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Quotations about Manners



Two of the most pleasant words in the English language are "please" and "thank you." ~Author unknown, c. 1950s


[W]hat is good behavior? A lying varnish spread upon a bit of wood to make it pass for a cane. ~Claude Tillier (1801–1844), My Uncle Benjamin: A Humorous, Satirical, and Philosophical Novel, 1843, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1890


Good Manners may in Seven Words be found:
Forget Yourself and think of Those Around.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Courtesy," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924


I am a guest in your life. You are a guest in mine. Not something that calls for a dress code, maybe, but a little etiquette? ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Never be late. When you're late, what you're saying is that your time is more important than the other person's time. That's pretty egotistical. ~Alice Cooper, interview with Cal Fussman, 2008 August 2nd, for Esquire's January 2009 eighth annual Meaning of Life issue


She had what we call tact, which has been defined as the art of making your company feel at home even if you wish they were. ~Author unknown, 1930s


I remember a different time — when a moment of civility didn't catch you so completely by surprise. ~Robert Brault, 2019, rbrault.blogspot.com


Agreeableness is a magnifying glass to other qualities of character. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


Be polite. Perhaps your family won't mind if you practice upon them. ~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), Knocks Witty, Wise and —, 1905


Never needlessly offend;
Lose No Chance to Make a Friend.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Friendship," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924


We should take pains to be polite who those whom we love. Politeness preserves love, is a kind of sheath to it. ~Mark Rutherford (William Hale White)


...it is always well to accept your own shortcomings with candor but to regard those of your friends with polite incredulity. ~Russell Lynes, "The Art of Accepting," in Vogue, 1952


It is an unusual time when common civility is not merely good breeding but a statement of one's politics. ~Robert Brault, 2017, rbrault.blogspot.com


DAILY  SALUTATION. Give every fellow you meet the time of day and half the road. If two or three doses of that kind of medicine fails to make him civil and kind, don't waste any more ammunition trying to pump politeness into a fool. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague


A Man consumes the Time you make him Wait
In thinking of your Faults — so don't be late!
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Procrastination," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924


Politeness is one-half good nature and the other half good lying. ~Mary Wilson Little, Reveries of a Paragrapher, 1897


Politeness is next to godliness. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


MANNERS  An attractive garment worn outside the home, and seldom seen within it. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914


Don't take your blues into society. Society has blues enough of its own. ~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), Don'ts for Bachelors and Old Maids, 1908


Sometimes a good sport is nothing more than just a good actor. ~The Dick Van Dyke Show, "The Impractical Joke," 1965, written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff  [S4, E16, Rob]


Discretion is being able to raise your eyebrow instead of your voice. ~Author unknown


Perhaps for some, rudeness is the fear of being nice. ~Terri Guillemets


Many who would not take the last cookie would take the last lifeboat. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963


No matter how you wish
For the last one on the dish,
Miss Manners has a right to it, not you;
And the largest one of all,
Or the nicest, big or small—
Well, I think you'd better leave her that one too!
~Gelett Burgess, "Miss Manners," 1900


People count up the faults of those who keep them waiting. ~French proverb


When you want to get your way, simply try being mannerly. It's become so rare nowadays that it disarms people. It throws them off balance. Don't think of it as merely being nice; rather, consider it "civil" war. ~Joseph Kita, "What I Know" (How to Get What You Want), Wisdom of Our Fathers, 1999


Says the rude child: "No, I won't do it." Says the courteous grown-up: "Yes, I won't do it." ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963


In those old days, the Nymph called Etiquette
(Appalling thought to dwell on) was not born....
Just as they pleased they dressed and drank and ate...
And danced unchaperoned, and laughed unchecked,
And were no doubt extremely incorrect.
~Charles Stuart Calverley, "Beer," Verses and Translations, 1862


What you discover about people you try not to offend is that you can offend them without trying. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Diplomacy is when you're very nice and polite so as to get something you want. ~Percy Keese Fitzhugh, Roy Blakeley: Lost, Strayed or Stolen, 1921


Good manners and graciousness pave the way for future favors. Bad manners crumble the road. ~Terri Guillemets


Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you — not because they are nice, but because you are. ~Author unknown


I remember when people dressed for special occasions, for weddings and funerals, for the theater, even for dinner. Makes you wonder — maybe civility starts to go out of style when the style starts to go out of civility. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com





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published 2002 Jan 25
revised 2021 Mar 16
last saved 2022 Aug 20
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