Is it that English just doesn’t have the words to describe that heinous, foul-souled beast who works in the cubicle next to you? Or perhaps, that you just can’t find the word that truly encompasses the terribly horrible nature of the woman down the street? Well, look no further, because it could be that you now know exactly what to call your nephew the next time you see him — and English may actually have the word to describe it! Let’s take a hop and a skip back in history to some Olde Timey Insults. These are taken from Forgotten English III’s Long Lost Insults by Knowledge Cards. They’re taken from old dictionaries, and, naturally, I don’t claim to hold the copywright on any of them.
A foolish person fond of disrupting. –John Mactaggart, Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopaedia, 1824.
One of those sneaks that makes a practice of wtching the movements, etc, of sweethearts on their nightly walks, and if any impropriety is witnessed, demanding hush-money to keep the matter secret. -Joseph Wright, English Dialect Dictionary, 1896-1905.
This proverbial phrase was commonly addressed to any clownish fellow, unacquainted with the rules of good society. –James Halliwell, Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855.
A poor, ill dressed person; an object of pity or contempt. –Sidney Addy, Sheffield Glossary of Words, 1888.
A chatterer, gossip, scandal-monger; a woman who goes from house to house dispensing news. –A. Benoni Evans, Leicestershire Words, Phrases, and Proverbs, 1881.
An idle and inquisitive person who stands staring for prolonged periods at anything out of the common. –Joseph Wright, English Dialect Dictionary, 1896-1905.
Usually applied to one whose stupid conduct results in awkward mistakes. –C. Clough Robinson, Dialect of Mid-Yorkshire, 1876.
A big, fat, dirty person; applied chiefly to women, and implying tawdriness and ungracefulness. –John Jamieson, Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808.
A spoilt child. –Thomas Wright, Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English, 1857.
An ill-natured person. –C. Clough Robinson, Glossary of Mid-Yorkshire, 1876.
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