My favorite pithy sayings -- Gathering's from my books and my sad experiences working for very witty people. 

Much was traded back and forth and two decades immersed in the Pacific Northwet left me coming up with rejoinders. Hints and Pithy Sayings such as "A great mind is one that can forget" The green one are my own ...  but I suspect that credit to some (plant and cooking related ones) have been forgotten. I rest comfortably in knowing that I have installed hard lines into the skulls of my kids. They may not always have been gentile, then again we live in a different world. 

Tom Lehrers "sliding down the razor bade of life" truly reflects the time we live in. ENJOY!

Count Totals
I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day.

Tomorrow isn't looking good either.

The bigger the  summer vacation the harder the fall. 

The best thing to do behind someone's back is to pat it. 

Experience is a comb that nature gives us when we are bald.

I don't have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem. 

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine 
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Poverty is no disgrace, but it is confoundedly inconvenient. 

Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself," 

Where the heck is the ceiling?!"

I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by.

Pray to God but keep on rowing the boat ashore.  

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines --Satchel Paige

Am I getting smart with you? How would you know?

When in doubt ... mumble.

A friend is a person with a sneaky knack of saying good things about you behind your back.

A shortcut is often the quick way to somewhere you're not going.

I loathe people who keep dogs. 
They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves.

I'm not just a gardener; I'm a Plant  Manager.

My Reality Check bounced.

On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the escape key.

You're slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter.

I don't suffer from stress. I'm a carrier.

Don't bite the hand that . . . . has six fingers. 

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

There are two rules for ultimate success in life. 

1. Never tell everything you know. 2. Never tell everything you think you know.

I'd explain it to you, but your brain would explode.

Don't throw away the old bucket until you are sure the new one holds water.

Tell me what you need, and I'll tell you how to get along without it.

It's not necessary to blow out the other fellow's candles to make your own shine brighter.

Dogs are mans best friend because they wag their tails not their tongues.

There is no one so narrow-minded as the person who disagrees with you.

He who bears chives on his breath Is safe from being kissed to death

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

Friendship is the voluntary discipline of ignoring faults in one another.

The shortest distance between two points is always under construction.

"All moanday, tearsday, wailsday, thumpsday, frightday, shatterday."  James Joyce

Laughter: a smile that has burst into joyous sound.

A go-getter is someone who gets in behind you in a revolving door and comes out ahead of you.

When the wolf comes knocking on the door, love flies out the window.  

Men are like fine wine. They all start out like grapes, and it's our job  to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into  something with which you'd like to have dinner with."
Women are like fine wine. They all start out fresh, fruity and intoxicating to the mind and then turn full-bodied with age until they go all sour and vinegary and give you a headache.

While I'm on the food angle 

If a man finds himself with bread in both hands, he should exchange one loaf for some flowers of narcissus, because the loaf feeds the body, but the flowers feed the soul. -- Muhammad

 "Fox hunting is the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable" -- Oscar Wilde

Food tastes better when you eat it with your own spoon.

If you don't crack the shell, you can't eat the nut.

Be careful of the words you say, keep them soft and sweet; You never know from day to day which ones you'll have to eat.

Overeating: living beyond your seams.

Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.

Age is not important unless you are a cheese.

Whine: something made from sour grapes.

It took courage to discover frog legs are edible.

A rumor is as hard to un-spread as butter.

In some restaurants, the catch of the day is the waiter.

Taste makes waist.

I always like to end with something educational!  
Life in the 1500's

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May 
and were still smelling pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, 
so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the b.o.

Baths equaled a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the  privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually loose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water". 

Houses had thatched roofs. Thick straw, piled high, with no wood
underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the pets ...dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs," 

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. So, they found if they made beds with big posts and hung a sheet over the top, it addressed that problem. Hence those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies. The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor". 

Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really special then that happened. When company came over, they would bring out some bacon and hang it up to show it off. It was a sign of wealth and that a man "could really bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food. This happened most often with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes... for 400 years. Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers - a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms got into the wood. After eating off wormy trenchers, they would get "trench mouth."

 Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust"

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake".

England is old and small and they started running out of places to bury
people. So, they would dig up coffins and would take their bones to a house and re-use the grave. In reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard shift" they would know that someone was "saved by the bell" or he was a "dead ringer"

One liners 

Don't take life too seriously; you're not getting out alive.

A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Apples do not fall far from trees.

It's the biggest cherry tree that attracts the wind.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing.

If something goes without saying, let it.

Jesus paid for our sins, now, lets get our money's worth.

Be nice to your kids, they'll choose your nursing home.

If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

If at first you don't succeed, deny you were even trying.

Sharp lips are meant to be missed.

My age is as a lusty winter, Frosty but kindly.

--William Shakespeare

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity. -- or as I rewrite to be

Individual intelligence is not match for national stupidity. (

A compliment is verbal; sunshine - Robert Orben

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.

Just because I'm wandering, doesn't mean I'm lost.

Being young is a fault that improves daily.

Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?  

Bad is called good when worse happens.

You're just jealous because the voices don't talk to you too.

Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.

If your parents didn't have kids, you probably won't either.

I used to be a schizophrenic, but we're OK now.

Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them? (Local)

It's lonely at the top, but you eat better.

I couldn't care less about apathy.

IRS: We've got what it takes to take what you have got.

I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose. 

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

"Pessimism, once stepped in is damn hard to scrape off your shoes."  Same said for optimism

Optimists are people who leave the dinner dishes because they will feel more like washing them in the morning. (I am very much an optimist!)

Virtues are virtues only to those who appreciate them.

A pessimist is a man compelled to live with an optimist.

My idea of an agreeable person is one who agrees with me.

If you're ahead, shut up and stay there.

To make the sun shine, call off the picnic. 

As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in public schools.

The excess of virtue is a vice.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

A runaway monk never speaks well of his monastery.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging.

Opportunities are seldom labeled.

Anyone who calls a rose by any other name, was no doubt pruning without a good pair of gloves.

Two wrongs are only the beginning.

Few men are admired by their servants.

Help Wanted: Telepath. You know where to apply. 

The second mouse gets the cheese.

The early worm gets eaten.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't . . . . throw things. 


Follow your dream! Unless it's the one where you're at work in your underwear...'

One sits best on ones own bench.

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

Don't use a long word where a diminutive one will suffice.

I used up all of my sick days, so I'm calling in dead.

Always proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

If at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished.


The woman who tells her age is either too young to have anything lose or too old to have anything to gain. Chinese

Character is habit long continued. Greek

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Spanish

Slander says three persons: the speaker, the spoken to and the spoken of. Hebrew

A fool says what he knows, a wise man knows what he says. Yiddish

Be happy while your living, for you're a long time dead. Scottish

He who builds on every man's advice will have a crooked house. Danish

When a mouse laughs at a cat, there's a hole nearby. Nigerian

It takes ten pounds of common sense to carry one pound of learning. Persian

To marry once is a duty, twice a folly, thrice is madness. Dutch

Another's misfortune does not cure my pain. Portuguese

A fool may ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in seven years. English

One may make up a soft bed (for somebody), but still it will be hard to sleep in. Russian

An empty barrel makes the greatest sound. (Ignorant stupid people talk more often and more loudly than wise ones.) Russian

It's better to be safe than sorry. American

Many complain of their looks, but none of their brains. 

and this saying should be followed by:

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers,  looks around for the coffin.

-- H. L. Mencken

Personality is to a man what perfume is to a  flower. -- Charles Schwab

Clouds that thunder do not always rain.
-- Armenian Proverb


If you have others to share please: or contact me.

(c) Herb Senft 2013