A collection of proverbs and quotes about men and humankind.

This was supposed to be a collection about men (male humans) but you will see that often when the word “man” or “men” is used it refers to humankind in a more general way.

Man – Photo by Erich Ferdinand

‘Stupid as a man,’ say the women: ‘cowardly as a woman,’ say the men. Stupidity in a woman is unwomanly.

Friedrich Nietzsche

A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust and longs for friendship.

The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien

A man is as old as he feels himself to be.

When you are healthy, your real age doesn’t matter.

A man is known by the company he keeps.

You are often judged by the type of people with whom you spend your time.

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

Greek proverb

A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy.

Albert Einstein

A wise woman puts a grain of sugar into everything she says to a man, and takes a grain of salt with everything he says to her.

Helen Rowland

Beauty is the wisdom of women. Wisdom is the beauty of men.


Childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day.


Dead men tell no tales.

Different men have different opinions; some prefer apples, some onions.

Every man has his price.

Every man is his own enemy.

You may do things that harm yourself.

Every man is the architect of his own fortune.

Life is what you make it.

He who does not travel does not know the value of men.

Moorish proverb

How much less man, who is but a maggot, the son of man, who is only a worm?

Job: 25: 6

How stunning are the changes which age makes in a man while he sleeps!

Mark Twain

I had rather be an oyster than a man, the most stupid and senseless of animals.

George Berkeley

If a rich man ate a snake, they would say it was because of his wisdom; if a poor man ate it, they would say it was because of his stupidity.

Saudi Arabian proverb

If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans. We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet.

Stephen Hawking

It is from listening to old men that you learn wisdom.

Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.

Sherlock Holmes
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle

Man is Nature's sole mistake.

W.S. Gilbert

Man is the head of the family; woman is the neck that turns the head.

Manners make the man.

Men make houses, women make homes.

No man can serve two masters.

It’s impossible to follow two different instructions.

No man is an island.

You are not alone but always need other people.

No man is clever enough to know all the evil he does.

Francois de la Rochefoucauld

Nothing like the act of eating for equalising men. Dying is nothing to it.

North and South
Elizabeth Gaskell

One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork.

Edward Abbey

One man’s meat is another man’s poison.

People have different taste and don’t like the same thing..

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

What is useless to one person could be very valuable to someone else.

Only choose in marriage a man whom you would choose as a friend if he were a woman.

Joseph Joubert

Only the man who is not hungry says the coconut has a hard shell.

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.


Shallots are for babies; Onions are for men; garlic is for heroes.

Unknown source

Some men will build a wine cellar when they have found just one grape.

The cherry blossom among flowers, the warrior among men.

The dog for the man, the cat for the woman.

English proverb

The foolish slogans of a rich man often pass for words of wisdom by the fools around him.


The good men seem to be like coconuts. Others are like the jujube fruit.

Beautiful only on the outside but sour inside.

The man loves danger and sport. That is why he loves woman, the most dangerous of all sports.

Friedrich Nietzsche

The man who has been beaten by a firebrand runs away at the sight of a firefly.

The only thing that ever consoles man for the stupid things he does is the praise he always gives himself for doing them.

Oscar Wilde

The silliest woman can manage a clever man; but it needs a clever woman to manage a fool.

Rudyard Kipling

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

Feed a man well and he will love you.

Time and tide wait for no man.

Delaying a decision will not prevent events from taking place.

To question a wise man is the beginning of wisdom.

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star.

Stephen Hawking

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.

Stephen Hawking

What a man says drunk, he thinks sober.

People speak more freely under the influence of alcohol.

What are young men to rocks and mountains?

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.

George Bernard Shaw

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.

George Bernard Shaw

Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.

Oscar Wilde

Wise men are not always silent, but they know when to be.


Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.


Women sometimes make fools of men, but most guys are the do-it-yourself type


Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking


You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.

Brigham Young