Taunt Like The Bard

William Shakespeare used 31,534 words in his works — and a lot of those were ingenious insults. From Hamlet and King Lear to Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing, now you can learn how the poet used the words, concoct your own stinging combinations, and let your friends know what you really think of them.

Combine one word from each of the three columns below, prefaced with “Thou”:

Column 1	    Column 2            Column 3 
artless             base-court          apple-john
bawdy bat-fowling baggage
beslubbering beef-witted barnacle
bootless beetle-headed bladder
churlish boil-brained boar-pig
cockered clapper-clawed bugbear
clouted clay-brained bum-bailey
craven common-kissing canker-blossom
currish crook-pated clack-dish
dankish dismal-dreaming clotpole
dissembling dizzy-eyed coxcomb
droning doghearted codpiece
errant dread-bolted death-token
fawning earth-vexing dewberry
fobbing elf-skinned flap-dragon
froward fat-kidneyed flax-wench
frothy fen-sucked flirt-gill
gleeking flap-mouthed foot-licker
goatish fly-bitten fustilarian
gorbellied folly-fallen giglet
impertinent fool-born gudgeon
infectious full-gorged haggard
jarring guts-griping harpy
loggerheaded half-faced hedge-pig
lumpish hasty-witted horn-beast
mammering hedge-born hugger-mugger
mangled hell-hated joithead
mewling idle-headed lewdster
paunchy ill-breeding lout
pribbling ill-nurtured maggot-pie
puking knotty-pated malt-worm
puny milk-livered mammet
qualling motley-minded measle
rank onion-eyed minnow
reeky plume-plucked miscreant
roguish pottle-deep moldwarp
ruttish pox-marked mumble-news
saucy reeling-ripe nut-hook
spleeny rough-hewn pigeon-egg
spongy rude-growing pignut
surly rump-fed puttock
tottering shard-borne pumpion
unmuzzled sheep-biting ratsbane
vain spur-galled scut
venomed swag-bellied skainsmate
villainous tardy-gaited strumpet
warped tickle-brained varlot
wayward toad-spotted vassal
weedy unchin-snouted whey-face
yeasty weather-bitten wagtail
By Catullus.
Based on the Shakespeare Insult Kit and Arzamas.