When Insults Had Class…

3 Oct
Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx, cropped...

Image via Wikipedia

My friends and I email each other inspirational quotes from famous and anonymous mouths to help us through a hard time, illuminate great times, make us laugh or just find something to relate to in our lives. We find them in movies, poems, or even real life.

When I checked my inbox this morning and found a friend had shared a poignant and funny list of kick-a** insult quotes, I thought it was great inspiration from real characters on how to get your point across in fiction (even if it’s not a nice one) in the most eloquent way possible.

If you have a ornery character or just need an epic comeback for one of your characters (or yourself), I hope you can find inspiration in these beautiful, yet caustic quotes…haha

When Insults Had Class

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 give you poison.”
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 

“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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