Frequently Asked Questions on the English Wikiquote.

Finding quotes

Q: How do I find a specific quote? (For example, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.")

A: The Search box (in the left margin of all Wikiquote pages, for most display styles) includes a "Go" button, to find an article, and a "Search" button, to find text within the article. Just enter the quote in the Search box and press the latter button. You will see a list of articles that contain the closest matches to your quote. Click on the articles and use your browser's find function to find the quote on the page. The example above yields several articles, the first of which is Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and browser-searching the page itself shows this comes from Sonnet 43 of her Sonnets from the Portugese.
When the Wikimedia servers are heavily loaded, this search feature may be temporarily disabled. You can also find quotes in Wikiquote by using general search engines and including "wikiquote" in the text to search for. (Many non-Wikiquote sites may also appear because they use Wikiquote as their source. Of course, we recommend you go straight to the source.) For Google, you can add the text "site:wikiquote.org" instead to narrow the search to Wikiquote only.

New entry

Q: How do I add new articles to wikiquote — for example, quotations by people who do not already exist here?

A: Comprehensive documentation exists at Help:Starting a new page. The easiest way is to use one of the buttons at the inputbox section to be launched straight into the editing page with a ready boilerplate. If you choose one of the other ways listed there, see Quotes:Templates for common formatting standards here.

Quotes found on the internet

Q: Is it acceptable to add quotes which you had come across on the internet and are relatively unattributed?

A: Yes, those should be added under Anonymous, but it is suggested that you do a search of that quote to see if you can find who said it.

Quotes by your neighbour

Q: What about non-famous-quotes: my neighbour Rizwan says something profound; can I put it up here, crediting it to him?

A: Unless your neighbour is notable, probably not. However, you are free to collect quotes of yourself, people you know and notable people on your user page, and organize them however you like.


Q: Is there a place within Wikiquote to call attention to vandalism - and what can be done against it?

A: When vandalism is obvious anyone can simply revert the edits that have been made by calling up the history of the article, clicking to edit the last version before the vandalism occurred, and saving that. If you believe that blocking, or other protective measures should be taken, you can post on the Vandalism in progress page and/or notify an admin on their talk pages. More information on possible responses exist in the Wikipedia article "Dealing with vandalism".

Abbreviations and shortcuts

Q: What do all those cryptic abbreviations, like VP and VFD, mean?

A: Many Wikiquote maintenance and operation pages have long descriptive titles, like Quotes:Votes for deletion, so people often abbreviate them. Many of these abbreviations have handy shortcuts that can be typed into the Search box to jump right to the page. A partial list of these shortcuts can be found at Quotes:Shortcuts.


Q: I came across a quote popularly misattributed to person X in his page. Should I remove it?

A: No, please! Add that quote to a section "Misattributed", and add any and all information you have regarding the history of the misattribution. Otherwise, someone else coming across the attribution somewhere else will add it again. This way, the page becomes a resource for what quotations are wrong, as well as right. Of course, this is only when dealing with a popular misattribution.

"Quote" vs. "quotation"

Q: Should this site be called "Wikiquotation", because "quote" is a verb, and "quotation" is the noun form?

A: Actually, "quote" is also a noun, per Wiktionary, Merriam-Webster Online, Cambridge Dictionaries Online, and many other dictionaries. Some consider it an informal form of "quotation", but still find it acceptable.

Fortune cookies and single quotations

Q: Can I use Wikiquote to produce random single quotations, like the Unix program "fortune"?

A: Not directly. Wikiquote uses wiki articles for collections of quotes. There is no practical way at this time to mark each quote so that one can be "pulled" out for a fortune cookie-like saying. Programmers can, of course, use Wikiquote's data for such projects, so long as they acknowledge the source of the quotations per the GNU Free Documentation License.

Copying Wikiquote material

Q: Can I use Wikiquote material for my own website, or for commercial purposes?

A: Wikiquote, just like its sister project Wikipedia, operates under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), a "copyleft" system that allows any use of its material — free or commercial — as long as the same freedom-to-copy is maintained and credit is given for the original work (which is usually done by providing a link back to the relevant Wikiquote article). See w:Wikipedia:Copyrights for the formal policy, which also applies to Wikiquote. Wikipedia also has the full text of the GFDL.

Password retrieving

Q: I forgot my password. Can I get it back?

A: If you entered and confirmed an email address when you created your account, you can have a new password sent to you using the "Email password" button on the login page.
Otherwise, you can create a different username with a new password.
Wikiquote does not honor requests made via email to change, clear, or reveal passwords.

Where to ask questions

Q: My question is not answered here. Where can I ask?

A: If you have a question about the workings of wikiquote, try our Village pump. If you have a general questions about a quote, try our Reference desk.
Last modified on 23 February 2009, at 23:50