Old-fashioned insults


This is what I most detest about the trend toward “bad” language – it’s just plain BORING, and it’s losing even its shock value.

What ever happened to wishing that someone should grow like a turnup with his head in the ground, or be afflicted with the fleas of a thousand camels, or anything else which has some creative storytelling value to it?


I use it quite a lot in a sort of ironic way. Like “what a rotter!”.

I prefer Techie or other In-group Insults:


“You can be replaced by a VERY small shell script”.

“As Brains go, you’re a 286 running Microsoft Bob”. . .

And, of course, the classic: “Shouldn’t you be wearing a Red Shirt ??”

(evil grin)

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Peaves in Harry Potter was found of saying “Potter, you rotter.”

Or, of course, the late Past Master of the Art: Winston Churchill, who could still zing 'em while drunk off his @ss. . . .

Classic examples:

Dowdy Madam (to Churchill): You, sir, are Drunk !
Winston Churchill: And you, madam are ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober. . .

Dowdy Madam #2: Sir, if I were your wife, I would put poison in your tea. . .
Churchill: And, madam, were I your husband, I would drink it !

…but rotter is not an insult which is thrown with much energy these days

Feh. I use it every December… directed toward the Grinch… with very much energy (especially alone in the car)

A favourite of mine is ‘you unlettered hooligan’.


Churchill had wordpower on his side, but even he couldn’t match Shakespeare at bespoke insultery.

I’ll be no longer guilty of this sin. This sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horseback-breaker, this huge hill of flesh—

'Sblood, you starveling, you elfskin, you dried neat’s tongue, you bull’s pizzle, you stockfish! O, for breath to utter what is like thee! You tailor’s-yard, you sheath, you bowcase, you vile standing tuck—

— Henry IV Part 1


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Right on.
But let’s not forget Groucho Marx or Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde or Mark Twain or…

Book tip:
The Complete Book of Insults
(Bumper Volume containing The Book of Insults Ancient and Modern + The second Book of Insults)
Nancy McPhee
Guild Publishing, London

Mayhaps, but the Bard of Avon had TIME to polish his prose. Churchill did his replies in real time. . .

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I learned the word “rotter” from “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

My favorite uncommon (at least in the US) word is “pillock” - i.e. a complete moron.

"You manky Scots git! " From The Holy Grail.

Reminds me of:

Very witty. Very, very witty.


Modern day Bard-speak: LOL WUT?



P.S. Modern-Bard-Light?

P.P.S. Or shall I garrote you in the night, you shite? Gibbeted gobber, why d’you slobber? Oh, right, you delight in my smatter, the darkest of matter, shhh in the night, yet twinkling, so light, ye weighty, still neighty, why ever didst shine so brightey? No matter. I’m right, check my bespights. G’knights…

P.P.P.S. bow :wink:

P.P.P.P.S. Snowing deeper, faster, sticker, I snicker…

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