Monday, August 03, 2015

High-Class Insults

Nowadays, the crafting of an effective insult is a lost art. Today's insults tend to be more crude and scatological, without any class or intellectual heft. Gone are the wonderful Shakespearean insults (you can generate your own here or here or here) and the marvelous English cutting remarks of Winston Churchill and Benjamin Disraeli.

Here are a few of the best insults I've run across over the years ...

A member of Parliament to Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," Disraeli replied, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

"He had delusions of adequacy." (Walter Kerr)

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." (Winston Churchill)

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." (Clarence Darrow)

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." (William Faulkner, speaking about Ernest Hemingway)

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." (Moses Hadas)

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." (Mark Twain)

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." (Oscar Wilde)

George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill: "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one."
Winston Churchill, in response: "Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second, if there is one."

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." (Stephen Bishop)

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." (John Bright)

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." (Irvin S. Cobb)

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." (Samuel Johnson)

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." (Paul Keating)

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." (Charles, Count Talleyrand)

"He loves nature, in spite of what it did to him." (Forrest Tucker)

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" (Mark Twain)

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." (Mae West)

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." (Oscar Wilde)

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts – for support rather than illumination.” (Andrew Lang)

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." (Billy Wilder)

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening.  But this wasn't it." (Groucho Marx)

Have you heard any good insults? Leave a comment and share them with the rest of us.

Have a good day, thou venomed sheep-biting popinjay. More thoughts tomorrow.



John A Hill said...

Thanks for the entertaining read this morning.

Linda Kay said...

Disraeli or Darrow...I can never think that fast!

allenwoodhaven said...

Here's one I made up years ago: Put an apple in your mouth and we'll play William Tell!

Mike said...

You made me look up popinjay and it is not me.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

LOLs :)