Saturday, November 28, 2009

Historical Insults

Part 2 of my 'research' on insults is actually a forward I got a couple of days back. These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words that we liberally use... :)

Kicking off with some classics from the incomparable Sir Winston Churchill who was know for his sharp wit and even sharper tongue...

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill on Sir Stafford Cripps

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."

The exchange between Churchill & Bernard Shaw:
George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.: "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one."
Winston Churchill, in response: "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one."

This one is unconfirmed but is very relevant, isn't it? "Americans always do the right thing, just as soon as they are done trying everything else"

Here are 2 gems from across the Atlantic...

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain

And back to Britannia for the rest, resuming with a few of Oscar's wild ones!
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.." - Oscar Wilde

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow

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."

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas

"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." - Count Talleyrand Charles

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West

"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

"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr