A friend emails this in:


These glorious insults are from an era before the English language became boiled down to 4-letter words.

A Member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” “That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

“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 (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

“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.

“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” -Stephen Bishop

“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

“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 (1844-1912)

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.” – Groucho Marx

Category: Humor

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

11 Responses to “The Art of the Insult”

  1. Alex says:

    The funeral quote isn’t Twain’s, for what it’s worth. Lots of stuff gets attributed to him that he didn’t write. Too bad he can’t see it all; I’m sure he would have something pithy to say about it.

  2. Global Eyes says:

    Have a nice day UNLESS you’ve made OTHER PLANS. (credited to some one smarter than moi

  3. RW says:

    “She’s the sort of woman who lives for others – you can tell the others by their hunted expression.” – C.S. Lewis

  4. patfla says:

    There was a convention of French dentists at the high-end Boston hotel whose front desk I worked at back in my 20s.

    One morning a group of the dentists were sitting in the lounge chairs in the lobby waiting for their collective breakfast to occur.

    Our sleek, elegant, impeccably dressed mestizo Colombian head of the front desk perches himself against a counter and asks one of them: “So just how are you thing morning?”

    French dentist with typical French accent: “Better than you.”

    I’d lived in Paris prior to that and, considering the Europeans in general (mostly British, French and German) I decided that when it came to arrogance or insults, the Europeans were the pros and the Americans amateurs.

  5. Lady Astor: “If you were my husband, I would put poison in your coffee.”
    Churchill: “If you were my wife, I would drink it.”

  6. victor says:

    On hearing of the death of a Turkish ambassador, Talleyrand is supposed to have said: “I wonder what he meant by that?” More commonly, the quote is attributed to Metternich, the Austrian diplomat, upon Talleyrand’s death in 1838.

  7. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    I heard this exchange attributed (of course, it is just as easily BS) to Churchill after having a little too much to drink and getting obnoxious while attending a formal dinner:

    Female diner: Winston if you were my husband, I would poison your brandy.

    Churchill: Madam — If I were your husband, I would drink it.

  8. kram123 says:

    When ever I’m confronted with an, “argumentative ignoramus”, I end the discussion with, “Well I certainly can’t argue with logic like yours”. My greatest feeling of elation is to see my victim, “smirk” , and , hear the guffaw of bystanders.

  9. Low Budget Dave says:

    Supposedly, when informed that Calvin Coolidge had died, Dorothy Parker asked: “How could you tell?”

    • MikeG says:

      Of unknown origin, but good –
      Jack Warner of Warner Bros. was a notorious tyrant, so there was an expression of surprise when so many mourners attended his funeral.
      “They wanted to make sure he was dead,” came the reply.