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22 Insults We Should Bring Back

You called me what?

WATCH: The Best Old-Timey Insults We Should be Using Today

Everyone knows a primo insult or two, even if your personal rules of decorum prohibit their usage. But, if you think about it, there aren’t many new insults (or swear words, for that matter). The ones you heard from that guy in middle school are pretty much the same ones you hear now.

Let’s hop in the time machine and head back a couple of hundred years. These words and phrases might seem rather quaint and out of place now, but back then, they got your attention. “Hey! You scobberlotcher! Thy vile canker-blossom’d countenance curdles milk and sours beer!” Let’s examine a few more, shall we?

gobermouch

This is an old Irish term for someone who likes to meddle in other people’s business. Everyone knows a busybody, right?

Don’t let your gobermouch-in-law or next-door gobermouch have any more control over you than they already do. Shut the blinds and privatize the social media.

 

The Irish language and culture is known for more than just sizzling insults. For example, how much do you know about St. Patrick’s Day?

gnashnab

Gnashnab is a word from the 1700s meaning “someone who [just] complains all the time.” Contemporary synonyms include nitpicker, moaner, and grumbler.

It’s just as true now as it was back then—no one likes a gnashnab.

snoutband

A snoutband is someone who always interrupts a conversation to correct or contradict the person speaking. Every social group has a snoutband, who thinks they know everything.

They probably don’t know the meaning of this word, though. At least, not yet.

stampcrab

Someone who’s clumsy and heavy of foot would be considered a stampcrab. Make way for the office stampcrab, especially if you just poured yourself some coffee.

scobberlotcher

Mental Floss notes this word is “probably derived from scopperloit, an old English dialect word for ‘a vacation or a break from work’.”

A scobberlotcher is someone who avoids hard work … like it’s their job. The next time you catch someone dozing off at their desk, hit ’em with this one, even if it is just under your breath.

whiffle-whaffle

This is someone who wastes a lot of time. You could easily make the case that a scobberlotcher is also a whiffle-whaffle, correct? You most definitely don’t want to work with either of them.

zooterkins

The word zooterkins dates back to the 1600s, when it was used to communicate surprise or anger. It’s related to the mild oath zounds.

Zooterkins is less of an insult and more of something to yell after someone has insulted you. And, of course, to really pour salt on the wound, you can follow up with some other great words from this list.

 

If you’re looking for words to describe the untamed behavior of your children, check out these animal adjectives.

zounderkite

This is a Victorian word meaning “idiot.” An appropriate example with a contemporary angle (spoken with some irritation while driving on the highway): “That zounderkite just cut me off!”

bedswerver

Shakespeare coined this one to describe an adulterer. But BBC America thinks this would make a great band name, and they are totally on the mark. You’re at the show, the lights go down, and suddenly through the swirling fog and darkness you hear “Good evening, Cincinnati, how ya doing? We are … Bedswerver!”

fopdoodle

A fopdoodle is someone of little significance. So, if you’re letting someone get on your nerves who really shouldn’t have that power, remember that they’re just a fopdoodle. Then, carry on.

klazomaniac

This would be a person WHO CAN ONLY SPEAK BY SHOUTING. Is there anything else to say?

cumberworld

While this sounds somewhat like the name of a theme park, or perhaps actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s home, cumberworld was a term used to denote a person that was totally useless (just like fopdoodle).

They’re taking up your space and they’re breathing your air. Be off with you.

raggabrash

Do you know someone who is absolutely, completely disorganized or really, disgustingly grubby? That’s raggabrash. Example: “That boy is a total raggabrash!”

smellfungus

Anytime you invoke a smell of some type, you’re mining insult gold. There’s a great backstory here, too.

Author Laurence Sterne met author Tobias Smollett in 1764. Sterne was struck by how critical Smollett was of the places he visited. Afterward, Sterne would then go on to publish a book called Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, and it included a character by the name of Smelfungus, who always griped and moaned.

So, if you’re on vacation and one of your friends complains about the food (or water/furnishings/airplane flight/cost), they’re a smellfungus and they’re stinking up that tropical air.

smell-feast

One smell-word is good, but two are great. And, that leads us to smell-feast.

Say you’ve laid out a big dinner for some invited guests. But, knock knock—what’s this? It’s an uninvited guest, and they’re expecting to have a slice or two of that fine roast beast on the table. This freeloader is known as a smell-feast. They probably didn’t bring a bottle of wine, either.

 

Maybe they’ll be less inclined to stay if you’re only serving squash … or gourd. Do you know the difference between the two?

flibbertigibbet

If you were known as a flibbertigibbet, it meant you were “a nosy, gossipy sort.”

It can also apply to a “flighty or frivolous woman,” though for the record, we will state this one can apply to a “flighty or frivolous man,” too. The word is also meant to be an imitation of what mindless chatter actually sounds like.

foozle

You’d probably hear this one coming out of the home of an old married couple: “Ye olde foozle, ye forgot to lock the door again!”

The word foozle means “a conservative, out-of-date person, especially an old man; dodo, fogy.” You can also use this word to imply a bungled effort on someone’s part. Say your first shot off the 18th tee landed in the lake. Well, ya foozled that one.

mafflard

A mafflard is a term for someone who is a pure klutz. Words and Phrases From The Past calls a mafflard “a stammering or blundering fool; a term of contempt.”

Sounds like that mafflard in your life might be good friends with the raggabrash you met last week.

 

Many of these words seem a little strange to pronounce. But even common words can cause confusion regarding pronunciation. Let’s take a look at some here!

shot-clog

You know that one person who always tags along on group outings … and you really don’t want them there, but you feel bad and they usually pick up the tab? Well, that person is known as a shot-clogShot refers to the bill, and the clog part is “anything that impedes motion or action; an encumbrance; a hindrance.” Bottom line: this shot-clog may bring some of the group down, but they offer to pay the bill so … another round for everyone!

rakefire

This word invokes the image of a sleek red sports car, right? But, we’ll defer to this definition of a rakefire for the real insult: “someone so uncool that they would outstay their welcome in someone’s house until long after the fire had burned down to just the last few embers.” And, if they get up and sneak into the kitchen late at night for a cold turkey leg, they’re a smell-feast, too.

mumblecrust

Mumblecrust isn’t a terribly flattering term. Although, if you are in fact a mumblecrust, you probably don’t care if you’re thrown this insult—you’ve got bigger issues.

The word refers to a toothless, haggard beggar (as portrayed in a medieval comedy show).

muckspout

We’ve all probably spent some time around one of these people. You might find them at sporting events or turn into one yourself during that nail-biter of a game.

A muckspout is someone who simply curses too much.

Do you remember what a klazomaniac is?

Have you added all these insults to your vocabulary yet? If so, show us your new insult knowledge by taking our quiz.

Take the quiz here!

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