Famous Misquotes Quiz

Name the people who are incorrectly given credit for these famous quotes.
Either they never said it, someone else said it first, or they were misquoted
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: April 24, 2015
First submittedAugust 26, 2012
Times taken12,328
Rating4.52
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Quote
Person
Let them eat cake
Marie Antoinette
I invented the internet
Al Gore
I can see Russia from my house
Sarah Palin
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance
Thomas Jefferson
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it
Voltaire
The only traditions of the Royal Navy are rum, sodomy, and the lash
Winston Churchill
I cannot tell a lie
George Washington
Anything that can go wrong, will
Edward Murphy
The ends justify the means
Niccolo Machiavelli
The British are coming! The British are coming!
Paul Revere
Et tu, Brute?
Julius Caesar
I am a jelly doughnut
John F. Kennedy
Religion is the opiate of the masses
Karl Marx
You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time,
but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time
Abraham Lincoln
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch
Ben Franklin
Elementary, my dear Watson
Arthur Conan Doyle
The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton
Duke of Wellington
Golf is a good walk spoiled
Mark Twain
There's a sucker born every minute
P.T. Barnum
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 99, wear sunscreen
Kurt Vonnegut
+2
Level 71
Nov 11, 2012
There really was a Murphy?!?
+1
Level 59
May 24, 2015
I'm more surprised it wasn't Murphy who said that exact quote first. Good quiz!
+1
Level 32
Nov 11, 2012
Uhm... is there also a source? This would really interest me.
+1
Level 17
Nov 11, 2012
Agreed. Arent some of these true?
+1
Level ∞
Apr 24, 2015
The source is Wikiquote. None of these are valid quotes. Either they never said it, someone else said it first, or they were misquoted
+1
Level 50
Nov 11, 2012
Kennedy DID say I am a jelly doughnut. He misspoke the German. He said, "Ich bin ein Berliner." which does mean I am a jelly doughnut (a berliner is a jelly doughnut). He should have said, "Ich bin Berliner." One little word changes the whole meaning.
+2
Level ∞
Nov 12, 2012
I have a feeling you would do well on our April Fools Quiz.
+1
Level 63
Nov 13, 2012
I love how so many people just "Know" something. Before you make a statement like this as fact, you really need to do your research, so as not to look like a fool.
+1
Level 50
Jan 9, 2013
I have heard the audio. Habt ihr?
+1
Level 37
Jun 15, 2018
^ Nein. Maar ik begrijp wat hij bedoelde.
+1
Level 50
Jan 9, 2013
Here's the link. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkberliner.html. Learn the German, please or stop ridiculing those of us who "KNOW".
+3
Level 88
Oct 7, 2013
Another misquote seems relevant: It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. Snopes
+5
Level 67
Aug 2, 2018
This is not the case. "Ich bin ein Berliner" meant exactly what he intended: "I am metaphorically a Berliner," or "I am one of you." Had he said "Ich bin Berliner," that would have been him saying that he was literally, actually a person from Berlin.

Now, the "jelly doughnut" that the urban legend refers to is a Berliner Pfannkuchen, often shortened to just "Berliner" outside of Berlin. In Berlin itself, however, they are simply called "Pfannkuchen." So the audience Kennedy was speaking to wouldn't have called one "ein Berliner" anyway.

Lastly, even if there had been the slight possibility of confusion, the audience would've easily known from context what he was saying. If a German politician came over to NYC and said "I am a New Yorker," you wouldn't think they meant "I am an issue of a magazine," would you?
+1
Level 44
Mar 17, 2013
Really, for "The British are coming!" he was both misquoted and someone else said it first. A) there were quite a few other runners yelling that, B) they would have said "The redcoats are coming!" since many of the Americans still considered themselves British.
+1
Level 48
Jul 9, 2014
Actually, they would have said, "The Regulars are coming," because that's the term for full-time members of the British military. "Redcoats" is much more of a slang term. Look at contemporary accounts and the majority of the time they are called the Regulars.
+1
Level 70
Feb 3, 2015
The truth is that Paul Revere never finished that ride that come to be named after him. Paul Revere was stopped by a British patrol on his way to Concord. He never made it! Revere didn't escape until much later, and without his horse. He walked back to Lexington and made it there in time to witness part of the battle on Lexington Green. Dr. Samuel Prescott reached Concord, where he delivered the warning, "The British are Coming!"
+1
Level 38
Aug 3, 2020
I heard (on a guided tour of Boston, so a very authoritative source) that no-one did anything of the kind, as about half of Americans at the time supported British rule. The word would have been passed on quietly by slipping into people's houses and so on.
+1
Level 81
Jul 3, 2018
Thank Longfellow's poem for this.
+1
Level 70
Jul 3, 2014
I would suggest adding "The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton," one of many misquotes attributed to Wellington.
+1
Level ∞
Apr 24, 2015
Okay, I added that one. Let's see if anyone gets it. :)
+4
Level 48
Jul 9, 2014
I like that I can just start typing "Churchill", "Lincoln", "Washington", and "Franklin" without having to look at what the quotes are. It's funny how readily people attribute any pithy quote to one of those small handful of men.
+1
Level 80
May 24, 2015
Al Gore also did, in fact, say "I invented the Internet." However, he said it after people had started misquoting what he originally said, and he said it as a joke.
+1
Level 77
May 24, 2015
Didn't he say "I took the initiative in creating the Internet"?
+1
Level 80
May 24, 2015
Something like that, yes. Then people began misquoting him, saying that he said "I invented the Internet." It became a huge joke and people would mock him for it. And at that point, playing along, he actually did say it. He was joking. But the words did come out of his mouth. I've got the audio file around here somewhere...
+2
Level 78
Jun 2, 2016
Al Gore said that he led the legislation in the 1980's to fund expansion of ARAPNET when he was a member of congress, which is true. Rush Limbaugh made a joke about it, exaggerating what Gore said. Something to the effect of, "Now Al Gore is claiming he invented the internet." Then when his "dittoheads" started repeating his joke as a quote, he never offered a correction, but started repeating it, and it became urban myth. Then Al Gore repeated it, in jest, and video/text of that is what has been passed around on the internet.
+1
Level 62
May 24, 2015
The only one that I knew was a misquote before taking this quiz was Paul Revere's.
+1
Level 63
May 26, 2015
I never knew anyone thought Vonnegut gave the "sunscreen" speech. I kept trying Baz Luhrmann, who'd made a song version of that speech but 1) wasn't the original author and 2) wasn't the one who actually spoke the words on the track.
+1
Level 53
May 27, 2015
One of the most repeated misquotes ever: "If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself." --Joseph Goebbles (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels#Misattributed)
+1
Level 80
May 29, 2015
If you misquote someone often enough, does that mean they actually said it?
+1
Level 51
Aug 4, 2017
Churchill also never said 'We shall fight them on the beaches', only 'We shall fight on the beaches' (I think)
+1
Level 80
Sep 16, 2017
If Kennedy had wanted to communicate to Germans that he was a jelly doughnut, what words would he have uttered?
+2
Level 67
Aug 2, 2018
If he were making the speech in Berlin, as he did his actual speech, and he were referring to the specific type of "jelly doughnut" that the urban legend is talking about, then he would have said "Ich bin ein Pfannkuchen."

Outside of Berlin, though, "Pfannkuchen" simply means "pancakes," and the doughnuts are known as "Berliner Pfannkuchen," or "Berliner" for short. So he could technically have said "Ich bin ein Berliner," but it would have had to be very clear from the context that he wasn't saying "I am a person from Berlin." The safer bet would have been to say "Ich bin ein Berliner Pfannkuchen."
+1
Level 78
Dec 6, 2019
Marx's actual quotation is pretty close. " Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." - From "A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right", 1843
+2
Level 55
Aug 19, 2020
I am a jelly donut