Table of contents:

12 famous phrases that nobody really said
12 famous phrases that nobody really said

The main problem with quotes from the Internet is that people immediately believe in their authenticity.

12 famous phrases that nobody really said
12 famous phrases that nobody really said

1. "I'm tired, I'm leaving" - Boris Yeltsin

This is what Boris Yeltsin allegedly said in his address to the Russians when he was leaving the presidency. The phrase was even changed into “I'm tired. I am a muhozhuk."

However, if you look at the recording, then “I'm tired, I'm leaving” you will not find there. Yeltsin said: "Today, on the last day of the outgoing century, I am resigning."

2. "If there is no bread, let them eat cakes" - Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette didn't say that. The phrase "Qu’ils mangent de la brioche" appeared in the Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1769. He attributed her to a certain French princess. Marie Antoinette was still living in Austria at the time, and she was only 14.

3. "There are no irreplaceable people" - Joseph Stalin

Stalin is often credited with the words "There are no irreplaceable people" or "We have no irreplaceable people." But neither in his memoirs nor in the recordings of speeches such a phrase is found. The only even remotely similar statement can be found in the record of the reporting report of the 1st Congress of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks in 1934.

These arrogant nobles think that they are irreplaceable and that they can violate the decisions of the governing bodies with impunity. They should not hesitate to remove them from leadership positions, regardless of their past merits.

Joseph Stalin Report to the 17th Party Congress on the work of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) January 26, 1934

4. "Any cook can run the state" - Vladimir Lenin

Lenin said nothing of the kind. And in the article "Will the Bolsheviks Retain State Power?" he expounded the opposite idea in meaning: both the laborer and the cook must first be trained so that they can manage something.

We are not utopians. We know that any unskilled laborer and any cook is not able to immediately take over the government … We demand that training in public administration be carried out by conscientious workers and soldiers and that it should be started immediately, that is, all workers, all the poor.

Vladimir Lenin "Will the Bolsheviks Retain State Power"

5. “Wake me up in a hundred years, and ask what is happening in Russia now. And I will answer - they drink and steal "- Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin

Such a saying is attributed to Saltykov-Shchedrin, then to Karamzin, but in this form it is not found in any of them. Apparently, the phrase was invented by Alexander Rosenbaum, who said the following in an interview with the Sobesednik newspaper on October 16, 2000.

Either Karamzin or Saltykov-Shchedrin said: “What will happen in 200 years? They will drink and steal!"

Alexander Rosenbaum Interview to the Sobesednik newspaper

Or the saying appeared thanks to the entry in the diary of Pyotr Vyazemsky, "Notebooks" of Prince Pyotr Vyazemsky, who knew Karamzin personally.

Karamzin said that if you answered in one word to the question: "What is happening in Russia?", Then you would have to say: "Steal."

Pyotr Vyazemsky "Notebooks"

6. "The end justifies the means" - Niccolo Machiavelli

Machiavelli did make a similar point:

The actions of all people, and especially sovereigns who are unwise to challenge, are judged by the result. Therefore, give the sovereign the opportunity to conquer and retain power in the state, and the means will always be considered worthy, and everyone will approve of them, because the common people are always seduced by what things seem to be and what comes of it.

Niccolo Machiavelli "Treatise" Sovereign"

But he did not say that particular phrase. Something similar was said by the German theologian Hermann Busenbaum: "To whom the goal is permitted, the means are also permitted." Obviously, the formulation “the end justifies the means” is a product of folk art.

7. “I disagree with any word that you say, but I’m ready to die for your right to say it” - Voltaire

Voltaire never said that. A phrase reminiscent of this aphorism belongs to the writer Evelyn Hall and appeared in her book - the biography of the poet "The Friends of Voltaire":

I do not approve of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it.

Evelyn Hall The Friends of Voltaire

Hall herself said: “I did not want to give the impression that these are the true words of Voltaire, and would be surprised if they were found in any of his works. This is just a paraphrase of Voltaire's words from Essays on Tolerance - "Think and let others think too."

8. "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" - Sigmund Freud

There is a story about the following on the Internet. Somehow, psychoanalytic students surrounded Freud and began to ask him questions about smoking, trying to connect the teacher's habit with a subconscious craving for oral sex with men. But Freud replied: "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar", suppressing the jokes of the students.

But it is unlikely that the story took place in reality. None of Freud's contemporaries said anything like that. Moreover, the vast majority of students adopted his smoking habits to please their mentor, who disliked non-smokers. So it is unlikely that they would have accused Freud of obscenities because of cigars, despite the fact that they themselves did not refuse them.

Perhaps the aphorism originated 10 of the Most Famous Quotes Never Said or Misattributed thanks to comedian Groucho Marx. Only he compared cigars not with a member, but with a mother's breast.

9. “Don't regret the soldier! The women are still giving birth! " - Georgy Zhukov

This phrase was attributed at different times not only to Marshal Zhukov, but also to Suvorov, Kutuzov and Peter I. But there is just no evidence that at least one of them blurted out something like that.

Something similar can be found only in a letter from Empress Alexandra to Nicholas II, written on August 17, 1916:

The generals know that we still have many soldiers in Russia, and therefore do not spare their lives, but these were superbly trained troops, and everything was in vain.

Correspondence with Nicholas II, 1914-1917

10. "If there is no God, then everything is allowed" - Fyodor Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky did not assert this, although the phrase fully reflects the views of his hero Ivan Karamazov. The aphorism was attributed to him by Jean-Paul Sartre in his lecture.

Dostoevsky once wrote that "if there is no God, then everything is permitted." This is the starting point of existentialism.

Jean-Paul Sartre "Existentialism is Humanism"

In Dostoevsky's novel "The Demons" there is only a phrase uttered by the "gray-haired bourbon captain": "If there is no God, then what kind of captain am I after that?" And the answer of the atheist Kirillov: "If there is no God, then I am God."

11. "God helps those who help themselves" - The Bible

In a 2001 poll, 82% of Americans thought it was a Bible quote. However, a simple search on its text will tell you that such a phrase is not there.

This idea is found in ancient sources - "Hippolytus" by Euripides, "Metamorphoses" by Ovid and Aesop. And in a more familiar form, the aphorism can be found in Algernon Sydney's book Discourses on Government: "God helps those who care for themselves."

12. "Divide and Conquer" - Julius Caesar

Neither Caesar nor other Roman rulers and senators could find such an aphorism. It is absent in classical Roman texts. It is possible that the aforementioned Machiavelli said something like that - he owns the following phrase:

Divide what you control.

Niccolo Machiavelli "Discourse on the first decade of Titus Livy"

But it was precisely "Divide and Conquer" that neither Caesar nor Machiavelli said.