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The Gentle Art of Defamatory Epithets

23 Apr 2013

A friend, client and fellow wordy wrote to me today:

This just shows how far the art of cursing has declined. A whole Washington Post article is devoted to fulsome (f***some?) praise of a letter that, where a curse word is inserted, uses "f***" about 99% of the time. What is creative about that? I do admit that the author has a passable sense of rhythm, but nothing more.

However the WaPo guy (link below) does have a point when he says, "David Sedaris called the S-word the 'tofu' of cursing. The F-bomb is the little black dress of vulgarity." I would add that "suck" is the kids' all-purpose--and seriously boring--curse, and one I'm determined to eradicate in my own progeny. The punishment around here is 10 new synonyms every time for every time they get caught.

Aren't we all sophisticated enough to whip up some better curses and insults? In that spirit, here's my all-time favorite list of Rabelaisian insults:

prattling gabblers

licorous gluttons

freckled bittors

mangy rascals

drunken roysters

sly knaves

drowsy loiterers

slapsauce fellows

slabberdegullion druggels

lubbardly louts

cozening foxes

ruffian rogues

paltry customers

sycophant varlets

drawlatch hoydens

flouting milksops

jeering companions

staring clowns

forlorn snakes

ninny lobcocks

scurvy sneaksbies

fondling fops

base loons

saucy coxcombs

idle lusks

scoffing braggards

noddy meacocks

blockish grutnols

doddipol jolt heads

jobbernol goosecaps

foolish loggerheads

flutch calf lollies

grouthead gnat snappers

lob dotterels

gaping changelings

codshead loobies

woodcock slangams

ninnie hammer fly catchers

noddiepeak simpletons

Delta Gamma Letter in Gawker  »

WaPo pontificates on the sorority letter »

In the Loop: A Tribute to Brilliant Swearing - Absolutely NSFW »

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