„Interviewer: 'So Frank, you have long hair. Does that make you a woman?'
Frank Zappa: 'You have a wooden leg. Does that make you a table?“

Last update June 3, 2021. History
Frank Zappa photo
Frank Zappa127
American musician, songwriter, composer, and record and fil… 1940 - 1993

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„Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway!“

—  Matka Tereza Roman Catholic saint of Albanian origin 1910 - 1997

Abraham Lincoln photo

„How many legs does a dog have, if you call a tail a leg?“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

His collected works contain no riddle about dog legs, but George W. Julian recounts Lincoln using a similar story about a calf in Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by distinguished men of his time (1909), p. 241: "There are strong reasons for saying that he doubted his right to emancipate under the war power, and he doubtless meant what he said when he compared an Executive order to that effect to 'the Pope’s Bull against the comet.' In discussing the question, he used to liken the case to that of the boy who, when asked how many legs his calf would have if he called its tail a leg, replied, 'Five,' to which the prompt response was made that calling the tail a leg would not make it a leg."
A very similar riddle about cow legs was also circulated by Edward Josiah Stearns' Notes on Uncle Tom's Cabin (1853), p. 46: '"Father," said one of the rising generation to his paternal progenitor, "if I should call this cow's tail a leg, how many legs would she have?" "Why five, to be sure." "Why, no, father; would calling it a leg make it one?"'
Misattributed

Francois Rabelais photo

„I do now forgive you, deliver you from all fines and imprisonments, fully release you, set you at liberty, and every way make you as frank and free as ever you were before.“

—  Francois Rabelais, book Gargantua and Pantagruel

Source: Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532–1564), Gargantua (1534), Chapter 50 : Gargantua's speech to the vanquished.
Context: Time, which gnaws and diminisheth all things else, augments and increaseth benefits; because a noble action of liberality, done to a man of reason, doth grow continually by his generous thinking of it and remembering it.
Being unwilling therefore any way to degenerate from the hereditary mildness and clemency of my parents, I do now forgive you, deliver you from all fines and imprisonments, fully release you, set you at liberty, and every way make you as frank and free as ever you were before.

Marcus Annaeus Seneca photo

„What difference does it make how much you have? What you do not have amounts to much more.“

—  Marcus Annaeus Seneca Roman scholar -54 - 39 BC

Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, bk. 12, ch. 2, sect. 13; translation from Riad Aziz Kassis The Book of Proverbs and Arabic Proverbial Works (Leiden: Brill, 1999) p. 159.
Misattributed
Original: (la) Quid enim refert, quantum habeas? multo illud plus est, quod non habes.

Lyndon B. Johnson photo

„Making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg. It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson American politician, 36th president of the United States (in office from 1963 to 1969) 1908 - 1973

Private comment, as quoted in Name-Dropping (1999) by John Kenneth Galbraith, p. 149.

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Clarence Darrow photo

„Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. So does whiskey.“

—  Clarence Darrow American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union 1857 - 1938

In a debate with religious leaders in Kansas City, as quoted in a eulogy for Darrow by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius (1938)
Context: Do you, good people, believe that Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden and that they were forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge? I do. The church has always been afraid of that tree. It still is afraid of knowledge. Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. So does whiskey. I believe in the brain of man. I'm not worried about my soul.

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Walther von der Vogelweide photo

„Love makes a woman beautiful –
but beauty does not have such power, beauty cannot make a woman worthy of love.“

—  Walther von der Vogelweide Middle High German lyric poet 1170 - 1230

Liebe machet schoene wîp:
desn mac diu schoene niht getuon, sin machet niemer lieben lîp.
"Herzeliebez vrowelîn", line 17; translation from Frederick Goldin German and Italian Lyrics of the Middle Ages (New York: Anchor, 1973) p. 121.

Viggo Mortensen photo

„Just because you are lucky does not mean you make good choices.“

—  Viggo Mortensen American actor 1958

Euronews, Culture, Cinema, "Viggo Mortensen honoured at Marrakech Film Festival", http://www.euronews.com/2014/12/11/viggo-mortensen-honoured-at-marrakech-film-festival/ (December 11, 2014).

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Matt Dillahunty photo

„All it does is make you sacrifice your humanity“

—  Matt Dillahunty American activist 1969

Episode 578: "Still More Scamlets" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDcLAeTm5AY, Channel Austin (November 9, 2008)
The Atheist Experience
Context: You are better than your god. You are better than your religion. So am I, so is damn near everybody on the planet. I wish you people would wake up and see this. Stop apologizing for this! [holds up The Bible] It's not the Good Book, there's nothing good about it. All it does is poison minds. All it does is make you sacrifice your humanity— the only thing that you have that is of any value— in order to sit around in deference to your gods.

William James photo

„Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.“

—  William James American philosopher, psychologist, and pragmatist 1842 - 1910

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