Quotations by Wodehouse, P. G.


“What ho!” I said.
“What ho!” said Motty.
“What ho! What ho!”
“What ho! What ho! What ho!”
After that it seemed rather difficult to go on with the conversation.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
“Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest” (1919)
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Added on 16-Dec-20 | Last updated 16-Dec-20
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I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don’t know what I did before that. Just loafed, I suppose.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
“The Art of Fiction #60,” interview with Gerald Clarke, The Paris Review (Winter 1975)
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Added on 1-Sep-15 | Last updated 1-Sep-15
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Routine is the death to heroism.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
“The Man Upstairs” (1914)
Added on 18-May-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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I do not hate in the plural.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
(Attributed)

When asked, as a former WWII internee, whether he hate the Germans (or the Nazis).

George Orwell, writing in 1945 a defense of Wodehouse's actions while an internee, quoted him in a more complex version of this:

I never was interested in politics. I’m quite unable to work up any kind of belligerent feeling. Just as I’m about to feel belligerent about some country I meet a decent sort of chap. We go out together and lose any fighting thoughts or feelings.
Added on 20-May-21 | Last updated 20-May-21
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To Herbert Westbrook, without whose never-failing advice, help, and encouragement, this book would have been finished in half the time.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
A Gentleman of Leisure, Dedication (1910)
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Added on 5-Sep-19 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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‘Yes, sir,’ said Jeeves in a low, cold voice, as if he had been bitten in the leg by a personal friend.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
Carry On, Jeeves (1925)
Added on 1-Jul-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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I don’t say I’ve got much of a soul, but, such as it is, I’m perfectly satisfied with the little chap. I don’t want people fooling about with it. ‘Leave it alone,’ I say. ‘Don’t touch it. I like it the way it is.’

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
Joy in the Morning (1947)
Added on 27-Apr-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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I hadn’t any heart to touch my breakfast. I told Jeeves to drink it himself.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
My Man Jeeves (1919)
Added on 30-Apr-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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“Work, the what’s-its-name of the thingummy and the thing-um-a-bob of the what-d’you-call-it.”

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
Psmith, Journalist (1915)
Added on 11-May-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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It isn’t often that Aunt Dahlia lets her angry passions rise, but when she does, strong men climb trees and pull them up after them.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
Right Ho, Jeeves (1934)
Added on 27-Jul-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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His was a life which lacked, perhaps, the sublimer emotions which raised Man to the level of the gods, but it was undeniably an extremely happy one. He never experienced the thrill of ambition fulfilled, but, on the other hand, he never knew the agony of ambition frustrated. His name, when he died, would not live for ever in England’s annals; he was spared the pain of worrying about this by the fact that he had no desire to live for ever in England’s annals. He was possibly as nearly contented a human being can be in this century of alarms and excursions.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
Something Fresh (1915)
Added on 1-Jun-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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A certain critic — for such men, I regret to say, do exist — made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained ‘all the old Wodehouse characters under different names’. He has probably now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha: but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning. With my superior intelligence, I have outgeneralled this man by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
Summer Lightning, Preface (1929)
Added on 13-Jul-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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It was a cold, disapproving gaze, such as a fastidious luncher who was not fond of caterpillars might have directed at one which he had discovered in his portion of salad …

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
The Adventures of Sally (1922)
Added on 15-Jun-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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Boyhood, like measles, is one of those complaints which a man should catch young and have done with, for when it comes in middle life it is apt to be serious.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
The Adventures of Sally (1922)
Added on 29-Jun-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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Jeeves coughed one soft, low, gentle cough like a sheep with a blade of grass stuck in its throat.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
The Inimitable Jeeves, ch. 13 (1923)
Added on 6-Jul-10 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
The Man Upstairs (1914)
Added on 11-Aug-14 | Last updated 11-Aug-14
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There are some things a chappie’s mind absolutely refuses to picture, and Aunt Julia singing ‘Rumpty-tiddley-umpty-ay’ is one of them.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
The Man with Two Left Feet (1917)
Added on 8-Jun-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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“So, Jeeves!”
“Yes, sir.”
“What do you mean. Yes, sir?”
“I was endeavouring to convey my appreciation of the fact that your position is in many respects somewhat difficult, sir. But I wonder if I might call your attention to an observation of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. He said: ‘Does aught befall you? It is good. It is part of the destiny of the Universe ordained for you from the beginning. All that befalls you is part of the great web.'”
I breathed a bit stertorously.
“He said that, did he?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Well, you can tell him from me he’s an ass.”

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
The Mating Season, ch. 4 (1949)
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Adapted from Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 4, #26 [tr. Rendall (1901)].

Wodehouse uses in "Ordeal by Golf" (1919) a similar sentiment from Meditations, Book 10, #5, to suggest Marcus Aurelius was a golfer.

Imitate the spirit of Marcus Aurelius. "Whatever may befall thee," says that great man in his "Meditations," "it was preordained for thee from everlasting. Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear." I like to think that this noble thought came to him after he had sliced a couple of new balls into the woods, and that he jotted it down on the back of his score-card.
Added on 11-Mar-21 | Last updated 11-Mar-21
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Whenever I meet Ukridge’s Aunt Julia I have the same curious illusion of having just committed some particularly unsavoury crime and — what is more — of having done it with swollen hands, enlarged feet, and trousers bagging at the knee on a morning when I had omitted to shave.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
Ukridge (1924)
Added on 22-Jun-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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She fitted into my biggest armchair as if it had been built round her by someone who knew they were wearing armchairs tight about the hips that season.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
Very Good, Jeeves (1930)
Added on 20-Jul-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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The Right Hon. was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say “When!”

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
Very Good, Jeeves (1930)
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Added on 25-May-17 | Last updated 25-May-17
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