When Insults Had Class

Before the diluting of the language through modern acronyms and text messages, insulting one’s foes was an art form in itself.  Here are a few well-know gems:

Old Letter & Quill

“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

“In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” – Charles, Count Talleyrand

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many an obituary with a great deal of satisfaction.” 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.”

“He was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea, and that was wrong.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.” – Dorothy Parker

“He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” – Forrest Tucker

“What’s on your mind? If you’ll forgive the overstatement.” – Fred Allen

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening.  But this wasn’t it.” – Groucho Marx

“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” – Irvin S. Cobb

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright

“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” – Mae West

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” – Mark Twain

“I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” – Mark Twain

“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” – Moses Hadas

“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

“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.” – Paul Keating

“He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” – Samuel Johnson

“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” – Stephen Bishop

“He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

An exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, “If you were my husband I’d poison your tea.”
He said, “Madam, If you were my wife I’d drink it.”

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” – Winston Churchill

“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.

“Yes, madam, I am drunk. But in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.” –  Winston Churchill

“He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more.”  – P.G. Wodehouse



Filed under Quotes

5 responses to “When Insults Had Class

  1. Dorothy Parker rules the realm of insults!

  2. She had a biting wit! My favourite quote of hers is, “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” 😉

  3. Nice collection, found some old friends again, and some new ones too.

  4. Thank you! I love witty quotes – I thought I’d add a few more tomorrow. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Quintus Quotes: Witty Comebacks | Stephanie Huesler

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