Apr

27

Decades ago I had heard the quote, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics," attributed to Mark Twain. Then a few years ago I read that Twain got it from Benjamin Disraeli. However just the other day I read it attributed to Thomas Carlyle. The three were contemporaries. Does anyone know the true originator?

Philip J. McDonnell replies:

Phrases.org says Twain attributes it to Disraeli in Twain's autobiography. But Phrases.org claims the earliest known written reference is by Lord Leonard H. Courtney. The observation is made that Courtney's quote attributed the phrase to the "Wise Statesman" who may or may not be a specific person. 


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