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Mark Twain Quotes

Updated on November 24, 2010

Mark Twain, the Great American Humorist, was well known for his sharp wit and brilliant satire. If you already enjoyed my selection of Mark Twain Quotes, here are some more for you!


  • “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
  • “Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.”
  • “Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their union were not perceived to have any relation.”
  • “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”
  • “Familiarity breeds contempt - and children.”
  • “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”
  • “We are all stupid, just on different subjects.”
  • “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
  • “Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.”
  • “By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity – another man’s I mean! ”

  • “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
  • "Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is, knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world.”
  • “Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.”
  • “Put all your eggs in one basket – and watch that basket!”
  • “Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”

Mark Twain
Mark Twain
  • "Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass."
  • "If you can't sleep, try lying on the end of the bed. Then you might drop off."
  • "I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices!"
  • "It is no harm to be an ass, if one is content to bray and not kick."
  • "Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."

  • "Name the greatest of all inventors. Accidents."
  • "Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink- under any circumstances."
  • "No real gentleman will tell the naked truth in the presence of ladies."
  • "When angry count four; when very angry, swear."
  • "You ought never to take anything that don't belong to you- if you cannot carry it off."
  • "One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives."


  • “I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.”
  • “I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.”
  • “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
  • “I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting."
  • “As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake.”
  • "I have never seen what to me seemed an atom of proof that there is a future life. And yet--I am inclined to expect one."
  • "I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it never inconvenienced me a bit."
  • "I am no lazier now than I was forty years ago, but that is because I reached the limit forty years ago. You can't go beyond possibility."
  • "I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle." Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won't.
  • "I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said: I didn't know."

  • "I am said to be a revolutionist in my sympathies, by birth, by breeding and by principle."
  • “I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.”
  • "I am always on the side of the revolutionists, because there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolt."

“Golf: a good walk spoiled.”

"Faith: believing something you know ain't true."

“Public Opinion: it is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God.”

“A banker: a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”

“Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.”

DEFINE – the Mark Twain way:

“Work: a necessary evil to be avoided.”

“Climate: what we expect, weather is what we get.”

“'Classic: a book which people praise and don't read.”

"Conformity: the natural instinct to passively yield to that vague something recognized as authority."

“Civilization: the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.”

“Denial: ain't just a river in Egypt!”

“Anger: an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”


  • “Don't let schooling interfere with your education.”
  • “Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live. ”
  • “Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
  • “Do not put off till tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well.”


  • “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
  • “Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”
  • “Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.”


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