Invective

In today’s Shakesville Open Thread, one of the currents of conversation is how to curse and excoriate without using words that invoke all those bad -isms.  It’s an important skill, if you ask me.  Up there with being funny without being cruel.  Both require being original.  And because I still really enjoy giggling like a four-year-old saying “poop poop poopy poop”, I started working on a source table for an -ism-reduced epithet generator.

I don’t know how to actually program one for the Web, but if you select one from each of the following columns, you can come up with some pretty nasty insults, and yet none strike me as ableist, gendered, anti-gay, racist, etc.  Just plain nasty.  Or funny. 

Adjective Noun 1 Noun 2
douchey ass aggregator
inadequate bile bag
incompetent dung beast
incurious phlegm canoe
laughable piss cheese
malignant puke hat
pompous pus hose
purulent scum magnet
puss-filled sewage monger
rancid shit nozzle
risible sludge nugget
self-important snot parade
slimy sphincter pile
vicious turd sack
whingeing vomit snorkel

 

I personally quite like “self-important sphincter parade”.

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About The Intransigent One

Sometimes I like to post pictures of my cat or my garden or my sewing or other stuff I made or did. Other times I like to rant.
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5 Responses to Invective

  1. Sungold says:

    Oh, this is precious! It so happened I was ruminating on this problem just this afternoon (I’m reliant on dialup at the moment, so in lieu of blogging I ruminate). And I was thinking about how sorely I miss terms like idiotic and moronic (and still use them occasionally, though with rising trepediation), and I realized how my main gripe is with people who are deliberately obtuse but think they’re smart and lord it over the rest of us. Dubya and Palin come to mind.

    Your matrix gives us a great start on how to insult those who deserve it without putting down those who are a bit slow on the uptake through no fault of their own. Awesome. Now I’m off to think how one can employ “snorkel” creatively …

  2. “Snorkel” is, in my opinion, the funniest word in the English language. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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  4. Holly says:

    this is great! I am very fond of “rancid puke nugget.”

    But I’d like to suggest, in case someone hasn’t already, that “douchey” is indeed gendered. here’s a very thoughtful post on the relative merits and problems of using the words “douche” or “douchebag” as an insult:

    http://dizzybuzzkill.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/the-case-against-douchebag/

  5. Thanks for pointing that out, Holly. I did give some thought to including “douche”, for exactly the reasons your link describes, but I came to the opposite conclusion – that while douching is related to vaginas, it’s not the vagina that makes it an insult, it’s the fact that douching is actually somewhere between useless and harmful, and “somewhere between useless and harmful” is often exactly the pejorative that you need. Especially if it’s for someone who’s somewhere between useless and harmful to women. But it could be because of my generally progressive and woman-friendly social circle that that’s the connotation I pick up, rather than “contaminated vagina”. I’ll keep thinking about it.

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