The Best Quotations


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Charles Caleb ColtonSilence is foolish if we are wise, but wise if we are foolish.

—  Charles Caleb Colton, 1780-1832, English cleric & writer

Samuel Taylor ColeridgeSilence does not always mark wisdom.

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834, English poet & philosopher

Blaise PascalThe eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.

—  Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662, French thinker

Mahatma GandhiSpeak only if it improves upon the silence.

—  Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, Indian leader of independence

Winston ChurchillWhen the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.

—  Winston Churchill, 1874-1965, British Prime Minister, Nobel 1953

ConfuciusSilence is a true friend who never betrays.

—  Confucius, 551-479 BC, Chinese teacher & philosopher

Mark TwainIt is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

—  Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American writer

Mark TwainThe right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.

—  Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American writer

Georges ClemenceauAll the great pleasures of life are silent.

—  Georges Clemenceau, 1841-1929, French Prime Minister

Francis BaconSilence is the virtue of a fool.

—  Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, English philosopher

Victor HugoIt is not easy to keep silent when silence is a lie.

—  Victor Hugo, 1802-1885, French writer

Martin Luther KingIn the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

—  Martin Luther King, 1929-1968, American leader in the Civil Rights Movement

Elbert HubbardHe who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.

—  Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer

Calvin CoolidgeI have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm.

—  Calvin Coolidge, 1872-1933, American President [1923-1929]

Eugene O’NeillGod gave us mouths that close and ears that don't... that should tell us something.

—  Eugene O’Neill, 1888-1953, American playwright, Nobel 1936

Quotes in Verse

Sylvia PlathThe silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own silence.

—  Sylvia Plath, 1932-1963, American poet & writer

Ancient Greek

MenanderSilence alone is not an apology.

Μόνη σιγή μεταμέλειαν ου φέρει.

—  Menander, 4th cent. BC, Ancient Greek dramatist (New Comedy)

Ancient Greek phraseBeing silent is better than talking.

Κρείττον του λαλείν το σιγάν.

—  Ancient Greek phrase

PindarOften is man's best wisdom to be silent.

Το σιγάν πολλάκις εστί σοφώτατον ανθρώπω νοήσαι.

—  Pindar, 522-438 BC, Ancient Greek lyric poet


International proverbSilence is golden.

—  International proverb

American Indian proverbBeware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark.

—  American Indian proverb ‐ Cheyenne


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou