Let's face, creatively insulting someone is one of the most important skills a writer (and a human) can possess. There's nothing worse than sinking to an overused, cliche invective to slam your hated rival. Such times demand a fresh blade of words to cut deepest.
Enter, the Shakespearean insult generator and the Shakespeare insult kit, a neat pair of internet toys that allow you (in a sort of mad lib-esque way) to generate Elizabethan insults that are sure to draw blood from your foes.
As a writer, the Shakespearean insult generator is also useful to infuse a little verisimilitude into your medieval characters' diction. While many fantasy writers employ modern curse words, mixing in a few authentic-sounding taunts will help you suspend your audience's disbelief .
So let's take a look at a few randomly generated Shakespearean insults and ponder their meanings:
|William Shakespeare, the ultimate insultist|
A personal favorite. No need to ponder the meaning of this one, it seems rather appropriate for any number of idle-headed lewdsters I've seen waltzing the thoroughfares of my hometown.
Lumpish milk-livered joithead
A more advanced Elizabethan insult, reserved for those fly-bitten giglets you really want to curse. Mostly nonsensical, this should be reserved for the blobby, lump-resembling pumpions whose brainless antics entice such vile cruelty.
Pribbling half-faced puttock
A perfect one for those brainless oaf types. To pribble means to speak nonsensically and a puttock is defined as "a person likened to a bird of prey in being considered greedy, grasping, or rapacious."
You have to love these alliterative insults; they roll off the tongue like bitter honey. This excellent affront for the clay-brained coxcomb of your family, translates to modern speak as essentially a low-ranked sluggard who was reared in a marsh.
Gorbellied sheep-biting skainsmate
This libelous invective has a good deal going on within its four words. Gorbellied means, in essence, "bog bellied" or round bellied. Corpulent might be a good synonym. Sheep biting, while generating a rather humorous and vivid image, requires little explanation. Skainsmate literally translates to "companion in arms" but apparently (according to one source) had implications of prostitution in Shakespeare's time.
Spleeny canker blossom
Another to-the-point bit of scorn that is sure to off-seat your foes. Someone who is spleeny is one "displays too much spleen," which in Elizabethan times meant apparently "fretful, nervous, and not wholesome to one's cause." A canker blossom, on the other hand, has a lovely double-meaning which displays just why Shakespearean language is so effective. First, it refers to literally a flower that has been eaten by canker worms, but also refers to the open sores of an infectious skin disease (often venereal in origin) that resemble these rotting, half-eaten flowers.
Ruttish elf-skinned moldwarp
This slight is excellently thorough. The word ruttish implies an over-tendency towards sexual arousal (perhaps you have heard of elk or deer being in "the rut), elf-skinned implies a shrunken, pale appearance, and moldwarp is just an archaic term for an earth-dwelling creature, particularly a mole.
A less-vicious attack suitable perhaps to insult someone you might usually enjoy but for some reason has earned a moment of ingratitude. Someone who is "earth-vexing" is one who stands in the way of the progress of man and his world. A dewberry is literally a berry, closely related to the blackberry. A diminutive insult even if the object it evokes is rather delicious.
A straight-forward insult that embraces a deeper sense of brevity than most on this list. Odiferous means (obviously) smelly, and a cacodemon is a malevolent spirit or person.
Another concise insult that begs little explanation. Vex your enemies by insulting their intelligence and appearance!
No you have the tools necessary not only to carve up your rivals with words but to sound supremely more intelligent in the process!
-The Shakespearean insult kit
-Insult Dream's Shakespearean Insult Generator
When not dreaming up ways to creatively insult people, Brian occasionally writes about other, sometimes more serious, topics like the consequences of building fences between us and our neighbors, or the potentially damaging effects of social media on our culture. He is also a news reporter, essayist and spends as much of his free time as possible working on one or more of his unfinished novel projects which he hopes to one day see on your bookshelf. You can sign up for his mailing list and expect the full expression of his gratitude. Don't worry, all you will get is a weekly email updating you on his most recent musings.