The other day I came across Mardy Grothe’s book, “Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You” and I discovered the definitions of those creative wordplay found in many great life quotes by Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, Benjamin Franklin, William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, and Samuel Johnson, among others.

chiasmus quotes

The first definition is called chiasmus (noun). Chiasmus is pronounce as “ky-AZ-mus”. An also the definition known as antimetabole. One of the many chiasmus examples is ‘All for one, and one for all’.

Chiasmus definition: is a verbal construct consisting of two parallel parts. The order of the terms in the first part is reversed in the second.

Then there is this antimetabole which is a sub-type of chiasmus. It is a figure of speech in which a pair of words is repeated in reverse order.

Anyway, here are some chiasmus quotes and antimetabole examples:

“Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.” – John F. Kennedy

“It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.” – Abraham Lincoln

“My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington.” – Barack Obama

“Nations do not mistrust each other because they are armed; they are armed because they mistrust each other.” – Ronald Reagan

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” – Anon

“You don’t write because you want to say something; you write because you’ve got something to say.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

“I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.” – Sir Winston Churchill

When a dog bites a man that is not news, but when a man bites a dog that is news. – (Charles Anderson Dana, “What is News?” The New York Sun, 1882)

“You have to put your heart in the business and the business in your heart.” – Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

“Politics is war carried out without bloodshed, while war is politics carried out with bloodshed.” – Mao Zedong

“Pleasure’s a sin, and sometimes sin’s a pleasure’” – Byron

“It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.” – H. L. Mencken

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” – Winston Churchill

“The superior man is easy to serve, but difficult to please … The inferior man is difficult to serve, but easy to please.” – Confucius

“Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”

“If you cannot have what you believe in you must believe in what you have.” – George Bernard Shaw

“You win to play, and you play to win.” – Anonymous

“Never be haughty to the humble; never be humble to the haughty.” – Jefferson Davis

Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.” – Anonymous

“We do what we like, and we like what we do.” – Andrew W.K.

“It is not how old you are, but how you are old.” – Jules Renard

“Liberty without learning is always in peril and learning without liberty is always in vain.”

“I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better.” – A. J. Liebling

“Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You” – Joey Adams

“To let a fool kiss you is stupid. To let a kiss fool you is worse.” – E. Y. Harburg

“Nice to see you, to see you nice” – Bruce Forsyth

“Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.” – Anonymous

“At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.” – W. Somerset Maugham

“Some people use change to promote their careers; other people use their careers to promote change.” – Sarah Palin

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” – Cyril Connolly

“In the Halls of Justice, the only justice is in the halls.” – Lenny Bruce

“One should eat to live, not live to eat.” – Cicero

“And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” – President John F. Kennedy

“The two most engaging powers of an author, are, to make new things familiar, and familiar things new.” – Dr. Samuel Johnson

“Money will not make you happy, and happy will not make you money.” – Groucho Marx

“Love makes time pass, time makes love pass.” – Italian Proverb

“Money sometimes makes fools of important persons, but it may also make important persons of fools. – Walter Winchell

“I’d rather be looked over than overlooked.” – Mae West

“Quitters never win and winners never quit.” – Popular Saying

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled,and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” – Matthew 23: 11-12

“The secret of life is not to do what you like but to like what you do.” – Anonymous

“The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.” – Peter De Vries

“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.” – (Cormac McCarthy, The Road, 2006)

“Whereas political parties may have many principles, political principals certainly have many parties”

“It’s great to be the life and soul of the party, but is it not better to be party to the soul of life?”

“The philosopher’s puzzle: The more I think I learn, the less will I know. The more I think I know, the less will I learn.”

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” – Zig Ziglar

“Which is more important: Answer the question… or question the answer?”

“There are those who complain about not getting their due, and think it’s a world of injustice; perhaps the real injustice of the world is simply those who don’t get what’s due to them.”

“With so much temptation all around, I’m sure the road of good intentions must have been paved in hell!”

“It’s not the hours you put in your work that count, it’s work you put in the hours.” – Sam Ewing

“Some people are so mixed up they’re either grumpy when others are happy or happy when others are grumpy.”

“I like the obscurity of anonymity, but not the anonymity of obscurity.”

“A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver.” – Thomas à Kempis

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

“The rich may well be idle, but the idle will never get rich.”

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” – Thomas Huxley

“Some are born with the best of everything and do nothing; others have nothing when born but do everything for the best.”

“I just die to live, not live just to die.”

“Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.” – Cicero

“Some have an excess of pride; others take pride in excess.”

“Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks.” – Phillips Brooks

“It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” No… It’s better to live on your feet than die on your knees.” – (from the movie Catch-22)

“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.” – Henri Louis Bergson

“Charm is a woman’s strength just as strength is a man’s charm.” – Havelock Ellis

“Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Most idealistic people are skint. I have discovered that people with money have no imagination, and people with imagination have no money.” – Simone Weil

“We must stop talking about the American dream and start listening to the dreams of Americans .” – Reubin Askew

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“Art produces ugly things which frequently become beautiful with time. Fashion … produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.” – Jean Cocteau

“In England, we ask for the bill and pay with a check, while here in America I ask for the check and pay with a bill .” – (from the movie “Love and Death on Long Island”)

“It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them .” – Mark Twain

“Consider that in Britain the Royal Mail delivers the post, not the mail, while in America the Postal Service delivers the mail, not the post.” – Bill Bryson (The Mother Tongue)

“The system’ doesn’t work, except for those working the system.” – (Unknownnews.net)

“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action” – Benjamin Disraeli

“Being drunk enough to be brave and brave enough to be drunk.” – (from the movie “The Lost Patrol”)

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” – Thomas Henry Huxley

“A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.” – Michel de Montaigne

“People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.” – Bill Clinton

Failure is the foundation of success; success is the lurking place of failure.” – Lao Tzu

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

“Many a man owes his success to his first wife and his second wife to his success.” – Jim Backus

“Which is it, is man one of God’s blunders, or God one of man’s blunders?” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“When a defining moment comes along, you define the moment, or the moment defines you” – Kevin Costner

“It’s not the men in my life, it’s the life in my men.”- Mae West

“It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.” – Mark Twain

“Fear cannot be without some hope nor hope without some fear.” – Baruch Spinoza

“The value of marriage is not that adults produce children,but that children produce adults.”- Peter De Vries

“It’s not that he `bites off more than he can chew,’ but that he chews more than he bites off.” – attributed to Mrs. Henry Adams about Henry James

“The shepard seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the shepard;but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me; therefore I am no sheep.” – (from Shakespeare’s The Two Gentleman Of Verona)

“A man has his clothes made to fit him; a woman makes herself fit her clothes.” – Edgar Watson Howe

“The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order.” – Alfred North Whitehead

“A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.” – John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

“You can take it out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of it.” – (slogan for Salem cigarettes)

“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Bernard Baruch

Marriage is the price men pay for sex; sex is the price women pay for marriage.” – Anonymous

“To a woman the first kiss is just the end of the beginning but to a man it is the beginning of the end.” – Helen Rowland

“There is a great deal of difference between the eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.” – G. K. Chesterton

“Half of our mistakes in life arises from feeling where we ought to think, and thinking where we ought to feel.” – John Churton Collins

“If your religion does not change you, then you should change your religion.” – Elbert Hubbard

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” – Amy Carmichael

“Think small and act small, and we’ll get bigger. Think big and act big, and we’ll get smaller.” – Herb Kelleher