In the great tradition of American humor, the title of “First American Humorist” rightfully belongs to Benjamin Franklin. He was the beginning of a long line of writers who created a uniquely American form of humor filled with clever wit, folksy wisdom, and a generous portion of irreverence.
In his Poor Richard’s Almanac, Franklin wrote many clever sayings which are still part of our cultural heritage today. At 26, Franklin published the first edition of Poor Richard’s Almanac under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.
- Remember that time is money.
- A little neglect may breed mischief: for want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost, and for want of a horse the rider was lost.
- A penny saved is a penny earned.
- Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain and most fools do.
- Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
- Fish and visitors smell in three days.
- Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
- God helps them that help themselves.
- Haste makes waste.
- Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?
- It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.
- Little strokes fell great oaks.
- Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.
- Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.
- Well done is better than well said.
- In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
- There never was a good war nor a bad peace.
- Never contradict anybody.