22 of the Best Shakespearean Insults That Still Sting Today

We know the Bard is one of the greatest writers in history, but we had no idea his burns were so savage.

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A quick jab to the ego

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Thou crusty batch of nature!" From Troilus and Cressida

The lengthy, eloquent synonym for “idiot”

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Why, thou clay brained guts, thou knotty pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow catch!" From Henry IV, Part 1 Find out the 11 everyday phrases that were invented by Shakespeare.

For the grump in your life

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes." From Coriolanus

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The most epic way to call out liars

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell." From Othello How much of a Shakespeare word nerd are you? Take this quiz to find out.

The Shakespearean “your mom” joke

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Villain, I have done thy mother." From Titus Andronicus Get a laugh from these short jokes anyone can remember.

Married ladies, you know you're thinking it

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Men from children nothing differ." From Much Ado About Nothing

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I can see clearly—now that you're gone

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Out of my sight! Thou dost infect my eyes." From Richard III

When you’re fed up with the world

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens!" From As You Like It

For dramatic effect, throw up your hands and shout:

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "A foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man!" From Hamlet

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Imma let you finish, but…

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood." From King Lear

Is there a draft, or did you just walk in?

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "You have such a February face, so full of frost, of storm and cloudiness." From Much Ado About Nothing

Because dogs are basically better than humans

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "I do wish thou were a dog, that I might love thee something." From Timon of Athens

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When “coward” doesn't get the point across

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Go, prick thy face, and over-red thy fear, thou lily-liver’d boy." From Macbeth

Can we get some ice for this burn?

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit, for I am sick when I do look on thee." From A Midsummer Night’s Dream

When the lights are on but nobody’s home

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows." From Troilus and Cressida

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The perfect one-liner

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "You basket-hilt stale juggler, you!" From Henry IV, Part 2

Ever heard of breath mints?

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "You common cry of curs, whose breath I hate, as reek o’ the rotten fens." From Coriolanus

The origin of “Your mama so fat” (probably)

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "No longer from head to foot than from hip to hip. She is spherical, like a globe. I could find out countries in her." From The Comedy of Errors

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When one insult isn’t enough

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "You starveling, you eel-skin, you dried neat’s tongue, you bull’s pizzle, you stock-fish!" From Henry IV, Part 1

A comeback that shows your real priorities

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "I’d beat thee, but I should infect my hands." From Timon of Athens

If you run out of things to say

the-Best-Shakespearean-Insults-that-Still-Sting-TodayTatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "Thou art as fat as butter." From Henry IV, Part 1

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And if they're not worth an insult, sever ties already

Tatiana Ayazo/rd.com, Stocksnapper/Shutterstock "I desire that we be better strangers." From As You Like It For more epic insults throughout history, check out The Insult Dictionary.

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