Tag: Charles de Gaulle

Origins: “I’ll kiss him on all four cheeks”

Origins: “I’ll kiss him on all four cheeks”

Q: Churchill’s Kiss: A Cheeky Affair

I found myself using an alleged Churchill wit­ti­cism I have long known, but could not find in your book, Churchill’s Wit: The Defin­i­tive Col­lec­tion (2009). As I have it, Churchill was prepar­ing to meet Mar­shal Stal­in, and a diplo­mat­ic advi­sor said, “He will prob­a­bly expect to kiss you on both cheeks.” “Oh, that’s all right,” said Churchill, “as long as he doesn’t want to be kissed on all four.” Can you ver­i­fy this one?

My own main area of schol­ar­ly research is Samuel John­son, anoth­er sub­ject often mis­at­trib­uted.…

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All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (1)

All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (1)

Fake Quotes: A-E

In 1686 the Oxford Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary described “red her­ring,” a metaphor to draw pur­suers off a track, as “the trail­ing or drag­ging of a dead Cat or Fox (and in case of neces­si­ty a Red-Her­ring) three or four miles…and then lay­ing the Dogs on the scent…to attempt to divert atten­tion from the real ques­tion.” I apply the term to quotes, alleged­ly by Churchill, which he nev­er said—or if he did, was quot­ing some­body else.

Hence my Red Her­rings Appen­dix, updat­ed here­with, for the new, expand­ed edi­tion of my quotes book Churchill by Him­self. “You could fill a book with what Win­ston Churchill didn’t say,” remarked his some­time col­league, Rab But­ler.…

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AZ Quotes: A Cornucopia of Things Churchill Never Said

AZ Quotes: A Cornucopia of Things Churchill Never Said

Much of my labor in the Churchill Vine­yard involves research­ing quo­ta­tions “AZ.” My 650-page books and ebooks, Churchill by Him­self and Churchill in His Own Words, are the largest sources of Churchill’s phi­los­o­phy, max­ims, reflec­tions and ripostes accom­pa­nied by a valid source for each entry. There are 4,150 entries, but a new, expand­ed and revised edi­tion is com­ing. It will include a much larg­er appen­dix of “Red Herrings”—oft-repeated pas­sages he nev­er said but con­stant­ly ascribed to him.

“Red Her­rings” are part of what quotemas­ter Nigel Rees calls “Churchillian Drift.” (Click here for the full descrip­tion).…

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