When Insults Had Class

These glorious insults are from an era when cleverness with words was still valued, before a great portion of the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words,not to mention waving middle fingers.

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:

She said,'If you were my husband I'd give you poison,'

And he said, 'If you were my wife, I'd drink it.'

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

'A modest little person, with much to be modest about.'
- 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).

'Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?'
- Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

'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 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

'There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure.'
- Jack E. Leonard

'He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.' -
- Robert Redford

'They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.'
- Thomas Brackett Reed

'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 this wasn't it.'
- Groucho Marx


This page created and maintained by Dave Palmer

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