Research: Shakespeare the king of insults

Print Article

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. It must be true, because when it comes to insults, modern man has nothing on the bard, who literally made up many words still in today’s English dictionaries.

So if you’re going to let someone have it, at least make it memorable.

“Away, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish!” — Henry IV, Part I (Act 2, Scene 4)

“I’ll beat thee, but I would infect my hands.” — Timon of Athens (Act 4, Scene 3)

“More of your conversation would infect my brain.” — The Comedy of Errors (Act 2, Scene 1)

“The rankest compound of villainous smell that ever-offended nostril” — The Merry Wives of Windsor (Act 3, Scene 5)

“There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.” — Henry IV Part 1 (Act 3, Scene 3)

“Thou art a boil, a plague sore.” — King Lear (Act 2, Scene 2)

“Thou cream-faced loon” — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 3)

“Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat.” —Henry V (Act 4, Scene 4)

“Thy brain is as dry as a biscuit after the voyage.” — As You Like It (Act 2, Scene 7)

“Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon” — Timon of Athens (Act 4, Scene 3)

“You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!” — Henry IV Part 2 (Act 2, Scene 1)

And finally, the Queen Mother of Shakespearean insults:

“That trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?” — Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 4)

•••

Sholeh Patrick is a columnist for the Hagadone News Network who strives to limit insults to the silent confines of her remainder-biscuit brain. Infect it at thy peril at Sholeh@cdapress.com.

Print Article

Read More Sholeh Patrick

Research: Maybe Flag Day can pull us together

June 13, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press What is it about flags that can elicit so much emotion? Flags aren’t the only symbols of nationalism or clan-feeling. Yet all around the world, the one which provokes the most feeling is undeniably...

Comments

Read More

Opinion: Dads just want a day free of guilt

June 11, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press All right, girls, admit it. We’ve all done it. That little sigh before you say, “OK …” The tightened lip, the silent look that says, “That’s not what I hoped you’d choose.” In a word, guilt. It’s...

Comments

Read More

Research: D-Day at a glance

June 06, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press War may be as old as mankind, but few were so clear-cut in purpose as World War II. A madman bent on domination, enslavement and genocide engaged nearly all of the world’s nations (most of them Allie...

Comments

Read More

Research: MLP: Hitting the very bottom of the barrel

June 04, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Help, Dear Readers! The situation is dire. Calamitous, dreadful (anything but “very bad”). Bored to the point of fainting, one might say — comatose, spent (how much more these words convey!). Why, y...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X