If you’ve ever wondered what it means to be a woman, read these My Fair Lady quotes we’ve gathered.
My Fair Lady is a classic musical movie released in 1964. It’s highly decorated, with eight Academy Awards. More than that, it was also the second highest-grossing movie released that year.
However, no matter how successful it was then, there’s been a lot of debate about whether My Fair Lady imparts the proper lessons to its audience. Today, we are much more aware and conscious of the disparity between men and women and how society attaches certain roles and expectations to a specific gender.
The movie shows Professor Henry Higgins trying to make Eliza Doolittle into a so-called lady. He tries to do so by teaching her how to act, talk, dress, and so on. The events that transpired in the movie are told in a misogynistic way, making today’s viewers reflect on the story’s true morals.
If you’re curious about the plot, read on. We’re optimistic the quotes we have in this list will have you reflecting on your views and beliefs.
Best My Fair Lady Quotes
1. “I sold flowers; I didn’t sell myself. Now you’ve made a lady of me, I’m not fit to sell anything else.” – Eliza Doolittle
2. “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” – Professor Henry Higgins
3. “There even are places where English completely disappears; in America, they haven’t used it for years.” – Professor Henry Higgins
4. “The French don’t care what they do actually, as long as they pronounce it properly.” – Professor Henry Higgins
5. “I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night, and still have begged for more. I could have spread my wings and done a thousand things I’ve never done before.” – Eliza Doolittle
6. Mrs. Higgins: “How ever did you learn good manners with my son around?”
Eliza Doolittle: “It was very difficult. I should never have known how ladies and gentlemen really behaved if it hadn’t been for Colonel Pickering. He always showed what he thought and felt about me as if I were something better than a common flower girl. You see, Mrs. Higgins, apart from the things one can pick up, the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated. I shall always be a common flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me like a common flower girl, and always will. But I know that I shall always be a lady to Colonel Pickering, because he always treats me like a lady, and always will.”
7. Professor Henry Higgins: “You see, the great secret, Eliza, is not a question of good manners or bad manners, or any particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls. The question is not whether I treat you rudely, but whether you’ve ever heard me treat anyone else better.”
Eliza Doolittle: “I don’t care how you treat me. I don’t mind your swearing at me. I shouldn’t mind a black eye; I’ve had one before this. But I won’t be passed over!”
Professor Henry Higgins: “Well then, get out of my way, for I won’t stop for you. You talk about me as though I were a motor bus.”
Eliza Doolittle: “So you are a motor bus! All bounce and go, and no consideration for anybody. But I can get along without you. Don’t you think I can’t?”
Professor Henry Higgins: “I know you can. I told you you could. You’ve never wondered, I suppose, whether—whether I could get along without you.”
Eliza Doolittle: “Well, you have my voice on your phonograph. When you feel lonesome without me, you can turn it on. It has no feelings to hurt.”
Professor Henry Higgins: “I—I can’t turn your soul on.”
Eliza Doolittle: “Ooh, you are a devil. You can twist the heart in a girl the same way some fellows twist her arms to hurt her!”
8. Colonel Hugh Pickering: “Are you a man of good character where women are concerned?”
Professor Henry Higgins: “Have you ever met a man of good character where women are concerned?”
Colonel Hugh Pickering: “Yes, very frequently.”
Professor Henry Higgins: “Well, I haven’t. I find that the moment a woman makes friends with me she becomes jealous, exacting, suspicious, and a damn nuisance. And I find that the moment I make friends with a woman I become selfish and tyrannical. So here I am, a confirmed old bachelor and likely to remain so.”
9. Colonel Hugh Pickering: “I’ll have you know, Doolittle, that Mr. Higgins’ intentions are entirely honorable!”
Alfred P. Doolittle: “Oh, ‘course they are, guv’nor. If I thought they wasn’t, I’d ask 50.”
Professor Henry Higgins: “You mean to say you’d sell your daughter for 50 pounds?”
Colonel Hugh Pickering: “Have you no morals, man?”
Alfred P. Doolittle: “Nah. Nah, can’t afford ’em, guv’nor. Neither could you, if you was as poor as me.”
Short My Fair Lady Quotes That’ll Forever Be Iconic
10. “I don’t want no gold and no diamonds! I’m a good girl, I am!” – Eliza Doolittle
11. “Eliza? Where the devil are my slippers?” – Professor Henry Higgins
12. “Come on, Dover! Come on, Dover! Move your bloomin’ arse!” – Eliza Doolittle
13. “She’s so deliciously low. So horribly dirty.” – Professor Henry Higgins
14. “Damn Mrs. Pearce, damn the coffee, and damn you!” – Professor Henry Higgins
15. “It’s the new small talk. You do it so awfully well.” – Freddy Eynsford-Hill
My Fair Lady Quotes to Elevate Your Mind
16. “Women are irrational; that’s all there is to that! Their heads are full of cotton, hay, and rags. They’re nothing but exasperating, irritating, vacillating, calculating, agitating, maddening and infuriating hags!” – Professor Henry Higgins
17. “There can’t be any feeling between the likes of me and the likes of you.” – Eliza Doolittle
18. “I ain’t done nothin’ wrong by speaking to the gentleman. I’ve a right to sell flowers if I keep off the kerb. I’m a respectable girl. So help me, I never spoke to him ‘cept so far as to buy a flower off me.” – Eliza Doolittle
19. “Art and music will thrive without you. Somehow Keats will survive without you. And there still will be rain on that plain down in Spain, even that will remain without you. I can do without you!” – Eliza Doolittle
20. Professor Henry Higgins: “Mother!”
Mrs. Higgins: “What is it, Henry? What’s happened?”
Professor Henry Higgins: “She’s gone.”
Mrs. Higgins: “Well, of course, dear, what did you expect?”
Professor Henry Higgins: “What—what am I to do?”
Mrs. Higgins: “Do without, I suppose.”
Professor Henry Higgins: “And so I shall! If the Higgins oxygen burns up her little lungs, let her seek some stuffiness that suits her. She’s an owl sickened by a few days of my sunshine. Very well, let her go. I can do without her. I can do without anyone. I have my own soul! My own spark of divine fire!”
Mrs. Higgins: “Bravo, Eliza.”
More My Fair Lady Quotes for Girls and Boys Worldwide
21. Eliza Doolittle: “I shall not feel alone without you. I can stand on my own without you. So go back in your shell. I can do bloody well without—.”
Professor Henry Higgins: “By George, I really did it, I did it, I did it! I said I’d make a woman and indeed, I did. I knew that I could do it; I knew it, I knew it! I said I’d make a woman and succeed; I did! Eliza, you’re magnificent. Five minutes ago, you were a millstone around my neck, and now you’re a tower of strength, a consort battleship. I like you this way.”
Eliza Doolittle: “Goodbye, Professor Higgins. You shall not be seeing me again.”
22. “How poignant it will be on that inevitable night when she shows up on my door in tears and rags! Miserable and lonely, repentant and contrite! Shall I take her in, or hurl her to the wolves? Give her kindness, or the treatment she deserves? Will I take her back, or throw the baggage out? Well, I’m a most forgiving man. The sort who never could, ever would, take a position and staunchly never budge. A most forgiving man. But, I shall never take her back! If she were crawling on her knees! Let her promise to atone, let her shiver, let her moan, I’ll slam the door and let the hellcat freeze! Marry Freddy! Ha! But I’m so used to hear her say, ‘Good morning’ every day. Her joys, her woes, her highs, her lows, are second nature to me now, like breathing out and breathing in. I’m very grateful she’s a woman, and so easy to forget! Rather like a habit one can always break. And yet, I’ve grown accustomed to the trace of something in the air. Accustomed to her face.” – Professor Henry Higgins
23. “I know your head aches; I know you’re tired; I know your nerves are as raw as meat in a butcher’s window. But think what you’re trying to accomplish. Think what you’re dealing with. The majesty and grandeur of the English language, it’s the greatest possession we have. The noblest thoughts that ever flowed through the hearts of men are contained in its extraordinary, imaginative, and musical mixtures of sounds. And that’s what you’ve set yourself out to conquer Eliza. And conquer it, you will.” – Professor Henry Higgins
24. “Eliza, you are to stay here for the next six months learning to speak beautifully, like a lady in a florist’s shop. At the end of six months, you will be taken to an embassy ball in a carriage, beautifully dressed. If the king finds out you are not a lady, you will be taken to the Tower of London, where your head will be cut off as a warning to other presumptuous flower girls! If you are not found out, you shall be given a present of—uh—even and six to start life within a lady’s shop. If you refuse this offer, you will be the most ungrateful, wicked girl, and the angels will weep for you.” – Professor Henry Higgins
25. Eliza Doolittle: “What’s to become of me, what’s to become of me?”
Professor Henry Higgins: “You know Eliza, you might marry. Not all men are confirmed old bachelors like me and the colonel, most are the marrying sort. And you’re not bad looking, you might even be what I call attractive. But not now. You’ve been crying at look like the very Devil himself.”
What Do You Think Makes a Woman Beautiful?
Back in the day, one thing we could have taken away from My Fair Lady might be how to become a lady. However, now that our minds are more open and educated, we understand that that’s not the most valuable lesson we can get from the movie.
My Fair Lady is more about empowering females all over the world. It shows us that how we dress, talk, and act aren’t the things that make us beautiful or desirable. Instead, we should base it on confidence, how we carry ourselves, and how we stand up for our beliefs.
The women of today are given more chances to speak out. However, that doesn’t mean our fight for equality is over. The state of gender equality can be improved much more.
So, don’t take My Fair Lady for what it is. Try to look deeper and understand the underlying messages we can all live by!