I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.
January 4, 2007 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Insults - they just don't make them as they used to.
posted by swift (38 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend... if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second...if there is one."- Winston Churchill, in response

Ha! These are great, thanks.
posted by MarkLark at 8:30 AM on January 4, 2007

"I recommend (name) with no qualifications whatsoever."
The employee I laid off actually used that on his resumé.
posted by hal9k at 8:37 AM on January 4, 2007

A personal favorite of mine missing:

"Winston, if I were your wife I'd put poison in your coffee."
-- Lady Astor

"Nancy, if I were your husband I'd drink it."
--Winston Churchill
posted by Critical_Beatdown at 8:40 AM on January 4, 2007

Much better link.
posted by lalochezia at 8:46 AM on January 4, 2007

I take that back. It's not a better link at all. Just an easier to read link. Apologies. Grovel.
posted by lalochezia at 8:47 AM on January 4, 2007

Easier to read?
posted by swift at 8:49 AM on January 4, 2007

Oh, but they do. (NSFW audio).
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:53 AM on January 4, 2007

It looks like exactly the same link to me, lalochezia.
posted by Plutor at 8:56 AM on January 4, 2007

"It's a miracle to see him/her work." (have used this to describe students)
posted by plinth at 9:02 AM on January 4, 2007

This one deserves to be unburied:

"If all the girls who attended the Harvard-Yale game were laid end to end, I wouldn't be surprised."
-- Dorothy Parker
posted by swift at 9:03 AM on January 4, 2007

*insults lalochezia*
posted by Mister_A at 9:07 AM on January 4, 2007

Hey lalochezia: the Jerk Store called, they're running out of YOU!
posted by papakwanz at 9:14 AM on January 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

posted by Mister_A at 9:24 AM on January 4, 2007

"This is the finest collection of insults to humanity since the last NYC MetaFilter Meet-Up."

"Most of these quotes resemble the persons quoted, having decayed at least 50 years."

"If all bloggers were laid end to end, they still wouldn't reach a conclusion."

"Mr. swift has an uncanny grasp of the obvious (as well as illusions of adequacy)."
posted by wendell at 9:26 AM on January 4, 2007

"It is only by totally missing the point that lalochezia avoids getting impales."

"And papakwanz doesn't recycle others' ideas as much as he digests then defecates them."

"The quality of insults has long lagged behind the supply of persons deserving them."
posted by wendell at 9:33 AM on January 4, 2007

dang it... "impaled"

Without typographical errors, my posts would have no entertainment value at all...
posted by wendell at 9:35 AM on January 4, 2007

You wear your ignorance like a negligee.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:36 AM on January 4, 2007

...and when EndWell's mom sits around the house, she really sits around the house!

posted by Mister_A at 9:36 AM on January 4, 2007

I remember back in the 90s seeing a video of a dissing competition. If only there were some way of finding out what it was.

Anyway, here's a nice exchange. Starts half way through.
posted by asok at 10:04 AM on January 4, 2007

"Madam, you hold between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands, and all you can do is sit there and scratch it."

-Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor, admonishing a cellist in rehearsal.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:04 AM on January 4, 2007

Another favorite from Beecham, when he was asked if he had heard any Stockhausen: "No, but I believe I have trodden in some."
posted by LooseFilter at 10:06 AM on January 4, 2007

Your mom goes to college.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:09 AM on January 4, 2007

One of the greatest insulters of all time was F.E. Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead. Referring to his close friend Winston Churchill, he once said, "He has devoted the best years of his life to preparing his impromptu speeches." He also had several legendary exchanges as a young barrister in court, including:

Judge: "Are you trying to show contempt for this court, Mr Smith?"
F. E. Smith: "No, My Lord. I am attempting to conceal it."


F. E. Smith to witness: "So, you were as drunk as a judge?"
Judge (interjecting): "You mean as drunk as a lord?"
F. E. Smith: "Yes, My Lord."

posted by Faint of Butt at 10:17 AM on January 4, 2007

For some reason, they don't reproduce this lengthy biter from King Lear:

[I know thee for] a knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch...

-- Kent to Oswald, Act II, Scene II

Now that's an insult.
posted by Drexen at 10:48 AM on January 4, 2007

ooooh, What excellent quips, witty repartees ripostes and zingers. Nice post swift.

Here's are Shakespeare's insults from his various plays. Oscar Wilde's insults from Insults.net.

The funniest insulting author I know of is SJ Perelman.
posted by nickyskye at 10:50 AM on January 4, 2007

Lawyer: "Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?"
Witness: "No."
Lawyer: "Did you check for blood pressure?"
Witness: "No."
Lawyer: "Did you check for breathing?"
Witness: "No."
Lawyer: "So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?"
Witness: "No."
Lawyer: "How can you be so sure, Doctor?"
Witness: "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar."
Lawyer: "But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?"
Witness: "Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere."

posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:57 AM on January 4, 2007

The Daily Mirror on Liberace in 1957: "(He is) the summit of sex--the pinnacle of masculine, feminine, and neuter. Everything that he, she, and it can ever want... a deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavored, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love."

Liberace sued and one, but it's still an astouding piece of writing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:43 AM on January 4, 2007

Two faves of mine:

"If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised." -- Dorothy Parker

"His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity." -- supposedly on a Marine junior officer's evaluation by his superior
posted by pax digita at 11:56 AM on January 4, 2007

"Out, you green-sickness carrion! out, you baggage! You tallow-face!"

"Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!"

"Peace, you mumbling fool!
Utter your gravity o'er a gossip's bowl;
For here we need it not.
— Capulet to Juliet, (III, V)
posted by matthewr at 12:24 PM on January 4, 2007

the obligatory Holy Grail reference...

"Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries!"

/dodges rotten fruit

posted by rhythim at 12:43 PM on January 4, 2007

....And this, from Rabelais- Gargantua & Pantagruel- chapter 25- one of my favorite collections of invective!

"The bun-sellers or cake-makers were in nothing inclinable to their request; but, which was worse, did injure them most outrageously, calling them prattling gabblers, lickorous gluttons, freckled bittors, mangy rascals, shite-a-bed scoundrels, drunken roysters, sly knaves, drowsy loiterers, slapsauce fellows, slabberdegullion druggels, lubberly louts, cozening foxes, ruffian rogues, paltry customers, sycophant-varlets, drawlatch hoydens, flouting milksops, jeering companions, staring clowns, forlorn snakes, ninny lobcocks, scurvy sneaksbies, fondling fops, base loons, saucy coxcombs, idle lusks, scoffing braggarts, noddy meacocks, blockish grutnols, doddipol-joltheads, jobbernol goosecaps, foolish loggerheads, flutch calf-lollies, grouthead gnat-snappers, lob-dotterels, gaping changelings, codshead loobies, woodcock slangams, ninny-hammer flycatchers, noddypeak simpletons, turdy gut, shitten shepherds, and other suchlike defamatory epithets; "
posted by drhydro at 12:49 PM on January 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

Oh, the sockpuppets we will spawn!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:53 PM on January 4, 2007

I watched Black Adder just for the insults; sublime.
posted by Bovine Love at 1:57 PM on January 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Another Dorothy Parker gem. Reviewing a play she remarked that the lead actress (Hepburn I think) " ran the gamut of emotions from a to b"
posted by vronsky at 2:51 PM on January 4, 2007

From a novel written by Hugh Laurie (of House fame).

The main character describing some brute.

"And God Almighty, what a forehead. Bricks, knives, bottles and reasoned arguments had, in their time, bounced harmlessly off this massive frontal pane, ..."
posted by gummo at 3:40 PM on January 4, 2007

IRFH, above: You wear your ignorance like a negligee.
I'd say, "You wear your ignorance like an old negligee — everything out of your mouth is either motheaten or transparently flimsy."

Dorothy Parker once encountered Clare Boothe Luce in a narrow doorway. "Age before beauty," Luce declared, stepping aside. "Pearls before swine," replied Parker, gliding past.

Hardly an insult, but I love it so — Woody Allen on a pretty girl: "Her figure described a set of parabolas that could cause cardiac arrest in a yak."

And a fitting finale: "She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit." (W. Somerset Maugham)
posted by rob511 at 4:58 PM on January 4, 2007

I do so love the quotes from Churchill and F. E. Smith. I bet going out drinking with the pair would have been an absolute riot.

Why don't we have leaders this clever or outspoken anymore?
posted by quin at 7:33 PM on January 4, 2007

I'd guess american's fear of anything resembling intellectual pursuit quin.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:34 AM on January 5, 2007

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