Idleness Quotes

Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds.

Lord Chesterfield (Philip Dormer Stanhope, fourth Earl of Chesterfield) 1694-1773 ‘Letters to his Son’ (1774) 20 July 1749

Grief is a species of idleness.

Samuel Johnson 1709-84 Letter to Mrs Thrale, 17 March 1773, in R. W. Chapman (ed.) ‘The Letters of Samuel Johnson’ (1952) vol. 1

I never remember feeling tired by work, though idleness exhausts me completely

Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and governments.

Benjamin Franklin

Work is no disgrace: it is idleness which is a disgrace


Idleness is the only refuge of weak minds, and the holiday of fools

Lord Chesterfield

Idleness is to be dead at the limbs but alive within


Idleness is the Dead Sea that swallows all virtues

Benjamin Franklin

In idleness there is a perpetual despair

Thomas Carlyle

Prolonged idleness paralyzes initiative


Be not solitary, be not idle

Robert Burton

A pound of idleness weighs twenty ounces


Hunger is not the worst feature of unemployment; idleness is.

William E. Barrett

Life is not long and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation how it shall be spent.

Samuel Johnson

All man’s troubles come from not knowing how to sit still in one room.

Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 1670

Nobody can think straight who does not work.  Idleness warps the mind.

Henry Ford

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought.  There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor

Victor Hugo

Shun idleness.  It is a rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant metals.


Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good.

Soren Kierkegaard

Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness.

William Wordsworth

I wonder at the idleness of tears.

Lizette Woodworth Reese

Idleness is an appendix to nobility.

Robert Burton

Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds.

Lord Chesterfield

Idleness is the beginning of all vice, the crown of all virtues.

Franz Kafka

Idleness is the heaviest of all oppressions.

Victor Hugo

Idleness is the parent of psychology.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Idleness is the stupidity of the body, and stupidity is the idleness of the mind.

Johann G. Seume

Idleness is to the human mind like rust to iron.

Ezra Cornell

Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen.

Jerome K. Jerome

Toil is no source of shame; idleness is shame.


Trouble springs from idleness, and grievous toil from needless ease.

Benjamin Franklin

We cannot afford idleness, waste or inefficiency.

Eamon de Valera

Work is no disgrace: it is idleness which is a disgrace.


Work with some men is as besetting a sin as idleness.

Samuel Butler

Writing is a dreadful labor, yet not so dreadful as Idleness.

Thomas Carlyle

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