Talk:Winston Churchill

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Winston Churchill page.


/Archive 1

... it costs nothing to be polite ...[edit]

When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.

This quote was already in the Winston Churchill article, in the Unsourced section. I have added a more specific, sourced, entry in the Post-war years section. I have not removed the older quote entry as yet. Archimedes 20:41, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

A Fight Without Hope[edit]

I have added this fairly well-known quote from The Gathering Storm in the Post-war years section. I have included the chapter name as part of my source information in the hope that this will serve as well as a specific page citation, since page may vary depending on the edition.

This quote is mentioned in a previous Talk section (Another pre-WWII quote), which called for its addition to the Churchill article.

Has anyone proposed grouping all quotes from The Second World War in a separate section? Archimedes 22:06, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Never believe war will be smooth and easy[edit]

I have removed a duplicate of this quote from the beginning of the Sourced section; corrected the dead link to the article in The Forward, and moved this comment to follow the remaining instance of the quote ( which, fwiw, is from My Early Life ); and added page # info for the quote. Archimedes 16:47, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

An Unresolved Issue[edit]

In the course of making some other changes, I came across the following:

From the (archived) Talk:Winston Churchill page, section Restoring a (mostly) chronological order :

In the process of editing I could not find a definite source or date for the following quotation. It is an interesting statement, but without a citation to a particular work, or a date for a traceable speech, I felt that it does not yet belong in the sourced section, and I moved it to the attributed section, with comments:

  • It is the habit of the boa constrictor to besmear the body of his victim with a foul slime before he devours it; and there are many people in England, and perhaps elsewhere, who seem to be unable to contemplate military operations for clear political objects, unless they can cajole themselves into the belief that their enemy are utterly and hopelessly vile… This may be very comforting to philanthropic persons at home; but when an army in the field becomes imbued with the idea that the enemy are vermin who cumber the earth, instances of barbarity may very easily be the outcome. This unmeasured condemnation is moreover as unjust as it is dangerous and unnecessary.
    • This statement was originally posted with a claim that it had been made in a speech to the House of Commons on Horatio Kitchener's destruction of the tomb of Muhammad Ahmad, but with no date provided, or as yet determinable. It has also been cited in at least one incident as having come from The River War vol. ii., p. 394, but such passages do not occur in the 1902 edition available from Project Gutenberg. In that edition the destruction of the tomb is mentioned as occurring in Battle of Omdurman without much comment. It seems to be a statement that might be made about attitudes in almost any war, but as yet no definite citation has been provided.

That's it for now... ~ Achilles 16:14, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

From the Wikipedia article for The River War :

The River War was Churchill's second published book after The Story of the Malakand Field Force, and originally filled two volumes with over 1000 pages in 1899. The River War was subsequently abridged to one volume in 1902.

The unabridged version contains many illustrations with drawings, photogravures, and colored maps. It also contains vivid narratives of personal adventures of the author, his views on British expansionism, passages of deep reflection about the requirements of a civilized government, criticism of military and political leaders and religion. The first edition was reviewed by The Times, which described it as containing material sufficient for two good books and one bad one, with the bad one being the more interesting.

About the British attitude to war: " ... there are many people in England, and perhaps elsewhere, who seem to be unable to contemplate military operations for clear political objects, unless they can cajole themselves into the belief that their enemy are utterly and hopelessly vile. To this end the Dervishes, from the Mahdi and the Khalifa downwards, have been loaded with every variety of abuse and charged with all conceivable crimes. This may be very comforting to philanthropic persons at home; but when an army in the field becomes imbued with the idea that that the enemy are vermin who cumber the earth, instances of barbarity may easily be the outcome. This unmeasured condemnation is moreover as unjust as it is dangerous and unnecessary... We are told that the British and Egyptian armies entered Omdurman to free the people from the Khalifa's yoke. Never were rescuers more unwelcome." [ref] cite book|author= Peter de Menddelssohn| title=The Age of Churchill: Heritage and Adventure 1874-1911 |publisher= Thames and Hudson |place=London |year=1961 | page=132 : Mendelssohn quotes The River War, Vol. II, pp. 394-395.[/ref]

1902 abridged, one-volume edition: In 1902 Churchill had become a member of parliament. It was thought that the commentary about some of the people mentioned had better be excised in a revised edition. The book was thus edited down to one single volume, removing approximately one third of the total.

Much of the removed content included passages where Churchill recounted his own experiences, as he had done in other works, such as The Story of the Malakand Field Force. This removal gave the revised book a somewhat different feel to these others, and to its original form. Other removals included discussions on the ethics of warfare and Churchill's own opinions of events. The revised book was described as an authoritative history of the war.[ref]Peter de Menddelssohn (1961). The Age of Churchill: Heritage and Adventure 1874-1911. London: Thames and Hudson. p. 133. [/ref]

The book was republished numerous times over the twentieth century, with increasing amounts of excisions.

[Source:] Winston S. Churchill (1899). The River War (first edition, two volumes). London: Longmans, Green & Co.. 

I feel this Wikipedia entry cleary documents that the quote in question is from the first edition of the River War, and the Wikiquote entry should be updated accordingly. (Check the citation info in the Wikipedia article ...)

Update made. Archimedes (talk) 19:46, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

He was a gallant man ...[edit]

I have deleted this "quote", which was at the end of the section On childhood and youth, because I believe it is spurious ( and probably vandalism ). I have tried various searches in an attempt to locate more info, but the only items that I found were two Google results that were directly related to this Wikiquote article. It is also grammatically incorrect, makes no sense, etcetera. It is the sole contribution made by an anonymous user at IP address on 19 November 2006. Archimedes (talk) 18:17, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Always prepared for martyrdom[edit]

Added this quote to the section On childhood and youth (which is where a large # of other quotes from My Early Life are already recorded), with page info and a link to the Wikipedia article for My Early Life; have not yet removed duplicate entry in the Unsourced section. Archimedes (talk) 19:35, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

On Joan of Arc[edit]

I have placed a copy of this quote, with page # info, in the section A History of the English-Speaking Peoples; have not yet removed entry from the Unsourced section. Archimedes (talk) 20:13, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Miscellaneous Updates[edit]

I have now removed a number of duplicate quotes from the Unsourced section; also tried to restore that section to alphabetical order of quotes; and indented some comments there. Archimedes (talk) 03:00, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Entries for the Story of the Malakand Field Force ; et. al.[edit]

Updated/reordered these quotes, including addition of a quote from the Unsourced section ( & deletion from that section ). Archimedes (talk) 04:13, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Other edits for name consistency [My Early Life] & other minor adjustments. Archimedes (talk) 17:46, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Be Ye Men of Valour : Dates et. al.[edit]

Added entry for this radio broadcast; other minor cleanup also. I am wondering how others feel regarding their preferred format for dates. I see many dates in the form (1940-05-19), with links: I myself prefer the format (May 19, 1940) and I'm not sure having the links really adds a great deal. Archimedes (talk) 19:24, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

More minor cleanup; removed another duplicate quote. Archimedes (talk) 02:39, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Even more clean-up; moved some items to (hopefully) more appropriate locations; other minor edits. Archimedes (talk) 21:24, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

The fascists of the future will be called anti-fascists[edit]

I've seen this quote (with small variations) many times, but I'm having trouble finding the source. Can anyone shed some light on the source of the quote, or if it was said by Churchill at all or if it's been proven false altogether? --Thecakeisalie 13:18, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

false. search for Ignazio Silone.

I actually contacted the Churchill Society and asked them if Winston Churchill had ever said "the fascists of the future will be called anti-fascists" They replied saying there was absolutely no evidence anywhere of him ever saying is and so, therefore, he didn't say it. For some reason it has been attributed to him incorrectly. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:56, 2 May 2010

It can't be traced back to Silone either 16:10, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
"therefore, he didn't say it" -- that's not valid reasoning. Fche (talk) 15:54, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
Actually, it is valid when you include the premise that if someone coined a famous quote, there would necessarily be evidence of it (since it would have become famous by their saying it). Also, if there is no evidence something happened or a clear reason believe it did, so we switch to the default "it didn't" position.
That is not logical. In his time it is very likely many speeches were never recorded by any means and the only evidence would be hearsay for which there is plenty for this particular attribution. Lack of evidence of A is not proof of the opposite of A. Negative proof fallacy.
it is logical but perhaps not true, the fallacy only applies when there is an absence of proof not when there is proof of absence, if the premise is true that if Churchill said X there should be a record of it than the absence of any record of it is proof its just weak proof for the reasons you stated.
it is a modus tollens argument.

I've seen this quote attributed to different Italian writers but I could never find a definite source. 00:16, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

A similar quote is by another Italian writer, this one confirmed: "In Italia i fascisti si dividono in due categorie: i fascisti e gli antifascisti." [1] (In Italy there are two types of fascists: fascists and anti-fascists. Turion (talk) 11:36, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Ennio Flaiano Mikedelsol (talk) 08:23, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

I've heard somewhere about Churchill saying it and did some research. It was attributed to Huey Long ("When the United States gets fascism it will call it anti-fascism") by american papers in 1930s and 1940s however in 1951 historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. contacted Robert Cantwell to whom Long is supposed to have said the famous quote.

Mr. Cantwell informs me (June 6, 1951), “It is not what Long said in his talk with me; but it is not basically opposed to what he said.” Actually the epigram ascribed to Long would be much more characteristic of someone like Lawrence Dennis

In a book by Lawrence Dennis "The Coming American Fascism" (1936) in the introduction segment Dennis writes

"The fascism most to be feared is the fascism sailing under false colors. Such a type of fascism will be the worse for the duplicity of its leaders, and much of the blame will attach to those soft-thinking liberal leaders who have sought to make of fascism a synonym for all that is socially iniquitous instead of a descriptive for a rational and workable social scheme to which they happen to be opposed."

Give me a pig![edit]

Is there any source of the "pigs treat us as equals"-quote that attributes it to WC before, say, 1980? All the books I've found with it are suspiciously recent. 09:39, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Hey this page has to many quotes from a copyright source. Shouldn't anyone trim this?(StarWarsFanBoy 20:53, 13 January 2010 (UTC))

"Champagne should be dry, cold, and free."[edit]

Doing a google gives multiple pages saying that to be WC... but no clear sources really...

Is it him? Prob ably not you'd think? but can it be proven to be a missquote? 22:54, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Naval traditions quote in 'Misattributed.'[edit]

Wasn't misattributed, but isn't exactly accurate, either.

According to William Manchester ("The Last Lion, Volume 1: Visions Of Glory", Laurel Trade ppbk, 1983), Churchill proposed a change in strategy at a conference with Royal Navy admirals (p443, paragraph 2). They accused him of impugning the traditions of the Royal Navy, to which his reply was: "And what are they? I can tell you in three words. Rum, sodomy and the lash. Good morning, gentlemen."



hello (14/07/2010)

one of the quotes in this page goes as follows:

   * Bessie Braddock: Winston, you are drunk, and what's more, you are disgustingly drunk.
     Churchill: Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you   will still be disgustingly ugly.

if you look at the article about Bessie Braddock, you will find that :

She is often erroneously credited with a celebrated exchange of insults with Winston Churchill, also ascribed to Nancy Astor:

   Braddock: "Winston, you are drunk, and what's more you are disgustingly drunk."
   Churchill: "Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly."[4][5]

this issue needs to be resolved


Yuval shifriss, Israel

I think the one which he is supposed to have exchanged with Nancy Astor is:

   Lady Astor:  If you were my husband I would put arsenic in your coffee.
   Churchill: Madam, if you were my wife I would drink it.

Simon, England

"A joke is a very serious thing"[edit]

Thousands of websites attribute this quote to Winston Churchill. Can anybody verify it? Thanks.-- 18:20, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Added it to the "misattributed" section, it's actually from Charles Churchill. Hypnosifl 07:40, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

If you have an important point to make...[edit]

"If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack."

I have seen this attributed to him various times, does anyone have a source for this? --UltraMagnus 09:29, 26 September 2010 (UTC)


For myself, I am an optimist — it does not seem to be much use being anything else.
  • I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod.
  • Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.
  • Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.
  • Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
  • Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
  • A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him.
  • Although personally I am quite content with existing explosives, I feel we must not stand in the path of improvement.
  • An old town clerk looking at European affairs through the wrong end of a municipal drainpipe
  • He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
  • He is the man who brought pederasty into disrepute.
  • His ear is so close to the ground, it has locusts in it.
  • Eating my own words has never given me indigestion.
  • If you wanted nothing done at all, Balfour was the man for the job.
  • I like a man who grins when he fights.
  • I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
  • I must warn him that he runs a very grave risk of falling into senility before he is overtaken by age.
    • Churchill's interruption to an MP's rambling speech against his wartime policies.
  • I neither want it [brandy] nor need it, but I should think it pretty hazardous to interfere with the ineradicable habit of a lifetime.
  • I think I can save the British Empire from anything — except the British.
    • On the British intellectuals and their severe criticisms of Britain.
  • If you are going through hell, keep going.
  • In attack most daring, in defence most cunning, in endurance most steadfast, they performed a feat of arms which will be remembered and recounted as long as the virtues of courage and resolution have power to move the hearts of men. (on the First Airborne Division at Arnhem)
  • In war it does not matter who is right, but who is left.
  • Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.
  • One must regard the hyphen as a blemish to be avoided whenever possible.
  • One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.
  • Personally I am of the opinion that four assessments in three days is excessive, especially in an assessment-free week.
    • Addressed to the students of All Saints' College, Australia, remarking on their excessively heavy workload. (needs a date or other sourcing)
  • Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential. [citation needed]
    • This may be an old military aphorism.
  • So little time, so much to do.
    • On one occasion during an election campaign Churchill was speaking in a church hall in rural England. The hall was decorated in the well accepted colour scheme of that era – mission brown up to shoulder height, then cream up to and including the ceiling. When he finished his speech Churchill called for questions. The first came from a middle-aged woman dressed in country tweeds. "Mr Churchill, I am a member of the Temperance League," she said, "My local branch has been examining your use of alcohol. Are you aware Prime Minister that, during your lifetime to date you have consumed enough alcohol to fill this hall up to here" stretching her arm dramatically to indicate the mission brown zone on the wall. "We want to know what you intend to do about it." Churchill looked at the woman, followed her arm to the top of the mission brown zone, and then slowly allowed his gaze to move up through the cream zone to the ceiling. "So little time, so much to do" he said.
  • Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
  • The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter.
    • Variant: The best argument against democracy is a five-minute talk with the average voter.
  • The honourable gentleman should not really generate more indignation than he can conveniently contain.
    • To an MP who kept standing and interrupting him.
  • The price of greatness is responsibility.
    • Variant: The price of leadership is responsibilty.
  • There are a terrible lot of lies going around the world, and the worst of it is half of them are true.
  • The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning.
  • The United States invariably does the right thing, after having exhausted every other alternative.
    • Variant: You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
  • This is Winston Churchill speaking. If you have a microphone in my room, it is a waste of time. I do not talk in my sleep.
    • [When told his room was possibly bugged]
  • Unless some effective world supergovernment for the purpose of preventing war can be set up ... the prospects for peace and human progress are dark ... If ... it is found possible to build a world organization of irresistible force and inviolable authority for the purpose of securing peace, there are no limits to the blessings which all men enjoy and share.
    • Variant: Unless we establish some form of world government, it will not be possible for us to avert a World War III in the future.
  • We will not say thereafter that the Greeks fight like heroes, but heroes fight like the Greeks!
    • Statement after the news of Greek victory against fascist Italy
  • When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.
  • Why stand when you can sit?
  • Yes, now bugger off.
    • To his grandson after he asked if he was the greatest man alive.
  • You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.
  • Makes you proud to be British doesn't it?
    • Upon being told that a backbench MP had been caught by the press performing indecent acts with a guardsman in St James' Park during one of the coldest February nights in 30 years
    • w:Ian Harvey (politician)
  • I am not a pillar of the church. I am more of a flying buttress: I support it from the outside.

Anecdotal dialogue[edit]

Most of these Churchill anecdotes have been widely reported.
Unless sources are specifically provided, no assumptions should be made about the accuracy of these accounts.

  • Shortly before George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play Pygmalion received its first English performance at His Majesty’s Theatre in London
    (on April 11, 1914), Shaw sent the following telegram to Winston Churchill :
  • Churchill sent this telegram to Shaw in reply :
    • Cited in TELEGRAM ! , Linda Rosenkrantz, Macmillan (2003), pp. 55-56 ISBN 0805071016
  • Lady Nancy Astor: If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee!
    Churchill: And if I were your husband I would drink it!
    • George Thayer (who worked as research assistant to Randolph Churchill on the latter's biography of Winston), wrote in 1971 that this anecdote was false. In any case, this joke appears to be an old one. The January 3, 1900 issue of the Chicago Tribune printed the following: “‘If I had a husband like you,’ she said with concentrated scorn, ‘I'd give him poison!’ ‘Mad'm,’ he rejoined, looking her over with a feeble sort of smile, ‘If I had a wife like you I'd take it.’”
    • As cited in The Yale Book of quotations (2006), ed. Shapiro & Epstein, Yale University Press, p. 155 ISBN 0300107986
  • Bessie Braddock: Winston, you are drunk, and what's more, you are disgustingly drunk.
    Churchill: Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.
    • This exchange was confirmed to Richard Langworth by Ronald Golding, a bodyguard present on the occasion (as Churchill was leaving the House of Commons in 1946).
    • Note : in the 1934 movie It’s a Gift W.C. Field’s character, when told he is drunk, responds, ‘Yeah, and you’re crazy. But I’ll be sober tomorrow and you’ll be crazy the rest of your life.’
    • As cited in Churchill by Himself, ed. Langworth, PublicAffairs, p. 550 ISBN 1586486381
  • Young man (seeing Churchill leaving the bathroom without washing his hands): At Eton they taught us to wash our hands after using the toilet.
    Churchill: At Harrow they taught us not to piss on our hands.
  • Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
    Socialite: My goodness, Mr. Churchill ... Well, I suppose ... we would have to discuss terms, of course ...
    Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
    Socialite: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!
    Churchill: Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.

(This is a very old joke where the participants vary dramatically from each telling. It's very unlikely though not impossible that the joke originated from Churchill.)

  • Unknown MP, sitting behind Churchill on the back benches during his twilight years, to adjacent colleague, sotto voce: He's not what he used to be. They say he's gone senile.
    Churchill, turning around to face them: And they say he has gone deaf as well!
  • Upon being told of the Lord Privy Seal's arrival at Chequers :
    • Tell the privy seal, I am sealed to the privy, and can only deal with one shit at a time.
  • In the Urinals of the House of Commons, upon the entry of Clement Attlee, Churchill moves to the far end of the room:
    • Attlee: My dear Winston, I hope that despite being adversaries in the house, we could be Friends outside of it.
    • Churchill: Ah Clement, I have no quarrel with you, but in my experience, when you see something that's big and works well, you tend to want to nationalise it.

    • Last Quotation Reference with Attlee found at RationalWikiRationalWiki, as a portion was missing from the original reference. ResponsibleRichard (talk) 22:25, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

"Never before in the history of human endeavour have so many..."[edit]

Isn't that a rather famous Churchill quote? I couldn't find it on the page and don't know exactly how it goes...

I think you'll find that the actual quote is "Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few."
Agent0061 12:39, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

I remember it as: 'Never did so few people, torture so many others, in so short a period of time' on his boarding school teachers.It might be incorrect though. I read some 40 years ago. Forgot the source.

We have our own dream...[edit]

This quote appears in the article 'Later life of Winston Churchill' on Wikipedia. Being very new to Wikiquote, I do not want to make any changes just yet. But I believe this to be a very important and relevant quote. Perhaps one of the editors with the greatest interest in Churchill quotes could do the honours. Agent0061 12:36, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Quotes from Transwiki:Winston Churchill[edit]

These quotes are the remaining unconfirmed quotes and cites from the deleted Transwiki:Winston Churchill page:

  • (We must rally against) a poisoned Russia, an infected Russia of armed hordes not only smiting with bayonet and cannon, but accompanied and preceded by swarms of typhus-bearing vermin.
    • Quoted in the Boston Review, April/May 2001
  • Nancy Astor once told him "If I were your wife I'd poison your coffee," to which Churchill replied: "If I were your husband, madam, I would drink it." - Langford (2009) writes, 'Circa 1912 - Fred Shapiro (Yale Book of Quotations) tracks this to a joke line in the Chicago Tribune of 3 January 1900, but it was likely repeated to Astor by Churchill's best friend F. E. Smith, Lord Birkenhead.' p. 205
  • He received a report from Admiral Pound, whom Churchill did not rate. On the report he wrote "Pennywise" - a reference to the old adage, "Penny wise and pound foolish."
  • On being told by Bessie Braddock MP: "Winston, you are drunk, and what's more you are disgustingly drunk" he replied "Bessie, my dear, you're ugly, and what's more you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly."
    • Of this, Langford (2009) writes: '1946 - A world-famous exchange, and confirmed by a bodyguard present as WSC was leaving the House of Commons... WSC was not drunk, just tired and wobbly, which caused him to fire the full arsenal. WSC was probably relying on his photographic memory for this riposte: in the 1934 movie 'It's a Gift', WC Fields's character, when told he is drunk, reponds 'Yeah and you're crazy. But I'll be sober tomorrow and you'll be crazy the rest of your life.' p. 9

  • Aneurin Bevan: 'Winston, for heaven's sake, your flies are undone.' WSC: 'You needn't bother yourself about that. Dead birds never fly from the nest.' Verified by Langford, 2009.
  • I am prepared to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
  • Upon being offered The Order Of the Garter after a particularly humiliating defeat in the election of 1945: "Why should I accept the Order of the Garter, when I have already been given the Order of the Boot?"

N.B: Langford, 2009: 'Ribald quotations are also often ascribed to Churchill, but he was not given to smutty remarks, and nearly always treated the opposite sex with Victorian courtesy.' p. 201

Posthumous Quote[edit]

Does the quote "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts" really deserve its position on this page? The source listed is a fictional book published nearly 40 years after he died that gives no detail or context to the quote. Several other books have used the quote, but none give any source attribution. The first part of the quote is also suspiciously similar to a quote attributed to Don Shula, which would actually make a lot more sense as a likely source. The earliest mentions on Google Books are in sports psychology segments, though the earliest reference is actually a slightly different version in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen's magazine in the early 1950s. Seems to me like this should be considered unverified unless someone can find a better source. In any event, it's certainly not a post-humous quote unless it was in something written by the person that was later published after their death. Quotes that magically appear only after someone has died seem more likely to be misattributed... 02:58, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

"What are we fighting for?"[edit]

I have heard two variations of this story: Winston Churchill approached about closing West End theatres and refusing (QUote something along the lines of "Well what are we fighting for?" Variant is about cutting arts funding with the same response - but that seems implausible. Anyone shed any light? Thank you DS (22-05-13)

Fake quotes. See discussion here

"The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the reverence and delight which are their due."
-- SpareSimian (talk) 21:41, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

"It doesn't 'take all kinds,' it's just that there are all kinds."[edit]

This (or variation) has been attributed to W.C., but there is no mention of it here, or in the article, and I can't find any source or other attribution in a quick Internet search. Who said it? 05:30, 13 November 2013 (UTC)


"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." The Postal Supervisor, Volumes 77–78, National Association of Postal Supervisors, 1986, p. 8. --Omnipaedista (talk) 09:41, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

"There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world..."[edit]

I noticed that the quote: "There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true." is listed as unattributed, but I found a reference in The Parliamentary Debates, 1906 which quotes Churchill. However, he attributes the saying to a "witty Irishman." --mikeu (talk) 03:36, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

There is another reference here, also attributed to "an Irishman." --mikeu (talk) 03:44, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.[edit]

Is this an actual quote of Winston Churchill? I haven't found it on the talk page nor the actual page but I decided to ask you. It's often repeated, though. --Dharion (talk) 04:23, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Opinionated buffoons![edit]

"Like the "I hate Indians" quote, this is also used by Churchill critics to as proof that Churchill fought for a raw white supremacism. However, The argument in 1955 was over unrestricted Commonwealth immigration, both sides had points. Look at Churchill’s overall record from a 50 year career–and what everybody else in his party was saying at the time."

What exactly is this comment doing here? I'm going to delete it, provided no-one has any objections.

Exchange with an aide/servant[edit]

Churchill: You were very rude to me, you know!
Aide (apparently Roy Howells): Yes, but you were very rude to me.
Churchill: Yes, but I am a great man.

Sources include: "Forty Ways to Look at Churchill (Gretchen Rubin, Random House, 2004); Churchill's Finest Hour (Mark Riebling, at City-Journal; reviewing Churchill by Paul Johnson, Viking/Penguin 2009); and Churchill by Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotations, (ed. Richard Langworth, PublicAffairs, 2011; apparently cites Howells' memoirs of being Churchill's aide for 7 years).

Worth including? DragonflySixtyseven (talk) 14:44, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.[edit]

This has been popping up a lot on the internet, but there's no evidence Churchill said it. Rather, it appears to be a variation of something said by the author Caskie Sinnett. I added it to the "Misattributed" section.Prebys (talk) 17:08, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

When I am abroad I always make it a rule…[edit]

  • When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my country. I make up for lost time when I am at home.
    • In the House of Commons (April 18, 1947), cited in The Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations (1996), Jay, Oxford University Press, p. 93.

The problem is such a phrase can't be found in the Commons and Lords Hansard. Ain92 (talk) 10:35, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

Disputed quote[edit]

I have removed the following quote from the "Disputed" section:

  • Those who spend time researching quotes of accomplished men may consider such an endeavor time well spent. At the end of the day, all they have accomplished is the squandering of their own time. It is far wiser to spend that time actually accomplishing something than to quote others who have. There are those who quote, and those who do.
    • Though this quote was attributed to Churchill in social media posts, there is no evidence of Churchill saying or writing this quote. It was likely created by someone to make a friend of coworker look foolish for including too many quotes on their own social media page or e-mail signature.

"attributed ... in social media posts" is as good as made up on the spot. The section is for quotes that might or might not be true, not for quotes that are completely unfounded. --Prinsgezinde (talk) 19:22, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

The account with Lady Astor was incorrect, Churchill did not say that, it was Lord Birkenhead. There is no evidence he said "Americans will always do the right thing, but only after they exhausted every other possibility" either.

The real vice is making losses[edit]

"It is a socialist idea that making profits is a vice. I consider the real vice is making losses."

Attributed to Churchill but I can't find any reputable sources.

source or disputed?[edit]

"When both sides lack arguments they start bombing countries." Gale Ronning (talk) 18:05, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

Not just France but Champagne[edit]

"Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!"

Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, attributed

Cagliost (talk) 14:43, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

"Never give in" quote is slightly incorrect?[edit]

According to the linked audio, the correct form of this quote is "Never give in, never give in, never never never..." instead of the current "Never give in — never, never, never, never ..."

Another options is of course that the current quote is correct and that the audio has been recorded afterwards. 16:31, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.[edit]

The quotation above is located in the Misattributed section which is fine. Unfortunately, the 1905 citation "American Character" is wrong, and it should be removed. The link for the citation actually points to a 1929 book called “Adventurous America: A Study of Contemporary Life and Thought” by Edwin Mims. The two books are incorrectly combined in the HathiTrust database; hence the metadata is inaccurate. Here is a link to the front page of "Adventurous America" that appears after the end of "American Character".

I do not directly modify public-facing Wikiquote webpages because I operate a website about quotations . This fact might be considered a conflict of interest. Garson (talk) 12:16, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

'If Hitler invaded hell ...'[edit]

The date given here is the evening before Barbarossa. Is this correct? Since the quote ends with 'in the House of Commons' it sounds as if he had already made such a statement (of encouragement to Stalin) and that it was not hypothetical. I wonder if Nagorski got the date wrong? 23:16, 4 March 2018 (UTC)