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Cool Quotes - B

Baby


A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.
Mark Twain

A baby is an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no responsibility at the other.
Ronald Reagan

Bachelor


A bachelor is a selfish, undeserving guy who has cheated some woman out of a divorce.
Don Quinn

Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't, they'd be married too.
H. L. Mencken

Cock's bones! now again I stand
The jolliest bachelor i' th' land.
Attributed to Henry VIII of England: On the beheading of Anne Boleyn, 1536

A single man has not nearly the value he would have in [a] state of union. He is an incomplete animal. He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors.
Benjamin Franklin

An old bachelor is a poor critter.
C. F. Browne

A bachelor is one who enjoys the chase but does not eat the game.
Author unidentified

Praise all wives, but remain a bachelor.
Italian Proverb

So long as a man is without a wife he is only half a man.
Sanskrit Proverb

Backfire


For 'tis the sport to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petard . . .
William Shakespeare

Bad


No man becomes bad all at once.
Juvenal

Balance


One who is serious all day will never have a good time, while one who is frivolous all day will never establish a household.
Ptahhotpe

Bald


There is nothing more contemptible than a bald man who pretends to have hair.
Martial

Honest men grow gray; others grow bald.
Hungarian Proverb

Balkans


[The Balkans] produce more history than they can consume.
Winston Churchill

Banana


Where the banana grows man is sensual and cruel.
R. W. Emerson

Banker


A banker is a man who lends you an umbrella when the weather is fair, and takes it away from you when it rains.
Author unidentified

Barbarian


[The Gauls] derided the hairy and gigantic savages of the North; their rustic manners, dissonant joy, voracious appetite, and their horrid appearance, equally disgusting to the sight and to the smell.
Edward Gibbon

Bashfulness


To get thine ends, lay bashfulness aside;
Who fears to ask doth teach to be deny'd.
Robert Herrick

Though modesty be a virtue, yet bashfulness is a vice.
Thomas Fuller

The bashful always lose.
French Proverb

Bastard


Those born of sinful intercourse are not counted as children.
Legal Maxim

Battle


Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.
The Duke of Wellington: Despatch from the field of Waterloo, June, 1815

If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth.
M. I. Dragomiroff: Notes for Soldiers, c. 1890

To extraordinary circumstance we must apply extraordinary remedies.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Battlefield


Well, well, General, bury these poor men, and let us say no more about it.
R. E. Lee: To General A. P. Hill after the battle of Bristoe Station, Oct. 14, 1863

Beating


A spaniel, a woman, and a walnut tree,
The more they're beaten the better they be.
John Ray

Beauty


Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless: peacocks and lilies, for instance.
John Ruskin

Why is it that beautiful women never seem to have any curiosity?

Is it because they know they're classical? With classical things the Lord finished the job. Ordinary ugly people know they're deficient and they go on looking for the pieces.
Penelope Gilliatt

Beauty and wisdom are seldom found together.
Petronius Arbiter

A holy woman may be beautiful by the gift of nature, but she must not give occasion to lust. If beauty be hers, so far from setting it off she ought rather to obscure it.
Tertullian

Had she deigned to remove her veil, God Himself would have fallen in love with her.
Torquato Tasso

A poor beauty finds more lovers than husbands.
George Herbert

Beauty and sadness always go together.
George MacDonald

We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its end; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes.
R. W. Emerson

It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly.
Oscar Wilde

It is the beautiful bird which gets caged.
Chinese Proverb

Beauty is a good letter of introduction.
German Proverb

Beauty and chastity are always quarreling.
Spanish Proverb

[Beauty is] an outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.
Edward Gibbon

Bed


Loath to bed, and loath to rise.
John Clarke

No bed is big enough to hold three.
German Proverb

Bedroom


A husband and wife who have separate bedrooms have either drifted apart -- or found happiness.
Balzac

Beef


Beefsteaks and porter are gude belly mortar.
Scottish Proverb

Beer


He that drinks strong beer,
And goes to bed mellow,
Lives as he ought to live,
And dies a hearty fellow.
Author unidentified

I wish to see this beverage become common instead of the whisky which kills one-third of our citizens, and ruins their families.
Thomas Jefferson

Here
With my beer
I sit,
While golden moments flit:
Alas!
They pass
Unheeded by:
And as they fly,
I,
Being dry,
Sit, idly sipping here
My beer.
George Arnold

There is no bad beer: some kinds are better than others.
German Proverb

Beethoven


Beethoven can write music, thank God -- but he can do nothing else on earth.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Beggar


Beggars should be abolished. It annoys one to give to them, and it annoys one not to give to them.
F. W. Nietzsche

It is a beggar's pride that he is not a thief.
Japanese Proverb

Beginning


The beginning is half of the whole.
Plato

Every beginning is hard.
German Proverb

Belief


I believe it because it is absurd.
Tertullian (Attributed)

We believe nothing so firmly as what we least know.
Michel de Montaigne

He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.
Thomas Fuller

Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.
Dinah Mulock Craik

Never tell all that you know, or do all that you can, or believe all that you hear.
Portuguese Proverb

Belief forms behavior.
David Klinghoffer

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.
Bertrand Russell

Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.
Bertrand Russell

Belisarius


The spectator and historian of [Belisarius's] exploits has observed, that amidst the perils of war, he was daring without rashness, prudent without fear, slow or rapid according to the exigencies of the moment; that in the deepest distress he was animated by real or apparent hope, but that he was modest and humble in the most prosperous fortune.
Edward Gibbon

Belly


A full belly neither fights nor flies well.
George Herbert

Benefit


Cui bono? (to whose benefit?)
Author unidentified, though most associated with Lucius Cassius

Betrayal


You also, Brutus? (Et tu, Brute!, though what Caesar said, if anything, and in what language, is uncertain)
Julius Caesar (Attributed)

Betting


The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong -- but that's the way to bet.
Author unidentified

Biography


Biography is one of the new terrors of death.
John Arbuthnot

Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man -- the biography of the man himself cannot be written.
Mark Twain

Birth


Birth, n. The first and direst of all disasters.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Blame


Blame is safer than praise.
R. W. Emerson

Blessing


Judge none blessed before his death.
Ecclesiasticus 11:28

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour
Before the Devil knows you're dead.
Author unidentified

May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.
Author unidentified

May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.
Author unidentified

May the Good Lord take a liking to you, . . . but not too soon!
Author unidentified

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

It may well be a blessing in disguise. At the moment it seems quite effectively disguised.
Winston Churchill, when told that his election loss may be a blessing in disguise

Book


Reading all the good books is like a conversation with the finest men of past centuries.
René Descartes

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.
G. K. Chesterton

Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folk have lent me.
Anatole France

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.
Oscar Wilde

I never can understand how two men can write a book together; to me that's like three people getting together to have a baby.
Evelyn Waugh

I am being frank about myself in this book. I tell of my first mistake on page 850.
Henry Kissinger, of his memoirs

If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or, as it were, fondle them -- peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on their shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that if you do not know what is in them, you will at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them at any rate be your acquaintances.
Winston Churchill

May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, or the Phoenicians, or whoever invented books.
Thomas Carlyle

The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no limit to this fever for writing; every one must be an author; some out of vanity, to acquire celebrity and raise up a name, others for the sake of mere gain.
Martin Luther

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon

A great [large] book is a great evil.
Joseph Addison

I keep to old books, for they teach me something; from the new I learn very little.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

My books are friends that never fail me.
Thomas Carlyle

Books are a triviality. Life alone is great.
Thomas Carlyle

A room without books is like a body without a soul.
G. K. Chesterton

I buy books at a geometric rate, but read only arithmetically.
Tony Daniels (c.f. Malthus)

Bore


Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

Boredom


When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.
Eric Hoffer

Boredom is an evil that is not to be estimated lightly. It can come in the end to real despair. The public authority takes precautions against it everywhere, as against other universal calamities.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Ennui has made more gamblers than avarice, more drunkards than thirst, and perhaps as many suicides as despair.
C. C. Colton

Boredom is a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
Bertrand Russell

Good-bye. I am leaving because I am bored.
George Saunders, last words

Borrowing And Lending


Borrowing is not much better than begging.
G. E. Lessing

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
William Shakespeare

Boy


A boy is, of all wild beasts, the most difficult to manage.
Plato

The parent who could see his boy as he really is, would shake his head and say, "Willie is no good; I'll sell him."
Stephen Leacock

One boy is more trouble than a dozen girls.
English Proverb

The fact that boys are allowed to exist at all is evidence of a remarkable Christian forbearance among men.
Ambrose Bierce

A boy is a cross between a god and a goat.
Author unidentified

Bravery


Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away.
Thomas Fuller

He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.
Jonathan Swift

Breeding


Birth's gude but breeding's better.
Scottish Proverb

Brevity


I have only made this letter rather long because I have not had time to make it shorter.
Blaise Pascal

Do you wish to instruct? Be brief, that the mind may catch thy precepts and the more easily retain them.
Horace

In order to speak short upon any subject, think long.
H. H. Brackenridge

That which is brief, if it be good, is good twice over.
Spanish Proverb

It is not the burden but the overburden that kills the beast.
Spanish Proverb

Brevity is the soul of wit.
William Shakespeare

Bridegroom


A bridegroom is a guy who has lost his liberty in the pursuit of happiness.
Author unidentified

Britain


In Britain, everything is policed except crime.
Mark Steyn

For Americans, the quickest way to understand modern Britain is to look at what LBJ's Great Society did to the black family and imagine it applied to the general population.
Mark Steyn

British


Socialism has been preached for so long, the British people no longer have any sense of personal responsibility.
Lord Thomson of Fleet

Building


Build and borrow,
A sackful of sorrow.
(Bauen und Borgen,
Ein Sack voll Sorgen.)
German Proverb

Burden


Light burdens, long borne, grow heavy.
George Herbert

Bureaucracy


I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
Thomas Jefferson

The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty.
Eugene McCarthy

Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
Milton Friedman

The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.
Robert Conquest

It must not be forgotten that it is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Business


The Peter Principle: In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to the level of his incompetence.
Laurence J. Peter

The basic concept of the Dilbert Principle is that the most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: management.
Scott Adams

If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.
Bertrand Russell

Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.
Winston Churchill

Businessmen are notable for a peculiarly stalwart character, which enables them to enjoy without loss of self-reliance the benefits of tariffs, franchises, and even outright government subsidies.
Herbert J. Muller

The egalitarianism of the present tax structure is thought to be seriously dampening individual effort, initiative, and inspiration . . . [it] destroys ambition, penalizes success, discourages investment to create new jobs, and may well turn a nation of risk-taking entrepreneurs into a nation of softies.
Fred Maytag II

It is a socialist idea that making profits is a vice; I consider the real vice is making losses.
Winston Churchill

Planned Economy: Where everything is included in the plans except economy.
Carey McWilliams

No matter what you think your job is, your job is to make your boss's life easier.
Author unidentified

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
Northcote Parkinson ("Parkinson's Law")

A man's work is his dilemma: his job is his bondage, but it also gives him a fair share of his identity and keeps him from being a bystander in somebody else's world.
Melvin Maddocks

Committee: A group of the unfit appointed by the unwilling to do the unnecessary.
Carl C. Byers

It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job, it's a depression when you lose your own.
Harry S. Truman

Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.
J. K. Galbraith

He had talents equal to business, and aspired no higher.
Tacitus

Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others.
John Maynard Keynes

If you owe the bank a thousand dollars, you have a problem; if you owe the bank a million dollars, the bank has a problem.
Author unidentified

[The] clamour and sophistry of merchants and manufacturers easily persuade [the people], that the private interest of a part, and of a subordinate part, of the society, is the general interest of the whole.
Adam Smith

Busy


None are so busy as the fool and knave.
John Dryden

He that is busy is tempted by but one devil; he that is idle, by a legion.
Thomas Fuller

The busiest men have the most leisure.
English Proverb

The busy have no time for tears.
Byron

Busybody


It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. Lewis

For A to sit down and think, What shall I do? is commonplace; but to think what B ought to do is interesting, romantic, moral, self-flattering, and public-spirited all at once. It satisfies a great number of human weaknesses at once. To go on and plan what a whole class of people ought to do is to feel one's self a power on earth, to win a public position, to clothe one's self in dignity. Hence we have an unlimited supply of reformers, philanthropists, humanitarians, and would-be managers-in-general of society.
William Graham Sumner

Buyer


Let the buyer beware. (Caveat emptor.)
Legal Maxim

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Last updated: November 13, 2017