By Blaise Pascal
In his Lettres Provinciales (1656-1657). What he was saying, of course, is that it's easy to ramble on, it takes effort to be succinct.
The origin is unknown but it is common already by the 17th century. It implies that those seeing a ship in a storm from the shore think they can better determine how the ship should be steered while in reality they would most likely panic in that situation themselves. It is used to indicate that it is easy to criticise other´s work, when one is merely watching from the sidelines.
By Henrik Ibsen
By Lennart Meri, former president of Estionia
By Fazil Abdulovich Iskander, writer and poet
This quote is often attributed to Marie-Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI. Where it really comes from is unknown. As early as in the 1760s, the sentence is found in the memoirs of the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau - when Marie Antoinette still lived in Vienna and was only 10 years old. Some historians attribute it to Theresa of Spain (1638-1683), the first wife of Louis XIV.
By Mihai Eminescu
Said by the famous Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu, considered to be one of the greatest figures in Romanian culture and is frequently quoted.
By Johan August Strindberg
By Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-British philosopher
By Johan Cruyff, Dutch professional football player
By Karl Lagerfeld, German fashion designer
By Juho Kusti Paasikivi, former president of Finland
By Jan Hus, Catholic reformer and scholar
By Oscar Wilde
Said by Oscar Wilde who near the end of his life was debt-ridden and ill and his shabby accommodation in Paris did not meet with his aesthetic standards.
By Albert Einstein
By Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (1974–1982)
By Ivo Andrić, Yugoslav author and diplomat, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1961.
By Archimedes, Greek scholar (287-212 BC)
"Eureka" comes from the Ancient Greek, which he said after he had stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose, whereupon he suddenly understood that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged.
By Otto von Bismarck
By Rada Kazaliiska, Bulgarian poet
By Napoleon Bonaparte
Said by Napoleon to De Pradt, the French ambassador to Warsaw, after the retreat from Moscow in 1812.
By attributed to Federico Fellini, Italian film director and screenwriter
By Ludvig Holberg (1684 – 1754), Danish writer, essayist, philosopher and historian
By the Chief of police to Kaiser Franz Joseph of Austria
This initial assessment of the outcome of a fire in Vienna's Ringtheater turned out to have been overly optimitisic.
A keen- to-please chief of police reputedly issued this report
to Austria's emperor Franz Joseph, after the outbreak of the fire in December 1881. In fact, the Ringtheater was burned to the ground and 386 opera-goers to Hoffmanns Erzählungen tragically died as a result.
The quote is now used to show-up 'half-truths' designed entirely to please the target audience, rather than to convey reality.
By Audrey Hepburn, actress and humanitarian
By Lennart Meri, former president of Estonia
By Václav Havel
Spoken by Václav Havel to the crowd on Wenceslas Square in Prague, 10 December 1989, amid the “Velvet Revolution”. On 29 December he was elected president of what was still officially known as the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
By Ivo Andrić
By Ludwig van Beethoven
These are the words that he wrote in the epigraph of the score of his 16th string quartet, Op. 135, in F major.
By Hans Bendix
By Nikola Tesla, inventor, electrical and mechanical engineer best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.
By Unknown, Greek proverb
All things require a great deal of time to mature, be they people or situations. Patience is a virtue.
By Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde was not known for his modesty! This is, reputedly, Wilde's response to an offical who asked him if he had anything to declare at a customs control in New York in 1882.
By Queen Elizabeth II
By Bertolt Brecht
By Fyodor Dostoyevsky
From his novel "The Idiot" (1869).
By Karen Blixen, author
By Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, Prime Minister of Malta (1982 – 1987)
In 1983, it was used as a political slogan by the Malta Labour Party government during its confrontation with the Maltese Curia, over its demand for free tuition at Church schools.
By attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
By Bertolt Brecht
from the Threepenny Opera (1928)
The source is unknown, but it´s a commonly used Finish proverb meaning "keep going through difficulties with determination".
By Giordano Bruno
By Yeghishe, Armenian historian from the time of late antiquity
This quotation comes from a rebellion in the 5th century against Persian overlordship, when the Armenians were ordered to give up Christianity and return to paganism. The quote is attributed to the chronicler of the time, Yeghishe. It characterises the rebel leader, Vartan Mamikonian, and his crew, called the Vartanank. This expression is used as a call to self-sacrifice nowadays, not necessarily couched in Christian or otherwise religious terms. It could also be quite political and military in its context.
By Søren Kierkegaard
By László Mérő, Hungarian psychologist
By Vincent Van Gogh
By Bohumil Hrabal. novelist
By King Louis XV of France
King Louis XV said ot to Madame de Pompadour. It is generally considered a nihilistic expression of indifference to whatever happens after one is gone though it may also express a more literal forecasting of ruination. The phrase refers to the biblical flood and is believed to date from after the 1757 Battle of Rossbach, which was disastrous for the French.
It's a famous sentence used to indicate a group who are not very united because everyone brings their own ideas without caring about those of others. "Berrita" refers to a traditional hat worn throughout Sardinia until the end of 19th century. There are many versions of this sentence in languages spoken on Sardinia and Corsica.
By Jakob Grimm
Co-author of Grimm’s fairy tales, was not a big fan of the capitalisation of German nouns Despite his objections (this quote is from 1854) capitals have survived in German whilst disappearing in other languages. German and Luxembourgish are the only languages in the world to capitalise nouns, although it was once common practice in many Germanic languages, such as Danish, Swedish and English (the United States Constitution of 1787 is a well-known example).
By Carl Gustav Jung
By Nikolay Haytov
By Antoine Jacques Claude Joseph, comte Boulay de la Meurthe, French Politician
Reaction to the 1804 drumhead trial and execution of Louis Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien, on orders of Napoleon.
By Salvador Dalí
By Hovhannes Toumanian
A line from a poem about immortality - The Capture of Fort Tmouk, published in 1902. Hovhannes Toumanian (1869-1923) is a very famous, very popular author of the turn of the 20th century, noted for his short stories, children's stories, and poems. This is a general expression of how good deeds live on. Or just deeds - that is, if one does something bad, that too can have long-term consequences.
By Frederico Fellini
La Dolce Vita is the title of Italian film director, Federico Fellini's, ground-breaking 1960 satire. It was, at the time, regarded as one of the most stylish movies ever made - putting Italian cinema firmly on the world stage.
The film, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg, made Rome THE destination to visit and made many people aspire to drive a Lambretta or a Vespa, wear exclusive fashion along with sunglasses (at night!), drink cappuccino and generally hang out on the streets, even when it was pouring with rain! One of the characters in the film, Paparazzo, provided the inspiration for the term "paparazzi" - to describe photographers making a living from their (sometimes unwanted) shots of celebrities.
Not everyone was so enamoured with the film, with some condemning if for placing a spotlight on corruption, debauchery, perversion, and aimlessness among the ‘high society’.
By Klemens von Metternich
19th century Austrian diplomat Metternich is said to have asked of Talleyrand when he heard the French statesman had died.
By István Széchenyi (1791-1860), Hungarian politician, political theorist, and writer
He was a big reformer and writer whose practical enterprises represented an effort toward Hungarian national development. Many great developments can be attributed to his name, for example he introduced steam shipping on the Danube, built the first suspension bridge at Budapest and also wrote several books where he voiced Hungary’s need for economic advancement
By Anton Chekhov
From his play "The Cherry Orchard" (1904).
By Friedrich Nietzsche
By Adolfo Suárez González, Spain's first democratically elected prime minister after the dictatorship
The statement was part of the presentation of the 1976 Political Reform, which allowed for the transition from General Franco's regime to a democratic constitutional system.
By Hryhorii Skovoroda, Ukrainian philosopher
By Leo Tolstoy
From his novel "Anna Karenina" (1878).
By Albert Camus, French author
By Péter Bacsó
The sentence comes from the Péter Bacsó´s famous parody movie The Witness (1969) which is about the attempt in communist times to cultivate oranges in Hungary. As the climate is not suitable for subtropical fruits the mission failed. In the movie, a party leader visits the scientists experimenting with orange-growing and he expresses the wish to taste an orange. As the only ripe orange is accidentally eaten, he is given a lemon instead, accompanied by this quote as an explanation. “Hungarian orange” became a symbol for the gap between the sweet party propaganda and the daily sour reality of life until today.
By Oscar Wilde
In his book "The Picture of Dorian Gray".
By Petar II Petrović-Njegoš
This is a line from his epic poem "The Mountain Wreath" and is part of a reply to a vizier Selim who requested unconditional surrender from "tiny" Montenegro which he insulted for being small. The response is saying that although Montenegro is tiny, it will be a tough nut to crack if Ottomans try to conquer it. Nowadays, it means one should not underestimate others, no matter how small/weak they seem.
By Edward Teller, Hungarian-American theoretical physicist
By Ernő Rubik, inventor of the Rubik’s Cube
By Béla Bartók, Hungarian composer
By Bohumil Hrabal, novelist
By Edward III of England, Monarch of England
It´s the motto of the British Order of the Garter originated by Edward 3rd (in 1348 or 1349).
By Arthur Schopenhauer
By Sepp Herberger
It’s considered deceivingly simple yet complete summary of what the game of football essentially is all about. Herberger was a famous German player, manager and national team coach who won the 1954 World-cup with West Germany.
By Atanas Dalchev
By Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist
By Gaston Bachelard, French philosopher
By Vergílio Ferreira
a Portuguese writer, and a key figure in Portuguese-language literature
By Sami Süleyman Gündoğdu Demirel
First said by Süleyman Demirel who served seven times as Turkey’s prime minister and became one of the most iconic political figures in Turkish political history. The quotation was announced by him in 1970’s, in order to justify his frequently changing political decisions. This quote has been used by many politicians for and against the political u-turns.
By Alexandre Dumas
It is associated with the characters of his novel The Three Musketeers (1844).
By Heinz Valk
This phrase refers to Estonia's struggle for independence in the late 1980's. Heinz Valk, an Estonian artist and politician, is also credited with coining the term "Singing Revolution" (in Estonian: laulev revolutsioon) - a series of non violent protest events that ultimately led to the restoration of independence of the Baltic countries from the Soviet Union.
By Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Opening sentence of the first chapter of his book "The Social Contract".
By Hans Christian Andersen
By Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist
By Geoffrey Willans, English writer and journalist
By attributed to Albert Einstein
By Queen Wilhelmina
It´s the title of her book published in 1959. Queen Wilhemina (1880-1962) reigned for an amazing 50 years (1898-1948). Sadly in her personal life she was married to a prince of ill-repute and she never received any love. So when she wrote her biography in the fifties, she gave it the sad title ‘Eenzaam maar niet alleen’.
By Petre M. Andreevski
This is a quote by the famous Macedonian poet Petre M. Andreevski. It can be found in his novel “Pirej“. The quote has a nostalgic note, signifying the suffering that a person has during a lifetime.
By attributed to John Lennon
Although the quote that is often attributed to John Lennon, it was actually first used in 1957 in an issue of Reader’s Digest by a man named Allen Saunders.
By Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt
By Gustav Mahler, 19th Century Austrian compose
He said it while visiting Niagara Falls and referring to the loud rush of the water as a ‘fortissimo’ -which is a music passage marked to be played very loudly.
By Robert Capa
Attributed to Robert Capa (1913-1954) who was a famous Hungarian war photographer and photo journalist. He is considered to be one of the greatest combat and adventure photographers in history.
By Søren Kierkegaard, philosopher