Insult – n. Any gross abuse offered to another, either by words or actions; act or speech of insolence or contempt.
You know, back in the old days, people could be pretty creative when it came to insults. Creative, as in managing to make someone wince without resorting to colorful language. Creative, as in avoiding stupid analogies. Creative, as in, well… creative.
Consider this excerpt from Alessandro Manzoni’s Italian novel I, Promessi Sposi:
Devil take it! You’re beginning to look like a cowardly dog, that’s just about the courage to snap at people’s ankles as they pass the door, looking back over his shoulder to see if anyone’s coming out to back him up, but hasn’t got the guts to go twenty yards down the street!
See what I mean?