Here are more quote authors and origins Shapiro’s tracked down recently.
Quotes Uncovered: Brides and Fruit Flies
A while back, I invited readers to submit quotations for which they wanted me to try to trace the origins, using The Yale Book of Quotations and more recent research by me. Hundreds of people have responded via comments or e-mails. I am responding as best I can, a few per week.
Who said “A bride is a woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her?”
The Yale Book of Quotations has the following:
“Bride, n. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.” Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic’s Word Book (1906).
How about “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” It was not Samuel Clemens, as commonly attributed.
The YBQ says:
“Anywhere is better than Paris. Paris the cold, Paris the drizzly, Paris the rainy, Paris the damnable. More than a hundred years ago, somebody asked Quin, ‘Did you ever see such a winter in all your life before?’ ‘Yes,’ said he, ‘Last summer.’ I judge he spent his summer in Paris.” Mark Twain, Letter to Lucius Fairchild, April 28, 1880. This letter is the closest source that has been found for the saying, frequently credited to Twain, that “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” The Quin referred to was an 18th-century actor and wit.
Tim Suliman asked:
“Time flies like the wind, fruit flies like the banana.” I’ve always thought it was Groucho, but I’m not sure. Thanks!
The Yale Book of Quotations, which attempts to trace all famous quotations to their accurate sources, has this:
“Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” Attributed to Groucho Marx in The Essential Groucho, ed. Stefan Kanfer (2000). There is no reason to believe that Groucho actually said this. It appeared in the Usenet news group net.jokes, July 9, 1982.
Do any readers have any other quotations whose origins they would like me to attempt to trace?