Calvin: What if somebody calls us a "pair o' pathetic peripatetics"?!Basically, it's all about insults which are... creative. Not so much like You Fight Like a Cow. These are more serious, but at the same time almost poetic. Like this Arabian insult: "You son of a rabid bitch! Grandson of a stinking jackal! Great-grandson of a plucked vulture!" Or this one: "A thousand dicks in your religion!" May be caused by being from a foreign culture like the example. If both opponents do this, Volleying Insults is likely to turn into a verbal Lensman Arms Race. Compare Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon. Contrast Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head.
Hobbes: I've never heard of anybody taking the trouble to rhyme weird insults.
Calvin: But shouldn't we have a ready retort?
Hobbes: I've never heard of anybody taking the trouble to rhyme weird insults.
Calvin: But shouldn't we have a ready retort?
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- Tintin's Captain Haddock is the best known user of this in the Bande Dessinee genre. See here for alphabetically-sorted examples. "Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles!" ("Mille millions de mille milliards de mille sabords!") is probably the most iconic one.
- Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl combined this trope with Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head by using Refuge in Audacity as glue:
Lenore: You stoopid, stoopid li'l man! Li'l puffy rat-midget cotton-tushed cootie infested freak of nature-poo poo headed monstrosity of the 7th layer of heck-pee pee breathed-dookie eating-pig lov'n-crab like-bow legged-creepy ass-bulbous headed-smaller than a bread box-hollow brained-gopher lick'n-intestine shaped-bacon wrapped-no soap using-squid slurping-botchilism growing-crotch scratching-one balled-accidentally birthed-filth spreading-juice producing-greasy palmed-fart leaking-ball of crap shaped like a li'l man!
- The French guards in Monty Python and the Holy Grail embody this trope. They even use this as their primary battle tactic.
French soldier: I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.
- ˇThree Amigos!
Lucky Day: You son of a motherless goat!El Guapo: Son of a motherless goat?
- Full Metal Jacket: Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, Drill Sergeant Nasty extraordinaire. While the insults he uses to berate his recruits are harsh and obscene rather than quaint or antiquated, he never just settles for an inarticulate Cluster F-Bomb. Instead, he continually invents vivid scatalogical metaphors to express just how worthless and contemptible they are to him.
Gunnery Sgt Hartman: What's your excuse?
Pvt Cowboy: Sir, excuse for what, sir?
Hartman: I'm asking the fucking questions here private do you understand?
Pvt Cowboy: Sir yes sir!
Hartman: Well thank you very much, can I be in charge for a while?
Pvt Cowboy: Sir yes sir!
Hartman: Are you shook up, are you nervous?
Pvt Cowboy: Sir, I am, sir.
Hartman: Do I make you nervous?
Pvt Cowboy: Sir?
Hartman: Sir what? Were you about to call me an asshole?
Pvt Cowboy: Sir no sir!
Hartman: How tall are you private?
Pvt Cowboy: Sir, 5'9", sir
Hartman: 5'9", I didn't know they stacked shit that high, you trying to squeeze an inch in on me somewhere huh?!
Pvt Cowboy: Sir no sir!
Hartman: BULLSHIT! It looks to me like the best part ran down the crack of your mama's ass and ended up as a brown stain on the mattress. I think you've been cheated! Where in the hell are you from anyway, Private?
Pvt Cowboy: Sir, Texas, sir!
Hartman: HOLY DOGSHIT! Texas? Only steers and queers come from Texas, Private Cowboy, and you don't much look like a steer to me so that kind of narrows it down. Do you suck dicks?
Pvt Cowboy: Sir no sir!
Hartman: Are you a peter puffer?
Pvt Cowboy: Sir no sir!
Hartman: I'll bet you're the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the god damned courtesy of giving him a reacharound. I'll be watching you!
- A spare but pointy exchange in Lawrence of Arabia:
Auda abu Tayi: Harith! Ali, does your father still steal?Sherif Ali: No. Does Auda take me for one of his own bastards?Auda abu Tayi: No, there is no resemblance. Alas, you resemble your father.Sherif Ali: Auda flatters me.Auda abu Tayi: You're easily flattered. I knew your father well.Sherif Ali: Did you know your own?
- Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily?: "Russian snake!" "Anglo-Saxon hun!" "Spartan dog!" "Turkish taffy!" "Spanish Fly!"
- Alexander Korba's The Thief of Bagdad gives us such gems as "Frequenter of tree-trunks"(for a dog) and "Descendant of a belch"(for a genie).
- Roxanne, being a modern-day version of Cyrano de Bergerac, has a scene where C. D. Bates comes up with over twenty clever insults for his own nose on the fly.
- An absolutely beautiful one is used in Billy Madison to express Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard:
Principal: What you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.Billy: Ok, a simple "wrong" would have done just fine, but yeah.
- In National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Clark has an extensive rant after his Christmas bonus turns out to be...underwhelming.
Clark: Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?
- The 2015 movie Spy is full of this, and they are all very creative and funny.
Susan: I'm the person who's going to cut your dick off and glue it to your forehead so you look like a limp-dick unicorn. That's who the fuck I am.
- The Redwall book The Long Patrol shows a Mook insulting a stupid co-worker: "If brains were bread, you'd have starved to death before you were born!" An even more impressive example is the "Duel of Insults" in Marlfox; the characters put on a play in which the characters fight with insults rather than weapons, and react as if wounded with each line. Also, in Mattimeo:
"Mangiz does not forget an insult, hedgepig.""Good, then here's a few more to remember, you brainless featherbottomed excuse for a duck."[...]"I will not stand here and be insulted!""Then stand somewhere else and I'll insult you there, featherbag!"
- The Spellsinger novel The Paths of the Perambulator has a cage made of gratuitous insults. Mudge the otter manages to defeat it by beating it at its own game.
"Your master should 'ave great fortune. 'E should become rich an' famous an' attractive, with all the world bowin' before 'im. An' 'e should learn at the same time that 'e 'as some 'orrible incurable disease."
- In the book There Will Be Dragons, the Big Bad is given a magnificent dressing down in the middle of a battle, his opponent almost singing a long and eloquent combination of flowery insult and "The Reason You Suck" Speech (it's a full page in the book) that literally leaves the guy crying before he finally gets put down.
"Dionys, thou art a coward. Sooth doth thou send others before thee and refrain from the strife thyself. Thou strikest women yet shirk to strike a man, lest thy pustulent skin be cut by a blade fairer than thy own. Sooth, thou art a coward, Mc Canoc. Dionys, thou art a braggart. Braggart thou art for naught, for in every contest thou art defeated. Fighter of weaklings and braggarts like thyself, whensoever a true knight face thee, thou runs away. Yet, in sooth, from this cowardly retreat dost thou make brag. Mc Canoc, thou art a braggart. Dionys, thou art smelly. Thy breath stinks of the rotten ejacula of horses, which, sooth, thou dost love as thy morning drink. Thy body reeks with the stench of fear, and the manure of the asparagus-eating goats is better than the smell from thy mustache. Mc Canoc, thou art a stinker. Dionys, thou art ugly. The orcs doth not run forward to fight, but away from thy countenance. Sooth, in the history of the ill-favored, thy name is held in high esteem. Thy whore mother screamed at first sight of thee as the replicator burst open of its own accord in horror. The ill-fortuned persons that were forced to care for thee had to put a pork chop around thy neck to get the dog to play with thee. Further sooth, when it did, it mistook thy ass for thy face and preferred it to lick. Mc Canoc, thou art ugly. Dionys, though art stupid. Thrice you have attacked us, and thrice have we thrown thee back, though we are but, forsooth, a fraction of thy number. Thou art unlettered and hath never read of the term "defeat in detail", for assuredly, but those few letters would require all day and the use of both of your pustulent forefingers. But the veriest simpleton canst understand thy tactics are those of a schoolyard bully held back until his tutors at last release him as a man full grown yet unable to manage fingerpainting. The very fact that thou canst breathe must be by the arts of some homunculi or hob, smarter than thou, who doth sit upon thy shoulder and whisper "Breathe in, breathe out" else surely thou wouldst cease in this vital activity for lack of thought. Canst thou walk and chew bubble gum at the same time it is asked and I cry "Nay" for I have found you, face down, the bubblegum before you upon the ground as proof. Mc Canoc, thou art stupid. And that is how a professional insults someone! Now, go away, or I'll start in on Arabic, you miserable mound of gelatinous pus!"
- The Enchantress of Florence gave us, among others, "Why don't you go and masturbate a diseased goat?" and "Tell your master to go put a hole in a picture of his late wife and fornicate with that."
- A possible example in one of the Get Smart novels, when Max is told by Funny Foreigner Hassan Pfeiffer, "May the great bird of paradise lay its eggs in your onion soup." Max spends the rest of the book on and off trying to work out if this is something he would want to have happen to him.
- The trading of flowery insults is very much part of the joy of conversation in Rudyard Kipling's Kim, with a definite note of one-upmanship. Kim for instance forms a rather low opinion of an English drummer boys set to watch over him, in part for Europeans' lack of imagination in this respect, when "all he heard from his companions were the few useless words which seemed to make two-thirds of the white man's abuse. Kim knew and despised them long ago."
- In the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon story "Have You Heard The One About...", when Al Phee's time-travelling scam was uncovered by Josie Bauer, he cursed angrily and creatively at her, concluding his tirade with, "May you fall into the outhouse just as the Turkish Army finishes eating its prune stew and six kegs of beer!"
- The Hunger Games: Zig-zagged by Peeta when he paints the picture of dead Rue covered in flowers for his private session but he never says a word to the Gamemakers.
- Discworld: A character mentions that goblin curses can take a good half-hour to say properly.
- Domina: Pops up on occasion. Several Catch Phrases are implied to be shortened versions of a flowery insult. For example, a common demon curse is "Nine Hells." At one point Seena swears "by all Nine Hells and the Black Gates that guard them."
Live Action TV
- "Up your nose with a rubber hose!" from Welcome Back, Kotter.
- Tom from Gimme, Gimme, Gimme was prone to doing these towards his lazy roommate Linda whenever she annoyed him with her ignorance. Some of them were: "stupid yak!" "daft trollop" and "stupid horse".
- Blackadder does this a lot. A particularly impressive example: "You ride a horse rather less well than another horse would, your brain would make a grain of sand look large and ungainly, and as for the part of you which can't be mentioned, I am reliably informed that it wouldn't be worth mentioning even if it could be!"
- The Thick of It is living proof that this trope and Cluster F-Bomb are perfectly capable of living together and having lots of inventively sweary babies.
- Klinger from M*A*S*H once said "May the Bluebird of Happiness leave a surprise in your orange juice!"
- He's also said; "May a camel give birth in your tent!"
- "May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits."
- Johnny Carson as Carnac the Magnificent.
- "May a bloated yak change the temperature of your jacuzzi"
- Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report enjoys using these, usually in the form of [person's job] and [flowery insult], [person's name]
"Minority leader, and septuagenarian ninja turtle, Mitch McConnell"
- Horrible Histories's version of William Shakespeare, just like the real one, is a master of these. He manages to literally knock out an opponent in a battle of words, using a barrage of insults collected from the real Shakespeare's works:
Shakespeare: How can I respond to a beslubbered, pebbling, churlish clotpole, a beef-witted gleeking bum-bailey, a gorbellied, mewling, hedge-born, onion-eyed, fustilarian cob-loaf! Flappy-eared, knotty-pated measle, you ruttish, reeking coxcomb, you bugger-mugger moldwarp! Pottle-deep, maggot-pie lewdster! Yeasty, tickle-brained, whey-faced, nut-hook skainsmate!
- Scrubs features an array of rants from Dr Perry Cox that include some very elaborate insults. For example: "And you, you neurotic one-woman freak show, take your blah-blah to the blah-blah-ologist; because if you're so stupid as to confront the *Chief of Medicine* over some quasi-offensive endearment, then you've just got to go ahead and replace the captain of your brain ship because he's drunk at the wheel!".
- The Twilight Zone (1959) Brings us this in the form of the eponymous "Uncle Simon". He is an aging uncle being cared for by his young niece Barbra. Over the course of the episode, he calls her many things including a "Bovine Crab" a "Peanut-Headed sample of nature's carelessness" and an "Ugly Harpie." Some of these insults are delivered posthumously by the robot he created to act as his replica and effectively trap Barbra into caring for someone just like him for the rest of her life. If she does not take care of the robot she loses every penny of her inheritance.
- In the All in the Family episode "The Man in the Street", Archie makes an anti-Semitic remark to Levy, an Orthodox Jewish TV repairman who can't immediately fix his set because it's almost sundown on Friday.
Levy: Mr. Bunker, I can only answer that insult with an old Jewish expression: Tzun a leben in a hoyz mit a toyznt tsimers un zolt hobn a boykhveytik in yeder tsimer. ("May you live in a house with a thousand rooms, and get a stomachache in each room.")
Archie: What the hell does that mean?
Levy: You'll never know, but believe me, I got even.
- A Jewish one:
- May you live in a hundred houses, and may each have a hundred rooms, and may each room have a hundred corners, and may you be thrown from corner to corner!
- A similar one:
May you have a hundred relatives, and may they all give you socks on your birthday!
- Here are some more:
May you turn into a chandelier, so that you can hang from the ceiling all day and burn at night!May every tooth in your head but one fall out, and that one ache!
- A Chinese one (which actually probably originated in the U.S.): "May you live in interesting times."
- Classical Arabic provides a large number of these. You see, more direct options for insults are notably absent; the ancient Arabs put a high value on poetry, and the language handed down from generation to generation is a high-class, literary/poetic tongue. Pre-Islamic Arabs even made an art of insult poetry, called Hijaa', which could get quite creative indeed.note On the other hand, the various kinds of colloquial Arabic spoken on streets across the Arab world includes an arsenal of vulgarity and obscenity to rival that of any other language, with a particular focus on attacks on one's parentage—most especially on one's mother—and (for men) implications of being a passive homosexual ("catching", not "pitching"). For comparison:
- A typical Classical Arabic insult: You have the right, and may all your wishes come true.
- A typical colloquial Arabic insult: Your mother's cunt, you son of a filthy whore!
- This isn't to say, however, that Arabs have lost the knack for flowery insults. Classical Arabic—or rather its updated edition, Modern Standard Arabic—still thrives, and literary types are still quite good at creatively insulting one another in it. Additionally, some groups of Arabs have the old-fashioned floweriness: "A thousand dicks in your religion" is not Classical Arabic, but rather Palestinian.
- A listing of such insults from around the world
- May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits, and may your arms be too short to scratch.
- "May the Protocaliphora fly lay eggs in your testicles weekly." (Protocaliphora is a real genus of fly, but these flies lay their eggs in birds, not humans.)
- "May your genitals fall off in your soup." - From Japan
- Hungarian language is basically an excuse to pull off extremely flowery insults. "May the old devil fuck you with his meter-long blue-veined studded dick until you split in two on the back of your filthy whore of a mother" is an appropriate reaction for stubbing one's toe. A shorter one is "Go home and make yourself a little brother!". Or "May you give birth to / shit out a hedgehog!"
- Serbian is second only to Hungarian in terms of insult creativity. If you're ever in Serbia, just punch an old person, and you will hear terms of endearment such as:
- "Fuck your father's mother, he yours, and I both of your mothers!"
- "Who the hell cut your belly cord in place of your throat?"
- "Fuck you to a certain point, after which I give the honor to your sister."
- "By your traitorous, evil, mercenary blood!"
- "May the bird of paradise fly up your nose."
- Swedish rapper Timbuktu's "Resten av ditt liv" ("The Rest of Your Life") gives us
I hope you'll never again be able to remember a PIN code
I mean never, even if they give you a new one
And may your watch always be twenty minutes slow so you're always late
And may flesh-eating ants eat your eyelids so you're always tired
And even when you're well rested you'll look really really really tired
And may your hard drives for ever always crash!
- Everything Everything's "Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread" contains the lines:
You are a thief and a murderer too
Stole the face that you wear from a craven baboon
- Iggy Pop's "Paraguay", in which Iggy is somewhat less than happy with the modern life.
You take your motherfucking laptop and just shove it into your goddamn foul mouth
And down your shit heel gizzard
You fucking phony two faced three timing piece of turd
And I hope you shit it out with all the words in it
And I hope the security services read those words and pick you up and flay you
For all your evil and poisonous intentions
Because I'm sick!
And it's your fault!
And I'm gonna go heal myself now!
- Done occasionally on The Navy Lark, usually by CPO Pertwee. A particularly impressive example:
Pertwee: Johnson...you are a stupid, idiotic, dim-witted, addle-brained, left-handed, feeble-minded, bone-headed, nonsensical, infantile, half-baked, blunt-brained, puerile, unenlightened, quicksotic, spoon-fed, dolt, nutting, biff, bonce—steaming great CLOD!Sub-Lieutenant Phillips: Oh, hello, you chaps...Pertwee: ...and then there were two.
- In The Men from the Ministry this is General Assistance Department's boss Sir Gregory's main weapon against One and Two when not threatening to use physical violence.
Sir Gregory: You half-witted idiots! Blundering buffoons!
- Dungeons & Dragons quasi-Arabic setting Al-Qadim follows the tradition. A few of these are found in the "Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara" (Land of Fate boxed set):
May a porcupine live in your trousers for a thousand days and die there for a thousand and one.May you sleep with a restless heart and know a thousand nights of misery.
- Johnny Carson used to use these when doing his Carnac the Magnificent routine on The Tonight Show.
May a crazed weightlifter clean and jerk your sister.May your only son become the goalie on a nude hockey team.May a camel with a weak kidney condition find your hope chest.May the winds of the Sahara blow a desert scorpion up your turban.May you fall asleep under a camel with post nasal drip.May you be forced to visit a near-sighted proctologist.May a weird holy man drop a cactus down your shorts.
- William Shakespeare was also a master of this, the term "lily-livered" was popularized by him. Timon of Athens has "Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!".
Kent: Fellow, I know thee.Oswald: What dost thou know me for?Kent: A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk inheriting slave, one that wouldst be a bawd in the way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch; one whom I will beat into clamorous whining if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition.
- Kent (disguised as Caius) delivers one to Oswald in King Lear:
- Cyrano de Bergerac:
Lise (dryly): And am I not free to turn at last to some use the sole thing that yourwretched scribblers of halting lines leave behind them by way of payment?Ragueneau: Groveling ant! ...Insult not the divine grasshoppers, the sweet singers!
- A man wants to insult Cyrano, but all he can say is: "Sir, your nose is... hmm... it is... very big!" Cyrano berates him for being unimaginative, and gives examples of better insults in many different styles.
- At Act II scene I, Ragueneau gives us this gem when he reproach his practical wife Lise her judgment on his friends, the poets:
- P.S. Your Cat is Dead has, "May your orgasms turn to stone."
- Pilots in Endless Sky have a very... colorful vocabulary of randomly-generated insults to throw at you if you talk to them after disabling their ship.
- Practically everything uttered by Fawful in the Mario & Luigi series. "Your lives that I spit on are now but a caricature of a cartoon drawn by a kid who is stupid!"
- The insults in The Curse of Monkey Island venture into this territory sometimes. They're still prime examples of You Fight Like a Cow... but because he's on the high seas, he has to rhyme his retort with his opponent's jibe. If you don't know the correct response, you can still give 'em a rhyme...but it's more like Flowery Idiocy instead.
Pirate: I'll skewer you like a sow at a buffet!
Guybrush: ...I'm more confused than mere words can convey.
- Ezio gives Cesare an insult that's pretty flowery for him at the end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood: "Che nessuno ricordi il tuo nome (May no one remember your name)."
- In Team Fortress 2, most of the classes have pithy insults for if they get the occasional kill. But if they score a domination (achieved by killing the same enemy four times without said enemy killing them even once), they let loose with some of the most vitriolic (and hilarious) lines in the game.
- The second localization of Final Fantasy V replaces Faris' Pirate Talk with these.
"You addle-pated foul-complexioned scofflaw!"
- Something*Positive is full of these, a particularly impressive string here.
- Jägermonsters in Girl Genius are as good in Trash Talk as they are in a fight:
- Popular in Capt'n Crazy. Like "Bearded ape", "roast apple".
- Christmas Snow from Shadowgirls, after getting a memo that the life isn't all high-schoolgirlish pettiness, caught a little clinical bureaucrat and... rather creatively "exercised" her Mad Bitchy Skillz.
- Goblins: Kin suffers from fear-enhanced Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness and comes out with some good ones. "Your existence demonstrates a flesh-to-futility ratio that is mathematically staggering!"
- Homestuck: Good gracious, Karkat Vantas. For his first meeting with John, he composed a flood of verbal abuse that took up half-a-dozen inches of page-space, and his meticulously-crafted capslock vitriol can sometimes go downright purple.
- El Goonish Shive: Catalina calls the fat Hitler-resembling principal a "facist-mustached-grapefruit-shaped-dictator-jackass" to his back in a rapid fire delivery instead of just yelling plain "jackass" at his face.
- Gorgeous Princess Creamy Beamy: "Nice girl, but about as sharp as a bowling ball."
- xkcd channel's bot has a rather unusual set of phrases for this purpose.
(channel operator): are those insults or pokemon?
- The insulting mass bait of 419eater.com (NSFW language).
- In the Protectors of the Plot Continuum mission Impostor, Captain Jack Sparrow tells a character replacement that "if you have a mind to impersonate the most fearsome pirate in the Spanish Main, it’d be a good idea not to make me out as having half the spine of a cooked jellyfish."
- The Simpsons:
Seamus: Oooh, this is yer doing, Willy. I'll turn yer groin ta puddin'!Willy: Ach, ya speak like a poet, but ya punch like one, too!-Willy and Seamus fight-Seamus: Oh, ow, ya bastard!Willy: Gah!-Willy punches Seamus away-
- According to Murdoc Niccals of Gorillaz, the school bully Tony Chopper (no relation to One Piece's Tony Chopper) who made his life a misery when he was ten was a "useless bloated backward waste of space who'd probably get a job holding up For Sale signs on street corners, only to then get himself fired and replaced by a bucket of soil. A pissed monkey would stand a better chance in life."
- In The Ren & Stimpy Show, Ren often refers to Stimpy as "a bloated sack of protoplasm."
- From Inhumanoids we get "Check the fluid level in your brain!"
- In the Samurai Jack episode that introduces the Scotsman, he taunts Jack with an impressive twenty seconds of Scottish put-downs.
- His wife is also very fond of these, showering them on Jack and the Scotsman as they try to rescue her from demons.
- Dr. Robotnik of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog loves insulting others, to the point where there's an alphabetized video featuring all his insults.
- Martha Speaks: During a dream, someone describes An Ice Person as being "as much fun as an ice cream headache".
- Theodore Roosevelt once said of President McKinley that he had "no more backbone than a chocolate eclair".
- Former Prime Minister of Australia Paul Keating is still revered as having possessed one of the sharpest tongues ever wielded in the halls of parliament. His insults weren't all flowery gems (he could regularly be openly coarse and was often downright savage), but a number of them were practically works of art. A collection of some of his best can be found here.
Paul Keating: I was implying that the Honorable Member for Wentworth was like a lizard on a rock - alive, but looking dead.
- Ludwig van Beethoven had a good one when one of his patrons, a Prince, complained about his work: "Prince, what you are is merely by accident of birth."
- When the Spoonerism had first become popularized, a politician in the British parliament used the opportunity to get some crap past the radar against his opponent, saying, "Sir, you are a shining wit. I am sorry, that was a spoonerism."
- The amazing Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV. When the nicest thing they call you is "Lucifer's secretary", you know they're not screwing around.
- Mark Twain - "I didn't go to his funeral, but I sent a letter saying I approved of it."
- Winston Churchill sadly never said of Clement Attlee: "An empty taxi pulled up and the Prime Minister got out", as he thought very highly of Attlee, but Churchill was the source of many other flowery insults.
- Popular video game critic and vlogger RazorFist is well-known for using a plethora of unique and overly loquacious insults and analogies whenever ranting (at least while "in-character"). So much so that some comments have noted that they have to reference a thesaurus to understand his references.
- Even more popular video game critic Ben Croshaw is arguably even more well-known for his creatively caustic vernacular.
- Well-known atheist vlogger AronRa can get pretty creatively brutal with his insults towards creationists—for example, in this video, he refers to one of said creationists as a "special Olympian super-bigot". In the same video, it's shown that he doesn't restrict this to creationists either; he refers to a Pekingese dog as a "googly eyed yapping PEZ dispenser".
- Vice President Spiro Agnew was often a master of this, calling his opponents things like "an effete corps of impudent snobs", "hopeless, hysterical, hypochondriacs of history", and most famously "nattering nabobs of negativism." Interestingly, though Agnew did tend towards the flowery in his insults, the ones everyone remembers were really the product of his speechwriter, William Safire, who was later hired by The New York Times to provide conservative commentary on weekdays and the snarky Grammar Nazi column "On Language" on Sundays.