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Cool Quotes - O

Oakland


When you get there [Oakland], there isn't any there there.
Gertrude Stein

The trouble with Oakland is that when you get there it's there!
Herb Caen

Oath


The best way to keep one's word is not to give it.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Oaths are but words, and words but wind.
Samuel Butler

He that imposes an oath makes it,
Not he that for convenience takes it;
Then how can any man be said
To break an oath he never made?
Samuel Butler

Obesity


Obesity is a mental state, a disease brought on by boredom and disappointment.
Cyril Connolly

A fat paunch never breeds fine thoughts.
Saint Jerome

She was two yards round the waist, her voice was at once loud and squeaking, and her face brought to my mind the picture of the full moon.
Samuel Johnson

Obfuscation


Our disputants put me in mind of the cuttlefish, that when he is unable to extricate himself, blackens all the water about him till he becomes invisible.
Joseph Addison

Observing


You see, but you do not observe.
Arthur Conan Doyle

Obstacle


Nothing … will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.
Samuel Johnson

Officer


A General Officer who will invariably assume the responsibility for failure, whether he deserves it or not, and invariably give the credit for success to others, whether they deserve it or not, will achieve outstanding success.
George S. Patton, Jr.

Old


I love everything that’s old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines.
Oliver Goldsmith

Old Age


I want a house that has got over all its troubles; I don't want to spend the rest of my life bringing up a young and inexperienced house.
Jerome K. Jerome

Grandchildren don't make a man feel old; it's the knowledge that he's married to a grandmother.
G. Norman Collie

Who knows whether in retirement I shall be tempted to the last infirmity of mundane minds, which is to write a book.
Geoffrey Fisher

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
H. L. Mencken

If I'd known I was going to live so long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
Eubie (centenarian)

A man is only as old as the woman he feels.
Groucho Marx

"Next year? Peter, at my age I don't even buy green bananas."
Arnold Palmer, responding to Peter Jacobsen's request to play in his golf tournament

When death comes near the old find that age is no longer burdensome.
Euripides

When our vices quit us we flatter ourselves with the belief that it is we who quit them.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me.
Thomas Jefferson

It is not the end of joy that makes old age so sad, but the end of hope.
Jean Paul Richter

It is the common calamity of old age, to lose whatever might have rendered it desirable.
Edward Gibbon

Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
William Shakespeare

[But] age, the common enemy of mankind, has laid his hand upon you; would that it had fallen upon some other, and that you were still young.
Homer

I am able to say that while I am not ruggedly well, I am not ill enough to excite an undertaker.
Mark Twain

It takes some little time to accept and realize the fact that while you have been growing old, your friends have not been standing still, in that matter.
Mark Twain

… at the wrong end of life …
Alice Munro

Everybody my age should be issued with a 2 lb fresh salmon. If you see someone young, beautiful and happy, you should slap them as hard as you can with it.
Richard Griffiths

Old age, by blanching the seat of reason, may cut off the fear of death even in a once imaginative mind, or it may, on the other hand, undermine fortitude, softening the will.
Winston Churchill

A person is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.
John Barrymore

Now that I have reached old age, how I hate it!
Euripides

Old people have fewer diseases than the young, but their diseases never leave them.
Hippocrates

One of his feet is already in the grave.
English saying

When thou art old there's grief enough for thee.
Robert Greene

Old age consoles itself by giving good precepts for being unable to give bad examples.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Old age makes us wiser and more foolish.
John Ray

We hope to grow old, and yet we dread old age.
Jean de La Bruyère

Life protracted is protracted woe.
Samuel Johnson

By my rambling digressions I perceive myself to be growing old.
Benjamin Franklin

One evil in old age is that, as your time is come, you think every little illness is the beginning of the end. When a man expects to be arrested, every knock at the door is an alarm.
Sydney Smith

How earthy old people become,—mouldy as the grave! … They remind me of earthworms and mole crickets.
Henry David Thoreau

A man over ninety is a great comfort to all his elderly neighbors: he is a picket-guard at the extreme outpost; and the young folks of sixty and seventy feel that the enemy must get by him before he can come near his camp.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Age does not increase sense; it only makes one go slower.
Finnish proverb

King Solomon and King David
Led very merry lives,
With very many concubines
And very many wives,
Until old age came creeping,
With very many qualms,
Then Solomon wrote the Proverbs
And David wrote the Psalms.
Author unidentified

My playfellows were grown old, and forced me to suspect that I was no longer young.
Samuel Johnson

Age is a very stubborn disease.
Samuel Johnson

I fear he will prove the weeping philosopher when he grows old, being so full of unmannerly sadness in his youth.
Shakespeare

A good old man, sir; he will be talking: as they say,
When the age is in, the wit is out.
Shakespeare

If you want to be adored by your peers and have standing ovations wherever you go—live to be over ninety.
George Abbott

I am declin’d
Into the vale of years.
Shakespeare

The old are in a second childhood.
Aristophanes

There is a wicked inclination in most people to suppose an old man decayed in his intellects. If a young or middle-aged man, when leaving a company, does not remember where he laid his hat, it is nothing; but if the same inattention is discovered in an old man, people will shrug up their shoulders, and say, "His memory is going."
Samuel Johnson

In youth, however unhappy, we solace ourselves with the hope of better fortune, and however vicious, appease our consciences with intentions of repentance; but the time comes at last, in which life has no more to promise, in which happiness can be drawn only from recollection, and virtue will be all that we can recollect with pleasure.
Samuel Johnson

Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of old age, that age appears to be best in four things,—old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
Francis Bacon

If men imagine that excess of debauchery can be made reverend by time, that knowledge is the consequence of long life, however idly or thoughtlessly employed, that priority of birth will supply the want of steadiness or honesty, can it raise much wonder that their hopes are disappointed, and that they see their posterity rather willing to trust their own eyes in their progress into life, than enlist themselves under guides who have lost their way?
Samuel Johnson

Few people know how to be old.
La Rochefoucauld

If you could shew them, that though they may refuse to grow wise, they must inevitably grow old; and that the proper solaces of age are not musick and compliments, but wisdom and devotion; that those who are so unwilling to quit the world will soon be driven from it; and that it is therefore their interest to retire while there yet remain a few hours for nobler employments.
Samuel Johnson

To me old age is always fifteen years older than I am.
Bernard Baruch

The most usual support of old age is wealth.
Samuel Johnson

It is a fact that no man improves much after the age of 60 and after 65, most suffer a really alarming decline. I could give some examples, but at the advice of my publisher will refrain from doing so.
H. L. Mencken

Every man desires to live long, but no man would be old.
Jonathan Swift

It is a man's own fault, it is from want of use, if his mind grows torpid in old age.
Samuel Johnson

What is called the serenity of age is only perhaps a euphemism for the fading power to feel the sudden shock of joy or sorrow.
Arthur Bliss

With full-span lives having become the norm, people may need to learn how to be aged as they once had to learn how to be adult.
Ronald Blythe

Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
Psalms 71:9

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made.
Robert Browning

What is the worst of woes that wait on age?
What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?
To view each loved one blotted from life's page,
And be alone on earth, as I am now.
Lord Byron

My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone!
Lord Byron

Old-age, a second child, by Nature cursed
With more and greater evils than the first,
Weak, sickly, full of pains; in ev'ry breath
Railing at life, and yet afraid of death.
Charles Churchill

That sign of old age, extolling the past at the expense of the present.
Sydney Smith

But years hath done this wrong,
To make me write too much, and live too long.
Samuel Daniel

Whenever a man's friends begin to compliment him about looking young, he may be sure that they think he is growing old.
Washington Irving

No, that is the great fallacy: the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.
Ernest Hemingway

Nature abhors the old, and old age seems the only disease; all others run into this one.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

No man is ever so old but he thinks he can live another year.
Cicero

You must begin to be an old man early if you wish to be an old man long.
Cicero

An old man is twice a child.
Shakespeare

Before a man comes to be wise he is half dead with gouts and consumption, with catarrhs and aches, with sore eyes and a worn-out body.
Jeremy Taylor

Every old man complains of the growing depravity of the world, of the petulance and insolence of the rising generation.
Samuel Johnson

A person is always startled when he hears himself seriously called an old man for the first time.
O. W. Holmes

Old and New


A man who reviews the old so as to find out the new is qualified to teach others.
Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu)

Oliver Goldsmith


It is amazing how little Goldsmith knows. He seldom comes where he is not more ignorant than any one else.
Samuel Johnson

No man was more foolish when he [Goldsmith] had not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he had.
Samuel Johnson

Onan


Because he spills his seed on the ground.
Dorothy Parker, on why she had named her canary 'Onan'

Opera


How wonderful opera would be if there were no singers.
Gioacchino Rossini

No good opera plot can be sensible … People do not sing when they are feeling sensible.
W. H. Auden

I do not mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don't understand.
Edward Appleton

Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings.
Ed Gardner

Opinion


He who says what he likes shall hear what he does not like.
English proverb

Public opinion is a compound of folly, weakness, prejudice, wrong feeling, right feeling, obstinacy, and newspaper paragraphs.
Robert Peel

Too often we … enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
John F. Kennedy

You've no idea what a poor opinion I have of myself—and how little I deserve it.
W. S. Gilbert

Absurdity, n. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect.
Herbert Spencer

Opinions are the cheapest commodities in the world.
Author unidentified

We think very few people sensible, except those who are of our opinion.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
Mark Twain

What the historian Elie Kedourie called "the Chatham House Version"—that toxic amalgam of smugness, moral relativism, and cherished feelings of guilt about the achievements of Western civilization—everywhere nurtured the catechism of established opinion.
Roger Kimball

You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.
Olin Miller

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Bertrand Russell

I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.
Bertrand Russell

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
Bertrand Russell

He that complies against his will
Is of his own opinion still.
Samuel Butler

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.
John Locke

Some praise at morning what they blame at night,
But always think the last opinion right.
Alexander Pope

It is much easier to burn men than to burn their opinions.
Charles Dickens

Opium


Thou hast the keys of Paradise, oh just, subtle, and mighty opium!
Thomas De Quincey

Opportunity


What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?
Logan Pearsall Smith

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison

Delay not; swift the flight of fortune's greatest favours.
Seneca

Oppression


It is doubtful if the oppressed ever fight for freedom. They fight for pride and power—power to oppress others. The oppressed want above all to imitate their oppressors; they want to retaliate.
Eric Hoffer

Optimism


[Optimism] is a mania for saying things are well when one is in hell.
Voltaire

For myself I am an optimist—it does not seem to be much use being anything else.
Winston Churchill

Optimism and Pessimism


The optimist proclaims we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true.
James Branch Cabell

If one truly has lost hope, one would not be on hand to say so.
Eric Bentley

He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hopes for the human condition is a fool.
Albert Camus

There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times.
Edward Gibbon

What fresh hell is this?
Dorothy Parker, on hearing the doorbell or a ringing telephone

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.
George F. Will

Orator


He can best be described as one of those orators who, before they get up, do not know what they are going to say; when they are speaking, do not know what they are saying; and when they have sat down, do not know what they have said.
Winston Churchill, of a fellow Member of Parliament

Oratory


The object of oratory is not truth but persuasion.
Thomas Babington Macaulay

They talk most who have the least to say.
Matthew Prior

The thoughtless are rarely wordless.
Howard W. Newton

Orchestra


There are two golden rules for an orchestra: start together and finish together. The public doesn't give a damn what goes on in between.
Thomas Beecham

Order


The trouble about obeying orders is, it becomes a habit. And then everything depends on who's giving the orders.
Terry Pratchett

Originality


What a good thing Adam had—when he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before.
Mark Twain

Your manuscript is both good and original; but the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.
Author unidentified

My guess is that well over 80 percent of the human race goes through life without having a single original thought.
H. L. Mencken

Orwell, George


He [George Orwell] put his faith in man but, looking at the object of his devotion too closely, lost it.
Paul Johnson

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Last updated: May 23, 2024