The English language owes a great debt to William Shakespeare - inventor of over 1700 of our common words.
Among his other achievements and towering presence in the literary canon, it may be most fitting to remember him for his insults, as we approach the 400th anniversary of the day of his death.
So, with the internet at our fingertips, we did some scouring and came up with a not-too-brief list.
We hope you enjoy, in our opinion, the bard's best beat-downs.
Let us know your favourite in the comments below:
1) 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.
2) Henry IV Part II
You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!
3) All’s Well That Ends Well
Methink’st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee.
4) Henry IV Part I
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!
Thou are pigeon-liver’d and lack gall.
6) As You Like It
Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage.
Thou cream faced loon.
8) The Taming Of The Shrew
Come, come, you froward and unable worms!.
Thy tongue outvenoms all the worms of Nile.
10) As You Like It
Thou art like a toad; ugly and venomous.
11) Henry IV Part I
Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch!.
13) Henry V
There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.
14) All’s Well That Ends Well
Your virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese.
15) Measure For Measure
Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade.
If thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.
17) Henry IV Part I
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?
18) Henry IV Part I
Peace, ye fat guts!
19) Henry IV Part I
You are as a candle, the better burnt out.
20) Henry V
Thine face is not worth sunburning.
21) Richard III
Thou poisonous bunch-back’d toad!
22) Troilus and Cressida
Thou art as loathsome as a toad.
23) Richard III
Thou art unfit for any place but hell.
24) Measure For Measure
Thou art a flesh-monger, a fool and a coward.
25) Measure For Measure
Thou subtle, perjur’d, false, disloyal man!
26) Henry IV Part I
A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen as you are toss’d with
27) Titus Andronicus
Foul spoken coward, that thund'rest with thy tongue, and with thy weapon nothing dares perform.
28) King Lear
Thou art the son and heir of a mongrel bitch.
29) Richard III
Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes.
30) As You Like It
I do desire that we may be better strangers.
31) King Lear
Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood.
32) Much Ado About Nothing
You have such a February face, so full of frost, of storm and cloudiness.
33) The Comedy of Errors
No longer from head to foot than from hip to hip, she is spherical, like a globe, I could find out countries in her.
More of your conversation would infect my brain.
35) A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit, for I am sick when I do look on thee.
You should be women, and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so.
Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.
38) The Two Gentlemen of Verona
You, minion, are too saucy.
Your abilities are too infant-like for doing much alone.
40) The Taming of the Shrew
Away, you three inch fool.
They have a plentiful lack of wit
42) King John
O you beast! I'll so maul you and your toasting-iron, That you shall think the devil is come from hell.
43) All’s Well That Ends Well
You are not worth another word, else I'd call you knave.
44) Timon of Athens
I do wish thou were a dog, that I might love thee something
45) Timon of Athens
I'll beat thee, but I should infect my hands.
46) King Lear
Thou art a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver'd, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mungril bitch.