Peace, Ye Fat Guts: How to Diss Like Shakespeare

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In honor of the bard’s birthday, we’re paying homage to his unmatched talent with dramatic dialogue, particularly his flair for insults. So, next time you find yourself muttering “Them’s fightin’ words,” just think: What would Shakespeare say?

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You starveling, you eel-skin, you dried newt’s tongue, you bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish (Henry IV Part 1)

You whoreson upright rabbit! (Henry IV Part 2)

More of your conversation would affect my brain (Coriolanus)

He has not so much brain as ear-wax (Troilus and Cressida)

His brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage (As You Like It)

You would answer very well to whipping (All’s Well That Ends Well)

He’s a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner of no one good quality (All’s Well That Ends Well)

You Scullion! Your rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe! (Henry IV Part 2)

I will knock your urinal about your knave’s coxcomb…  (The Merry Wives of Windsor)

I’ll make quagmire of your mingled brains (Henry VI Part 1)

What’s the matter you dissentious rogue that, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion, make yourselves scabs? (Coriolanus)

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He that depends upon your favours swims with fins of lead, and hews down oaks with rushes (Coriolanus)

Boils and plagues plaster you over, that you may be abhorred farther than seen and one infect another against the wind a mile (Coriolanus)

You souls of geese that bear the shapes of men (Coriolanus)

I find the ass in compound with the major part of your syllables (Coriolanus)

Your means are very slender, and your waste is great (Henry IV, Part 2)

You are as a candle, the better part burnt out (Henry IV, Part 2)

A pox damn you, you muddy rascal, is that all the comfort you bring me? (Henry IV, Part 2)

Hang yourself, you muddy conger (Henry IV, Part 2)

There is neither honesty, manhood or good fellowship in thee. You tread upon my patience (Henry IV, Part 1)

He made me mad to see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet, and talk so like a waiting gentlewoman (Henry IV, Part 1)

We leak in your chimney and your chamber lye breeds fleas like a loach (Henry IV, Part 1)

Peace, ye fat guts (Henry IV, Part 1)

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Like the toad, ugly and venomous (As You Like It)

Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens (As You Like It)

And in his brain which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places (As You Like It)

Never hung poison on a fouler toad (Richard III)

Out of my sight, thou dost infect mine eyes (Richard III)

Poisonous bunch backed toad (Richard III)

Deep, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile (Richard III)

A knot you are of damned blood suckers (Richard III)

Wretched, bloody and usurping boar (Richard III)

[via University of Leicester]