Quotes Falsely Attributed to Winston Churchill

Conservative by the Time You’re 35

‘If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart.  If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.’

There is no record of anyone hearing Winston Churchill say this. Paul Addison of Edinburgh University made this comment: ‘Surely Churchill can’t have used the words attributed to him. He’d been a Conservative at 15 and a Liberal at 35!  And would he have talked so disrespectfully of Clemmie, who is generally thought to have been a lifelong Liberal?’


‘Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.’

This fake quote is very often attributed to Churchill but appears nowhere in the Churchill canon.

Cross of Lorraine

‘The hardest cross I have to bear is the Cross of Lorraine.’

This remark about the intractable Charles de Gaulle was actually made by General Spears, Churchill’s envoy to France.


‘You have enemies? Good. It means that you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.’

According to PolitiFact, the quote attributed to Churchill is a rough paraphrase of Victor Hugo, the French playwright, from an essay he wrote a century before the Nazis were defeated.

Going Through Hell

‘If you’re going through hell, keep going.’

We have yet to see any correct attribution of this quote that frequently appears on the Internet and printed on motivation posters. This fake quote is not a phrase that is contained anywhere in the canon of Winston Churchill’s written or spoken words.

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Winston Churchill Quotes


It is arguable whether the human race have been gainers by the march of science beyond the steam engine. Electricity opens a field of infinite conveniences to ever greater numbers, but they may well have to pay dearly for them. But anyhow in my thought I stop short of the internal combustion engine which has made the world so much smaller. Still more must we fear the consequences of entrusting to a human race so little different from their predecessors of the so-called barbarous ages such awful agencies as the atomic bomb. Give me the horse.

Scientific Progress
~ Winston Churchill, 10 July 1951, Royal College of Physicians, London



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