Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dorothy Parker Quotes Of The Day

One of my absolute favorites. The bitch was funny. And I say bitch as a statement of fact, not a slander.

For those of you unfamiliar with her:

Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American poet and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th century urban foibles.

From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed as her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the infamous Hollywood blacklist.

Parker went through three marriages (two to the same man) and survived several suicide attempts, but grew increasingly dependent on alcohol. Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a "wisecracker." Nevertheless, her literary output and reputation for her sharp wit have endured.

(From Wikipedia)

Some of these you've heard; now you know who said them first

"Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone."

"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." (Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged)

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."

"Don't look at me in that tone of voice."

"The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue."

"You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think."

"I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
After four I'm under my host."

"Tell him I was too fucking busy-- or vice versa."

"Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both."

"It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard."

"I require only three things of a man. He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid."

"That woman speaks eighteen languages, and she can’t say 'No' in any of them."

"If all the girls at Vassar were laid end to end, I shouldn't be at all surprised"

"The plot is so tired that even this reviewer, who in infancy was let drop by a nurse with the result that she has ever since been mystified by amateur coin tricks, was able to guess the identity of the murderer from the middle of the book."

"This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it."

On learning that Calvin Coolidge was dead: "How could they tell?"

"I find her anecdotes more efficacious than sheep-counting, rain on a tin roof, or alanol tablets.... you will find me and Morpheus, off in a corner, necking."

"Brevity is the soul of lingerie."

Under interrogation by the FBI: "Listen, I can't even get my dog to stay down. Do I look like someone who could overthrow the government?"

"If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me."

"She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B."

"Women and elephants never forget."

"See the happy moron
He doesn't give a damn.
I wish I were a moron,
My God! Perhaps I am!"

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy."

Once in her long-running feud with Clare Boothe Luce, Mrs. Luce held the door open for Mrs. Parker to walk through and said, "Age before beauty." Mrs. Parker walked through and replied, "Pearls before swine."

"I know this will come as a shock to you, Mr. Goldwyn, but in all history, which has held billions and billions of human beings, not a single one ever had a happy ending."

"I was always sweet, at first. Oh, it's so easy to be sweet to people before you love them."


  1. These are great! Whether she wanted to be or not, she was very funny. My favorite on this list is: "This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it."

  2. I think that's my favorite too, Daisy.

  3. I love the way she shot the FBI a zinger. That takes some stones, lady.

  4. I quote DP all the time -- she's one of my top 5 favorite writers.

    I greet many a day with "What fresh Hell is this?"

  5. "You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think."

    Oh, crap. Me and my Social Tourette's will not be able to resist saying this to or about my gold-digging sister-in-law next time I see her and she opens her mouth.

  6. Me four. The "fancy terrible... with raisins in it" quote is amazing.

  7. <3 Dorothy Parker. My grandmother used to quote her frequently. The most common, when I was a teenager, "Don't look at me in that tone of voice." Never knew Dorothy; miss Gram now.

  8. The "lead a whore to culture" quote came from someone challenging Ms. Parker to use the word "horticulture" in a sentence.

  9. I used to go to Leda Horticulture's gardening website all the time. She was witty too!

    When I first read the name "Dorothy Parker" I was thinking of Bonnie Parker...duh. Oh well, she was a writer too. Ahem.

  10. The "If you can't say anything nice about somebody sit next to me" is usually attributed to Alice Rosevelt Longworth, another witty lady. No one is as witty as D. Parker though.



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