So you think you know a foul word or two? Shakespeare’s insults, put downs and cussing were second to none, and with his insults Shakespeare was most certainly a master of his trade! Read our selection of Shakespeare insults below:

Shakespeare Insult 1 – The Two Gentlemen of Verona

“Thou subtle, perjur’d, false, disloyal man!”

Shakespeare Insult 2 – As You Like It

“Thou art like a toad; ugly and venomous.”

Shakespeare Insult 3 – The Tempest

“Thine forward voice, now, is to speak well of thine friend; thine backward voice is to utter foul speeches and to detract.”

Shakespeare Insult 4 – Measure For Measure

“Thou art a flesh-monger, a fool and a coward.”

Shakespeare Insult 5 – All’s Well That Ends Well

“A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.”

Shakespeare Insult 6 – Cymbeline

“Thy tongue outvenoms all the worms of Nile.”

Shakespeare Insult 7 – Henry IV Part 2

“You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!”

Shakespeare Insult 8 – All’s Well That Ends Well

“Methink’st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee.”

Shakespeare Insult 9 – The Winter’s Tale

“My wife’s a hobby horse!”

Shakespeare Insult 10 – Troilus and Cressida

“Thou art as loathsome as a toad.”

Shakespeare Insult 11 – Macbeth

“Go, prick thy face, and over-red thy fear, Thou lily-liver’d boy.”

Shakespeare Insult 12 – Henry IV Part 1

“Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch!”

Shakespeare Insult 13 – Henry IV Part 1

“That trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?”

Shakespeare Insult 14 – Henry IV Part 1

“You starvelling, you eel-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, you bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish–O for breath to utter what is like thee!-you tailor’s-yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!”

Shakespeare Insult 15 – Henry IV Part 1

“Peace, ye fat guts!”

Shakespeare Insult 16 – Henry V

“There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.”

Shakespeare Insult 17 – Richard III

“Thou poisonous bunch-back’d toad!”

Shakespeare Insult 18 – Richard III

“Thou art unfit for any place but hell.”

Shakespeare Insult 19 – Hamlet

“Thou are pigeon-liver’d and lack gall.”

Shakespeare Insult 20 – All’s Well That Ends Well

“Your virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese.”

Shakespeare Insult 21 – Henry V

“Thine face is not worth sunburning.”

Shakespeare Insult 22 – As You Like It

“Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage.”

Shakespeare Insult 23 – Henry IV Part 1

“You are as a candle, the better burnt out.”

Shakespeare Insult 24 – Hamlet

“If thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.”

Shakespeare Insult 25 – Measure For Measure

“Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade.”

Shakespeare Insult 26 – All’s Well That Ends Well

“A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.”

Shakespeare Insult 27 – All’s Well That Ends Well

“Methink’st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee.”

Shakespeare Insult 28 – The Taming Of The Shrew

“Come, come, you froward and unable worms!”

Shakespeare Insult 29 – Macbeth

“Thou cream faced loon”

Shakespeare Insult 30 – Henry IV Part 1

“Thou art as fat as butter.”

Shakespeare's insults - the infographic

Shakespeare’s insults – the infographic

Read enough Shakesperean insults? Check out our lists of words and phrases that Shakespeare invented & some interesting facts about Shakespeare.

32 replies
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  1. Clarissa
    Clarissa says:

    I’ve got one” Thou art as fat as butter. I don’t know waht is is from, but i’ve read it before in English. Now it’s everybodies favorite shakespeare insult.

    Reply
  2. Greencliff
    Greencliff says:

    A question, and a challenge; is there anywhere in a play or sonnet that Shakespeare used a phrase close to our modern insult retort: “I know you are, but what am I?”

    Reply
  3. Bigfoothippy
    Bigfoothippy says:

    Here’s one of my faves “I would my horse had the speed of your tongue” from Much Ado About Nothing

    Reply

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