Intelligent Insult

These were passed on to me by my husband.  I’m on the road again today, so I thought I’d offer up the funny until I get back.  These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor: She said, “If you were my husband I’d poison your tea.” He said, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

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 had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr

“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 “He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright

“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 (This was my favorite)

“In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” – Charles, Count Talleyrand

“He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” – Forrest Tucker

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” – Mark Twain

“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)

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” – Billy Wilder

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

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12 comments

  1. These are awesome! My favorite: 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.”

    Great post, Kait. Thanks for the entertainment. 🙂

  2. I actually have a lot of these in a file on my computer. But a few of them were new to me, including the first two, which were hilarious. Thanks for making my day when I’m sitting here sick and miserable. I needed something to make me laugh. 🙂

  3. ““Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” That’s my favorite. The others are witty, but this one could actually be too subtle for a writer who isn’t too bright. The ultimate in insults is when you can make the person think they’ve been given a compliment.

  4. I always love these kinds of insults! Like the kinds you always find in Regency and Victorian literature, when everything was veiled in politeness, which often made the insult even more hilarious or pointed.

    Thanks for the chuckle, Kait!

  5. I heard something similar on the radio the other day expect it wasn’t meant as an insult. Apparently this grandmother thought LOL meant “lots of love.” She was writing a condolence card on the death of a member of the family and wrote, “I’m sorry I couldn’t attend the funeral. He’ll be missed. LOL.”

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