List of political catchphrases

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The following is a list of political catchphrases, that is, distinctive statements uttered by political figures that have gone on to become well known.

Catchphrases may originate as political slogans, as portions of prepared speeches, or from spontaneous utterances, including gaffes. Most catchphrases are in the form of sound bites.


  • "¡Seamos libres, que lo demás no importa nada!" ("Let us be free, for the rest doesn't matter!") – Said in a pre-battle speech in 1817 by General José de San Martín to his troops just before the Battle of Chacabuco during the Crossing of the Andes.
  • "Tomar a todo el país como Dios y el hombre lo han hecho." ("Take the whole country as God and man have made it.") – Spoken by Bartolomé Mitre after the Battle of Pavon in 1861, about the need for national unification and federalization of all Argentine provinces.
  • "Ahora comienza una época de paz y administración." ("Now we begin a period of peace and administration.") – Spoken by then President Julio Argentino Roca during his inauguration speech in 1880, promising that peace and national organization would be achieved in his presidency after nearly thirty years of civil war and internal conflict.
  • "Que se rompa, pero que no se doble." ("Let it break, but never bend.") – The last words of Leandro Alem, leader of the Unión Cívica Radical, in his suicide letter, which was written in 1896. The phrase refers to his party's intransigent doctrine. Now commonly used as a slogan for the UCR.
  • "La única verdad es la realidad." ("The only truth is reality.") – A phrase typically used by President Juan Domingo Perón when telling his allies to be rational.[1]
  • "Mejor que decir es hacer, y mejor que prometer es realizar." ("Better than saying is doing, and better than promising is accomplishing.") – Perón, in a speech when he was Secretary of Labour and Welfare.[1]
  • "El año 2000 nos encontrará unidos o dominados." ("The year 2000 will find us united or dominated".) – Perón, talking about the need for Latin American integration.[2]
  • "Cuando uno de los nuestros caiga, caerán cinco de los de ellos." ("For each one of ours that falls, five of theirs will fall.") – Spoken by President Juan D. Perón on 31 August 1955, addressing his supporters to take revenge for the bombing of Buenos Aires by the military on 16 June the same year, which had caused around 300 casualties.[3]
  • "Ni vencedores ni vencidos." ("Neither victors nor beaten.") – General Eduardo Lonardi in September 1955, after overthrowing the government of Juan Perón, and before being displaced by the hard-line antiperonists within the new government.[4]
  • "Se acabó la leche de la clemencia." ("The milk of clemency is over.") – Deputy Américo Ghioldi, inciting the military dictatorship of Aramburu to execute the leaders of a failed uprising, in 1956.[5]
  • "Hay que pasar el invierno." ("We have to endure the winter.")[6] – Said in 1960 by Álvaro Alsogaray, Minister of Economy in the Frondizi government, referring to the hardships required to get through the economic troubles in the country, which was in dire need of oil.
  • "No renunciaré, no me suicidaré, no me iré del país" ("I will not resign, I will not commit suicide, I will not leave the country.") – Said in 1962 by President Arturo Frondizi under the threat of a military coup d'état. He initially resisted his ousting but was eventually forced at gunpoint into arrest in the Isla Martín García Prison.
  • "El comandante en jefe de las fuerzas armadas soy yo." ("The commander in chief of the armed forces is I.") – Said in 1966 by then President Arturo Illia to General Juan Carlos Onganía when the latter told the president that the armed forces were starting a coup d'état.
  • "Sólo la organización vence al tiempo." ("Only organization overcomes time.") – Perón, warning about the need for generational change within his party.[1]
  • "Estúpidos imberbes." ("Young idiots.") – Insult infamously used by Juan Perón to refer to the Montoneros faction of his party while expelling them from Plaza de Mayo.
  • "Este viejo adversario despide a un amigo." ("This old adversary bids farewell to a friend.") – Said in 1974 by former head of the UCR, Ricardo Balbín at Juan Domingo Perón's funeral. Balbín had been Perón's biggest enemy during his political career, but the phrase symbolizes how, despite their enmity, Balbín was respectful enough to solemnly attend his funeral.[7]
  • "Es una incógnita, es un desaparecido. No tiene entidad, no está. No está ni muerto ni vivo, está desaparecido." ("It's an unknown, it's a disappeared. It has no entity, it is not there. It is Neither dead or alive, it is disappeared.") – Spoken in 1979 by de facto President Jorge Videla regarding the people who were sent into forced disappearances during the Proceso de Reorganización Nacional.[8]
  • "El que apuesta al dólar pierde." ("Whoever bets on the dollar loses") – Said in 1981 by then Minister of Economy Lorenzo Sigaut, paradoxically, two days before a large devaluation. Two days after this statement the dollar increased in value by 30% making everyone who had "bet" to the dollar rich.
  • "Si quieren venir, que vengan. ¡Les presentaremos batalla!" ("If they want to come, let them come. We will offer them a battle!") – Said by de facto President Leopoldo Galtieri regarding the British during the events that led to the Falklands War.
  • "La casa está en orden." ("The house is in order.") – Said by President Raúl Alfonsín about the Casa Rosada (The official headquarters of the executive power) after a failed coup d'état by the right-wing Carapintadas movement.
  • "Nunca más." ("Never again.") – The closing lines of Julio César Strassera's final statement while acting as the prosecutor during the Trial of the Juntas, a civil trial against the military leaders who headed dictatorship during the National Reorganization Process.
  • "¡A vos no te va tan mal, gordito!" ("You're not doing so badly, fatty!") – Yelled by Raúl Alfonsín to a heckling overweight man in the crowd during a speech, who complained about food shortages. An ironic line, since according to Alfonsín, the overweight man did not lack food.
  • "Síganme, no los voy a defraudar." ("Follow me, I will not let you down.") – Campaign slogan of President Carlos Menem. In retrospect ironic due to the extreme neoliberal policies that characterized Menem's presidency, which contradicted the populist promises of his campaign and the political corruption that characterized his presidency.
  • "Tenemos que dejar de robar por al menos dos años." ("We should stop embezzling for at least two years") – Trade-unionist Luis Barrionuevo in an interview in 1991, referring to the then massive amount of political corruption in the country.
  • "Dicen que soy aburrido." ("They say I'm boring") – a catch phrase of Fernando de la Rúa during his presidential campaign.
  • "El país está...bien." ("The country is...fine.") – A phrase said by Fernando de la Rúa when the 2000 Argentine Crisis started.
  • "Argentina es un país condenado al éxito." ("Argentina is a country doomed to success") – Phrase recurrently used by Eduardo Duhalde during his exercise of presidency after the 2001 crisis.[9]
  • "Mi voto no es positivo, mi voto es en contra." ("My vote is not positive, my vote is against.") – Phrase pronounced by Vice President Julio Cobos in 2008 in the Senate, when he voted against a farm tax project from his own political force.[10]
  • "Me quiero ir." ("I want to leave.")[11] – Phrase spoken by Minister of the Economy Hernán Lorenzino to suddenly end an interview with Greek journalist Eleni Varvitsioti when she asked a question about the country's inflation that he was unable to answer.
  • "A todos y a todas." ("Everyone and everyone") – The typical opening, and grammatically incorrect, greeting of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner during her presidency. Kirchner added "todas" (the feminine form of todos) to be gender inclusive. The Real Academia Española opposes such usage. [12]
  • "Bad Information" – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in response to the question of American journalist Dexter Filkins who asked her why she originally alleged Alberto Nisman committed suicide.




  • "Lernen Sie Geschichte, Herr Reporter!" ("Study History, Mr. Reporter") said by then Chancellor Bruno Kreisky to TV journalist Ulricht Brunner, who had questioned Kreisky's comparing the actions of political opponents to fascism in the 1930s.[33]
  • "Ohne die Partei bin ich nichts" ("Without the Party I am nothing") said by Federal Chancellor Fred Sinowatz of the then Austrian Socialist Party[34]
  • "Ich weiß, das klingt alles sehr kompliziert...", usually rendered as "Es ist alles sehr kompliziert..." ("I know, this all sounds complicated...", "Everything is very complicated...") said by Federal Chancellor Fred Sinowatz; the phrase is used ironically to hide the fact that one is not able to elaborate on a subject or may even be clueless about it.[35]
  • "Es reicht!" ("It's over!") said by the then Vice Chancellor Wilhelm Molterer of the Austrian People's Party in 2008 pronouncing the end of the grand coalition with the Social Democratic Party of Austria.


  • "Rashtro Bhasha Bangla Chai" (We want Bangla as state language) – Bengali Language Movement, 1952
  • "Joy Bangla" (Victory to Bengal) – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Leader of Bangladesh war of independence in 1971
  • "Digital Bangladesh" – Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh and President of Awami League
  • "Joodho Oparadhider Bichar Chai" (Want Trial for the war criminals) – War Crimes Trial Movement
  • "Desh Bachao! Manush Bachao!" (Save the country! Save the people!) – Khaleda Zia, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh and Chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party
  • "Shadinota Birodhi Shokti" (Anti-liberation forces) – Used to describe the political parties/Pakistan Army and intelligence services/Islamic extremist and militant groups which opposed the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.
  • "Jago Bangladesh" (Wake Up Bangladesh) – Moeen U Ahmed, former Chief of Army Staff, Bangladesh Army in 2007
  • Priyo Bhai O Boner Ra (Dear brothers and sisters) – Widely used by politicians and activists whilst addressing audiences
  • "Nagorik Shakti" (Citizen Power) – Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and Managing Director of Grameen Bank in 2007


In Dutch

  • "De grondwet is geen vodje papier." – (The constitution is not some scrap of paper.) – Leo Tindemans – 1978[36]
  • "Je moet de problemen alleen oplossen als ze zich stellen" – (You only have to solve problems if they occur) – Jean-Luc Dehaene[37]
  • "Vijf minuten politieke moed" – (Five minutes of political courage) – Yves Leterme[38]
  • "Sire, geef mij honderd dagen" – (Sire, give me 100 days) – Jean-Luc Dehaene – 1988[39]
  • "Wie gelooft die mensen nog?" – (Who still believes those people?) – Yves Leterme[40]

In English

In French

Dutch – French



  • "Só morto sairei do Catete"! ("Only dead I'll leave the Catete [Palace]!") – said by then-president Getúlio Vargas when he was being pressed by opposition parties to leave the presidency. This would come true, as Vargas would end his presidency by committing suicide in his palace.
  • "E se o Pitta não for um bom prefeito, nunca mais vote em mim." ("And if Pitta can't be a good mayor, you should never vote for me again.") – said by Paulo Maluf in the campaign for the 1996 São Paulo city elections, where he supported Celso Pitta. Pitta was later involved in corruption scandals and served time in prison.[46]
  • "Estupra, mas não mata." ("Rape, but don't kill.") – said by Paulo Maluf during his classes in one of São Paulo's University.
  • "Relaxa e goza!" ("Relax and enjoy!") – said by Marta Suplicy at the peak of the 2006–2007 Brazilian aviation crisis, taken from an older, longer non-political popular saying, "Se a curra é inevitável, relaxa e goza" ("If the rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy"). The word "goza" comes from the verb "gozar" which, in formal Brazilian Portuguese, means "to enjoy" (in literal sense) or "to make fun of/to mock at" (in another sense); in the case of the aforementioned sentence, it comes from the vulgar Brazilian Portuguese expression "to have an orgasm" (equalling to sexual verb "to cum").[47]
  • "Bebo-o porque é líquido. Se fosse sólido, comê-lo-ia." ("I drink it because it's liquid. If it were solid, I would eat it.") – said by Jânio Quadros when asked by a reporter why he used to drink. Quadros' use of embedded, implicit nouns ("-o" and "-lo-") make the phrase overly formal for modern political speech.[48]
  • "Brasil, ame-o ou deixe-o!" ("Brazil, love it or leave it!") – said by Brazilian military dictatorship president Emílio Garrastazu Médici in 1970, as the Brazilian Army's motto of armed combat against Communist guerrilla fighters, who intended to overthrow the military government. The sentence implied that anyone aligned with any kind of left-wing movements at the time was supposed to leave the country in order to not get arrested or even killed amid the subsequent chaos.
  • "Meus amigos e minhas amigas! Estou absolutamente convencido de que nunca antes na história deste país..." ("My [male] friends and my [female] friends! I am absolutely convinced that never before in the history of this country...") – said by Lula whenever he praises his own government.[49]
  • "Saio da vida para entrar na história." ("I leave life to enter history.") – the very last sentence of Getúlio Vargas's Carta Testamento, a letter he wrote to the citizens of Brazil before his (presumed) suicide.
  • "Jamais iria te estuprar porque você não merece!" ("I would never rape you because you're not worth it!") - said (in a very mockingly tone) by congressman Jair Bolsonaro to congresswoman Maria do Rosário Nunes in 2003, when she accused him of "promoting sexual violence" against Brazilian women.



  • "我這裡準備了一百口棺材,九十九口留給貪官,一口留給自己!" (I've prepared 100 coffins. 99 for corrupt officials and one for myself.), said by Zhu Rongji, Premier of the People's Republic of China 1998–2003.[66]
  • "你们啊!You are all too young, too simple, sometimes naive! 係唔係啊?" (A mixture of Mandarin, English and Cantonese, in that order, meaning "You... You are all too young, too simple, sometimes naive! Isn't that right?") Said by Jiang Zemin, President of the People's Republic of China 1993–2003, in response to a Hong Kong reporter asking if he had signed an "imperial order" to appoint Tung Chee-hwa to another term as Chief Executive of Hong Kong.[67]
  • "不管白貓黑貓,逮住老鼠就是好貓。" (No matter if it is a white cat or a black cat; as long as it can catch mice, it is a good cat.) Said by Deng Xiaoping, paramount leader of china, in reference to economic liberalization.[68]
  • "你辦事,我放心。" (With you in charge, I am at ease), Chairman Mao Zedong's alleged dying instructions to Hua Guofeng in 1976, used by the latter and his supporters to justify his position as Mao's handpicked successor.[69]
  • "你懂的" (You know what I mean), answer given by a spokesperson of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to a question about the case of Zhou Yongkang in 2013. Essentially means "I think you know about it, I know about it, but we cannot talk about it." Since then, it has been used in a similar context to apply to many other officials.
  • "一派胡言!" (A load of bullshit!), response given by Bo Xilai when asked if his son was driving around a Ferrari to have dinner with the daughter of then-U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Jr..[70]

Hong Kong[edit]

  • Try our breast – lawmaker-elect Gary Chan's comment upon being declared elected in the early morning of 8 September 2008. The phrase he intended to say was 'try our best'. The phrase has since been used as a derogatory way to describe people's problem with proper pronunciations.


  • "Tenemos que reducir la corrupción a sus justas proporciones" ("We must reduce corruption to its fair proportions") as said by former president Julio César Turbay Ayala.
  • "América Latina debe seguir el modelo de educación de Estados Unidos, que permite que los niños desde muy temprana edad manejen el idioma inglés." ("Latin America must follow the US education model, that allows children to handle the English language from a very early age") as said by the former president Julio César Turbay Ayala.
  • "Yo no estoy a favor ni en contra, sino todo lo contrario" ("I'm not in favor nor against, but quite the opposite") as said by former president Julio César Turbay Ayala.
  • "Las encuestas son como las morcillas: muy sabrosas hasta que uno sabe cómo las hacen". ("Statistics are like blood sausage: they are delicious until you find out how they're made") as said by former presidential candidate Álvaro Gómez Hurtado.
  • "Colombianos, bienvenidos al futuro" ("Colombians, welcome to the future") as said by former president César Gaviria Trujillo.
  • "Aquí estoy y aquí me quedo" ("Here I am, and here I stay") as said former president Ernesto Samper Pizano.
  • "Si entró dinero del narcotráfico en mi campaña presidencial, en todo caso fue a mis espaldas". ("If there was money from the drug traffic in my presidential campaign, it was behind my back") as said former president Ernesto Samper Pizano.
  • "¡Mamola!" ("No way!") as said by Horacio Serpa.
  • "Dejen jugar al moreno" ("Allow the colored to play") as said by Carlos Moreno de Caro for the counselor campaign of Bogotá.
  • "Trabajar, trabajar y trabajar" ("To work, to work and to work") as said by Álvaro Uribe Vélez in his presidential speeches.
  • "No más sangre, no más depredaciones en nombre de ningún partido político: paz, justicia y libertad" ("Not more blood, not more pillagings in the name of any political party: peace, justice and freedom") as said from former president Gustavo Rojas Pinilla in 1953.



  • "Patria o muerte, venceremos" ("Homeland or death, we will triumph") said by Che Guevara on December, 11th, 1964 at the United Nations General Assembly.
  • "Vas bien, Fidel" ("You're doing fine, Fidel") said by Camilo Cienfuegos on January, 8th, 1959 at a rally where Castro was speaking and asked Cienfuegos if he was doing fine.


  • "Der er ikke fejet noget ind under gulvtæppet" ("Nothing has been swept under the rug"), Poul Schlüter Danish Prime Minister in 1989.
  • "Jeg kan slå Anders Fogh" ("I can beat Anders Fogh"), Helle Thorning-Schmidt, when elected leader of the Danish Social Democrats in 2005.
  • "Der er ikke noget at komme efter" ("There is nothing to this [story/accusation]")*, Anders Fogh Rasmussen Danish Prime Minister 2001–2009.
  • "Ytringsfrihed er ytringsfrihed er ytringsfrihed. Der er intet men." ("Freedom of speech is freedom of speech is freedom of speech. There is no 'but'.") Per Nyholm about the cartoons in the Jyllands-Posten.

Dominican Republic[edit]

  • "La Constitución es sólo un pedazo de papel." (The Constitution is just a piece of paper.) Joaquín Balaguer in 1994.
  • "El problema del dengue se resuelve si cada dominicano mata diez mosquitos diarios." (Dengue issues can be solved if each Dominican kills ten mosquitoes per day.) José Rodríguez Soldevila, former Minister of Health.
  • "Si me tocan, la República cogerá fuego por las cuatro esquinas." (If they touch me, the Republic will burn by its four corners.) José Francisco Peña Gómez, during the 1994 elections, about an alleged assassination attempt.
  • "Se hizo pupú fuera del cajón." (He pooped out of the box.) Joaquín Balaguer, accusing Peña Gómez of paranoia, during the 1994 elections.
  • "No hay presos políticos, sino políticos presos." (There are no political prisoners, only imprisoned politicians.) Joaquín Balaguer in 1978.
  • "¿Que la carne está muy cara? ¡Nadie ha dicho que hay que comer carne todos los dias! ¡Coman berenjena!" (Meat is expensive? Nobody said you have to eat meat every single day! Eat eggplant!) Hipólito Mejía.
  • "E' pa'lante que vamos!" (It's forward where we go!) Leonel Fernández.


  • "Eesti mees, eesti naine!"(Estonian man, Estonian woman!) was the starting phrase of the speeches and articles by the leaders of the Vaps movement.
  • "Meie olukord on sitt, aga see on meie tuleviku väetis" (The situation is shitty, but this is the fertilizer of our future) by President of Estonia Lennart Meri in 1997.
  • "Ükskord me võidame, niikuinii!" (One day we will win, no matter what!) Heinz Valk's famous phrase during the Singing Revolution


  • "Kyllä kansa tietää" ("The people know [best]") by Veikko Vennamo
  • "Tuli iso jytky!" (Could be translated to "That was a huge hit!") and "Tänään on tilipäivä!" ("Today is payday!") by Timo Soini after the historical parliamental election victory of True Finns in April 2011
  • "EU on rikkaiden oma Neuvostoliitto" ("The European Union is rich people's own Soviet Union"), Timo Soini.
  • "Saatanan tunarit" ("Fucking blunderers") by president Urho Kekkonen, first said in a critical letter to the former governor of the Kymi district. Has since lived on among the Finnish people.
  • "Aivan aluksi haluaisin kiittää..." ("First of all, I would like to thank...") by Jutta Urpilainen of Social Democratic Party of Finland. She started many of her interviews with those words after the 2008 parliamentary elections.[71] She used the phrase also after the 2011 elections as a joke.[72]



  • "მინდა მე ორი კაცი, ორი გვამი მჭირდება, მომიტანეთ ეს ორი გვამი, ვსიო, პრემია დიდია" (I want two men; I need two corpses. Bring me these two corpses, that’s it. Bonus is high.)[73]Vano Merabishvili
  • "თქვენ არ გსმენიათ, რომ მეუღლის ნათესავი არ არის ნათესავი?" (Don't you know that the relatives of your wife is not your relative?)[74]Irakli Garibashvili
  • "დემოკრატია ლობიოობა არ არის" (Democracy is not being a Lobio - Lobio is a synonym of "weak" in Georgian slang)[75]Jaba Ioseliani
  • "აბაშიძე გაიქცა, აჭარა თავისუფალია" (Abashidze fled, Adjara is free ) – Mikheil Saakashvili
  • "აბა ჩვენ ზანგები ვართ? რატომ ვიქცევით ველურებივით?" (Are we the Niggers or what? Why are we acting like savages?)[76]Mikheil Saakashvili
  • "მე ივანიშვილის ზებრა არ ვარ" (I am not a Zebra of Ivanishvili)[77]Mikheil Saakashvili
  • "გაზაფხული მემგონი დღეს დადგა, და გაზაფხული მოიტყვანა" (I think it's already a Spring now, and the Spring was fucked. (he wanted to say მოიყვანა (had brought), but instead he said მოიტყვანა (that sounds like "had fucked")[78]Mikheil Saakashvili


  • Period between the Reichs 1806–1871
    • "Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch!" (Workers of the world unite!) From the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels[79]
    • "Ein Gespenst geht um in Europa – das Gespenst des Kommunismus" (A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism) Karl Marx preamble to The Communist Manifesto
  • Imperial Germany 1871–1918
    • "Ich kenne keine Partei mehr, ich kenne nur Deutsche!" (I no longer know of [political] party, I only know Germans) Wilhelm II 1914 in a speech at the parliament, referencing the endorsement of the war by the formerly shunned Social Democrats[80]
  • West Germany 1949–1990
    • "Auch Sie können nicht verhindern, daß ich von Tag zu Tag klüger werde!" (You can't impede my getting wiser day by day.) Konrad Adenauer[81] – This sentence is often mixed up with the following:
    • "Was geht mich mein dummes Geschwätz von vorgestern an!" (What do I care about my yesterday's waffle.) Konrad Adenauer[81][not in citation given]
    • "Maß halten" (Don't overdo it.) Ludwig Erhard's warning against an overheating economy in the 1960s[82]
    • "Wir wollen mehr Demokratie wagen." (We want to dare more democracy.) Willy Brandt on the plans of the social-liberal coalition[83]
    • "Wer Visionen hat, sollte zum Arzt gehen." (Those who have visions should consult a doctor) Helmut Schmidt[84]
    • "Und es gilt auch der Satz. Zum Mitschreiben: Die Rente ist sicher." (And this sentence stands. To co-write: The pension is safe.) Norbert Blüm Firstly used in the campaign 1986. The sentence is often used to show that the government is lying to the people.[85]
    • "Mit Verlaub, Herr Präsident, Sie sind ein Arschloch." (With all due respect, Mr. President, you are an asshole.) Joschka Fischer.[86] He thus addressed the parliament's president after the latter excluded an MP from the debate over an allegation.
  • East Germany 1949–1990
    • "Die Sicherung der Grenze ist das souveräne Recht eines jeden Staates, und so auch unserer Deutschen Demokratischen Republik." (Securing the border is the sovereign right of every state, and that applies to our German Democratic Republic as well.) Erich Honecker
    • "Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten." (No one intends to build a wall.) Walter Ulbricht, 15 June 1961, less than two months before the Berlin Wall was built[87]
  • Federal Republic of Germany 1990–present
    • "Wirtschaft ist für die Menschen da, und nicht umgekehrt, und Demokratie gehört bei die Wirtschaft mit bei." (The economy is for the people, and not vice versa, and economy is a part of democracy.) Franz Müntefering[88] The second part of the compound sentence contains a "folksy" grammatical error that is impossible to translate into English.
    • "Wer nicht arbeitet, soll auch nicht essen." (Who does not work shall not eat.) Franz Müntefering[89]
    • "Es ist Deutschland hier." ("This is Germany." Literally: "It is Germany here.", which is bad grammar, produced by a freshly elected foreign minister known for his arrogance who was asked to answer in English, after having been in the press for demonstrating questionable English skills.) Guido Westerwelle[90]
    • "Ich bin schwul, und das ist auch gut so!" (I am gay, and it's fine this way.) Klaus Wowereit, phrasing his coming out[91]


"Λεφτά υπάρχουν" (there is money) said by George Papandreou, Prime Minister of the country from October 2009 to November 2011, with reference to the excessive waste of public money, tax evasion and black economy, in a speech a year before the elections that brought him to power and some months after the September 2008 financial incidents.[92]


  • "Monnyonle!" (Resign! – with deliberately incorrect spelling and pronunciation) József Torgyán, a former political figure used this phrase very often. The catchphrase became a chanting slogan in demonstrations.
  • "Elkúrtuk, nem kicsit, nagyon." (We screwed it, not a little but a lot.) Ferenc Gyurcsány, former prime minister and Socialist leader, addressing his party members and MPs in a secret speech which was leaked, causing a major political scandal and street riots.
  • "Nem hazudtam, de nem bontottam ki az igazság minden részletét." (I didn't lie. I only didn't elaborate on every detail of the truth.) Ferenc Gyurcsány, former prime minister and Socialist leader in an interview.
  • "A békát sem kérdezik meg, amikor lecsapolják a mocsarat. ("Frogs are not asked for opinion when you want to drain a marshland.") János Kóka, the former leader of Alliance of Free Democrats relating to substantial changes he wanted to introduce in policies for higher education and research.
  • "Sokan voltunk, de mégsem voltunk elegen." (There were many of us but not enough of us.) Viktor Orbán, former center-of-right prime minister, Fidesz party leader about a lost election.


  • "Gitu aja kok repot?" (Why take so much trouble?) Former president Abdurrahman Wahid's popular repeating catchphrase.
  • "Bersama kita bisa." (Together we can.) Slogan of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during 2004 presidential election.
  • "Lanjutkan!" (Continue!) Bambang Yudhoyono's reelection slogan during his campaign in 2009.
  • "Lebih Cepat Lebih Baik" (The Faster The Better) Then-vice president Jusuf Kalla's slogan during his unsuccessful 2009 presidential run, poking fun at Yudhoyono's criticised indecisiveness.
  • "Semua bisa diatur." (Everything can be handled.) Former vice-president Adam Malik's popular catchphrase.
  • "Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka" (Freedom, Freedom, Freedom) Megawati Sukarnoputri, paraphrasing her famous father, Sukarno.
  • "Ganyang Malaysia": Destroy Malaysia [literally: gobble it down raw as per a freshly killed animal] popular anti-neo-colonial slogan of Sukarno, still remaining very popular policy with the Indonesian people to absorb the British-created state of Malaysia, especially in times of Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation.
  • "Marhaeni" and "Marhaenisme"- the Indonesian everyman and enrichment via traditional economics as advocated by Sukarno
  • "Sang Merah Putih sampai Medan ke Merauke" The sacred Red & White [flag] flies from Medan (Sumatra) to Merauke (Papua)- Sukarno.
  • "Indonesia ialah bangsa yang asal di Madagaskar sampai Filipina"- "Indonesian is a nation that stretches from Madagascar to the Philippines"- Sukarno.
  • "I henceforth procalim Tri Kora" (Three commands, namely: tri-command: 1. Defeat the formation of the puppet state of Papua of Dutch colonial make., 2. Unfurl the Honoured Red and White Flag in West Irian, Indonesian native land., 3. Be ready for general mobilisation to defend the independence and unity of Country and Nation.) Sukarno in his United Nations address and a commonly paraphrased slogan when addressing nationalist issues.
  • "Yes, I am a Muslim. But first I am an Indonesian Nationalist "- Sukarno, commonly paraphrased to reinforce Indonesian nationalist-secularist and patriotism.[93]


  • "Inquilab Zindabad" (long live revolution down with imperialism) – Bhagat Singh, freedom fighter of India.
  • "Quit India" –भारत छोडो Mahatma Gandhi in the 1942s.{walk out} चले जाव in 1932[94]
  • "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" (Hail the soldier, hail the farmer) – Lal Bahadur Shastri, ex prime minister of India.[95]
  • "Garibi Hatao (Abolish poverty)" – Indira Gandhi, ex prime minister of India in the 1970s.[citation needed]
  • "My heart beats for India" – The Congress (I) Party, late 1980s.[96]
  • "Indira Hatao, Desh Bachao" – Janata Party 1977[97]
  • "We need to take India into the 21st Century" – by Rajiv Gandhi, ex prime minister of India in the 1980s[98]
  • "Bari Bari Sabki Bari, Abki Bari Atal Bihari" – BJP 1996[99]
  • "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vignaan" (Hail the soldier, hail the farmer, hail the science (scientist)) – Atal Behari Vajpayee, ex prime minister of India.
  • "India Shining" – The BJP, 2004, though the slogan failed miserably and led to a victory for the opposition coalition, the United progressive alliance (UPA)[100]
  • "Congress ka Haath, Aam Aadmi ke Saath"-Indian National Congress 2004[101]
  • "Maa, Mati, Manush" – Trinamool Congress 2012 West-Bengal Election for Mamata Banerjee's campaign to become the Chief Minister.[101]
  • "Abki Baar,Modi Sarkar"[This time, Modi Government] |"Acche Din Ane Wale Hain" [Good days are here to come] – The BJP 2014[102]




  • "הגידו כן לזקן" ("Say Yes to the old man") used during an election campaign in the fifties. The old man is David Ben-Gurion. In Hebrew the phrase (phonetically "hagidu ken lazaken") rhymes.
  • "יש גרמניה אחרת" ("There is different Germany") – said by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion after his historical meeting with Konrad Adenauer, the German Chancellor.
  • "הם לא נחמדים" ("They are not so nice") – said by Prime Minister Golda Meir regarding the Israeli Black Panthers protest movement.
  • "כולנו אשמים" ("We are all to blame") – President Ephraim Katzir, commenting on the responsibility for the Yom Kippur War, on November 24, 1973.
  • "איני יכול עוד" ("I cannot take it anymore") – said by Prime Minister Menachem Begin in his resignation speech, September 15, 1983.
  • "מה אתה עשית בשביל מדינה" ("What did you do for country?") – said by Shmuel Flatto-Sharon to Aryeh Eliav during a debate in the Knesset, the catchphrase is preserved with its grammatical error, as a symbol of impertinence of an immigrant, unfamiliar with efforts and achievements of previous generations.
  • "מי בעד חיסול הטרור?" ("Who supports the eradication of terror?") – said by Minister Ariel Sharon, interrupting a speech by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, in a political debate of the Likkud party, on February 12, 1990.
  • "אברשה שוב הביתה" ("Abrasha, come home") – Said by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to MK Avraham (Abrasha) Sharir, as the last had planned to leave the Likud party and join the opposing Labour party as part of "the dirty trick" in 1990.
  • "אני אנווט" ("I will navigate") – from Yitzhak Rabin's victory speech on the night of elections, June 23, 1992, understood by many to indicate he solidified his power and marginalizing Shimon Peres.
  • "מייד'לע, ראית פעם גבר סורג גרביים? אז אישה לא יכולה להיות טייסת קרב" ("Meidele (Yiddish for "honey"), have you ever seen a man darning socks? So therefore a woman cannot be a combat pilot") – said by former President and former Air Force commandant Ezer Weizman in a phone conversation with Alice Miller, a soldier who successfully petitioned the High Court to force the Israeli Air Force to open its pilots' course to women in 1994.
  • "האלימות היא כרסום יסוד הדמוקרטיה הישראלית. יש לגנות אותה, להוקיע אותה, לבודד אותה" ("Violence gnaws at the foundation of Israeli democracy. It must be condemned, denounced, isolated") – from Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's final speech, on the eve of his assassination, November 4, 1995.
  • "שלום, חבר" ("Goodbye, friend") – said by United States President Bill Clinton at the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin.
  • "יתנו, יקבלו. לא יתנו, לא יקבלו" ("If they [the Palestinians] will give, they will get. If they won't give, they won't get") – used during the 1996 election campaign by Benjamin Netanyahu, at the peak of the Peace Process started after the Oslo Accords.
  • "הם מ-פ-ח-ד-י-ם" ("They are s-c-a-r-e-d") – Used several times by Benjamin Netanyahu to ridicule his Labour opponents.
  • "?אני לוזר" ("Am I a loser?") – question asked by Shimon Peres in a speech in a Labour Party meeting in 1997, after he lost his 6th election in a row. The crowd shouted "Yes!".
  • "אני ראש ממשלה לא פופולרי" ("I'm not a very popular Prime Minister") – said by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert following reports that his approval rate is plummeting.


  • "Veniamo da molto lontano e andiamo molto lontano" ("We come from far away and we're going far away") – said by Palmiro Togliatti
  • "Il potere logora chi non ce l'ha" ("Power wears those who do not have it") – said by Giulio Andreotti
  • "Riconosco i miei limiti ma non vivo in un mondo di giganti" ("I recognize my limits but when I look around I realise I am not living exactly in a world of giants.") – said by Giulio Andreotti
  • "Una corte di nani e ballerine" ("A court of midgets and ballerinas") – said by Socialist Party politician Rino Formica to scorn the powerless National Assembly of their own party, filled with public figures by the party leader Bettino Craxi
  • "Meglio un passerotto in mano che un tacchino sul tetto" ("It's better a sparrow in one's grasp than a turkey on the roof") – said by Pierluigi Bersani


  • "I want to say a simple thing, that the dividing line exists not between Jordan and Israel, but between the proponents of peace and the opponents of peace." said by King Hussein
  • "Let me say this loud and clear. There is a world of difference between terrorist acts and the Islamic Shari'a. Islam is not only a religion, but a way of life. And at its heart lie the sacred principles of tolerance and dialogue." said by King Hussein
  • "Real victories are those that protect human life, not those that result from its destruction or emerge from its ashes." said by King Hussein
  • "I am totally against the idea that a Muslim woman should not have the same opportunities as a Muslim man to learn, to open up, to work, help shape the future. To close Islam down to a sexist approach is totally intolerable and ridiculous. It's not Islam." said by King Hussein
  • "For our part, we shall continue to work for the new dawn when all the Children of Abraham and their descendants are living together in the birthplace of their three great monotheistic religions, a life free from fear, a life free from want – a life in peace. "said by King Hussein


"Sanaz'hafo ana wal malayeen li tat'heer libya shibran shibran, bytan bytan, dar dar, zanga zanga, fardan fardan, hatta tatatahar al bilad min al danasi wal anjas." (I will crawl with the millions to purge Libya inch by inch, home by home, home by home [sic], street by street, individual by individual, until the land is purged from the uncleaness and impurities.". Said by Muammar Gaddafi on the 22 of February, 2011, talking about the rebels. The phrase became popular after an Israeli Tunisian made a musical autotune out of the funny-sounding "Zanga Zanga", which means "Street by street" in the Libyan accent.[105]


  • "Šikau ir tapšnojau" (approx. "I took a dump and patted it with my hand") – uttered by President Rolandas Paksas during private conversation on phone. It was intercepted and revealed to the public by the authorities during corruption investigation. The phrase should be understood as: "I couldn't care less"
  • "Aš neatsistatydinsiu!" ("I will not resign!") – the standard phrase of President Rolandas Paksas, constantly repeated both before and after his impeachment
  • "Moteriškėms daina kaip birka eina iš lūpų į lūpas" (approx. "Songs for women are like cocks passing from mouth to mouth") – verbal radio presentation by Lithuanian MP Arūnas Valinskas on National Radio.
  • "Jei taip, tai nafik!"(approx. If so, /profanity) – Seimas speaker Arūnas Valinskas.
  • "Kol kabės šis skuduras, tol nekalbėsiu!"(Until this rag (Lithuanian flag) is removed, I won't speak) – then head of Lithuanian communists, later President and MP of Lithuania.


  • "Un político pobre, es un pobre político" (A politician that is poor is a poor politician) – Carlos Hank González, old-guard politician and Forbes listed billionaire from Mexico's PRI (the then long-time ruling party) commenting on Mexico's crop of hugely enriched politicians (of which he was a prime example).[106]
  • "La política es como las fotos: el que se mueve, no sale" (Politics is like photography; if you move, you won't show up,[107] or you won't get elected)[108]Fidel Velázquez, old-guard politician and worker's union corrupt leader, commenting on how inaction is often a better recipe in politics (especially old-style Mexican politics).[109]
  • "Vivir fuera del presupuesto, es vivir en el error" (To live away from the budget is to live in error)
  • "Ciertamente..." (Certainly...) – The most famous catchphrase of Vicente Fox, used in all his speeches several times.
  • "¿Y yo por qué?" (Why me?) – Response by Vicente Fox when confronted by CNI Canal 40 television workers to take action on their TV channel assault by TV Azteca.
  • "...Y a otra cosa, mariposa" – A popular rhyme literally meaning "to another thing, butterfly", roughly equivalent to "moving right along"; used by Vicente Fox to change subjects when confronted by a delicate matter.
  • "Lo que el presidente quiso decir..." (What the president meant...) – Phrase constantly used by President Fox's spokesman Rubén Aguilar, trying to amend the president's common unfortunate statements.
  • "Comes y te vas" (You eat and then you leave) – Very popular phrase by journalist Carlos Marín referring to the incident in which President Vicente Fox called Fidel Castro asking him to quietly leave after lunch in the 2002 UNO summit at Monterrey. The telephone recording was later made public by Fidel Castro ridiculing President Fox, much to the delight of many Mexican people.
  • "Si no pueden, ¡Renuncien!" (If you can't, resign!) A phrase first attributed to businessman and chairman of Mexico SOS (an NGO advocating for better security in Mexico), and thereafter used in 2008 during massive demonstrations in Mexico City demanding better security.
  • "Haiga sido como haiga sido" – a barbarism said by Felipe Calderón, the right phrase in good Spanish would be "Haya sido como haya sido" (No matter how it would have been)
  • "If we publicly declare that Cuba is a threat to our security, 40 million Mexicans will die laughing." – Mexican ambassador to the United States, in response to the Kennedy administration's 1961 call to collective action against Cuba.


  • "Ze dronken een glas, ze deden een plas, en alles bleef zoals het was" (They had a drink, they had a leak, and nothing changed) - not clear who it can be attributed to, but first appeared to be used after a gathering of the States General of the Netherlands that lasted for 10 months between November 1716 and September 1717, during which nothing had been decided at all.
  • "At your service" – Pim Fortuyn, politician a few months before his assassination.[110]
  • "Congressen kopen geen straaljagers" (Party conferences don't purchase fighter jets) – Henk Vredeling, Defense minister Labour Party PvdA.[111]
  • "Fatsoen moet je doen" (Do Decency) – Jan-Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister, Christian-Democratic party.[112]
  • "In geouwehoer kun je niet wonen."(You can't live in hot air.) – Jan Schaefer, a socialist politician venting his opinion on Amsterdam's housing policies in the seventies.
  • "Twee dingen:" ("Two things:") – Joop den Uyl, Prime Minister 1973–1977, leader of the social-democratic party PvdA. In interviews, many of Den Uyl's answers started with these two words, sending a signal to the listener to drop any expectation of a simple yes or no. The name Twee Dingen has been adopted by several radio news shows, e.g.
  • "Het wordt nooit meer zoals het was" ("Things will never be the same again") – erroneously but persistently ascribed to Joop den Uyl, Prime Minister 1973–1977. The occasion was his nationally syndicated radio and TV speech of 1 December 1973 about the oil crisis. What he actually said was: "Zo bezien, keert de wereld van voor de oliecrisis niet terug." ("It appears that the world as it was before the oil crisis will not return".)[113]
  • "Het zijn wel ónze kut-Marokkanen." (But they are our fucking Moroccans) Job Cohen, mayor of Amsterdam, rephrasing Rob Oudkerk, an alderman in that city[114]
  • "Laten wij blij zijn! (...) Die VOC-mentaliteit, over grenzen heen kijken, dynamiek! Toch? (Let's just be happy! (...) That East India Company spirit, Dynamics! Right?) – Jan Peter Balkenende, prime minister of the Netherlands, during the 2007 budget debate in Parliament.[115]
  • "Gaat u maar rustig slapen." (Just go to sleep peacefully) – According to popular belief, prime minister Hendrikus Colijn said these words in a radio speech on the eve on the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. In reality, Colijn was not prime minister anymore by then. The phrase refers to a radio speech by Colijn in March 1936 in which he reacted on the remilitarization of the Rhineland. In this speech Colijn said: Ik verzoek den luisteraars dan ook om, wanneer zij straks hunne legersteden opzoeken, even rustig te gaan slapen als zij ook andere nachten doen. Er is voorshands geen enkele reden om ongerust te zijn. (That is why I would like to ask the listeners to sleep as tranquilly as they do on other nights, when they turn into their beds shortly. For the moment there is no reason whatsoever to be alarmed)[116]
  • "Willen we naar de Dam? Dan gáán we naar de Dam!" (If we want to [march to] Dam Square? Then we will!) – trade union leader Herman Bode during a trade union manifestation on 4 March 1980.[117]
  • "Mevrouwtje, ga lekker naar huis, koken, veel beter" ("Little lady, just go home, do the cooking. Much better.") – Pim Fortuyn, telling well-known reporter Wouke van Scherrenburg to stop asking him about being a "bad loser for refusing to answer" the night before his father's funeral.[118]

New Zealand[edit]

  • "I am forced reluctantly to say that I had to listen to an orchestrated litany of lies." – Justice Peter Mahon, accusing Air New Zealand of a cover-up after the crash of Flight 901.
  • "And I'm going to give it to you if you hold your breath just for a moment ... I can smell the uranium on it as you lean towards me." – New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange arguing that "Nuclear Weapons Are Morally Indefensible", in reply to a negating debater on 1 March 1985.[119][120] Often paraphrased as "I can smell the uranium on your breath".
  • "Wombat." – Former New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange when asked by a journalist "Prime Minister, I wonder if we might have a brief word about Australia"
  • "Gone by lunchtime" – Opposition Leader Don Brash referring to New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy if he gained government.
  • "Last cab off the rank" – said by Prime Minister Helen Clark when describing her relationship with the Maori political party in not wanting to negotiate an agreement with them, even as a last resort, in 2005.
  • "Zip it, sweetie." – Social Development Minister Paula Bennett to opposition MP Jacinda Ardern during Question Time on 29 November 2012.[121]
  • "We had the most enormous big gay rainbow across my electorate." – Cabinet minister Maurice Williamson speaking in support of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill during its final reading on 17 April 2013.[122]
  • "What didn't he know and when didn't he know it?" – Opposition MP Winston Peters querying Prime Minister John Key’s knowledge of the Parliamentary Service’s actions.[123]
  • "Smart alec, arrogant, quiche eating, chardonnay drinking, pinky finger pointing snobbery, fart blossom." – MP Winston Peters describing a New Zealand Herald columnist.[124]
  • "I'm thinking of asking the Minister of Police for a Taser gun for Trevor." – Prime Minister Helen Clark when asked about her minister Trevor Mallard threatening to expose details of MPs' private lives.[125]
  • "An economic ignoramus unfit to oversee a fifty-cent raffle." – David Lange describing opposition leader Robert Muldoon.[126]
  • "The statement which has been made by the Leader of the Opposition was that the intelligence has stopped. I don't know whether that was a personal confession or whether it was a statement of position." – Prime Minister David Lange.[127]
  • "The French, for instance, love the coq." ACT Party leader David Seymour, while discussing symbols for a proposed new national flag.[128]


  • "Eg er djupt såra og vonbroten" (I am deeply hurt and disappointed) – Kjell Bondevik during a televised speech in 1971 explaining the failure of negotiating a coalition government. This catch phrase is often quoted, even by people not usually writing in nynorsk, to express deep disappointment.
  • "Aldri mer 9. april" (Never again 9 April), referring to the German invasion in 1940. Often invoked by supporters of increased defense spending during the post-war years.
  • "sauer er ålreite dyr" (sheep are all right animals) – Communist party candidate Liv Finstad in 1983 explaining why her party wanted increase in sheep farming. Now quoted as example of ridiculous explanations of policy outside your field of expertise, or a funny answer to interview questions on topics the candidate doesn't have an informed answer.
  • "Det norske hus" (The Norwegian house), a cliché coined by Torbjørn Jagland, now often referring to slogans regarded as vacuous rhetoric.
  • "Me får finne oss i at synda er komen til jorda, men me vil ikkje ha ho i fargar" (We can accept that sin has arrived on Earth, but we don't want it in color), Einar Førde summarizing the opposition during the debate on introducing color television.[129] Quoted to ridicule puritanism.



  • "The Filipino is worth dying for." – Benigno Aquino, Jr., senator and opposition leader against then-President Ferdinand Marcos.[135]
  • "Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan." (For the progress of the nation, what is needed is discipline.) – Ferdinand Marcos, Philippine president.[136]
  • "My loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to my country begins." – Manuel L. Quezon, Philippine President
  • "I... am... sorry." – Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, then Philippine president, apologizes after a wiretapping controversy wherein she was allegedly found to have cheated in the 2004 presidential elections.[137]
  • "Binabalaan ko sila: walang kaibigan, walang kumpare, walang kamag-anak, o anak na maaaring magsamantala sa ngayon." (This is my warning: no friends, no best friends, no family members or children may take advantage now. Joseph Ejercito-Estrada, Philippine president in his 1998 inaugural address.[138]
  • "Huwag ninyo akong subukan!" (Don't you test me) – Joseph Ejercito-Estrada, Philippine president
  • "She has stolen the presidency, not once, but twice!" – Susan Roces, widow of defeated 2004 presidential candidate Fernando Poe, Jr.. Roces claimed that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had stolen the presidency twice: during the ousting of Joseph Estrada in 2001, and during the 2004 elections, where Arroyo had allegedly cheated Poe of the presidency.[139]
  • "I eat death threats for breakfast" – Miriam Defensor Santiago, In 1988, President Corazon Aquino appointed Santiago as commissioner of immigration and deportation.[1] At that time, the Commission (CID) was one of the most corrupt government agencies in Southeast Asia. Santiago declared the Philippines as "the fake passport capital of the world," and directed raids against criminal syndicates, including the Yakuza. She filled the CID detention center with alien criminals, and ordered construction of another detention center. Because of this, she received serious death threats, but proclaimed: "I eat death threats for breakfast.
  • "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap." (If there are no corrupt [officials], there will be no poverty.) – used by then-Presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III during the 2010 presidential campaign.
  • "Kayo ang boss ko." (You are my boss.) – Benigno Aquino III, 15th President of the Philippines to the half-a-million people who witnessed his inauguration at the Quirino Grandstand, Manila on 30 June 2010.
  • "Gusto ko happy ka." (I want you to be happy.) - Juan Ponce Enrile, Philippine senator
  • "Kung walang madaya, buhay kay saya." (Without cheating, there is a happy life.) - Koko Pimentel, Philippine senator
  • "My god, I hate drugs." - Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine president.


  • "Nie chcem, ale muszem" ("I don't want to, but I have to", spoken with a characteristic pronunciation – normally it should be "Nie chcę, ale muszę") Polish President Lech Wałęsa – Wałęsa motivated his political career after People's Republic of Poland period.
  • "Spieprzaj dziadu!" ("Piss off, old man!", both words are derogative in Polish) Polish President Lech Kaczyński – said to a man on the street during the 2002 Warsaw mayoral campaign.[140]
  • "Temat zastępczy" ("Replacement topic") – used chiefly by right-wing politicians when opposing discussing feminism and gay rights instead of economic issues. Roughly, an equivalent of "It's the economy, stupid" in America.
  • "Żeby nie było niczego" ("So that there wouldn't be anything") Polish candidate for mayor of Białystok Krzysztof Kononowicz.[141]
  • "Nie pierwszy raz staje mi... przychodzi mi stawać przed Izbą" (this mistake came from the wrong usage of the passive voice, creating a colloquial sentence. The only possible translation of that phrase is: "It's not the first time when I get a hard-on... hard time speaking in the Parliament.") by Polish member of parliament Józef Zych. He was awarded Silver Mouth 2005 prize as a result of this gaffe.[142]


  • "Obviamente, demito-o!" (Obviously, I'll sack him!) – answer of the presidential candidate Humberto Delgado, when asked what he would do with dictator Salazar if he was elected.[143]
  • "Porreiro Pá" (Cool dude) – José Sócrates, prime-minister, to the European Commission's president José Manuel Barroso at the end of the December 2007 EU summit that led to the Treaty of Lisbon
  • "É só fazer as contas!" (Just do the maths) – António Guterres, ex-prime-minister to the journalists, after being unable to calculate 6% of the Portuguese GDP
  • "Jamais, jamais!" (Never, never) – Mário Lino, Portuguese Minister of Public Works, Transportation and Communication, referring experts telling him that Lisbon's new international airport shouldn't be built south of the Tagus River. Later that location was actually chosen to build the airport.
  • "Em tempos de crise, a democracia deveria ser suspensa durante 6 meses para endireitar as coisas, depois voltava-se à Democracia..." (In times of crisis, the democracy should be suspended for a period of 6 months to straighten things up, then return to democracy...) – Manuela Ferreira Leite, general secretary of PSD, about the current economic crisis.
  • "Eu nunca me engano e raramente tenho dúvidas." (I'm never wrong and rarely I have doubts.) – Aníbal Cavaco Silva, previous President of Portugal, but said when he was Prime Minister.
  • "Olhe que não, doutor, olhe que não!" (We do not, we do not!) – answer from Álvaro Cunhal, secretary-general of the Communist Party, to Mário Soares, secretary-general of the Portuguese Socialist Party, in 1975, after the latter accused him in a television debate of wanting a dictatorship for Portugal.

Roman Empire[edit]


  • "Iarna nu-i ca vara" (Winter's not like summer) Traian Băsescu's reply, as Minister of Transport, when asked about what measures he took after countless streets and villages were blocked by the heavy snow.[144]
  • "Iar pe cei care s-au apucat să-mi numere găinile, îi rog să-mi numere şi ouăle" (I invite those who started to count my hens, to also count my eggs/balls) Adrian Năstase implied the secondary meaning of testicles, for ouă (eggs) in Romanian, in this cheeky reply as Prime Minister, after press inquiries regarding his chicken farm, part of a larger set of corruption accusations.[145]
  • "Să trăiţi bine" (May you live well) One of the slogans used by president Traian Băsescu in the 2004 presidential campaign. After he was elected, Romanians' standard of living did not perceivably improve, and his former slogan became probably the most famous example of empty political campaign promises, used both by Mr. Băsescu's political opponents and by disgruntled citizens as a cynical way of expressing critique and discontent towards his presidency.[146][147] In 2014, Băsescu mentioned that this electoral slogan was meant as wishing well to the Romanians, not as a promise, and that he was misunderstood,[148] although this very tagline was used in a 2004 electoral poster along various political promises.[149]
  • "Poţi să ai şi succesuri, poţi să ai şi eşecuri" (You may meet successes, you may meet failures) A sentence that uses a wrong plural form for "success", part of a 2008 interview by Elena Basescu, when she was vice-president of the youth wing of Romania's Liberal Democrat Party. She is known for failing to use proper Romanian grammar on several occasions. Her wrong rendering of "successes" became famous as a catchphrase in Romania, similar to "the internets" in its humorous portrayal of ignorance.[150]
  • "Mihaela, dragostea mea" (Mihaela, my love) In the Romanian presidential campaign of 2009 both opposing candidates, Traian Băsescu and Mircea Geoană claimed victory and delivered winning speeches after the first exit-polls, making for a particularly awkward situation. After the votes from the Romanian diaspora came in, Traian Băsescu won the elections, turning Mircea Geoană into the loser, his winning speech taking a ridiculous note in retrospect, with the part in which he thanks his wife, Mihaela Geoană, coming off as particularly memorable.[151]
  • "Măi animalule!" sau "De ce strigi, bă, ca animalu'?" ("You animal!" or "Hey you, why do you shout like an animal?") Met in the city of Constanţa by a group of protesters asking him to resign, 1992 Romanian president Ion Iliescu famously lost his temper and addressed these words to a journalist from local newspaper "Telegraf" (allegedly Paul Pârvu) and grabbed him by the neck.[152]


  • "У России есть только два союзника: ее армия и флот" ("Russia has only two allies - its army and navy") - the slogan of Alexander III.
  • "Жить стало лучше, жить стало веселее" (" Life has become better, life has become more cheerful") - said by Joseph Stalin in 1935 about the economy.
  • "Борис, ты не прав" ("Boris, you are wrong") - said in 1988 on a CPSU Congress by one of the Communist party officials to Boris Yeltsin, the future Russian President, after he delivered a speech full of scathing criticism of Mikhail Gorbachev.
  • "...Мы будем преследовать террористов везде. В аэропорту – в аэропорту. Значит, Вы уж меня извините, в туалете поймаем, мы и в сортире их замочим, в конце концов." (We will pursue terrorists everywhere. At an airport – okay, at an airport. But, pardon me, if we catch them in a bathroom, then we'll just have to dip them in the crapper [literally; colloquial meaning is "kill them in the toilet"].) Vladimir Putin at a press conference in Astana 24 September 1999.
  • "Хотели как лучше, а получилось как всегда" (Wanted to do good, result: the usual.) Prime Minister of Russia (1992–1998) Viktor Chernomyrdin at a press conference 6 August 1993 on currency reform.[153]
  • "Мы будем уничтожать наше ядерное оружие вместе с Америкой." В.С.Черномырдин (We will be destroying our nuclear weapons and America too), Viktor Chernomyrdin, Prime Minister of Russia (1992–1998). He intended to mean "jointly with the Americans", not the potential 'killing two birds with one stone' misinterpretation.
  • "Она утонула" ("She sank") - the answer Putin gave to Larry King in 2000 about what happened to the submarine Kursk.
  • "Ночью наши учёные чуть-чуть изменят гравитационное поле Земли, и твоя страна будет под водой" ("At nightfall, our scientists will slightly tilt the gravitational field of Earth, and your whole country will go underwater" - famously proclaimed by a right-wing politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky in the midst of an anti-American rant during the Iraq War.
  • Партия жуликов и воров ("The party of crooks and thieves") - the words used by anti-corruption campaigner and blogger Alexei Navalny during 2011 a radio debate to describe the ruling United Russia party.
  • "Парламент - не место для дискуссий" ("a parliament is not a place for discussions") - said in 2011 by the State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov.
  • "Денег нет, но вы держитесь!" ("We have no money, but you hang in there!") - a remark made by the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in 2016 to a crowd of frustrated people complaining about low pensions. The phrase became a popular meme and was parodied many times.
  • "Говорит, дайте мне американо. Это вообще неполиткорректно звучит. Давайте американо переименуем! Русиано." ("He says, 'Make me an Americano'. That doesn't sound politically correct. Let's rename Americano! Russiano" - said by Medvedev during a government meeting in 2016. The phrase also became very popular.


  • "Starý ujo" (Old Uncle). In 1996, the future President of Slovakia Ivan Gašparovič called the then President of Slovakia Michal Kováč an old dick ("chuj" being a vulgar term derived from the Russian mat) – "Gusto, poď to dokončiť. Mňa tam volajú k tomu starému chujovi." (Gusto, come and finish it for me. They are calling me there to attend to that old dick.) He later claimed he said "starým ujom" (old uncle) instead.[154]


  • "Nocoj so dovoljene sanje, jutri je nov dan" ("Tonight, dreams are allowed; tomorrow is a new day"). Milan Kučan, proclaiming independence of Slovenia, 26 June 1991.[155]
  • "Strici iz ozadja" ("The Uncles from Behind the Scenes", equivalent to éminence grise). A catchphrase launched by media outlets supportive of the Slovenian Democratic Party, now widespread throughout the political spectrum up to the highest level of governance. A conspiracy theory implying that the elected officials the utterer disagrees with are secretly controlled by anonymous, but influential individuals or networks for own monetary or political gain, to the detriment of honest citizens.[156][157]
  • "Udbomafija" ("Udbomafia", a portmanteau of UDBA and mafia), another conspiracy theory implying that high-ranking officials of various former Yugoslav secret services (usually of Serbian nationality or sympathizing with Serbians) form a criminal organization that works as a state-within-a-state, ruling Slovenia from behind the scenes even after the fall of communism and terrorizing fighters for democracy. The phrase was coined by the architect Edo Ravnikar, son of the famous Slovene architect Edvard Ravnikar and popularized by his 1995 book Udbomafija: Priročnik za razumevanje tranzicije (Udbomafia: A Handbook for Understanding the Transition) in which he purported to expose this hidden network.[158]



Prime Ministers[edit]


  • "Haga como yo, no se meta en política" ("Do like I do and don't mess with politics") Said by dictator Francisco Franco to a newspaper editor.[167]
  • "Ja sóc aquí!" (At last, I'm here!) Josep Tarradellas, former President of the Catalan Government, from the balcony of the Generalitat building, upon returning from exile.[168]
  • "OTAN, de entrada no" The ambiguous slogan launched by Socialist Party PSOE (the phrase can be read either as "No to NATO, in principle" and "No to entry into NATO") during Spanish NATO membership referendum in 1986.
  • "El que se mueve no sale en la foto" ("If you move, you're out of the picture"). Said by Deputy Prime Minister Alfonso Guerra. It is used in the common parlance both in the literal sense (variant with subjunctive "el que se mueva no sale en la foto") whenever a picture of a group is to be taken, or in the metaphoric, intended sense, alluding to the strictures on personal maneuvering of MPs imposed by the party line[169][170]
  • "Això no toca" (That's not the subject at hand) Jordi Pujol, former President of the Catalan Generalitat Government, when wanting to avoid replying to a difficult question.[171]
  • ¡Manda Huevos!Federico Trillo, former Minister of Defense and President of the Congress of Deputies
  • "Nunca máis" (in Galician Never again!") Slogan built against the Prestige oil spill in 2002, but since reused by the left parties against the right parties Spain-wide (in Galician or in Spanish, as "nunca mas").[172]
  • "No nos falles" (Don't let us down) were the words used by the people on popular gatherings after Zapatero was elected in 2004 general elections.[173]

Soviet Union[edit]


  • "Fattigdomen fördrages med jämnmod, då den delas av alla." (Poverty is tolerated with equanimity when it is shared by everyone.) Ernst Wigforss, Social Democratic Minister of Finance, 1928.
  • "Vår beredskap är god" (Our [state of] readiness is good), said by Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson on 27 August 1939 on national Swedish radio about the readiness state of the Swedish armed forces. In hindsight, Sweden could not have defended itself against a German invasion, partly because Hansson had led a major disarmament campaign since the 1920s. Nowadays, it is used as a derogatory term describing a statement which is obviously false but intended to keep people calmed down.
  • "Gärna medalj, men först en rejäl pension" (A medal is fine, but proper retirement pay is first priority), slogan for the Social Democrats in the 1958 general election. The medal referred to is the For Zealous and Devoted Service of the Realm which is usually given as a retirement award, military and civil service alike, for more the 30 years of long and faithful government employment.
  • "Nån jävla ordning får det vara i ett parti" (There must be some damn order in a party), uttered by C.-H. Hermansson, leader of the Communist Party (present-day Left Party) at a party convention 1969.
  • "Att vara liberal är att vara kluven" (Being liberal is being torn), uttered by Gunnar Helén, leader of the Liberal Party.
  • "Nja till EU" (Both yes and no to the EU), catch phrase for the Centre Party in the mid-1990s
  • "Vård, skola och omsorg" (Healthcare, schools and care [for children, the elderly and the disabled]) The focus areas for the Social Democrats during the 2002 general election.
  • "Att ställa krav är att bry sig" (Demanding is caring [about people]), catch phrase for the Liberal Party during the 2002 general election.
  • "Alla ska med" (Everyone [in society] must be on board) The Social Democrats' catchphrase during the 2006 general election.
  • "Det måste löna sig att arbeta" (It must pay to work) The core message of Alliance for Sweden's labour market policy during and after the 2006 general election.
  • "Om man är socialdemokrat, då tycker man att det är häftigt att betala skatt. För mig är skatt det finaste uttrycket för vad politik är." (If you're a Social Democrat, you think it's cool to pay taxes. To me, taxes are the most beautiful expression of what politics is about.", said by Mona Sahlin in an interview on SVT, in 1994. Often shortened to "Det är häftigt att betala skatt." The phrase was quoted by Anders Borg, in 2011.



  • "Panya kwao darini hata kama kuna giza!" (No place like home!) The phrase Rodrick Mashayo chose to convince his family to join him back home.[176]
  • "I think some people become leaders by mistake" Said by Edwin Mashayo when was disappointed by malicious acts of some leaders.[176]



"Al'aan fahemtokom" (Now have I understood you), and "Ghaltouni" (they tricked me), Said By Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, days before his ousting from presidency.


  • "Любі друзі..." (Dear friends) phrase often used in speeches by Viktor Yushchenko, 3rd president of Ukraine.
  • "Я верю, что сильных и здоровых людей намного больше, чем этих козлов, которые мешают нам жить!" (I believe that there are more strong and healthy people, than these bastards, which are disturbing us) by Viktor Yanukovich, 4th Ukrainian president (2004, during president election campaign, about those, who were supporting his opponents)
  • "Працював, очолював підприємства. І от уже 10 років як став чиновником і, так сказати, вліз у дєрьмо" (I was working, leading enterprise. 10 years ago I became a bureaucrat and I stepped in the shit), by Viktor Yanukovich, 4th Ukrainian president (2004, during president election campaign, during the meeting in Zhytomyr region)
  • "А чего эти дебилы не расходятся?" (Why won't these morons leave already?) by Viktor Yanukovich, 4th Ukrainian president (December 2009, after the meeting about people, who came on meeting. Vasylkiv, Kiev region)

United Kingdom[edit]

  • "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." – Samuel Johnson.
  • "I believe it is peace for our time." Neville Chamberlain's appraisal of appeasement of Hitler in 1938.
  • "Keep Calm and Carry On", propaganda poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of the Second World War
  • "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat" Winston Churchill
  • "We shall fight on the beaches" Winston Churchill
  • "Most of our people have never had it so good" (popularly misquoted as "You've never had it so good!") Harold Macmillan[177]
  • "A week is a long time in politics" Harold Wilson describing a reversal of political fortune.
  • "It does not mean that the pound here in Britain, in your pocket or purse or in your bank, has been devalued." (often rendered as "The pound in your pocket") Harold Wilson[178]
  • "I know what's going on. I'm going on" Harold Wilson at the 1969 May Day Rally following political gossip and unattributed reports that his leadership of the Labour Party would be challenged (The Times, 5 May 1969, p. 1)
  • "Crisis? What crisis?" incorrectly attributed to James Callaghan by The Sun newspaper[179]
  • "You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning." Margaret Thatcher[180]
  • "It's The Sun Wot Won It"
  • "But in which direction was she sailing at the time" Tam Dalyell (re the sinking of ARA General Belgrano)[181]
  • "Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime" Tony Blair
  • "Education, education, education", this was how Tony Blair set out his priorities for office after winning a landslide general election in May 1997.[182]
  • "Britain will not return to the boom and bust of the past." Gordon Brown on his economic policy, 1999.
  • "Mr Speaker, the House has noticed the Prime Minister's remarkable transformation in the last few weeks, from Stalin to Mr Bean... creating chaos out of order rather than order out of chaos." Vince Cable referring to Gordon Brown in 2007
  • "A Coalition of Chaos" - An oft-repeated line of the Conservative campaign in the 2017 General Election used to refer to the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister as part of a Coalition with the backing of smaller left-wing parties.[183] This election also saw the much-mocked Conservative slogans of "strong and stable leadership" and "magic money tree." Seen by many as unsuccessful attempts to prey on the preconceptions of middle England, the Conservatives had a poor election.

United States[edit]


  • "Los argentinos son una manga de ladrones, del primero al último" (The Argentinians are a bunch of thieves, from first to last). Jorge Batlle Ibáñez.[184] giving an interview on the 2002 political and economic crisis whilt not realizing he was being filmed.
  • "Esta vieja es peor que el tuerto" (The old lady is worse than the one eyed man). José "Pepe" Mujica.[185] talking about Cristina Kirchner and Nestor Kirchner during a conference to a colleague not knowing that the microphone was live.



  • "Moral y Luces serán nuestras primeras necesidades" ("Moral and Light will be our first needs"; by Simón Bolívar)
  • "PDVSA ahora es roja, rojita." ("PDVSA has become red, very red") said by the President of PDVSA (Venezuelan National Petroleum Company)
  • "¿Por qué no te callas?" ("Why don't you shut up?") said by King Juan Carlos of Spain to Hugo Chávez.
  • "Compañeros, lamentablemente por ahora los objetivos que nos planteamos no fueron logrados en la ciudad capital" ( "Folks: unfortunately, for now, the objectives that we had were not fully accomplished in the capital city (Caracas)") said by Hugo Chávez 4 February 1992, after the failure of his coup attempt.
  • "Por ahora" ("For now") is a Venezuelan political catch phrase that alludes to the declarations made by Hugo Chávez after the failure of the coup attempt he led in 1992. The phrase has been used in various occasions after the coup attempt, most notably by Chávez after his proposal for constitutional reform was rejected by the Venezuelan people.
  • "Sembrar el petróleo" ("sowing oil"; phrase coined by Arturo Uslar Pietri when suggesting the use of oil revenue to develop the nation)
  • "Calma y cordura" ("Calmness and composure"; frequently used by President Eleazar López Contreras during his turbulent reign)


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