Winston Churchill – Top Twelve Quotes

Winston Churchill was not only a great wartime leader but also a Nobel laureate, statesman, bon viveur and celebrated wit. Voted the greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll for the BBC, Churchill was as famous for his turn of phrase as he was for his political career.

It is an almost impossible task to pick out just 12 of his quotes, but the team here at Historic UK have had great fun selecting our favourites. We hope you agree!

Winston Churchill

Many of his most famous quotes are from the war years and a recurring theme of his speeches was the need for perseverance. A lot of these can be applied equally well to our everyday life:

  1. “Never, never, never give up.”
  1. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Regarding society and his fellow man (or woman), Churchill had a great deal of advice:

  1. “All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honour; duty; mercy; hope.”
  1. “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

On politics:

  1. “Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen”
  1. “When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.”

As for the man himself, he was well known for his love for cigars, food and drink, and in particular, champagne and brandy:

  1. “All I can say is that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.”

Winston and Clementine

Regarding his wife Clementine:

  1. “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.”

On animals:

  1. “I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”


We also couldn’t resist including a couple of quotes which may well be apocryphal:

  1. “I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.”
  1. Lady Astor to Churchill: “If I were married to you, I’d put poison in your coffee.” Reply: “If I were married to you, I’d drink it.”

And finally, as a website celebrating the history of Britain, we just had to share this quote:

  1. “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”