"Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘nice doggie’ until you can find a rock” means that a diplomat uses flattery until a country has strength and no longer needs such weak diplomacy. The saying appears in print by 1954, not attributed to anyone. In 1958, the saying was attributed to Wynn Catlin. Other attributions are to Robert Phelps, Francis Rodman and Will Rogers.
14 October 1954, Danville (VA) Bee, “The Beehive,” pg. 4, col. 5:
Diplomacy: “The art of being able to say ‘Nice doggie’ until you have time to pick up a rock.”
20 February 1955, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Home-Town Flavor” gathered by Kerwin Hoover, pg. B5:
Someone once said that diplomacy is the art of saying “nice doggie” until you can find a rock.
22 April 1956, New York (NY) Times, “Diplomacy,” Sunday Magazine, pg. 245:
“Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘nice doggie until you can find a rock.”—Anon
1 August 1958, Lancaster (OH) Eagle-Gazette, “Try and Stop Me” by Bennett Cerf, pg. 6, col. 4:
Wynn Catlin defines diplomacy as the art of saying “Nice doggie” till you can find a rock.
Speaker’s Desk Book of Quips, Quotes, and Anecdotes
By Jacob Morton Braude
Bombay: Jaico Publishing House
Diplomacy is the art of saying “Nice doggie!” until you can find a rock. —ROBERT PHELPS
The Modern Handbook of Humor
By Ralph Louis Woods
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
Diplomacy is the art of saying “nice doggie” until you have time to pick up a rock. — Francis Rodman
The Diplomat’s Dictionary
By Charles W. Freeman, Jr.
Washington, DC: National Defense University Press
“Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ till you can find a rock.”
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Monday, December 14, 2009 • Permalink