FACT CHECk: Did Winston Churchill Say, ‘Diplomacy Is The Art Of Telling People To Go To Hell In Such A Way That They Ask For Directions’?

J. J. Cahill | Contributor

An image shared on Facebook alleges that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, once stated, “Diplomacy is the art of telling people go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”

Verdict: False

The Daily Caller found no evidence that Churchill made this statement.

Fact Check:

Churchill has become such a popular target for fake quotes that Richard Langworth, a senior fellow at Hillsdale College’s Churchill Project, keeps a running list of sayings that he never said. (RELATED: Did Winston Churchill Say This Quote About Getting Older?)

Not only does the quote about diplomacy appear on that list, but it also cannot be found anywhere in Churchill’s writings. A search of the Churchill Archive, an online database that contains around 800,000 pages of original documents associated with the prime minister, returned no matches.

Quote Investigator, a website that traces the origins of widely circulated sayings, found the earliest variation of the statement published anonymously in a 1937 St. Louis newspaper, though elements of it may have appeared prior to that.

The quote, shared prolifically on social media, has been attributed to Churchill since the 2000s, according Quote Investigator.

J. J. Cahill