Quotes

Briton or Boer

Fighting is vigorously proceeding, and we shall see who can stand the bucketing best — Briton or Boer.

Churchill, London to Ladysmith via Pretoria

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We must do our duty

One would have thought that if there was one cause in the world which the Conservative party would have hastened to defend, it would be the cause of the British Empire in India … Our fight is hard. It will also be long … But win or lose, we must do our duty. If the British people are to lose their Indian Empire, they shall do so with their eyes open.

Churchill, 18 March 1931

We must look forward

Danger gathers upon our path. We cannot afford – we have no right – to look back. We must look forward

Churchill, 10 December 1936

When you are in doubt

In politics when you are in doubt what to do, do nothing … when you are in doubt what to say, say what you really think.

Churchill, 26 July 1905, North-West Manchester (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Without an office, without a seat

In the twinkling of an eye, I found myself without an office, without a seat, without a party, and without an appendix.

Churchill, 1931, ‘Election Memories’, Strand Magazine

Re-rat

Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat.

Sir John Colville’s diary, The Fringes of Power, paraphrases this well-known phrase of Churchill’s, which may, in fact, be manufactured since no direct attribution can be found, but Richard M. cited in Langworth, editor of Churchill: In His Own Words, feels that ‘re-rat’ has been mentioned by too many sources to doubt that Churchill coined it.

War has taught us to make these vast strides

It may seem strange that a great advance in the world in industry, in controls of all kinds, should be made in time of war … War has taught us to make these vast strides forward towards a far more complete equalisation of the parts to be played by men and women in society.

Churchill, 29 September 1943, Royal Albert Hall, London

 

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Unteachable from infancy to tomb

Unteachable from infancy to tomb — There is the first and main characteristic of mankind.

Churchill, 21 May 1928 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

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Abstain from reading it

I have consistently urged my friends to abstain from reading it.

Churchill, My Early Life, writing about his only novel Savrola

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Superior eye of critical passivity

Do not turn the superior eye of critical passivity upon these efforts …. We must not be ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a joy ride in a paint-box.

Churchill, Painting as a Pastime

Mustard

‘A gentleman does not have a ham sandwich without mustard.’

Dinner with Churchill: Policymaking at the Dinner Table, Cita Stelzer, p 94. 

Captain of Our Souls

“The mood of Britain is wisely and rightly averse from every form of shallow or premature exultation. This is no time for boasts or glowing prophecies, but there is this—a year ago our position looked forlorn, and well nigh desperate, to all eyes but our own. Today we may say aloud before an awe-struck world, ‘We are still masters of our fate. We still are captain of our souls.'”

       —House of Commons, 9 September 1941

Linchpin of the English-Speaking World

“Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world. Canada, with those relations of friendly, affectionate intimacy with the United States on the one hand and with her unswerving fidelity to the British Commonwealth and the Motherland on the other, is the link which joins together these great branches of the human family, a link which, spanning the oceans, brings the continents into their true relation and will prevent in future generations any growth of division between the proud and the happy nations of Europe and the great countries which have come into existence in the New World.”

—Mansion House, London, 4 September 1941, at a luncheon in honour of Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada.

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Did Churchill Coin the Term ‘Iron Curtain’? He used the term 'Iron Curtain' in his famous 1946 speech

Churchill and Truman in Fulton, Missouri 5 March 1946Winston Churchill and Harry Truman arrive in Fulton, Missouri on 5 March 1946

On 5 March 1946, Winston Churchill gave his famous ‘Iron Curtain’ speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. The speech that Churchill called the ‘Sinews of Peace’ later became better known for the famous phrase it contained, ‘iron curtain’.

But did Churchill coin the phrase?

Churchill’s first known use of the phrase was in a letter to President Truman in May of 1945, where he wrote:

‘An iron curtain is drawn down upon their front. We do not know what is going on behind. There seems little doubt that the whole of the region Lubeck-Trieste-Corfu will soon be completely in their hands. [Following American withdrawal] a broad band of many hundreds of miles of Russian-occupied territory will isolate us from Poland.…it would be open to the Russians in a very short time to advance if they chose, to the waters of the North Sea and the Atlantic.’

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Churchill Quotes: ‘One-Liners’

A list of some of the best ‘one-liner’ Churchill quotes

Searching the internet will return hundreds of short quotes attributed to Winston Churchill–many of which are incorrect. Here we examine a list of Churchill’s best ‘one-liners’ throughout his life.

“Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” —1898

“I object on principle to doing by legislation what properly belongs to human good feeling and charity.” -1902

“War never pays its dividends in cash on the money it costs.” —1901

“Those who dealt in guineas were not usually of the impoverished class.” —1903 (The guinea, 21 shillings or £1/1/0, was sometimes featured in snooty adverts promoting high-priced goods in guineas rather than pounds.)

“Direct taxation was a great corrector of extravagance.” —1904

“The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go.” —1905

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