In one of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, he writes something along these lines:

The residents of Ankh-Morpork are willing to welcome everyone. No matter what sex, what species, and what race: men, dwarfs, trolls... all that they care about is how much money they have and how to get it from them.

What is the exact quote and from which Discworld novel is it taken?

  • 2
    Sounds like a line from The Colour of Magic.
    – DavidW
    Nov 11, 2023 at 14:37
  • In quite a few of the Discworld novels actually. I don’t recognize this as being an exact quote from any of them, but the general theme is brought up with some regularity across the whole series using various alternative wordings. Nov 12, 2023 at 1:22
  • 1
    I feel like I read this joke in one of the books not mentioned Nov 12, 2023 at 18:28
  • 1
    @AustinHemmelgarn Note that the national anthem of Ankh Morepork features the line "we bankrupt all invaders, we sell them souvenirs". Yeah, it's not a subtle theme. ;) Nov 13, 2023 at 4:18
  • 3
    He says it in most of the Ankh-Morpork novels, it's one of the core themes of the city
    – Separatrix
    Nov 13, 2023 at 13:34

3 Answers 3


The closest I can find - specifically talking about diverse peoples - is a line from Reaper Man:

Ankh-Morpork has always had a fine tradition of welcoming people of all races, colours and shapes, if they have money to spend and a return ticket.

According to the Guild of Merchants' famous publication, Welkome to Ankh-Morporke, Citie of One Thousand Surprises, 'you the visitor will be asurred of a Warm Wellcome in the countless Ins and hostelries of this Ancient Citie, where many specialise in catering for the taste of guest from distant part. So if you a Manne, Trolle, Dwarfe, Goblin or Gnomm, Ankh-Morpork will raise your Glass convivial and say: Cheer! Here looking, you Kid! Up, You Bottom!'

  • Both answers are good. How do I accept both? Nov 11, 2023 at 17:05
  • @Triceratops AFAIK you can only pick one to accept, of course you can vote both up Nov 12, 2023 at 21:28
  • "If they have money to spend and a return ticket" is, as usual for Pratchett, a fine quip for how being fond of tourists is not the same as "tolerance". A few real-world countries come to mind with similar mindset.
    – xLeitix
    Nov 13, 2023 at 15:40

Possibly Pyramids

There had been one or two like that in Ankh-Morpork—deposed royalty, who had fled their suddenly-dangerous kingdoms for Ankh’s hospitable bosom carrying nothing but the clothes they stood up in and a few wagonloads of jewels. The city, of course, welcomed anyone—regardless of race, color, class or creed—who had spending money in incredible amounts, but nevertheless the inhumation of surplus monarchs was a regular source of work for the Assassins’ Guild.

  • 2
    Heh. Apparently a good enough joke to recycle. :) Not that there's anything wrong with that, especially sprinkled across 40-odd books...
    – DavidW
    Nov 11, 2023 at 15:23
  • Both answers are good. How do I accept both? Nov 11, 2023 at 17:05
  • 7
    @DavidW Terry was a frequent self-plagiariser. Variations on the same joke, or similar jokes about the same thing, appear throughout his books, especially the earlier ones. Nov 11, 2023 at 22:09

Possibly Moving Pictures

Every so often a ruler of the city builds a wall around Ankh-Morpork, ostensibly to keep enemies out. But Ankh-Morpork doesn’t fear enemies. In fact it welcomes enemies, provided they are enemies with money to spend*.

*In fact the Guild of Merchants’ famous publication Wellcome to Ankh-Morporke, Citie of One Thousand Surprises now has an entire section entitled “Soe you’re a Barbaeriean Invader?” which has notes on night life, folklorique bargains in the bazaar and, under the heading “Steppe-ing Out,” a list of restaurants that do a dependable mares’ milk and yak pudding. And many a pointed-helmeted vandal has trotted back to his freezing yurt wondering why he seems to be a great deal poorer and the apparent owner of a badly-woven rug, a liter of undrinkable wine and a stuffed purple donkey in a straw hat.


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.