5 of the Fiercest One-Liners in History

Yes, the Spartans’ one-word response to Philip’s threats was both laconic and bold.

Yes, I chortled while making a *hilarious* graphic of the word “If,” set in Laconic, bold type.

No, a joke that depends on knowledge of Ancient Greece and Macedonia and modern typography really isn’t all that funny.


In 346 B.C, Philip sent a message to intimidate the Spartans. “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army on your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people and raze your city.” The term “Laconic wit,” comes from the Spartan region Laconia. The Spartans employed it to great effect with their one word response to Philip: “If.” Philip never attempted to conquer Sparta. —Mental Floss.

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