From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Manners set expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.

There is no outward mark of politeness that does not have a profound moral reason. The right education would be that which taught the outward mark and the moral reason together.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


  • He was the mildest manner'd man
    That ever scuttled ship or cut a throat.
  • Manners must adorn knowledge, and smooth its way through the world. Like a great rough diamond, it may do very well in a closet by way of curiosity, and also for its intrinsic value; but it will never be worn, nor shine, if it is not polished.
  • We ought to esteem him alone an agreeable and good-natured man, who, in his daily intercourse with others, behaves in such a manner as friends usually behave to each other. For as a person of that rustic character appears, wherever he comes, like a mere stranger: so, on the contrary, a polite man, wherever he goes, seems as easy as if he were amongst his intimate friends and acquaintance.
  • A moral, sensible, and well-bred man
    Will not affront me, and no other can.
  • Etiquette...means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely essential.
  • Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy.
  • Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.
  • Good manners without sincerity are like a beautiful dead lady.
  • Ah, ah Sir Thomas, Honores mutant Mores.
    Manners (Lord Rutland). To Sir Thomas More.
    Not so, in faith, but have a care lest we translate the proverb and say, 'Honours change Manners.'
    Answer of Sir Thomas More to Manners.
  • Eye nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies,
    And catch the manners, living as they rise;
    Laugh where we must, be candid where we can,
    But vindicate the ways of God to man.
  • The essence of good manners consists in making it clear that one has no wish to hurt. When it is clearly necessary to hurt, it must be done in such a way as to make it evident that the necessity is felt to be regrettable.
  • Manners consist in pretending that we think as well of others as of ourselves. Manners are necessary because, as a rule, there is a pretence; when our good opinion of others is genuine, manners look after themselves.
    Perhaps instead of teaching manners, parents should teach the statistical probability that the person you are speaking to is just as good as you are. It is difficult to believe this; very few of us do, in our instincts, believe it. One's own ego seems so incomparably more sensitive, more perceptive, wiser and more profound than other people's. Yet there must be very few of whom this is true, and it is not likely that oneself is one of those few. There is nothing like viewing oneself statistically as a means both to good manners and to good morals.
  • All Politeness is owing to Liberty. We polish one another, and rub off our Corners and rough Sides by a sort of amicable Collision. To restrain this, is inevitably to bring a Rust upon Mens Understandings.
  • Politeness is the art of choosing among one's real thoughts.
    • Abel Stevens, Life of Mme. de Staël.
  • Good manners. They're forgotten in America. I think it's bad manners to stand around in public with ripped jeans and your hair in a mess, holding a Starbucks.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 493-94.
  • Nobody ought to have been able to resist her coaxing manner; and nobody had any business to try. Yet she never seemed to know it was her manner at all. That was the best of it.
  • Fine manners need the support of fine manners in others.
  • Das Betragen ist ein Spiegel in welchem jeder sein Bild zeigt.
    • Translation: Behavior is a mirror in which every one shows his image.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Die Wahlverwandtschaften, II, 5, Aus Ottiliens Tagebuche.
  • The mildest manners with the bravest mind.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book XXIV, line 963. Pope's translation.
  • My lords, we are vertebrate animals, we are mammalia! My learned friend's manner would be intolerable in Almighty God to a black beetle.
  • We call it only pretty Fanny's way.
  • "What sort of a doctor is he?" "Well, I don't know much about his ability; but he's got a very good bedside manner."
    • Punch, March 15, 1884, accompanying a drawing by G. Du Maurier.
  • Quæ fuerant vitia mores sunt.
    • What once were vices, are now the manners of the day.
    • Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XXXIX.
  • Ecrivez les injures sur le sable,
    Mais les bienfaits sur le marbre.
    • Write injuries in dust,
      But kindnesses in marble.
    • French saying.
  • Her manners had not that repose
    Which stamps the caste of Vere de Vere.
  • Ut homo est, ita morem geras.
    • Suit your manner to the man.
    • Terence, Adelphi, III. 3. 78.
  • Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit.
    • Obsequiousness begets friends; truth, hatred.
    • Terence, Andria, I. 1. 41.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: