Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Saucy Slams

From: resources-teachers.info
When in need of a sharp jab and putting in one's place, how can you go wrong with a Shakespearean spar and jab? I really do try to be considerate and (relatively) well-mannered, but there are moments when a good insult just eases the stress.  Besides, it's a great way to exercise the mind and tongue while introducing wonderfully creative wordplay. There certainly are fewer 'teachers' more capable than Shakespeare. What better way to insult someone than to use such sophisticated, newly fabricated, or defunct words - that it takes so long for them to process - you're long gone and score on the cool, creative intellectual side!

So I thought we could all do this together, take a break, and have some fun:
  • Please create your an insult following the chart directions below and leave the insult in the comments.  Feel free to add an optional note why you constructed this particular jab.
  • Read the deposited insults aloud with gusto and verve (and spittle out those "s's" and "p's" when appropriate)!!!!! 
  • But most of all, sling some silly slights and smears so we can smirk and smile the rest of the day.
  • Optional:  Leave some creative teaching ideas for all my homeschooling, teaching, parenting followers to share and savor.

Shakespeare Insult Kit

Combine one word from each of the three columns below, prefaced with "You" or  "Thou": 

Column 1                     Column 2                Column 3 

artless                   base-court              apple-john
bawdy                     bat-fowling             baggage (encumberer)
beslubbering              beef-witted             barnacle (tenacious)
bootless(useless)            beetle-headed           bladder (filled with air)
churlish(rude )             boil-brained            boar-pig
cockered(pampered)            clapper-clawed          bum-bailey
craven(cowardly)             common-kissing          canker-blossom
currish(contemptible )         crook-pated              clack-dish
dankish(damp,soggy)           dismal-dreaming         clotpole(oafish)
dissembling(hypocrite)        dizzy-eyed              coxcomb(conceited dandy)
droning(dull,monotone)         doghearted              codpiece(pant's crotch piece)
errant(deviant)              dread-bolted            death-token
fawning                    earth-vexing            dewberry(fruit)
fobbing(deceiving)            elf-skinned             flap-dragon
froward(contrary)             fat-kidneyed            flax-wench
frothy(mad)                 fen-sucked              flirt-gill(girl of light behavior)
gleeking(tricking)            flap-mouthed            foot-licker
goatish                    fly-bitten               fustilarian(scoundrel)
gorbellied(tasteless)         folly-fallen              giglet(frivolous)
impertinent                fool-born                 gudgeon(slimey)
infectious                 full-gorged              haggard
jarring                    guts-griping            harpy(fierce-tempered woman from Greek myth)
loggerheaded               half-faced              hedge-pig
lumpish(boring)              hasty-witted            horn-beast
mammering(hesitating)          hedge-born              hugger-mugger
mangled                    hell-hated              joithead(dunce)
mewling(whimpering)           idle-headed              lewdster
paunchy                   ill-breeding             lout
pribbling(vain chatter)        ill-nurtured             maggot-pie
puking                     knotty-pated            malt-worm
puny                       milk-livered             mammet(idiot, puppet)
qualling(cowering)            motley-minded           measle
rank                       onion-eyed              minnow
reeky                      plume-plucked           miscreant
roguish                    pottle-deep             moldwarp(mole)
ruttish(lascivious)           pox-marked              mumble-news
saucy                      reeling-ripe            nut-hook
spleeny                    rough-hewn              pigeon-egg
spongy                     rude-growing            pignut
surly(bad-tempered)            rump-fed                puttock(buzzard)
tottering                  shard-borne              pumpion
unmuzzled                  sheep-biting            ratsbane
vain                       spur-galled             scut
venomed                    swag-bellied             skainsmate(messmate)
villainous                 tardy-gaited              strumpet
warped                     tickle-brained           varlot
wayward                    toad-spotted             vassal
weedy                       unchin-snouted          whey-face
yeasty                      weather-bitten          wagtail

For some more fun, the Shakespearean Insult Generator will 'technomagically'create one for you.

Here are some more super Shakespeare sources:

My insult: You spongy, clapper-clawed, hugger-mugger!

Why: I like some spittle, I love alliteration, and hugger-mugger just feels good getting out!

And, if you have time, here is a brief glimpse at some wonderfully saucy slings slung in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing by two of my favorite actors:

So now it's your turn.  Don't forget to leave a spicy slam in the comments.

For teachers here is a lesson suggestion for introducing Shakespeare's gifted wordplay:  
  • Divide your classroom into three groups and assign them one of the insult columns to each group.  
  • Have students from each group select their favorite curse word from their assigned column. Ask students to write and define their chosen word neatly on a large sheet of paper.  Illustrating the word is encouraged.
  • Set up the room with chairs rows of three chairs.  Play Shakespeare's musical chairs (I suggest beating a drum as they randomly move up and down their row).  See what whimsical insults fate deals you.
  • Talk about what worked and what did not - what were your students' favorites/ least favorite insults. Talk about how Shakespeare played with language to 'coin' some of these terms.
  • Read a selected snippets from the Bard and discuss his use of insults in the selected scenes.


  1. This is a really cute idea!

    I just found & followed you via Tuesday Blog Trail. Looking forward to your future posts.


  2. I welcome all Shakespeare posts, and yours is excellent...

  3. thou hast caused great humour amongst us!
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. That's cute! Had to share this via Twitter and Facebook!

    Stopping by from the Flock Together blog hop!

  5. Thou frothy fly-bitten foot-licker! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this...and am printing out the Insult Kit. This year, I'm doing Othello and King Lear with my students and we will give it a try together! Have a spectacular week!

    abcw team

  6. Thou gorebellied, hedge-born, canker blossom!
    Ooooh that felt good!
    Jane x PS May I take this for a blog post?

  7. Hi - got here from the blog hop. This post is so up my alley - so many new insults to produce, so little time! ;)

    Going to tweet this link.

  8. I go for "YOU bawdy boil-brained bladder!"I know a man who fits this description!

  9. What a fun post. Since it's S day, I'll go with Thou surly sheep-biting strumpet.

  10. None of these words are nasty enough for the particular, weasel faced, slime bag I have in mind. However I do appreciate the opportunity of thinking up a good insult. Thank you.

  11. You bootless, earth-vexing, mammet!

    That's for someone who messed up my sheet music collection last night. Damage has been done and all I could do was scream bloody murder. Now this will complete my literal healing process. Gratitude to thee Meryl. This is sooo much fun. I'm grinning here I must look like a cockered, dismal-dreaming pumpion.

  12. Lots of fun!
    You puking flap-mouthed bum-bailey!

  13. Yikers! Tho surely is a pribbling idel-headed strumpet... I always liked that word strumpet... could be because they have all the fun??!
    thanks for the jog of the Shakespearan slings & arrows!

  14. We use a lot of boot licker. I suppose it means the same as foot licker.

    As for Shakespear, I did a few books in High school. We liked the word cuckold in Othello. We went round using the word out of context. In Chinese, there is nothing worst than for a man to wear green hat, meaning cuckolded.

  15. Very interesting post! But my English isn't good enough to play with you;o)
    Thanks for sharing. And thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment;o)

    Happy day****

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