Useful Shakespearean Insults for every Occasion….


William Shakespeare @Abdul Rahim

One, or two,  of these  may come in useful the next time you find yourself lost for words…….

“Villain, I have done thy mother”

(Really rude and should only be used in the event you don’t mind your lights being punched out..)

Titus Andronicus (Act 4, Scene 2)

“You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!”

(A good chance of getting arrested for this one….)

Henry IV Part 2 (Act 2, Scene 1)

“Thou leathern-jerkin, crystal-button, knot-pated, agatering, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish pouch!”

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 4)

“Thou art as fat as butter.”

(Oh dear…..)

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 4)

. “There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.”

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 3, Scene 3)

“Peace, ye fat guts!”

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 2)

(Short and to the of my favourites..)


“His wit’s as thick as a Tewkesbury mustard.”

Henry IV Part 2 (Act 2, Scene 4)

“Away, you three-inch fool! “

(A bit below the belt !)

The Taming of the Shrew (Act 3, Scene 3)

“Thou art a boil, a plague sore”

King Lear (Act 2, Scene 2)

“That trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?”

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 4)

“Where got’st thou that goose look?”

Macbeth, Act 5, scene 3

“You Banbury cheese!”

The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 1, scene 1

“You whoreson cullionly barber-monger!

(Handy for when your unhappy with your haircut)

King Lear, Act 2, scene 2

“Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens!”

As you Like it,,

“No longer from head to foot than from hip to hip. She is spherical, like a globe. I could find out countries in her.”  


The Comedy of errors..

“I scorn you, scurvy companion. “

Henry IV, Part 2

“I desire we may be better strangers…”

(How to win friends and influence people….)

As you Like it..

“You are now sailed into the north of my lady’s opinion, where you will hang like an icicle on a Dutchman’s beard”

Twelfth Night, Act 3, Scene 2

“I am sick when I do look on thee.”

(A handy one after what seems like a lifetime in lockdown…)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act 2, Scene 1

“Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch!”

Henry IV Part 1 Act 2, scene 4

“Thou sodden-witted lord! Thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows”

Troilus and Cressida  Act 2, Scene 1

“He has not so much brain as ear-wax”

Troilus and Cressida Act 5, Scene 2

“Away, you mouldy rogue, away!”

Henry IV, Part 2, Act 1

“Her face is not worth sunburning ..”

(A tad bit harsh this one…)

Henry V Act 5 Scene 2

“Thou art a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver’d, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch…”

(A bit of a mouthful this one..not a good idea if you get your words muddled when annoyed..)

King Lear, Act 2, Scene 2

Of course, conversely,  it may prove prudent  in some circumstances ,  to heed some of the great man’s advice … “Give thy thoughts no tongue!”


William’s statue in Southwark Cathedral.  Note the details of the Cathedral and the Globe Theatre behind him.  Henry McCarthy 1912.  



Shakespeare’s Monument, Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon

Many thanks to William Shakespeare, playwright and poet and good egg…

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