Quote: "If you were my husband I'd give you poison!" "If you were my wife I'd take it."

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 28 00:02:25 UTC 2014

The famous repartee listed in the subject line is usually attributed
to Nancy Astor and Winston Churchill. The Yale Book of Quotations,
Brewer’s Famous Quotations, and other references have information on
this topic.

Barry Popik shared his results in a valuable entry here:



Here is a link to the new entry on the QI website:

 “If I Were Your Wife I’d Put Poison in Your Tea!” “If I Were Your
Husband I'd Drink It”


The entry presents an attribution to Churchill in 1949. Previous
researchers found a 1952 citation. The entry lists the earliest
instance of the joke on November 18, 1899. This is only a day earlier
than Barry's discovery, but the cite includes an acknowledgement to a
source called the “Listener”. Hence it provides a possible lead to an
earlier cite.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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