When insults had class

These glorious insults are from an era “before” the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

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 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

"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 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."

-Charles, Count Talleyrand

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

-Forrest Tucker

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

-Mark Twain

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

-Mae West

"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)

"He has Van Gogh’s ear for music."

-Billy Wilder

"I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But I’m afraid this wasn’t it."

-Groucho Marx

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gems.
Now, how can we miss you if you don’t leave?

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Well now that was fun!
Thanks for sharing.

The Astor/Churchill ones are very good, there’s a whole thing here,


but the best and most famous one is:

Lady Astor said to Churchill, “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea,” to which he responded, “Madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it!”

I read a book on Groucho Marx a long time ago and there was one I liked, something like:
“TV is great for culture - every time someone switches it on I go into another room and read a good book.”

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I highly recommend the Churchill Museum in London - one could spend 30 mins or many hours and learn a lot about the man and the time

Max Reger letter to a critic:
“I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!”

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@Famavolat - that took a second or two; yet, brilliant… thank you!

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