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


The tongue is a world of iniquity.


The artillery of words.


The windy satisfaction of the tongue.


The tongue, the ambassador of the heart.


A maiden hath no tongue but thought.


The tongue is the vile slave’s vilest part.


Death and life are in the power of the tongue.


The heart’s attorney.


Restrain thy mind, and let mildness ever attend thy tongue.


  • Is there a tongue like Delia’s o’er her cup,
  • That runs for ages without winding up?
  • Young.

  • Tongues I’ll hang on every tree,
  • That shall civil sayings show.
  • Shakespeare.

  • The heart hath treble wrong
  • When it is barr’d the aidance of the tongue.
  • Shakespeare.

    My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will.


  • My tongue’s use is to me no more
  • Than an unstringed viol or a harp.
  • Shakespeare.

    While thou livest, keep a good tongue in thy head.


    Many a man’s tongue shakes out his master’s undoing.


    I should think your tongue had broken its chain!


  • The firste vertue, sone, if them wilt lerne,
  • Is to restreyne and kepen wel thy tonge.
  • Chaucer.

    A sharp tongue is the only edge-tool that grows keener with constant use.

    Washington Irving.

    A fool’s heart is in his tongue; but a wise man’s tongue is in his heart.


    To many men well-fitting doors are not set on their tongues.


    The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright, and is as choice silver.


    Woman’s tongue is her sword, which she never lets rust.

    Madame Necker.

    The tongue should not be suffered to outrun the mind.


    Give your tongue more holiday than your hands or eyes.

    Rabbi Ben-Azai.

    By examining the tongue of a patient, physicians find out the diseases of the body, and philosophers the diseases of the mind.


    The tongue of a fool is the key of his counsel, which, in a wise man, wisdom hath in keeping.


  • You play the spaniel,
  • And think with wagging of your tongue to win me.
  • Shakespeare.

    The chameleon, who is said to feed upon nothing but air, has of all animals the nimblest tongue.


    When we advance a little into life, we find that the tongue of man creates nearly all the mischief of the world.

    Paxton Hood.

    When thou are obliged to speak, be sure to speak the truth; for equivocation is half-way to lying, and lying is the whole way to hell.

    William Penn.

    If any man think it a small matter, or of mean concernment, to bridle his tongue, he is much mistaken.


    The man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man, if with his tongue he cannot win a woman.


    A wound from a tongue is worse than a wound from the sword; the latter affects only the body—the former, the spirit, the soul.


    Since I cannot govern my own tongue, though within my own teeth, how can I hope to govern the tongue of others?


    Open, candid, and generous, his heart was the constant companion of his hand, and his tongue the artless index of his mind.

    George Canning.

    A wound made by an arrow will cicatrize and heal; a forest felded by the axe will spring up again in new growth; but a wound made by the tongue will never heal.


    The tongue is, at the same time, the best part of man and his worst; with good government, none is more useful, and without it, none is more mischievous.


    Give not thy tongue too great a liberty, lest it take thee prisoner. A word unspoken is like the sword in the scabbard, thine; if vented, thy sword is in another’s hand. If thou desire to be held wise, be so wise as to hold thy tongue.


  • When them dost tell another jest, therein
  • Omit the oaths which true wit cannot need;
  • Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin;
  • He pares his apple that will cleanly feed.
  • Herbert.

    The tongue of man is powerful enough to render the ideas which the human intellect conceives; but in the realm of true and deep sentiments it is but a weak interpreter. These are inexpressible, like the endless glory of the Omnipotent.


    In the use of the tongue God hath distinguished us from beasts, and by the well or ill using it we are distinguished from one another; and therefore, though silence be innocent as death, harmless as a rose’s breath to a distant passenger, yet it is rather the state of death than life.

    Jeremy Taylor.

  • Sacred interpreter of human thought,
  • How few respect or use thee as they ought!
  • But all shall give account of every wrong,
  • Who dare dishonor or defile the tongue;
  • Who prostitute it in the cause of vice,
  • Or sell their glory at a market-price!
  • Cowper.

    It is observed in the course of worldly things, that men’s fortunes are oftener made by their tongues than by their virtues; and more men’s fortunes overthrown thereby than by vices.

    Sir W. Raleigh.