"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.
Never Lick a Moving Blender!
Humorous Insights That Motivate and Encourage
By Marvin Phillips
West Monroe, LA: Howard Publishing Co., Inc.
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!”
It Only Takes A Minute To Change Your Life
By Willie Jolley
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
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.
Get Inspired to Move! Motivational Fitness Quotes
July 9, 2013
The difference between try and triumph is a little umph
-- Marvin Phillips
New York City • Exercise/Running/Health Clubs • Monday, July 22, 2013 • Permalink