A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“The shortest distance between two points is always under construction” (6/27)
Money Taking Agency (Metropolitan Transportation Authority or MTA nickname) (6/27)
“If I had a dollar for every existential crisis I’ve ever had…does money even matter?” (6/27)
“Keep your cymbal jokes to yourself. We’ve heard them all a Zildjian times” (6/27)
Better Quickly Exit (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway or BQE nickname) (6/27)
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Entry from July 22, 2013
“The difference between try and triumph is a little umph”

"The difference between try and triumph is a little umph” is an inspirational saying that has been printed on many posters. “It’s been said the difference between try and triumph is just the amount of ‘umph’ added to the try” was cited in print in 1955; no author was given, but it was in the newspaper column “Johnsen’s Jottings” by Roy Johnsen.

“The difference between try and triumph is a little umph” is often credited to author and speaker Marvin Phillips (born in 1931), but the 1955 date of the first citation makes it unlikely that he originated the saying. Phillips used the saying in his book, Never Lick a Moving Blender! (1996). There is a large citation gap from 1955 to 1996, so it is possible that Phillips came up with the saying independent of the much earlier use.


18 August 1955, Troy (IL) Tribune, “Johnsen’s Jottings” by Roy Johnsen, pg. 2, col. 2:
It’s been said the difference between try and triumph is just the amount of “umph” added to the try.

Google Books
Never Lick a Moving Blender!
Humorous Insights That Motivate and Encourage

By Marvin Phillips
West Monroe, LA: Howard Publishing Co., Inc.
1996
Pg. 88:
The difference between success and failure is often something very small. A friend of mine who’s an elected official asked me to write a speech for him. I called it “Don’t Just Try . . . Triumph.” You see the difference between “try” and “triumph” is just a little “umph!”

Google Books
It Only Takes A Minute To Change Your Life
By Willie Jolley
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
1997
Pg. 95:
And the difference between try and triumph is just the little “umph.” The little extra can make a big difference. Give a little extra on a daily basis and you will realize that excellence really does pay the best dividends!

8 June 2004, Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, Menards ad section, pg. 3:
The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.

21 May 2006, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “A little ‘umph’ will take them far” by Mary Spicuzza, Pasco Times, pg. 10:
“The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph,” Rowland said.

FitSugar
Get Inspired to Move! Motivational Fitness Quotes
July 9, 2013
(...)
The difference between try and triumph is a little umph
-- Marvin Phillips

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityExercise/Running/Health Clubs • Monday, July 22, 2013 • Permalink