From Barbie’s unexpected wisdom to dissent among Kennedys, these are the top quotes of 2023

Dec 27, 2023, 4:15 AM


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — From dissent within the Kennedy family to the unexpected wisdom of Barbie, Yale’s 2023 list of notable quotations have something for just about everyone.

This year’s list is topped by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s siblings, who condemned his presidential bid.

“Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment,” his siblings said in a joint statement in October. “We denounce his candidacy.”

Their father was Robert F. Kennedy, the U.S. attorney general, New York senator and President John F. Kennedy’s brother. Kennedy Jr. is a bestselling author and environmental lawyer who is running as an independent after dropping his effort for the Democratic nomination. He has been one of the leading voices of the anti-vaccine movement, and health experts have joined his relatives in describing his work as misleading and dangerous.

The notable quotations list, compiled each year by Fred Shapiro, an associate director at the Yale Law Library, is a supplement to The New Yale Book of Quotations, which is edited by Shapiro and published by Yale University Press.

Nearly a year before George Santos was expelled from Congress on Dec. 1, he said something so widely criticized and mocked that it came in at No. 2 on this year’s list. “I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish,’” he said.

That quote appears alongside a memorable line from Barbie, played by Margot Robbie in one of this year’s blockbuster movies, according to Shapiro. “Do you guys ever think about dying?” she asked, making No. 5 on the list.

“The items on this list are not necessarily eloquent or admirable quotations, rather they have been picked because they are famous or important or particularly revealing of the spirit of our times,” Shapiro said.



1. “Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision, or judgment … We denounce his candidacy.” — Rory Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy II and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, joint statement, Oct. 9, 2023.

2. “I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’” — Former congressman George Santos, New York Post, Dec. 26, 2022.

3. “We don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator … We take an oath to the Constitution.” — Army Gen. Mark Milley, remarks at his farewell ceremony as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sept. 29, 2023.

4. “He’s clearly losing the war in Iraq.” — President Joe Biden on Russian President Vladimir Putin, remarks to reporters about the war in Ukraine, June 28, 2023.

5. “Do you guys ever think about dying?” — Margot Robbie in the movie “ Barbie,” 2023.

6. “We thought we might start a chain reaction that would destroy the entire world … I believe we did.” — Cillian Murphy playing J. Robert Oppenheimer in the movie “Oppenheimer,” 2023.

7. “I probably trust the answers that come out of ChatGPT the least of anybody on Earth.” — Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, remarks at a forum in India, June 8, 2023.

8. “Karma is the guy on the Chiefs, coming straight home to me.” — Taylor Swift, revised lyrics of song “Karma,” Nov. 11, 2023.

9. “It is a truth universally acknowledged that an American billionaire, in possession of sufficient fortune, must be in want of a Supreme Court justice.” — Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri, opinion piece, June 23, 2023.

10. “Deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.” — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, dissenting opinion on Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, June 29, 2023.


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From Barbie’s unexpected wisdom to dissent among Kennedys, these are the top quotes of 2023