At a loss for the perfect barb? Let the bard do the work for you! Shakespeare is more than just a collection of sonnets, tragedies and impossible romances. He coined many of the epic disses we still use today. Below, I’ve compiled a few of Shakespeare’s best verbal beatdowns for your use, should the need ever arise.
No matter who it is — a heavy-handed boss, a bitchy friend, the jerk in front of you in line at the grocery store, your spouse — Shakespeare has the perfect tell-off for you. The next time you have to get the last word in, why not try one of these timeless phrases?
- A pestilence upon thee!
- Leprosy o’ertake!
- If thou be’est not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen.
- Pray you stand farther from me.
- I do desire we may be better strangers.
- I think thou art an ass.
- You fusty plebians!
- You of basest function!
- Thou lump of foul deformity.
- O heavy ignorance!
- The red plague rid you!
- A burning devil take you!
- More of your conversation would infect my brain.
- You are pigeon-livered and lack gall.
- Your face is not worth sunburning.
- He’s a tried and valiant soldier. So is my horse.
- Your horrid image doth unfix my hair.
- Let vultures gripe thy guts!
- You crusty botch of nature!
- You speak an infinite deal of nothing!
- I do smell all horse piss; at which my nose is in great indignation.
- Let me deal coldly with you.
- Were I thee I would throw away myself.
- Out, dunghill!
There you have it. Timeless turns of phrase for the insult novice. Why not try one of them today? With the help of Shakespeare, you can stay classy while telling someone exactly where to shove it. Effortless, timeless snark for any occasion, courtesy of the master of English Literature.
Peace, thou lily-livered fools!