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Bon Mots Anyone?

These insults are from an era before the English language got
boiled down to 4-letter words and/or symbols.


"He had delusions of adequacy."
- Walter Kerr

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
- Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
- Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?
- Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
- Moses Hadas

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
- Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.."
- Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend... if you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one."
- Winston Churchill, in response.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."
- Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."
- John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
- Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others."
- Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
- Paul Keating

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."
- Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."
- Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"
- Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
- Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

- Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination."
- Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
- Groucho Marx

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
- Jack E. Leonard

"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt."
- Robert Redford

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."
- Thomas Brackett Reed

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music."
- Billy Wilder

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."
- Abraham Lincoln

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about."
- Winston Churchill

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison."
He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on
the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."