Some insects are loved, others are hated. Butterflies are our favorites. Here are some quotes and proverbs about butterflies.


… they were a kind of "purple emperor", a butterfly that loves the tops of oak-woods, but these were not purple at all, they were a dark dark velvety black without any markings to be seen.

The Hobbit – Chapter 8 – Flies and Spiders
J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo looking at butterflies

A social butterfly.

A person interested principally in frivolous pleasure.

After 12 years, the old butterflies came back. Well, I guess at my age you call them moths.

Franco Harris

Butterflies are always following me, everywhere I go.

Mariah Carey

Butterflies come to pretty flowers.


Butterflies forget that they were once caterpillars.


Butterflies store no money.

Butterfly effect.

(The phenomenon whereby a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, e.g., a butterfly flapping its wings in Amsterdam might change the weather in Bangkok. The term was first used by meteorologist Edward Lorenz.)

Everyone is like a butterfly, they start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful graceful butterflies that everyone loves.

Drew Barrymore

Flies like a butterfly, stings like a bee.

This refers to Mohammad Ali (boxer).

For a new year to bring you something new, make a move, like a butterfly tearing its cocoon! Make a move!

Mehmet Murat Ildan

Happiness is a butterfly.

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Have butterflies in one’s stomach.

To have a nervous feeling in one’s stomach. Being in love.

He remembered something his grandfather had once told him: that butterflies were a good omen. Like crickets, and like grasshoppers; like lizards and four-leaf clovers.

The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho

He was starting to feel nervous, but he knew his butterflies were as nothing to Ron's, who was clutching his stomach and staring straight ahead again, his jaw set and his complexion pale gray.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling
Harry is nervous before starting a game of Quidditch

His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred.

Ernest Hemingway

I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?

Chuang Tsu

I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.

Charles Dickens

I’ll be floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.

Muhammad Ali

I’ll NEVER be a butterfly; My mother was a moth.

In the end he poked his head above the roof of leaves, and then he found spiders all right. But they were only small ones of ordinary size, and they were after the butterflies.

The Hobbit – Chapter 8 – Flies and Spiders
J.R.R. Tolkien
What Bilbo sees after climbing a tree

It’s all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation.

Rob Gilbert

Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.

Vladimir Nabokov

Love is like a butterfly, hold it to tight it will crush, hold it to loose, it will fly.

Proverbs are like butterflies, some are caught, some fly away.

Take not a musket and kill a butterfly.

Don’t use more force than is necessary.

The ant crept forth to her daily toil, the butterfly fluttered and basked in the warm rays of the sun; myriads of insects spread their transparent wings, and revelled in their brief but happy existence. Man walked forth, elated with the scene; and all was brightness and splendour.

The Pickwick Papers
Charles Dickens

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.

Rabindranath Tagore

The butterfly often forgets it once was a caterpillar.


The butterfly that flies among the thorns will tear its wings.


The butterfly that settles on a branch is afraid that he will break it.


The lepidopterist who records in her notebook that a butterfly is blue may not stop to consider that this is true only because the giant ball of nuclear fuel ninety-three million miles away happens to maintain a surface temperature just right for shedding certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation on the Earth; that the eyes of humans have evolved to be sensitive to those wavelengths; that the eye can discriminate slightly different wavelengths as colours; that one of those colours has, by cultural consensus, been defined as 'blue', and so on. Nevertheless, science benefits from the lepidopterist's note that the butterfly is blue.

Seeing further: the story of science & the Royal Society
Bill Bryson

The sun was shining brilliantly, and it was a long while before he could bear it. When he could, he saw all round him a sea of dark green, ruffled here and there by the breeze; and there were everywhere hundreds of butterflies.

The Hobbit – Chapter 8 – Flies and Spiders
J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo on top of a tree.

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.

R. Buckminster Fuller

Two caterpillars are conversing and a beautiful butterfly floats by. One caterpillar turns and says to the other: ‘You’ll never see me flying like one of those butterflies.’

We are closer to the ants than to the butterflies. Very few people can endure much leisure.

Gerald Brenan

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.

Richard Bach

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

Richard Bach

What the caterpillar calls the end, the butterfly calls the beginning.

You are like the butterfly that flies from flower to flower.

Also have a look at proverbs and quotes about insects.