One famous quote I've heard of Wolfgang Pauli is

It is not even wrong.

I've also heard that Pauli had a blustery, often unpleasant personality, and I vaguely recall hearing the phrase used in multiple instances. In which instances did Pauli use this phrase?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Interesting question. I would however recommend to change the "How many times did Pauli use this phrase?" to something less definite. As asked this seems impossible to answer. Possibly just asking for the instance(s) is as good a question and more answerable. $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Nov 2, 2014 at 17:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @quid Yes, it does make it harder to answer. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Nov 2, 2014 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


This isn’t right. This isn’t even wrong.

Response after reading a colleague’s paper, quoted in The Successful Toastmaster: A Treasure Chest of Introductions, Epigrams, Humor, and Quotations (1966) by Herbert Victor Prochnow, p. 350, and in Mathematical Apocrypha Redux: More Stories and Anecdotes of Mathematicians and the Mathematical (2005) by Steven George Krantz, p. 194.

This paper is so bad it is not even wrong.

As quoted in Comic Sections: The Book of Mathematical Jokes, Humour, Wit, and Wisdom (1993) by Des MacHale

Taken from Wikiquote page of Pauli.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.