110 Dorothy Parker Quotes

These Dorothy Parker quotes are filled with amazingly witty and humorous lines that are not only entertaining, but also pack powerful messages that continue to inspire millions of people today.

So, if what you need is a little pick-me-up or some words of wisdom to get you going, then this is the right list for you.

Continue to the collection below.

Best Dorothy Parker Quotes

Dorothy Parker Quote - Brevity is the soul of lingerie.Pin

1. “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.”

2. “I don’t know much about being a millionaire, but I’ll bet I’d be darling at it.”

3. “I require three things in a man—he must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid.”

4. “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can't say 'no' in any of them.Pin

5. “That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can’t say ‘no’ in any of them.”

6. “Tell him I was too fucking busy—or vice versa.”

7. “Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.”

8. “She was pleased to have him come and never sorry to see him go.”

9. “What fresh hell is this?”

Dorothy Parker Quote - Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both.Pin

10. “Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both.”

11. “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”

12. “They are sick of the calm who know the storm.”

13. “I hate writing, I love having written.”

14. “That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone—wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - Constant use had not ragged the fabric of their friendship.Pin

15. “Constant use had not ragged the fabric of their friendship.”

16. “The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”

17. “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”

18. “Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.”

19. “This wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.”

Dorothy Parker Quotes on Writing and Fame

Dorothy Parker Quote - The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they're happy.Pin

20. “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do for them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

21. “I’m never going to accomplish anything; that’s perfectly clear to me. I’m never going to be famous.”

22. “I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true.”

23. “So, you’re the man who can’t spell ‘fuck.’”

24. “I’d like to have money, and I’d like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will; but if that’s too adorable, I’d rather have money.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - You think your hell is worse than mine.Pin

25. “You think you’re frightening me with your hell, don’t you? You think your hell is worse than mine.”

26. “Three be the things I shall never attain—envy, content, and sufficient champagne.”

27. “I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.”

28. “I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours.”

29. “There was nothing separate about her days. Like drops on the window-pane, they ran together and trickled away.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - You can't teach an old dogma new tricks.Pin

30. “You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.”

31. “I’m not a writer with a drinking problem, I’m a drinker with a writing problem.”

32. “The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘cheque enclosed.’”

33. “Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.”

34. “Of course I talk to myself. I like a good speaker, and I appreciate an intelligent audience.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - Writing is the art of applying the ass to the seat.Pin

35. “Writing is the art of applying the ass to the seat.”

36. “Her mind lives tidily, apart from cold and noise and pain. And bolts the door against her heart, out wailing in the rain.”

37. “I know this will come as a shock to you, Mr. Goldwyn, but in all history, which has held billions and billions of human beings, not a single one ever had a happy ending.”

38. “It’s not the tragedies that kill us; it’s the messes.”

39. “There’s life for you. Spend the best years of your life studying penmanship, and rhetoric, and syntax, and Beowulf, and George Eliot, and then somebody steals your pencil.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - Misfortune - and recited misfortune especially - can be prolonged to the point where it ceases to excite pity and arouses only irritation.Pin

40. “Misfortune—and recited misfortune especially—can be prolonged to the point where it ceases to excite pity and arouses only irritation.”

41. “And there was that poor sucker, Flaubert, rolling around on his floor for three days looking for the right word.”

42. “Authors, and actors, and artists, and such never know nothing, and never know much.”

43. “The only ‘ism’ Hollywood believes in is plagiarism.”

44. “There must be criticism, for humor, to my mind, is encapsulated in criticism. There must be a disciplined eye and a wild mind. There must be a magnificent disregard of your reader; for if he cannot follow you, there is nothing you can do about it.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - Salary is no object. I want only enough to keep body and soul apart.Pin

45. “Salary is no object. I want only enough to keep body and soul apart.”

46. “If you’re going to write, don’t pretend to write down. It’s going to be the best you can do, and it’s the fact that it’s the best you can do that kills you.”

47. “Hold your pen and spare your voice.”

48. “I’ll think about something else. I’ll just sit quietly, if I could sit still. If I could sit still, maybe I could read.”

49. “Oh, all the books are about people who love each other, truly and sweetly. What do they want to write about that for? Don’t they know it isn’t true? Don’t they know it’s a lie—it’s a Goddamn lie? What do they have to say about that, when they know how it hurts?”

Dorothy Parker Quotes on Love and Relationships

Dorothy Parker Quote - Now I know the things I know, and I do the things I do; and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you!Pin

50. “Now I know the things I know, and I do the things I do; and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you!”

51. “It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.”

52. “I wish I could make him cry, and tread the floor, and feel his heart heavy, and big, and festering in him. I wish I could hurt him like hell.”

53. “I don’t think he even knows how he makes me feel. I wish he could know, without my telling him.”

54. “Oh, it’s so easy to be sweet to people before you love them.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - I had been fed, in my youth, a lot of old wives' tales about the way men would instantly forsake a beautiful woman to flock around a brilliant one.Pin

55. “I had been fed, in my youth, a lot of old wives’ tales about the way men would instantly forsake a beautiful woman to flock around a brilliant one. It is but fair to say that, after getting out in the world, I had never seen this happen.”

56. “But I don’t give up; I forget why not.”

57. “Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it and it darts away.”

58. “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.”

59. “Women and elephants never forget.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - For I loved him, and he didn't love back.Pin

60. “The sun’s gone dim, and the moon’s gone black. For I loved him, and he didn’t love back.”

61. “His voice was as intimate as the rustle of sheets.”

62. “If all the girls attending were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.”

63. “She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.”

64. “Living well is the best revenge.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - Where's the man that could ease a heart like a satin gown?Pin

65. “Where’s the man that could ease a heart like a satin gown?”

66. “I shudder at the thought of men. I’m due to fall in love again.”

67. “Her big heart did not, as is so sadly often the case, inhabit a big bosom.”

68. “Be you wise and never sad, you will get your lovely lad.”

69. “All I need is room enough to lay a hat and a few friends.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - It turns out that, at social gatherings, as a source of entertainment, conviviality, and good fun, I rank somewhere between a sprig of parsley and a single ice-skate.Pin

70. “It turns out that, at social gatherings, as a source of entertainment, conviviality, and good fun, I rank somewhere between a sprig of parsley and a single ice-skate.”

71. “Oh, seek, my love, your newer way, I’ll not be left in sorrow. So long as I have yesterday, go take your damned tomorrow!”

72. “I’ll be the way I was when I first met him, then maybe he’ll like me again. I was always sweet, at first.”

73. “The sweeter the apple, the blacker the core. Scratch a lover and find a foe.”

74. “Trapped like a trap in a trap.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - Once, when I was young and true, someone left me sad - broke my brittle heart in twoPin

75. “Once, when I was young and true, someone left me sad—broke my brittle heart in two; and that is very bad.”

76. “Love is for unlucky folk, love is but a curse. Once there was a heart I broke, and that, I think, is worse.”

77. “My own dear love, he is all my heart, and I wish somebody’d shoot him.”

78. “Ah, clear they see and true they say—that one shall weep, and one shall stray.”

79. “If you looked for things to make you feel hurt, and wretched, and unnecessary, you were certain to find them, more easily each time, so easily, soon, that you did not even realize you had gone out searching.”

Dorothy Parker Quotes on Wisdom and Humor

Dorothy Parker Quote - If you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you.Pin

80. “If you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you.”

81. “Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words.”

82. “The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of the tires.”

83. “A hangover is the wrath of grapes.”

84. “Ducking for apples—change one letter and it’s the story of my life.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit.Pin

85. “There’s a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit.”

86. “Time doth flit; oh shit.”

87. “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.”

88. “Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.”

89. “A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - Yet, as only New Yorkers know, if you can get through the twilight, you'll live through the night.Pin

90. “Yet, as only New Yorkers know, if you can get through the twilight, you’ll live through the night.”

91. “Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.”

92. “London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful. Always, it believes that something good is about to come off, and it must hurry to meet it.”

93. “Sometimes, I think I’ll give up trying, and just go completely Russian and sit on a stove and moan all day.”

94. “Never be serious, nor true, and your wish will come to you. And if that makes you happy, kid, you’ll be the first it ever did.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - Never complain, never explain.Pin

95. “Never complain, never explain.”

96. “All I have to be thankful for in this world is that I was sitting down when my garter busted.”

97. “There must be courage; there must be no awe.”

98. “Why has no one sent me yet one perfect limousine, do you suppose? Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get one perfect rose.”

99. “Excuse my dust.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - I wish, I wish I were a poisonous bacterium.Pin

100. “I wish, I wish I were a poisonous bacterium.”

101. “This is me apologizing. I am a fool, a bird-brain, a liar, and a horse-thief. I wouldn’t touch a superlative again with an umbrella.”

102. “Travel, trouble, music, art, a kiss, a frock, a rhyme—I never said they feed my heart, but still they pass my time.”

103. “How do people go to sleep? I’m afraid I’ve lost the knack.”

104. “Friends come and go but I wouldn’t have thought you’d be one of them.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - You see, I've learned from looking around, there is something worse than loneliness, and that's the fear of it.Pin

105. “I’m quite alright. I’m not even scared. You see, I’ve learned from looking around, there is something worse than loneliness, and that’s the fear of it.”

106. “I find her anecdotes more efficacious than sheep-counting, rain on a tin roof, or alanol tablets. You will find me and Morpheus, off in a corner, necking.”

107. “For a few minutes, everything is so cute that the mind reels. And then, believe it or not, things get worse. So I shot myself.”

108. “Tomorrow’s gone—we’ll have tonight!”

109. “Bewildered is the fox who lives to find that grapes beyond reach can be really sour.”

Dorothy Parker Quote - The cure to boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.Pin

110. “The cure to boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

How About You? What Drives You to Move Forward in Life?

Dorothy Parker is an Oscar-nominated playwright, writer, critic, and poet who had a darkly humorous and witty writing style. And though early in her writing career, she mainly tackled personal topics like failed romances and ideas of self-harm, she slowly became more aware of her surroundings and later on wrote with a political slant. She was a writer who used humor and entertainment to bring to light human nature and civil liberties. These later on became the reasons why her works became controversial and criticized, but she soldiered on and continued to be the voice of the things she believed in and wished to fight for.

What do you think about Dorothy Parker and her writing style? Did you know about her even before you read this collection? Tell us what you think about this legendary writer through the comments section below.

Amy Finn

Hi. I'm Amy, the founder of this blog. I love quotes and enjoy sharing the best ones with you.

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