Hurry Up And Wait: My 19 Favourite Terry Pratchett Quotes


Yesterday I woke up, turned picked up my phone and opened Facebook (really bad habit, I know) and the first post was from Pedestrian.TV:

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I’ve tried to write this next sentence about 7 times now but basically, Pedestrian had the right of it – Terry Pratchett was (and still is) a legend.

His ability to be so damn funny while also delivering brutal truths about the world is brilliant. He’s probably best remembered by a lot of my people as the writer whose books were behind that-TV-show-with-the-elephants-on-a-turtle-holding-a-flat-world.

For me, he’s the writer whose books mum read aloud to Jonny and I, one chapter at a time, when we were probably to old to be read to. He’s the writer who first introduced me to the term “hurry up and wait” – the original name of my blog – and whose books make me laugh out loud when reading them (very rare for me). And looking back, he shaped a lot of the sense of humour that my brother and I share.

Below are my favourite Terry Pratchett quotes – some to live by, and some that are just things in his books that spoke to me for no particular reason, or which made me laugh.

Lots of them are from The Truth, which my parents bought me just before I left home, when I thought I wanted to be a journalist (I ended up on “the dark side” of PR and marketing instead – blame Terry). For the sake of a shorter, readable post, I haven’t included all of my favourites from that book, so you can click here for more quotes from The Truth.


The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in 10 minutes after the big picture has started, and no one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.

Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.

There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this.

AIRPORTS: a place where people hurry up and wait.

Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to

It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.

There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty.
The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: “What’s up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don’t think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass! Who’s been pinching my beer?”
And at the other end of the bar the world is full of the other type of person, who has a broken glass, or a glass that has been carelessly knocked over (usually by one of the people calling for a larger glass) or who had no glass at all, because he was at the back of the crowd and had failed to catch the barman’s eye.

Sometimes glass glitters more than diamonds because it has more to prove

Everyone should occasionally break the law in some small and delightful way. It’s good for the hygiene of the brain.

The thing about witchcraft,” said Mistress Weatherwax, “is that it’s not like school at all. First you get the test, and then afterward you spend years findin’ out how you passed it. It’s a bit like life in that respect.

For my brother Jonny: “That’s No’-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock, mistress,’ said Not-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock. ‘Ye were one jock short,’ he added helpfully.”

Nothing’s louder than the end of a song that’s always been there.

If cats looked like frogs, we’d realise what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style, that’s what people remember.

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Stories of imagination tends to upset those without one.

Everyone has gods. You just don’t think they’re gods.

Do you have a favourite? I’d love to hear it!

RIP Terry, and thanks for all the smiles.

Jessi sig

The world has lost a very bright star. Thanks for all the smiles Terry.

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