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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Let Shakespeare Do Your Insulting for You

Posted by on Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 2:42 PM

The Shakespeare Insult Generator, by Barry Kraft, is a book that doesn't really need a review. I don't know if it is possible to review it, frankly. It's an old-school flip book of the kind where each page has been cut into three sections, with one word per section. All the insulting words are sourced from Shakespeare plays, with a key that indicates if Shakespeare coined the word or not. You can flip through the book to assemble what the cover promises are more than 150,000 unique insults. Here's an insult that I randomly generated:


"Stinking" is fairly obvious. "Nook-shotten," according to the definition provided by the book, means "Full of nooks and angles; confusing, deceptive." And "Measle," as you may expect, means "Disease; diseased wretch." The definitions are very helpful, but I do have a problem with the way the book is laid out: All the definitions are included on the opposite side of the word, like a vocabulary flash card. It would probably have been more helpful to include the definition on the facing page, so that you can learn what a word means at the same time that you see it. As it is, it's easy to get confused by this book, with all the flipping. Here are a few other randomly generated insults:

Lubberly rug-headed mushrump

Naughty self-glorious rampallian

Musty foul-mouthed bed-presser

Fawning tripe-visaged ox-head

The Shakespeare Insult Generator is by no means an essential book. It's more like a gag gift, or perhaps a gift for the Shakespeare aficionado who has everything. But on the other hand, if every Slog commenter had a copy of this book, our comment threads would for sure be a hell of a lot more baroque. Maybe we should see if we can get Nancy Pearl to sponsor an If All Slog Read the Same Book program, to make things a little more Shakespearean around here.


Comments (6) RSS

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Fnarf 1
Seems like you could turn this into a phone app in about fifteen minutes of work if you knew how.

Oh, wait -- someone already has, thou pestilential flap-mouthed hedge-pig.
Posted by Fnarf on March 26, 2014 at 3:08 PM · Report this
Okay, now that's just ridiculously awesome.

I'm not sure anyone could hear your insults over the sound of how awesome this is...
Posted by CPN on March 26, 2014 at 4:00 PM · Report this
Design reason for putting definition on back -- if you lose a flip page, you don't lose the meaning.

Just saying.

Posted by bareboards on March 26, 2014 at 4:40 PM · Report this
@2 stop abusing that perfectly decent word
Posted by The CHZA on March 26, 2014 at 5:15 PM · Report this

Fine. Superlative it is.
Posted by CPN on March 26, 2014 at 5:47 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 6
Mushrump! It's what happened to me when I turned sixty.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on March 27, 2014 at 7:45 AM · Report this

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