Shakespeare's Insults: Educating Your Wit Info

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The sharpest stings ever to snap from the tip of an
English-speaking tongue are here at hand, ready to be directed at the
knaves, villains, and coxcombs of the reader's choice. Culled from 38
plays, here are the best 5,000 examples of Shakespeare's glorious
invective, arranged by play, in order of appearance, with helpful act
and line numbers for easy reference, along with an index of topical
scorn appropriate to particular characters and occasions.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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3.74

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Reviews for Shakespeare's Insults: Educating Your Wit:

3

Apr 29, 2017

**3 STARS**

There are a few good ones that are well... I think everyone must know.

As I read the lines, I think it would be more enjoyable if I have read the books included. I mean, I think it would be better to be familiar with Shakespeare's works. :D

What I liked:

The insults could actually be used when you're pissed. HAHAHAHA. I mean, you can use it and just say that you're just quoting Shakespeare to avoid arguments or hurting other people's feelings. ;)

What I did not liked:

As I said a

**3 STARS**

There are a few good ones that are well... I think everyone must know.

As I read the lines, I think it would be more enjoyable if I have read the books included. I mean, I think it would be better to be familiar with Shakespeare's works. :D

What I liked:

The insults could actually be used when you're pissed. HAHAHAHA. I mean, you can use it and just say that you're just quoting Shakespeare to avoid arguments or hurting other people's feelings. ;)

What I did not liked:

As I said a while ago, in my opinion, reading his books would be better before reading this for familiarity. Using his lines would be better especially when you really know the story of the particular work of his.
____________________

I think I will re-read this again and underline (with a pencil) the good ones.

...more
3

Oct 01, 2009

A few choice insults I learned from the Bard:

Truly thou art damned, like an ill-roasted egg, all on one side.

God help thee, shallow man! God make incision in thee, thou art raw!

I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways. Therefore tremble and depart.

Thou art poison to my blood.

O disloyal thing, thou heap'st a year's age on me!

Whore-son caterpillars!

Bacon-fed knaves!

How now, wool-sack, what mutter you?

Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whore-son obscene greasy tallow-catch!

I A few choice insults I learned from the Bard:

Truly thou art damned, like an ill-roasted egg, all on one side.

God help thee, shallow man! God make incision in thee, thou art raw!

I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways. Therefore tremble and depart.

Thou art poison to my blood.

O disloyal thing, thou heap'st a year's age on me!

Whore-son caterpillars!

Bacon-fed knaves!

How now, wool-sack, what mutter you?

Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whore-son obscene greasy tallow-catch!

I never see thy face but I think upon hell-fire.

You whore-son upright rabbit!

Wedded be thou to the hags of hell.

[Your:] horrid image doth unfix my hair.

You Banbury cheese!

You breathe in vain.

Thy lips rot off!

Were I like thee, I'd throw away myself.

Mend my company, take away thyself.

He has not so much brain as ear-wax.

Lady, you are the cruell'st she alive.

Fie, fie, what tediosity and disinsanity is here among ye!

Give me your hand. I can tell your fortune. You are a fool.

What's here? The portrait of a blinking idiot, presenting me a schedule!

Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life.

[Your:] face is not worth sun-burning.

Thou wilt be as valiant as the wrathful dove, or most magnanimous mouse.

Thou disease of a friend!

His brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage.

Methinks thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee.

Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!

You are not worth the dust which the rude wind blows in your face.

I had rather be married to a death's head with a bone in his mouth.

[You are:] an index and prologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts.

More of your conversation would infect my brain.

Blasts and fogs upon thee!

I'll carbonado your shanks.

O thou side-piercing sight!

Answer, thou dead elm, answer.

The most infectious pestilence upon thee!

..........

Shakespeare's Insults: Educating Your Wit is, as you may have guessed, an index of Shakespeare's best insults. The book is divided into three parts:
(1) Lists of brief insults ('valiant flee', 'soused gurnet', 'foolish compounded clay-man', 'misbegotten divel', etc. -- excellent for name-calling purposes)
(2) Insults listed by play (in many cases, the best insults come from the lesser known plays)
(3) Longer insults for particular occasions, such as Foul Emanations (Shakespeare liked farting jokes!), Caterwauling, Windbaggery, etc.

Needless to say, there is some overlap between the various parts. Not all the insults listed are funny, and they do get a bit tedious after a while, but all the same I did have a good time skimming through the book on occasion, allowing myself to be entertained by and impressed with the tremendously varied profanities and curses the Bard came up with, and raising my eyebrows at some of the more baffling ones among them, such as 'Perge, perge; so it shall please you to abrogate scurrility' (?!?). My favourite of the lot was probably, 'You Banbury cheese!', which I can't see myself using in conversation any time soon but did give me a good chuckle.

My task for the next year is to leaf through the book every now and then and learn some of the more original insults and expletives by heart, to use when the occasion arises, so that I, too, can, as the editors of the book say, 'choose a richly coloured stone to throw, and in genuine generosity, make [my:] nemesis feel like somebody.' Because let's face it -- if someone were to use the insults listed above to your face, you'd feel special, right?

Either that, or you'd just laugh at them. Hard. ...more
5

Sep 29, 2009

I think the awesomeness of this book can be described simply from one of the many hilarious quotes from it: "Take thee to a nunery!"
3

Aug 14, 2012

This is surely the best way to read Shakespeare!

Short quotations that are easy to digest and what's more these ones relate to abuses and affronts, which makes them more amusing.

I particularly like 'The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes' from Coriolanus and 'There is no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune' from Henry IV Part 1 - both quite fruity!

I don't think I have enjoyed Shakespeare as much since GCE days - only joking about the latter!
5

Dec 01, 2014

Absolutely hilarious! In the Shakespeare festival of my school, my classmates chose lines from this and shouted them at each other. It was the funniest thing to watch backstage...
4

This collection is a hit and miss collection, like so many of the genre. It depends greatly on the editing, what is included, what is left out, and how it is presented. There are some wonderful ...Full Review
3

This book is entertaining and funny. I always find shakespear hard to understand though.Full Review
4

Jan 27, 2012

Hilarious chronology of the complete Shakespeare insults...the old bard was one of literatures greatest affronters!
5

Aug 21, 2007

Ye gods and forsooth! I never realized that there were so many wonderful ways to say "bug out."
4

May 05, 2012



Reference guide only. Good for high school Shakespeare lessons
3

Apr 01, 2013

It was fun reading through them and contextualising the ones I recognise. I doubt I'll ever even consider actually using any of them, but still. Enjoyable.
4

Oct 11, 2013

Here's a fun novelty book of insults right out of the Bard's oeuvre. I was going to pass it on, having enjoyed it. On second thought, I'll keep it around as source material for dialogue in that novel about Christopher Marlowe that a deceased friend asked me to finish for her....
5

Nov 09, 2009

Full of every single insult from all of Shakespeare's works, one could say that was all he wrote. Some are downright rude( ok, all of them are) and some are just funny. A good way to pass the time and bug your friends.

- Is he safe? are his wits about him?-
2

Jun 10, 2011

kinda a precursor to the 'for dummies' series. one should after all be sufficiently literate to read the plays and extract the snark and deploy the rudeness on one's own. this one distills it down to several hundred pages. that's a decent amount of insult, as a proportion of the collected works.
4

Oct 29, 2007

This is a very necessary book for anyone who is at a loss for words, and can't think of a good way to cut someone down. Over 4,000 ways to avoid the simple, "Oh, ya? Sez you!" retort, by the greatest writer that English has ever known.

"Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!" - Timon of Athens IV, 3. Mastery.
2

Jun 06, 2009

Alright. No, I did not read every single quote. I really enjoyed the list of random names in the first chapter and the sorted ones in the last, but it also became very tedious. Might be that I am just not enough of a Shakespeare fanatic. All in all, I got a couple of funny quotes to yell at people when they cut me off.
4

Nov 24, 2007

This essential reference work could be improved by identifying the speaker and target for each insult. Still, this is a surprisingly heavy and hilarious treasure-trove. Organized initially by play, but with a handy subject index at the rear. Some of my favorites:

"I'll carbonado your shanks!"

"Chill pick your teeth!"

"I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage!"

"Now is the woodcock near the gin!"

"Unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and clocks the tongue of bawds, and dials the signs of This essential reference work could be improved by identifying the speaker and target for each insult. Still, this is a surprisingly heavy and hilarious treasure-trove. Organized initially by play, but with a handy subject index at the rear. Some of my favorites:

"I'll carbonado your shanks!"

"Chill pick your teeth!"

"I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage!"

"Now is the woodcock near the gin!"

"Unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and clocks the tongue of bawds, and dials the signs of leaping-houses, and the blessed sun himself a fair hot wench in flame-colored taffeta, I see no reason why thou shouldst be so superfluous to demand the time of day."

...more
3

Feb 19, 2014

Clever book, fun to use as a reference book. I was a bit mistaken in thinking it was a book about how to craft insults like Shakespeare's. It is actually just a listing of insults from Shakespeare's plays. That being said, though, it is pretty clever. It is well-organized as well.

The first section just lists the best names to call people: measureless liar, quintessence of dust, pigeon-liver, wretched slave with a body filled and vacant mind, dunghill groom, and king of codpieces.

It would be Clever book, fun to use as a reference book. I was a bit mistaken in thinking it was a book about how to craft insults like Shakespeare's. It is actually just a listing of insults from Shakespeare's plays. That being said, though, it is pretty clever. It is well-organized as well.

The first section just lists the best names to call people: measureless liar, quintessence of dust, pigeon-liver, wretched slave with a body filled and vacant mind, dunghill groom, and king of codpieces.

It would be better, though, if it explained these names.

The middle section, and by far the largest, is a collection of insults organized by the play in which they are found. This can be an interesting resource as you were reading or teaching or watching that particular play.

The final section is a collection of insults organized by theme: disloyalty, "Thou disease of a friend!" or the insignificant, "So, my good window of lattice, fare thee well; thy casement I need not open, for I look through thee."

A fun book, although not exactly what I was expecting. ...more
3

Aug 23, 2019

This book is really silly and pointless, but its got some good ones to remember when you want a zinger to use on a friend. Most people would just look at you and have no idea what you said! This book is really silly and pointless, but it’s got some good ones to remember when you want a zinger to use on a friend. Most people would just look at you and have no idea what you said! ...more
3

May 17, 2018

He clearly didnt care for Whoresons. He clearly didn’t care for Whoresons. ...more
5

May 27, 2017

Some New Ideas From Classic Literature
While this book loses points for tiny type and a few of the Shakespearean aphorisms therein being dull or second-rate, it does represent an effort to comb the some of the better-known works of The Bard for sophisticated-sounding speech to be used in situations where insults or unflattering comparisons or descriptions of peoples' character and actions are called for. Even I, a master of insults who had to read some of Shakespeare's plays for school, learned a Some New Ideas From Classic Literature
While this book loses points for tiny type and a few of the Shakespearean aphorisms therein being dull or second-rate, it does represent an effort to comb the some of the better-known works of The Bard for sophisticated-sounding speech to be used in situations where insults or unflattering comparisons or descriptions of peoples' character and actions are called for. Even I, a master of insults who had to read some of Shakespeare's plays for school, learned a few things. ...more

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