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


Once a coxcomb, always a coxcomb.

Dr. Johnson.

A coxcomb is the blockhead’s man of merit.

La Bruyère.

A coxcomb is ugly all over with the affectation of the fine gentleman.


A coxcomb is four-fifths affectation and one-fifth vanity.


A man of sense and gravity is less apt to succeed with a fine woman than the gay, the giddy, the flattering coxcomb.

Henry Horne.

  • This is he
  • That kiss’d away his hand in courtesy;
  • This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice,
  • That when he plays at tables, chides the dice
  • In honorable terms; nay, he can sing
  • A mean most meanly; and in ushering,
  • Mend him who can; the ladies call him, sweet;
  • The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet.
  • Shakespeare.

  • He was perfum’d like a milliner:
  • And ’twixt his finger and his thumb he held
  • A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
  • He gave his nose: and still he smil’d and talk’d;
  • And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
  • He call’d them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
  • To bring a slovenly unhandsome corpse
  • Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
  • Shakespeare.

    A vulgar man is captious and jealous; eager and impetuous about trifles. He suspects himself to be slighted, and thinks everything that is said meant at him.


    All the world says of a coxcomb that he is a coxcomb; but no one dares to say so to his face, and he dies without knowing it.

    La Bruyère.

    None are so seldom found alone, and are so soon tired of their own company, as those coxcombs who are on the best terms with themselves.


    A coxcomb begins, by determining that his own profession is the first; and he finishes by deciding that he is the first of his profession.