Reading through “The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain” is an experience like nothing less. One minute he may say something that is deeply profound, something that really makes you think; and just one minute later he may come up with something that has you rolling on the floor.

However, what really amazes me at times is the way he often says things that are both so true and so doggone funny. I’ve copied down a few of his comments for you, and done my best to separate them into ones that are true, ones that are funny, and ones that are both.


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

“The worst loneliness is being uncomfortable with yourself.”

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

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

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

“The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.”

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

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to share it with.”


“I didn’t attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

Speaking of an opponent: “It’s a shame they let her die a natural death.”

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

“If a person offends you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance, and hit him with a brick.”

True & Humorous

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

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember everything you say.”

“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.”

“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.”

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

“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.”

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

“The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.”

“What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”

“Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.”

“The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.”

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

And finally, here are the two best quotes I have ever read:

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

Think about that one for a minute and you’ll bust a gut laughing!

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

Try to find something wrong with that!

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