Politeness Sayings and Quotes

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

Ceremonies are different in every country, but true politeness is everywhere the same.     

Oliver Goldsmith

Politeness is not always a sign of wisdom; but the want of it always leaves room for a suspicion of folly, if folly and imprudence are the same.     

Walter Savage Landor

There is no policy like politeness; and a good manner is the best thing in the world either to get a good name, or to supply the want of it.     

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Politeness goes far, yet costs nothing.     

Samuel Smiles

In truth, politeness is artificial good humor, it covers the natural want of it, and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.      

Thomas Jefferson

Good and strong will. Mechanism must precede science (learning). Also in morals and religion? Too much discipline makes one narrow and kills proficiency. Politeness belongs, not to discipline, but to polish, and thus comes last.     

Immanuel Kant

(Politeness is) a tacit agreement that people's miserable defects, whether moral or intellectual, shall on either side be ignored and not be made the subject of reproach.     

Arthur Schopenhauer

[Politeness costs nothing.]. . . . Nothing, that is to him that shows it; but it often costs the world very dear.     

William Allingham

Virtue, perhaps, is nothing more than politeness of soul.     

Honoré de Balzac

Politeness is an inexpensive way of making friends.     

William Feather

There is a politeness of the heart; this is closely allied to love.     

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Politeness is sometimes a great tax upon sincerity.     

Charlotte Lennox

Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Politeness -- The most acceptable hypocrisy.       

Ambrose Bierce

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you — not because they are nice, but because you are.     


E-mail has some magical ability to turn off the politeness gene in the human being.     

Jeff Bezos

Politeness of the mind is to have delicate thoughts.     

Francois de la Rochefoucauld

The care that we bestow on our person is a species of politeness towards others.     

Charles Blanc

One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness.     

Josh Billings

Politeness is the chief sign of culture.     

Baltasar Gracian

Politeness is one of those advantages which we never estimate rightly but by the inconvenience of its loss.     

Samuel Johnson

True politeness consists in being easy one's self, and in making every one about one as easy as one can.      

Alexander Pope

True politeness is to social life what oil is to machinery, a thing to oil the ruts and grooves of existence. False politeness can shine without warming and glitter without vivifying.     

Frances Harper

Politeness has been well defined as benevolence in small things.     

Thomas B. Macaulay

A polite enemy is just as difficult to discredit, as a rude friend is to protect.     

Bryant McGill

All Politeness is owing to Liberty. We polish one another, and rub off our Corners and rough Sides by a sort of amicable Collision. To restrain this, is inevitably to bring a Rust upon Mens Understandings.     

Anthony Ashley-Cooper

Home is the place where true politeness tells.     

Julia McNair Wright

It is wise to apply the oil of refined politeness to the mechanisms of friendship.     


Politeness can at once be the indifferent affliction of the ‘civilized' as well as a subterfuge for the designed offence.     

Vinod Pande

Politeness is the poison of collaboration.     

Edwin Land