There are many variations on this phrase, but is there an original source which inspired the others, or is it just a piece of popular wisdom that's emerged naturally from humanity?

Wikipedia has a page "No such thing as a stupid question", Goodreads attributes "The only stupid question is the question that is never asked" to Ramon Bautista, and a Quora user attributes there is no such thing as a stupid question" to Albert Einstein, but none of them has any good citation for an original source. Is there one?

1 Answer 1


I think the original source is confucius The man who asks a stupid question is a fool for a minute The man who does not ask a stupid question is a fool for life

  • 5
    Thanks for the answer. Please can you provide a source for this quote? Many things are falsely attributed to Confucius on the internet, but if we know exactly where this comes from, we may find someone who can check the original Chinese version and see if it could also have been translated to the form I quoted in the OP.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jun 16, 2020 at 10:53
  • 2
    I couldn't find anything like this in Confucius's Analects.
    – Tsundoku
    Jun 16, 2020 at 13:34

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