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Mae West Quotes

Updated on September 24, 2014

Saucy! Me? You Bet.

"To err is human---but it feels divine."

Like most women in Hollywood, Mae West was exploited for her curves. She was venerated as one of the most famous sex symbols of 30s and 40.

The woman also had a solid gift for the gab. This page is dedicated to some of her most memorable quotes.

"Goodness had nothing to do with it."

Mae West in Brief

DOB: August 17, 1892

POB: Brooklyn, New York

DOD: November 22, 1980

Profession: Vaudeville Performer, Broadway and Film Actress, Playwright

Classic Filmography:

* She Done Him Wrong

* Klondike Annie

* My Little Chickadee

* I'm No Angel

"I climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong."

Mae West: It Ain't No Sin

Mae West: It Ain't No Sin
Mae West: It Ain't No Sin

"Sex goddess, Hollywood star, transgressive playwright, author, blues singer, and vaudeville brat---Mae West remains the twentieth century’s greatest comedienne. She made an everlasting mark in trailblazing Broadway plays such as Sex and The Constant Sinner and in films such as She Done Him Wrong, Klondike Annie, and I’m No Angel...the first biography to make use of Mae’s recently uncovered personal papers, offering an unprecedented view into the endless creative drive and daring wit of this legendary star."


"When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better."

"When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better."
"When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better."

"I used to be Snow White... but I drifted"

"I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it."

"A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up."

"A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up."
"A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up."

Three Plays by Mae West - Sex, The Drag and Pleasure Man

Three Plays: Sex / The Drag / The Pleasure Man
Three Plays: Sex / The Drag / The Pleasure Man

"Mae West was, without question, one of the most famous and controversial figures of her era. She was a tough-talking, wise-cracking vaudeville performer who made her way onto the Broadway stage and then into the hearts of the American public with a highly visible Hollywood film career. Rarely, however, do people think of Mae West as a writer even though she wrote eight scripts for the stage and her own dialogue for many of her films."


"It is better to be looked over than overlooked."

"Whenever I'm caught between two evils, I take the one I've never tried."

Mae West - The Glamour Collection

Mae West - The Glamour Collection (Go West Young Man/ Goin' To Town/ I'm No Angel/ My Little Chickadee/ Night After Night)
Mae West - The Glamour Collection (Go West Young Man/ Goin' To Town/ I'm No Angel/ My Little Chickadee/ Night After Night)

"Sexy and curvaceous Hollywood icon Mae West made a name for herself with the five films gathered here. MAE WEST: THE GLAMOUR COLLECTION includes the films NIGHT AFTER NIGHT I'M NO ANGEL GOIN' TO TOWN GO WEST YOUNG MAN and MY LITTLE CHIKADEE. See individual descriptions for details"


"Sex is an emotion in motion."

"Sex is an emotion in motion."
"Sex is an emotion in motion."

Mae West, On Men

"I see you're a man with ideals. I guess I better be going while you've still got them."

"A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars, that's subtraction."

"It's not the men in my life that counts; it's the life in my men."

"When women go wrong, men go right after them."

"A man in love is like a clipped coupon--it's time to cash in."

"A man's kiss is his signature."

"When a girl goes wrong, men go right after her."

"I feel like a million tonight. But one at a time."

"Give a man a free hand and he'll try to put it all over you."

Finish this Sentence

Mae West...

See results

Tid Bit

During WWII British pilots honored her curvy figure by naming their inflatable life jackets "Mae Wests".

A Little More...

"I always say, keep a diary and someday it'll keep you."

"You're never too old to become younger."

"I have found men who didn't know how to kiss but I've always found time to teach them."

"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it."

"Marriage is a great institution--but I'm not ready for an institution."

"Why Don't You Come Up Sometime and See Me"

Tell us your favorite Mae West quote or just tell how much you love her.

Go ahead, make us all warm and fuzzy.

What's your favorite Mae West Quote?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hands down, "when you've got nothing better to do and plenty of time to do it, come up." [The 'and see me sometime' was either misquoted or went with another quote--but they're all great anyway.]

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      How can one choose? And how could anybody be so on-the-spot witty? Gotta admire Mae West!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      " Goodness had nothing to do with it"

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      "Goodness had nothing to do with it" is great - but there were lots of great quotes on this page. Thanks for bringing this to us, I had no idea that Mae West was so bright as well as funny and beautiful. I would love to make it up to that theater festival in Seattle sometime, the Mae Well festival of all plays written by women. I did not know she was a playwright. Anyway, thanks for the enjoyable and informative lens - it gives me great pleasure to give this "sinner" an Angel Blessing.

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 

      7 years ago from U.S.A.

      Too many good ones to pick a favorite. Great lens! :)

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 

      7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      With the current graze for coupon clipping, my favorite Mae West quote is "A man in love is like a clipped coupon-it's time to cash in".

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 

      7 years ago

      Mae West was a very funny woman and ahead of her time.

    • devilsworkshopc profile image


      8 years ago

      Such a fun lens! Great quotes. What a character!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Mae West had such a great delivery for her wonderful lines. She probably was fascinating just ordering breakfast!

    • Risa28 profile image


      8 years ago

      "You're never too old to become younger," but so many of them make me smile. Nice lens. Thanks for being here and here's to a joyful 2011!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Mae West and Lady Gaga have a lot of similarities between the two including their looks...or is that just my vivid imagination playing tricks on me? Great article. Best wishes for all the best in 2011.

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 

      8 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      Mae West was one of a kind. I saw her in My Little Chickadee. I have often wished I could learn more about her. Thanks for this lens, and all the information about Mae West, a legend in her own time.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      9 years ago

      Come up and see me sometime. Thanks for the laughs and thanks for the tip off. Blessed by an Angel..

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      So many to choose from... but my favorite would have to be: When I am good, I am very, very good... but when I am bad, I am better.

      Considering the fact that I am named Sara Mae West... I ADORE Mae West, becasue I feel as though I am living through her spirit, everyday! :)

    • PromptWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Moe Wood 

      9 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      [in reply to stargazer00] Are you referring to the "tidbit" I have below the guestbook or something else?

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      9 years ago

      Mae West also has a parachute malfunction named after her. I've written about it on one of my Vietnam lenses. Lensrolled! Entertaining lens.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      9 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      How about" Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I'd heard some of these quotes, but not all of them. I just love "I climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong". Mae West was just so witty.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What about "Why don't you come up and see me sometime, mm."


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