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I told you when I came I was a stranger. ~ Leonard Cohen

Strangers are people whom one does not know, and may in particular be outsiders, foreigners, or newcomers.

Alphabetized by author or source.


What seemed the centre of the Stranger's form lay open to my view… ~ Edwin Abbott Abbott
  • Describing myself as a stranger I besought the King to give me some account of his dominions. But I had the greatest possible difficulty in obtaining any information on points that really interested me; for the Monarch could not refrain from constantly assuming that whatever was familiar to him must also be known to me and that I was simulating ignorance in jest. However, by persevering questions I elicited the following facts:
    It seemed that this poor ignorant Monarch — as he called himself — was persuaded that the Straight Line which he called his Kingdom, and in which he passed his existence, constituted the whole of the world, and indeed the whole of Space. Not being able either to move or to see, save in his Straight Line, he had no conception of anything out of it.
  • I brought my hardest right angle into violent collision with the Stranger, pressing on him with a force sufficient to have destroyed any ordinary Circle: but I could feel him slowly and unarrestably slipping from my contact; no edging to the right nor to the left, but moving somehow out of the world, and vanishing to nothing. Soon there was a blank. But still I heard the Intruder's voice.
  • I looked, and, behold, a new world! There stood before me, visibly incorporate, all that I had before inferred, conjectured, dreamed, of perfect Circular beauty. What seemed the centre of the Stranger's form lay open to my view: yet I could see no heart, nor lungs, nor arteries, only a beautiful harmonious Something — for which I had no words; but you, my Readers in Spaceland, would call it the surface of the Sphere.
  • And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.
  • I told you when I came I was a stranger.
  • It's you my love, you who are the stranger.
  • Farewell to ye all! In the land of the stranger I rise or I fall.
    • Davy Crockett (att.), Col. Crockett's Exploits and Adventures in Texas (1836), Ch. 2
  • The stranger is simply a friend I haven't met yet.
  • Oh my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger.
    Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions.
  • We die to each other daily.
    What we know of other people
    Is only our memory of the moments
    During which we knew them. And they have changed since then.
    To pretend that they and we are the same
    Is a useful and convenient social convention
    Which must sometimes broken. We must also remember
    That at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.
  • He wanted them to meet as the completest of strangers — strangers-across-the-seas — all the more strangers because they knew each other already. He wanted them to meet far from their friends and relatives — in a place without a past, without history, free, really free, two people coming together with the utter freedom of strangers.
  • For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
  • People far too easily neglect or abuse us, as soon as we become intimate with them. To live pleasantly, one must almost always remain a stranger in the crowd.
As I look around at these strangers in town, I guess the only stranger is me. ~ Jeff Lynne
  • As I look around at these strangers in town, I guess the only stranger is me.
    As I see what they've done to this place that I love, shame is all that I feel.
  • I have been a stranger in a strange land.
    • Moses, Exodus 2:22 (KJV)
    • I have been a stranger in a foreign land.
      • Jewish Publication Society translation (1985; 1999)
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. ~ Paul of Tarsus
  • Ants and savages put strangers to death.
  • The stranger has no friend, unless it be a stranger.
    • Saadi, Gulistan (1258), tr. James Ross, Ch. 3, story 28
  • He will deal harshly by a stranger who has not been himself often a traveller and stranger.
    • Saadi, Gulistan (1258), tr. James Ross, Ch. 3, story 28
  • He had a bitter pain in his heart, for he knew that she was still a stranger to him and his hungry love was destined ever to remain unsatisfied.
  • All colors and blends of Americans have somewhat the same tendencies. It's a breed — selected out by accident. And so we're overbrave and overfearful — we're kind and cruel as children. We're overfriendly and at the same time frightened of strangers.
  • Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
    You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me
    as of a dream,)
    I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,

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