117+ Best Roald Dahl Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. Profoundly inspirational Roald Dahl quotes will challenge the way you think, and help guide you through any life experience.

If you’re searching for famous quotes by authors that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of profound GK Chesterton quotes, amazing Lemony Snicket quotes and top Isaac Asimov quotes.

Famous Roald Dahl Quotes

Homesickness is a bit like seasickness. You don’t know how awful it is unti you get it, and when you do, it hits you right in the top of the stomach and you want to die. — Roald Dahl

No book ever ends, when it’s full of your friends. — Roald Dahl

It is most unlikely. But–here comes the big but–not impossible. — Roald Dahl

We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it. — Roald Dahl

I was glad my father was an eye-smiler. It meant he never gave me a fake smile, because it’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself. A mouth-smile is different. You can fake a mouth-smile any time you want, simply by moving your lips. I’ve also learned that a real mouth-smile always has an eye-smile to go with it, so watch out, I say, when someone smiles at you with his mouth but the eyes stay the same. It’s sure to be bogus. — Roald Dahl

Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you. — Roald Dahl

Pain was something we were expected to endure. But I doubt very much if you would be entirely happy today if a doctor threw a towel in your face and jumped on you with a knife. — Roald Dahl

The Alexander Technique works… I recommend it enthusiastically to anyone who has neck pains or back pain. — Roald Dahl

I therefore invite you all, Mr Fox went on, ‘to stay here with me for ever.’ For ever!’ they cried. ‘My goodness! How marvellous!’ And Rabbit said to Mrs Rabbit, ‘My dear, just think! We’re never going to be shot again in our lives!’ We will make,’ said Mr Fox, ‘a little underground village, with streets and houses on each side – seperate houses for Badgers and Moles and Rabbits and Weasels and Foxes. And every day I will go shopping for you all. And every day we will eat like kings.’ The cheering that followed this speech went on for many minutes. — Roald Dahl

My dear young fellow,’ the Old-Green-Grasshopper said gently, ‘there are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t started wondering about yet. — Roald Dahl

You’ll never get anywhere if you go about what-iffing like that. — Roald Dahl

There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you’ll be free if you truly wish to be. — Roald Dahl

The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. — Roald Dahl

It is preferable to incur a mild punishment than to perform an onerous task. — Roald Dahl

I shall never have a bath again, I said. Just dont have one too often, my grandmother said. Once a month is quite enough for a sensible child. It was at times like these that I loved my grandmother more than ever. — Roald Dahl

There is no place I know that compares to pure imagination. — Roald Dahl

I was observing her closely as I talked, and after a while I began to get the impression that she was not, in fact, quite so merry and smiling a girl as I had been led to believe at first. She seemed to be coiled in herself, as though with a secret she was jealously guarding. The deep-blue eyes moved too quickly about the room, never settling or resting on one thing for more than a moment; and over all her face, though so faint that they might not even have been there, those small downward lines of sorrow. — Roald Dahl

All through my school life I was appalled by the fact that masters and senior boys were allowed quite literally to wound other boys, and sometimes very severely. — Roald Dahl

The secret of life’, he said, ‘is to become very very good at somethin’ that’s very very ‘ard to do. — Roald Dahl

I doubt I would have written a line … unless some minor tragedy had sort of twisted my mind out of the normal rut. — Roald Dahl

Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets. — Roald Dahl

We make realities out of our dreams and dreams out of our realities. We are the dreamers of the dream. — Roald Dahl

The walls were wet and sticky, and peach juice was dripping from the ceiling. James opened his mouth and caught some of it on his tongue. It tasted delicious. — Roald Dahl

Perhaps it’s chasing me. But I don’t think it will ever catch me because I am moving fast. — Roald Dahl

My darling, she said at last, are you sure you don’t mind being a mouse for the rest of your life? I don’t mind at all I said. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like as long as somebody loves you. — Roald Dahl

A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. — Roald Dahl

Unless you have been to boarding-school when you are very young, it is absolutely impossible to appreciate the delights of living at home. — Roald Dahl

You ignorant little slug! the Trunchbull bellowed. You witless weed! You empty-headed hamster! You stupid glob of glue! — Roald Dahl

Here it is,’ Nigel said. Mrs D, Mrs I, Mrs FFI, Mrs C, Mrs U, Mrs LTY. That spells difficulty.’ How perfectly ridiculous!’ snorted Miss Trunchbull. ‘Why are all these women married? — Roald Dahl

When I was 2, we moved into an imposing country mansion 8 miles west of Cardiff, Wales. — Roald Dahl

You mean you live down here?’ Matilda asked. ‘I do’, Miss Honey replied, but she said no more. Matilda had never once stopped to think about where Miss Honey might be living. She had always regarded her purely as a teacher, a person who turned up out of nowhere and taught at school and then went away again. — Roald Dahl

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. — Roald Dahl

When I walked to school in the mornings I would start out alone but would pick up four other boys along the way. We would set out together after school across the village green. — Roald Dahl

I’m wondering what to read next. Matilda said. I’ve finished all the children’s books. — Roald Dahl

Rainbow drops – suck them and you can spit in six different colours. — Roald Dahl

The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village. — Roald Dahl

I think I have this thing where everybody has to think I’m the greatest.And if they aren’t completely knocked out and dazzled and slightly intimidated by me, I don’t feel good about myself. — Roald Dahl

Never mind about 1066 William the Conqueror, 1087 William the Second. Such things are not going to affect one?s life…but 1932 the Mars Bar and 1936 Maltesers and 1937 the Kit Kat – these dates are milestones in history and should be seared into the memory of every child in the country. — Roald Dahl

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. — Roald Dahl

Matilda said, Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable. — Roald Dahl

I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book. — Roald Dahl

The reason I collect good ideas is because plots themselves are very difficult indeed to come by. — Roald Dahl

I do have a blurred memory of sitting on the stairs and trying over and over again to tie one of my shoelaces, but that is all that comes back to me of school itself. — Roald Dahl

If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. — Roald Dahl

A Message to Children Who Have Read This Book – When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: a stodgy parent is no fun at all. What a child wants and deserves is a parent who is SPARKY. — Roald Dahl

Had I not had children of my own, I would have never written books for children, nor would I have been capable of doing so. — Roald Dahl

Two rights don’t equal a left. — Roald Dahl

All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen. — Roald Dahl

You can write about anything for children as long as you’ve got humour. — Roald Dahl

Eschew all those beastly adjectives. — Roald Dahl

I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else. Brian Sibley: Or brains even? Oh gosh, yes, brains is one of the least. You can be a lovely person without brains, absolutely lovely. Kindness – that simple word. To be kind – it covers everything, to my mind. If you’re kind that’s it. — Roald Dahl

So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone. — Roald Dahl

Hooray! said the Chief of the Army. Let’s blow everyone up! Bang-bang! Bang-bang! — Roald Dahl

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it. — Roald Dahl

And don’t worry about the bits you can’t understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music. — Roald Dahl

For me, the pleasure of writing comes with inventing stories. — Roald Dahl

There is something about very cold weather that gives one an enormous appetite. Most of us find ourselves beginning to crave rich steaming stews and hot apple pies and all kinds of delicious warming dishes; and because we are all a great deal luckier than we realize, we usually get what we want—or near enough. — Roald Dahl

I shot down some German planes and I got shot down myself, crashing in a burst of flames and crawling out, getting rescued by brave soldiers. — Roald Dahl

Some people when they have taken too much and have been driven beyond the point of endurance, simply crumble and give up. There are others, though they are not many, who will for some reason always be unconquerable. You meet them in time of war and also in time of peace. They have an indomitable spirit and nothing, neither pain nor torture nor threat of death, will cause them to give up. — Roald Dahl

The more risks you allow your children to make, the better they learn to look after themselves. — Roald Dahl

I’ve always said to myself that if a little pocket calculator can do it why shouldn’t I? — Roald Dahl

If the Good Lord intended for us to walk, he wouldn’t have invented rollar skates. — Roald Dahl

I was a fighter pilot, flying Hurricanes all round the Mediterranean. I flew in the Western Desert of Libya, in Greece, in Syria, in Iraq and in Egypt. — Roald Dahl

If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books. — Roald Dahl

Prayers were held in Assembly Hall. We all perched in rows on wooden benches while teachers sat up on the platform in armchairs, facing us. — Roald Dahl

The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him. — Roald Dahl

A life is made up of a great number of small incidents, and a small number of great ones. — Roald Dahl

I’ve heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true. -Grandpa Joe — Roald Dahl

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. — Roald Dahl

Meanings is not important, said the BFG. I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right. — Roald Dahl

The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. He needs it. It happens to be a fact that nearly every writer of fiction in the world drinks more whisky than is good for him. He does it to give himself faith hope and courage. A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul and that I am sure is why he does it. — Roald Dahl

The cuss am I? Are you cussing with me? — Roald Dahl

It was slowly beginning to dawn upon Henry that nothing is any fun if you can get as much of it as you want. Especially money. — Roald Dahl

Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world. — Roald Dahl

I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. I think they do it deliberately, just to annoy me. — Roald Dahl

Don’t gobblefunk around with words. — Roald Dahl

When writing about oneself, one must strive to be truthful. Truth is more important than modesty. — Roald Dahl

Of course they’re real people. They’re Oompa-Loompas…Imported direct from Loompaland…And oh what a terrible country it is! Nothing but thick jungles infested by the most dangerous beasts in the world – hornswogglers and snozzwangers and those terrible wicked whangdoodles. A whangdoodle would eat ten Oompa-Loompas for breakfast and come galloping back for a second helping. — Roald Dahl

She might even be your lovely school-teacher who is reading these words to you at this very moment. Look carefully at that teacher. Perhaps she is smiling at the absurdity of such a suggestion. Don’t let that put you off. It could be part of cleverness. I am not, of course, telling you for one second that your teacher actually is a witch. All I am saying is that she might be one. It is most unlikely. But–here comes the big but–not impossible. — Roald Dahl

When you’re old enough to write a book for children, by then you’ll have become a grown up and have lost all your jokeyness. Unless you’re an undeveloped adult and still have an enormous amount of childishness in you. — Roald Dahl

I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be — Roald Dahl

So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall. — Roald Dahl

I asked my mum, who’s a very clever psychotherapist, and she says that kids love stories about death; they need it, they need to have stories that deal with death and explain it, as a place to put their fears. — Roald Dahl

The prime function of the children’s book writer is to write a book that is so absorbing, exciting, funny, fast and beautiful that the child will fall in love with it. And that first love affair between the young child and the young book will lead hopefully to other loves for other books and when that happens the battle is probably won. The child will have found a crock of gold. He will also have gained something that will help to carry him most marvelously through the tangles of his later years. Roald Dahl — Roald Dahl

Careful those who fight with monsters, that they might become monsters themeselves. — Roald Dahl

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. — Roald Dahl

What I mean and what I say is two different things, the BFG announced rather grandly. — Roald Dahl

If I had my way, I’d remove January from the calendar altogether and have an extra July instead. — Roald Dahl

The maid screamed. The Queen gasped. Sophie waved. — Roald Dahl

Whipped cream isn’t whipped cream at all if it hasnt been whipped with whips, just like poached eggs isn’t poached eggs unless it’s been stolen in the dead of the night. — Roald Dahl

I never get any protests from children. All you get are giggles of mirth and squirms of delight. I know what children like. — Roald Dahl

If you are good life is good. — Roald Dahl

Both Matilda and Lavender were enthralled. It was quite clear to them that they were at this moment standing in the presence of a master. Here was somebody who had brought the art of skulduggery to the highest point of perfection, somebody, moreover, who was willing to risk life and limb in pursuit of her calling. They gazed in wonder at this goddess, and suddenly even the boil on her nose was no longer a blemish but a badge of courage. — Roald Dahl

Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it. — Roald Dahl

I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage. — Roald Dahl

I was already beginning to realize that the only way to conduct oneself in a situation where bombs rained down and bullets whizzed past, was to accept the dangers and all the consequences as calmly as possible. Fretting and sweating about it all was not going to help. — Roald Dahl

I am the maker of music, the dreamer of dreams! — Roald Dahl

Well, first of all, said the BFG, human beans is not really believing in giants, is they? Human beans is not thinking we exist. — Roald Dahl

I want an Oompa-Loompa!’ screamed Veruca. — Roald Dahl

I am totally convinced that most grown-ups have completely forgotten what is it like to be a child between the ages of five and then… I can remember exactly what it was like. I am certain I can. — Roald Dahl

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you. — Roald Dahl

The snozberries taste like snozberries! — Roald Dahl

I am only 8 years old, I told myself. No little boy of 8 has ever murdered anyone. It’s not possible. — Roald Dahl

Sex is like nose picking. It’s fine as long as you practice it yourself, but it’s disgusting watching someone else doing it. — Roald Dahl

A little magic can take you a long way. — Roald Dahl

I regard each sentence as a little wheel… Now and again I try to put a really big one next to a very small one in such a way that the big one, turning slowly, will make the small one spin so fast that it hums. Very tricky, that. — Roald Dahl

Poor Earthworm,’ the Ladybird said, whispering in James’s ear. ‘He loves to make everything into a disaster. He hates to be happy. He is only happy when he is gloomy. — Roald Dahl

We all have our moments of brilliance and glory, and this was mine. — Roald Dahl

I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m gonna ignore your advice. — Roald Dahl

Kindness – that simple word. To be kind – it covers everything, to my mind. If you’re kind that’s it. — Roald Dahl

It’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself — Roald Dahl

Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful. — Roald Dahl

But it is impossible to replace a person one has loved to distraction. — Roald Dahl

Do you know what breakfast cereal is made of? It’s made of all those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners! — Roald Dahl

I like enthusiasts of any kind. — Roald Dahl

The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves. — Roald Dahl

A whizzpopper! cried the BFG, beaming at her. Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping if forbidden among human beans? — Roald Dahl