The Best Quotations


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best quotations about

Praise & Flattery

and Compliments


28 quotesVisits: 163


Charles Caleb ColtonImitation is the sincerest of flattery.

—  Charles Caleb Colton, 1780-1832, English cleric & writer

Wilson MiznerI hate careless flattery, the kind that exhausts you in your efforts to believe it.

—  Wilson Mizner, 1876-1913, American playwright

Mignon McLaughlinMen prefer brief praise, pitched high; women are satisfied with praise in a lower key, just so it goes on and on.

—  Mignon McLaughlin, 1913-1983, American magazine editor

Mignon McLaughlinIt is always safe to tell people that they’re looking wonderful.

—  Mignon McLaughlin, 1913-1983, American magazine editor

George Bernard ShawWhat really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

Samuel JohnsonJust praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

NapoleonHe who knows how to flatter also knows how to slander.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

Joseph RouxPersons of delicate taste endure stupid criticism better than they do stupid praise.

—  Joseph Roux, 1834-1905, French clergyman & poet

Baruch SpinozaNone are more taken in by flattery than the proud, who wish to be the first and are not.

—  Baruch Spinoza, 1632-1677, Dutch philosopher

Mark TwainI have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough.

—  Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American writer

Friedrich NietzscheI cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.

—  Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosopher

TalleyrandThe rich man despises those who flatter him too much, and hates those who do not flatter him at all.

—  Talleyrand, 1754-1838, French statesman & diplomat

Somerset MaughamPeople ask for criticism, but they only want praise.

—  Somerset Maugham, 1874-1965, British writer

Niccolò MachiavelliThere is no other way of guarding oneself against flattery than by letting men understand that they will not offend you by speaking the truth; but when everyone can tell you the truth, you lose their respect.

—  Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469-1527, Italian political philosopher

Seneca You can tell the character of every man when you see how he gives and receives praise.

—  Seneca, 4 AD-65 AD, Roman philosopher

Samuel JohnsonHe who praises everybody, praises nobody.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

La RochefoucauldUsually we only praise to be praised.

—  La Rochefoucauld, 1613-1680, French writer

La RochefoucauldThe refusal of praise is only the wish to be praised twice.

—  La Rochefoucauld, 1613-1680, French writer

Victor HugoA compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.

—  Victor Hugo, 1802-1885, French writer

Frank TygerModesty is the triumph of mind over flattery.

—  Frank Tyger, 1929-2011, American cartoonist

Fyodor DostoyevskyNothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.

—  Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1821-1881, Russian writer

Harry TrumanThe President hears a hundred voices telling him that he is the greatest man in the world. He must listen carefully indeed to hear the one voice that tells him his is not.

—  Harry Truman, 1884-1972, American President [1945-1953]

John WoodenYou can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.

—  John Wooden, 1910-2010, American basketball coach

Ancient Greek

PlatoPraise is the sweetest of all pleasures.

Ηδονών ήδιον έπαινος.

—  Plato, 427-347 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

AntisthenesIt is better to fall in with crows than with flatterers; for in the one case you are devoured when dead, in the other case while alive.

Κρείττον εις κόρακας ή εις κόλακας εμπεσείν. Οι μεν γαρ νεκρούς, οι δε ζώντας εσθίουσιν.

—  Antisthenes, 445-360 BC, Ancient Greek Cynic philosopher

AntisthenesWhen somebody told him “many people praise you”, he said “what have I done wrong?”

Προς τον ειπόντα «Πολλοί σε επαινούσι»: «Τι γαρ», έφη, «κακόν πεποίηκα;»

—  Antisthenes, 445-360 BC, Ancient Greek Cynic philosopher

Bias of PrieneDon’t praise an unworthy man for his riches.

Ανάξιον άνδρα μη επαίνει διά πλούτον.

—  Bias of Priene, 625-540 BC, Greek philosopher, one of the 7 sages of Ancient Greece


Wait a month before you praise a horse and a year before you praise a woman.

—  Czech proverb



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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou