Funny Winston Churchill Quotes

Famous and Witty Quotes by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill
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Consistently ranked among the best U.K. prime ministers in history due to his leadership of the country during World War II, Winston Churchill is also known for his eloquence. He even won a Nobel Prize in Literature for his speechmaking (1953). Here are a few quotes by the well-regarded leader.

Churchill on Attitude

"If you are going through hell, keep going."

"Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it."

"I am easily satisfied with the very best."

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."

"For myself I am an optimist—it does not seem to be much use to be anything else."

"Personally, I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught."

"I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod."

"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often."

"The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes."

"We (The British) have not journeyed across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy."

"I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

Churchill on Politics and Government

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been tried from time to time."

"A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen."

"Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains."

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy."

"We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

"A sheep in sheep's clothing." (On Clement Atlee)

"Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential."


"A lady came up to me one day and said 'Sir! You are drunk,' to which I replied 'I am drunk today madam, and tomorrow I shall be sober but you will still be ugly."

Lady Astor: "Winston, if I were your wife I'd put poison in your coffee."

Winston Churchill: "Nancy, if I were your husband I'd drink it."

On Americans

"We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities."

On History

"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."

"History is written by the victors."

On Speaking

"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip."

"There are two things that are more difficult than making an after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you."

"Don't interrupt me while I'm interrupting."

"A joke is a very serious thing."

"From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put."

"If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time—a tremendous whack."

"When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber." (On the ill-informed)

"Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage."

"Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all."

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."

"We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out."

"In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet."

On the Truth

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

Churchill's Definitions

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."


"In those days he was wiser than he is now—he used frequently to take my advice."
"When you get a thing the way you want it, leave it alone."

On War

"A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, then asks you not to kill him."

"Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result."

"If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons."

"Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war."

With Fondness

"He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
"I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."