Sunday Insult Collection

At the moment, I’m reading quite a few flame and snark threads, because they’re quite often informative, illuminating and therapeutic when they’re not making you want to send that high-powered laser-pulse message to the nearest relentless bug-eyed alien horde to just go right ahead with that hyperspace highway through the middle of the planet.

A series of pictures of two footballers in the middle of the playing field - in each panel one player is insulting the other  (1893 - Mick! | 1973 - Wog! |  1993 - (whispering) Black | 2003 (bored) - Over-remunerated nincompoop.. (retort) Ineffectual pedant...

A History Of Insults

I am sometimes just totally in the mood to enjoy the creative use of language that is possible with insults. Anyone can (and does!) call another a fucking shithead (and probably throw in a gratuitously marginalising slur) when they disagree, but it’s the people who take the effort to be less predictable (and less marginalising) that truly delight. Anyway, my favourite so far today:

Considerate people think about things like [whether they’re making others uncomfortable], because thinking really isn’t that fucking hard and if you’re not going to use that lump of meat and bone at the top of your spine for anything but a hat rack, that’s your problem.

So, what particularly creative insults have you heard lately?

Categories: history, language

20 replies

  1. While I’m not great at creative insults, I do a great line in creative threats. I got a fair bit of use out of: “If you keep doing that, I’m going to vomit in your mouth like a mother bird, and it will be both disgusting and infantilising.”
    Some of my friends and I also enjoy using colours as insults. Calling someone “just a little bit puce” just has such a lovely sound to it.

  2. I was watching an old russian movie the other day and ever since then trying to figure out how to translate “I spit upon you from the twentieth floor of the building” so it sounds natural in English 😛

  3. Over on LJ “I hope you step on a lego” has become rather popular, and I like it. I also like to compare horrible people to horrible things I’ve experienced. You know, “I’ve had surger that is less painful than discourse with you”.
    Though in a fit of pique, I called someone a “fucking sinkhole” the other day, which was surprisingly satisfying. Cause you know, sinkholes are a downer, a drain and a pain in the arse. 😀

  4. I always blank when someone asks a question like this. But I do recall a conversation after a bad fringe show where we were trying to come up with the best doesn’t-look-like-an-insult-at-first-but-then-you-see-it-is, and we settled on “I really see what you were trying to do there”.

  5. Go with the greats I say – personal favourite from King Lear:
    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, pander, and the sone and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition.”
    I’ve also been known to shout “no time for dillydalling you slack-jawed lollygaggles!” a la Montgomery Burns when trying to move the kids.

  6. Actually, I forgot – I’ve recently begun calling people douchebonnet. It’s a nice variation on douchebag, which some people object to, and has an alternative meaning I discovered in a hotel a few years ago – bonnet de douche is French for shower cap. I think there are many situations in which is is fitting to call someone a flimsy bit of plastic which is only useful to old ladies and people with more hair than is good for them.

  7. I tend to go more for curses than insults – my most recent was at a character in a video game (Hojo in Final Fantasy VII, for the record – that safe in the Shinra Manor at Nibelheim is a right nuisance), and my wish was that his nose hair grow backward and choke him.
    Fortunately, he shows up as a boss in one of the later stages of the game, so I get to work out my aggro then, too.

    • I’m rather fond of one imprecation for particularly obtuse he-man-woman-haters: “May you develop an embarrassingly visible allergy to Viagra that lasts for year after disappointing year”. They have to be really strong haters before I unleash the curse covering all the things that might go wrong with the moving parts of their never-say-no-super-sexbots that are gonna replace us women-with-minds-of-our-own any day now.

  8. Many years ago I brainstormed some non-obscene insults, trying to come up with the most unambiguously offensive terms that were completely G-rated and gender-neutral.
    My favourite, and the one I still use from time to time, is “filthmonger”.
    In fact, you can couple “-monger” with a whole range of nouns to great offensive effect, such as “crustmonger” an “stenchmonger”.

  9. My favorite curse is “May you be surrounded by the people you deserve”, partly because it’s totally reversible as a blessing.

  10. There’s a computer RPG called Jade Empire (made by the same people as Dragon Age) in which one incident has a guy standing in the street hurling seemingly pointless imprecations at passersby. One of them is, “A drama of your life would be of unconvincing sincerity.” I long for an opportunity to use it.

  11. Plonkbat.
    Ok, it’s not particularly complex, but I’d never heard it before yesterday and I love the mixture of sillyness and scorn.

  12. @SunlessNick: I have the perfect usage for that one. Thank you for suggesting it! 😀

  13. I tend to go down the patronising route, calling people things like ‘silly’. Insulting, while simultaneously implying they’re not worth taking seriously.

  14. I’m rather fond of “douchenozzle”, which I think I learned either here or at IBTP.

  15. The classics are always good. 🙂
    It’s not so much an insult as a curse, but I spotted lauredhel on twitter recently using “I hope all his chooks turn into emus and kick his dunny down” which made me inordinately happy.

    • That is indeed a beauty 🙂
      I rather admire how effectively the deliberately non-gendered but pointedly condescending term “cupcake” works over at Pharyngula when used against the nong brigade. It appears to make some incandescent with rage.

  16. Cupcake, I like that. I was thinking the other day that I might have to change one of the terms of endearment that I use for my child. I affectionately call her ‘puddin’ some times. She is 5 years old and it doesn’t bother her now but I’m concerned that when she gets older if I continue to use this moniker she might think I’m criticising her. Cupcake sounds less loaded so to speak. But I can imagine adults being incensed at being called cupcake. Small and frivolous [entirely appropriate behaviour for a child], not even big enough to be a ‘proper’ serious cake. Beautiful.

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