Classy Insults

When Insults Had Class
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There was a time when words were used beautifully. These glorious insults are from an era when cleverness with words was still valued, before a great portion of the English language was boiled-down to four-letter words!

The exchange between Churchill and Lady Astor:
She said, “If you were my husband, I’d give you poison!!”
and he said, “If you were my wife, I’d take it.”

Gladstone, a Member of Parliament, to Benjamin Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows, or of some unspeakable disease.”
“That depends, sir”, said Disraeli, “On whether I embrace your policies, or your mistress.”

“He had delusions of adequacy.”
– Walter Kerr

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

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.”
– Clarence Darrow

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

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

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea, of any man I know.”
– Abraham Lincoln

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
– Mark Twain

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.”
– Oscar Wilde

“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.

“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

“He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.”
– Robert Redford

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.”
– Oscar Wilde

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts .. . . for support rather than illumination.”
– Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

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