When Insults Had Class

 This is just a forward I think is worthy of sharing.

These glorious insults are from an era when cleverness with words was still valued, before a great portion of the English language got  boiled down to 4-letter words!

 “He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr

 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

 “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the  dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

 “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?” – Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

 “Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time  reading it.” – Moses Hadas

 “He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” – Abraham Lincoln

 “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

 “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

 “There’s nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure.” Jack E. Leonard

 “He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.” – Robert Redford

 “They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of
 human knowledge.” – Thomas Brackett Reed

 “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

9 thoughts on “When Insults Had Class

Add yours

  1. Jace: Same here, I smiled a lot when I read these too ,l think these insults are much more powerful than the ones that are used today. I guess they are more sarcastic in nature.


  2. Haha! These made me laugh…
    And yes, interesting isn’t it how intelligent these comments are. I’d wouldn’t like to read their modern-day equvilents!


  3. Those are great. A pity we fail to put so much thought and effort into our insults these days. I mean, if people are going to insult each other, the very least they could do is be clever about it! Thanks for sharing – definitely gave me a laugh. 🙂


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