65 Fran Lebowitz Quotes On Success In Life

Frances Ann Lebowitz is an American author, public speaker, and occasional actor. She is known for her sardonic social commentary on American life as filtered through her New York City sensibilities. The New York Times has called her a modern-day Dorothy Parker. These Fran Lebowitz quotes will motivate you.

Best Fran Lebowitz Quotes

  1. “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  2. “Very few people possess true artistic ability. It is therefore both unseemly and unproductive to irritate the situation by making an effort. If you have a burning, restless urge to write or paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  3. “Being offended is a natural consequence of leaving the house.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  4. “What do they do in these [private] clubs, anyway? Sit around saying things like ‘Thank God I’m here. No Jews! What fun! This is living, huh? Look! No Jews! I don’t know when I’ve had a better time. And no women! Just men! And no blacks! Just whites! White men! White men who are not Jewish! It doesn’t get any better than this.’ To some people, apparently, this is a perfect description of injustice. To me, this is a perfect description of a gay bar in Iceland.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  5. “You can be nasty when you are young, but you really have to be older to achieve bitterness.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

  6. “I place a high moral value on the way people behave. I find it repellent to have a lot, and to behave with anything other than courtesy in the old sense of the word – politeness of the heart, a gentleness of the spirit.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  7. “One of the biggest changes in my lifetime, is the phenomenon of men wearing shorts. Men never wore shorts when I was young. This is one of the worst changes, by far. It’s disgusting. To have to sit next to grown men on the subway in the summer, and they’re wearing shorts? They look ridiculous, like children, and I can’t take them seriously. My fashion advice, particularly to men wearing shorts: Ask yourself, ‘Could I make a living modeling these shorts?’ If the answer is no, then change your clothes. Put on a pair of pants.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  8. “While clothes with pictures and/or writing on them are not entirely an invention of the modern age, they are an unpleasant indication of the general state of things. … I mean, be realistic. If people don’t want to listen to you, what makes you think they want to hear from your sweater?” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  9. “Abandon the search for Truth; settle for a good fantasy” ~ Fran Lebowitz

  10. “The terrible state of public education has paid huge dividends in ignorance. Huge. We now have a country that can be told blatant lies – easily checkable, blatant lies – and I’m not talking about the covert workings of the CIA. When we have a terrorist attack, on September 11, 2001 with 19 men – 15 of them are Saudis – and five minutes later the whole country thinks they’re from Iraq – how can you have faith in the public? This is an easily checkable fact. The whole country is like the O.J. Simpson jurors.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  11. “Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he’s buying.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  12. “There’s also the idea in this country [USA], it’s not wholly new, but it’s new in its kind of purity, in that you have to be really smart to be really rich. I always say to people, the reason people believe this is a) they’ve never met a really smart person, and b) they’ve never met a really rich person. I have met both, and I cannot see the crossover. You do not have to be a genius to get rich. You have to be ruthless to get rich.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  13. “The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

  14. “Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  15. “No one earns $100 million. You steal $100 million.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  16. “I never met anyone who didn’t have a very smart child. What happens to these children, you wonder, when they reach adulthood?” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  17. “I think one manifestation of integrity is holding a grudge. Saying no is a little different. Holding a grudge is the modern equivalent of having standards.” ~ Fran Lebowitz Quotes
  18. “Think before you speak. Read before you think. This will give you something to think about that you didn’t make up yourself – a wise move at any age, but most especially at seventeen, when you are in the greatest danger of coming to annoying conclusions.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  19. “I love sleep because it is both pleasant and safe to use. Pleasant because one is in the best possible company and safe because sleep is the consummate protection against the unseemliness that is the invariable consequence of being awake. What you don’t know won’t hurt you. Sleep is death without the responsibility.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  20. “In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

  21. “My favorite way to wake up is to have a certain French movie star whisper to me softly at two-thirty in the afternoon that if I want to get to Sweden in time to pick up my Nobel Prize for Literature, I had better ring for breakfast. This occurs rather less often than one might wish.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  22. “Girls who put out are tramps. Girls who don’t are ladies. This is, however, a rather archaic usage of the word. Should one of you boys happen upon a girl who doesn’t put out, do not jump to the conclusion that you have found a lady. What you have probably found is a Lesbian.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  23. “Life is so absurd now that it is almost impossible to be a satirist in this era.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  24. “If you removed all of the homosexuals and homosexual influence from what is generally regarded as American culture, you would pretty much be left with Let’s Make a Deal.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  25. “The only appropriate response to the question, ‘Can I be frank?’ is, ‘Yes, if I can be Barbara.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  26. “There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness or death. Any attempt to prove otherwise constitutes unacceptable behavior.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  27. “My favorite animal is steak.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

  28. “I believe in talking behind peoples’ backs. That way, they hear it more than once.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  29. “If thine enemy offend thee, give his child a drum.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  30. “Contrary to popular opinion, the hustle is not a new dance step – it is an old business procedure.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  31. “Life is something to do when you can’t get to sleep.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  32. “Original thought is like original sin: both happened before you were born to people you could not have possibly met.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  33. “In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  34. “Tolerance is really a better thing than understanding. Because it doesn’t agitate against human nature.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

  35. “Romantic love is mental illness. But it’s a pleasurable one. It’s a drug. It distorts reality, and that’s the point of it. It would be impossible to fall in love with someone that you really saw. The second you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with you deliberately become a moron. You do this in order to fall in love, because it would be impossible to fall in love with any human being if you actually saw them for what they are.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  36. “When I was very little, say five or six, I became aware of the fact that people wrote books. Before that, I thought that God wrote books. I thought a book was a manifestation of nature, like a tree. When my mother explained it, I kept after her: What are you saying? What do you mean? I couldn’t believe it. It was astonishing. It was like–here’s the man who makes all the trees. Then I wanted to be a writer, because, I suppose, it seemed the closest thing to being God.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  37. “The downfall of most diets is that they restrict your intake of food.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

  38. “I doubt there’s ever been a true thing said on Fox. Maybe the weather report, maybe not.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  39. “Generally speaking, the poorer person summers where he winters.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  40. “If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater suggest that he wear a tail.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  41. “Sleep is death without the responsibility.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  42. “One of the big mistakes they made in Europe is that the circumstances in which you most frequently read or hear the word “race” or “racism” in Europe applies to Muslims. Which is not a race. It is a religion. You can convert to this. You cannot convert your race. I could become a Muslim. I could not become a Chinese person or a black person. So they constantly use that in Europe.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  43. “This idea that people have to love and understand each other is absurd. It’s not human nature.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  44. “I wouldn’t say that I dislike the young. I’m simply not a fan of naïveté.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

  45. “If you are truly serious about preparing your child for the future, don’t teach him to subtract teach him to deduct.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  46. Donald Trump is not my fault. You can blame certain things on me, but not Donald Trump.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  47. “Children ask better questions than adults. “May I have a cookie?” “Why is the sky blue?” and “What does a cow say?” are far more likely to elicit a cheerful response than “Where’s your manuscript?” “Why haven’t you called?” and “Who’s your lawyer?”” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  48. “Notoriously insensitive to subtle shifts in mood, children will persist in discussing the color of a recently sighted cement-mixer long after one’s own interest in the topic has waned.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  49. “Food is an important part of a balanced diet.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

  50. “Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine. You need not supply the world with the next conqueror of disease or major motion picture star. If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use the word “collectible” as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified success.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  51. “When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. Clean is not enough.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  52. “All God’s children are not beautiful. Most of God’s children are, in fact, barely presentable.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  53. “Any artist who has that quality of timelessness has that quality because they tell the truth.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  54. “I’m not interested in being a wife. I’m interested in being an empress.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

  55. “I always liked people who are older. Of course, every year it gets harder to find them.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  56. “Designer clothes worn by children are like snowsuits worn by adults. Few can carry it off successfully.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  57. “I believe that at birth everyone gets the capacity for a certain amount of drugs and alcohol, everyone the same, you can do it all between 15 and 19 like I did, or you can stretch it out over 70 years.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  58. “People who get married because they’re in love make a ridiculous mistake. It makes much more sense to marry your best friend. You like your best friend more than anyone you’re ever going to be in love with. You dont choose your best friend because they have a cute nose.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  59. “Middle class was defined by having certain values and only a certain amount of money. But this new middle class seems to have absolutely no values and an unlimited amount of money.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  60. “The telephone is a good way to talk to people without having to offer them a drink.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

  61. “Nature is by and large to be found out of doors, a location where, it cannot be argued, there are never enough comfortable chairs.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  62. “I believe in talent. I know you’re not supposed to believe in that anymore because you’re supposed to believe if you just work hard you can do anything. That’s how you succeed, maybe. But talent is something you’re born with. You cannot acquire it by working hard, and you cannot lose it by lying around either.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  63. “When it comes to sports I am not particularly interested. Generally speaking, I look upon them as dangerous and tiring activities performed by people with whom I share nothing except the right to trial by jury.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  64. “As a teenager you are at the last stage in your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
  65. “People (a group that in my opinion has always attracted an undue amount of attention) have often been likened to snowflakes. This analogy is meant to suggest that each is unique – no two alike. This is quite patently not the case. People, even at the current rate of inflation – in fact, people especially at the current rate of inflation – are quite simply a dime a dozen. And, I hasten to add, their only similarity to snowflakes resides in their invariably and lamentable tendency to turn, after a few warm days, to slush.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

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