Churchill’s Humor: from “Churchill in His Own Words”

Churchill’s Humor: from “Churchill in His Own Words”


A Mor­mon vis­i­tor, when offered a whisky and soda: “May I have water, Sir Win­ston? Lions drink it.”

Churchill: “Ass­es drink it too.”

Sec­ond Mor­mon: “Strong drink rageth and stingeth like a serpent.”

Churchill: “I have long been look­ing for a drink like that.” —1950


Dirty dogs and palings

Sir Wil­fred Pal­ing (Lab.) vio­lat­ed Par­lia­men­tary deco­rum by shout­ing at Churchill, “Dirty dog!”

Churchill: “The Hon. Mem­ber should realise what dirty dogs do to pal­ings.” —1920s



Roo­sevelt, at a White House lunch, placed Churchill next to the pub­lish­er and ardent cam­paign­er for India’s inde­pen­dence, Mrs Ogden Reid, and sat back await­ing the inevitable explosion.

[Mrs. Ogden Reid: “What are you going to do about those wretched Indians?”]

Churchill: “Before we pro­ceed fur­ther let us get one thing clear. Are we talk­ing about the brown Indi­ans in India, who have mul­ti­plied alarm­ing­ly under the benev­o­lent British rule? Or are we speak­ing of the red Indi­ans in Amer­i­ca who, I under­stand, are almost extinct?” —1943


Mous­tache and politics

New­ly intro­duced young woman: “There are two things I don’t like about you…your new mous­tache and…your new polit­i­cal party.”

Churchill: “Pray do not dis­turb your­self, you are not like­ly to come into con­tact with either.” —1900



Churchill loved to play on words, as in the case of Gen­er­al Pla­s­ti­ras, the Greek Prime Min­is­ter in 1945, whose name he pro­nounced “Plas­ter-ass.” The first time he heard it he said: “Has he feet of clay?” —1945


Mus­soli­ni (as con­trolled by Hitler)

Churchill: “The organ grinder still has hold of the monkey’s col­lar.” —1941.



Churchill: “I cer­tain­ly dep­re­cate any com­par­i­son between Herr Hitler and Napoleon; I do not wish to insult the dead.” —1940


Rat swim­ming

WSC was informed that a Con­ser­v­a­tive MP was stand­ing for a by-elec­tion as a Liberal.

Churchill: “The only instance of a rat swim­ming toward a sink­ing ship.” —1905


Two Gen­tle­men of Verona

Churchill knew his Shake­speare, sev­er­al plays line for line. When his Pri­vate sec­re­tary John Colville’s Ital­ian cook turned up six months preg­nant he told Churchill that he believed the cook’s down­fall to have been brought about by a man in a street in Verona after dark.

Churchill: “Obvi­ous­ly not one of the Two Gen­tle­men.” —1954


“Red Her­ring”: The Shaw-Churchill Exchange is Bunk!

The sto­ry: George Bernard Shaw wrote WSC: “Am reserv­ing two tick­ets for you for my pre­miere. Come and bring a friend—if you have one.”

Churchill alleged­ly replied: “Impos­si­ble to be present for the first per­for­mance. Will attend the second—if there is one.”

The Churchill Archives Cen­tre has informed me that this won­der­ful exchange, though reli­ably report­ed, was denied by both George Bernard Shaw and Sir Win­ston. Alas it must be laid by the way­side.  —RMLC


3 thoughts on “Churchill’s Humor: from “Churchill in His Own Words”

  1. Sure­ly one of hist famous repar­tees was at a din­ner sit­ting next to Bett­ty Brad­dock who accused him of being drunk. Appar­ent­ly he replied, “‘My dear you are ugly, but tomor­row I shall be sober and you will still be ugly”

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