Discretion Sayings and Quotes

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

All food is fit to eat but not all words are fit to speak. Haitian (on discretion)
Discretion is the better part of valor. William Shakespeare
Don't spill the beans. unknown
For news of the heart, ask the face. Guinean (on life and living)
Forethought is easy, repentance is hard. Chinese (on discretion)
Give thy thoughts no tongue. William Shakespeare
Having two ears and one tongue, we should listen twice as much as we speak. Turkish (on discretion)
Least said, soonest mended unknown
Little pitchers have big ears. John Heywood
Nothing is as burdensome as a secret. French Proverb
Proclaim not all thou knowest, all thou owest, all thou hast, nor all thou can'st. Benjamin Franklin
Silence is sometimes the answer. Estonian (on discretion)
Some things are better left unsaid. unknown
Stones decay, words last. Samoan (on discretion)
The tongue has no bones, yet it breaks bones. Greek (on discretion)
Words should be weighed not counted. Yiddish (on discretion)
Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life. Walter Scott
Discretion is nothing other than the sense of justice with respect to the sphere of the intimate contents of life. Georg Simmel
Discretion is the polite word for hypocrisy. Christine Keeler
Judgment is not upon all occasions required, but discretion always is. Philip Stanhope
A sound discretion is not so much indicated by never making a mistake as by never repeating it. Christian Nestell Bovee
Discretion is the better part of not getting exsanguinated. Jim Butcher
Why must you speak your thoughts? Silence, if fair words stick in your throat, would serve all our ends better. J.R.R. Tolkien
Discretion is a girl's best friend. Learn when to use it, and when to let it slip. Jennifer Megan Varnadore
Discretion is being able to raise your eyebrow instead of your voice. Author Unknown
Discretion is the salt, and fancy the sugar of life; the one preserves, the other sweetens it. John Christian Bovee
The age of discretion is the age of impotence. Author Unknown
Without discretion, people may be overlaid with unreasonable affection, and choked with too much nourishment. Jeremy Collier
Be discreet in all things, and so render it unnecessary to be mysterious Author Unknown
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
Be wiser than other people, if you can; but do not tell them so. Lord Chesterfield
Depart from discretion when it interferes with duty. Hannah More
A closed mouth catches no flies. Miguel de Cervantes
An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of wit. American Proverb
Let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action. Hamlet
Never say 'oops' in the operating room. Dr. Leo Troy
A sound discretion is not so much indicated by never making a mistake as by never repeating it. Christian Nestell Bovee
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
Nothing is more dangerous than a friend without discretion; even a prudent enemy is preferable. Jean de la Fontaine
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
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
Prudence is the virtue by which we discern what is proper to do under various circumstances in time and place. John Milton
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
Have more than you show. Speak less than you know. William Shakespeare
Live without pretending. Love without depending. Listen without defending. Speak without offending. Drake
Of all the virtues, discretion began to seem the most rewarding: it kept people guessing and sometimes, by default, admiring. Julia Glass
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
Absolute discretion is a ruthless master. It is more destructive of freedom than any of man's other inventions. William O. Douglas
Be discreet in all things, and so render it unnecessary to be mysterious about any. Wellington
open your mouth and purse cautiously, and your stock of wealth and reputation shall, at least in repute, be great. Zimmerman
The better part of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life. Shakespeare
Discretion is the perfection of reason and a guide to us in all the duties of life. It is only found in men of sound sense and good understanding. Bruyere
If thou art a master, be sometimes blind, if a servant, sometimes deaf. Fuller
To know the evil of others and not speak it is sometimes discretion; to speak evil of others and not know it, is always dishonesty. A. Warwick
Judgment is not upon all occasions required, but discretion always is. Lord Chesterfield
Not only to say the right thing in the right place but, far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. George A. Sala
Forbear to mention what thou canst not praise. Matthew Prior
You never know till you try to reach them how accessible men are, but you must approach each man by the right door. Henry Ward Beecher
If indeed you must be candid, be candid beautifully. Khalil Gibran
Only trust thyself, and another shall not betray thee. William Penn
When information is withheld, ignorance becomes a reasonable excuse. They see not, therefore they feel not. Thomas Paine
Great ability without discretion comes almost invariably to a tragic end. Gambetta
When wisdom entereth into thine heart and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, discretion shall preserve thee, and understanding shall keep thee. Proverbs 2:10-11
Why do you judge or look down on your brother?; for we all shall stand before the judgment seat of God. Roman 14:10
It is not well to see everything, nor to hear everything. Seneca
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. William James
If one person tells thou hast to assess' ears, take no notice; should two tell thee so, procure a saddle for thyself. Hebrew Proverb
A wise man wavers, a fool is fixed. Scottish Proverb
One is received according to one's coat; one is dismissed according to one's brain. Russian Proverb
Thy friend has a friend, and thy friend's friend has a friend: be discreet. Hebrew Proverb
Discretion is the perfection of reason and a guide to us in all the duties of life. It is only found in men of sound sense and understanding. Jean De La Bruyere
Discretion is leaving a few things unsaid. Elbert Hubbard
Ah, turn your pretty eyes away! / You would not have me love again? / Love's pleasure does not live a day, / Immortal is Love's pain, / And I am tired of the pain. Edith Nesbitt
One can pass on responsibility, but not the discretion that goes with it. Benvenuto Cellini
Discretion is a synonym for intelligence. Eloisa James
Philosophy is nothing but discretion. John Selden
If you tell someone a secret and ask them to keep it secret, you are asking them to display a discretion you are unable to display yourself. Jill Paton Walsh
While discretion points out the impropriety of my conduct, inclination urges me on to ruin. Susanna Rowson

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