Mark Twain? Will Rogers? Ring Lardner? James A. Cruikshank? T. Morris Longstreth? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: Two famous humorists, Mark Twain and Will Rogers, have each received credit for a statement about the variability of weather. Here are four instances:
(1) If you don’t like our weather, wait a minute.
(2) If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.
(3) If you don’t like the Kansas weather today just wait a day and probably tomorrow will suit.
(4) If you don’t like the present brand of Nebraska weather just wait fifteen minutes and there will be a different kind of weather.
Did either Twain or Rogers really employ this expression? Would you please explore this topic?
Quote Investigator: The earliest match located by QI appeared in “Field and Stream” magazine in January 1909 within an article by James A. Cruikshank who indicated that the saying was circulating in Chicago, Illinois with an anonymous attribution. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:1909 January, Field and Stream, Volume 13, Number 9, Where To Go Hunting, Fishing & Resorts of The United States & Canada by Jas. A. Cruikshank, Start Page 794, Quote Page 794, Column 2, … Continue reading
In Chicago—where they have a saying “If you do not like our weather, wait a minute”—it seems to a good many of us that, after waiting several weeks of winter, we like the latest weather less than the earlier.
Researchers have been unable to find this saying in the writings and speeches of Mark Twain. He died in 1910, and the earliest known attribution to him appeared a decade later in 1920. Will Rogers died in 1935, and the saying was ascribed to him in 1940. Based on current evidence, the originator of this remark remains anonymous.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.