Y ou are not yet a true literati until you know how to demean your enemies in well-crafted literary insults. What are literary insults?

The definition is tricky but I’ll try.

You know you’ve received a literary insult when instead of being pissed off, you find yourself impressed at the sheer brilliance of the offender’s diction, word play, imagery — their verbal virtuoso.

Crafting literary insults is a rare skill but only because people never take the time out to learn how to do it. It’s actually quite easy.

Check out these examples we found at guardian.com. Use them as a template and start assembling an arsenal of literary insults for your next cocktail party.

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Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding. Photograph: Ronald Grant

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Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. Photograph: UK Celebrity/Alamy

literary-insult-guardian-dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

literary-insult-guardian-vonnegut
Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Features

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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd./Allstar

Click on to guardian.com for more! HERE.

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

6 Responses to ““May Your Genitals Sprout Wings and Fly Away” — Ouch! 5 Literary Insults You Should Know” Subscribe

  1. Oyin Oludipe 2014/06/06 at 07:32 #

    Emotional fuckwittage? Jeez

  2. Ainehi Edoro 2014/06/06 at 10:49 #

    Yup! Bridget Jones is a wild one. Love her, though.

  3. Gbolahan Badmus 2014/06/09 at 18:29 #

    I love your website!!!

  4. Ainehi Edoro 2014/06/09 at 18:39 #

    Thanks Gbolahan!

  5. MIRA 2014/06/11 at 05:33 #

    I AM NOT A PARTY TO ANY FORM OF INCOMPETENT ESCAPEES OF PRIMARY ELEMENTS SPEWING OUT DEFECTED VENOM’S OF NO EFFECTUAL SUBSTANCE.

  6. Ikechukwu Nwaogu 2014/06/20 at 03:02 #

    this site is wonderful! i met Ainehi on twitter, and since she told me about it,I’ve not had chance to look it up. Awesome! lemme get back to reading abeg.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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