[PW] ? Anonymous Was a Woman (Quotation Query #802)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Wed May 8 08:35:02 PDT 2019

The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.
The more I get to know people, the more I like my dog.

The sayings above are attributed to Mark Twain at goodreads.com and
inspirationstation.info, respectively.

I explored this saying and posted the results on the QI website here:

The earliest strong match I found occurred in “Tablettes Historiques
et Littéraires” in 1822.

[Begin except]
Nous venons de recevoir le Miroir de la Somme, il contient les
niaiseries suivantes: Une dame disait l’autre jour: plus je connais
les hommes, mieux j’aime les chiens.
[End excerpt]

[Begin one possible translation]
We just received the Mirror of the Somme, it contains the following
nonsense: A lady said the other day: the more I know men, the better I
like dogs.
[End translation]

So, currently the earliest evidence attributes the remark to an
anonymous woman instead of Mark Twain. Yet, the situation is
complicated because this saying has been attributed to a wide variety
of men and women including Madame de Sévigné, Madame Roland, Alphonse
de Lamartine, Alphonse Toussenel, and Louise de la Rameé.

Also, future research (or research I do not know about) may shift the


On Sun, May 5, 2019 at 8:37 PM Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> I am compiling a list of famous quotations that are usually attributed to a man but were in fact originated by a woman.  I am also compiling a list of famous quotations not attributed to any particular man but originated by a woman who has not received much credit for the quotation.  I would welcome any suggestions for these lists.
> Fred Shapiro
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
> list at project-wombat.org
> http://www.project-wombat.org/

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