I am Rabbit of Holland (Louis Bonaparte)
The younger brother of famous emperor Napoleon, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte is also known for his strange exclamation Iek ben Konijn van Olland. He meant to say “I am King of Holland” but due to his poor Dutch, he literally said “I am Rabbit of Holland”.
Poor Louis really loved the Dutch people and tried hard to master their language. In turn, they liked him so much that they dubbed him “Louis the Good”.
Catalans are confused Frenchmen (Napoleon)
Speaking of Napoleon, this is one that Catalans will surely like: (legend has it that) the emperor once said “Catalans are confused Frenchmen” when the region (on the French border) was annexed to the French Empire from January 26, 1812 to March 10, 1814.
No, you did. (Pablo Picasso)
The great Spanish artist Pablo Picasso owned a Gestapo officer when, in occupied Paris, the latter -who had barged his way into Picasso’s apartment- pointed at a photo of his iconic mural, the Guernica, and asked: “Did you do that?”.
Picasso replied: “No, you did”.
The painting – regarded by many art critics as one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history- was created in response to the bombing of the city of Guernica, a village in the Basque Country, in northern Spain, by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italian warplanes, though at the request of the Spanish Nationalists.
And cursed be he that moves my bones (William Shakespeare)
The legendary author’s epitaph curses you. Well, he actually curses would be-grave robbers with the following verses:
Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbeare, / To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, / And cursed be he that moves my bones.
They’re my heroes (Nelson Mandela)
Doesn’t sound like a strange or funny quote, does it? That is until you know who Mandela was talking about: the Spice Girls.
The queens of ’90s pop music traveled to South Africa at the height of their career (having released only her first album) to meet him, along with Prince Charles. Mel B dared to compare their “girl power quest” with the anti-apartheid movement… but there was something even more surprising: Mandela said that he didn’t want to get emotional but he stated:
This is one of the greatest moments of my life.
The leader was a lover of jokes and, although many took it seriously, other journalists thought he was just kidding.