A potty-mouth’s guide to effective insulting
While I like to believe that our society has finally gotten over the “you’re so gay” era, the art of insulting is still a long way from being PC (here meaning socially decent). It is, however, still possible to wound someone’s pride without committing social blasphemy. Here’s a starter pack of dos and don’ts for being rude the socially acceptable way.
Needless to say, I do not condone any of those “pussy bitch” “like a girl” gendered insults. Pussy doesn’t mean weak, dick doesn’t mean mean, and really, we should spend less time talking about genitalia. If you mean weak, say weak, if you mean mean, try the universal “asshole”.
If you want to insult someone’s intelligence, best avoid undermining your argument with discrimination. “More of your conversation would infect my brain” (The Bard) is much more creative than the diminutive words meant to taunt those with disabilities. Why settle for “retard” when you could focus on incompetence with something fun like “fuckwit”, all without offending anyone outside of your target.
While I’m on the topic, I feel that commenting on the size of someone’s intellect is often much more scathing than accusing them of having a small phallus. Rather than valorising the large penis and limiting your insult to one sex, swap out “microdick” for a more modern “organ farm” which is also more inclusive.
Another problematic set are all of the words that contribute to slut-shaming. If you want to call someone a whore, I can offer only the following advice: have a word with yourself. There are no equivalents, just don’t do it.
The word “bitch”, however, is ours to reclaim. Feel free to throw this around in either a positive or negative sense, but for the love of empowerment don’t be prefacing it with the word “dumb” or “bossy”. If you are looking for a choice adjective I can recommend “basic bitch”, punchy, alliterative, and in no way discriminatory.
As for the other animal derivatives such as “fat pig” or “silly cow” I’d have to say that it’s time to leave those behind. These somehow tend to be used exclusively to belittle women, and really the poor animals never did anything to deserve these unflattering comparisons. The only excuse for farmyard vocabulary is if you are going to whip out a tastefully timed “chauvinist pig”.
Some other all-time classics that really pack a punch are: twit, asshat, and my personal favourite “schmuck”. Look to pop culture and adapt your own inclusive list, you should always have a go-to, something personal to you and yet applicable to any recipient.
A parting challenge: If the opportunity arises, call a man a silly cow. I dare you.