Thursday, June 21, 2012
You sir, are a whoreson zed! Shakespeare's insults
I admire someone who can curse with conviction and originality. (The movie Sexy Beast offers a very good example of fluent cursing.)
Shakespeare's curses are marvelous things, layered and nuanced and pointed as a dagger. Take "whoreson zed' for example. "Whoreson" has the advantage of combining the notion of bastardy with the ever-popular "son of a bitch." Then add "zed" and the insult takes on an extra gloss of intelligence--especially for Americans, since we don't use the word and it sounds exotic.
It certainly sounds more insulting than calling someone a douche-bag.
I'm not the only one who thinks we need a better caliber of swear. Check out a couple of offerings available on YouTube.
Here's a woman named Simone Haruko sharing her 50 favorite Shakespearean insults (including "Thou whoreson zed."
Here's TedEd's deconstruction of a couple of Shakespeare's famous insults in a way that makes you want to now more.