Oscar Wilde Quotations! The Irish Dramatist, Novelist & Poet (1854 – 1900). About Foxhunting Wilde Said, “The Unspeakable Chasing The Uneatable”. Everyone Should Be Familiar With This Reviled Genius’s Sardonic Wit, Acerbic Observations, Clever Critiques & Unforgettable One-Liners. Despite His Demise In 1900, His Thoughts Are Even More Relevant Today. Best Of All, Nothing About Wilde Is Conservative Or Conventional!







“The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.”


“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.”


“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”


“They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever.”




“A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.”


“Everything popular is wrong.”


“Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.”


“Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.”




“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”


“A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.”


“Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.”


“Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities.”




“It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.”


“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”

TABACCO: Is he talking about me?


“Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”


“Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.”




“I don’t at all like knowing what people say of me behind my back. It makes me far too conceited.”


“When a love comes to an end, weaklings cry, efficient ones instantly find another love, and the wise already have one in reserve.”


“The worst vice of a fanatic is his sincerity.”


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”


“All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.”


“Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”


“I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.”




“A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”


“The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily married life.”


“The final mystery is oneself.”


“It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly.”


“When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her.”


“Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”


“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”


“I don’t want to earn my living; I want to live.”




“When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.”


“Popularity is the one insult I have never suffered.”


“To become a spectator of one’s own life is to escape the suffering of life.”


“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”


“Scepticism is the beginning of Faith.”


“We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.”


“The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it.”




“She behaves as if she was beautiful. Most American women do. It is the secret of their charm.”


“Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love’s tragedies.”


“How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man, who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being!”


“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”


“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.”


“People who love only once in their lives are. . . shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.”




“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”


“Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.”


“I live in fear of not being misunderstood”


“There is no sin except stupidity.”


“Missionaries are going to reform the world whether it wants to or not”


“A man who pays his bills on time is soon forgotten”


“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.”




“To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.”


“A mask tells us more than a face.”


“Hatred is blind, as well as love.”


“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”


“In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.”


“By persistently remaining single a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation.”


“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing”




“Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation”


“I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.”


“I have found that all ugly things are made by those who strive to make something beautiful, and that all beautiful things are made by those who strive to make something useful.”


“Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.”


“Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.”



“This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.”


“To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.”


“Don’t give a woman advice: one should never give a woman anything she can’t wear in the evening”


“I can’t help detesting my relations. I suppose it comes from the fact that none of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves.”


“It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously.”


“Questions are never indiscreet: answers sometimes are”




“To get into the best society nowadays, one has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people”


“Men marry because they are tired, women because they are curious; both are disappointed.”


“A true friend stabs you in the front.”


“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”


“What is said of a man is nothing. The point is, who says it.”


“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”


“Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others”




“Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualification”


“The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork – Oscar Wilde”


“The value of an idea has nothing to do with the success of the man who expresses it”


“She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.”


“Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.”


“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you place the blame.”


“The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life’s tragedy.”


“A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”


“When one pays a visit it is for the purpose of wasting other people’s time, not one’s own.”


“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”


“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”


“Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other.”


“Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot.”



“He hadn’t a single redeeming vice.”


“I can sympathize with everything, except suffering.”


“Good taste is the excuse I’ve always given for leading such a bad life”


“The supreme object of life is to live. Few people live. It is true life only to realize one’s own perfection, to make one’s every dream a reality.”


“Looking good and dressing well is a necessity. Having a purpose in life is not.”


“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.”




“In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press.”


“The man had killed the thing he loved, and so he had to die.”


“No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true.”


“Murder is always a mistake – one should never do anything one cannot talk about after dinner”


“A man’s face is his autobiography; a women’s face is her work of fiction.”


“We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.”


“Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.”


“Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!”


“Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvious.”



“There is no such thing as an omen. Destiny does not send us heralds. She is too wise or too cruel for that.”


“A sentimentalist is simply one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it”


“Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.”


“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.”


“But what is the good of friendship if one cannot say exactly what one means? Anybody can say charming things and try to please and to flatter, but a true friend always says unpleasant things, and does not mind giving pain. Indeed, if he is a really true friend he prefers it, for he knows that then he is doing good.”


“Bad manners make a journalist.”


“Woman begins by resisting a man’s advances and ends up blocking his retreat.”


“The world is divided into two classes, those who believe the incredible, and those who do the improbable.”


“Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.”


“There are three kinds of despots. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the body. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the soul. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the soul and body alike. The first is called the Prince. The second is called the Pope. The third is called the People.”



Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do”


“Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven’t the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die”


“Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.”


“I don’t like principles. I prefer prejudices.”

TABACCO: Almost always, that is what Conservatives call “Principles”!


“Talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you, and at the end of your first season you will have the reputation of possessing the most perfect social tact”


“When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old, I know it is”




“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.”


“How clever you are, my dear! You never mean a single word you say.”


“The strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us. Men can be analyzed, women merely adored.”


 “Nothing makes one so vain as being told one is a sinner. Conscience makes egotists of us all.”


“I don’t like compliments, and I don’t see why a man should think he is pleasing a woman enormously when he says to her a whole heap of things that he doesn’t mean”




“Those who try to lead the people can only do so by following the mob”


“I like to do all the talking myself. It saves time, and prevents arguments.”


“One should never trust a woman who tells her real age. If she tells that, she’ll tell anything.”


“One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.”


“And he goes through life, his mouth open, and his mind closed”




A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.


A man is very apt to complain of the ingratitude of those who have risen far above him.


Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.


America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.


America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.


Anyone, who lives within their means, suffers from a lack of imagination.


Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.


Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.


Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.


Genius is born–not paid.


I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones.


I am not young enough to know everything.


I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.

TABACCO: This quote needs some work. But since they incarcerated Oscar for his homosexuality, I don’t suppose him questioning whether or not Man was really God’s creation after all would have improved Wilde’s political prospects.


If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.


Illusion is the first of all pleasures.


It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.

TABACCO: I am certain Wilde was being cynical here if not downright sarcastic!




It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is fatal.


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

TABACCO: “Tabacco” is my mask!


Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace.


Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.


Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one’s nerves – which is the same thing nowadays.


One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.


One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.


Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.


Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

TABACCO: Oscar Wilde was a Brit, but he seems to be referring to American Conservatives here, doesn’t he! I find their sort of moralizing “meddling”, not only objectionable, but downright un-American!


Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.


The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.

TABACCO: Wilde is proselytizing here for his own homosexuality, but his point is well founded.


The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, and the young know everything.



The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.


The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.


There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.


To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity.

TABACCO: More proselytizing!


We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.

TABACCO: One would think that Wilde lived in the 21st century! Things have not changed since Wilde’s Day; they have merely gotten much worse!




We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.


Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.


Wisdom comes with winters.


One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar.

Oscar Wilde, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”


The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated.

Oscar Wilde, “The Remarkable Rocket”


The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.

Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance, Act 3


I don’t play accurately – any one can play accurately – but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life.

Oscar Wilde, Algernon from The Importance of Being Earnest


When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.

Oscar Wilde, An Ideal husband, 1893


Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.

Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband, 1893, Act I


Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons.

Oscar Wilde, De Profundis


Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

Oscar Wilde, De Profundis, 1905


Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

Oscar Wilde, In Life of Oscar Wilde, H. Pearson


One’s real life is often the life that one does not lead.

Oscar Wilde, L’Envoi, 1882


Crying is the refuge of plain women, but the ruin of pretty ones.

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windemere’s Fan


My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892


I can resist anything but temptation.

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act I


It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act I


Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act I


Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act III




Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act III


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act III


What is a cynic? A man, who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act III

TABACCO: One of Wilde’s most famous quotes!


Only the shallow know themselves.

Oscar Wilde, Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young, 1882


Vile deeds like poison weeds bloom well in prison air; it is only what is good in man, that wastes and withers there.

Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol


We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.

Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost, 1882

TABACCO: One more deserved Jab at the American version of English!


To give an accurate description of what has never occurred is not merely the proper occupation of the historian, but the inalienable privilege of any man of parts and culture.

Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist


But what is the difference between literature and journalism?
…Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. That is all.

Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist, 1891


It is only an auctioneer, who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art.

Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist, 1891


The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.

Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist, 1891


A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist, part 2, 1891


One is tempted to define man as a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.

Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist, part 2, 1891


Do not speak ill of society, Algie. Only people, who can’t get in, do that.

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest


The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895, Act I


To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895, Act I


Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, Act 3


It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.

Oscar Wilde, The Model Millionaire, 1912


Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891




I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


I love acting. It is so much more real than life.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray, and the advantage of science is that it is not emotional.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


The reason we all like to think so well of others is that we are all afraid for ourselves. The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


When a woman marries again, it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our intellects.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891, preface


To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

Oscar Wilde, The Soul of a Man Under Socialism, 1881


In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs forever and ever.

Oscar Wilde, The Soul of a Man Under Socialism, the works of Oscar Wilde ed. G., 1954




Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made.

Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism


Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success.

Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism (1881)


I suppose that I shall have to die beyond my means.

Oscar Wilde, upon being told the cost of an operation





Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

- Oscar Wilde, The Ballad Of Reading Gaol’

TABACCO: Explanations, anyone, please?




I leave you with a quote from myself:



Tabacco Evil Axiom: If it weren’t for evil, how dull our existence would be. Without it, there would be no Reality TV, no Gossip, no Prisons, no Justice system, no Shakespearean dramas, no divorce lawyers, no churches, no devil worship, no “sin”, no Art and nobody would know anything about Oscar Wilde!




Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.


Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!


In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.

T.A.B.A.C.C.O.  (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People


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