Insulting Someone Creatively

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?

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7 thoughts on “Insulting Someone Creatively”

  1. Here is one of my favorites. I’m sure you can guess who the author is. :-)

    “Mrs. John Dashwood had never been a favourite with any of her husband’s family; but she had had no opportunity, till the presents, of shewing them with how little attention to the comfort of other people she could act when occasion required it.”

    1. Hey Mike! Thanks for stopping by!

      I think part of the reason creative epithets sound ridiculous is because they’re so rare. These days, people usually resort to words like “idiot” or “moron” or any number of vulgarities. Seldom do you see people namecalling with the level of intelligence seen in the Manzoni’s quote. :)

      1. Another favorite of today is “retard”. Rarely do you hear words like “buffoon” or “foolish boaster!” even though those are far more creative.

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