to deal in fiction.
- John Gay, Fables (1727), "The Elephant and the Bookseller".
- Don't lie, but don't tell the whole truth.
- Baltasar Gracián, Maxim 181, The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647).
- A lie will gallop halfway round the world before the truth has time to pull its breeches on.
- Cordell Hull, Memoirs of Cordell Hull (1948), 1:220.
- In the majority of cases which are brought to me as a consulting psychologist for love and marital adjustment, there are self-deceptions to be uncovered as well as attempts to deceive other people. Beneath such love conflicts there is almost always a festering psychological core of dishonesty.
- William Moulton Martson, Lie Detector Test, p. 119 
- The art of living is the art of knowing how to believe lies. The fearful thing about it is that, not knowing what truth may be, we can still recognize lies.
- Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living, 1938-01-08.
- Engin mieulx vault que force.
- Machination is worth more than force.
- François Rabelais, Pantagruel (1532), Chapter XXVII.
- Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, radio address 26 October 1939, as reported in The Baltimore Sun, 27 October 1939.
- O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!
- Sir Walter Scott, Marmion (1808), Canto VI, st. 17
- But when we've practised quite a while
How vastly we improve our style!
- J. R. Pope, A Word of Encouragement. Collected in The New Oxford Book of English Light Verse, 1978.
- But when we've practised quite a while
- With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole.
- They fool me to the top of my bent. I will come by and by.
- But when the fox hath once got in his nose,
He'll soon find means to make the body follow.
- The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us
In deepest consequence.
- The world is still deceiv'd with ornament,
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But, being season'd with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
- Make the Moor thank me, love me and reward me,
For making him egregiously an ass.
- Who makes the fairest show means most deceit.
- Oh, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes,
And with a virtuous vizard hide foul guile.
- O, that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace!
- I think the inherent right of the Government to lie to save itself when faced with nuclear disaster is basic.
- Arthur Sylvester, speech at a meeting of the New York chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, New York City (December 6, 1962), as reported by The Washington Post (December 7, 1962), p. A–2.
- A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human.
- All warfare is based on deception.
- Sun Tzu, Art of War.
- A lie has no legs, and cannot stand; but it has wings, and can fly far and wide.
- George and Eliot Warburton, Hochelaga; or, England in the New World: Volume 1 (1846), p. 215. Identified by the author as a Chinese proverb, but not found earlier than this publication; variously misattributed to other authors, and altered to expressions such as: "When Falsehood saw he had no legs to stand on, he made himself wings" (UN Monthly Chronicle: Volume 6 (1969), credited as "an old Jewish rabbinical saying").
- I never lie, even to this day. Not even a little. Unless you count playing pranks on people, which I don't. That's comedy. Entertainment doesn't count. A joke is different from a lie, even if the difference is kind of subtle.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 182-83.
- God is not averse to deceit in a holy cause.
- Æschylus, Frag. Incert, II.
- There is a cunning which we in England call the turning of the cat in the pan.
- Francis Bacon, Essays, Of Cunning.
- Think'st thou there are no serpents in the world
But those who slide along the grassy sod,
And sting the luckless foot that presses them?
There are who in the path of social life
Do bask their spotted skins in Fortune's sun,
And sting the soul.
- Joanna Baillie, De Montfort, Act I, scene 2.
- What song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women.
- Sir Thomas Browne, Urn-Burial, Chapter V.
- If the world will be gulled, let it be gulled.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section IV. Memb. 1. Subsect. 2.
- Populus vult decipi; decipiatur.
- The people wish to be deceived; let them be deceived.
- Cardinal Carafa, Legate of Paul IV., is said to have used this expression in reference to the devout Parisians. Origin in De Thou. I, XVII. See Jackson's Works, Book III, Chapter XXXII. Note 9.
- Improbi hominis est mendacio fallere.
- It is the act of a bad man to deceive by falsehood.
- Cicero, Oratio Pro Murena, XXX.
- A delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
- Lord Denman, O'Connell vs. The Queen, Clark and Finnelly Reports.
- But Esau's hands suit ill with Jacob's voice.
- John Dryden, Absalom and Achitopel, Part I, line 982.
- Man wird betrogen, man betrügt sich selbst.
- We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Sprüche in Prosa, III.
- Non mancano pretesti quando si vuole.
- Pretexts are not wanting when one wishes to use them.
- Carlo Goldoni, La Villeggiatura, I, 12.
- Which I wish to remark—
And my language is plain,—
That for ways that are dark
And for tricks that are vain,
The heathen Chinee is peculiar.
- Bret Harte, Plain Language from Truthful James (Heathen Chinee).
- The angel answer'd, "Nay, sad soul; go higher!
To be deceived in your true heart's desire
Was bitterer than a thousand years of fire!"
- John Hay, A Woman's Love.
- Hateful to me as are the gates of hell,
Is he who, hiding one thing in his heart,
- Homer, The Iliad, Book IX, line 386. Bryant's translation.
- Vous le croyez votre dupe: s'il feint de l'être, qui est plus dupe, de lui ou de vous?
- You think him to be your dupe; if he feigns to be so who is the greater dupe, he or you?
- Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, V.
- On ne trompe point en bien; la fourberie ajoute la malice au mensonge.
- We never deceive for a good purpose: knavery adds malice to falsehood.
- Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, XI.
- Car c'est double plaisir de tromper le trompeur.
- It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.
- Jean de La Fontaine, Fables, II. 15.
- Le bruit est pour le fat, la plainte pour le sot;
L'honnête homme trompé s'éloigne et ne dit mot.
- The silly when deceived exclaim loudly; the fool complains; the honest man walks away and is silent.
- J. B. Sauvé de La Noue, La Coquette Corrigée, I, 3.
- On pout être plus fin qu'un autre, mais non pas plus fin que tous les autres.
- One may outwit another, but not all the others.
- François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxim, 394.
- You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.
- It is vain to find fault with those arts of deceiving, wherein men find pleasure to be deceived.
- John Locke, Human Understanding, Book III, Chapter X. 34.
- Where the lion's skin falls short it must be eked out with the fox's.
- He seemed
For dignity compos'd and high exploit:
But all was false and hollow.
- On est aisément dupé par ce qu'on aime.
- One is easily fooled by that which one loves.
- Molière, Le Tartuffe (1664), IV. 3.
- Impia sub dulci melle venena latent.
- Deadly poisons are concealed under sweet honey.
- Ovid, Amorum (16 BC), I. 8. 104.
- Pia fraus.
- A pious fraud.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, IX, 711.
- Furtum ingeniosus ad omne,
Qui facere assueret, patriæ non degener artis,
Candida de nigris, et de candentibus atra.
- Skilled in every trick, a worthy heir of his paternal craft, he would make black look white, and white look black.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, XI, 313.
- Fronte politus
Astutam vapido servas sub pectore vulpem.
- Though thy face is glossed with specious art thou retainest the cunning fox beneath thy vapid breast.
- Persius, Satires, V. 116.
- Habent insidias hominis blanditiæ mali.
- The smooth speeches of the wicked are full of treachery.
- Phædrus, Fables, I. 19. 1.
- Altera manu fert lapidem, altera panem ostentat.
- He carries a stone in one hand, and offers bread with the other.
- Plautus, Aulularia, II. 2. 18.
- Singuli enim decipere et decipi possunt: nemo omnes, neminem omnes fefellunt.
- Individuals indeed may deceive and be deceived; but no one has ever deceived all men, nor have all men ever deceived any one.
- Pliny the Younger, Panegyr. Traj. 62.
- Savoir dissimuler est le savoir des rois.
- Deception is the knowledge of kings.
- Cardinal Richelieu, “Maxims,” Testament Politique (1641)
- Wir betrügen und schmeicheln niemanden durch so feine Kunstgriffe als uns selbst.
- We deceive and flatter no one by such delicate artifices as we do our own selves.
- Arthur Schopenhauer, Die Welt als Wille, I. 350.
- Orlando's helmet in Augustine's cowl.
- Horace and James Smith, Rejected Addresses, Cui Bono. Imitation of Byron.
- Hinc nunc præmium est, qui recta prava faciunt.
- There is a demand in these days for men who can make wrong conduct appear right.
- Terence, Phormio, VIII. 2. 6.
- Deceit and treachery skulk with hatred, but an honest spirit flieth with anger.
- Martin Farquhar Tupper, Of Hatred and Anger.
- Or shipwrecked, kindles on the coast
False fires, that others may be lost.
- William Wordsworth, To the Lady Fleming.
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
- Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- Dissimulation in youth is the forerunner of perfidy in old age; its first appearance is the fatal omen of growing depravity and future shame.
- Hugh Blair, p. 242.
- Wisdom and truth, the offspring of the sky, are immortal; while cunning and deception, the meteors of the earth, after glittering for a moment, must pass away.
- Robert Hall, p. 241.
- Lie not, neither to thyself nor men nor God. Let mouth and heart be one — beat and speak together, and make both felt in action. It is for cowards to lie.
- George Herbert, p. 242.
- Dishonor waits on perfidy. A man should blush to think a falsehood; it is the crime of cowards.
- Samuel Johnson, p. 242.
- I have seldom known any one who deserted truth in trifles that could be trusted in matters of importance.
- William Paley, p. 242.