10 Fun Literary Insults

One morning I woke up with the following colorful phrase floating around in my mind:

“May your genitals sprout wings and fly away.”

It’s from a Terry Pratchett book, but I can’t seem to remember which one. *edit* (I have now been told that this quote is from Small Gods.)

This prompted me to seek out a few more insults, and since writers are so clever and good with words they should be a good source of colorful language.

And so I give you:

10 Insults from authors and books:

1. “A pox o’ your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!”
― Shakespeare, The Tempest

2. “I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
― Mark Twain

3. “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”
― Oscar Wilde

4. “He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.”
― Oscar Wilde

5. “A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver’d, 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 son and heir of a mongrel bitch; one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deny the least syllable of thy addition.”
― Shakespeare, King Lear

6. “She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say ‘when.'”
― P.G. Wodehouse

7. “The dress looked like it had been sown in a rage and put on in a tempest”
― Oscar Wilde, from The Picture of Dorian Gray

8. “There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.”
― Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

9. “A strange horrible business, but I suppose good enough for Shakespeare’s day.”
― Queen Victoria (1819-1901), about  King Lear

10. “An unmanly sort of man whose love-life seems to have been largely confined to crying in laps and playing mouse.” 
― W. H. Auden, about Edgar Allan Poe

  1. Hej Johann,

    I like it. No surprise Oscar Wilde is on the list, but I like Twain’s the best.

    PS I’ve read with interest some of the economic conditions in Iceland. Restrictions on taking money on travelling. Thoughts on used the Canadian dollar. No easy answers.

  2. This gave me a huge amount of giggling – I agree with James@^ Oscar Wildes caustic wit usually makes me laugh, however Twain always has the ability to give me joke 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

    And I applaud the Icelandic People and the way they stuck two fingers to the IMF – If what we in the UK are being told is indeed true (and who knows with the lack of real news nowadays). UK is full of armchair protesters unfortunately :/

  3. If being shocked is appropriate here (well, of course it is) then my favourite is the Twain. Rather nasty but very clever.

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