Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

50 Best Literary Insults

As a nipper growing up our dear old Mum would beseech of us many things: Always wash behind your ears; Never eat three Shredded Wheat; and Never marry a lady taller than our good selves.

But there was one other maxim that haunted our very being: If you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all.

We’d like to say that we maintain this mantra, but unfortunately we love nothing more than a particular cutting quip or insult. Our excuse for such verbal volleys? If it’s good enough for literature then it’s good enough for us.

To that end, allow us to present the 50 greatest literary putdowns of all time…

Click on each image for the full quote


Books in movies.jpg

When movie characters read books

villains hero.jpg

The 40 Greatest Villains Of Literature

ripley hero.jpg

Movie castings of literary characters



Kanye discusses Paris robbery for the first time and calls out Jay-Z

Yeezy slates Jay from the stage

21 Oct 2016

Everything you can expect from Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror

What you need to know for Season 3

21 Oct 2016

A forensic analysis of Liam and Noel Gallagher’s ongoing feud

A timeline of the best brotherly insults of all time

by Jamie Carson
21 Oct 2016

The first Glastonbury headliner has been announced

And it's an old favourite

by Dave Fawbert
20 Oct 2016

Tom Cruise acted out his entire career with James Corden

A few good men who have all the right moves

by Tom Fordy
20 Oct 2016

A love letter to Red Dead Redemption

As the sequel is announced, we look back at what made the first so dang powerful...

by Sam Diss
19 Oct 2016

Your first look at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Why can't it be May already?

19 Oct 2016

Luis Suarez talks English football and the toughest PL defenders

He's a lover, not a biter

19 Oct 2016

A conversation with Slaves about anger

Ahead of our first gig in association with Lynx, we sat down with Laurie & Isaac

19 Oct 2016

Benedict Cumberbatch on life in a monastery and hitting walls

Benedict Cumberbatch tells us why he decided to finally don a cape

by Chris Mandle
19 Oct 2016