An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Melancholy men are of all others the most witty.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Wit is educated insolence.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Wit. The salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914, American author, editor, journalist, "The Devil's Dictionary")


Nature gave us two ends: one to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then, man's success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most.


Robert Albert Bloch


Wit is so shining a quality that everybody admires it; most people aim at it, all people fear it, and few love it unless in themselves. A man must have a good share of wit himself to endure a great share of it in another.


Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773, British statesman, author)


The banalities of a great man pass for wit.


Alexander Chase


The banalities of a great man pass for wit.


Alexander Chase


A wise man will live as much within his wit as within his income.


Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773, British statesman, author)


Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar; never spread it about like marmalade.


Noel Coward (1899-1973, British writer)


A man renowned for repartee will seldom scruple to make free with friendship's finest feeling, will thrust a dagger at your breast, and say he wounded you in jest, by way of balm for healing.


William Cowper (1731-1800, British poet)


People who can't be witty exert themselves to be devout and affectionate.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


He who has provoked the shaft of wit, cannot complain that he smarts from it.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


The witty woman is a tragic figure in American life. Wit destroys eroticism and eroticism destroys wit, so women must choose between taking lovers and taking no prisoners.


Florence E. King (1936-, American author, critic)


He who doesn't lose his wits over certain things has no wits to lose.


Gotthold Lessing (1729-1781, German dramatist, critic)


In the midst of the fountain of wit there arises something bitter, which stings in the very flowers.


Lucretius (c.95-55 BC, Roman poet and philosopher)


Avoid witicisms at the expense of others.


Horace Mann (1796-1859, American educator)


To be witty is not enough. One must possess sufficient wit to avoid having too much of it.


Andre Maurois (1885-1967, French writer)


Wit is the epitaph of an emotion.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


There's a helluva distance between wisecracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.


Dorothy Parker (1893-1967, American humorous writer)


Witticisms please as long as we keep them within boundaries, but pushed to excess they cause offense.


Phaedrus (c.1-?, Macedonian inventor and writer)


True wit is nature to advantage dressed, what oft was thought, but never so well expressed.


Alexander Pope (1688-1744, British poet, critic, translator)


He's winding up the watch of his wit. By and by it will strike.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike.


Anne Germain De Stael (1766-1817, French-Swiss novelist)


Sometimes we are inclined to class those who are once-and-a-half witted with the half-witted, because we appreciate only a third part of their wit.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


Humor does not include sarcasm, invalid irony, sardonicism, innuendo, or any other form of cruelty. When these things are raised to a high point they can become wit, but unlike the French and the English, we have not been much good at wit since the days of Benjamin Franklin.


James Thurber (1894-1961, American humorist, illustrator)


Wit and Humor -- if any difference, it is in duration -- lightning and electric light. Same material, apparently; but one is vivid, and can do damage -- the other fools along and enjoys elaboration.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which, before their union, were not perceived to have any relation.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Wit is the only wall between us and the dark.


Mark Van Doren (1894-1973, American critic, poet)


Wit is brushwood; judgment timber; the one gives the greatest flame, and the other yields the most durable heat; and both meeting make the best fire.


Author Unknown


Wit is more often a shield than a lance.


Author Unknown


You can make a sordid thing sound like a brilliant drawing-room comedy. Probably a fear we have of facing up to the real issues. Could you say we were guilty of Noel Cowardice?


Peter De Vries (1910-1993, American author)


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