The 14 best insults of all time

Posted 10 January 2014 Written by British Pathe

The world’s best insults and put-downs

Winston Churchill was well known for his wit and searing put-downs, but what are the best insults of all time? Here's one list from British Pathe which is worthy of consideration.

Valentino Liberace to a critic:

“Thank you for your very amusing review. After reading it I laughed all the way to the bank.”

Bette Midler on Princess Anne:

“She loves nature, in spite of what it did to her.”

John Barrymore

After a day's filming, actor John Barrymore (father of actor Drew Barrymore) and friends stopped off at a bar in Hollywood. Barrymore made his way to the bathroom and inadvertently entered the ladies' room. A woman entered the ladies to find Barrymore relieving himself. Shocked, she exclaimed,

"How dare you! This is for ladies!".

The actor turned towards the woman, organ in hand, and boomed, "And so madam, is this".

President Calvin Coolidge

The 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, was not nicknamed 'Silent Cal' for nothing. He was well known for being a man of few words. Whilst seated at a dinner party next to poet and satirist Dorothy Parker, Parker said to him,

"Mr. Coolidge, I've made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you."

Coolidge replied, "You lose".

When Coolidge died in 1933, Dorothy Parker remarked, "How can they tell?"

Frank Sinatra on Robert Redford:

“Well at least he has found his true love – what a pity he can’t marry himself.”

Pope John XXIII

Wit and a sense of humour are not normally used to describe pontiffs. However, Pope John XXIII had a rich sense of humour and when a journalist asked,

"How many people work at the Vatican?"

The Pope replied, "About half". 

Mahatma Gandhi

The leader of the Indian independence movement paid a visit to England in 1931. Whilst there, a reporter shouted out,

"What do you think of Western civilization?"

Gandhi instantly replied, "I think it would be a good idea". 

Winston Churchill

Lady Nancy Astor: "Winston, if you were my husband, I'd put poison in your coffee." 

Winston Churchill: "Nancy, if you were my wife, I'd drink it."

Elizabeth Taylor:

“Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses.”

Edna Ferber V Noel Coward

Playwright Noel Coward bumped in to his old friend novelist Edna Ferber who was wearing one of her tailored suits. Coward looked her over and said,

"Edna, you almost look like a man."

Ferber looked Coward over and said, "So do you."

Alfred Hitchcock

During the beginning of filming Alfred Hitchcock's drama film 'Lifeboat', actress Mary Anderson asked Hitchcock,

"What is my best side Mr Hitchcock?"

Hitchcock dryly responded, "You're sitting on it, my dear."

Dorothy Parker V Clare Boothe Luce

During a long-running feud between author Clare Boothe Luce and poet Dorothy Parker, Mrs. Luce held the door open for Mrs. Parker to walk through and said, 

"Age before beauty." 

Mrs. Parker walked through and said, "Pearls before swine."

Winston Churchill V Bessie Braddock

Bessie Braddock:"Winston, you are drunk, and what's more you are disgustingly drunk. "

Winston Churchill: "Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly."

Pierre Trudeau V Richard Nixon

When the Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau heard that President Richard Nixon had called him an "asshole", Trudeau responded,

"I've been called worse things by better people."

View at source


The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Acts Online. Acts Online accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or fairness of the article, nor does the information contained herein constitute advice, legal or otherwise.