It may well be the misfortune of Beowulf never to have attained such a status, for it is a poem whose style lends greatly to quotation. The treasury of classical and Shakespearean letters from which we draw is certainly neither poor nor wanting, but it is an amusing exercise to wonder which phrases from the nameless Bard might stand beside arcades ambo, carpe diem and their brethren. I present a few offerings, and some advice for usage:
"Þæt wæs god cyning!" (line 11; "That was a good king!"). Rather straightforward and hardly to be limited to politics.
"Wæs þu, Hroðgar, hal!" (line 407; "Good health to you, Hrothgar!") Beowulf's greeting to Hrothgar and an all-purpose word of greeting in learned and friendly company. Combine with "It is I, Hamlet the Dane," to casually insinuate the peculiarity with which Denmark has fired the English genius.
"Đa wæs swigra secg sunu Ecglafes" (line 980; "Then was the son of Ecglaf a more silent man.") So the poet describes Unferth, who had questioned and mocked Beowulf's capabilities, after the defeat of Grendel; useful after anyone has been shown up, but especially to be applied to the more vain and pompous among us.