An Italian friend sent these examples to me. (Thanks, Marina). Luckily I rarely have an occasion to insult someone. But when the opportunity arises, I wish with all my might that I could deliver such wonderful insults. Last month I was accosted by a woman who was saving 10 movie seats with one sweater. I asked her if she was saving all of the seats and she flipped out. Everyone heard her bark at me that I was “being rude” and “too bad, move on.” Ugh. Thankfully a very nice person moved over so we could have 2 seats. The art of the posh insult is in the successful combination of wit and bite, while avoiding obvious meanness. “Oh my, were you stood up again by the 7 dwarfs and Snow White?” No, too mean. That’s why it’s an art.
The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor: She said, “If you were my husband I’d give you poison.” He said, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”
“He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr
“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” Clarence Darrow
“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).
“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright
“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” – Billy Wilder