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Wishes are hopes or desires for something. Fictionally, wishes can be used as plot devices. In folklore, opportunities for "making a wish" or for wishes to "come true" or "be granted" are themes that are sometimes used.


  • A maṇi-jewel; magical jewel, which manifests whatever one wishes for (Skt. maṇi, cintā-maṇi, cintāmaṇi-ratna). According to one's desires, treasures, clothing and food can be manifested, while sickness and suffering can be removed, water can be purified, etc. It is a metaphor for the teachings and virtues of the Buddha. ... Said to be obtained from the dragon-king of the sea, or the head of the great fish, Makara, or the relics of a Buddha.
  • If everything proceeded according to their wishes, they would not understand what it means to follow God.
    • John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life Page 53
  • Wishing to dare serves no purpose at all, if it remains a wish.
    • Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, 2013, p. 15.
  • I wish I knew what to wish for.
    • Nergal Jr. The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Wishbones Maxwell Atoms (creator), Shaun Cashman (story)
  • Genie: Ah, rule number one: I can't kill anybody. (He slices his head off with his finger.) So don't ask. Rule two: I can't make anyone fall in love with anyone else. (Head turns into a big pair of lips which kiss Aladdin.) You little punim, there. (Lies flat, then gets up and transforms into a zombie.) Rule three: I can't bring people back from the dead. It's not a pretty picture, (He grabs Aladdin and shakes him) I don't like doing it! (He poofs back to normal.) Other than that, you got it!
  • Language has always been important in politics, but language is incredibly important to the present political struggle. Because if you can establish an atmosphere in which information doesn't mean anything, then there is no objective reality. The first show we did, a year ago, was our thesis statement: What you wish to be true is all that matters, regardless of the facts. Of course, at the time, we thought we were being farcical.
  • If your heart is in your dream
    No request is too extreme
    When you wish upon a star
    As dreamers do
    Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of their secret longing.
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true
  • Pinocchio: When You Wish Upon a Star by Cliff Edwards, Disney Studio Chorus
  • If a man could half his wishes he would double his Troubles.
  • Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it.
    • Anonymous as quoted by W. W. Jacobs in The Monkeys Paw (1902).
  • If Wishes were Horses, Beggars would ride.
    • James Kelly, Scottish Proverbs (1721).
  • Boys young and old satisfy their wish thoughts by reading comics. If they go crazy for Wonder Woman it means they're longing for a beautiful exciting girl who's stronger than they are.
    • William Moulton Marston As quoted in Olive Richard Bryne's, "Our Women Are Our Future" Family Circle, August 14th, 1942.
  • You pursue, I fly; you fly, I pursue; such is my humor. What you wish, Dondymus, I do not wish, what you do not wish, I do.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book V, Epistle 83.
  • Henry: There ain't no such thing as magic, is there?
Bollie: I guess not, Henry. Or maybe...maybe there is magic. And maybe there's wishes, too. I guess the trouble is...there's not enough people around to believe...
  • Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought:
    I stay too long by thee, I weary thee.
    • William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II (c. 1597-99), Act IV, scene 5, line 93. "Thy wish was father to that thought." Idea found in Arrian—Anabasis. I, Chapter VII. Æschylus—Prometh. Vinct. I. 928. Achilles Tatius—De Leucippes, Book VI. 17. Heliodorus, Book VIII. Cæsar—De Bello Gallico, III. 18. Quintilian—Institutes, Book VI, Chapter II, Section V. (Ed. Bonnell). (1861).
  • Jeannie: Your wish is my command, Master.
  • Porunga: You have collected all seven dragonballs, and now, as it is written, think wisely and I will grant you three wishes within my power.
  • Porunga: Look, I'm enjoying the fresh air. But I don't have all day. If you can't make up your mind, just wish for nothing three times so I can go.
  • Vegeta: I can't believe these fools wasted their wishes bringing you back to life.
  • Shenron: Speak. Name your wish. Say it now and it will be so granted.
  • What most we wish, with ease we fancy near.
  • Wishing, of all employments is the worst.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IV, line 71.
  • He calls his wish, it comes; he sends it back,
    And says he called another; that arrives,
    Meets the same welcome; yet he still calls on;
    Till one calls him, who varies not his call,
    But holds him fast, in chains of darkness bound,
    Till Nature dies, and judgment sets him free;
    A freedom far less welcome than this chain.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IV. Lines near end.
  • Man wants but little, nor that little long;
    How soon must he resign his very dust,
    Which frugal nature lent him for an hour!
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IV, line 118.
  • What folly can be ranker. Like our shadows,
    Our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night V, line 661.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 882-83.
  • "Man wants but little here below
    Nor wants that little long,"
    'Tis not with me exactly so;
    But 'tis so in the song.
    My wants are many, and, if told,
    Would muster many a score;
    And were each wish a mint of gold,
    I still should long for more.
  • O, that I were where I would be,
    Then would I be where I am not;
    For where I am I would not be,
    And where I would be I can not.
  • Was man in der Jugend wünscht, hat man im Alter die Fülle.
    • What one has wished for in youth, in old age one has in abundance.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wahrheit und Dichtung. Motto to Part II.
  • Man wants but little here below,
    Nor wants that little long.
  • And the evil wish is most evil to the wisher.
    • Hesiod, Works and Days, V. 264.
  • Little I ask; my wants are few;
    I only wish a hut of stone
    (A very plain brown stone will do),
    That I may call my own;
    And close at hand is such a one
    In yonder street that fronts the sun.
  • With all thy sober charms possest,
    Whose wishes never learnt to stray.
    • Langhorne, Poems, II, p. 123. (Park's Ed.).
  • Vous l'avez voulu, vous l'avez voulu, George Dandin, vous l'avez voulu.
    • You have wished it so, you have wished it so, George Dandin, you have wished it so.
    • Molière, George Dandin, Act I, scene 9.
  • Wert thou all that I wish thee, great, glorious and free,
    First flower of the earth, and first gem of the sea.
  • If I live to grow old, as I find I go down,
    Let this be my fate in a country town;
    May I have a warm house, with a stone at my gate,
    And a cleanly young girl to rub my bald pate.
    May I govern my passions with an absolute sway,
    Grow wiser and better as my strength wears away,
    Without gout or stone, by a gentle decay.
    • Walter Pope, The Old Man's Wish; first appeared in A Collection of Thirty one Songs. (1685).
  • I've often wished that I had clear,
    For life, six hundred pounds a year,
    A handsome house to lodge a friend,
    A river at my garden's end,
    A terrace walk, and half a rood
    Of land, set out to plant a wood.
  • Quoniam id fieri quod vis non potest
    Id velis quod possis.
    • As you can not do what you wish, you should wish what you can do.
    • Terence, Andria, II. 1. 6.
  • On ne peut désirer ce qu'on ne connaît pas.
    • We cannot wish for that we know not.
    • Voltaire, Zaïre. I. 1.
  • Wishers and woulders be small householders.
    • Vulgaria Stambrigi, published by Wynkyn de Worde (early 16th century).

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