Obscure Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old obscure quotes, obscure sayings, and obscure proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

How often the highest talent lurks in obscurity.     


Thus let me live, unseen, unknown, Thus unlamented let me die, Steal from the world, and not a stone Tell where I lie.     

Alexander Pope

There is no defence against reproach, but obscurity; it is a kind of concomitant to greatness, as satires and invectives were an essential part of a Roman triumph.     

Joseph Addison

There is value in long years of obscurity, if one doesn't go insane or suicidal, in that, simply because nobody is looking, the habit of fooling around and trying things out gets ingrained.     

Jules Olitski

If you desire to know or learn anything to your advantage, then take delight in being unknown and unregarded. A true understanding and humble estimate of oneself is the highest and most valuable of all lessons.     

Thomas a Kempis

Content thyself to be obscurely good. When vice prevails and impious men bear away, the post of honor is a private station.     

Joseph Addison

Whoever knows he is deep tries to be clear, but whoever wants to seem deep to the crowd tries to be obscure. For the crowd supposes that anything it cannot see to the bottom must be deep: it is so timid and goes so unwillingly into the water.     

Friedrich Nietzsche

Obscurity, indeed, is painful to the mind as well as to the eye; but to bring light from obscurity, by whatever labour, must needsbe delightful and rejoicing.     

David Hume

Fame is fickle, but Obscurity is usually faithful to the end.     

Mason Cooley

Let there be no inscription upon my tomb. Let no man write my epitaph. No man can write my epitaph. I am here ready to die. I am not allowed to vindicate my character; and when I am prevented from vindicating myself, let no man dare calumniate me. Let my character and motives repose in obscurity and peace, till other times and other men can do them justice.     

Robert Emmet

The street to obscurity is paved with athletes who can perform great feats before friendly crowds.     

George Allen

Obscurity is dispelled by augmenting the light of discernment, not by attacking the darkness.     


If you find something obscure fascinating, learn as much about it as you can, because there's a good chance it won't be obscure for long.     

Hilary Mason

I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity.     

Alexander The Great

Even the most obscure hermit in the forest was not utterly alone; he too was enfolded in belonging.     

Herman Hesse

Life, misfortunes, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battlefields which have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.     

Victor Hugo

When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren't grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.     

Cynthia Ozick

Truth like the sun, submits to be obscured; but like the sun, only for a time.     

Christian Nestell Bovee

Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!     

Charlotte Bronte

O how many noble deeds of women are lost in obscurity!     


It is better to be looked over than overlooked.     

Mae West

Obscurity is the realm of error.     

Luc De Clapiers

Obscurity brings safety.     


Be wary of passing the judgment: obscure. To find something obscure poses no difficulty: elephants and poodles find many things obscure.     

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

He shone with the greater splendor, because he was not seen.     


Obscurity is the refuge of incompetence.     

Robert A. Heinlein

Maybe some people are better off in obscurity than trying to keep on expanding.     

Erika M. Anderson

Never be so brief as to become obscure.     

Hosea Ballou

Obscurity is never a virtue.     

Roald Dahl

One of the most pernicious effects of haste is obscurity.     

Samuel Johnson