Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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 poison your tea."
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

Thanks David !


  1. I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.

    Winston Churchill

    And one I like to use a lot

    If you're ever passing by, I would sure appreciate it.

  2. GOODSTUFF, We on the Woodsterman staff try to make your day a little more fun because of your visit.

  3. orbitup, Two great ones ... thanks for sharing those here.

  4. Haaaa..."He is a self made man and worships his creator"...I wonder who that might be...Better that "Yo mama's so fat" foulin'...

  5. They'll live through the ages! OUTSTANDING!
    Now, back to Saturday's Jan 18th, "They're Here ~OR~ Rule 5 Woodsterman Style."

  6. Some people are very witty and these folks sure were. Loved this Odie.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  7. Insulting people effectively requires a degree of subtle and deft use of the English language that has passed. Now it has been replaced with muther#%@&er

  8. Some good ones I've not seen before. Thanks, Odie.

    P.S. I like Goodstuff's bunny...

  9. Mrs Who? You mean the woman with the nasturtium-colored hair and the barmaid manner?

    Makes you long for the English language.

    PS Not sure, but I think the one attributed to Clarence Darrow also originated with Mark Twain.

  10. Somehow that comment by Faulkner about Hemingway did not quite rise to the level of an insult. I hate to go to the dictionary when reading.

  11. thanks Odie Dude - will link

    Thanks Adrienne - yeah the bunny is most hip

  12. "In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always
    yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand

    Charlie! You never could hold your liqueur.

  13. Adrienne, We try to be somewhat original here at Woodsterman.

  14. Ron, my dictionary is on the dock. I just copy and paste my words of wit.

  15. GOODSTUFF, Meeting new people is what it's all about. You two do know how to find each others blogs don't you?

  16. DS, I love it when you appear smarter than me. That happens a lot huh.

  17. These are real gems. I've stolen them for a future post.

  18. As the preeminent man of letters of his day, Dr Johnson was constantly besieged by writers seeking his advice and opinions. To one such unsolicited play, he responded:

    "I found your manuscript both good and original. However, the part which was good was not original and the part which was original was not good."


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