Shakespeare's Book of Insults, Insights and Infinite Jests
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Shakespeare's Book of Insults, Insights and Infinite Jests

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  259 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The sharpest stings ever to snap from the tip of an English-speaking tongue are here at hand, ready to be directed at the knaves, villains, and coxcombs of the reader's choice. Culled from 38 plays, here are the best 5,000 examples of Shakespeare's glorious invective, arranged by play, in order of appearance, with helpful act and line numbers for easy reference, along with...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published November 28th 1984 by Templegate Publishers (first published November 1984)
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Martine
A few choice insults I learned from the Bard:

Truly thou art damned, like an ill-roasted egg, all on one side.

God help thee, shallow man! God make incision in thee, thou art raw!

I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways. Therefore tremble and depart.

Thou art poison to my blood.

O disloyal thing, thou heap'st a year's age on me!

Whore-son caterpillars!

Bacon-fed knaves!

How now, wool-sack, what mutter you?

Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whore-son obscene greasy tallow-catch!

I neve...more
Wild for Wilde
I think the awesomeness of this book can be described simply from one of the many hilarious quotes from it: "Take thee to a nunery!"
Gerry
This is surely the best way to read Shakespeare!

Short quotations that are easy to digest and what's more these ones relate to abuses and affronts, which makes them more amusing.

I particularly like 'The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes' from Coriolanus and 'There is no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune' from Henry IV Part 1 - both quite fruity!

I don't think I have enjoyed Shakespeare as much since GCE days - only joking about the latter!
M.G. Bianco
Clever book, fun to use as a reference book. I was a bit mistaken in thinking it was a book about how to craft insults like Shakespeare's. It is actually just a listing of insults from Shakespeare's plays. That being said, though, it is pretty clever. It is well-organized as well.

The first section just lists the best names to call people: measureless liar, quintessence of dust, pigeon-liver, wretched slave with a body filled and vacant mind, dunghill groom, and king of codpieces.

It would be bett...more
Edward
Everyone should know a few good ones.
Mark Desrosiers
This essential reference work could be improved by identifying the speaker and target for each insult. Still, this is a surprisingly heavy and hilarious treasure-trove. Organized initially by play, but with a handy subject index at the rear. Some of my favorites:

"I'll carbonado your shanks!"

"Chill pick your teeth!"

"I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage!"

"Now is the woodcock near the gin!"

"Unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and clocks the tongue of bawds, and dials the signs of leap...more
Kate
Alright. No, I did not read every single quote. I really enjoyed the list of random names in the first chapter and the sorted ones in the last, but it also became very tedious. Might be that I am just not enough of a Shakespeare fanatic. All in all, I got a couple of funny quotes to yell at people when they cut me off.
Patricia
This is a very necessary book for anyone who is at a loss for words, and can't think of a good way to cut someone down. Over 4,000 ways to avoid the simple, "Oh, ya? Sez you!" retort, by the greatest writer that English has ever known.

"Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon!" - Timon of Athens IV, 3. Mastery.
Jan
Here's a fun novelty book of insults right out of the Bard's oeuvre. I was going to pass it on, having enjoyed it. On second thought, I'll keep it around as source material for dialogue in that novel about Christopher Marlowe that a deceased friend asked me to finish for her....
Saff
Full of every single insult from all of Shakespeare's works, one could say that was all he wrote. Some are downright rude( ok, all of them are) and some are just funny. A good way to pass the time and bug your friends.

- Is he safe? are his wits about him?-
Redsteve
Not great. Sorted by play, this book is just a list of da Bard's "insults". Some are taken out of context or are only "insults" in the loosest sense. No explanations. Meh.
Emespre
It was fun reading through them and contextualising the ones I recognise. I doubt I'll ever even consider actually using any of them, but still. Enjoyable.
Teri Cooper
Hilarious chronology of the complete Shakespeare insults...the old bard was one of literatures greatest affronters!
Mary Tuley
Aug 21, 2007 Mary Tuley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody who has something to say.
Ye gods and forsooth! I never realized that there were so many wonderful ways to say "bug out."
Hillary


Reference guide only. Good for high school Shakespeare lessons
Jessica
A cute little collection of the best of the Bard's barbs.
Lady Claire, Marchioness of Fancy Pants
A wonderful addition to my Shakespeare collection.
Rachel
A cute book about witty Shakespearean insults.
Tasha
These are all very silly.
Lewis
Seriously incomplete.
Beth
Oct 28, 2007 Beth rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bus-riders
I snorted on the bus.
Januza
Januza marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2014
Pam Gibson
Pam Gibson marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2014
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr...more
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