133+ Best Dorothy Parker Quotes: Exclusive Selection

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Dorothy Parker was civil rights activist, writer, and poet. She was best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles. Witty and Wise Dorothy Parker quotes will get you through the day, broaden your perspective and enrich your life.

If you’re searching for thought-provoking quotes from poets that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of best F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes, thoughtful quotes from Rupi Kaur, and famous Alexander Pope quotes.

Famous Dorothy Parker Quotes

Whatever beauty maybe it has for its basis order and for its essence unity Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone. – Dorothy Parker

You do what you can, and you do it because you should. But all you can do is all you can do. – Dorothy Parker

Their pooled emotions wouldn’t fill a teaspoon. – Dorothy Parker

Of course, I talk to myself. I like a good speaker, and I appreciate an intelligent audience. – Dorothy Parker

You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think. – Dorothy Parker

I’m never going to accomplish anything; that’s perfectly clear to me. I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that anymore. – Dorothy Parker

Oh, seek, my love, your newer way; I’ll not be left in sorrow. So long as I have yesterday, Go take your damned tomorrow! – Dorothy Parker

If you want to know what God thinks about money, just look at the people He gives it to. – Dorothy Parker

Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician. – Dorothy Parker

The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue. – Dorothy Parker

Women and elephants never forget. – Dorothy Parker

The Monte Carlo casino refused to admit me until I was properly dressed so I went and found my stockings, and then came back and lost my shirt. – Dorothy Parker

I’ve never been a millionaire, but I just know I’d be darling at it. – Dorothy Parker

If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me. – Dorothy Parker

I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true. – Dorothy Parker

If you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you. – Dorothy Parker

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. – Dorothy Parker

Art is a form of catharsis emotional release, purging, cleansing, purifying. – Dorothy Parker

Those who have mastered etiquette, who are entirely, impeccably right, would seem to arrive at a point of exquisite dullness. – Dorothy Parker

If I didn’t care for fun and such, I’d probably amount to much. But I shall stay the way I am, Because I do not give a damn. – Dorothy Parker

It turns out that, at social gatherings, as a source of entertainment, conviviality, and good fun, I rank somewhere between a sprig of parsley and a single ice-skate. – Dorothy Parker

Daily dawns another day; I must up, to make my way. Though I dress and drink and eat, Move my fingers and my feet, Learn a little, here and there, Weep and laugh and sweat and swear, Hear a song, or watch a stage, Leave some words upon a page, Claim a foe, or hail a friend- Bed awaits me at the end. – Dorothy Parker

Most good women are hidden treasures who are only safe because nobody looks for them. – Dorothy Parker

The cleverest woman on earth is the biggest fool on earth with a man. – Dorothy Parker

Misfortune, and recited misfortune especially, can be prolonged to the point where it ceases to excite pity and arouses only irritation. – Dorothy Parker

I’d like to have money. And I’d like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but if that’s too adorable, I’d rather have money. – Dorothy Parker

Short Dorothy Parker Quotes

It was written without fear and without research. – Dorothy Parker

Genius can write on the back of old envelopes, but mere talent requires the finest stationery available. – Dorothy Parker

But I don’t give up; I forget why not. – Dorothy Parker

A girl’s best friend is her mutter. – Dorothy Parker

And if my heart be scarred and burned, the safer, I, for all I learned. – Dorothy Parker

Friends come and go but I wouldn’t have thought you’d be one of them – Dorothy Parker

The only useful thing I ever learned in school was that if you spit on your eraser it erased ink. – Dorothy Parker

[On being shown an apartment by a real estate agent:] Oh, dear, that’s much too big. All I need is room enough to lay a hat and a few friends. – Dorothy Parker

[On the ringing of her doorbell or telephone:] What fresh hell is this? – Dorothy Parker

Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne. – Dorothy Parker

The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant and let the air out of the tires. – Dorothy Parker

I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours. – Dorothy Parker

Now, look, baby, ‘Union’ is spelled with 5 letters. It is not a four-letter word. – Dorothy Parker

They sicken of the calm who know the storm. – Dorothy Parker

The best way to avoid a hangover is to stay drunk. – Dorothy Parker

I hate writing, I love having written. – Dorothy Parker

Ducking for apples — change one letter and it’s the story of my life. – Dorothy Parker

Every year back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants. – Dorothy Parker

Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both. – Dorothy Parker

Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it and it darts away. – Dorothy Parker

Writing well is the best revenge. – Dorothy Parker

Writing is the art of applying the ass to the seat. – Dorothy Parker

If you looked for things to make you feel hurt and wretched and unnecessary, you were certain to find them. – Dorothy Parker

Vice is nice, but liquor is quicker. – Dorothy Parker

Maybe it is only I, but conditions are such these days, that if you use studiously correct grammar, people suspect you of homosexual tendencies. – Dorothy Parker

I require only three things of a man. He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid. – Dorothy Parker

By the time you swear you’re his, Shivering and sighing. And he vows his passion is, Infinite, undying. Lady make note of this — One of you is lying. – Dorothy Parker

There’s a hell of a distance between wisecracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words. – Dorothy Parker

Inspirational Dorothy Parker Quotes

Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye. – Dorothy Parker

The only dependable law of life – everything is always worse than you thought it was going to be. – Dorothy Parker

Never throw mud: you can miss the target, but your hands will remain dirty. – Dorothy Parker

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. – Dorothy Parker

I don’t want to be classed as a humorist. It makes me feel guilty. I’ve never read a good tough quotable female humorist, and I never was one myself. I couldn’t do it. Asmartcrackerthey called me, and that makes me sick and unhappy. There’s a hell of a distance between wisecracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words. – Dorothy Parker

Lady, lady, never start Conversation toward your heart; Keep your pretty words serene; Never murmur what you mean. Show yourself, by word and look, Swift and shallow as a brook. Be as cool and quick to go As a drop of April snow; Be as delicate and gay As a cherry flower in May. Lady, lady, never speak Of the tears that burn your cheek- She will never win him, whose Words had shown she feared to lose. Be you wise and never sad, You will get your lovely lad. Never serious be, nor true, And your wish will come to you- And if that makes you happy, kid, You’ll be the first it ever did. – Dorothy Parker

I hate almost all rich people, but I think I’d be darling at it. – Dorothy Parker

That woman speaks eighteen languages and can’t say ‘No’ in any of them. – Dorothy Parker

Telegram to a friend who had just become a mother after a prolonged pregnancy: Good work, Mary. We all knew you had it in you. – Dorothy Parker

Now I know the things I know, and I do the things I do; and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you! – Dorothy Parker

I won’t telephone him. I’ll never telephone him again as long as I live. He’ll rot in hell, before I’ll call him up. You don’t have to give me strength, God; I have it myself. If he wanted me, he could get me. He knows where I am. He knows I’m waiting here. He’s so sure of me, so sure. I wonder why they hate you, as soon as they are sure of you. – Dorothy Parker

[On Katharine Hepburn’s stage performance:] She ran the whole gamut of emotions, from A to B. – Dorothy Parker

I require three things in a man: he must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid. – Dorothy Parker

If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second-greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. – Dorothy Parker

Years are only garments, and you either wear them with style all your life, or else you go dowdy to the grave. – Dorothy Parker

I’m not a writer with a drinking problem, I’m a drinker with a writing problem. – Dorothy Parker

She was pleased to have him come and never sorry to see him go. – Dorothy Parker

Four be the things I am wiser to know: Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe. Four be the things I’d been better without: Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt. Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne. Three be the things I shall have till I die: Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye. – Dorothy Parker

Honesty means nothing until you are tested under circumstances where you are sure you could get away with dishonesty. – Dorothy Parker

You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks. – Dorothy Parker

He is a writer for the ages, the ages of four to eight. – Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker Quotes on Life, Love, Writing and Stupidity

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular? – Dorothy Parker

That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment. – Dorothy Parker

Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common. – Dorothy Parker

A hangover is the wrath of grapes. – Dorothy Parker

If all the young ladies who attended the Yale promenade dance were laid end to end, no one would be the least surprised. – Dorothy Parker

Don’t look at me in that tone of voice. – Dorothy Parker

Q: What’s the difference between an enzyme and a hormone? A: You can’t hear an enzyme. – Dorothy Parker

Hollywood money isn’t money. It’s congealed snow, melts in your hand, and there you are. – Dorothy Parker

Bewildered is the fox who lives to find that grapes beyond reach can be really sour. – Dorothy Parker

I was always sweet, at first. Oh, it’s so easy to be sweet to people before you love them. – Dorothy Parker

Well, there are always those who cannot distinguish between glitter and glamour . . . the glamour of Isadora Duncan came from her great, torn, bewildered, foolhardy soul. – Dorothy Parker

Tell him I was too fucking busy– or vice versa. – Dorothy Parker

[On hearing that Clare Boothe Luce was invariably kind to her inferiors:] And where does she find them? – Dorothy Parker

This is me apologizing. I am a fool, a birdbrain, a liar and a horse-thief. I wouldn’t touch a superlative again with an umbrella. – Dorothy Parker

The affair between Margot Asquinth and Margot Asquinth will live as one of the prettiest love stories in all literature. – Dorothy Parker

Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair. – Dorothy Parker

Where unwilling dies the rose; buds the new another year. – Dorothy Parker

They tire of quiet, that have known the storm – Dorothy Parker

Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses. – Dorothy Parker

This wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it. – Dorothy Parker

I know this will come as a shock to you, Mr. Goldwyn, but in all history, which has held billions and billions of human beings, not a single one ever had a happy ending. – Dorothy Parker

People ought to be one of two things, young or dead. – Dorothy Parker

[After she and Clare Boothe Luce met in a doorway and the latter said, ‘Age before beauty’:] Pearls before swine. – Dorothy Parker

Salary is no object: I want only enough to keep body and soul apart. – Dorothy Parker

I might repeat to myself . . . a list of quotations from minds profound – if I can remember any of the damn things. – Dorothy Parker

Excuse me, everybody, I have to go to the bathroom. I really have to telephone, but I’m too embarrassed to say so. – Dorothy Parker

His voice was as intimate as the rustle of sheets. – Dorothy Parker

Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship. – Dorothy Parker

The writer’s way is rough and lonely, and who would choose it while there are vacancies in more gracious professions, such as, say, cleaning out ferryboats? – Dorothy Parker

Her mind lives tidily, apart from cold and noise and pain. And bolts the door against her heart, out wailing in the rain. – Dorothy Parker

It may be that this autobiography [Aimee Semple McPherson’s] is set down in sincerity, frankness, and simple effort. It may be, too, that the Statue of Liberty is situated in Lake Ontario. – Dorothy Parker

Where’s the man that could ease a heart like a satin gown? – Dorothy Parker

Hollywood is the one place on earth where you could die of encouragement. – Dorothy Parker

A list of authors who have made themselves most beloved and therefore, most comfortable financially, shows that it is our national joy to mistake for the first-rate, the fecund rate. – Dorothy Parker

Said after she had been seriously ill: The doctors were very brave about it. – Dorothy Parker

If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. – Dorothy Parker

Why, after all, should readers never be harrowed? Surely there is enough happiness in life without having to go to books for it. – Dorothy Parker

Drink and dance and laugh and lie, Love, the reeling midnight through, For tomorrow we shall die! (But, alas, we never do.) – Dorothy Parker

All I have to be thankful for in this world is that I was sitting down when my garter busted. – Dorothy Parker

Three highballs, and I think I’m St. Francis of Assisi. – Dorothy Parker

Prince or commoner, tenor or bass, Painter or plumber or never-do-well, Do me a favor and shut your face – Poets alone should kiss and tell. – Dorothy Parker

Quick!! Act as if nothing has happened! – Dorothy Parker

Once, when I was young and true. Someone left me sad – Broke my brittle heart in two; And that is very bad. Love is for unlucky folk; Love is but a curse. Once there was a heart I broke; And that, I think, is worse. – Dorothy Parker

When you have to apologize, it is well, I suppose, to get the thing over quickly … – Dorothy Parker

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song, a medley of extemporanea, and love is a thing that can never go wrong, and I am Marie of Romania. – Dorothy Parker

The sweeter the apple, the blacker the core. Scratch a lover and find a foe! – Dorothy Parker

The definition of eternity is two people and a ham. – Dorothy Parker

[Hospitalized and pressing the nurse’s button before dictating letters to her secretary:] This should assure us of at least forty-five minutes of undisturbed privacy. – Dorothy Parker

Newton’s Fourth Law: Every action has an equal and opposite satisfaction. – Dorothy Parker

On lady novelists: As artists they’re rot, but as providers they’re oil wells; they gush. Norris said she never wrote a story unless it was fun to do. I understand Ferber whistles at her typewriter. – Dorothy Parker

It’s not the tragedies that kill us; it’s the messes. – Dorothy Parker

Of Orson Welles: It’s like meeting God without dying. – Dorothy Parker

I like to have a martini, Two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host. – Dorothy Parker

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