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Quotes of the day: Fran Lebowitz

Published Monday, October 26, 2015 @ 3:49 PM EDT
Oct 26 2015

Frances Ann "Fran" Lebowitz (b. October 27, 1950) is an American author and public speaker. Lebowitz is known for her sardonic social commentary on American life as filtered through her New York City sensibilities. Some reviewers have called her a modern-day Dorothy Parker. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A dog who thinks he is a man's best friend is a dog who obviously has never met a tax lawyer.

All God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.

Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.

Children make the most desirable opponents in Scrabble as they are both easy to beat and fun to cheat.

Climbing a tree makes sense to me only if behind you there are Nazis.

Do not allow children to mix drinks. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth.

Don't bother discussing sex with small children. They rarely have anything to add.

Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky. One can only assume that this has something to do with not smoking enough.

Food is an important part of a balanced diet.

Girls who put out are tramps. Girls who don't are ladies. This is, however, a rather archaic usage of the word. Should one of you boys happen upon a girl who doesn't put out, do not jump to the conclusion that you have found a lady. What you have probably found is a lesbian.

Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.

Having been unpopular in high school is not just cause for book publication.

Humility is no substitute for a good personality.

I don't believe in anything you have to believe in.

I never met anyone who didn't have a very smart child. What happens to these children, you wonder, when they reach adulthood?

I never took hallucinogenic drugs because I never wanted my consciousness expanded one unnecessary iota.

I would have more respect for the Pope if he wore a white cotton teeshirt emblazoned with red with the legend: INFALLIBLE BUT NOT INFLEXIBLE.

If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater, suggest that he wear a tail.

If you are of the opinion that the contemplation of suicide is sufficient evidence of a poetic nature, do not forget that actions speak louder than words.

If you removed all of the homosexuals and homosexual influence from what is generally regarded as American culture, you would pretty much be left with Let's Make a Deal.

If your sexual fantasies were truly of interest to others, they would no longer be fantasies.

Inhabitants of underdeveloped nations and victims of natural disasters are the only people who have ever been happy to see soybeans.

Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.

Magazines all too frequently lead to books and should be regarded as the heavy petting of literature.

Many people find smoking objectionable. I myself find many-even more-things objectionable. I do not like aftershave lotion, adults who roller-skate, children who speak French, or anyone who is unduly tanned. I do not, however, go around enacting legislation and putting up signs.

My favorite animal is steak.

No animal should ever jump up on the dining room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation.

Original thought is like original sin: both happened before you were born to people you could not possibly have met.

Screenwriting is not an art form, it is a punishment from God.

Sleep is death without the responsibility.

Smoking, as far as I am concerned, is the whole point of being an adult.

Special-interest publications should realize that if they are attracting enough advertising and readers to make a profit, the interest is not so special.

Spilling your guts is just exactly as charming as it sounds.

Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.

Success didn't spoil me; I've always been insufferable.

Television turned out to be exactly as bad as the most irritating and pedantic intellectuals of the '50s said it was going to be.

The best fame is a writer's fame. It's enough to get you a table at a good restaurant, but not enough to get you interrupted when you eat.

The opposite of talking isn't listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.

The telephone is a good way to talk to people without having to offer them a drink.

The three questions of greatest concern are: 1) Is it attractive? 2) Is it amusing? 3) Does it know its place?

There are only two modes of transport in Los Angeles: car and ambulance.

There are too many books, the books are terrible, and this is because you have been taught to have self esteem.

There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness and death. Any attempt to prove otherwise constitutes unacceptable behavior.

There's no line-item veto in life.

There's nothing about an elevator I like. It's too small. It's filled with people I did not invite. And often these people are wearing conflicting perfumes.

To me the outdoors is what you have to pass through in order to get from your apartment into a taxicab.

When it comes to sports I am not particularly interested. I look upon them as dangerous and tiring activities performed by people with whom I share nothing except the right to trial by jury.

Women who insist upon having the same options as men would do well to consider the option of being the strong, silent type.

You can't go around hoping that most people have sterling moral characters. The most you can hope for is that people will pretend they do.

Your life story would not make a good book. Don't even try.


(October 27 is also the birthday of Sylvia Plath.)

Categories: Fran Lebowitz, Quotes of the day


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