3. "A little ____ is a dangerous thing."
Pope, An Essay on Criticism
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
4. "A penny for your ____."
5. "Music hath charms to soothe ____."
Congreave, The Mourning Bride
Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
6. "Imitation is the sincerest ____ flattery."
Coulton, The Lacon
7. "Aske me no questions, and I'll tell you no ____."
Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer
8. "Give him an inch, he'll take ____."
Ray, English Proverbs
an ell - An Ell is a unit of measure, approximately 45 inches
9. "Variety is the ____ of life."
Cowper, The Task
10. "____ is the root of all evil."
I Timothy 6:10
for thelove of money
11. "Water, water everywhere, ____ drop to drink."
Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner
12. "I only regret that I have but ____ for my country."
one life tolose
13. "Beggars ____ choosers."
should be no
14. "Winning isn't everything, ____."
but the will to win is everything. Although, he is still attributed to have said "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing". But he, of course, denied ever saying it.
It was fun looking some of these old quotes and idioms up and realizing how they have been corrupted over the years.
Here are some of my favorite misquoted phrases:
batting down the hatches versus "batten down the hatches"
mute point versus "moot point"
adverse to versus "averse to"
alterior motive versus "ulterior motive"
barred wire versus "barbed wire"
butt naked v "buck naked"
one foul swoop versus "one fell swoop"
James Cagney never said "Oooh, you dirty rat" and Cary Grant never said "Judy, Judy, Judy"
Houston, we have a problem was really "OK, Houston..." which was cut off by Commander Jim Lovell saying "I believe we've had a problem here," followed fifteen seconds later by Lovell's "Houston, we've had a problem. We've had a main B bus undervolt."
Mark Twain didn't say - "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Actual quotation: "The report of my death is an exaggeration." In 1897 a journalist was sent to inquire after Twain's health, thinking he was near to death; in fact it was his cousin who was very ill.
"Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." — attribituted to Lord Acton -
Actual quotation: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely".
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." by Neil Armstrong is incorrect. It is believed that there's actually a missing "a" before "man". Without the "a", the words "man" and "mankind" are interchangeable, thus obscuring the contrast between the two clauses of Armstrong's intended statement. NASA attempted to explain the missing article as having been lost in the original transmission due to the limitations of the technology of the time.
"All that glitters is not gold." - not Shakespeare
Actual quotation: "All that glisters is not gold."
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" — Perez in Mourning Bride, by William Congreve
Actual quote: "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."
"Me Tarzan, you Jane". Never said. It was "Tarzan, Jane" repeated several times.
"Beam me up, Scotty" was never said. The closest was "Scotty, beam me up."
"Play it again, Sam" was never said. Ilsa Lund said "Play it once, Sam, for old times' sake." and then "Play it, Sam. Play As Time Goes By"; later, Rick says "You played it for her, you can play it for me!"
The complete phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson" does not appear in any of the 60 Holmes stories written by Doyle.
"If you build it, they will come" was actually "If you build it, he will come."