It happens to me all the time. (No, not that Shakespeare insults me . . .;-) I'm barreling full-steam through a heated scene on-page, when, wham. I come against a blinking cursor and don't know what to type. Because one of my characters is insulting the other--and my vocabulary fails me.
Why? Because our favorite insults today don't fly in a historical context. I can't have Delia call Phin a jerk. He's scowl and say, "I'm not tugging on you. What are you talking about?" He can't call her a snob (see Monday's post, wink, wink), or she'd say, "Whatever do you mean? I'm not pretending to my gentility, I was born to it, as you well know, you . . . you . . ."
Yeah. Back to square one. So I'm compiling a list of historical insults, and boy is it fun! From scalawag to rogue to jackanapes, from slimy toad to delightful imp, I'm trying to make sure I have all the fun ones--and the truly low-down ones--on my list. Without getting vulgar, of course.
In my search, I stumbled across this hilarious chart called "What Did Shakespeare Call You?!?" He apparently called me a mangled, knotty-pated maggot-pie. The nerve of that Bard! ;-) What would he call you?
And what are your favorite old-world insults? I'd love to make sure they're on my list!