The Art of the Insult

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These glorious insults are from an era before the English language became boiled down to 4-letter words.

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

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

“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

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

“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)

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

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