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Latest comment: 2 years ago by Lmstearn in topic The Mysterious "Charles J.C. Lyall"
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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Anonymous page.

I don't know how to edit the main page, so you can do it for me![edit]

"Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies." Was said in Harry Potter by one of the Weasley twins :)

That's very old. At least as old as the old playground rhyme "Miss Lucy Had a Steamboat."

Quote of the day: If life was a book, I would rather write it with a pencil, than a permanent marker.


—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

Categorization of quotes beginning with "A ...".[edit]

I would categorize those quotes by their second word. I forgot when I have seen this done in a quotes book, but I can offer as evidence that library techniques follow this rule.

Anonymous or not?[edit]

I believe the "give a man a fire..." one is attributed to Terry Pratchett, but an Altavista search for "light a man on fire" AND "Terry Pratchett" only turned up 5 results. Worse still, there are no fewer than three different versions attributed to him. I have a feeling that a lot of Wikiquote is going to be like this... Paullusmagnus 22:19 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)

For the record, the canonical form is "Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.", and it's from the novel Jingo. (Source) —Paul A 02:21, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

"In 1945, peace broke out" is from Monty Python's The Funniest Joke in the World sketch.

Voe to defeated[edit]

Anyone have any idea what "Voe to defeated" means? Nanobug 01:45, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It probably means "Woe to the vanquished!" from the Latin, but it is incorrectly spelt...

No, "voe" is the first-person singular present subjunctive of voar, and not a lot of people know that.

Usefulness of the Anonymous page[edit]

Unfortunately, a lot of these aren't even quotations, in the usual sense. They're bumper stickers and buttons and "laws", repeated later as taglines and .sig files. They are anonymous in the least useful sense of the word.
-- Michael K. Smith 21:13, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The usefulness of this page is diminishing as it grows, with many trivial additions and variants accumulating on a very broad range of subjects. Ultimately more things have been said anonymously or without attribution, than by all the most famous and notable people combined. I think that it is probably best to simply add most anonymous quotes to the pages of themes that they address, where people have the option of identifying any sources that they believe to be correct. Though the Anonymous page was once suggested as a place for the posting of quotations of non-famous Wikiquote users, or their acquaintances, I think that User pages or talk pages should be used for that, and sources freely identified, or not, in accord with the contributor's wishes. ~ Kalki 08:29, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I wonder if at some time it may be a good idea to see a real “Anonymous Quotes” page put on Wikiquote’s Main Page, one of the likes of those found in most major quotation books? I feel this is lacking here at the moment, as, as far as I can see, half the quotes on this present page are popular saws and sayings, which have no specific source or author, and the other half have been made up for the occasion by anonymous humorists (probably at some time during the 20th Century); however, I have no clear idea as to which is which. I suggest that at some time a traditional “Anonymous” page be created on Wikiquote, when it is felt appropriate to do so by the administrators. And subsequently a new “Unknown Authors” or “Popular sayings” page be created for such remarks as are mostly found here now; one which can then be edited in the proper manner, and as required, as a page most suitable to the generally “spurious nature” of this sort of anonymous material. ~ Wise Raven June 2009

Ideally, notable anonymous quotes should have citations of notable sources that quote them. When cited, they would best be moved to appropriate theme articles. Articles on notable works of unknown authorship (e.g. Havelok the Dane) are also appropriate.
As Kalki notes above, anonymousness is a hopelessly overbroad criterion for the scope of an article. Yet, as noted by Ghostalker below, this page is not without usefulness. At best, it may be regarded as an extension of the Reference desk: a list of things for which it would be nice to find sources. At worst, it serves as a magnet to draw bogus postings ("bogons," as Neal Stephenson calls them [Anathem (2008) p. 796; cf. pp. 406–407, 795]) away from real articles. ~ Ningauble 16:44, 4 June 2009 (UTC)Reply

I find this page to be very useful, it acts as a buffer so the other archives don't get filled up with crap. Plus users who have nothing better to do can search down where these quotes belong, not to mention those users who recognize certain quotes and put them where they belong. I'd rather have a place for people to dump unknown quotes, then have them fill up the organized spots.

~ Ghostalker 04:24, 21 Oct 2004 (EST)

In the nursery rhyme 'Humpty Dumpty' where does it say that he's an egg?[edit]

Humpty Dumpty is in various "poems" from Fritzgerald Herring ( not spelt how i did) in the earlier rhyms it was allready established that he was an egg…

…however the final part of the rhyme is the bit that was remembered…

Stalin/Manson/Red Alert quote[edit]

If no one complains, I'm going to redo the two notes below the (paraphrased) "Kill one man, it's a tragedy and an outrage; kill 20,000, it's a statistic" stating that 1) It may be a paraphrase from Fight Song by Marilyn Manson and 2)That it was a quote from the Red Alert game, which preceded that song. It seems they both are trying to pin the originator of this phrase within the modern realm, where the original submission attributes it to Joseph Stalin, which predates both significantly. I plan to just generalize those into 1) It was in the song and 2) it was in the game. Anyone disagree? -- 20:47, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The quote needs to be removed, as it is not an anonymous quote! Stalin is well known for saying this after the death of his wife. If Stalin said it first its not anonymous nor does it have anything to do with Marilyn Manson or Red Alert 2! If someone has a problem with me removing this can they please give legitimate reasons why, as when I did so earlier, the change was reversed. 14.47 19th May 2005

Honestly, did someone try to reverse that?

Bus stops and train stops[edit]

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops.

What's this supposed to mean?

To the comment above: A bus stops at a bus station. A train stops at a train station. Thus, work stops at a workstation.

Quotation Placement[edit]

I would suggest going to to find the origins

Nathaniel Zhou

Known Quotes[edit]

"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." - Erica Jong

(Already on page on Erica Jong, simply removed from here.)

"Expect the best. Prepare for the worst." - Zig Ziglar [source]

(Added to existing page on Zig Ziglar, removed from here.)

"History is just one bloody thing after another." - line spoken by character Rudge in The History Boys, a play by Alan Bennett

(Not added to or removed from any page)

T-Shirts and Bumper Stickers[edit]

Perhaps a seperate page should be started for quotes which are known to come from t-shirts or bumper stickers and nowhere else, simply to help with the clutter on this page. As it stands, little quips like that will basically sit on this page forever.

Comments? 04:24, 22 February 2006 (UTC)--Reply

Aye, that is an entirely good suggestion. This page seems to currently be more of a storage area than a sorting station. Any ideas on what to call that sort of page? 06:34, 29 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

Anonymous quote[edit]

Truth is universal.

Removing unnotable, unsourceable quotes[edit]

This article is being used as a dumping ground for anything that someone thinks is witty, regardless of how well-known the quote is. I would suggest that this is not what this article should be used for. Wikiquote collects notable quotes. The notability usually comes from the quotee (backed up by wiki-reliable sources). But it can include well-known expressions which we try to track down quotees for, which is a major purpose for the "Anonymous" article.

I suspect that many editors feel that we don't need to worry about sourcing here, because by definition, quotes from "Anonymous" don't have a known origin. But this is confusing the idea of citing quotees with sourcing the quotes. A "source", by Wikimedia standards, is a reliable publication that cites the information included in a Wikimedia project article. That means that it is possible to require that all quotes, even ones from "Anonymous", have cited sources. They could take the form of an entry in a quote compendium like Bartlett's or a reference in a book, newspaper, magazine, film, or TV show, along the lines of"someone once said…". They should not include citations of other quote sites, as such sites provide no source information themselves and are not considered reliable.

Because of the tendency to add anything and everything to this article, I have begun weeding out quotes that I can't even find on the Internet through Google (a very low bar indeed), plus anything else that sounds like someone just made it up, seems rather inane, or is an unmemorable variation on a more famous quote. Editors wishing to add quotes should consider that, if we really decide to clean this article up, nearly every single existing quote could be deleted merely on the basis of lack of source. I doubt anybody wants to do this, but I think we need to push hard against the tide of junk quotes. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 05:07, 27 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.[edit]

This quote was already on the James Dean page, so I just removed it. I left the "D", though, hope that's the way to do it... SkaryMonk 21:41, 10 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

That's fine. Thanks for doing this. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 07:28, 11 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

It is titled 'anonymous,' correct?[edit]

Why do so many of the quotes on this page have their authors listed below them? It kind of defeats the point of 'anonymous,' doesn't it? 01:39, 20 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

Half of these aren't even clever[edit]

Um, cleverness should not determine whether or not a quote is displayed.

yeah I agree, I'm going through now, and putting some of these quotes to their correct authors, and deleting them from this page.

I'm pretty sure that alot of people just come on here and put down their variations of a famous quote, or a quote they read in a really old book that's not very popular and put it down hoping that someday it would be famous and they could reveal themselves as the creators of it. And the result is the quotes from the L section: Life sucks until it stops, life that is, not the sucking. and other quotes that seem would obviously have an origin in recent history since "sucks" hasn't been used in the negative way we use it now for very long.


Well, this is certianly by anonymous, but is it really relevant? -Annon3—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

Agreed. It is removed from Anonymous#P. --Aphaia 03:21, 5 June 2007 (UTC)Reply

Anonymous credited quotes?![edit]

Some quote accompanied with names. (Not "attributed to" but simply, names). If those quotes are credited, they should be removed from this page and go to their legitimate author? Or those names signifies a different thing from credit? --Aphaia 07:35, 24 July 2007 (UTC)Reply

"We are Legion"[edit]

There's an "anonymous" quotation that reads: WE ARE LEGION (in caps)

The person who added it obviously knows next-to-nothing about the quotation itself. I suspect (s)he gleaned it from some other source (hence the capitalisation), rather than the original source (Mark 5:10, and other gospels) from which it is varied.

I feel that this should be mentioned on the page (if we decide to keep the quotation), as it is good to cite a variation's original source.

If we decide to move it to a more appropriate page, then could someone else do this (I'm unfamiliar with Wikiquote). Thankyou.

Protip: lurk moar 05:09, 6 March 2008 (UTC)Reply

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.[edit]

"What we learn from history is that no one learns from history." This slight variation is on the Otto Van Bismark page, I am taking it off of this page if anyone disagrees feel free to put it back on. Conningcris 00:30, 15 May 2008 (UTC)Reply


Can somone please add a quote for "Z".Im not shure if ZAMBOIKIE counts as one but its a start there is no I in retardation

Nothing is Impossible[edit]

"Nothing is impossible, only improbable." Is definitely found in some variation in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy and is a repeated theme throughout.

Cleanup of Identified Quotes[edit]

The quotes at the bottom of the page should be clearly sourced and moved to the appropriate pages, also any quote with a suggested source should be reviewed and moved to the correct location if applicable.

Another thought is that having these well-known quotes with suggested sources be left on the page so those who do not know the source of a well-known quote or think there could be no claim to a quote can still find it here.

But, then again, that would defeat the purpose of being able to search Wikiquote.

Should "Anonymity" redirect here?[edit]

Is it really that likely that someone looking for "anonymity" is more interested in a list of unattributed quotes than in a list of quotes related to the theme of anonymity? Maybe this term should be redirected elsewhere, deleted, or given its own page? B7T 11:46, 28 September 2009 (UTC)Reply

Stupid User's Quotes[edit]

It looks like people are using this list to put their own quotes in, often with their name after. This page isn't for the uninteligent to reword other people's quotes and not get any disernable credit for it anyway, more's the pity. Can somebody tell these tiresome individuals to stop?

<edit> unintelligent, discernible

just want to add a line in history anonymous lines : ..the impossible just takes a little longer.. PLEASE BE SO KIND TO PUT THIS LINE WHERE IT BELONGS THANKS IN ADVANCE

i don't wanna take time to learn how to edit your .. page but someone _there_ should be clever, decent and patient enough to enlist some of clever sayings on comments page on your history list of anonymous quotes. I personally ( :) think this is a phrase important to evolution of human race and i didn't invented it (dr. alban - hello africa) so PLEASE ___ON MY KNEES___



Many of the identified...[edit]

Many of them don't have their source identified: the user posted one instance where it was uttered, probably not the original source. Many of them look like popular sayings and at least the "Stop the World – I Want to Get Off" musical is not the origin of the quote, as the phrase is clearly older. 18:13, 25 August 2010 (UTC)Reply

That's what she said![edit]

The identified item "That's what she said!" is incorrectly attributed as originating from NBC television show "The Office." This phrase has appeared in several items prior to the debut of "The Office" and its origin is still unknown. A notable example of this phrase is a "King of the Hill" episode that aired a full year prior to the debut of "The Office." Ironically enough, the episode in question was also entitled "That's What She Said". I suggest this item be replaced in the "unidentified" body of quotations until there is a true origin found, rather than attributing it to incessant use in a particular recent television show. -- 02:32, 13 September 2010 (UTC)Reply

Anonymous Quote.. :)[edit]

There's always a difference.. between a best friend and a True* best friend. It takes a lot of pain and a lot of experience.. to find that difference, and once found, it hurts even more to accept it. But that done, it can be the best discovery of your life, and possibly one that you'd never regret.

new quotes[edit]

never give up, don't ever let your adversary see u bleed, always have a way out. - Theodore Laning


"Better late than never"

There is a reply, not anon "Beter never late" Eric Sowerby Drake. Poet, Classics and English Scholar Historygypsy 15:03, 22 August 2011 (UTC)Reply

And Another[edit]

He who laughs last, didn't get the joke Historygypsy 15:04, 22 August 2011 (UTC)Reply

Dorothy Parker "you can lead a..." misquotation[edit]

Missed a trick - and the joke - here. The quotation came out of a parlour game that Parker was playing with friends, along the lines of the one sometimes known as 'Contraband', in which one is given an improbable word and required to 'smuggle' it into the conversation. She was given a word meaning "the art or practice of garden cultivation and management", and so the quote should read:

"You can lead a horticulture but you cannot make her think."

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire?[edit]

umm shouldn't it be vertical expression? At least that makes more sense.

No, the correct quote here is, "Intercourse is the perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire." Or possibly so. Usually attributed to Woody Allen.

It's not the fall that kills you — it's the sudden stop at the end[edit]

This phrase appears in "Down by Law" (a 1986 film by Jim Jarmush) as a sign on the wall in the episode where Zack (Tom Waits) returns home at dawn. =hob

  • Widely attributed online to Douglas Adams. Any source for this?

It has to be older than Douglas Adams. It is paraphrased in Percy Sledge’s 1968 song “Sudden Stop” (“It’s not the fall/that hurts at all/it’s the sudden stop”). Looking for the real source but haven’t found it yet.

Keep on trucking![edit]

Robert Crumb popularized this in the form "Keep on truckin'" A quote attributed to Mr. Crumb (on his page) says the words came from a Blind Boy Fuller song from 1935, but he didn't say which song. --Robkelk (talk) 01:25, 24 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Please delete 'Don't feed the monkeys! They like soul-food best!' It's offensive, racist, and most importantly not even notorious. A google-search reveals only approx 12 results, most of which seem to be merely derivative of the wikiquote list given here.

Racist, Offensive and Not Notorious - Please Delete[edit]

Please delete 'Don't feed the monkeys! They like soul-food best!' It's offensive, racist, and most importantly not even notorious. A google-search reveals only approx 12 results, most of which seem to be merely derivative of the wikiquote list given here.


      Modaib (talk) 00:42, 15 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

The Mysterious "Charles J.C. Lyall"[edit]

Having posted a query over here, it's a "sit and wait" until more info comes to hand. If nothing forthcoming in the months or years ahead, should the quotes be then posted with an "attributed to Charles J.C. Lyall (unknown)" tag or similar?--Lmstearn (talk) 05:05, 5 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

Did you check the RME files accompanying the Aphorism files you linked to in your post { They contain an address as of June 1993 in Kingman, Alberta, Canada, for the Charles J. C. Lyall who created the C program and the aphorism files. Shirley Powell (talk) 17:37, 1 August 2019 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for checking- must have missed it entirely! Yes there is the address, and the program itself is copyright 1987. There are many other names mentioned in the Murphy.c file as well- it appears from that sourcee CJC Lyall is the legitimate author of those quotes.- Lmstearn (talk) 12:31, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
Here are the quotes- not sure exactly how they should present in the Wikiquote areas:
Feminist theologians tell us that God is female. But, what about the devil? What about her?
Never tell an accountant that he is a credit to his profession. A good accountant is a debit to his profession.
When a person says that technology is "out of control", he usually means that it is out of his control. This is usually a good thing.
A cynic is a person who refuses to share your illusions.
The road to affluence is paved with good inventions
Lyall's Regret: Waist not, diet not.- Lmstearn (talk) 12:42, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply


The page is supposed to be for annonymous quotes but some of the quotes in the page are attributed to named people. I can't edit so will someone else take care of it? 07:51, 2 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

Anonymous Quote Fun Times[edit]

After you die everything you did will eventually be forgotten


this page exists without citations? really? so i can add anytying i want? 2602:304:CFD0:6350:8D42:230D:DDB9:8163 07:39, 17 March 2018 (UTC)Reply

Small grammar correction.[edit]

The quote 'Don't drive faster then your guardian angel can fly!' should have then replaced by than, or appended with [sic].

History quote[edit]

A quote featured on the main page is: History is just one bloody thing after another.

In fact I recall that Alan Bennett's play 'The History Boys' contains the line:
“How do I define history? It's just one fucking thing after another.”

I don't know if the main page needs adjusting in this regard.

Wheatfromchaff (talk) 20:58, 10 August 2021 (UTC)Reply