„An old battleax of a woman said to Winston Churchill, "If you were my husband I would put poison in your tea." Churchill's response, "Ma'am if you were my wife I would drink it.“

Last update Feb. 17, 2022. History
Winston S. Churchill photo
Winston S. Churchill602
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1874 - 1965

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Winston S. Churchill photo

„Lady Nancy Astor: If I were your wife I'd put poison in your coffee.
Churchill: If I were your husband I'd drink it.“

—  Winston S. Churchill Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1874 - 1965

Dates to 1899, American humor origin, originally featuring a woman upset by a man's cigar smoking. Cigar often removed in later versions, coffee added in 1900. Incorrectly attributed in Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, Glitter and Gold (1952).
See various early citations and references to refutations at “If you were my husband, I’d poison your coffee” (Nancy Astor to Churchill?) http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/if_you_were_my_husband_id_poison_your_coffee_nancy_astor_to_churchill, Barry Popik, The Big Apple,' February 09, 2009
Early examples include 19 November 1899, Gazette-Telegraph (CO), "Tales of the Town," p. 7, and early attributions are to American humorists Marshall P. Wilder and De Wolf Hopper.
Churchill by Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotations, by Richard Langworth, PublicAffairs, 2008, p. 578.
The Yale Book of Quotations, edited by Fred R. Shapiro, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 2006, p. 155.
George Thayer, The Washington Post (April 27, 1971), p. B6.
Misattributed
Variant: Lady Nancy Astor: Winston, if you were my husband, I'd put arsenic in your morning coffee.

Winston Churchill: Madam, if you were my wife, I'd drink it.

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„The good doctor put a spoon of tea into my honey." "You're drinking tea a honey badger made," Jim said. "What did you expect?“

—  Ilona Andrews American husband-and-wife novelist duo

Source: Magic Bleeds

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„I have owed you this letter for a very long time — but my fingers have avoided the pencil as though it were an old and poisoned tool.“

—  John Steinbeck American writer 1902 - 1968

Letter to his literary agent, found on his desk after his death in 1968
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„I don't need my head examined, but where were you when I married my second husband. Sheesh.“

—  Lisa Scottoline American writer 1955

Source: Every Fifteen Minutes

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„No. But it was indicated by other people that I should go there—like my wife, my friends, the woman from Alcoholics Anonymous who came around. My wife, Dottie, was the prime mover. It would have been a disappointment to her if I'd rejected her suggestion. I stayed until they were done with me. I don't know if it 'worked.“

—  Robert Mitchum American film actor, author, composer and singer 1917 - 1997

I don't understand that.
When asked if he was "feeling batter" following his previous year's stay at the Betty Ford Center, as quoted in "Roberto Mitchum: After all these years, still one of a kind" by Victor Davis, in The Chicago Tribune (November 23, 1984)

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„The Prophet said, ‘But for the Israelites, meat would not decay, and if it were not for Eve, wives would never betray their husbands.“

—  Muhammad Arabian religious leader and the founder of Islam 570 - 632

[4, 55, 547] (Israelites refer to the 12 tribes of Exodus. Not to be confused with modern people of Israel.)
Sunni Hadith

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„I think we were better as friends than husband and wife.“

—  Nastassja Kinski German actress 1961

On her relationship with Ibrahim Moussa, as quoted in Cameron Docherty, Interview: Nastassja Kinski - Still a daddy's girl, The Independent, September 26, 1997

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