Welcome to the web’s most comprehensive site of quotations by women. 44,280 quotations are searchable by topic, by author's name, or by keyword. Many of them appear in no other collection. And new ones are added continually.

See All TOPICS Available:
See All AUTHORS Available:

Search by Topic:

  • topic cats
  • topic books
  • topic moon

Find quotations by TOPIC (coffee, love, dogs)
or search alphabetically below.

Search by Last Name:

  • Quotes by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Quotes by Louisa May Alcott
  • Quotes by Chingling Soong

Find quotations by the AUTHOR´S LAST NAME
or alphabetically below.

Search by Keyword:

  • keyword fishing
  • keyword twilight
  • keyword Australie

Mae West

  • For her, morals did not exist. She would not have known what a moral was if it could be made to dance naked in front of her.

  • Men would wither and custom stale them, but diamonds! Ah, they were crystallized immortality!

  • Diamonds talk, and I can stand listenin' to 'em often.

  • I like a man what takes his time.

  • ... she wondered why it was that saving one's soul was always made so dreary and unattractive, whereas the way to Hell was always so utterly delightful.

  • In her voice was the despair that only youth can feel and only once in a lifetime — the first time!

  • Reason was nowhere, time was an immovable object nailed high on the wall, except where the world kept shop.

  • ... what's life good fer anyhow? The minute you crawl into the world for no good reason of yer own, it's got you licked four ways from the ace.

  • I always did like a man in uniform. And that one fits you grand. Why don't you come up sometime and see me?

  • [Replying to the remark, 'Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!'] Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.

    • Mae West,
    • in Night After Night ()
  • Come up 'n' see me sometime.

    • Mae West,
    • in I'm No Angel ()
  • I've been things and seen places.

    • Mae West,
    • in I'm No Angel ()
  • Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet.

    • Mae West,
    • in I'm No Angel ()
  • When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.

    • Mae West,
    • in I'm No Angel ()
  • Peel me a grape, Beulah!

    • Mae West,
    • in I'm No Angel ()
  • It is better to be looked over than overlooked.

    • Mae West,
    • in Belle of the Nineties ()
  • A man in the house is worth two in the street.

    • Mae West,
    • in Belle of the Nineties ()
  • His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.

    • Mae West,
    • in Belle of the Nineties ()
  • Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

    • Mae West,
    • in Klondike Annie ()
  • Give a man a free hand and he'll try to put it all over you.

    • Mae West,
    • in Klondike Annie ()
  • I always say, keep a diary and some day it'll keep you.

    • Mae West,
    • Every Day's a Holiday ()
  • I don't know much about politics, but I know a good party man when I see one.

    • Mae West,
    • Every Day's a Holiday ()
  • I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

    • Mae West,
    • My Little Chickadee ()
  • I looked out of the train window and all I could see was rain and fog. 'I know I'm going to love Manchester,' I told Jim, 'if I can only see it.'

  • The bite of existence did not cut into one in Hollywood ... Life elsewhere was real and slippery and struggled in the arms like a big fish dying in air.

  • Success is a two-bladed golden sword; it knights one and stabs one at the same time.

  • ... love is banality to all outsiders.

  • [On the metaphysical:] ... I knew in some marvelous way I had touched the hem of the unknown. And being me, I wanted to lift that hemline a little bit more.

  • Money is of value for what it buys, and in love it buys time, place, intimacy, comfort, and a private corner alone.

  • ... men are not realists — only women are.

  • I never set out to make men a career; it just happened that way.

  • ... all pleasures should be taken in great leisure and are worth going into in detail; love is not like eating a quick lunch with one's hat on.

  • Hollywood was like a mouse being followed by a cat called television.

  • Sometimes it seems to me I've known so many men that the FBI ought to come to me first to compare fingerprints.

  • ... too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

  • Sex is an emotion in motion.

    • Mae West,
    • in Diane Arbus, "Mae West: Emotion in Motion," Show ()
  • Women are as old as they feel, and men are old when they lose their feelings.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • I believe in the single standard for men and women.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • In my long and colorful career, one thing stands out: I have been misunderstood.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • It's hard to be funny when you have to be clean.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • She's the kind of girl who climbed the ladder of success, wrong by wrong.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • Well, it's not the men in my life that counts — it's the life in my men.

    • Mae West,
    • I'm No Angel ()
  • All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • Ice is nice at any price.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • He who hesitates is last.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • I'm single because I was born that way.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • I've always had a weakness for foreign affairs.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • You can say what you like about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • Personally, I like two types of men — domestic and foreign.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • [On her first marriage at 17:] I wasn't in love with him. I told him, 'It's just this physical thing. You don't appeal to my finer instincts.'

    • Mae West,
    • in Helen Lawrenson, "Mirror, Mirror, on the Ceiling: How'm I Doin'?" Latins Are Still Lousy Lovers ()
  • When it comes to finances, remember that there are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin.

  • You ought to get out of those wet clothes and into a dry Martini.

    • Mae West,
    • in Every Day's a Holiday ()
  • Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, Peel Me a Grape ()
  • The best way to hold a man is in your arms.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, Peel Me a Grape ()
  • Hiring someone to write your autobiography is like hiring someone to take a bath for you.

    • Mae West,
    • in Bookviews ()
  • A curved line is the loveliest distance between two points.

    • Mae West,
    • in Daily Mail ()
  • An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • When you think about it, what other playwrights are there besides O'Neill, Tennessee and me?

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • Joe always had plenty of protectors. But I learned about another way, too. You tied a piece of sponge on a silk string. Attached, see? Yuh wet the sponge in warm water before puttin' it in. Afterward you pulled it out and washed it.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • [On a lover getting a doctor for her:] His mistake was the doctor he called was as excitin' and magnetic as himself. So I needed the doc's services quite often 'n' my recovery was unusually slow. Naturally I didn't get a bill, know what I mean?

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • Good theater is not what is expected, but what surprises.

  • It was love on the run with half the buttons undone. The results were like a high-speed film — blurred but excitin'.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • When a woman goes wrong, a man goes right after her.

    • Mae West,
    • She Done Him Wrong ()
  • [To the angry actor who told Mae, 'You forget I've been an actress for forty years':] Don't worry, dear, I'll keep your secret.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • Virtue has its own reward but not at the box office.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • Marriage? I ain't got time for a husband or child. All my life I've looked after myself as if I was my own child.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • I like a man who's good, but not too good. The good die young and I hate a dead one.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • ... I've always taken men just as I found 'em, and thank heavens I've been able to find 'em.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • [On the 'Mae West' life jacket:] I've been in Who's Who, and I know what's what, but it's the first time I ever made the dictionary.

    • Mae West,
    • in Leslie Halliwell, The Filmgoer's Book of Quotes ()
  • It takes two to get one in trouble.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • I'm glad you like my Catherine. I like her, too. She ruled thirty million people and had three thousand lovers. I do the best I can in two hours.

    • Mae West,
    • on her show, "Catherine Was Great," in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • I feel like a million tonight — but one at a time.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • Imagine censors that wouldn't let you sit in a man's lap. I've been in more laps than a napkin.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • I'm no angel, but I've spread my wings a bit.

    • Mae West,
    • in I'm No Angel ()
  • I wrote the story myself. It's about a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.

    • Mae West,
    • in Jim Koch, "A Way With Words," The New York Times ()
  • So many men, so little time!

    • Mae West,
    • in The Observer ()
  • Censorship made me.

    • Mae West,
    • in Matthew McCann Fenton, "Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It: The Life of Mae West," in Biography ()
  • You're never too old to become younger.

    • Mae West,
    • in Jill Watts, Mae West: An Icon in Black and White ()
  • You gotta get up early in the morning to catch a fox and stay up late at night to get a mink.

    • Mae West,
    • in Simon Louvish, Mae West: It Ain't No Sin ()
  • Marriage is like a book. The whole story takes place between covers.

    • Mae West
  • I'm for peace — I've yet to see a man wake up in the morning and say, 'I've just had a good war.'

    • Mae West
  • She may be good for nothing, but she's not bad for nothing.

    • Mae West
  • Everything's in the mind. That's where it all starts. Knowing what you want is the first step toward getting it.

    • Mae West
  • I believe in censorship. After all, I made a fortune out of it.

    • Mae West
  • Your real security is yourself. You know you can do it, and they can't ever take that away from you.

    • Mae West
  • A man can be short and dumpy and getting bald but if he has fire, women will like him.

    • Mae West
  • If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning.

    • Mae West
  • The censors wouldn't even let me sit on a guy's lap, and I've been on more laps than a table-napkin.

    • Mae West
  • Poor Mary Ann! She gave the guy an inch and now he thinks he's a ruler.

    • Mae West
  • He's the kind of man a woman would have to marry to get rid of.

    • Mae West,
    • in Bob Chieger, Was It Good For Your Too? ()
  • I go for two kinds of men. The kind with muscles, and the kind without.

    • Mae West
  • A hard man is good to find.

    • Mae West
  • A good man is hard to find — but you'll mostly find him asleep.

    • Mae West
  • Some men are all right in their place — if they only knew the right places!

    • Mae West
  • Love conquers all things — except poverty and toothache.

    • Mae West
  • I never loved another person the way I loved myself.

    • Mae West
  • To err is human — but it feels divine.

    • Mae West
  • Save a boyfriend for a rainy day — and another, in case it doesn't rain.

    • Mae West
  • A man’s kiss is his signature.

    • Mae West,
    • My Little Chickadee ()
  • You fascinate me, tall, dark, and handsome!

    • Mae West,
    • in Cary Grant, "Mae West's 'Sex-Cess' Laid Bare, Philadelphia Record ()
  • [On the kind of man she could marry:] The not so handsome type. Those guys have more sex appeal, I think. Besides, they're not so hard to keep.

    • Mae West,
    • in Cary Grant, "Mae West's 'Sex-Cess' Laid Bare, Philadelphia Record ()
  • [On preferring nonfiction:] I can do my own dreaming; I want to know things that are real.

    • Mae West,
    • in The New Movie Magazine ()
  • [Line to stage husband who promises to keep 'a stiff upper lip':] Well, honey, you gotta start someplace.

    • Mae West,
    • Sextette ()
  • Sex is like cards. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.

    • Mae West
  • All my life, I would not conform to the old-fashioned limits they had set on a woman's freedom of action. Or the myth of a woman's need of male wisdom and protection.

  • [Peaches' reply when it was mentioned she'd been arrested 25 times in the past 6 months:] Well, no woman's perfect.

    • Mae West,
    • Every Day's a Holiday ()
  • [To a man who said he hoped he could trust her:] You can. Hundreds have.

    • Mae West,
    • I'm No Angel ()
  • [When Tira is asked if she believes in marriage:] Only as a last resort.

    • Mae West,
    • I'm No Angel ()
  • [When Tira is asked how she acquired so many beautiful things:] It's a gift, honey, it's a gift!

    • Mae West,
    • I'm No Angel ()
  • [Turning down $5,000 for a single radio performance:] I've gotta be seen to be appreciated.

    • Mae West,
    • in advertisement for First National Bank ()
  • I'm just gettin' even with two guys that are so low they could walk under that door without taking their hats off.

    • Mae West,
    • Belle of the Nineties ()
  • A thrill a day keeps the chill away.

    • Mae West,
    • Go West, Young Man ()
  • [To Cary Grant's character:] Come up and see me sometime. Come up Wednesday. That's amateur night.

    • Mae West,
    • She Done Him Wrong ()
  • A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • [When a judge asked her character if she was trying to show contempt for the court:] On the contrary, your Honor, I was doin' my best to conceal it.

    • Mae West,
    • My Little Chickadee ()
  • He's the kind of man a woman would have to marry to get rid of.

    • Mae West,
    • in Bob Chieger, Was It Good For Your Too? ()
  • It takes two to get one in trouble.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • The score never interested me, only the game.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • Men are my hobby; if I ever got married I'd have to give it up.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • Every script presented to me, no matter how imaginative a story, was built around a woman and a man. Mae West pictures, as written by me, were built around a woman and men, the more the better.

    • Mae West,
    • in Jill Watts, Mae West: An Icon in Black and White ()

Mae West, U.S. actor, playwright, screenwriter, comedian

(1892 - 1980)

Full name: Mary Jane West. She occasionally wrote under Jane Mast. A number of quotations attributed to Mae West are difficult to pin down; use with caution.