140 Mark Twain Quotes about Life, Fools & More

Mark Twain quote

In this post, we’ll read the best Mark Twain quotes who was an American writer, humorist, and lecturer, widely regarded as one of the greatest American authors of all time.

Mark Twain’s writing is famous for his keen wit, sharp humor, and biting satire. He is best known for his novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” (1876) and its sequel “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1885).

One of his most popular critic works is of Jane Austen. Mark Twain hated Jane Austen’s works, especially her most famous work ‘Pride and Prejudice’. He once said a library is a good library if it doesn’t have a Jane Austen novel, even if it has no other books.

He often used his writing to comment on social, political, and moral issues of his time, including racism, imperialism, and corruption.

Let’s read some of the best and wittiest Mark Twain quotes.

Best Mark Twain Quotes

Best Mark Twain Quote

1. “Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.”

2. “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”

3. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”

4. “Good judgment is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgment.”

5. “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.”

6. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

7. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

8. “Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.”

9. “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”

Funny Mark Twain Quotes

Funny Mark Twain Quote

1. “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”

2. “There is nothing so annoying as having two people talking when you’re busy interrupting.”

3. “Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.”

4. “If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.”

5. “Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.”

6. “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.”

7. “I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

8. “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”

9. “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

10. “Explaining humor is a lot like dissecting a frog, you learn a lot in the process, but in the end you kill it.”

11. “I can last two months on a good compliment.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Fools

Mark Twain Quote on Fools

1. “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

2. “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”

3. “Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.”

4. “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

5. “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

6. “April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.”

7. “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

8. “In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Life

Mark Twain Quote on Life

1. “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

2. “I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.”

3. “Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings. It consist mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one’s head.”

4. “There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.”

5. “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”

6. “Obscurity and competence—that is the life that is best worth living.”

7. “There isn’t time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.”

8. “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

9. “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Truth

Mark Twain Quote on Truth

1. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

2. “If you tell the truth you do not need a good memory!”

3. “Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.”

4. “No real gentleman will tell the naked truth in the presence of ladies.”

5. “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

6. “A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.”

7. “A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.”

8. “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

9. “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

10. “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Friendship

Mark Twain Quote on Friendship

1. “The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.”

2. “It’s easy to make friends, but hard to get rid of them.”

3. “It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart: the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.”

4. “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Travel

Mark Twain Quote on Travel

1. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”

2. “Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want to except heaven and hell, and I have only a vague curiosity about one of those.”

3. “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”

4. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

5. “The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Education

Mark Twain Quote on Education

1. “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

2. “Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.”

3. “Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”

4. “Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.”

5. “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

6. “Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles; it will make clear and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and obscurities now.”

7. “That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it.”

8. “The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.”

9. “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Love

Mark Twain Quote on Love

1. “When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.”

2. “What do we call love, hate, charity, revenge, humanity, forgiveness? Different results of the master impulse, the necessity of securing one’s self-approval.”

3. “There are three things men can do with women: love them, suffer them, or turn them into literature.”

4. “Don’t wake up a woman in love. Let her dream, so that she does not weep when she returns to her bitter reality.”

5. “What would men be without women? Scarce, sir…mighty scarce.”

6. “Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.”

7. “There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.”

8. “Wheresoever she was, there was Eden.”

9. “You can’t reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.”

10. “After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Cats & Dogs

Mark Twain Quote on Cats & Dogs

1. “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.”

2. “If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.”

3. “Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”

4. “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”

5. “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

6. “The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man’s.”

7. “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Age

Mark Twain Quote on Age

1. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

2. “Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.”

3. “The older I get, the more clearly I remember things that never happened.”

4. “The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it he knows too little.”

5. “When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Democracy & Politics

Mark Twain Quote on Democracy & Politics

1. “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”

2. “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”

3. “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”

4. “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”

5. “If we would learn what the human race really is at bottom, we need only observe it in election times.”

6. “Many public-school children seem to know only two dates—1492 and 4th of July; and as a rule they don’t know what happened on either occasion.”

7. “A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Books

Mark Twain Quote on Books

1. “Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.”

2. ‘“Classic′ – a book which people praise and don’t read.”

3. “Just the omission of Jane Austen’s books alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn’t a book in it.”

4. “When I am king they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.”

5. “My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.”

6. “In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”

7. “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

8. “Write what you know.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Happiness & Joy

Mark Twain Quote on Joy

1. “Comparison is the death of joy.”

2. “Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”

3. “Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with.”

4. “The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.”

5. “The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Ignorance

Mark Twain Quote on Ignorance

1. “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”

2. “Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.”

3. “Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Man

Mark Twain Quote on Man

1. “There’s one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he’s crooked.”

2. “When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet deep down in his private heart no man much respects himself.”

3. “A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.”

4. “Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

5. “Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.”

6. “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

7. “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”

8. “The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot.”

9. “Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.”

10. “There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man’s notion that he is less savage than the other savages.”

11. “Unconsciously we all have a standard by which we measure other men, and if we examine closely we find that this standard is a very simple one, and is this: we admire them, we envy them, for great qualities we ourselves lack.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Kindness & Compassion

Mark Twain Quote on Kindness & Compassion

1.Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

2. “Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any.”

3. “To do good is noble. To tell others to do good is even nobler and much less trouble.”

4. “I wish I could make him understand that a loving good heart is riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty.”

5. “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”

6. “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

7. “Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Character

Mark Twain Quote on Character

1. “Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.”

2. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

3. “Be good and you will be lonesome.”

4. “Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

5. “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”

6. “It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”

7. “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

8. “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

9. “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”

10. “It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.”

11. “There are no people who are quite so vulgar as the over-refined.”

Mark Twain Quotes on Imagination

Mark Twain Quote on Imagination

1. “Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.”

2. “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

3. “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”

Many of Mark Twain quotes and aphorisms have become ingrained in American culture.

Mark Twain was a master of literary realism which is a style that aims to portray life and society as it truly is, without romanticizing or idealizing it. He is rightfully regarded as one of the best writer, humorist, and social commentator of all time.

His contributions to American literature are immense, and his works continue to be studied, celebrated, and adapted to this day.

Which of these Mark Twain quotes is your favorite?

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