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Quotations about Bores


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One out of three hundred and twelve Americans is a bore, for instance, and a healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience. ~John Updike, "Confessions of a Wild Bore"


When I have, with infinite pains, concealed from people how they bored me, I have sometimes felt angry with them for not guessing it. ~Charles Searle, Look Here!, 1885


People shrink from a bore because his capacity of utterance exceeds their capacity of sufferance. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, Evan Esar, 1968


"Dull!" he shouted. "It's stupendously dull!... We've got neighbors here that can stay longer in half an hour than most people can in a week. We get tired of each other at times, but after a call from the people in the next house, we return with rapture to our delusion that we are interesting." ~W. D. Howells, "Though One Rose from the Dead," Questionable Shapes, 1903


We often forgive those who bore us, but never those whom we bore. ~François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680)


E is the Egotist Dread
Who, as someone has wittily said,
      Will talk till he's blue
      About Himself when you
Want to talk about Yourself instead.
~Oliver Herford, A Little Book of Bores, 1906


We heard a good definition of a bore. A bore is a man who, when you ask him how he is, tells you. ~Bert Leston Taylor, The So-Called Human Race, 1922


P's a Poetical Bore
Who recites his own Lines by the score.
      The Ladies, poor Dears,
      Are all moved to Tears
And Strong Men are moved — to the Door.
~Oliver Herford, A Little Book of Bores, 1906


DULLARD, n. A member of the reigning dynasty in letters and life... The secret of their power is their insensibility to blows; tickle them with a bludgeon and they laugh with a platitude... According to the most trustworthy statistics the number of adult Dullards in the United States is but little short of thirty millions, including the statisticians. ~Ambrose Bierce


M's a methodical man
Who talks with precision and plan.
Have a care how you balk
The stream of his talk,
Lest he go back to where he began.
~Oliver Herford, A Little Book of Bores, 1906


BORE, n.  A person who talks when you wish him to listen. ~Ambrose Bierce


Two things I have never understood: first, the difference between a Czar and a Tsar,
And second, why some people who should be bores aren't, and others, who shouldn't be, are...
~Ogden Nash, "Will You Have Your Tedium Rare or Medium?," Versus, 1949


I's the Intensely Intense
Who dilates on the "Where" and the "Whence"
The "Wherefore" & "Why"
And the "Ego" (or "I")
Not to mention the "Hither" and "Hence."
~Oliver Herford, A Little Book of Bores, 1906


A bore is a man whose mother bore him and who now bores everyone else. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, Evan Esar, 1968


W's a well informed wight
Who loves to set everyone right.
      If a word you misspell
      Or misquote—he will swell
With Chastened and Holy delight.
~Oliver Herford, A Little Book of Bores, 1906


A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company. ~Gian Vincenzo Gravina, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1949


L's the Loquacious variety
Who is found in all sorts of Society.
He drinks in the sound
Of his own Voice till drown'd
In a species of self-inebriety.
~Oliver Herford, A Little Book of Bores, 1906


You must be careful about giving any drink whatsoever to a bore. A lit-up bore is the worst in the world. ~David Cecil


As near as I could find out she had lived 194 years simply because she couldn't die without cutting short one of her stories. ~Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw, 1818–1885)  [spelling standardized —tg]


Q is a Quoter who'll cite
His favorite authors, all night.
Tho' glowing with Thought,
Like the Moon he is naught
But a second-hand dealer in Light.
~Oliver Herford, A Little Book of Bores, 1906


In time — and as certainly as the grub turns in due season into the winged plague who buzzes and fly-blows — the little reciting bore turns into the dramatic or theatric acting, reading, singing, recitative — and finally into the everlasting-quotation-loving bore — Greek, Latin, and English. The everlasting quotation-lover doats on the husks of learning... He... has... a quotation ready for every thing you can say... ~Maria Edgeworth, "Thoughts on Bores"


Every improvement in communication makes the bore more terrible. ~Frank Moore Colby


The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animals. Some of their most esteemed inventions have no other apparent purpose, for example, the dinner party of more than two, the epic poem, and the science of metaphysics. ~H. L. Mencken


...With the terrible moustache upcurving
      One Man who can bore
      A Planet and more
Is surely of mention deserving.
~Oliver Herford, A Little Book of Bores, 1906


The bore is not a ruminating animal, — carnivorous, not sagacious — prosing — long-winded — tenacious of life, though not vivacious. The bore is good for promoting sleep; but though he causeth sleep in others, it is uncertain whether he ever sleeps himself; as few can keep awake in his company long enough to see. It is supposed that when he sleeps it is with his mouth open. ~Maria Edgeworth, "Thoughts on Bores"


A bore is a heavy animal, and his weight has this peculiarity, that is increases every moment he stays near you. ~Maria Edgeworth, "Thoughts on Bores"


Z is the Zealot whose Zeal
Takes the form of "An urgent Appeal."
Tho' you wriggle and squirm
And protest, he sits firm
Till he lands you at last like an Eel.
~Oliver Herford, A Little Book of Bores, 1906


The worst thing about a bore is not that he won't stop talking, but that he won't let you stop listening. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, Evan Esar, 1968


There is no bore we dread being left alone with so much as our own minds. ~James Russell Lowell



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