Mae West

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He who never made a mistake, never made a discovery.
Samuel Smiles
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Mary Jane West (August 17, 1893November 22, 1980) was an American actress and playwright, most commonly known as "Mae" West.


  • Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.
    • Response to an exclamation, "Goodness! What lovely diamonds!" in Night After Night (1932). She later used Goodness had nothing to do with it as the title of her autobiography (1953).
  • Why don't you come up sometime and see me? ... Come on up, I'll tell your fortune.
    • She Done Him Wrong (1933)
  • Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
    • She Done Him Wrong (1933)
  • Beulah, Peel me a grape.
    • I'm No Angel (1933)[1]
  • I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.
    • I'm No Angel (1933)[1]
  • When I'm good, I'm very good. When I'm bad, I'm better.
    • I'm No Angel (1933)[1]
  • I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
    • I'm No Angel (1933)[1]
  • Between two evils, I generally like to pick the one I never tried before.
    • Klondike Annie (1936) Sometimes quoted as: "When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before."[2]
  • A man in the house is worth two in the street.
    • Belle of the Nineties
  • It's not the men in your life that matters, it's the life in your men
    • I'm No Angel
  • When women go wrong, men go right after them.
    • She Done Him Wrong[3]
  • One and one is two; two and two is four; and "five will get you ten" if you work it right!
    • My Little Chickadee[4]
  • I feel like a million tonight. But one at a time.
    • Myra Breckinridge
  • To a young actor: How tall are you without your horse? Six foot, seven inches. Never mind the six feet. Let's talk about the seven inches!
    • Myra Breckinridge
  • I'm the kinda girl who works for Paramount by day, and Fox all night
  • To her British lover about to climb in bed with 80-something Mae: She said that she hoped soon to be able to say what Paul Revere said - 'The British are coming'. This was the last one-liner Mae ever uttered on film.
    • Sextette


  • A hard man is good to find.
  • An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away.
  • Give a man a free hand and he'll run it all over you.[6]
  • He who hesitates is a damned fool.
  • It's hard to find a good man, but it's good to find a hard one.
  • His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.
  • I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.
  • I consider sex a misdemeanor; the more I miss, de meaner I get.
  • I do all my best work in bed.
  • I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.
  • I never meant "Come up and see me some time" to be sexy.
  • I wrote the story myself. It's about a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.
  • I've been in more laps than a napkin.[6]
  • If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning.
  • It is better to be looked over than being overlooked.
  • Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.
  • Marriage is a fine institution, but I'm not ready for an institution.[6]
  • Reputation is everything.
  • Right now I think censorship is necessary; the things they're doing and saying in films right now just shouldn't be allowed. There's no dignity anymore, and I think that's very important.
  • Sex is an emotion in motion.
  • Sex is like bridge; if you don't have a good partner, you better have a good hand.[7]
  • Sex with love is the greatest thing in life. But sex without love— that's not so bad either.
  • She's the kind of girl who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong.[6]
  • Speak up for yourself, or you'll end up a rug.
  • The best way to hold a man is in your arms.
  • Too much of a good thing can be simply wonderful.[8]
  • When you get the personality, you don't need the nudity.
  • You can say what you like about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.
  • You may think you're in love when the passions of sex get hold of you, but if you didn't love the man before, you won't love him after. Live him, maybe— but not love him.
  • You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.


  1. a b c d I'm No Angel (HTML). Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  2. Klondike Annie (HTML). Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  3. She Done Him Wrong (HTML). Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  4. My Little Chickadee (HTML). Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  5. Sextette (HTML). Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  6. a b c d Byrne, Robert (2006). The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said, Simon & Schuster.
  7. May West Quotes (HTML). Digtial Dream Door. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  8. May West Quotes (HTML). The Quotations Page. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.

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