16 Great Insults from Across Different Eras of History

Stop! Stop! He’s already dead!
16 Great Insults from Across Different Eras of History

It’s one thing to get roasted by a Jeff Ross or an Anthony Jeselnik. That’s their whole thing, of course they’re going to cut to the quick with maximum efficiency. But if Kierkegaard starts lobbing grenades your way? Buddy, that’s when you know you’re in trouble.

A 35,000-Year-Old Stone Tablet Containing the Oldest Known Yo Mama Joke

“...of your mother is by the one who has intercourse with her. What/who is it?” Sadly, the punchline is missing, but it still stings, all these millennia later.

Groucho Marx Lobbing Stones from Inside His Glass House

“I never forget a face, but in your case, I’ll make an exception.”

Kurt Vonnegut Not Pulling Any Punches

“If your brains were dynamite, there wouldn’t be enough to blow your hat off.”

An 18th-Century Nursery Rhyme That’s As True Today As It Was Then

“My mill grinds pepper and spice. Your mill grinds rats and mice.”

There’s Just Something About These Old-School, Poetic Burns That Ache Somewhere Deep Inside Our Lizard Brains

For instance, take this zinger from Shakespeare: “The tautness of his face sours ripe grapes.” Bill, you didn’t have to go so hard!

11/num]Kierkegaard Absolutely Eviscerating His Academic Rival

“My opponent is a glob of snot.”

Pope John Paul XXIII Was Asked How Many People Work in the Vatican, and He Roasted Their Asses

“About half.”

Hunter S. Thompson Hated Presidential Candidate Hubert Humphrey, and Said We Could Have a Little Eugenics, As a Treat

“They don’t hardly make ‘em like Hubert anymore — but just to be on the safe side, he should be castrated anyway.”

This Quote Was Technically Uttered by Senator Angus King, But He Was Paraphrasing Winston Churchill

“Americans will always try to do the right thing — after they've tried everything else.”

Mahatma Gandhi Reportedly Roasted Us to a Crisp When Asked, “What Do You Think About Western Civilization?”

“I think it would be a good idea.”

Roman Emperor Nero Added Insult to Injury After Killing a Guy

“How could I have been afraid of a man with such a long nose?”

John Adams Putting His Colleagues on Blast

“In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress.”

William Faulkner Roasting Ernest Hemingway

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

And Hemingway Clapped Back!

“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

Playwright George Bernard Shaw Passive-Aggressively Inviting Winston Churchill to His Play

“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play. Bring a friend — if you have one.”

Winston Churchill, Predictably, Got Shaw’s Ass

“Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one.”

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