The Quote Garden ™
I dig old books. ™
Quotable Insults & Comebacks
and Quotes about Insults
No two insults call for quite the same treatment, but I offer you this as a generality: The only graceful way to accept an insult is to ignore it; if you can't ignore it, top it; if you can't top it, laugh at it; if you can't laugh at it, it's probably deserved. ~Russell Lynes, "The Art of Accepting," in Vogue, 1952
M-day is here; it's the day of the moron. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
Some people should use a glue stick instead of ChapStick®. ~Author unknown
I've had a wonderful evening — but this wasn't it. ~Groucho Marx, unverified
When a ham actor told George Jessel "I'm a sensation at the Roxy. Last night I had the audience glued to their seats," Jessel snapped, "Wonderful! How clever of you to think of it." ~Bennett Cerf, c.1950
Some people make happiness wherever they go.
~Success Magazine, 1908, Orison Swett Marden, editor and founder [a little altered —tg]
Villain, I have done thy mother. ~William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, c.1593 [IV, 2, Aaron]
SLANDER is like a hornet. If you don't kill it dead the first crack, you'd better not strike at it at all. ~Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw, 1818–1885), revised by H. Montague, 1913
You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance. ~Edward Flaherty, unverified
I can't believe that out of 100,000 sperm, you were the quickest. ~Steven Pearl, as quoted in Passing Time in the Loo, 1999, Stevens W. Anderson, editor
...thou ass-begotten bastard, whom Noah never let into his ark!... What devil's crotchet got into thy capricious noddle, that thou shouldst... run bellowing like Lucifer? ~Richard Cumberland, Nicolas Pedrosa, 1799
Yes, Agassiz does recommend authors to eat fish, because the phosphorus in it makes brain. So far you are correct. But I cannot help you to a decision about the amount you need to eat — at least not with certainty. If the specimen composition you send is about your fair usual average, I suggest that perhaps a couple of whales would be all you would want for the present. Not the largest kind, but simply good middling-sized whales. ~Mark Twain
Ay, do, do; thou sodden-witted lord! thou hast no
more brain than I have in mine elbows; an assinego
may tutor thee: thou scurvy-valiant ass!...
~William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, c.1601 [II, 1, Thersites]
With too much blood and too little brain, these two
may run mad; but, if with too much brain and too
little blood they do, I'll be a curer of madmen.
Here's Agamemnon, an honest fellow enough and one
that loves quails; but he has not so much brain as
~William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, c.1601 [V, 1, Thersites]
...more of your conversation would
infect my brain...
~William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, c.1607 [II, 1, Menenius Agrippa]
Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes. ~William Shakespeare, Richard III, c.1592 [I, 2, Lady Anne]
You can imagine what a racket with Joe Perkins would be, — about as lively as a Lowell Institute Lecture, or sleighing on sand. ~Peppermint Perkins (Joe Perkins), 1886
...His wit's as thick
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II, c.1590 [II, 4, Falstaff]
You know he loves her as the devil loves holy water. ~Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation, 1738
You have such a passion for doctoring my disposition, that you can't give sweetmeats without mixing a little physic with them... ~George E. Dabney, "The History of an Adventurer," 1840
Ah my diminutive little chum, how would you like to go out and ride piggyback on a buzz saw. ~W. C. Fields, to Charlie McCarthy, wooden dummy partner of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, 1938
I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. ~English professor, Ohio University, as quoted in InfoWorld, 1996
I could eat alphabet soup and [$h¡t] better lyrics. ~Johnny Mercer, c.1975, unverified per Nigel Rees, in Cassell Companion to Quotations, 1997
The scratches in Yoko Ono records are moments of relief. ~S. A. Sachs
...whose face is not worth
~William Shakespeare, Henry V, c.1598 [V, 2, Henry V]
It was a book to kill time for those who like it better dead. ~Rose Macaulay, as quoted in Herbert V. Prochnow, The New Speaker's Treasury of Wit and Wisdom, 1958
Jane Austen's books, too, are absent from this library. Just that one omission alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it. ~Mark Twain
I haven't any right to criticise books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone. ~Mark Twain
Being unpleasant seems to be your only hobby. ~Livingston Welch, A Victim of Rest, 1924 [Eve to Adam —tg]
And thou unfit for any place but hell. ~William Shakespeare, Richard III, c.1592 [I, 2, Lady Anne]
O, she is the antidote to desire. ~William Congreve, The Way of the World, 1700
Her face was her chaperone. ~Rupert Hughes, as quoted in James O. Kemm, Rupert Hughes: A Hollywood Legend, 1997
No longer from head to foot than from hip to hip:
she is spherical, like a globe; I could find out
countries in her.
~William Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors, c.1589 [III, 2, Dromio of Syracuse]
Sheriff: One of them is well known, my gracious lord,
A gross fat man.
Carrier: As fat as butter.
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, c.1597 [II, 4]
She looks as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth... ~Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation, 1738
These lies are like their father that begets them;
gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou
clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou
whoreson, obscene, grease tallow-catch,—
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, c.1597 [II, 4, Henry V]
'Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried
neat's tongue, you bull's pizzle, you stock-fish! O
for breath to utter what is like thee! you
tailor's-yard, you sheath, you bowcase; you vile
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, c.1597 [II, 4, Falstaff]
Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon! ~William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, c.1607 [IV, 3, Timon]
...drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will
be swine-drunk; and in his sleep he does little
harm, save to his bed-clothes about him; but they
know his conditions and lay him in straw...
~William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, c.1602 [IV, 3, Parolles]
The Stones that Critics hurl with Harsh Intent
A Man may use to build his Monument.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Judgments," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924
Sir, if you spend word for word with me, I shall
make your wit bankrupt.
~William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, c.1594 [II, 4, Thurio]
Last saved 2021 Jul 22 Thu 11:25 PDT