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Saturday 30 August 2014


Happy Weekend Folks

ABC Wednesday Link - G is for Gravestone Inscriptions

This week I continue with Hilarious Epitaphs:

A famous one:  Shakespeare's tomb at Stratford-on-Avon carries this solemn warning:

(I bet many a person wonders why he wrote this and what secret may lie below)

John Gibson Lockhart, Sir Walter Scott's biographer, for a clumsy would-be poet:

Here lies that peerless peer Lord Peter,
Who broke the laws of God and man and metre.

David Garrick, actor, on Oliver Goldsmith, great writer but inept conversationalist, nicknamed 'Noll' : 

Here lies Nolly Goldsmith, for shortness called Noll,
Who wrote like an angel but talked like poor Poll.

Matthew Prior, 18th century poet on himself,

Nobles and heralds by your leave,
Here lies what once was Matthew Prior;
The son of Adam and of Eve -
Can Bourbon or Nassau go higher?

18th century Scottish philosopher David Hume,

Within this circular idea
Called vulgarity a tomb,
The ideas and impressions lie
That constituted Hume.

On Nance Oldfield, a famous 18th century actress:

This we must own in justice to her shade,
'Tis the first bad exit Oldfield ever made.

W. C. Fields, comic, said that his epitaph should be:

On the whole I'd rather live in Philadelphia.

Groucho Marx had very definite ideas:

I want it known here and now that this is what I want on my tombstone. Here lies Groucho Marx, and Lies and Lies and Lies and Lies. P.S. He never kissed an ugly girl.

Lionel Barrymore, Hollywood actor, told a magazine his own epitaph should be:

Well, I've played everything but a harp.

Samuel Foote, 18th century actor and brilliant mimic, had two suggestions:

Foote from his earthly stage, alas! is hurled;
Death took him off, who took off all the world.


Here lies on Foote, whose death may thousands serve,
For death has now one foot within the grave.

The poet Keates proposed:

Here lies one whose name was writ in water.

Robert Ross, intimate friend of Oscar Wilde went one better:

Here lies one whose name was writ in hot water.

Anonymous gravestone inscription:

Cheerio, see you soon.

Anonymous graveyard inscription from the USA:

Once I wasn't,
Then I was
Now I ain't again.

A young person's tale:

Came in
Looked about
Didn't like it
Went out.

Silly but brief inscription:

Here lies Ann Mann;
She lived an old maid
And she died an Old Mann. 

And finally for this week

From a gravestone in Aberdeen:

Here lie the bones of Elizabeth Charlotte,
Born a virgin, died a harlot.
She was aye a virgin at seventeen,
A remarkable thing in Aberdeen.

(Amazing that some of these were inscribed)

More next week


  1. You always have GREAT literary references!

    1. Thank you Roger . . . .I'll cruise around ABS Wednesday later tonight . . . :)

  2. HIi Eddie .. seems extraordinary they were engraved into stone ... but they're fun to read - also to know about ... as many I hadn't heard of ... the hot water ... and WC Fields .. I'd rather live ... so true - still we know what our fate will be - that one certainty ... cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks Hilary . . . they do seem extraordinary don't they.
      Cheers ~ Eddie

  3. Keates and Ross' Wilde pip the post.
    Jane x

    1. Thanks Jane
      Yes, some of the ones I have posted . . . and those I have to follow are very clever and witty.
      Eddie x

  4. oh dang...i tend to break the rules of metre as well...
    wonder what they will say of me...smiles.

    1. LOL . . . . rules are meant to be broken, Brian . . . . :)

  5. I didn't even understand the first have of them!

    My favorite was Cheerio, see you soon!

    1. I expect that was the Brit factor, Betsy . . . .
      Yes I liked that one too . . . . :)

    2. Hi Eddie...
      I think Betsy and I have the same sense of humour!
      Good weekend?
      Ready for Peter? I think not! Hahaha!
      Linda :o)

    3. Hi Linda - couldn't sleep and saw your comment - yes I guess maybe these epitaphs are a little too Brit heavy . . . lol
      Weekend, yes I enjoyed thanks and I know you did at the cottage by that wonderful Lake Erie'
      My mistake - Peter next week and what do you mean, "I think not!" . . . cheeky thing.
      Oh yea of little faith . . . .
      Will stop by your place tomorrow . . . cheers, Eddie . . . :o)

  6. lol the cat approves as they rhyme away
    Too funny what some will put on display
    I like "see you soon"
    The final smart arse remark from ones sand dune

    1. Yes, Glad the cat likes the rhymes
      And has a laugh at these times.
      It is quite surprising I do think
      At what some say without a blink.


  7. I guess these are the ultimate vanity plates.

    1. Well maybe . . . . .
      Thanks Stephen . . . . :)

  8. Fascinating!

    I love tombstones, and these epitaphs are so intriguing.



    1. Hi Sheila - yes, I found then in a book about 30 years ago and there are more of them.
      Great to see you again . . . . . Eddie xo

  9. I wonder what secret may lie below. What! He broke the laws of metre? Blasphemy! I also wonder why anyone would rather live in Philadelphia... on the whole. I prefer Aberdeen. Thanks, now I remember kissing an ugly girl. Well, at least IT was a girl.

    Hot water?

    And HERE is mine...

    1. Hi Blue,
      lol . . . . . quite a variety there of very different people all ending in the same way. We arrive with nothing - we end with nothing, except hope perhaps.
      Visited your, HERE, and very moving. Saw a few friends there. . . . Eddie :)

    2. It gets worse. Today I spoke with another neighbor of mine and the docs told him he won't live to see another summer. He couldn't stop crying.

      I can't live without friends :)

    3. So sorry Blue . . . . . life is a real sod sometimes.
      I know because I lost my dearest wife 16 months ago, my daughter's MIL lost her hubby 11 months ago and now my poor sister is about to lose her husband. We just have to soldier on, one day at a time.

      I can't live without friends either - I'll write to you! . . . :)

  10. Whoa, you did your research here. Thanks, now I got to enjoy them too!

    1. Thanks V . . . . :
      How's life in the jungle . . . . . lol
      Cheers ~ Eddie :)

  11. These are wonderful. Gotta love the W.C. Fields one. You can almost hear him saying it.

    1. Thanks Hilary ~ some of these great men and women were very witty . . . . :)


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