11 July 2014
Ten Victorian Insults To Make Your Enemies Crumble
When you’re as rich, good-looking and fantastically well-endowed as I, one soon makes many enemies out of those less fortunate contemporaries who view one’s splendour with bitter, jealous eyes.
Usually, these bounders can be dispatched with a swift knee to the groin, or a firm left-hook to the jaw, but sometimes more diplomatic means are required. In these instances (such as at a dinner-party, or at a Bar-Mitzvah, or at a wake) I prefer to rely on my copious wits, and strike down my enemies with a pointed quip aimed squarely at their very essence.
Being a benevolent sort, here is a list of some genuine Victorian barbs which you too can utilise in a similar manner.
1. Fly Rink.
A term used to describe someone with a bald pate. “You may well be the Chief Justice, your honour, but at least I still have my own hair as opposed to having to sport a wig to cover up my fly rink.”
2. Dirty Puzzle.
A promiscuous woman, a slattern. “I am not saying that Lady Derbyshire is of dubious morals, but the word is she is quite the dirty puzzle.”
3. Mutton Shunter.
A derogatory term for a police-man. “Since when did exposing one’s self become an offence? Surely I am performing a public service! Unhand me at once, you filthy mutton shunter!”
Someone who talks far too much. “I only attended this service because I was told that there would be free wine. I had no idea that the bishop would be such a windy-wallets.”
5. Coffee sisters.
Gossipers. “I’d pay no heed to the scurrilous rumours from your wife and her sister, sir. Both are nothing but a pair of coffee sisters.”
6. Harlequin Jack.
A fellow who shows off in both mannerisms and dress. “Look at him, with those ridiculous robes and that big, pointy hat! He’s a veritable Harlequin Jack, is the Pope.”
7. Prize Faggots.
A fine pair of breasts, named after the popular meat dish. “Your wife has a face like a disappointed sturgeon, however she does have a fine pair of prize faggots.”
8. Drunk As A Boiled Owl.
Describes someone who is absurdly drunk. “You’re making absolutely no sense, you blaggard. Either you are an absolute idiot, or you are as a drunk as a boiled owl.”
9. Parish Pick-Axe.
A prominent nose. “I wouldn’t say your nose is big. It just resembles a parish pick-axe.”
10. Throttled Shrimp.
Limp and flaccid. “You sir, have genitals like a throttled shrimp.”
Enjoy, and remember – please do use (ir)responsibly.
– Lord Likely.
Source: ‘Passing English of the Victorian Era, a Dictionary of Heterodox English Slang and Verse‘ compiled by James Redding Ware. Except number ten, from ‘The Astonishing Adventures of Lord Likely’ by Lord Likely.