Hush, little bright line, don't you cry, You'll be a cliché by and by.

Fred Allen.


True Complete Bollocks needs ready access to aphorisms - meaningful and pithy sayings - that can be used to disguise all manner of yokomo (see glossary).


There is no greater burden in life than being recognised as having great potential.

From the author's personal experience.

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

A Father's Warning, Eddy Edmondson (bless him), the Editor's father.

We always overestimate the cost of doing the right thing and always underestimate the ultimate cost of doing the wrong thing.

Eddy Edmondson.

You know you are getting old when you unzip your trousers, pull out your tie and pee in your pants.

A very dear American friend who wishes to remain anonymous.

Don't get drunk with a dwarf with learning difficulties - it's not big and it's not clever.

Annie van Alphen.

Never flirt with ugly men if you have had more than three martinis (don't ask me how I know this).

Annie van Alphen restated.

Continuous improvement requires something continuous to improve.

Ron Edmondson.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it's probably a duck. (It might be a swan, but it's probably a duck.)

Russell Edmondson.

The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it.

Duc de La Rochefoucauld.

Take care with fast cars and fast women, and never split a pair of fours at blackjack.

James Edmondson, the most advice about life that can be contained in the fewest words that can be given to a young man.

Steer clear of cheap women and cheap champagne, and never split a pair of fours at blackjack.

James Edmondson restated.

Never pass up an opportunity to use a toilet, never trust a fart and treat every erection as a thing of wonder - it might be the last one you ever see.

Roy Callow, the most advice about life that can be contained in the fewest words that can be given to a gentleman of more mature years.

If you don't watch the horizon you won't be able to shoot the Indians before you are within bow and arrow range.

Ray Edmondson on strategy.

Better nouveau riche than no riche at all.

From the Editor's personal observation.

Better nouveau riche than vieux pauvre.

The Editor's personal observation restated.

The fundamental defect of fathers is they want their children to be a credit to them.

Claudia Edmondson.

If you must hold yourself up to your children, hold yourself up as an object lesson, not as an example.

George Bernard Shaw.

If we don't turn around now, we'll end up where we are heading.

American Indian proverb.

Don't think there are no crocodiles just because the water is calm.

Malayan proverb.

Facts do not cease to exist just because they are being ignored.

Aldous Huxley.

The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right thing for the wrong reason.

From Murder In The Cathedral by T.S. Eliot.

We have met the enemy and he is us.

From the comic strip Pogo by Walt Kelley.

We have no eternal allies and no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual and those interests it is our duty to follow.

Henry Temple, Viscount Palmerston, British Prime Minister.

The only statistics worth believing are those you falsify yourself.

Winston Churchill.

For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke.

If you wait by the river long enough you will see the bodies of you enemies float by.

Sun Tzu.

Good taste and humour are a contradiction in terms, like a chaste whore.

Malcolm Muggeridge.

You learn most from mistakes that are made. The art is to do most of your learning from other peoples mistakes and not you own.

Rupert Brennan-Brown.

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of he always declares it is his duty.

George Bernard Shaw.

Success has always been a great liar.


I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.

John Cage.

We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us.

Dr. Samuel Johnson.

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.

Henry Louis Mencken.

Our enemies' opinion of us comes closer to the truth than our own.

Duc de La Rochefoucauld.

No man of honour ever quite lives up to his code, any more than a moral man manages to avoid sin.


We find it easy to believe that praise is sincere: why should anyone lie in telling us the truth?

Jean Rostand.

There are times when lying is the most sacred of duties.

Eugene Marin Labiche.

[Talking about a competitor's product:] It's a dog - it howls. Ours is a tiger - it p-u-u-u-r-r-s.

Richard Alberg.

I don't say we should misbehave, but we should look as though we could.

Oscar Wilde.

Deadlines are the mothers of invention.

John M. Shanahan.

A stiff apology is a second insult.

G. K. Chesterton.

A lie is an abomination unto the Lord and a very present help in trouble.

Adlai Stevenson.

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

You raise your voice when you should reinforce your argument.

Dr. Samuel Johnson.

There is a time for departure even when there's no certain place to go.

Tennessee Williams.

To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

Heather Cortez.

Most people have seen worse things in private than they pretend to be shocked at in public.

Edgar Watson Howe.

You are permitted in time of great danger to walk with the devil until you have crossed the bridge.

Bulgarian proverb.

The time is always right to do what is right.

Martin Luther King.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.

Mark Twain.

In things pertaining to enthusiasm, no man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.

Henry Ward Beecher.

The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.

Oswald Spengler.

History is a set of lies agreed upon.

Napoleon Bonaparte.

Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.

From Diaries by Count Ciano.

Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous patience.

Hyman Rickman, Military Leader.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

George Bernard Shaw.

History is the sum total of the things that could have been avoided.

Konrad Adenauer.

I hope I die before I get old.

Lyric from My Generation by The Who, 1965.

You cannot kill time without destroying eternity.

Graffito, Bromley, Kent, as reported in The Daily Telegraph, 22nd January 1977.

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.

Neils Bohr.

No matter what happens, there is always someone who knew it would.

Playboy Magazine, May 1978.

Luck is being ready for the chance.

James Frank Dobie.

Nothing goes right
If your underwear's tight.

Advertisement for Hanes underwear.

If you want a truly symbolic gesture, wash the flag, don't burn it.

Norman Thomas.

America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilisation in between.

Oscar Wilde.

Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.

Henry Ward Beecher.

Some men rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen.

Lyric from Pretty Boy Floyd by Woody Guthrie.

You always assume that the military and intelligence people have some secret skill not available to ordinary mortal people.

President Kennedy.

Never steal more than you need, for the possession of surplus money leads to extravagance, foppish behaviour and frivolous thought.

Dalton Trumbo.

Fortune favours the brave and abandons the timid.

Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence, the playwright of the Roman Republic, often associated with Virgil.

Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and that having problems is a problem.

Theodore Rubin.

A lie told often enough becomes a truth.

Lenin (Vladimir Ulvanov).

Morality is entirely subordinated to the interests of the class struggle.

Lenin (Vladimir Ulvanov).

It is of course well known that the only source of war is politics ... war is simply a continuation of political intercourse, with the addition of other means.

Carl von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege (On War).

Suffer any wrong that can be done you rather than come here!

The warning regarding the London Court of Chancery given in Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

Once integrity goes, the rest is a piece of cake.

J. R. Ewing, lead character in the 1980s TV show, Dallas.

One dog barks at a shadow, the rest bark at him.

Chinese proverb.

A common warning sign is denial of the problem itself.

If you lend someone £20 and never see them again, it was probably worth it.

With time and the march of events all truths are shown and proved.

If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

As you grow old, you lose interest in sex, your friends drift away and your children often ignore you. There are other advantages of course, but these are the outstanding ones.