82 American Quotes And Sayings

The American flag is a symbol of strength, courage, and freedom. Our national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” was written as a celebratory song for American independence from Great Britain. In the second verse, the author refers to “these United States of America” as a land where “all men are created equal” and where “the government will protect our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The quotation below is the original line from the original work that inspired our country’s national anthem.

Americans... are forever searching for love in forms it never...
Americans... are forever searching for love in forms it never takes, in places it can never be. It must have something to do with the vanished frontier. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Certainly the most destructive vice if you like, that a person can have. More than pride, which is supposedly the number one of the cardinal sins - is self pity. Self pity is the worst possible emotion anyone can have. And the most destructive. It is, to slightly paraphrase what Wilde said about hatred, and I think actually hatred's a subset of self pity and not the other way around - ' It destroys everything around it, except itself '. Self pity will destroy relationships, it'll destroy anything that's good, it will fulfill all the prophecies it makes and leave only itself. And it's so simple to imagine that one is hard done by, and that things are unfair, and that one is underappreciated, and that if only one had had a chance at this, only one had had a chance at that, things would have gone better, you would be happier if only this, that one is unlucky. All those things. And some of them may well even be true. But, to pity oneself as a result of them is to do oneself an enormous disservice. I think it's one of things we find unattractive about the american culture, a culture which I find mostly, extremely attractive, and I like americans and I love being in america. But, just occasionally there will be some example of the absolutely ravening self pity that they are capable of, and you see it in their talk shows. It's an appalling spectacle, and it's so self destructive. I almost once wanted to publish a self help book saying 'How To Be Happy by Stephen Fry : Guaranteed success'. And people buy this huge book and it's all blank pages, and the first page would just say - ' Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself - And you will be happy '. Use the rest of the book to write down your interesting thoughts and drawings, and that's what the book would be, and it would be true. And it sounds like 'Oh that's so simple', because it's not simple to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it's bloody hard. Because we do feel sorry for ourselves, it's what Genesis is all about. Stephen Fry
I believe our clever young man has intuited that while...
I believe our clever young man has intuited that while only the pursuit of happiness is promised to all Americans, unhappiness is guaranteed for many. Viet Thanh Nguyen
The job facing American voters… in the days and years to come is to determine which hearts, minds and souls command those qualities best suited to unify a country rather than further divide it, to heal the wounds of a nation as opposed to aggravate its injuries, and to secure for the next generation a legacy of choices based on informed awareness rather than one of reactions based on unknowing fear. Aberjhani
That's my point: if you own thirty or more books,...
That's my point: if you own thirty or more books, or you are reading any book at this moment, you may protest all you want, but you were born on the wrong continent. Thomas Geoghegan
Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials. Neil Postman
People always kept moving, her mother had said, it's the...
People always kept moving, her mother had said, it's the American way. Moving west, moving south, marrying up, marrying down, getting divorced - but moving... Elizabeth Strout
God created war so that Americans would learn geography.
God created war so that Americans would learn geography. Mark Twain
Before you leave here, Sir, you’re going to learn that...
Before you leave here, Sir, you’re going to learn that one of the most brutal things in the world is your average nineteen-year-old American boy. Philip Caputo
Maybe the Americans should have brought baseballs instead of bombs.
Maybe the Americans should have brought baseballs instead of bombs. Ann E. Burg
I had always been warned that American didn't always get...
I had always been warned that American didn't always get sarcasm Lindsey Kelk
He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration. Michael Pollan
It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination against other religious, racial or economic groups. Henry A. Wallace
We have a large public that is very ignorant about public affairs and very susceptible to simplistic slogans by candidates who appear out of nowhere, have no track record, but mouth appealing slogans Unknown
A great deal of what many Americans hold dear is nowhere written on those four pages of parchment, or in any of the amendments. What has made the Constitution durable is the same as what makes it demanding: the fact that so much was left out. Jill Lepore
Americans by the very nature of the soft fat they collected around their brains along with all of their comforts, their total ignorance of historical meanings, their delusion that anarchists were either comic little men plotting nothings in a dark cellar or misunderstood cranks--how could Americans be taken seriously in a world of real politics? Helen MacInnes
Because taxpaying is seen as an emblem of civic worthiness, denying the poor the status of taxpayers has the effect of denying their political standing. Classing a large percentage of the populace as a kind of second-class citizenry is genuinely toxic for democratic norms. Vanessa Williamson
A soldier: "I know where heaven is and it's Lithuania ... The women are beautiful, pagan, with a practical view towards sex. Who says communism was bad? You're working three levels of advantages: you're a foreign male, you're a rich, exotic American, and their men are a bunch of drunken, criminal slobs. Robert D. Kaplan
Some people are so much heaven to the square inch...
Some people are so much heaven to the square inch that life is simply hell, when she leaves you in order to go south for the winter. (Yes, women are people too, sometimes even threee.) Will Advise
Ours is a shockingly dead view of creation. We ourselves are the only things in the universe to which we grant an authentic vitality, and because of this we are not fully alive. Frederick Turner
It has been observed that all Americans need a frontier: pain was hers, and she was determined to push it out. Salman Rushdie
Americans used to be 'citizens.' Now we are 'consumers. Vicki Robin
That's what it means to be an American. To be free to love who and what you want, and to keep a lot in your heart at once. Unknown
What a fine fellow is Quincey! I believe in my heart of hearts that he suffered as much about Lucy’s death as any of us, but he bore himself through it like a moral Viking. If America can go on breeding men like that, she will be a power in the world indeed. Bram Stoker
Spaniards and Americans are not like Europeans, they are not like Orientals, they have something in common, that is they do not need religion or mysticism not to believe in reality as all the world knows it, not even when they see it. Gertrude Stein
The vast majority of Americans, at all coordinates of the economic spectrum, consider themselves middle class; this is a deeply ingrained, distinctly American cognitive dissonance. Ellen Cushing
After listening to a lot of these stories, I began to think that American loneliness is a completely different creature from anything we experience in this country, and it made me glad I was born Japanese. The type of loneliness where you need to keep struggling to accept a situation is fundamentally different from the sort you know you'll get through if you just hang in there. Unknown
Americans share an affinity to establish a distinctive identity and know one’s self in a physiological, psychological, and spiritual sense, and we strive to attain self-actualization, self-realization, and/or bliss. Kilroy J. Oldster
Our problem as Americans -- at least, among my race and gender -- is that we resist the very idea of limits, regarding limits of all sorts as temporary and regrettable impositions on our lives. Parker J. Palmer
The Americans of the United States do not let their dogs hunt the Indians as do the Spaniards in Mexico, but at bottom it is the same pitiless feeling which here, as everywhere else, animates the European race. This world here belongs to us, they tell themselves every day: the Indian race is destined for final destruction which one cannot prevent and which it is not desirable to delay. Heaven has not made them to become civilized; it is necessary that they die. Besides I do not want to get mixed up in it. I will not do anything against them: I will limit myself to providing everything that will hasten their ruin. In time I will have their lands and will be innocent of their death. Satisfied with his reasoning, the American goes to church where he hears the minister of the gospel repeat every day that all men are brothers, and that the Eternal Being who has made them all in like image, has given them all the duty to help one another. . Alexis De Tocqueville
Fate. Now that's a loaded word. Like "yoga" or "karma", it's one of those words that slipped out of its native culture and ended up a celebrity with an extreme makeover. Debra Ollivier
The American Club was for those who preferred to have dinner at six and brunch on a Sunday and avoid the stress of dealing with Greeks and their language. John Mole
They never said “I don’t know.” They said, instead, “I’m not sure, ” which did not give any information but still suggested the possibility of knowledge. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Every American wants MORE MORE of the world and why not, you only live once. But the mistake made in America is persons accumulate more more dead matter, machinery, possessions & rugs & fact information at the expense of what really counts as more: feeling, good feeling, sex feeling, tenderness feeling, mutual feeling. You own twice as much rug if you're twice as aware of the rug. Allen Ginsberg
Why do they [Americans] quarrel, why do they hate Negroes, Indians, even Germans, why do they not have science and poetry commensurate with themselves, why are there so many frauds and so much nonsense? I cannot soon give a solution to these questions .. It was clear that in the United States there was a development not of the best, but of the middle and worst sides of European civilization; the notorious general voting, the tendency to politics.. all the same as in Europe. A new dawn is not to be seen on this side of the ocean. . Dmitri Mendeleev
It is their mores, then, that make the Americans of the United States..capable of maintaining the rule of democracy.. Too much importance is attached to laws and too little to mores.. I am convinced that the luckiest of geographical circumstances and the best of laws cannot maintain a constitution in spite of mores, whereas the latter can turn even the most unfavorable circumstances..to advantage.. If I have not succeeded in making the reader feel the importance I attach to the practical experience of the Americans, to their habits, laws, and, in a word, their mores, I have failed in the main object of my work. -Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in American . Naomi Wolf
Most Americans are close to total ignorance about the world. They are ignorant. That is an unhealthy condition in a country in which foreign policy has to be endorsed by the people if it is to be pursued. And it makes it much more difficult for any president to pursue an intelligent policy that does justice to the complexity of the world. Unknown
It’s a funny thing to complain about, but most of America is perfectly devoid of smells. I must have noticed it before, but this last time back I felt it as an impairment. For weeks after we arrived I kept rubbing my eyes, thinking I was losing my sight or maybe my hearing. But it was the sense of smell that was gone. Even in the grocery store, surrounded in one aisle by more kinds of food than will ever be known in a Congolese lifetime, there was nothing on the air but a vague, disinfected emptiness. I mentioned this to Anatole, who’d long since taken note of it, of course. “The air is just blank in America, ” I said. “You can’t ever smell what’s around you, unless you stick your nose right down into something."“ Maybe that is why they don’t know about Mobutu, ” he suggested. Barbara Kingsolver
I don't care what you Yanks say, cheese should not whiz. Janette Rallison
Americans may have no identity, but they do have wonderful teeth. Jean Baudrillard
Larry has been absorbed, as he wished, into that tumultuous conglomeration of humanity, distracted by so many conflicting interests, so lost in the world's confusion, so wistful of good, so cocksure on the outside, so diffident within, so kind, so hard, so trustful and so cagey, so mean and so generous, which is the people of the United States. W. Somerset Maugham
So why don’t Americans cheat? Because they think that their system is legitimate. People accept authority when they see that it treats everyone equally, when it is possible to speak up and be heard, and when there are rules in place that assure you that tomorrow you won’t be treated radically different from how you are treated today. Legitimacy is based on fairness, voice and predictability, and the U.S. government, as much as Americans like to grumble about it, does a pretty good job of meeting all three standards. Pg. 293 . Malcolm Gladwell
In response to my question about how we might rein in the empire, he said, "That's why I'm meeting with you. Only you in the United States can change it. Your government created this problem and your people must solve it. You've got to insist that Washington honor its commitment to democracy, even when deomcratically elected leaders nationalize your corrupting corporations. You must take control of your corporations and your government. The people of the United States have a great deal of power. You need to come to grips with this. There's no alternative. We in Brazil have our hands tied. So do the Venezeulans. And the Nigerians. It's up to you. John Perkins
Amal, I believe that most Americans do not love as we do. It is not for any inherent deficiency or superiority in them. They live in the safe, shallow, parts that rarely push human emotions into the depths where we dwell. Susan Abulhawa
In the old Republican days the subject of slavery and of the saving of the Union made appeals to the consciences and liberty-loving instincts of the people. These later years have been full of talk about commerce and dinner pails, but I feel sure that the American conscience and the American love of liberty have not been smothered. They will break through this crust of sordidness and realize that those only keep their liberties who accord liberty to others. Benjamin Harrison
Americans love to hear good things about their bad habits. T. Colin Campbell
More than three fourths of all Americans are vitamin D-deficient. John Cannell
As a rule, Americans are big on that word “choice” and some souls can be captured simply by dangling before the creature a continual, lifelong supply of things from which to choose. Geoffrey Wood
...So we passed, handcuffed and in silence, through the streets of Washington, through the Captial of a nation, whose theory of government, we are told, rests on the foundation of man's inalienable right to life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of happiness! Hail! Columbia, happy land, indeed! Solomon Northup
The president, the secretary of state, the businessman, the preacher, the vendor, the spies, the clients and managers–all walking around Wall Street like chickens with their heads cut off–rushing to escape bankruptcy–plotting to melt down the Statue of Liberty–to press more copper pennies–to breed more headless chickens–to put more feathers in their caps–medals, diplomas, stock certificates, honorary doctorates–eggs and eggs of headless chickens–multitaskers–system hackers–who never know where they’re heading--northward, backward, eastward, forward, and never homeward–(where is home)–home is in the head–(but the head is cut off)–and the nest is full of banking forms and Easter eggs with coins inside. Beheaded chickens, how do you breed chickens with their heads cut off? By teaching them how to bankrupt creativity. Giannina Braschi
Americans no longer experience vacations. They simply Sony them so they can ignore them for the rest of the year. John Grisham
Americans are children who must go somewhere else to grow up, and sometimes die. Ben Fountain
Statistics say that a range of mental disorders affects more than one in four Americans in any given year. That means millions of Americans are totally batshit.but having perused the various tests available that they use to determine whether you're manic depressive. OCD, schizo-affective, schizophrenic, or whatever, I'm surprised the number is that low. So I have gone through a bunch of the available tests, and I've taken questions from each of them, and assembled my own psychological evaluation screening which I thought I'd share with you. So, here are some of the things that they ask to determine if you're mentally disordered1. In the last week, have you been feeling irritable?2. In the last week, have you gained a little weight?3. In the last week, have you felt like not talking to people?4. Do you no longer get as much pleasure doing certain things as you used to?5. In the last week, have you felt fatigued?6. Do you think about sex a lot? If you don't say yes to any of these questions either you're lying, or you don't speak English, or you're illiterate, in which case, I have the distinct impression that I may have lost you a few chapters ago. Carrie Fisher
If a queen comes to America, crowds fill the station squares, and attendant British journalists rejoice, 'You see: the American Cousins are as respectful to Royalty as we are.' But the Americans have read of queens since babyhood. they want to see one queen, once, and if another came to town next week, with twice as handsome a crown, she would not draw more than two small boys and an Anglophile.Americans want to see one movie star, one giraffe, one jet plance, one murder, but only one. They run up a skyscraper or the fame of generals and evangelists and playwrights in one week and tear them all down in an hour, and the mark of excellence everywhere is 'under new management'. Sinclair Lewis
It's not Americans I find annoying; it's Americanism: a social disease of the postindustrial world that must inevitably infect each of the mercantile nations in turn, and is called 'American' only because your nation is the most advanced case of the malady, much as one speaks of Spanish flu, or Japanese Type-B encephalitis. It's symptoms are a loss of work ethic, a shrinking of inner resources, and a constant need for external stimulation, followed by spiritual decay and moral narcosis. You can recognize the victim by his constant efforts to get in touch with himself, to believe his spiritual feebleness is an interesting psychological warp, to construe his fleeing from responsibility as evidence that he and his life are uniquely open to new experiences. In the later stages, the sufferer is reduced to seeking that most trivial of human activities: fun. . Trevanian
I don't see much future for the Americans. .. it's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities. .. my feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance. .. everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it's half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold together? Adolf Hitler
In any event, the sloppy and fatuous nature of American good will can never be relied upon to deal with hard problems. These have been dealt with, when they have been dealt with at all, out of necessity–and in political terms, anyway, necessity means concessions made in order to stay on top. Unknown
Within he felt that faint stirring of derision for the whole business of life which is the salt of the American mentality. Outwardly they are sentimental and enthusiastic and inwardly they are profoundly cynical. H.G. Wells
I wanted to protect my professorial dignity and not lay myself open to laughter from the Americans, who when they do laugh, laugh raucously Jules Verne
This is the kind of paradox, I think, of what it is to be a halfway intelligent American right now, and probably also a Western European, is that there are things we know are right, and good, and would be better for us to do, but constantly it's like "Yeah, but, you know, it's so much funnier and nicer to go do something else." and "Who cares?" and "It's all bullshit anyway. David Foster Wallace
I was telling them about back home and how all the boys were chasing me because I was half-caste, and they said I was dissing myself. So now I say biracial, and I'm supposed to be offended when somebody says half-caste. I've met a lot of people here with white mothers and they are so full of issues, eh. I didn't know I was even supposed to have issues until I came to America . Honestly, if anybody wants to raise bi-racial kids, do it in Nigeria . Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
First, we are a nation of different races, nationalities, and ethnic groups. This brings us to the second commonality… we are all Americans. Yes, we fuss, we have differences of opinions, but we are all Americans. The third and most important commonality is the fact that we all bleed red. We are humankind. These are the bonds that unite us and make us better human beings. James Morris Robinson
Checking a box on a form for race–" Caucasian, " "Hispanic, " "African-American, " "Native American, " or "Asian-American"–is untenable and ridiculous. For one thing, "American" is not a race, so labels such as "Asian-American" and "African-American" are still exhibits of our confusion of culture and race. For another thing, how far back does one go in history? Native Americans are really Asians, if you go back more than twenty or thirty thousand years to before they crossed the Bering land bridge between Asia and America. And Asians, several hundred thousand years ago probably came out of Africa, so we should really replace "Native American" with "African-Asian-Native American." Finally, if the Out of Africa (single racial origin) theory holds true, then all modern humans are from Africa. (Cavalli-Sforza now thinks this may have been as recently as seventy thousand years ago.) Even if that theory gives way to the Candelabra (multiple racial origins) theory, ultimately all hominids came from Africa, and therefore everyone in America should simply check the box next to "African-American. Michael Shermer
It seems as if Americans like to be the center of attention even after they're dead. Hidekaz Himaruya
We are all born to love people and use things. Unfortunately, we grow to love things and use people... T. Rafael Cimino
Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Elizabeth Gilbert
Does it kill them? I don't want to be killing Americans whatsoever, Jeffrey. Brad McKinniss
To Americans, either/or means both. Brian Spellman
The Americans, who are the most efficient people on the earth, have carried [phrase-making] to such a height of perfection and have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on an amusing and animated conversation without giving a moment’s reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication. W. Somerset Maugham
Americans, who make more of marrying for love than any other people, also break up more of their marriages, but the figure reflects not so much the failure of love as the determination of people not to live without it. Morton Hunt
When good Americans die, they go to Paris, ' the ghost said, after taking a drag on a small cigarette. Karen Chance
You know, if you're an American and you're born at this time in history especially, you're lucky. We all are. We won the world history Powerball lottery. Bill Maher
The reason that the American Navy does so well in wartime is that war is chaos, and the Americans practice chaos on a daily basis. Unknown
America truly is the best idea for a country that anyone has ever come up with so far. Not only because we value democracy and the rights of the individual, but because we are always our own most effective voice of descent.. We must never mistake disagreement between Americans on political or moral issues to be an indication of their level of patriotism. If you don't like what I say or don't agree with where I stand on certain issues, then good. I'm glad we're in America, and don't have to oppress each other over it. We're not just a nation, we're not an ethnicity. We are a dream of justice that people have had for a thousand years. . Craig Ferguson
Americans are so tightly wound, the way they kill themselves to get ahead. It's no way to live, I tell you. Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Do not be disingenuous with me, Colonel Graff. Americans are quite apt at playing stupid when they choose to, but I am not to be deceived. Orson Scott Card
New York lesson 1 - never look lost. Lesson 2 - forget hallowed silences. It's the right of all Americans to talk at the tops of their voices. Alison Fell
Americans care more about the rights of animals than about what happens to us! Joe Sacco
Shoot, I must have lived such a doggoned sheltered life as a normal, independent American up there in the Last Frontier, schooled with only public education and a lowly state university degree, because obviously I haven't learned enough to dismiss common sense. Sarah Palin
..Americans didn’t stick to cities, which makes us different from the people in other industrialized countries. We no sooner arrived in town, turning those towns into great mid-century metropolises, than we decided to take off for the green world beyond, so that by the 1970 Census, we had become the first suburban nation in the history of the world. And Detroit led the way, with a population curve up and down just like everywhere else, but with its urban decline a lot steeper over the past sixty years–so typical a place that it only looks like an exception. Jerry Herron
In America, they make a lot of fuss over little things. Khushwant Singh