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9 Great Insults From Shakespeare

02/10/2014 02:22 pm 14:22:30 | Updated Feb 13, 2014
Public Domain

The Bard has been credited for popularizing thousands of English language words, including gloomy, critical and zany. He may also be responsible for the invention of rant, which would explain why he's also known for devising especially clever and biting insults.

Here are 9 of Shakespeare's absolute best put-downs, from Shakespeare Insult Generator [Chronicle, $12.95]:

  • Meaning: Bull’s penis
  • Meaning: cuckold—a man whose wife was unfaithful was thought to grow horns; from Latin “cornu,” horn
  • Meaning: man who busies himself with women’s household tasks
  • Meaning: dupe, fool, object of scorn
  • Meaning: one with faith in stupidity
  • Meaning: large cask of malmsey, a strong sweet wine
  • Meaning: saucy, insolent boy
  • Meaning: the short, erect tail of a deer
  • Meaning: a scoundrel, villain
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