Youth and George Bernard Shaw

Various online sources quote him as saying “Youth is wasted on the young.”
Other sites quote “Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.”

Which of these things, if either, did George Bernard Shaw actually write or say? I suspect that the former quote is simply a shortened corruption of the latter, but my google-fu is weak.


“Youth is such a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.”

Try, The Quote Verifier, who said what, where, and when by Ralph Keyes.

It’s on Google Books but my browser doesn’t show page 194.

Amazon book “search inside” shows page 194. Book:

I’m not sure Shaw ever wrote either of those things, but

I can find both expressions being attributed to Shaw as early as 1935 in US newspapers.

Thanks for the help all. Shaw died in 1950, so with those quotes being attributed to him 10-15 years before his death it seems reasonable to conclude they are accurate.

Samclem, what archives and/or database are you using? Just curious.

Newspaperarchive. It cost about $75 or so/year. I do quite a bit of word/terms origin work and it’s very valuable. It consists of mainly small to medium sized papers from the 1700s to date. Particulary strong in the North and Midwest states.

Many public libraries subscribe, but many only allow it to be accessed in the library. That’s why I pay.