The Art Of High Insult

A friend wrote the following in a Facebook note:

Twice in less than 24 hours I have been called “Silly”–as in “No silly!”–by two separate should-be-grown-men, on two separate occasions, for two separate reasons. I think it was supposed to be some sort of mild insult. Well, let me tell you, I am way more offended by the lack of genius and creativity in the name calling.

I was just discussing this with the second man, when I realized that I–who limit my name calling to things like “stupid”, “bone-head”, “douche bag”, the politically-incorrect “retard” and the slightly more creative “blow-hard” am almost just as bad. Not quite, but almost. The scene from the 1991 Steven Spielberg classic, HOOK, came to mind. In the clip Peter, a grown lawyer and Rufio, head of the lost boys get into a name calling match.

THIS is a prime example of what the glorious ART of insulting is supposed to be! It is the masterful utilization of all bad things, jobs, reading levels, body functions, etc, to come up with the most extraordinary ” bad-name” ever! We should be creative enough NOT to use the same bad name twice!

I decided to put a copy of the name calling match up as an example in all its educational glory, but I must warn you:


Peter Banning: I bet you don’t even have a fourth grade reading level.
Rufio: Hemorrhoidal suck naval.
Peter Banning: Or maybe a fifth grade reading level.
[kids whistle and waves their hands around]
Rufio: Boil dripping beef fart sniffing bubble butt.
Kids: Bangerang, Rufio.
Peter Banning: Someone has a severe ka-ka mouth, you know that?
Rufio: You are fart factory. Cheesy, scab picked, pimple squeezing finger bandage. A week old maggot burger with everything on it and flies on the side.
Peter Banning: Substitute chemistry teacher.
Rufio: Mung tongue.
Peter Banning: Math tutor.
Rufio: Pinhead.
Peter Banning: Prison Barber.
Rufio: Mother lover.
Peter Banning: Nearsighted gynecologist.
Rufio: In your face, camel cake.
Peter Banning: In your rear, cow derrière.
Rufio: Lying, crying, spying, prying ultra-pig.
Peter Banning: You lewd, crude, rude, bag of pre-chewed food, Dude.
Kids: Bangerang, Peter.
Rufio: You… You man! You stupid, stupid man!
Peter Banning: Rufio, if I’m a maggot burger why don’t you EAT ME? You two-toned zebra-headed paramecium brain, munchin’ on your own mucus, suffering from Peter Pan envy?
Don’t Ask: What’s a paramecium brain?
Peter Banning: I’ll tell you what a paramecium is. It’s a one-celled critter with no brain, that can’t fly. Don’t mess with me man, I’m a lawyer!

Whilst discussing this matter with my brother, he also reminded me of the scene in What About Bob? It is less spectacular in nature, but good none-the-less.

But that cannot even begin compare to the fabulous scene from HOOK! Again,
**View Discretion is ADVISED-(Especially for those easily offended, or with poor senses of humor.)**

Note: You really only need to watch the first two minutes of this clip to catch the gloriousness of it. Enjoy.

And as a test of your name calling prowess, you have permission to post your most creative insult. (Profane and Obscene posts are subject to deletion.)

I think a main issue preventing true forms of high insult is our unfamiliarity with and uncomfortability with larger, multi-syllabic terminology.
Large words have become a cultural more now, and their users are considered posers and charlatans seeking to impress rather than communicate.

Instead of being full of deep, rich, and precise meaning, large words are gauche.

So, to those whose minds cannot process anything longer than an 8bit instruction set, I leave you with a small word: fie!

To the rest of you: Have at me, scoundrels!

4 thoughts on “The Art Of High Insult”

  1. Hi I,

    Either your friend is a woman, or the two adult men are gay. If the former, she should have driven her high heal into the top of their feet. If the latter, it’s a term of familiarity, so let it slide.

    As to my favorite insults, they have to be personalized. For instance, if someone who is an obvious idiot keeps mentioning their high powered education, a question as to how much bribe money was needed to secure their diploma is usually enough to shut them up. Someone with famous ancestors that attempts to attach their historic abilities to themselves can usually be put in line with the appropriate mention of DNA testing. Of course, if you really want a chance to hit the object of insult, some variant on the “your momma” series will work in most cases. Just be ready to dodge that first punch.

    Generally though, I find that the best insult is to encourage the subject to continue talking, giving subtle nudges as to the direction the speech is taking with appropriate questions, until the silliness of the speaker is totally obvious to all listeners. Yes, I’m evil, and this is why my wife refuses to allow me to discuss politics or religion at parties.

    Good post.

    the Grit

  2. Funny, though I don’t mind people using words like “silly.” Mostly, when I say something like that, it is in casual conversation and it’s a part of common words. I know if someone else calls me something like “silly” they’re probably just engaging in light teasing. It all depends on the situation. And as the gritster said, most insults have to be personalized.

  3. “Silly” only has import when spoken by Bob the Tomato, the VeggieTales announcer, or any very mature-sounding voice with an english accent.

    And as long as there are not profanities as part of the insult… you have my express permission, Theo.

    I’ll let you know it they’re going too far 🙂

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