Tombstone Quotes & Epitaphs

Funny, Quirky & Just Plain Nasty Reminders Of Lives Lived

A basic truth: No one gets out alive. And most of us will leave behind tombstone quotes or epitaphs of some kind. Most are just names and dates, maybe a "beloved by..." or a simple R.I.P. But some tombstone quotes are a lot more creative than that... and often a lot funnier.



To the four husbands
Of Miss Ivy Sanders
1790, 1794, 1808, 18??
Here lies my husbands
one, two, three
Dumb as men could ever be;
As for my fourth,
well, praise be God
He bides for a little
above the sod;
Alex, Ben, Sandy were the first three's names
And to make things tidy, I'll add his—James.
Shutesbury, Massachusetts

Many of these gravestone quotes are intentionally funny, many more are laughable even when they probably were not meant to be--some because of their grammatical construction, some because the passage of time has changed their meanings. Some few are serious, meant to be a real "Memento Mori"—a reminder that we are all going to die some day.

Enjoy these tombstone quotes and saying, epitaphs and gravestone quips. Maybe you'll get an idea for your own!

Here lies a virgin,
with her babe
resting in her arms.
Snow Camp, North Carolina


Quid Eram, Nescitis:
Quid sum, Sescitis:
Ubi Abbi, Nescitis:
Valete!
(What I was, you know not:
What I am, you know not:
Whither I am gone, you know not:
Go about your business!)
Micah Hall
Carleton, England, 1804


Anything for a change.
Anonymous
New Gray Cemetery
Knoxville, Kentucky


One of the most famous cemeteries of the Old West is Tombstone, Arizona's Boot Hill. One of the best grave markers there is for the unlucky Lester Moore. A couple of others I liked when I visited there include:

John Heath
Taken from county jail and
lynched by Bisbee mob,
Feb. 22, 1884.


Here lies George Johnson,
Hanged by mistake, 1882.
He was right, we was wrong,
but we strung him up
and now he's gone.



Sacred to the memory of
Nathaniel Godbold, Esq.
Inventor & Proprietor of
That excellent medicine
THE VEGETABLE BALSAM
Reknowned for the cure of
Consumption And Asthma
Died Dec. 17, 1799
Died of fevers and asthma.
Godalming, England


Here in this urn
From Malabar
The ashes lie
of Jonathan Barr
He sought a higher life
Afar
And traveled home
In a jar
Jonathan Barr, Nantucket, Rhode Island


She always said her feet were killing her
But nobody believed her.
Margaret Daniels, Hollywood Cemetery,
Richmond, Virginia


Here lies Ezekiel Aikle
Aged 102
The good
Die young
Ezekiel Aikle, East Dalhousie Cemetery,
Nova Scotia


Some gravestones offer few words, but they make their point, as these tombstone quotes show:



Once I wasn't
Then I was
Now I ain't again.
Arthur C. Homans, Cleveland, Ohio


Been Here:
Now gone:
Had a good time
1916
Dr. J.J. Subers, Rose Hill Cemetery
Macon, Georgia


I was somebody.
Who, is no business of yours.
Seen on a gravestone in Vermont


We all must die, there is no doubt
Your glass is running—mine is out.
Anonymous, Shoreditch Churchyard


So died JOHN SO
So so did he so?
So did he live
And So did he die;
So so did he so?
And so let him lie.
St. John's Church
Glasgow, Scotland


Since I have been so quickly done for
I wonder what I was begun for
Anonymous

Thin in beard and thick in purse
Never a man beloved worse
He went to the grave
With many a curse
The devil and he had both
One nurse.
Anonymous

Here lieth W. W.
Who never more will
Trouble you, trouble you
William Wilson
Lambeth Churchyard, London, England

Here lies
Johnny Yeast
Pardon me
For not rising.
Ruidoso, New Mexico


Here lies John's wife, plague of his life;
She spent his wealth, she harmed his health;
And she left him daughters three, just as bad as she.
Anonymous


Tears cannot restore her
Therefore I weep
Anonymous


This spot's the sweetest
I've seen in my life
For it raises my flowers
And covers my wife
Llanelly Cemetery, Wales


1890 The light of my life has gone out
1891 I have struck another match
Anonymous


Passing stranger, call it not
A place of fear and doom
I love to linger o'er this spot
It is my husband's tomb
Matthies Branden, Old Mandan
Bismarck, North Dakota, 1882


There's clearly no dearth of tombstone quotes
We could go on and on
But I'll end here and let you see
That now this page is done.


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