All writers need a little help with their story every now and again. That's where lists like these really come in handy.
Cussing Isn’t Always the Way to Go When Writing
Using tame or funny insults instead of the usual offensive swear words or inappropriate language thrown around nowadays is a great way for writers to differentiate themselves from the crowd without taking anything away from their story.
Many writers seem to think that using harsh language is the only way to dish out insults, but making those words just a bit less offensive can actually make them seem more offensive. The moment you realize that an insult is an insult, no matter if it's rude and crude or subtle and funny, your writing skills will grow by leaps and bounds because you'll have choices on how to deliver those zingers.
Sometimes writers need to watch their language when creating a story, but they can choose how much profanity they use and how bad it is. This list of insults is simply another tool you can use to give you more creative freedom as a storyteller. I do hope you find it useful in some way.
Really Good Insult and Cuss Word Alternatives
Funny Insults You Can Use in Front of Kids
As a kid, I actually used some of the insults from the song "You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" after watching the 1966 cartoon How the Grinch Stole Christmas. If I remember correctly, I didn't stop using these "tame insults" until my mom threatened to give me a spanking. Below are some of funnier ones from the song that I find especially interesting.
- You have termites in your smile.
- I wouldn't touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole.
- You nauseate me.
- You're a bad banana with a greasy black peel.
- You're as charming as an eel.
- You're as cuddly as a cactus.
- You're brain is full of spiders.
- You're heart is full of unwashed socks.
- You've got garlic in your soul.
Cuss Words That Aren’t Really Cuss Words
Thick (not smart)
Silly Playground Insults
The above video showcases just how hard it is for real friends to insult one another. Casual acquaintances and work friends are much easier to roast, but people who you like (or have no strong feelings for) are another story. For insults to be good, they have to have at least a little disrespect behind them.
Really Funny Insults and Funnier Comebacks
- About as useful as a chocolate teapot.
- Be grateful you can re-marry and get rid of that name. —Mad Men (S.7, Ep.11)
- Dumber than a bag of hammers.
- Explain it to the ducks.
- Go fly a kite with a hole in it.
- I'd slap you, but you'd probably like it.
- I'm still trying to forget the first time we met.
- More disappointing than a bag of unsalted popcorn.
- Plug Ugly: Someone who is really ugly
- Running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
- Shampoo has instructions because of you.
- You have the I.Q. of mayonnaise.
Awesome Words to Use When You’re Upset
Spinach Chin (weak)
A Real Wart
Pop Tart (soft)
More Good Subtle Insults and Funny Comebacks
- Be thankful that mirrors can't laugh.
- Do you have enough makeup for both of your faces?
- Go suck a lemon.
- Here's to those that wish us well; and those who don't can go to Hell. —Elaine from Seinfeld
- I fart in your general direction! —Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
- Kiss my caboose.
- May you come to the attention of powerful people.
- Moocher: someone who always seems to be borrowing money or items
- Rube: a person who is very naïve or inexperienced
- Scoundrel: a person with virtually no honor or morals
- Your face makes onions cry.
- You whine like a mule.
Great Comebacks for When People Dis You
It's always hard to come up with really funny comebacks on the spot after someone insults you in some way. I've found that doing research before something like that ever happens definitely helps solve that problem a little. Just be aware that such a comeback will probably not diffuse the situation.
Cool and Creative Old-School Insults
- About as useful as a glass hammer.
- As ugly as a burnt boot. (old Western insult)
- Go eat soap.
- If I throw a stick, will you go away?
- I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.
- Manners of a goat.
- Sarcasm is but one of my many talents.
- Scrub: an insignificant person; a nobody
- The less I see of you, the more I like you.
- Useless as wet toilet paper.
- You're the worst of all my bad choices.
- You want to make fourteen dollars the hard way? —Caddyshack (1980)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Don