Discretion Quotes

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Discretion Quotes

The prudent man is always sincere, and feels horror at the very thought of exposing himself to the disgrace which attends upon the detection of falsehood. But though always sincere, he is not always frank and open; and though he never tells any thing but the truth, he does not always think himself bound, when not properly called upon, to tell the whole truth. As he is cautious in his actions, so he is reserved in his speech; and never rashly or unnecessarily obtrudes his opinion concerning either things or persons.

Adam Smith

An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of wit.

American Proverb

Be discreet in all things, and so render it unnecessary to be mysterious

Author Unknown

Discretion is being able to raise your eyebrow instead of your voice.

Author Unknown

Don’t underestimate me. I know more than I say, think more rhan I speak and notice more than you realize.

Author Unknown

No matter what they tell you, you don’t have to stay within the lines.

Author Unknown

The age of discretion is the age of impotence.

Author Unknown

Proclaim not all thou knowest, all thou owest, all thou hast, nor all thou can’st.

Benjamin Franklin

Men are born with two eyes, but with one tongue, in order that they should see twice as much as they say.

Charles Caleb Colton

Forethought is easy, repentance is hard.

Chinese (on discretion)

A sound discretion is not so much indicated by never making a mistake as by never repeating it.

Christian Nestell Bovee

A sound discretion is not so much indicated by never making a mistake as by never repeating it.

Christian Nestell Bovee

Discretion is the polite word for hypocrisy.

Christine Keeler

Never say ‘oops’ in the operating room.

Dr. Leo Troy

Live without pretending. Love without depending. Listen without defending. Speak without offending.


Silence is sometimes the answer.

Estonian (on discretion)

Discretion of speech is more than eloquence, and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words, or in good order.

Francis Bacon

Nothing is as burdensome as a secret.

French Proverb

Discretion is nothing other than the sense of justice with respect to the sphere of the intimate contents of life.

Georg Simmel

The tongue has no bones, yet it breaks bones.

Greek (on discretion)

For news of the heart, ask the face.

Guinean (on life and living)

All food is fit to eat but not all words are fit to speak.

Haitian (on discretion)

Let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action.


Depart from discretion when it interferes with duty.

Hannah More

Why must you speak your thoughts? Silence, if fair words stick in your throat, would serve all our ends better.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Nothing is more dangerous than a friend without discretion; even a prudent enemy is preferable.

Jean de la Fontaine

Discretion is a girl’s best friend. Learn when to use it, and when to let it slip.

Jennifer Megan Varnadore

Without discretion, people may be overlaid with unreasonable affection, and choked with too much nourishment.

Jeremy Collier

Discretion is the better part of not getting exsanguinated.

Jim Butcher

Discretion is the salt, and fancy the sugar of life; the one preserves, the other sweetens it.

John Christian Bovee

Little pitchers have big ears.

John Heywood

Prudence is the virtue by which we discern what is proper to do under various circumstances in time and place.

John Milton

Of all the virtues, discretion began to seem the most rewarding: it kept people guessing and sometimes, by default, admiring.

Julia Glass

Be wiser than other people, if you can; but do not tell them so.

Lord Chesterfield

A closed mouth catches no flies.

Miguel de Cervantes

I consider it a mark of great prudence in a man to abstain from threats or any contemptuous expressions, for neither of these weaken the enemy, but threats make him more cautious, and the other excites his hatred, and a desire to revenge himself.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Judgment is not upon all occasions required, but discretion always is.

Philip Stanhope

Stones decay, words last.

Samoan (on discretion)

Having two ears and one tongue, we should listen twice as much as we speak.

Turkish (on discretion)

Don’t spill the beans.


Least said, soonest mended


Some things are better left unsaid.


Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life.

Walter Scott

Every man has a certain sphere of discretion which he has a right to expect shall not be infringed by his neighbours. This right flows from the very nature of man.

William Godwin

Absolute discretion is a ruthless master. It is more destructive of freedom than any of man’s other inventions.

William O. Douglas

Discretion is the better part of valor.

William Shakespeare

Give thy thoughts no tongue.

William Shakespeare

Have more than you show. Speak less than you know.

William Shakespeare

Words should be weighed not counted.

Yiddish (on discretion)

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