Quotes Archive

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He thought risotto was an Italian football player

He thought risotto was an Italian football player but he prepared this in five minutes. —TV advert

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Canned steak and kidney pie with a little tomato ketchup on top

As soon as the French start queuing up for baked beans, I shall commit harakiri, simply by leaning slowly on my favourite carving knife. Yes: the day the French start eating canned steak and kidney pie with a little tomato ketchup on top it will mark the end of a great civilization,

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Body as a disused Methodist chapel

Like most British people, I see my body as a disused Methodist chapel, now used for storage of unsold jumble. —David Stafford, “Gut reactions”, The Guardian Weekend, October 5, 1996, p.14

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Fat-filled fast food or something pre-packaged

Jeremy Paxman in his new book on the English argues that “for the majority of people, eating out is to consume fat-filled fast food, and to eat in, to be a victim of something pre-packaged”. —Cosmo Landesman, “May we have the pleasure?”, The Guardian, Saturday October 17, 1998

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The English in terms of tea, roast-beef and rain

The English can be explained by their Anglo-Saxon heritage and the influence of Methodists. But I prefer to explain them in terms of tea, roast-beef and rain. A people is first what it eats, drinks and gets pelted with. —Pierre Daninos, Major Thomson and I, (1957) from the Oxford Dictionary of Humorous

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Etymology of brutish (and British)

Brutish obs. form of British. Oxford English Dictionary brutish, a. (ˈbruːtɪʃ) Also 5–6 brutisshe, -ysshe, 7–8 bruitish. [f. brute + -ish.] 1.1 Of or pertaining to the brutes, or lower animals, as opposed to man. 2.2 Pertaining to, resembling, or characteristic of the brutes: a.2.a in want of intelligence or in failure

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London, a city of the drab dead…

If Rome, a city of the vulgar living, had been depressing after Greece, London, a city of the drab dead, was fifty times worse. John Fowles, The Magus

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This vile cunt-starving land

Now wand’ring o’er this vile cunt-starving land I am content with what comes next to hand. Earl of Rochester, Sodom

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Words at once true and kind

Nothing shows why at this unique distance from isolation It becomes more difficult to find words At once true and kind Or not untrue and not unkind. Philip Larkin, Talking in Bed

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How does an Englishman know his wife has died?

How does an Englishman know his wife has died? Sex is still the same, but the dishes are piling up in the sink.
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