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 the top 50 Shakespeare insults below, ordered alphabetically by quote, with play and act/scene listed too. From ” a most notable coward” to “Villian, I have done thy mother” Shakespeare had an insult for any occassion.

Top 50 Shakespeare Insults:

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

All’s Well That Ends Well (Act 3, Scene 6)

2. “Away, you starvelling, you elf-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish!”

Henry IV Part I (Act 2, Scene 4)

3. “Away, you three-inch fool! “

The Taming of the Shrew (Act 3, Scene 3)

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

The Taming Of The Shrew (Act 5, Scene 2)

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

Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 3)

6. “His wit’s as thick as a Tewkesbury mustard.”

Henry IV Part 2 (Act 2, Scene 4)

7. “I am pigeon-liver’d and lack gall.”

Hamlet (Act 2, Scene 2)

8. “I am sick when I do look on thee “

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 2, Scene 1)

9. “I must tell you friendly in your ear, sell when you can, you are not for all markets.”

As You Like It (Act 3 Scene 5)

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

Hamlet (Act 3, Scene 1)

11. “I’ll beat thee, but I would infect my hands.”

Timon of Athens (Act 4, Scene 3)

12. “I scorn you, scurvy companion. “

Henry IV Part II (Act 2, Scene 4)

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

All’s Well That Ends Well (Act 2, Scene 3)

14. “More of your conversation would infect my brain.”

The Comedy of Erros (Act 2, Scene 1)

15. “My wife’s a hobby horse!”

The Winter’s Tale (Act 2, Scene 1)

16. “Peace, ye fat guts!”

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 2)

17. “Poisonous bunch-backed toad! “

Richard III (Act 1, Scene 3)

18. “The rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril”

The Merry Wives of Windsor (Act 3, Scene 5)

19. “The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes.”

The Comedy of Erros (Act 5, Scene 4)

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

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 3, Scene 3)

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

The Tempest (Act 2, Scene 2)

22. “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?”

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 4)

23. “Thine face is not worth sunburning.”

Henry V (Act 5, Scene 2)

24. “This woman’s an easy glove, my lord, she goes off and on at pleasure.”

All’s Well That Ends Well (Act 5, Scene 3)

25. “Thou art a boil, a plague sore”

King Lear (Act 2, Scene 2)

26. “Was the Duke a flesh-monger, a fool and a coward?”

Measure For Measure (Act 5, Scene 1)

27. “Thou art as fat as butter.”

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 4)

28. “Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad.”

Titus Andronicus (Act 4, Scene 3)

29. “Like the toad; ugly and venomous.”

As You Like It (Act 2, Scene 1`)

30. “Thou art unfit for any place but hell.”

Richard III (Act 1 Scene 2)

31. “Thou cream faced loon”

Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 3)

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

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 4 )

33. “Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat.”

Henry V (Act 4, Scene 4)

34. “Thou elvish-mark’d, abortive, rooting hog!”

Richard III (Act 1, Scene 3 )

35. “Thou leathern-jerkin, crystal-button, knot-pated, agatering, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish pouch!”

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 4)

36. “Thou lump of foul deformity”

Richard III (Act 1, Scene 2)

37. “That poisonous bunch-back’d toad!”

Richard III (Act 1, Scene 3)

38. “Thou sodden-witted lord! Thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows “

Troilus and Cressida (Act 2, Scene 1)

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

The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Act 4, Scene 2)

40. “Thou whoreson zed , thou unnecessary letter!”

King Lear (Act 2, Scene 2 )

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

Shakespeare Insult 45 – Measure For Measure (Act 3, Scene 1)

42. “Thy tongue outvenoms all the worms of Nile.”

Cymbeline (Act 3, Scene 4)

43. “Would thou wert clean enough to spit upon”

Timon of Athens (Act 4, Scene 3)

44. “Would thou wouldst burst!”

Timon of Athens (Act 4, Scene 3)

45. “You poor, base, rascally, cheating lack-linen mate! “

Henry IV Part II (Act 2, Scene 4)

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

Henry IV Part 2 (Act 1, Scene 2)

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

Henry IV Part 2 (Act 2, Scene 1)

48. “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!”

Henry IV Part 1 (Act 2, Scene 4)

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

Shakespeare Insult 45 – As You Like It (Act 2, Scene 7)

50. “Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese.”

All’s Well That Ends Well (Act 1, Scene 1)

51. “Villain, I have done thy mother”

Titus Andronicus (Act 4, Scene 2)

Shakespeare Insult Generator:

Got the hang of Shakespeare’s insult style and want to try your own? Have a go using the chart below. Simply combine one word from each of the 3 text columns below, and prefix with a “Thou”:

Shakespeare Insult Infographic:

This stunning Shakespeare insult chart was put together by Charley Chartwell.  It charts 100 of Shakespeare’s greatest zingers, sorted by topic, with each insult labelled with the play it comes from. Size is 18×24 inches, and available to buy here >>

Shakespeare insult infographic from Charley Chartwell

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


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  1. Debi
    Debi says:

    Living in a small redneck town without a great many literary types I’ve become known for something different than others! Some of the local females brag about ” beating a bitch up”. I brag that I’ll tell you off with such language that you’d need a dictionary to know of I’ve insulted you or not-by the time you figured it out ill have run quickly!!! I especially love a Shakespeare insult-leaves them totally flummoxed!!!

    Reply
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