Insults … And How to do Them Properly

mark-twain insult

I’ve never been good with insults. Most would probably consider that a good thing, but something deep down inside me wishes I could come up with some awesome zingers should the opportunity ever present itself. Alas, I can’t think on my feet. Everything, well, most everything, I do is carefully thought out, weighed and balanced, and put into neat little lists before I even attempt going ahead. My inability to form a coherent word would leave me standing there as they strode off with a winning smirk self-congratulations.

For inspiration to help my dilemma, I combed the pages of history because there’s nothing better than a witty and perfectly worded insult from some of the greats.

-You’re not interesting enough to make me sick – Cher
-The smell of you alone is enough to wrinkle the noses of pigs – Purity Pinker
-Do you call that a head on your shoulders or a blessed dead eye – Long John Silver
-I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved – Mark Twain
-I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it – Groucho Marx
-He has delusions of adequacy – Walter Kerr
-Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries – Monty Python



A to Z blog hop at Patterings.


  1. Kathleen Rouser

    Well said, J’nell! I know how you feel! I always think of the perfect retort . . . about 24 hours later.

    Here’s a classic from Winston Churchill when accused of being drunk by a socialist MP: “My dear, you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall still be sober, and you will still be ugly.”

    1. J'nell (Post author)

      That’s a great quote! I think I’ve heard it before. He probably didn’t have to think about it before those perfect words came out of his mouth. Sigh. I envy him.

  2. Lisa Betz

    I too am slow to come up with witty insults. Shakespeare, however, was an insult master. Here’s one site that lists some gems: Maybe someone should come up with a Shakespeare insult engine app for phones?

    1. J'nell (Post author)

      I can see people now, “Wait, wait! Let me consult my phone before I burn you with a zinger!’. Haha!Brilliant.

  3. Elaine Stock

    J’nell, I think God led me to your blog today 🙂 While these quotes are full of punch, they’re also hysterical… but so right on. Cher’s quote has helped to put things into perspective for me on how to deal with a troubling manager at work: this manager really isn’t “interesting” enough that she needs to occupy my thoughts and make me fret. Instead, I’m going to continue to pray over her, and to keep my lips sealed.

    1. J'nell (Post author)

      How awesome and humbling to hear something I meant as funny really helped you out! I was dealing with a similar person last week at church and so many times I felt a good smack to the face would benefit her immensely. Good Christian attitude, right? I had to keep repeating ‘be gracious if it kills you’.

      1. Elaine Stock


  4. Lisa Betz

    I just ran across this today and thought you might enjoy it.

    1. J'nell (Post author)

      I approve! Short and to the point. What more could you want in an insult. Of course, it probably sounds lovely in Italian.


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