INSULTING people is too complicated these days, what with irritating epithets such as ‘cockwomble’. Here are some simple classics:
Dipstick – Short, sweet and to the point. If you need an alternative mechanics-based putdown, there’s always ‘spanner’ or ‘tool’.
Plank – There’s little better than a one syllable insult, especially if you shout it really loudly.
Wally – Pure primary school. Sounds a bit like ‘willy’ too.
Nitwit – Another one you haven’t heard since the playground, probably from a teacher.
Dingbat – Up there with nitwit in terms of insults which also make you sound a bit clever. And making yourself feel big while making someone else feel small is a key part of being a successful insulter.
Mug – This one has had a recent renaissance thanks to Love Island and the film output of Danny Dyer.
Spoon – The spiritual cousin of mug. It’s mild, but surprising.
Lemon – A watchword for useless or crap, lemon is also one of the many, great fruit-based insults out there.
Plum – See above
Nana – Short for banana. See above AND above the above.
Doughnut – Departing from fruit there’s also a whole word of culinary insults to be had. Doughnut, however, stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Nugget – Brings to mind something small, insignificant and probably full of gristle. ‘Whopper’ is another insult you’d also hear at a fast food joint.
Muppet – Given the charm of Kermit and the cool of Miss Piggy, is ‘muppet’ even really an insult?
Plonker – Popularised by Del Boy and best deployed immediately after someone does something daft like spilling a cup of tea or locking themselves out of their house.
Helmet – A clean way of telling someone they are on par with the head of a penis. You could call your mum it, and she couldn’t complain.