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"Delicious and disgusting by turns, Depraved English is an invaluable and cleverly worked vade macum for those millions of us who (a) are fascinated by sex and (b) enjoy insulting people. No intelligent home should be without it." —Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman
At no time in history has a word book devoted exclusively to insults been more sorely needed than today. More than ever before, the world abounds with offensive, annoying, and pathetic people. You have to put up with them--why not know the correct words with which to describe them?
As a speaker of English, you're in luck. No other language is as large, as descriptive, or as splenetic. There seems to be an English word for nearly every type of insult-worthy person under the sun. A multitude of terms for idiots of every stripe; a legion of words to poke fun at the ugly, the pompous, the overweight, and the ill-endowed. From conky (a big-nosed person) to quibberdick (a nasty quibbler), from naffin (a near-idiot) to nullimitus (a male virgin), from raddled (aged and worsened from debauchery) to ripesuck (one who is easily bribed), every possible target of invective has its place.
Our first book, Depraved English, focused on the perverse, unseemly, and disgusting side of the language. By contrast, Insulting English seeks to deliver the perfect epithet for every occasion. Its pages are alive with maniacs, cowards, boors, slobs, outcasts, villains, fanatics, blowhards, misers, fusspots, saps, compulsives, hacks, and spongers. Some of these people are unpleasant; others are merely unfortunate. All of them are excellent targets of ridicule. Male and female, young and old, fat and skinny--we do not discriminate. The greedy, the corrupt, the unlucky, the mean, the loud, the smelly, the lazy, the vain, the pushy, the violent, the servile, the sex-crazed, the ambitious, the argumentative, and the sensitive are all included here.
Many of the words in Insulting English are best when employed in a literal sense, while others are most insulting when used metaphorically, or as exaggerations. Of course, the average reader cannot be expected to memorize every word in the book, or to carry it around with him or her everywhere (although it will fit in a coat pocket). Still, we hope that at least a few of the entries will resonate enough to be remembered later. That way, when your cashier turns out to be an acalculiac.1 or there is a cachinnator2 at your birthday party even if your date is a diamerdis3 you will not splutter in vain for want of the proper word.
While Insulting English will be a useful resource for verbal aggressors, it is mainly concerned with describing the world and the people in it with the most precise terminology. In the end, the most devastating insult is nothing more than an accurate--if unflattering description of a person's faults, defects, or shortcomings. Accordingly, most of the words in this book have very specific definitions, such as "a woman who talks too much" (chaterestre), "a man who wears too much cologne" (muscod), or "a person who shouts all the time" (klazomaniac). Such people exist, do they not? To have words for them is only natural. Fairly may we call these words insults, but they are also just descriptions of reality.
You may have had the experience of learning a new word, only to immediately encounter it in many unexpected places. While even the best-known words contained herein (myrmidon,4 for example) are obscure enough that you will rarely see them in print, in life your eyes will be opened to startling new insights after reading this book. For once a word like shotclog5 becomes lodged in your brain, you will begin to notice that which it describes popping up everywhere. And just imagine: Thanks to the book you now hold, you will be able to share your unpleasant and cutting new observations with all your friends and enemies. Such are the joys of Insulting English.
1 One who cannot count or do simple math.
2 One who laughs loudly or excessively.
3 A man who is covered in feces.
4 A fanatically obedient follower.
5 An unpleasant drinking companion, tolerated only because he is buying the drinks.