Top 10 Insults

25 September 2023

Renowned for her witty dialogue and her marvellous use of Regency slang, Georgette Heyer’s novels are replete with humorous moments. Not least among these are her insults, many of which are delivered in a single sentence or use a paragraph to build to a witty climax. Not all of her insults are uttered by main characters and sometimes her insults are not so much insults as judgments upon society. One such glorious interchange is that between lifelong friends Sir Timothy Wainfleet and Lord Lionel Ware in The Foundling:

"I wonder why I did not tell my man to deny me?" mused Sir Timothy. "I never listen to gossip, you know. Really, I do not think I can assist you!"

"You listen to nothing else!" retorted Lord Lionel.

Sir Timothy looked at him in melancholy wonder. "I suppose I must have liked you once," he said plaintively. "I like very few people nowadays; in fact, the number of persons whom I cordially dislike increases almost hourly."

Here are our Top 10 insults, for your entertainment:

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