Quotes on Lying

Posted: January 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

85 Quotations About Lies and Lying

1- O, what a tangled web we weave;
When first we practice to deceive!

2- Falsehood has a perennial spring.
EDMUND BURKE, speech on American Taxation, 1774

3- Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH, She Stoops to Conquer

4- A good memory is needed once we have lied.

5- There are worse things than a lie… I have found… that it may be well to choose one sin in order that another may be shunned.
ANTHONY TROLLOPE, Doctor Wortle’s School

6- I hate deception, even where the imagination only is concerned.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Dr. John Cochran, Aug. 16, 1779

7- The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.
STEPHEN KING, Needful Things

8- The lie that flatters I abhor the most.

9- There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
MARK TWAIN, Autobiography

10- Falsehood is often rocked by truth, but she soon outgrows her cradle and discards her nurse.

11- No mask like open truth to cover lies,
As to go naked is the best disguise.

12- I never encourage deceit, and falsehood, especially if you have got a bad memory, is the worst enemy a fellow can have. The fact is truth is your truest friend, no matter what the circumstances are.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to George E. Pickett, Feb. 22, 1841

13- If you live in bad faith, lies will appear to you like the truth.
FRANK HERBERT, God Emperor of Dune

14- One of the things cops learn first is that everyone lies. Some people to hide things, some people just for the hell of it, but everyone lies. Assume that everyone is hiding something, it saves time.
LAURELL K. HAMILTON, The Killing Dance

15- And, after all, what is a lie? ‘Tis but
The truth in masquerade.

16- When a liar became too skilled at deception, he could lose the ability to discern truth, and could himself be more easily deceived.

17- Lies are a little fortress; inside them you can feel safe and powerful. Through your little fortress of lies you try to run your life and manipulate others. But the fortress needs walls, so you build some. These are the justifications for your lies. You know, like you are doing this to protect someone you love, to keep them from feeling pain. Whatever works, just so you feel okay about the lies.

18- Lying is a sin destructive to society; for there is no trade where there is no trust, and there is no trust where there is no truth.
WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

19- Lies were like acid, corrosive: They could dissolve trust in a heartbeat.
ROB THURMAN, Nightlife

20- There must be repressed truth even in lies.

21- A half-truth does more mischief than a whole lie.
IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

22- Truth travels slowly and gets weaker as it goes. Suitable lies are strong and run faster.
ARIANA FRANKLIN, Mistress of the Art of Death

23- The prevarication and white lies which a mind that keeps itself ambitiously pure is as uneasy under as a great artist under the false touches that no eye detects but his own, are worn as lightly as mere trimmings when once the actions have become a lie.
GEORGE ELIOT, Silas Marner

24- It is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt.

25- My father always told me that what’s wrong with lying is that it’s an admission of weakness. If you’re the strongest, you can afford to tell the truth.
K. J. PARKER, Evil for Evil

26- A liar is a man who does now know how to deceive, a flatterer one who only deceives fools: he who knows how to make skilful use of the truth, and understands its eloquence, can alone pride himself in cleverness.

27- The best lies are always at least partially true.

28- Glorify a lie, legalize a lie, arm and equip a lie, consecrate a lie with solemn forms and awful penalties, and after all it is nothing but a lie. It rots a land and corrupts a people like any other lie, and by and by the white light of God’s truth shines clear through it, and shows it to be a lie.
E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

29- Sometimes it is easier to see clearly into the liar than into the man who tells the truth. Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.

30- False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
PLATO, Phaedo

31- All men must acknowledge Lying to be one of the most scandalous sins, that can be committed between man and man; a crime of a deep dye, and of an extensive nature, leading into innumerable sins; for Lying is practiced to deceive, to injure, betray, rob, destroy, and the like; Lying in this sense is the concealing of all other crimes, the sheep’s clothing upon the wolf’s back, the Pharisee’s prayer, the harlot’s blush, the hypocrite’s paint, and Judas’s kiss; in a word, it is mankind’s darling sin, and the Devil’s distinguished characteristic.

32- There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.
WILLIAM JAMES, Lectures XIV and XV, “The Value of Saintliness,” The Varieties of Religious Experience

33- The perjurer’s mother told white lies.
AUSTIN O’MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

34- When the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be their yet.
CORMAC MCCARTHY, No Country for Old Men

35- Even a liar tells a hundred truths to one lie; he has to, to make the lie good for anything.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

36- A recent study found that people lie more when they are texting. Yeah, especially that one lie: “Sorry, just got your text!”
JIMMY FALLON, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Feb. 7, 2012

37- Why, lies are like a sticky juice overspreading the world, a living, growing flypaper to catch and gum the wings of every human soul … And the little helpless buzzings of honest, liberal, kindly people, aren’t they like the thin little noise flies make when they’re caught.
JOHN DOS PASSOS, One Man’s Initiation: 1917

38- He who clips away a little truth, and puts in a patch of falsehood to make measure, is likely to become a skilful manufacturer of lies.
JOHN THORNTON, Maxims and Directions for Youth

39- Habitual liars invent falsehoods not to gain any end or even to deceive their hearers, but to amuse themselves. It is partly practice and partly habit. It requires an effort in them to speak truth.
WILLIAM HAZLITT, Characteristics

40- Sometimes you can learn things from the way a person denies something. The choice of lies can be almost as helpful as the truth.
LAURELL K. HAMILTON, Guilty Pleasures

41- A lie always needs a truth for a handle to it. The worst lies are those whose blade is false, but whose handle is true.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

42- As the snow before the sun, even so is a polished lie before the naked truth.

43- Those that think it permissible to tell a white lie soon grow color-blind.
AUSTIN O’MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

44- Lies don’t fix things. They don’t even make things easier, at least not in the long run. Best to tell the truth and then clean up an honest mess.

45- There never was a liar that had not a spot in him where he could not help admiring truth.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

46- The cruelest lies are often told in silence.
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Virginibus Puerisque

47- For the wretched conceit of a liar, in supposing himself clever enough to invent stories so ingenious that they shall, for any time, impose on people for the truth, and the still grosser folly in imagining, as he must do, that the world will, without investigation and analysis, take for granted anything he chooses to assert–that world more shrewd, more cunning, and as prying as himself–what a conceited ass must the liar be! How superior over others in cunning must he not believe himself! What fools must he not suppose the rest of mankind!
CHARLES WILLIAM DAY, The Maxims, Experiences, and Observations of Agogos

48- Some liars are so expert they deceive themselves.
AUSTIN O’MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

49- Little lies are very dangerous, because there are so many of them, and because each one of them scours upon the character as diamond-pointed.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

50- Understand that the tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes–never!
MIKHAIL BULGAKOV, The Master and Margarita

51- A lie is a very short wick in a very small lamp. The oil of reputation is very soon sucked up and gone. And just as soon as a man is known to lie, he is like a two-foot pump in a hundred-foot well. He cannot touch bottom at all.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

52- Lies are like sleeping pills. You should only use them when you absolutely have to. They spoil everything if you make a habit of them.

53- Did their conceit not blind them, neither men nor women, who habitually invent lies or garble the truth, could hope to be long undetected; for people meet who know them, talk over these statements, and soon ferret out the naked truth; and a few exposures will render its perverters objects of suspicion for the remainder of their lives.
CHARLES WILLIAM DAY, The Maxims, Experiences, and Observations of Agogos

54- The slickest way in the world to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time–and then shut up.
ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, Stranger in a Strange Land

55- Even a liar tells a hundred truths to one lie; he has to, to make the lie good for anything.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit
WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

56- A small lie, if it actually is a lie, condemns a man as much as a big and black falsehood. If a man will deliberately cheat to the amount of a single cent, give him opportunity and he would cheat to any amount.
E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

57- It was easier to lie with a gesture than a word.

58- Most people will accept a likely lie to an unlikely truth. In fact, they prefer it.
LAURELL K. HAMILTON, Guilty Pleasures

59- A lie always needs a truth for a handle to it, else the hand would cut itself which sought to drive it home upon another. The worst lies, therefore, are those whose blade is false, but whose handle is true.

60- To lie, of course, is to engender insanity.
ANAIS NIN, Henry and June

61- Ask no questions and you’ll hear no lies.

62- There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious.

63- He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.
THOMAS JEFFERSON, leter to Peter Carr, Aug. 19, 1785

64- If sentiment doesn’t ultimately make fibbers of some people, their natural abominable memories almost certainly will.
J. D. SALINGER, “Seymour: An Introduction”

65- Some lies are easier to believe than the truth.

66- It was so useful to lie with the truth.
TANITH LEE, The Silver Metal Lover

67- I’m a very firm believer that a liar is a cheat and a thief and a crook. I don’t like liars. I never lie. I always told my own child, “If you murder somebody, tell me. I’ll help you hide the body. But don’t you lie to me.”
LEONA HELMSLEY, Playboy, Nov. 1990

68- Men are liars. We’ll lie about lying if we have to. I’m an algebra liar. I figure two good lies make a positive.
TIM ALLEN, attributed, Land Your Dream Job

69- They say that it is the practiced liar who can deceive. But so often the practiced and chronic liar deceives only himself; it is the man who all his life has been selfconvicted of veracity whose lies find quickest credence.

70- Truthful lips endure forever, the lying tongue, for only a moment.

71- The art of living is the art of knowing how to believe lies. The fearful thing about it is that, not knowing what truth may be, we can still recognize lies.
CESARE PAVESE, This Business of Living, Jan. 8, 1938

72- The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.
V. S. NAIPAUL, In a Free State

73- It is planned speeches that contain lies or dissimulations, not what you blurt out so spontaneously in one instant.
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, Forward to Sweet Bird of Youth

74- A new study found that most people can’t go 10 minutes without lying. But since the study took 20 minutes nobody knows what to believe.
JIMMY FALLON, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, May 8, 2012

75- Only a lie that wasn’t ashamed of itself could possibly succeed.
ISAAC ASIMOV, Second Foundation

76- Each day a few more lies eat into the seed with which we are born, little institutional lies from the print of newspapers, the shock waves of television, and the sentimental cheats of the movie screen.
NORMAN MAILER, “First Advertisement for Myself,” Advertisements for Myself

77- All my life I have lied. I lied to escape, I lied to be loved, I lied for placement and power; I lied to lie. It was a way of living; lies are life’s almost-anagram.

78- The liar suffers twice: he neither believes nor is believed.
BALTASAR GRACIAN, The Art of Worldly Wisdom

79- When the tongue lies, the eyes tell the truth.
GEORGE HORACE LORIMER, Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son

80- A concealed truth, that’s all a lie is. Either by omission or commission we never do more than obscure. The truth stays in the undergrowth, waiting to be discovered.

81- An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling falsehood.
ALDOUS HUXLEY, Brave New World Revisited

82- The closer to the truth, the better the lie, and the truth itself, when it can be used, is the best lie.
ISAAC ASIMOV, Foundation’s Edge

83- I don’t like lies … Not even lies of omission. Hard truths can be dealt with, triumphed over, but lies will destroy your soul.

84- Exaggeration is a blood relation to falsehood and nearly as blamable.
HOSEA BALLOU, Treasury of Thought

85- A lie … is often the mirror image of the truth; by examining it carefully, you can reconstruct the fact that lie was designed to conceal.
K. J. PARKER, Evil for Evil


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