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Synopsis

Do you long for the days when a jerk was a “cad”? Want to tell that “swillbelly” to clean up his table manners and that grumbling “glump” to stop whining? Would you like a way of saying simpleton that’s not quite so simple—“ninnyhammer,” perhaps?

All this nastiness and more can be found in the pages of this fun reference book. With insults ranging from Roman times (lutum lenonium = filthy pimp) and Shakespearean snipes (I’m talking to you, you knotty-pated fool) to salty pirate-speak and Wild West zingers, you’re sure to find an insult for everyone, be they a helminth (a parasite in Ancient Greece) or a swinge-buckler (an Elizabethan braggart).

Chapters are organized chronologically by historical period—Ancient Attacks, Medieval Madness, Edgy Elizabethans, Victorian Venom, Jazz Age Jibes, and Cold War Cuts—and include themed sidebars focusing on Pirate Put-Downs, Hobo Huffs, and Cowboy Curses, as well as samplers for words with many different sayings per period. Fun, a little bit lewd, and incredibly informative this is a must-read for humor fans, history buffs, armchair etymologists, and the most sneaping of breedbates.

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