[Ads-l] Quote: I never vote for anybody. I always vote against

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 7 04:31:48 UTC 2020

An inquirer wished to know more about expressions of the type in the
subject line. The Yale Book of Quotations has a pertinent entry for
Franklin P. Adams dated 1944, and a pertinent entry for W. C. Fields
dated 1949. Barry Popik has an article with citations beginning in

Now the Quote Investigator website has an article with citations
beginning in 1893. Here is an abbreviated sampling.

1893 October 30: attributed to Richard Croker
[Begin excerpt]
. . . a mugwump as a man who always votes against somebody and never
votes for anybody.
[End excerpt]

1916 November 13, Franklin P. Adams
[Begin excerpt]
Voters went to the polls, as had been observed frequently, with the
intention to vote against Somebody rather than for Somebody.
[End excerpt]

1925 October 12, H. L. Mencken,
[Begin excerpt]
It is a commonplace of political observation under democracy that the
plain people never vote for anything, but always against something.
[End excerpt]

1949. biography of W. C. Fields
[Begin excerpt]
“Hell, I never vote for anybody,” cried Fields, incensed, “I always
vote against.”
[End excerpt]

Feedback welcome
Garson O'Toole

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list