Brain Teaser – Misquotations

When people quote familiar sayings, they sometimes get the words wrong. Try to answer these questions about misquotations. If you’re looking for the answers, please use Credo Reference!

1. Humphrey Bogart is often misquoted as saying “Play it again, Sam” in which 1942 film?

2. Which fictional detective is often misquoted as saying “Elementary my dear Watson”?

3. “Beam me up, Scotty” is a misquotation from which television series?

4. “Let them eat cake” as a solution to the bread famine in France is unjustly attributed to whom?

5. In the 1933 film “She Done Him Wrong”, who said “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?”, which is often misquoted as “Come up and see me some time”?

6. The words “I see no ships” are erroneously attributed to which Vice-Admiral?

7. What is the correct last word in this misquotation from Congreve: “Music has charms to soothe a savage beast”?

8. What are the correct words written by Lord Acton and often misquoted as “Power corrupts”?

9. What is the correct first word in the title of the song with lyrics by E. Y. Harburg which is often quoted as “Buddy can you spare a dime”?

10. Which Shakespeare play includes Touchstone’s words “an ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own”, which are frequently misquoted as “a poor thing, but mine own”?

How did you do?

0 – 1 Mmmm, not exactly brilliant.
2 – 5 A reasonable stab.
6 – 8 A good showing. But there’s still room for improvement!
9 – 10 You really know your stuff. Well done!

Questions set by Tony Augarde (


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