[Ads-l] Quotation inquiry: Competitions are for horses, not for musicians

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 26 06:55:38 UTC 2021

The saying in the subject line has been attributed to Hungarian
composer Béla Bartók. I received a request to find a solid citation,
but I have not succeeded, and your help is requested.

The Quote Investigator article has a citation in English from "The New
York Times" dated September 5, 1958, but Bartók died in 1945. Here is
a link to the QI article:


A citation in Hungarian or English before 1958 would be helpful, and a
citation directly from the mouth of Bartók would be fantastic.

A Hungarian musicologist might know more. Perhaps you can relay this inquiry?

In 1969 Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti published "Szigeti on the
Violin". He attributed the saying to Bartók, and he suggested that the
Hungarian word “verseny” was part of the expression.

Garson O'Toole

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

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