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Dorothy Parker Quotes to Uncover Life’s Secrets

Dorothy Parker was an American writer who specialized in poetry, satire, and wisecracks. These Dorothy Parker quotes bring her truths to the page, uncovering life’s truths. Parker spent most of her life in New York, and much of her writing points out the complications that come with modern urban life.

What truths can we pick from Dorothy Parker’s famous quotes?

Dorothy Parker is known for her realistic views on life. She brings to light the truths behind living in this modern world, being in love, and being a writer.

But the main thing we can take away is the way she approaches life—as a cynic and a realist, pointing out the reality of life’s triumphs and tragedies.

Below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and thought-provoking Dorothy Parker quotes and sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Don’t forget to also check out these Frida Kahlo quotes for strength and inspiration.

Dorothy Parker Quotes About The Harsh Realities of Life

1. “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” – Dorothy Parker

2. “The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.” – Dorothy Parker

3. “I don’t know much about being a millionaire, but I’ll bet I’d be darling at it.” – Dorothy Parker

4. “What fresh hell is this?” – Dorothy Parker

5. “That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgement.” – Dorothy Parker

6. “If I didn’t care for fun and such, I’d probably amount to much. But I shall stay the way I am, because I do not give a damn.” – Dorothy Parker

7. “This wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.” – Dorothy Parker

8. “If you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you.” – Dorothy Parker

9. “Ducking for apples—change one letter and it’s the story of my life.” – Dorothy Parker

10. “A hangover is the wrath of grapes.” – Dorothy Parker

11. “Time doth flit; oh shit.” – Dorothy Parker

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12. “But I don’t give up; I forget why not.” – Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker Quotes About People

13. “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.” – Dorothy Parker

14. “Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.” – Dorothy Parker

15. “You can’t lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.” – Dorothy Parker

16. “That woman speaks eighteen languages and can’t say ‘no’ in any of them.” – Dorothy Parker

17. “Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship.” – Dorothy Parker

18. “Now I know the things I know, and I do the things I do; and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you!” – Dorothy Parker

19. “The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of the tires.” – Dorothy Parker

20. “There’s a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words.” – Dorothy Parker

21. “Women and elephants never forget.” – Dorothy Parker

22. “A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.” – Dorothy Parker

23. “You think you’re frightening me with your hell, don’t you? You think your hell is worse than mine.” – Dorothy Parker

24. “Three be the things I shall never attain: envy, content, and sufficient champagne.” – Dorothy Parker

25. “Living well is the best revenge.” – Dorothy Parker

26. “Of course I talk to myself. I like a good speaker, and I appreciate an intelligent audience.” – Dorothy Parker

You might also like these inspirational Virginia Woolf quotes for understanding life itself.

Dorothy Parker Quotes About Work and Words

27. “I hate writing, I love having written.” – Dorothy Parker

28. “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of the Elements of Style. The first greatest of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.” – Dorothy Parker

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29. “I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true.” – Dorothy Parker

30. “I’d like to have money. And I’d like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but if that’s too adorable, I’d rather have money.” – Dorothy Parker

31. “I’m not a writer with a drinking problem, I’m a drinker with a writing problem.” – Dorothy Parker

32. “The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘cheque enclosed.’” – Dorothy Parker

33. “Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.” – Dorothy Parker

34. “I’m never going to accomplish anything; that’s perfectly clear to me. I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that anymore.” – Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker Quotes About Love

35. “By the time you swear you’re his, shivering and sighing. And he vows his passion is, infinite, undying. Lady make note of this—one of you is lying.” – Dorothy Parker

36. “Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.” – Dorothy Parker

37. “Tell him I was too fucking busy—or vice versa.” – Dorothy Parker

38. “His voice was as intimate as the rustle of sheets.” – Dorothy Parker

39. “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.” – Dorothy Parker

40. “Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it and it darts away.” – Dorothy Parker

41. “I require three things in a man: he must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid.” – Dorothy Parker

42. “And if my heart be scarred and burned, the safer, I, for all I learned.” – Dorothy Parker

43. “She was pleased to have him come and never sorry to see him go.” – Dorothy Parker

44. “Take me or leave me; or, as is the usually order of things, both.” – Dorothy Parker

45. “I won’t telephone him. I’ll never telephone him again as long as I live. He’ll rot in hell before I’ll call him up. You don’t have to give me strength.” – Dorothy Parker

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46. “It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.” – Dorothy Parker

47. “The sun’s gone dim, and the moon’s gone black. For I loved him, and he didn’t love back.” – Dorothy Parker

48. “I was always sweet, at first. Oh, it’s so easy to be sweet to people before you love them.” – Dorothy Parker

49. “Four be the things I’d have been better without: love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.” – Dorothy Parker

50. “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.” – Dorothy Parker

51. “Some men break your heart in two, some men fawn and flatter, some men never look at you; And that cleans up the matter.” – Dorothy Parker

52. “Where’s the man that could ease a heart like a satin gown?” – Dorothy Parker

You might also like these intriguing Pablo Neruda quotes that will leave you questioning life and love.

53. “Never complain, never explain.” – Dorothy Parker

54. “The cure to boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker

What did you learn from these Dorothy Parker quotes?

Dorothy Parker quotes show us the truths behind living in this, sometimes, cruel and harsh modern reality. She points out the realities of love, of being a writer, and of life and money. Dorothy Parker spent much of her life in New York, working as a writer and critic. She is most famous for her poetry and satire.

What can Dorothy Parker’s writing teach us? Parker is known for having the truth in her writing, but she is also wise in her words. She often uncovers the truth in life through criticism and wit, and brings the beauty of tragedy to life through her writing.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these inspirational Dorothy Parker quotes? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

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  1. Keith Hayes

    March 3, 2021 at 9:54 PM

    ‘Living well is the best revenge.’

    Thank you Dorothy. When a green eyed terror has my head in a vise I remember this. It has helped many times. Move on and be happy.

  2. F N

    November 28, 2020 at 9:55 PM

    I’m going to buy a Dorothy Parker book for my daughter. Enough said!

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