Winston Churchill Quotes

Most popular Winston Churchill Quotes

A hard-boiled egg of a man.
History is written by the victors.
— Winston Churchill

history

I like a man who grins when he fights.
— Winston Churchill
If you mean to profit, learn to please.
— Winston Churchill
The price of greatness is responsibility.
— Winston Churchill

greatness responsibility

If you are going through hell, keep going.
— Winston Churchill

adversity

Art is to beauty what honor is to honesty.

art

Experts should be on tap but never on top.
— Winston Churchill

consultants

We shape our buildings, then they shape us.

architecture

Eating words has never given me indigestion.
— Winston Churchill
If food is scarce, why isn't Gandhi dead yet?
— Winston Churchill

racist World War II

The first quality that is needed is audacity.
— Winston Churchill

artists

Life is a test and this world a place of trial.
— Winston Churchill

life

Advertising nourishes the consuming power of men.

advertising

We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.
— Winston Churchill

architecture

We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm.
— Winston Churchill

personal

An iron curtain has descended across the Continent.
— Winston Churchill
Without courage all other virtues lose their meaning.
— Winston Churchill
The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
— Winston Churchill

mind

Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning.
— Winston Churchill
It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
— Winston Churchill
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
— Winston Churchill

attitude

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.
A man is about as big as the things that make him angry.
— Winston Churchill

anger character

Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.
— Winston Churchill
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.
— Winston Churchill

work

We are all worms.  But I do believe that I am a glow-worm.
He is the only bull who brings his own china shop with him.
When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.
— Winston Churchill
We do not covet anything from any nation except their respect.
— Winston Churchill
We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.
— Winston Churchill

architecture

Hatred plays the same part in government as acid in chemistry.

hate

It is more agreeable to have the power to give than to receive.
— Winston Churchill

power

The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself.
— Winston Churchill

self-control

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
— Winston Churchill
He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
— Winston Churchill
Nothing is more costly, nothing is more sterile, than vengeance.
— Winston Churchill
I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.

alcohol

I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.
— Winston Churchill

racist

Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
— Winston Churchill

war

I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.
— Winston Churchill

attitude

I know of no case where a man added to his dignity by standing on it.

dignity

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

appeasement

Apt analogies are among the most formidable weapons of the rhetorician.

analogy

One must regard the hyphen as a blemish to be avoided wherever possible.

punctuation

This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.
— Winston Churchill

perseverance

Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
— Winston Churchill
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
— Winston Churchill
Broadly speaking, the short words are best, and the old words best of all.
— Winston Churchill

speech words

The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.
— Winston Churchill
Sometimes it is not enough that we do our best; we must do what is required.
— Winston Churchill

doing your best

A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
— Winston Churchill

fanaticism foolishness

The maxim "Nothing avails but perfection" may be spelt shorter: "Paralysis."

perfection

The further backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.
— Winston Churchill
It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.
— Winston Churchill
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
— Winston Churchill

failure success

There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.
— Winston Churchill
Modern science is standing on tiptoe, ready to open the doors of a golden age.
— Winston Churchill
Saving is a very fine thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you.
— Winston Churchill

thrift

In those days he was wiser than he is now; he used to frequently take my advice.
— Winston Churchill

advice

To gain one's way is no escape from the responsibility for an inferior solution.
— Winston Churchill
Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
— Winston Churchill

learning

For myself, I am an optimist — it does not seem to be much use being anything else.
— Winston Churchill
Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.
— Winston Churchill

hard work intelligence

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

lies

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.

inspiration motivational suffering

It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic.
— Winston Churchill

action

My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.
— Winston Churchill
That wasn't a maiden speech—it was a brazen hussy of a speech—a painted tart of a speech.
— Winston Churchill

oratory

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
— Winston Churchill
In wartime, Truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

truth war

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

motivation

I would like to remind you that without a degree of familiarity we could not breed anything.

familiarity

No part of the education of a politician is more indispensable than the fighting of elections.

politicians

Democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman.
— Winston Churchill

democracy

Relief would do no good. Indians breed like rabbits and will outstrip any available food supply.
— Winston Churchill

racist World War II

The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.
— Winston Churchill

victory & defeat

I pass with relief from the tossing sea of Cause and Theory to the firm ground of Result and Fact.
— Winston Churchill

facts

Headmasters have powers at their disposal with which Prime Ministers have never yet been invested.

school teaching

Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.
— Winston Churchill

art

If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.
— Winston Churchill
I will not pretend that, if I had to choose between communism and Nazism, I would choose communism.
— Winston Churchill

communism

I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
— Winston Churchill

Russia

I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia.  It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
— Winston Churchill

Russia

It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.
— Winston Churchill
Courage is the first of the human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all the others.
— Winston Churchill
Never give in—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—except to convictions of honor and good sense.
— Winston Churchill

principles

Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount.  And the tigers are getting hungry.

dictatorship

True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.
— Winston Churchill

genius

Moral of the Work. In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity. In peace: goodwill.
— Winston Churchill
I think we shall have to take the Chinese in hand and regulate them. The Aryan stock is bound to triumph.
I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
— Winston Churchill

egotism

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
— Winston Churchill

optimism pessimism

The British . . . are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst.
— Winston Churchill

English people

Meeting Franklin Roosevelt was like opening your first bottle of champagne; knowing him was like drinking it.
— Winston Churchill

greatness

Democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
— Winston Churchill

democracy

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
— Winston Churchill
I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
— Winston Churchill

funny

What was gunpowder? Trivial. What was electricity? Meaningless. This atomic bomb is the second coming in wrath.
— Winston Churchill

nuclear

Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party.
— Winston Churchill

politics

I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
— Winston Churchill

death

I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form.
— Winston Churchill

Cigar cigars

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

truth

People occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
— Winston Churchill
All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honour, duty, mercy, hope.
— Winston Churchill

greatness

I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and this trial.

preparation

A curious sport whose object is to put a very small ball into a very small hole with implements ill-designed for the purpose.

golf

Politics is almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.
— Winston Churchill
He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. Winston Churchill. There, but for the grace of God, goes God.
— Winston Churchill
Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.
— Winston Churchill

politics

Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war, you can only be killed once. But in politics many times.
— Winston Churchill

politics

Where does the family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl - no superior alternative has yet been found.
— Winston Churchill
Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.
— Winston Churchill

liberal

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because, as has been said, it is the quality which guarantees all others.
— Winston Churchill Strand

courage

The V sign is the symbol of the unconquerable will of the occupied territories, and a portent of the fate awaiting the Nazi tyranny.
— Winston Churchill

World War II

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
— Winston Churchill

democracy

I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes.
— Winston Churchill

racist

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
— Winston Churchill

capitalism

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings.  The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
— Winston Churchill

capitalism socialism

It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion's heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.
— Winston Churchill

English people personal

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
— Winston Churchill

victory

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

taxes

The monarchy is so extraordinarily useful. When Britain wins a battle she shouts, "God save the Queen"; when she loses, she votes down the prime minister.
— Winston Churchill
Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant.
— Winston Churchill

writing

Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.
— Winston Churchill

conviction

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body; it calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

criticism

The surest guide to health, say what they will, is never to suppose we shall be ill; Most of those evils we poor mortals know, from doctors and imagination flow.
— Winston Churchill
So far as Britain and Russia were concerned, how would it do for you to have 90% of Romania, for us to have 90% of the say in Greece, and go 50/50 about Yugoslavia?
— Winston Churchill

World War II

For good or for ill, air mastery is today the supreme expression of military power and fleets and armies, however vital and important, must accept a subordinate rank.
— Winston Churchill

geopolitics military

I shall always be glad to have seen it - for the same reason Papa gave for being glad to have seen Lisbon — namely, that it will be unnecessary for me ever to see it again.
— Winston Churchill

Travel

My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.

alcohol cigars food

I do not want suggestions as to how we can disable the economy and the machinery of war, what I want are suggestions as to how we can roast the German refugees on their escape from Breslau.
— Winston Churchill

World War II

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.
— Winston Churchill

communication

The oldest habit in the world for resisting change is to complain that unless the remedy to the disease can be universally applied it should not be applied at all. But you must begin somewhere.
— Winston Churchill

change

The oldest habit in the world for resisting change is to complain that unless the remedy to the disease should be universally applied it should not be applied at all. But you must start somewhere.
— Winston Churchill

change

It may also be said that rational, industrious, useful human beings are divided into two classes: first, those whose work is work and whose pleasure is pleasure; and secondly, those whose work and pleasure are one.

work

One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as admirable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.
— Winston Churchill
[Gandhi] ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back. Gandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be grappled with and crushed.
— Winston Churchill
It may be that vengeance is sweet, and that the gods forbade vengeance to men because they reserved for themselves so delicious and intoxicating a drink.  But no one should drain the cup to the bottom.  The dregs are often filthy-tasting.

revenge

But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness.
— Winston Churchill

racist

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
— Winston Churchill

determination

It may also be said that rational, industrious, useful human beings are divided into two classes: first, those whose work is work and whose pleasure is pleasure; and secondly, those whose work and pleasure are one.  Of these the former are the majority.

pleasure work & play

What a man! I have lost my heart!... Fascism has rendered a service to the entire world... If I were Italian, I am sure I would have been with you entirely from the beginning of your victorious struggle against the bestial appetites and passion of Leninism.
— Winston Churchill
At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper—no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of that point.
— Winston Churchill

democracy voting

Writing a book is an adventure.  To begin with it is a toy, then an amusement.  Then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then it becomes a tyrant and, in the last stage, just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

writing

It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organising and conducting a campaign of civil disobedience, to parlay on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor.
— Winston Churchill

racist

The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate... I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed.
— Winston Churchill

racist

I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.
— Winston Churchill

racist

This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States)... this worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the 19th century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.