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Bores

  • A bore: one who knows as well as you do what he is going to say next.

  • A bore is a person not interested in you.

  • A woman's definition of a bore: a man in love with another woman.

  • Bores: People who talk of themselves, when you are thinking only of yourself.

  • It is always your heaviest bore who is astonished at the tameness of modern celebrities: naturally; for a little of his company has reduced them to a state of flaccid fatigue.

  • ... to my thinking, it is more pitiable to bore than to be bored.

    • George Eliot,
    • 1861, in Gordon S. Haight, ed., The George Eliot Letters, vol. 3 ()
  • ... definitely a dreary woman. Rather like an earwig. She's a devoted mother. So are earwigs, I believe.

  • He's the kind of bore who's here today and here tomorrow.

    • Binnie Barnes,
    • in Michèle Brown and Ann O'Connor, Hammer and Tongues: A Dictionary of Women's Wit and Humour ()
  • ... travel never made a bore interesting; it only makes for a well-traveled bore, in the same way coffee makes for a wide-awake drunk. In fact, the more a bore travels, the worse he gets. The only advantage in it for his friends and family is that he isn't home as much.

  • She had less rise to her than a buckwheat cake. After an evening with Emily he began to appreciate the merits of disorder and hard cider.

  • The bore is good for promoting sleep; but though he causeth sleep in others, it is uncertain whether he ever sleeps himself; as few can keep awake in his company long enough to see. It is supposed that when he sleeps it is with his mouth open.

  • The bore is usually considered a harmless creature, or of that class of irrational bipeds who hurt only themselves.

  • ... there is no doubt that the garrulous bore is the most maddening creature to be shut up with for any length of time, on the wide earth. ... As a matter of fact, I have sometimes wondered if these impulsive, perfectly meaningless murders of which one has read at times, can have come about through one party babbling on endlessly — just once too often — when the other longed to be left in peace.

  • What things are sure this side of paradise: / Death, taxes, and the counsel of the bore. / Though we outwit the tithe, make death our friend, / Bores we have with us even to the end.

    • Phyllis McGinley,
    • "Sonnet From Assisi," The Love Letters of Phyllis McGinley ()
  • ... James was the kind of man who would make a death-struggle with an octopus sound as heavy and dull as a Sunday dinner.

  • In heaven they will bore you, in hell you will bore them.

  • No one has ever explained why it is that parents and guardians consider dull people such safe matrimonial investments for their young charges. Even granting the unsound assumption that dull people are more apt to be content with their own matrimonial fetters, they are certainly more apt to be the cause of discontent in others.

  • ... his silence made him formidable, especially to most of his wife's friends who, though they could hardly be reproached with want of pluck as a general rule, had one great fear in life — the fear of being bored. It was on this ground that they were all terrified of Romer.

  • Bores are the pariahs of society.

  • ... nobody ever bores another on purpose. The Bore sees himself as the life of the party, a vivacious cutie, information dispenser, or some other flattering guise. You and I, horrible thought, may be a bore without knowing it.

  • I can excuse anything but boredom. Boring people don't have to stay that way.

  • ... it is a good thing if two uninteresting people marry and keep their dullness to themselves.

  • There is nothing more boring than a bored person.

  • Whether in private conversation or in a group — if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody!

  • I have always been interested in bores. They are in my opinion the strangest of human phenomena, probably the one type of character it is impossible to dramatize. Has any one ever read a novel entitled 'The Bore'? You have not, because the creative mind cannot produce him. He is automatic mentally. He can learn, frequently more than an intelligent man, but he cannot think. He is without imagination and the personal messengers of sensibility. He never knows or suspects how the other fellow feels. Poor D--- could talk indefinitely in a sensible monotone without the glint of a thought to brighten his durable conversation. To me it has ever been fascinating to watch a good brain work that was totally disconnected from life, charm, or personality.

  • Nothing fans me into such a state of peaceful mental somnambulance as the intellectual antics of a person who displays his learning, not from vanity always, but frequently because it is all he has got; no real sense, no wisdom of his own, merely much good stuff he has learned from other sources. He spreads it like a garment as any other decent person would to hide the thinness of his shanks.

  • Did you ever notice how easy it is to forgive a person any number of faults for one endearing characteristic, for a certain style, or some commitment to life — while someone with many good qualities is insupportable for a single defect if it happens to be a boring one?

  • Avoid giving invitations to bores — they will come without.

  • ... if you have once thoroughly bored somebody it is next to impossible to unbore him.

  • ... in the family I grew up in, being called boring was like being called an ax murderer.

  • ... nothing is so pleasant ... as to display your worldly wisdom in epigram and dissertation, but it is a trifle tedious to hear another person display theirs.

  • Tallulah [Bankhead] never bored anyone, and I consider that humanitarianism of a very high order indeed.

  • ... I detest so much ... those persons, who insist upon telling you everything — who labor every point, as the lawyers say, as if they thought all excellence consisted in length ...

    • Mary Russell Mitford,
    • 1851, in the Reverend A.G. L'Estrange, ed., The Life of Mary Russell Mitford, vol. 1 ()
  • A gossip is one who talks to you about others; a bore is one who talks to you about himself; and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself.

    • Lisa Kirk,
    • in New York Journal-American ()
  • A cardinal rule was that you never sat interesting people with bores. You put all the bores at one table. They didn't know they were bores, and they had a marvelous time. And the interesting people, of course, had no problem having a great time, because they were interesting.

  • [A bore is] a vacuum cleaner of society, sucking up everything and giving nothing.

  • Under pressure people admit to murder, setting fire to the village church, or robbing a bank, but never to being bores.

  • ... he loved to talk better than to hear, and to dispute better than to please ... people generally left the room with a high opinion of that gentleman's parts and a confirmed resolution to avoid his society.

  • Dullness is a misdemeanor.

    • Ethel Wilson,
    • in David Stouck, ed., Ethel Wilson: Stories, Essays, and Letters ()
  • Fight fire with fire. If you must have bores, always put them together or at the same table ... bores have an effervescent chemical reaction on one another at a party. They invariably have a marvelous time trading banalities in the absence of competition. Clichés roll trippingly off the tongue like sparkling epigrams and trite observations acquire depth sinking into receptive minds.

  • The classic definition of a bore is somone who, when you ask him how he is, tells you.

    • Anne Baber,
    • in Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon, Great Connections ()
  • ... as soon as he touches a subject it loses all vestige of human interest.

  • He was as boring as a white tablecloth.