For my wife’s last birthday someone gave her a large coffee-mug printed with a collection of insults from Shakespeare — barbs from the bard, if you will. These colorful jibes are epically epithetical. Some examples:

  • beetle-headed, flap-ear’d knave
  • quintessence of dust
  • canker-blossom
  • poisonous bunch-back’d toad
  • a fusty nut with no kernel
  • clod of wayward marl
  • roast-meat for worms
  • infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker
  • anointed sovereign of sighs and groans
  • foot-licker
  • lump of foul deformity
  • highly fed and lowly taught
  • all eyes and no sight
  • all the infections the sun sucks up
  • elvish-mark’d abortive, rooting hog
  • veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth
  • mountain of mad flesh
  • light of brain
  • bolting-hutch of beastliness
  • not so much brain as ear-wax
  • long-tongu’d babbling gossip
  • thou are a boil, a plague sore
  • I do desire that we may be better strangers

As I said, the mug was given to her. Yet she serves me my coffee in it. Methinks she’s trying to tell me something.

One thought on “Eye-opener

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