A. A. Milne? Satchel Paige? wilhelm Gunning King? Lucy Maud Montgomery? Alice G. Young? Woodrow Wilson? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: I gain relaxing and daydreaming, so I’ve constantly been attractive to the following saying:

Sometimes i sits and also thinks, and sometimes I just sits.

You are watching: Sometimes i sits and thinks and sometimes i just sits

These words have actually been credited to the creator the Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne, and also to the significant baseball player, Satchel Paige. Yet, ns am skeptical because I haven’t to be able to find any solid citations. Would certainly you please help?

Quote Investigator: The earliest match located through QI appeared in February 1905 in ~ multiple papers such as “The Pittsburg Press” of Pennsylvania 1 and also the “The Buffalo Sunday News” of brand-new York. 2 These documents acknowledged “The Boston Record” the Massachusetts. Emphasis included to excerpts by QI:

A bond salesman just back from Maine claims he request an old fisherman in a snow-bound hamlet what the did v himself evenings.

The reply was: “Oh, sometimes I sit and think, and also then again I simply sit.”

—Boston Record

Thus, the first version to work the expression “I sit” rather of “I sits”. The originator was described as an anonymous old fisherman, and also the crucial propagator was an cotton bond salesman.

Thanks to Barry Popik for his pioneering research on this topic. He uncovered a march 1905 citation.

Here are added selected citations in chronological order.

In October 1906 the London humor magazine “Punch” released a cartoon by wilhelm Gunning King v a subtitle containing an circumstances of the saying through the phrase “I sits”: 3

Vicar’s wife (sympathisingly). “Now that you can’t acquire about, and are not able to read, exactly how do you manage to occupy the time?”

Old Man. “Well, mum, sometimes ns sits and thinks; and also then again I just sits.

Below is an image showing the 1906 cartoon indigenous “Punch”.


The subtitle of the “Punch” carton to be reprinted through an acknowledgement in countless periodicals, e.g., “The everyday Democrat” the Natchez, Mississippi in November 1906. 4

In June 1910 columnist Alice G. Young created a pillar in a Kansas newspaper that described a wide variety of famous books and also authors consisting of Dickens. She included a variant statement about sitting and thinking: 5

“I will never ever desert you Mr. Micawber” yet in soil of oranges favor gold in leafy bloom you will certainly “sit and also think, mostly sit”

In September 1911 the variant statement was ascribed to Woodrow Wilson that employed that in a political barb: 6

Governor Woodrow Wilson says: “I’m sorry for the guy in windy office that is fear of anybody. I can imagine nothing much more terrible 보다 the conscience that the politics coward. What a dog he must be! A conservative guy is a man who simply sits and also thinks, largely sits.”

In 1911 a book titled “A Saga that the ‘Sunbeam"” around the journeys that a yacht included the saying: 7

There is some analysis done, a transaction of sleeping and much eating, however for the most component it quite resembles the work of a bucolic old gentleman who was asked, since he was previous bucolic activities, what he did through his time. “Sometimes,” the said, “I sits and also thinks, and also other times I simply sits.”

Lucy Maud Montgomery ended up being famous creating the series of novels that began with “Anne of eco-friendly Gables”. The 1915 novel “Anne the the Island” was component of the series, and it included an circumstances of the saying: 8

Part of the moment I sits and also thinks and the rest I jest sits.

In 1958 an post in “The mountain Francisco Examiner” included an instance: 9

“Sometimes i sit and think. Various other times I simply sit.”

This attitude, common amongst elderly people, is deplored by other senior citizens who have refused come “sit out” their continuing to be years.

In 2006 a remark in the “Chicago Tribune” implausibly deadline the speak to Winnie the Pooh. The an initial “Pooh” book from A. A. Milne appeared in 1926: 10

“There’s a Winnie the Pooh quote wherein he says, ‘Sometimes ns sit and think, sometimes I simply sit.’ kids need time to simply sit,” Fox says.

Also in 2006 quotation skilled Nigel Rees wrote about the expression in “Brewer’s well known Quotations”. He presented beneficial citations such together “Punch” in October 1906 and also “Anne of eco-friendly Gables” in 1915. 11

In 2009 Satchel Paige received credit because that the saying in the pages of one Eau Claire, Wisconsin newspaper: 12

“Sometimes i sits and thinks, and also sometimes I just sits.”

That well known quote by baseball legend Leroy “Satchel” Paige has actually rattled in mine head for decades, reminding me of the remainder we all require yet rarely acquire.

In conclusion, based on the February 18, 1905 citation the originator was an cotton Maine fisherman. The 1906 cartoon in “Punch” helped to popularize the expression, however it was already circulating.

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(Great many thanks to Laloofah whose inquiry led QI to formulate this question and also perform this exploration. Many thanks to Nigel Rees and also Barry Popik for your pioneering research. As detailed in the body of the article, Popik found a in march 1905 citation.)

Update History: on September 2, 2018 citation date June 1910 and also September 1911 were added.