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Mae West Quotes

Mae West (1893 - 1980)

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Mae West Photos at 2000 Auction

Mae West Photos at 2000 Auction

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Mae West was best known as a comedian and actress whose bawdy plays and movies were full of double entendres and attracted the attention of industry censors. Less well known is her role as writer in many productions. Her film career -- mainly at Paramount in the 1930s -- seemed to stop in 1943, but she returned in the 1970s for Myra Breckindridge, a cult classic, and Sextette.

Selected Mae West Quotations

• I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.

• If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning.

• I wrote the story myself. It's all about a girl who lost her reputation but never missed it.

• When I'm good, I'm very good. When I'm bad, I'm better.

• Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

• It's hard to be funny when you have to be clean.

• I'm a woman of very few words, but lots of action.

• I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

• It isn't what I do, but how I do it. It isn't what I say, but how I say it, and how I look when I do it and say it.

• I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.

• When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.

• Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet.

• I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.

• Why don't you come on up and see me sometime -- when I've got nothin' on but the radio.

• Why don't you come up sometime and see me? I'm home every evening. Come up. I'll tell your fortune. Ah, you can be had.

• Life's just a merry-go-round. Come on up. You might get a brass ring.

• She's the kind of girl who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong.

• When women go wrong, men go right after them.

• There are no good girls gone wrong, just bad girls found out.

• Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

• Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

• It is better to be looked over than overlooked.

• Keep a diary, and someday it'll keep you.

• To err is human, but it feels divine.

• Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.

• I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better.

• Sex is emotion in motion.

• Virtue has its own reward, but no sale at the box office.

• Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

• I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I'm a woman, but loose enough to show I'm a lady.

• You're never too old to become younger.

• I like restraint, if it doesn't go too far.

• I'm the lady who works at Paramount all day... and Fox all night.

• I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.

• A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up.

• Love thy neighbor -- and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.

• It's all right for a perfect stranger to kiss your hand as long as he's perfect.

• It's not the men in my life that count, it's the life in my men.

• Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can't figure out what from.

• A man in the house is worth two in the street.

• A girl in the convertible is worth five in the phone book.

• A hard man is good to find.

• Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired.

• Give a man a free hand and he'll run it all over you.

• A man can be short and dumpy and getting bald but if he has fire, women will like him.

• An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.

• Don't keep a man guessing too long -- he's sure to find the answer somewhere else.

• Look your best -- who said love is blind?

• Flattery will get you everywhere.

• I've been things and seen places.

• I'm no angel, but I've spread my wings a bit.

• The score never interested me, only the game.

• Men are my hobby. If I ever got married I'd have to give it up.

• So many men... so little time.

• I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.

• Personally, I like two types of men - domestic and foreign.

• I go for two kinds of men. The kind with muscles, and the kind without.

• I only have 'yes' men around me. Who needs 'no' men?

• Save a boyfriend for a rainy day -- and another, in case it doesn't rain.

• Some men are all right in their place -- if they only knew the right places!

• I like a man who's good, but not too good -- for the good die young, and I hate a dead one.

• I feel like a million tonight. But one at a time.

• Men are easy to get but hard to keep.

• Men? Sure, I've known lots of them. But I never found one I liked well enough to marry. Besides, I've always been busy with my work. Marriage is a career in itself and to make a success of it you've got to keep working at it. So until I can give the proper amount of time to marriage, I'll stay single.

• His mother should have thrown him out and kept the stork.

• He's the kind of man a woman would have to marry to get rid of.

• Don't marry a man to reform him -- that's what reform schools are for.

• Opportunity knocks for every man, but you have to give a woman a ring.

• It takes two to get one in trouble.

• Too many girls follow the line of least resistance -- but a good line is hard to resist.

• Good women are no fun. The only good woman I can recall in history was Betsy Ross. And all she ever made was a flag.

• Good sex is like good Bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.

• Diamonds is my career.

• When it comes to finances, remember that there are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin.

• No gold-digging for me. I take diamonds! We may be off the gold standard someday.

• You can do what you want, but saving love doesn't bring any interest.

• Any time you got nothing to do and lots of time to do it, come on up.

• Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.

• Kiss and make up -- but too much makeup has ruined many a kiss.

• Brains are an asset to the woman in love who's smart enough to hide 'em.

• Some women pick men to marry -- and others pick them to pieces.

• Say what you want about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.

• Let men see what's coming to them, and women will get what's coming to them.

• Cultivate your curves -- they may be dangerous but they won't be avoided.

• I didn't discover curves; I only uncovered them.

• The curve is more powerful than the sword.

• I've been in more laps than a napkin.

• I'd like to see Paris before I die. Philadelphia will do.

• I see you're a man with ideals. I better be going before you've still got them.

• Women with "pasts" interest men because men hope that history will repeat itself.

• Don't ever make the same mistake twice, unless it pays.

• Right now I think censorship is necessary; the things they're doing and saying in films right now just shouldn't be allowed. There's no dignity anymore and I think that's very important.

• The best way to behave is to misbehave.

• You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Mae West Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/mae_west.htm . Date accessed: (today).

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