I came across a quotation that piqued my interest. It's short enough to include here directly:

I can't understand it. I can't even understand the people who can understand it.

Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.

I would like to ask about the context of this quote, perhaps with a title like "What couldn't Queen Juliana understand?".

Is there a Stack Exchange where such a question would be on-topic?

Sites I have considered:

  • English Language & Usage was my first thought, since they often trace historical word usage. However, the phrase hasn't slipped into popular English language and in fact it may not have been originally uttered in English in the first place.
  • Skeptics often has questions along the lines of "Did [celebrity] really say [controversial phrase]?" but my quotation isn't particularly controversial or all that famous.
  • History seems like it covers more pivotal events and the more distant past.

Right now, I can't see any Stack Exchange site where such a question is definitely on-topic, but maybe there's something I have overlooked.

2 Answers 2


This question is perfectly on-topic over at History Stack Exchange.

We don't deal just with important events or distant past. We have two tags which will apply in your case, (Example, a Question about 9/11), (Example, a well received question about Cyprus set in year 2013). Furthermore We specifically have the there which has the following examples:

  1. What did Hitler mean by this statement?
  2. What is the context of this Genghis Khan quote?

The second example is essentially what you are asking. So please do ask the question and welcome aboard.


Literature doesn't seem to mind questions about the meaning of spoken quotes. Speeches are on-topic, and so spoken quotes seem to be as well. For example: Interpretation of a Churchill quote Quote identification is also on-topic, which would include identifying the context of quote, IMO.


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