Quiz about Unfamiliar Quotations
Quiz about Unfamiliar Quotations

Unfamiliar Quotations Trivia Quiz


These are obscure quotations from famous people, or, in a few cases, well-known quotes from fairly obscure people.

A multiple-choice quiz by daver852. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Author
daver852
Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
99,288
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
20
Difficulty
Very Difficult
Avg Score
8 / 20
Plays
865
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Who said: "I get my exercise acting as pallbearer to my friends who exercise."? Hint

Strom Thurmond
Jackie Gleason
Chauncey Depew
George Burns

2. Who said: "I don't understand anything about the ballet. All I know is that during the intervals the ballerinas stink like horses."? Hint

Irving Berlin
Edgar Degas
Anton Chekov
Ed Sullivan

3. Who said: "You can't expect a boy to be depraved until he has been to a really good school."? Hint

Evelyn Waugh
Noel Coward
Robert Morley
H. H. Munro

4. Who said: "Education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought."? Hint

George H. W. Bush
Bertrand Russell
Henry James
John Lennon

5. When William Blake said, "This man was hired to depress art," about whom was he speaking? Hint

Sir Joshua Reynolds
Thomas Gainsborough
James Basire
George Romney

6. Who said: "Most of those who call themselves artists are, in reality, picture dealers, only they make the pictures themselves."? Hint

Samuel Johnson
Samuel Butler
Winston Churchill
Jack Yeats

7. Who called the painting "The Slave Ship," by J. M. W. Turner: "A tortoise-shell cat having a fit in a platter of tomatoes."? Hint

Mark Twain
J. A. M. Whistler
John Ruskin
Emile Zola

8. "Who said: "They [Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso] are, in my belief, turning out the most Godalmighty rubbish that is to be found."? Hint

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Leo Stein
Ernest Hemingway
Alexander Woollcott

9. Who said: "In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased, but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue."? Hint

St. Augustine
Voltaire
Ethan Allen
Sigmund Freud

10. Who said: "[Americans] are three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock market crash on our mother's side. You can take your Germany, France and Spain, roll them all together, and it wouldn't give us room to park our cars. We're the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt-kickers of all time."? Hint

P. J. O'Rourke
Rush Limbaugh
John Wayne
Al Gore

11. Of whom was John Randolph speaking when he said, "A being so brilliant yet so corrupt, which, like rotten mackerel by moonlight, both shines and stinks."? Hint

Henry Clay
Martin Van Buren
Andrew Jackson
Daniel Webster

12. Who said, "When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."? Hint

Ben Jonson
Aphra Ben
Benjamin Franklin
Jonathan Swift

13. Who said, "A misogynist is a man who hates women as much as women hate each other."? Hint

Kingsley Amis
W. C. Fields
H. L. Mencken
Fred Allen

14. Who, during a tour of America in 1979, said to Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne, "The Irish -- they're all pigs!"? Hint

Pope John Paul II
Princess Margaret
Lech Walesa
Margaret Thatcher

15. Who said: "America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization."? Hint

Aldous Huxley
Pablo Picasso
Georges Clemenceau
G. K. Chesterton

16. Who said: "Woman's virtue is man's greatest invention."? Hint

Jane Austen
Cornelia Otis Skinner
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Kathleen Windsor

17. Who said: "Any man who is under 30, and who is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brain."? Hint

Charlton Heston
Winston Churchill
Albert Einstein
E.B. White

18. To whom is this quotation generally attributed, though he was actually quoting someone else? "The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man"?
Hint

Thomas Jefferson
Jerry Rubin
Theodore Roosevelt
George Will

19. Who was Jesse Jackson talking about when he said: "I can maybe work with him, but I know who he is and what he is. There's nothing this man won't do. He's immune to shame."? Hint

Newt Gingrich
Bill Clinton
Mayor Daly
Saddam Hussein

20. To whom was W. C. Fields referring when he called her "A plumber's idea of Cleopatra."? Hint

Claudette Colbert
Sophie Tucker
Marion Davies
Mae West


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Who said: "I get my exercise acting as pallbearer to my friends who exercise."?

Answer: Chauncey Depew

Chauncey Depew (1834-1928) was a well-known politician and railroad executive. He is also credited with saying: "A pessimist is a man who thinks all women are bad; an optimist is one who hopes he's right." It appears that Mr. Depew's aversion to exercise paid off, as he lived to the ripe old age of 94!
2. Who said: "I don't understand anything about the ballet. All I know is that during the intervals the ballerinas stink like horses."?

Answer: Anton Chekov

He did know something about theater. Among his famous plays are "The Bear," and "The Cherry Orchard."
3. Who said: "You can't expect a boy to be depraved until he has been to a really good school."?

Answer: H. H. Munro

H. H. Munro, a.k.a. "Saki," is one of my favorite writers of short stories. One of his best known stories is "The Open Window."
4. Who said: "Education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought."?

Answer: Bertrand Russell

Russell was one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century.
5. When William Blake said, "This man was hired to depress art," about whom was he speaking?

Answer: Sir Joshua Reynolds

Blake was a fascinating man -- brilliant poet, great artist, and slightly crazy. I tend to agree with his assessment of Reynolds as an overrated artist.
6. Who said: "Most of those who call themselves artists are, in reality, picture dealers, only they make the pictures themselves."?

Answer: Samuel Butler

Butler was a very witty man. Another favorite quote by him concerned the historian, Thomas Carlyle: "It was good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs. Carlyle marry one another, and so make only two people miserable instead of four." Don't confuse him the 17th century Samuel Butler who wrote "Hudibras."
7. Who called the painting "The Slave Ship," by J. M. W. Turner: "A tortoise-shell cat having a fit in a platter of tomatoes."?

Answer: Mark Twain

Twain had some quite definite ideas about art. See his book "The Innocents Abroad." I don't think much of Turner, either.
8. "Who said: "They [Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso] are, in my belief, turning out the most Godalmighty rubbish that is to be found."?

Answer: Leo Stein

Leo Stein was Gertrude's brother. He was also a noted art collector and critic. At least one person in the family had taste.
9. Who said: "In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased, but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue."?

Answer: Ethan Allen

Although when he demanded the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga in the Revolutionary War he did so "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress," this American patriot later became somewhat hostile to religion and declared himself to be "no Christian."
10. Who said: "[Americans] are three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock market crash on our mother's side. You can take your Germany, France and Spain, roll them all together, and it wouldn't give us room to park our cars. We're the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt-kickers of all time."?

Answer: P. J. O'Rourke

Mr. O'Rourke is a reformed leftist radical who now writes amusing books like "Give War a Chance" and "A Parliament of Whores." He is mean-spirited, nasty, jingoistic and extremely funny. He is perhaps best known as a correspondent for "Rolling Stone" magazine.
11. Of whom was John Randolph speaking when he said, "A being so brilliant yet so corrupt, which, like rotten mackerel by moonlight, both shines and stinks."?

Answer: Henry Clay

No one, not even Hillary Clinton, ever wanted to be President more than Henry Clay, who was known as "The Great Compromiser." He and Randolph fought a duel, in which neither was injured. Some sources say that these remarks were about Edward Livingston, but the oldest sources all indicate that they were directed at Clay, and John F. Kennedy says they were, so that's good enough for me.
12. Who said, "When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."?

Answer: Jonathan Swift

John Kennedy Toole's marvelous book, "A Confederacy of Dunces," takes its title from this quotation. One of Swift's better efforts was "A Modest Proposal," in which he suggests that the English utilize surplus Irish children as a source of meat.
13. Who said, "A misogynist is a man who hates women as much as women hate each other."?

Answer: H. L. Mencken

If Mencken, author of "The American Language," were alive today, he would doubtless be on every politically-correct blacklist. He also said, "When women kiss, it always reminds me of prizefighters shaking hands."
14. Who, during a tour of America in 1979, said to Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne, "The Irish -- they're all pigs!"?

Answer: Princess Margaret

The princess had apparently never heard of the Battle of Glenmalure, where Fiach McHugh O'Byrne destroyed an English army in 1580. It was one of her many charming bon mots. Although the mayor had no comment, the remark was overheard by reporters and caused quite a stir in the Chicago press.
15. Who said: "America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization."?

Answer: Georges Clemenceau

Best known as one of the "Big Four" at the Paris Peace Conference following World War I. His nickname was "The Tiger." To be called barbarous by the French is, perhaps, the ultimate insult.
16. Who said: "Woman's virtue is man's greatest invention."?

Answer: Cornelia Otis Skinner

Best known for her book "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay."
17. Who said: "Any man who is under 30, and who is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brain."?

Answer: Winston Churchill

When Lady Astor told Churchill, "If you were my husband, I'd put arsenic in your tea," the great man replied, "Yes, and if you were my wife, I'd drink it."
18. To whom is this quotation generally attributed, though he was actually quoting someone else? "The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man"?

Answer: Thomas Jefferson

He also believed in mutilation and castration as punishments for homosexuals. And he was one of the most LIBERAL of the Founding Fathers!

Jefferson was quoting Cesare Beccaria.
19. Who was Jesse Jackson talking about when he said: "I can maybe work with him, but I know who he is and what he is. There's nothing this man won't do. He's immune to shame."?

Answer: Bill Clinton

Jesse seems to have changed his mind; he was there cheering when the former President was made an Honorary Member of the African-American Hall of Fame. But he seems to have acquired a bit of "immunity" himself.
20. To whom was W. C. Fields referring when he called her "A plumber's idea of Cleopatra."?

Answer: Mae West

W.C. Fields and Mae West couldn't stand each other. During the making of "My Little Chickadee," after appearing in one scene together, each refused to be on the set when the other was around, which forced the director to come up with some innovative editing techniques to finish the film.
Source: Author daver852

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor thejazzkickazz before going online.
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