Top 10 Manliest Quotes

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Did you ever stop to wonder: “Hey, what was the manliest thing anyone ever said?” Well, you need wonder no more. The quotes in this list are the rare real-life equivalents of the one-liners we’ve all seen Arnie and Bruce Willis spout in action movies. A quote of this type might not always be the safest thing to say, or the most realistic, or even the wisest. But it is indeed the manliest.

10. Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

Said by: Admiral David Farragut, Union Navy Officer

Admiral David Farragut

It was dawn on August, 1864. David Farragut and his fleet of eighteen ships had begun their attack on the last port held by the Confederacy in the Civil War. A ship in Farragut’s fleet, the USS Tecumseh, drifted off course slightly and struck a mine, then known as a ‘torpedo.’ Within minutes, the “unsinkable” ironclad was going down. Other ships, alarmed, began to pull back. Farragut wasn’t impressed, and asked through a trumpet (these were pre-radio days) what the hell was going on. The reply was “Torpedoes!” In response, Farragut literally trumpeted this still-famous reply. “Damn the torpedoes!”

And the sentiment wasn’t mere stubbornness on Farragut’s part: by his calculations, most of the mines had been underwater too long to function anymore. And indeed, all seventeen of the other ships in the fleet made their way through the minefield safely. After a battle with Confederate ships, Farragut’s fleet emerged triumphant. (military.com)

9. Because it’s there.

Said by: George Mallory, Mountaineer

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This was the terse response Mallory gave to a New York Times reporter, who wanted to know why he intended to climb Mt Everest. After all, even today people still die trying to climb the world’s tallest mountain, and this was back in 1923.  Mallory’s words sum up the inner desire to explore and achieve, not for any outward gain, but just for the hell of it.

Along with a companion, Mallory attempted to reach Everest’s summit in 1924, but the two disappeared near their destination. Mallory’s body was discovered in 1999, but to this day, nobody knows for sure if the men reached Everest’s summit before they died. If they did, they would have been the first: the next successful attempt would take another twenty-nine years. (thisdayinquotes.com)

8. We shall have our fight in the shade!

Said by: Dienekes the Spartan

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Over 2,500 years later, the Battle of Thermopylae is still famous among admirers of manliness. The historian Herodotus recorded the details of this three-day fight, in which an alliance of Greeks led by 300 Spartan warriors held off the invading armies of the Persian Empire. Herodotus describes Dienekes not only as the bravest and most distinguished of the Spartans, but also as a master of badass wit. When informed by a local resident that the Medes, one of the armies sent by the Persians, were so numerous that their arrows were known to blot out the sun, the man replied: “Excellent tidings. If the Medes darken the sun, we shall have our fight in the shade.” (wadsworth.com)

7. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills: we shall never surrender.

Said by: Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister

In 1940, Nazis had reached the French shores closest to Britain, repelling the British troops that had fought there. An invasion of Britain appeared imminent, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered a much-needed rousing address to parliament.

The passage above, which concluded the speech, was both badass and cleverly designed. According to linguists, Churchill deliberately filled his sentences with short, simple words derived from English’s Anglo-Saxon roots. This not only made the speech sound more powerful, but gave it an inspiring, ‘patriotic’ feel. (jordanpossblog)

6.  Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.

Said by: Theodore Roosevelt, Former US President

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When he was campaigning in Milwaukee to try to regain his presidency, a would-be assassin shot Roosevelt in the chest with a .38 caliber pistol. The bullet pierced a bundle of paper – notes for a speech he was going to give – inside Roosevelt’s jacket, and lodged under one of his ribs. Good they didn’t use a teleprompter in those days.

So what did Roosevelt do in response to the attempted murder? He figured it was no big deal, and went on and gave the speech. Which sounds insane enough even before you consider that the speech went for ninety minutes. That would have been challenging enough for someone who wasn’t bleeding from a bullet to the chest. Roosevelt’s would-be assassin was caught, but actually got off lucky: the ex-President was known to regularly carry a concealed pistol. (doctorzebra.com)

5. I shoot better!

Said by: Hannie Schaft, Dutch Resistance Fighter

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Hannie Schaft proves to us all that ‘manliness’ doesn’t always have to be literal. Schaft was a member of a resistance group in Nazi-occupied Holland, and had taken part in sabotage and assassinations. She was captured near the end of the war, and taken out to a remote area to be executed. The group escorting her included Maarten Kuiper, a Dutch SS officer who had also been involved in the arrest of Anne Frank.

This all-around nice guy took a shot at 24-year-old Schaft, but only wounded her. Unafraid, Schaft taunted him for his poor aim, prompting Kuiper to shoot her again. Hopefully he went home and cried afterward. (haarlemshuffle.com)

4. This is a good day to die!

Said by: Unknown; Attributed to Crazy Horse, Lakota War Leader

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In a memoir of the Battle of Little Big Horn, in which an alliance of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho fought against a force led by George Custer, a Lakota warrior mentioned ‘somebody’ yelling this line as a battle cry. Since then, it’s been largely assumed that the speaker was Crazy Horse, the man commanding that part of the battle. What’s most likely is that it was already a common Lakota saying. Still, its manliness has echoed through the generations, and the producers of Star Trek later made it a saying of the fictional alien warrior race, the Klingons. (hubpages.com)

3. I am just going outside. I may be some time.

Said by: Captain Lawrence Oates

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Things didn’t go well on the 1912 British expedition to the South Pole led by Robert Scott. Five men including Captain Oates traveled over 1,000 miles in 79 days, only to discover when they got there they’d been beaten to the Pole by a group of Norwegians.

It got worse. Bad weather, scurvy and frostbite started beating them down, killing one man and severely slowing down an injured Oates. Despite the fact that he disliked Scott immensely, Oates repeatedly asked his companions to leave him behind in order to save themselves. They refused. Finally, Oates delivered these famous last words before he stepped outside the tent into -40F weather. The other men tried to dissuade him, but ultimately recognized that Oates was doing his duty as an English gentleman. (infobritain.co.uk)

2. I have not yet begun to fight!

Said by: John Paul Jones, Captain of the Bonhomme Richard

john paul jones

Sailors, apparently, are good at making manly quotes.  John Paul Jones, a naval officer in the Revolutionary War, took on the British HMS Serapis in 1779, while off the coast of England. His ship, the outgunned Bonhomme Richard, was hit by both enemy and friendly fire. At a low point, the Serapis’ captain called out “Have you struck your colors?”, meaning surrender.

Jones replied “I have not yet begun to fight!” Maybe his men were energized by his badassery, because the battle quickly turned in their favor. The Serapis surrendered, and the crew of the Bonhomme boarded her, only for their own horribly damaged ship to sink. Which must have left the Serapis’ captain feeling pretty silly. (suffolknewsherald.com)

1. Do what is right because it is right, and leave it alone.

Said by: Chiune Sugihara, Japanese Consul to Lithuania in World War II

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The year was 1940, and the Nazis were about to invade Lithuania. Chiune Sugihara, employee at the local Japanese consul, found himself swamped by a desperate crowd of Jewish refugees. They needed transit visas so that the Soviets, then in power, would let them leave the country. Although Japan was technically a Nazi ally at the time, Sugihara decided “screw it” and started on a renegade visa-issuing rampage, working up to 20 hours a day to create thousands of life-saving permits. It’s estimated that 40,000 people are alive today because of what Sugihara did.

Unsurprisingly, Japan didn’t take kindly to this, and quickly ended Sugihara’s public service career, sending his family into poverty. Sugihara could have spent the rest of his life complaining about this. He didn’t, though, and also continually shrugged off any attention given to his heroics. Why? The answer lies in Sugihara’s quote, given in response to a question about why he’d chosen to help the refugees. He didn’t save lives in order to gain anything, or to impress anyone. He did it because it was right. (artofmanliness.com)

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by Charlotte Coville


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45 Comments

      • That’s uncalled for. Who can say it is fiction and it be 100% true? So if we go by your logic, Caesar was a made-up legend because there is no actual proof of his existence other than ancient writings. Alexander the Great did not Conquer all of the (then) known world because there are no pictures or proof – only ancient carvings.

        • If there are ancient carvings, plural, it is stronger evidence than a single bible. You are entitled to hold wrong opinions but don’t be so assertive about them .

        • A single Bible is more valuable and meaningful to the world than all the silly totem poles and false idols ever carved in history.

        • The Bible has a lot of history! It’s been re-edited and translated so many times, almost everyone’s had a hand in writing it!

        • Oh sorry, How about the dead sea scrolls, or the ark( it’s been found. Mt. Ararat), or Josephus the Roman historian? Or logic? All of them have proved the Bible.

        • I’m sorry, logic? How has this proved anything at all in the bible…the ark at Ararat is a random formation of rock that resembles a large ship. That proves absolutely nothing.

          Also, “ancient carvings” did not exactly detail Alexander or Caesar’s lives. There are plenty of written records about them, from multiple sources.

          However, to be fair, the bible is technically not a single book. It was written over a number of years by many different people, and edited by many. Actually, much of the original writings were left out of the final copy, found in the King James version.

      • DS… theres no logic in comparing the history of the Jesus story to Alexander the great who is recorded in multiple cultures that would have had no contact if not for him. Its logical to assume a man called Jesus existed but ONLY because of how quickly the story spread and how made up tales (like King Arthur for example) take centuries to become folklore.

    • I always kinda figured that one was a tad wussy. I’m not sure why, it just always seemed incredibly… wussy.

  1. “Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.”

    George S. Patton

  2. “Peace is a precious and a desirable thing. Our generation, bloodied in wars, certainly deserves peace. But peace, like almost all things of this world, has its price, a high but a measurable one. We in Poland do not know the concept of peace at any price. There is only one thing in the lives of men, nations and countries that is without price. That thing is honor.” – Józef Beck

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Józef_Beck

    It’s been said on May 5, 1939 as an answer to German teritorial demands.

    • Translation and explanation: “I came, I saw, I conquered.” is a Latin sentence reportedly written by Julius Caesar in 47 BC as a comment on his short war with Pharnaces II of Pontus in the city of Zela. – Wikipedia

  3. Edward Gustafspo on

    “If”

    Phillip II threatening to overrun Sparta with the mighty Macedonian armies: “”If I win this war, you will be slaves forever.” The Spartan ephors sent back a one word reply: “If.” Sparta was avoided by Philip and Alexander the Great

    • This, this was epic. A simple saying of “Bring it!” IF i was an opposing commander I would be hesitant to engage. At the very least give my opponent all my respect for having such tremendous balls.

  4. All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us… they can’t get away this time. – Lieutenant General Lewis B.’Chesty’ Puller (when surrounded by 8 enemy divisions)

    Has to be on this list

  5. Giles Corey was arrested on April 18, 1692, and accused of witchcraft. Corey refused to plead (guilty or not guilty), was committed to jail and subsequently arraigned at the September sitting of the court.

    According to the law at the time, a person who refused to plead could not be tried. To avoid persons cheating justice, the legal remedy for refusing to plead was “peine forte et dure”. In this process the prisoner is stripped naked, with a heavy board laid on their body. Then rocks or boulders are laid on the plank of wood. This was the process of being pressed.

    As a result of his refusal to plead, on September 17, Sheriff George Corwin led Corey to a pit in the open field beside the jail and in accordance with the above process, before the Court and witnesses, stripped Giles of his clothing, laid him on the ground in the pit, and placed boards on his chest. Six men then lifted heavy stones, placing them one by one, on his stomach and chest. Giles Corey did not cry out, let alone make a plea.

    More and more rocks were piled on him, and the Sheriff from time to time would stand on the boulders staring down at Corey’s bulging eyes. Robert Calef, who was a witness along with other townsfolk, later said, “In the pressing, Giles Corey’s tongue was pressed out of his mouth; the Sheriff, with his cane, forced it in again.”

    Finally after two days, Giles Corey cried out “More weight!” and died.

  6. Lord Uxbridge to the Duke of Wellington (after being hit by a cannonball): “By God, sir, I’ve lost my leg!”

    Wellington: “By God, sir, so you have!”

  7. “Nuts!”

    This was supposedly said by General MacAuliffe when surrounded by Nazis during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. In reality, it’s believed he said something unprintable. An ARMY PR flack cleaned it up and informed the media after the good General and his troops prevailed.

  8. Nathan Hale, arrested for being a spy during the Revolutionary War, and about to be hanged by the British said “I regret that I only have one life to give to my country”.

  9. “Stand straight, you are about to kill a man”

    (Che Guevara before he was executed by a soldier in his cell)

    • Actually Che’s last words were …. “I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.” Sorry but far less ballsy then telling someone to criticize their posture! Of course his comment when captured – “Do not shoot! I am Che Guevara and worth more to you alive than dead” was REAL manly!

  10. I love some of that brilliant Laconic wit. There was another good one from the Spartans in which they received a letter saying “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.” the Spartans sent back a one word reply: “If.”

  11. By Gorgo (a Spartan Woman, in response to the question “Why are you Spartan women the only ones who can rule men?): “Because we are the only ones who give birth to men.”

    By Leonidas (king of Sparta, in response to an offer by Xerxes to spare the lives of him and his men if they gave up their arms): “Come and take them!”

    By Spartan mothers (to their sons when they went off to battle): “Come back with your shield or on it” (meaning come back with your shield, victorious, or carried back dead on it).

    By Sparta (in reply to Philip II of Macedon sending them a threatening message saying “If I win this war (against Sparta) you will be slaves forever”): “If”

    You probably could have filled the whole list by Spartan quotes, and not just from the men. The Spartan women were also pretty manly.

    • An Athenian joked that sword-swallowers used Spartan swords because they were so short, and a Spartan replied: “We find them long enough to reach the hearts of our enemies.”

      or

      “Spartans do not enquire how many the enemy are but where they are.” Agis, II

  12. Gotta give the best quote to the Spartan’s …… when commanded by Xerxes’ messanger to lay down their weapons King Leonidas replied – “Come and take them!” Now THAT is badAzzz!

  13. “I have sacred duties to fulfill, and I will fulfill them until I fire the last round”
    Col. Francisco Bolognesi

  14. Well, I will put down one of the most compelling and 100% true quotes of all time. Next time you watch a Baseball game, think about what New York Yankee legend Yogi Berra once said……….”IT AIN’T OVER ‘TIL ITS OVER”

  15. “Nuts” –

    General Anthony Clement McAuliffe. His reply to the Nazis when they asked him to surrender during the Battle of the Bulge

    The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

    George S. Patton

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