Old Insulting Names to Use in Hilarious Insults
Name calling is great fun. I am so fond of insulting names, in fact, that I reserve them only for those I love the most (I'm weird like that).
Still, the modern names we call each other are a bit lackluster in the creativity department, and it's easy to get caught in a rut and call people the same thing over and over. Where is the fun and ingenuity in that?
Why not consider some alternatives? Believe me, there are many. Men have been trading insults since language was first invented. We need not limit ourselves to using only the most current names out there.
I am therefore pleased to present to you over 50 insulting names that were used in the past- specifically in the Medieval and Renaissance periods of history. Some of them are refreshingly harsh, while others are downright hilarious. I hope you find them as amusing as I do!
So far, all the "modern" insulting names (starting with the letters A-C) I can think of are buttface, b@#$h, bastard, @$$#ole, and c$%^. What a boring mix. I'm all for using these as alternatives.
- Ballarag: A bully
- Borborygmite: The rumbling of bowels (creative, to be sure)
- Blighter: A pitiful, annoying or contemptible person (because of this word's similarity to the word "blight" I don't even think that the person you're insulting will have trouble figuring out what the word means)
- Cacafuego: A braggart (even if nobody understands what this means, it's a great insulting name, and actually sounds worse then it is... I mean, doesn't the word bring up mental images of flaming poo?)
- Carrion: Decaying flesh of a dead animal
- Charlatan: A fraud
- Clotpole: Clot = oaf; pole = male genetalia (a great combo-name!)
- Coccydynia: A pain in the ass (sounds quite fancy)
- Cullion: A vile person... or testicle! (another great word that just sounds insulting and rolls off the tongue quite nicely)
I could not tell you why this is the case, but it seems to be that folks like uttering words starting with FFFFFFFFF when they're angry. For this reason, there is quite a preponderance of lovely vintage insulting names starting with the letter F that we can draw on. They make for fantastic alternates to our modern favorite F word and its variants.
- Fanfaron: A bully or boaster
- Feist: A worthless or bad tempered person / a silent fart / a mutt (the multiple meanings for this word make it extra valuable!)
- Fiend: An evil spirit, a demon, or the devil (this is still somewhat commonly used, so you won't have to worry too much about nobody understanding the insult)
- Fustilarian: A member of a lower social order (this word is a great name to call someone who doesn't understand its meaning- they may think you're complimenting them or something, which would be extra hilarious, as you're then additionally insulting their ignorance of obscure old words)
- Foot-licker: Self explanatory (gotta love the timeless nature of this one!)
- Fusty: Smelling stuffy or stale / old fashioned (easy to remember once you associate it with the more commonly-used word "musty")
- Futtock: The Europan kite (a bird) (you can also use the word Puttock) (I like this word because it sounds like buttock)
The entire alphabet of old insulting names is quite robust, which means we have a lovely variety of mid-alphabet options to choose from. Some of my favorites (gundygut and lothario) are in this section.
- Gundygut: A greedy person or voracious eater (sounds like a candy you might buy on the Hogwarts Express!)
- Hag: An old woman (commonly understood today, but nonetheless vintage, this word has some serious staying power!)
- Harlot: A promiscuous woman or prostitute
- Hog: A domesticated pig
- Harpy: An unscrupulous woman... or a winged creature with the head of a woman (either way, it’s a win)
- Hedge-pig: A much cooler word for a hedgehog
- Giglet: Now, this word means a playful or giddy girl, but back in the 1300s, it meant a lascivious woman
- Guttersnipe: An ill-bred person or street urchin
- Jester: A joker
- Loon: A silly person or a diving waterbird (more people should be calling each other waterbirds)
- Lout: An aggressive or uncouth guy
- Lothario: A man who behaves selfishly and irresponsibly in sexual relationships with women (we've all met more than our fair shares of lotharios, am I right, girls??)
Perhaps I am forgetting something great, but I can't think of any particularly good modern insulting names that start with the letters M-P (Pimple face? Oh! Prick. There's one, at least), so it's nice to know that we have some old classics to fall back on.
- Moldwarp: This is the name for a common European mole... but sounds fantastic!
- Malt-worm: A habitual drunk
- Mammet: A puppet or doll
- Microphallus: A much better way to insult another’s manhood
- Mudsill: A low or dirty place or state
- Mundungus: A stinking tobacco (Yep, not just a Harry Potter character!)
- Minx: An impudent, bold, or flirtatious girl (Still used in modern times, and is as fantastic as ever)
- Ninnyhammer: A silly fool
- Nut-hook: A thief who steals using a hook
- Numpty: A Scottish idiot
- Oaf: A clumsy, stupid, or uncultured person
- Poxed coward: A jinxed coward
Do you call people names?
The variety, creativity, and quality of old insulting names does not flag near the end of the alphabet. If anything, it gets better! To be honest, I cannot fathom why words like trollop and varlot ever fell out of favor. I sincerely hope they can make a comeback.
- Rampallion: A mean, despicable person
- Ratsbane: Rat poison
- Scoundrel: An unscrupulous, dishonest person
- Scullion: The male equivalent of a scullery maid
- Scut: A fool
- Scroyle: A wretch or mean fellow
- Skellum: A reckless, noisy person
- Strumpet: A prostitute or slutty woman
- Trollop: A promiscuous woman; a slut
- Varlot: Punk (Shakespearian)
- Viper: A treacherous, spiteful person
- Welp: An insolent youth
- Wretch: A contemptible, unfortunate person.
Take these for a spin!
The next time you think of calling someone a jerk, take a second to think if they might be given a more playful, different name, such as fustilarian, cacafuego, numpty, or lothario. Each witty insult you deliver is an opportunity for your vocabulary to shine! Don't miss out on the obscure-but-honorable glory of clever word wielding.
Do you have a favorite old word that can be used in insults? Share it in the comments! I know there are many more insulting names out there than are included in the list above. Help me make it more complete!