Funny Articles

10 Old Timey Insults We Should Bring Back

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Since the first day human beings developed language, we’ve used it to insult each other. Of course, modern insults can be pretty boring, and are sometimes more cruel than funny. In times like these, we need more insult options at our disposal. I suggest we look backwards, into the annals of insult history. Ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, Victorian England, the Old West, the Jazz Age, and even the Age of Disco have wonderful insults just waiting to be used again. Join me and curse magnificently, you fustilarian fopdoodles, or I will tickle your catastrophe.

1) Fopdoodle

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A fopdoodle is an insignificant fool. The word comes from Elizabethan times and was last used regularly in the early 1800s when it was considered a very rude thing to say indeed. Scandalize your friends and parents by bringing this word into your lexicon! If anyone doesn’t get it, they’re just a fopdoodle.

2) Fustilarian

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A Fustilarian stubbornly wastes time on worthless things and is a scoundrel who both smells badly and moves slowly, probably because they’re very fat. Shakespeare invented Fustilarian, because he could do that. It’s most famously used in Henry IV, where the quote above appears and basically means, “Get out of here, you servant! You rascal! You scoundrel! I will kick your ass!”

3) “As ugly as a burnt boot”

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This Old West insult, which was used from the mid-1800s until around 1920, is perfect for dissing your friends with the creativity only a cowboy could muster. Have you SEEN a burnt boot? Phew. Fugly.

4) Sack of wine

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Calling someone “a sack of wine” stretches all the way back to The Iliad, first written down around 760 BC. Achilles calls Agamemnon a sack of wine and also says that he has an “antelope heart.” The movie Troy didn’t always stick faithfully to the book, but luckily this is one detail they didn’t leave out. That means the world now has wonderful GIFs of Brad Pitt saying the words “sack of wine” in the angriest manner possible.

5) “Take a long walk off a short pier”

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This is just a fun way of telling someone to F off. Try it out. You’ll see, it’s fun.

6) “You misbegotten spawn of hell!”

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This was a pretty intense insult back in medieval times. Not only are you the spawn of hell, you’re the poorly planned, ill-conceived spawn of hell.

7) Loon

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Everyone knows the meaning of “loony”, if only from Loony Luna Lovegood, but the noun version — just calling someone a loon — is woefully underused. Next time you think someone is a crazy fool weirdo, just say, “What a loon!” Loons are also birds that look like this, but probably nobody will get confused.

8) Strumpet

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“Strumpet” is basically a fun word for “slut”, which is good because there’s nothing fun about the word “slut”. Make it even more fun and use it for both men and women!

9) Yo-yo

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A yo-yo is a dummy, an idiot, someone without a lot going on upstairs. This insult may have originated because these dolts vacillate like a yo-yo? I’m not sure. Finding the etymology for this word was very difficult because googling “yo-yo” is only going to reveal the predictable results. It’s time to end the toy’s hegemony on the word “yo-yo” and bring it back into use as a fun way to say someone is stupid. “Bert tried to order a Five Dollar Footlong when we were at Quizno’s. What a yo-yo.” See how fun it is?

10) “Up your nose with a rubber hose”

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This G-rated profanity rose to popularity in the ‘70s because of the hit show Welcome Back Kotter. Let’s not allow Welcome Back Kotter’s descent into historical obscurity consign this fun and feisty insult to the trash heap of forgotten obscenity.


So, what do you think? Will you start using any of these fabulous insults? What’s your favorite old-time insult? Tell me @erikaheidewald or leave a comment!

Check out How To Insult People In Foreign Countries!