Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

121 Inspiring Quotes by Mae West

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Mae West.

Wikipedia Summary for Mae West

Mary Jane "Mae" West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American stage and film actress, playwright, screenwriter, singer, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned over seven decades. She was known for her breezy sexual independence, and her lighthearted bawdy double entendres, often delivered in a husky contralto voice. She was active in vaudeville and on stage in New York City before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film industry.

West was one of the most controversial movie stars of her day; she encountered many problems, especially censorship. She once quipped, "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it." She bucked the system by making comedy out of conventional mores, and the Depression-era audience admired her for it. When her film career ended, she wrote books and plays, and continued to perform in Las Vegas and the United Kingdom, on radio and television, and recorded rock 'n roll albums. In 1999, the American Film Institute posthumously voted West the 15th greatest female screen legend of classic American cinema.

landscape photo of waters, mountains, and black clouds

Dress gives one the outward sign from which people in general can, and often do, judge upon the inward state of mind and feelings.

--Mae West

mountains under starry sky during nighttime

Ladies who play with fire must remember that smoke gets in their eyes.

--Mae West

shallow focus photography of adult fawn pug

I'm the girl that works at Paramount all day, and Fox all night.

--Mae West

green leafed plant

Come up and see me sometime.

--Mae West

Arizona landscape

A man has more character in his face at forty than at twenty -- he has suffered longer.

--Mae West

man and woman kissing

I have always felt a gift diamond shines so much better than one you buy for yourself.

--Mae West

rainbow

Men are easy to get but hard to keep.

--Mae West

silhouette photo of six persons on top of mountain

I never loved another person the way I loved myself.

--Mae West

person holding white and yellow flower painting

I've always had a weakness for foreign affairs.

--Mae West

two women making peace sign near the Golden Gate bridge

A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars, that's subtraction.

--Mae West

man jumping on hill during golden hour

We must fall in love with ourselves. I don't like myself. I'm crazy about myself.

--Mae West

city lights from hill

They say love is blind...and marriage is an institution. Well, I'm not ready for an institution for the blind just yet.

--Mae West

white and blue ice on water

It isn't what I do, but how I do it. It isn't what I say, but how I say it, and how I look when I do it and say it.

--Mae West

snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime

Women are as old as they feel -- and men are old when they lose their feelings.

--Mae West

purple petaled flower on gray surface

What's life good fer anyhow? The minute you crawl into the world for no good reason of yer own, it's got you licked four ways from the ace.

--Mae West

concert photos

I believe that one day the world will judge the witch hunt against homosexuals just as harshly as it judges the Spanish Inquisition and the Holocaust.

--Mae West

photo of brown parquet

Hiring someone to write your autobiography is like hiring someone to take a bath for you.

--Mae West

adult black and white dog leaning on wooden fence

"Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!"
"Goodness had nothing to do with it."

--Mae West

Arizona landscape

I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.

--Mae West

person with black tattoo on left hand

I've been in more laps than a napkin.

--Mae West

group of people waving their hands

Marriage is a fine institution, but I'm not ready for an institution.

--Mae West

multicolored abstract painting

Life's just a merry-go-round. Come on up. You might get a brass ring.

--Mae West

None

I never needed Panavision and stereophonic sound to woo the world. I did it in black and white on a screen the size of a postage stamp. Honey, that's talent.

--Mae West

grayscale photography of pug

All the raves were just words. You don't want to let words confuse you. Words come cheap.

--Mae West

aerial photography of forest

One and one is two, and two and two is four, and five will get you ten if you know how to work it.

--Mae West

gray-scale photo of man and woman holding hands

Diamonds talk, and I can stand listenin' to 'em often.

--Mae West

brown and white bird on tree branch

Let's get out of these wet clothes and into a dry Martini.

--Mae West

sunset

He who hesitates is last.

--Mae West

shallow focus photography of black DSLR camera

It takes two to get one in trouble.

--Mae West

sunset with agave stem

To err is human, but it feels divine.

--Mae West

man and woman with dog on woods

He who hesitates is a damned fool.

--Mae West

pug puppy

When I'm good, I'm very good. But when I'm bad I'm better.

--Mae West

photography of white wall lot

Woman: You certainly know the way to a man's heart. Mae West: Funny, too, 'cause I don't know how to cook.

--Mae West

forest and body of water

Ya know it was a toss-up whether I go in for diamonds or sing in the choir. The choir lost.

--Mae West

selective focus photography of grey coin operated telescope

Well behaved women do not make history.

--Mae West

green leafed tree on body of water under starry sky

Love is like a booger, you pick and pick at it. Then when you get it you wonder how to get rid of it.

--Mae West

brown wooden dockside beside sea

Love isn't an emotion or an instinct -- it's an art.

--Mae West

brown and gray brick wall

On the metaphysical: ... I knew in some marvelous way I had touched the hem of the unknown. And being me, I wanted to lift that hemline a little bit more.

--Mae West

low-angle photo of white daisy

I don't know a lot about politics, but I can recognise a good party man when I see one.

--Mae West

white board beside pencil and tape

I like restraint, if it doesn't go too far.

--Mae West

cloudy sky

All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.

--Mae West

cumulus clouds

You are never too old to become younger.

--Mae West

Longer Version:

You are never too old to become younger!


close-up photography of heart shaped fairy lite on brown sand

Men would wither and custom stale them, but diamonds! Ah, they were crystallized immortality!

--Mae West

man and woman kissing

I like my clothes tight enough to show I'm a woman, but loose enough to show I'm a lady.

--Mae West

focus photo of a hummingbird on leaf

Give a man a free hand and he'll run it all over you.

--Mae West

sunset

A man in the house is worth two on the street.

--Mae West

brown pine trees near mountain covered with fog

Sex is emotion in motion.

--Mae West

black wooden louver door window

Brains are an asset to the woman in love who's smart enough to hide 'em.

--Mae West

brown mountains under blue sky

March isn't the only thing that's in like a lion and out like a lamb.

--Mae West

black Corona typewriter on brown wood planks

Marriage? I ain't got time for a husband or child. All my life I've looked after myself as if I was my own child.

--Mae West

man and woman in cowboy hat

I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.

--Mae West

white Starbuck plastic cup on brown fabric armchair

Women are like roads. The more curves they have, the more dangerous they are.

--Mae West

round black vinyl disc on vinyl player

Virtue has its own reward, but no sale at the box office.

--Mae West

yellow flower field near mountain during daytime

A man can be short and dumpy and getting bald but if he has fire, women will like him.

--Mae West

brown trees on brown field during daytime

Personality is the most important thing to an actress's success.

--Mae West

black fishes

I always did like a man in uniform. And that one fits you grand. Why don't you come up sometime and see me?

--Mae West

silhouette of man standing on hill during starry night

It ain't no sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don't break any.

--Mae West

yellow sunflower in close up photography

When it comes to finances, remember that there are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin.

--Mae West

two women making peace sign near the Golden Gate bridge

Good sex is like good bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.

--Mae West

pink tree

I'd like to see Paris before I die.

--Mae West

Longer Version:

I'd like to see Paris before I die. Philadelphia will do.


person standing on top of mountain

Any time you've got nothing to do and lots of time to do it come on up.

--Mae West

time lapse photography of fire

You can say what you like about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.

--Mae West

forest trees photograph

Cultivate your curves -- they may be dangerous but they won't be avoided.

--Mae West

None

You know, it was a toss up whether I go in for diamonds or sing in the choir. The choir lost.

--Mae West

gray hummingbird

It's hard to be funny when you have to be clean.

--Mae West

silhouette of stones during golden hour

Why don't you come up sometime 'n see me? I'm home every evening... Come up. I'll tell your fortune... Ah, you can be had.

--Mae West

man and woman kissing beside body of water during daytime

I'm no angel, but I've spread my wings a bit.

--Mae West

horse

A woman in love can't be reasonable -- or she probably wouldn't be in love.

--Mae West

adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog

An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.

--Mae West

pink petaled flowers under trees at daytime

Girls, give all your gentlemen friends an even break, even if you have to break them in the attempt.

--Mae West

four handheld gardening tools on rack

Hollywood was like a mouse being followed by a cat called television.

--Mae West

shallow focus photography of black DSLR camera

A man's kiss is his signature.

--Mae West

yellow sunflower in glass vase

I meet a man with a thousand dollars and leave him with two; that's the meaning of subtraction.

--Mae West

person cooking on seashore

The best way to behave is to misbehave.

--Mae West

brown mountains under blue sky

Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired.

--Mae West


man in white and black button up shirt holding lighted candle

I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.

--Mae West

blue wallpaper

Too many girls follow the line of least resistance, but a good line is hard to resist.

--Mae West

shallow depth of field photography of sunflower

I'm a good woman for a bad man.

--Mae West

photo of clear sky full of stars

I enjoyed the courtroom as just another stage but not so amusing as Broadway.

--Mae West

blue and black butterfly on pink and yellow flower

Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

--Mae West

red and yellow abstract painting

I have found men who didn't know how to kiss. I've always found time to teach them.

--Mae West

castle surrounded fog

You may admire a girl's curves on the first introduction, but the second meeting shows up new angles.

--Mae West

person walking on snowfield

I believe that it's better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked.

--Mae West

silhouette of mountain under starry night

It is better to be looked over than overlooked.

--Mae West


aerial view of gray building on brown sand

I'm no model lady. A model's just an imitation of the real thing.

--Mae West

grayscale photography of elephant

It's not what I do, but the way I do it. It's not what I say, but the way I say it.

--Mae West

close-up photo of two men shaking hands near beach at sunset

Say what you want about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.

--Mae West

green leafed tree on snowfield under white cloudy sky at daytime

Look your best -- who said love is blind?

--Mae West

low-angle photography of green leaf tree

A hard man is good to find.

--Mae West

sliced lemon on pink surface

There are no good girls gone wrong -- just bad girls found out.

--Mae West

forest trees photograph

Don't marry a man to reform him -- that's what reform schools are for.

--Mae West

black dog photography

Never ask a man where he has been.

--Mae West

black sailing boat digital wallpaper

I always say, keep a diary and someday it'll keep you.

--Mae West

sunset and agave stalk

Dating means two things; disillusionment or a racing heart.

--Mae West

brown and black leaf in close up photography

Men are my hobby, if I ever got married I'd have to give it up.

--Mae West

yellow and green forest during daytime

No gold-digging for me; I take diamonds! We may be off the gold standard someday.

--Mae West

None

I like a man who's good, but not too good -- for the good die young, and I hate a dead one.

--Mae West

silhouette of mountains during starry night

A man in love is like a clipped coupon -- it's time to cash in.

--Mae West

blue sky with stars during night time

Good women are no fun... The only good woman I can recall in history was Betsy Ross. And all she ever made was a flag.

--Mae West

cloudy sky

It's not the men in your life that matters, it's the life in your men.

--Mae West

flat lay photography of several hanging ornaments

I consider sex a misdemeanor, the more I miss, de meaner I get.

--Mae West

bare tress and mountain

Never mind about the six feet. Let's talk about the seven inches.

--Mae West

calm body of water and mountain

I speak two languages, Body and English.

--Mae West

brown and red paint brushes

Opportunity knocks for every man, but you have to give a woman a ring.

--Mae West

autumn leaves on body of water

The best way to hold a man is in your arms.

--Mae West

low angle photo of starry night

I go for two kinds of men. The kind with muscles, and the kind without.

--Mae West

aerial photography of forest

Words should be used as tools of communication and not as a substitute for action.

--Mae West

bonfire at night

Flattery will get you everywhere.

--Mae West

man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

--Mae West

silhouette of children's running on hill

Save a boyfriend for a rainy day -- and another, in case it doesn't rain.

--Mae West

pink flower

When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.

--Mae West


crack in wall

It's all right for a perfect stranger to kiss your hand as long as he's perfect.

--Mae West

shorebird on pier

I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

--Mae West

aerial photography of forest

Women want certain things in marriage -- the right to a title and a front seat in the lap of luxury.

--Mae West

photography of starry sky

One more drink and I'll be under the host.

--Mae West

green-leafed trees during daytime

The curve is more powerful than the sword.

--Mae West

sunset

Men are not realists -- only women are.

--Mae West

dome tent with galaxy with stars

Don't ever make the same mistake twice unless it pays.

--Mae West

We wish you a perfect day!