65 Epigram Quotes To Inspire You

Following is our list of epigram quotations and slogans full of insightful wisdom and perspective about how to write an epigram.

The Most Famous Epigram Quotes (Best in 2024)

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There are expressions and bulls-eyes of the spirit, there are epigrams, a little handful of words, in which a whole culture, a whole society is suddenly crystallized. — Friedrich Nietzsche

Build your own pyramids, write your own hieroglyphs. — Kendrick Lamar

The silhouette says a lot with very little information, but that's also what the stereotype does. — Kara Walker

Just as typography is human speech translated into what can be read, so photography is the translation of reality into a readable image. — Herbert Bayer

Try to reach for a simple, visual phrase that tells you what the picture is all about and evokes the essence of the story — Saul Bass

Computers are famous for being able to do complicated things starting from simple programs. — Seth Lloyd

For me, typography is a triangular relationship between design idea, typographic elements, and printing technique. — Wolfgang Weingart

A book cover is a distillation. It is a haiku of the story. — Chip Kidd

A good aphorism is too hard for the tooth of time, and is not worn away by all the centuries, although it serves as food for every epoch. — Friedrich Nietzsche

Of all the achievements of the human mind, the birth of the alphabet is the most momentous. — Frederic Goudy

Short Epigram Quotes

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  • An epigram is only a wisecrack that's played at Carnegie Hall. — Oscar Levant
  • An epigram often flashes light into regions where reason shines but dimly. — Edwin P. Whipple
  • Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst. — Martial
  • He would stab his best friend for the sake of writing an epigram on his tombstone. — Oscar Wilde
  • Anyone can tell the truth, but only very few of us can make epigrams. — W. Somerset Maugham
  • The art of newspaper paragraphing is to stroke a platitude until it purrs like an epigram. — Don Marquis
  • France was long a despotism tempered by epigrams. — Thomas Carlyle
  • An epigram is a flashlight of a truth; a witticism, truth laughing at itself. — Minna Antrim
  • An epigram is the marriage of wit and wisdom; a wisecrack, their divorce. — Evan Esar
  • Epigrams succeed where epics fail. — Proverbs

People Writing About Epigram

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Name Quotes Likes
Read quotes by Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche
quotes on god, love and morality

2473 32550
Read quotes by Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar
quotes on love, life and friends

140 18024
Read quotes by Kara Walker

Kara Walker
quotes on art, culture and love

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Read quotes by Saul Bass

Saul Bass
quotes on music, leadership and art

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Read quotes by Seth Lloyd

Seth Lloyd
quotes on leadership, religion and god

44 263
Read quotes by Chip Kidd

Chip Kidd
quotes on life, education and technology

21 415

More Epigram Quotes

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Our live experiences, fixed in aphorisms, stiffen into cold epigrams. Our heart's blood, as we write it, turns to mere dull ink. — Francis H. Bradley

Our live experiences, fixed in aphorisms, stiffen into cold epigrams. Our heart's blood, as we write it, turns to mere dull ink. — F. H. Bradley

The Greek epigram intimates that the force of love is not shown by the courting of beauty, but where the like desire is inflamed for one who is ill-favored. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most of those who make collections of verse or epigram are like men eating cherries or oysters: they choose out the best at first, and end by eating all. — Nicolas Chamfort

Some learned writers . . . have compared a Scorpion to an Epigram . . . because as the sting of the Scorpion lyeth in the tayl, so the force and virtue of an epigram is in the conclusion. — Edward Topsell

Just as the orator marks his good things by a dramatic pause, or by raising and lowering his voice, or by gesture, so the writer marks his epigrams with italics, setting the little gem, so to speak, like a jeweler. — Oscar Wilde

There's an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine -- "Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté. — Margaret Atwood

I made art a philosophy, and philosophy an art: I altered the minds of men, and the colour of things: I awoke the imagination of my century so that it created myth and legend around me: I summed up all things in a phrase, all existence in an epigram: whatever I touched I made beautiful — Oscar Wilde

To say that war is madness is like saying that sex is madness: true enough, from the standpoint of a stateless eunuch, but merely a provocative epigram for those who must make their arrangements in the world as given. — John Updike

Heroism is no extempore work of transient impulse--a rocket rushing fretfully up to disturb the darkness by which, after a moment's insulting radiance, it is ruthlessly swallowed up,--but a steady fire, which darts forth tongues of flame. It is no sparkling epigram of action, but a luminous epic of character. — Edwin Percy Whipple

Victorian society was homogeneous without being homogenized. It was, to paraphrase the epigram about Parliament, a society of extreme eccentrics who agreed so well that they could afford to differ. — Kenneth Rexroth

The width of a line may present the idea of infinity. An epigram may contain a world. In the same way, a small picture format may be much more living, much more leavening, stirring, awakening, than square yards of wall space. — Hans Hofmann

It is with epigrams as with other inventions; the best ones annoy us because we didn't think of them ourselves. — Georg C. Lichtenberg

If, with the literate, I am Impelled to try an epigram, I never seek to take the credit; We all assume that Oscar said it. — Dorothy Parker

PLATITUDE, n. The fundamental element and special glory of popular literature. A thought that snores in words that smoke. All that is mortal of a departed truth. A jelly-fish withering on the shore of the sea of thought. A desiccated epigram. — Ambrose Bierce

There are men regarded today as brilliant economists, who deprecate saving and recommend squandering on a national scale as the way of economic salvation; and when anyone points to what the consequences of these policies will be in the long run, they reply flippantly, as might the prodigal son of a warning father: 'In the long run we are all dead.' And such shallow wisecracks pass as devastating epigrams and the ripest wisdom. — Henry Hazlitt

There is a homely directness about these rustic apothegms which makes them far more palatable than the strained and sophisticated epigrams of the characters of Oscar Wilde's plays, who are ever striving strenuously to dazzle us with verbal pyrotechnics. — Brander Matthews

The Republicans stroke platitudes until they purr like epigrams. — Adlai Stevenson

My poetry is not lyric. The epigrams are lyric because they come from my youthful period of lyricism, but my other poetry is not lyric. — Ernesto Cardenal

It is a frightful satire and an epigram on the modern age that the only use it knows for solitude is to make it a punishment, a jail sentence. — Soren Kierkegaard

A joke is an epigram on the death of a feeling. — Fredrich

A brilliant epigram is a solemn platitude gone to a masquerade ball. — Lionel Strachey

Many pundits today are in the habit of misquoting Santayana's epigram, Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Maybe some people have come to grief this way, but they are probably fewer than those who have fallen into the opposite error. One is apt to perish in politics from too much memory, Tocqueville wrote somewhere, with equal truth and greater insight. — David Hackett Fischer

What is a epigram? A dwarfish whole. Its body brevity, and wit its soul. — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Somewhere in the world there is an epigram for every dilemma. — Hendrik Willem Van Loon

Job plunges into a series of demands on and accusations of God which may be and indeed are epigrams of high intelligence, but are not noticeably patient. — Charles Williams

I summed up all systems in a phrase, and all existence in an epigram. — Oscar Wilde

A college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humor. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? — William Shakespeare

Epigram and truth are rarely commensurate. Truth has to get somewhat chiseled, as it were, before it will fit into an epigram. — Joseph P. Farrell

Epigrams delight us into wisdom. — Michael R. Burch

The qualities all in a bee that we meet, In an epigram never should fail; The body should always be little and sweet, And a sting should be felt in its tail. — Edward Young

A pun, though despicable in itself, can be the noblest vehicle of an artistic intention by serving as the abbreviation of a wittyview. It can be a social criticism in the form of an epigram. — Karl Kraus

Epigrams need no crier, but are content with their own tongue. — Martial

The first thing that strikes you about Timothy Murphys verse is the palpable texture of his line - that sound of sense practised by that other American poet-farmer, Robert Frost. And just as Murphys ear is trained on the rhythms of local speech and classical epigram, his eye holds fast on the image. This is an undeluded vision, sometimes bleak, often funny, and never less than painstakingly crafted. — Michael Donaghy

In Conclusion

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