C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Awkwardness is a more real disadvantage than it is generally thought to be; it often occasions ridicule, it always lessens dignity.


  • Not all the pumice of the polish’d town
  • Can smooth the roughness of the barnyard clown;
  • Rich, honor’d, titled, he betrays his race
  • By this one mark—he’s awkward in his face.
  • Holmes.

  • Awkward, embarrassed, stiff, without the skill
  • Of moving gracefully or standing still,
  • One leg, as if suspicious of his brother,
  • Desirous seems to run away from t’other.
  • Churchill.

  • What’s a fine person, or a beauteous face,
  • Unless deportment gives them decent grace?
  • Blessed with all other requisites to please,
  • Some want the striking elegance of ease;
  • The curious eye their awkward movement tires:
  • They seem like puppets led about by wires.
  • Churchill.