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An A-L of Hilarious Insults from History We Think Deserve a Revival!

An A-L of Hilarious Insults from History We Think Deserve a Revival!

Although we don’t condone throwing insults about willy-nilly either in real life or online, some situations call for a release of tension in the form of a verbal vent – even if it’s just in the privacy of your own home or via text message with your BFF. Sick of the same old put-downs and comebacks when someone annoys or insults you? Looking for new ways of getting your point across or venting your frustrations that won’t see you nursing a week-long Facebook ban? Well, we think we’ve found the answer you’re looking for.

A look back at popular slang from centuries ago, reveal clever, witty and amusing insults, the likes of which our modern verbiage can’t compete with. Restock your arsenal of vocabulary that expresses your irritation with your fellow friends, family and neighbours by dipping into this ancient pot of awesomely insulting jibes. You’re welcome!

Addle Pate

The earliest use of the term addle pate is found in early 17th century in work by Anthony Monday, a playwright and translator. The word addle (meaning confused) and pate (meaning head) come together to denote a foolish or dull-witted person.

Beard Splitter

According to Francis Grose in his ‘Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue’ (1811) the slang term ‘beard splitter’ which was used as a synonym for the penis (splitting through the beard of the pubic hair), was also a term used to describe ‘a man much given to wenching,’ or as we might say today, visiting prostitutes!


This one is thought to have been coined by Shakespeare, who uses it in his 1623 play ‘The Winter’s Tale.’ It is thought that it might possibly be related to the Dutch word ‘zwerver’ meaning wanderer, as it was used to mean someone who is unfaithful and goes from one bed to another!


The term ‘bespawler’ comes from Medieval times and was used for someone who spits when they talk. Nice!


This insult comes from 18th Century Great Britain and was used to mean a hot-tempered, unjustifiably angry woman, who was more often than not stereotyped as a red-haired Irish maidservant of a wealthy family.


Thought to have come from the Danish word donderbus, donder meaning ‘thunder’ and bus meaning ‘gun,’ the name blunderbuss was given to a muzzle-loading firearm with a short muzzle. However, the slang use for the word blunderbuss referred to a stupid, blundering idot.


To be called ‘corny-faced’ was to be described as being very red and pimply!


During the 16th century the term ‘draggle-draggle’ was used to describe a woman who was untidy or unclean.

Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay


21`A ‘fopdoodle’ is a foolish, insignificant wretch!


The word ‘fossock’ which also meant a donkey or an ass, was used to call someone stupid and fat.


If you consider that the word ‘fusty’ referred to something rotten or mouldy, and ‘legs’ to something heavy, then you could probably guess that this insult would be directed at someone considered fat and slovenly. In this case, this particular insult was more commonly directed at women.


This is an old Scottish word for a swindling businessman. It describes someone who gets into debt and then flees.


According to the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, originally by Frances Grose, the word ‘gollumpus’ means a large clumsy fellow.


‘Gundiguts’ is a 17th century term for an extremely overweight person.


The term ‘gnashgab’ refers to someone who is constantly finding fault and complaining.


‘Gobbermouch’ is an old Irish word for a nosey, prying person who likes to interfere in other people’s business.

Hedge Whore

A ‘hedge whore’ was a common or cheap prostitute who, rather than working from a bawdy-house, would conduct her business in the open air or under a hedge.


The first known use of the word ‘hobbledehoy’ is from 1540, and was used to refer to an awkward, ungainly youth.


A ‘jackanapes’ was a cheeky or impertinent person.


Coming from the Greek Word ‘klazo’ meaning to scream, a klazomaniac was someone who could only speak by shouting!


The term ‘leasing-monger’ was used to call. Someone a liar.


Much like today’s term ‘arse-kisser,’ a ‘lickspittle’ was a term used for a pathetic type of person who was overly servile and fawned over someone.


This word which was used to denote a slow or sluggish person, somewhat unsurprisingly, also referred to a large flaccid penis!


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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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