My Favorite Will Rogers-isms

Hello everyone! I’m having a really busy week–books due (as in plural) and family coming to visit. I’m excited to get the books done and even more excited to see my family!

Today I’m going to give you ten of my favorite Will Rogers quotes. Will Rogers was such an interesting guy–he was an actor, a vaudevillian, a humorist, a circus performer (his first job). He had a gift for making astute observations and presenting them in a way that did not offend. Quotes from Will invariably make me slow down, think, and smile.

So without further ado, here are my Will-isms:

1) Don’t squat with your spurs on.

2) Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

3) Never miss a good chance to shut up.

4) What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.

5) Always drink upstream from the herd.

6) Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.

7) Things ain’t what they used to be and never were.

8) If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering someone else’s dog dog around.

9) The best doctor in the world is the veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what is the matter-he’s got to just know.

10) There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

Which quote speaks to you? Mine is the last. Every time I read it, I laugh.

Have a great Wednesday!

Jeannie Watt
Jeannie Watt lives off the grid in an historic cattle ranching area and loves all things western. When she's not writing, Jeannie enjoys sewing, making mosaic mirrors, riding her horses and buying hay. Lots and lots of hay.

35 Comments

  1. I love this, he was quite a character and left his mark in the world. I’ve been to his museum in Oklahoma City.

    1. How cool to have been to his museum, Tonya! He was quite a man.

  2. Loved these quotes, Jeannie! 4 and 6 really jumped out at me as wise. We need more hard work and less negative thoughts to make this world a better place. And I loved the idea of everyone being ignorant, just in different subjects. A great dose of humility in that one. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I really like the one about being ignorant, too. Nobody knows everything, but a lot of us pretend. When I taught school, learning to say “I don’t know,” was such a gift.

  3. Jeannie, we need more people like Will Rogers. I also like that last one best but my next favorite is “Never miss a good chance to shut up.” Boy, do a lot of politicians need to practice that. This is such a fun blog and I enjoyed it.

    1. Thank you, Linda. We do need more people like Will. Ones who can point things out, but people love them anyway.

  4. this one makes me laugh: 10) There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

    1. The mental image I get with that one is a hoot. I laugh every time I read it.

  5. I’ve always loved Will Rogers! Great blog! I grew up hearing Will Rogers stories. Kem Rogers, Will Rogers oldest grandson was one of my father’s best friends. My father and Kem worked together in the cattle business off and on for years. I lovd that family.

    1. Stephanie- that is such a neat story. I bet your dad has some whopper stories he could tell us.

    2. Wow, Stephanie–that is so neat! I’m glad you told us!

  6. #10 makes me giggle every time, too. But it is true! There are those that just have to try it out themselves and won’t believe it otherwise. LOL

    1. There are those kinds of people in the world. My cousin was one–she had to reach out and grab the fence when my mom warned her it would shock her. She simply didn’t believe it. A little zap made her a believer.

  7. These are so much fun, Jeannie. And I love that you called them “Will-isms.” I tend to quote that last one to my three boys. They always roll their eyes and say “Oh, Moooooommmmm!”
    You sound like one busy, happy lady with all that your doing. Have a great time with your family!

  8. Ok so funny, I have a sign of number # 1 above my toilet! 3-5 are the best!!!! And number 10 is the best lol!!!!!

    1. #1 is branded in my brain–another great mental image. 🙂

  9. Hi Jeannie, I’ve always loved number 1, but I think number 9 is awesome. xo

    1. #9 is great. Vets have to be so tuned into all the signs animals give. I love seeing a good vet work.

  10. Cool thanks for sharing.

  11. I guess my two favorites are #3, never miss a good chance to shut up, and another Will-ism, “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.” I also really like, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” The man had so many good sayings about life and politics—we sure could use him now! Thanks, Jeannie.

    Here are a couple more I found I like:

    “Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”
    “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”
    “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
    “We all can’t be heroes; someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.”
    “Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier ‘n puttin’ it back in.”
    “A remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth.”
    “The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.”
    “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”
    “The worst thing that happens to you may be the best thing for you if you don’t let it get the best of you.”
    “No man can be condemned for owning a dog. As long as he has a dog, he has a friend; and the poorer he gets, the better friend he has.”
    “Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing, and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even.”

    1. I love those quotes, Eliza. A few of them were new to me. I particularly like the cat out of the bag quote. So true, and there have been times in my life when I said more than I should have and would have given anything to go back in time and shut my mouth! Thank you, Eliza!

  12. I like number 6. Too many people think they know everything.

  13. Will Rogers certainly had a way with words. Thank you for sharing your great post.

    1. You’re welcome, Melanie.

  14. This is the first time I have heard #10,and it is so true. My reaction was the same as yours. Everything he said is so spot-on. For today, #4 probably is most applicable.

    1. Amen to that, Patricia. I bet he didn’t think that things could worse when he said that.

  15. I really like # 9!

    1. I agree, MH. Vets are special–they have to be.

  16. Hi Jeannie! This is a great way to start my day … he was obviously a keen observer of human nature. #9 resonates with me. I am so grateful for the vets I know and their instinctive understanding of my critters.

    Happy ranching!

    1. Thanks, Nancy! I agree about the vets!

  17. !I’ve them all but #1 & 3 are my favorites.
    Carol L

  18. I have to remind myself about #3 sometimes, but I’m getting better. 🙂

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