2. How to write a birthday speech
  3. Quotes for Birthday Speeches

Birthday quotations to use in speeches

-  30 snippets of insight about living our lives well

By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 05-10-2021

The birthday quotations on this page are themed around wisdom; thoughtful insights into the business we all share, living our lives as well as we can, regardless of age!

Where the quotation author is known, I've included their name alongside their words. If you choose to use them, please acknowledge their writer.

If you like to see how to work a quote into a speech, you'll find links to three example birthday speeches: a 40th, 50th and 18th speech at the foot of the page. The 40th and 50th have quotations woven through them.

Image: vintage pansies painting. Text: 30 birthday quotations

Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality. 
Erich Fromm

Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.
Susan B Anthony

Try to keep your soul young and quivering right up to old age.
George Sand

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its 
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness, 
But trailing clouds of glory do we come from God, who is our home. 
William Wordsworth

In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. 
Albert Camus

Keep true to the dream of thy youth.
Friedrich Von Schiller

If you want to be happy, be.
Henry David Thorreau

One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them. 
- Virginia Woolf

Real birthdays are not annual affairs.
Real birthdays are the days when we have a new birth.
Ralph Parlette

There was a star danced, and under that was I born.
William Shakespeare

Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty.
Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never 
grows old. 
Franz Kafka

When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.
James M. Barrie

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
Edith Wharton

Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy, and it isn't original sin. He's born with the tragedy that he has to grow up ...a lot of people don't have the courage to do it.
Helen Hayes

Most of us can remember a time when a birthday, especially if it was one's own, brightened the world as if a second sun has risen. 
Robert Lynd

Whatever with the past has gone, the best is always yet to come. 
- Lucy Larcom

Pleas'd to look forward, pleas'd to look behind,
And count each birthday with a grateful mind.
Alexander Pope

May you live all the days of your life.
- Jonathan Swift

Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time.
Jean Paul Richter

... the birthday of my life,
Is come, my love is come to me.
Christina Georgina Rossetti

From our birthday, until we die,
Is but the winking of an eye.
William Butler Yeats

Sugar in the gourd and honey in the horn,
I never was so happy since the hour I was born. 

The best birthdays of all are those that haven't arrived yet.
Robert Orben

Sing a song of Birthdays,
Full of fun and cheer,
And may you keep on having them,
For many a happy year!

It is lovely, when I forget all birthdays, including my own, to find that somebody remembers me.
Ellen Glasgow

There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get 'un-birthday' presents ... and only one for birthday presents, you know.
Lewis Carroll

Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words. 
- Plautus

The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune.
English Proverb

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift. 
Pierre Cornielle

It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.
Margaret Mead

Three example birthday speeches

3 images: 40th birthday speech, 50th birthday speech & 18th birthday speech

To see how to work a quote into the birthday speech you're preparing have a look at these.

My 40th birthday speech example has several well known quotes through it. The 50th sample speech has quotes from the friends and family of the person whose birthday is being celebrated.

And although I've not used any in 18th birthday speech example, but it's worth reading all the same to give another angle on how to write your speech. ☺

More birthday quotations

In case you haven't found what you wanted, there are more on these pages: witty birthday sayings and milestone birthday quotations. Do try browsing through those too.