Just for a moment, try imagining a world where insults don’t exist, where everyone tells the truth, and nobody swears. Ever. Sounds pretty boring, doesn’t it? Nobody’s excusing being nasty to other people, but insults tell us a lot about our background, our culture, as well as our outlook on life. It’s just part of being a human being like poetry, music, and art. What’s more, insults, when done right, are the perfect way to show how witty and creative we can be.
The ‘Rare Insults’ subreddit is a place on the internet where people share the best, the brightest, and the most creative insults they’ve come across. They’ll take your breath away. They’ll make you laugh. They’ll make you want to use your imagination the next time somebody wrongs you.
We’ve collected some of the best of the community’s hilarious and thought-provoking insults, so let us know which ones were your personal favorites and why. And don’t forget to upvote the insults you liked or would love to use in real life. Bored Panda also talked to one of the moderators of the ‘Rare Insults’ subreddit about how the community first formed, as well as the place insults and swearing have in our lives, so scroll down for the full interview.
More info: Reddit
The ‘Rare Insults’ community on Reddit has grown enormous. Created in November 2017, it now boasts more than 1 million members. The subreddit has two aims: to collect impressive and unique insults, as well as to help others “spice up” their vocabulary.
Blank-Cheque, one of the ‘Rare Insults’ moderators, explained to Bored Panda how the subreddit came into existence: “The community was originally founded by Gorangeninja two years ago, after he saw someone suggest it be made on another subreddit. The subreddit only grew to a few thousand users in the span of about 8 months. Our current top mod, Remydesp, was an active user in the subreddit in its first few months, and a lack of moderation plagued the subreddit, so he reached out to the mods offering to help out in the task of moderation.”
“Over the course of the next year, Gorangeninja stepped down as top mod, and Remydesp and our former owner Tycoinator added many other mods to help out. The biggest challenge in getting a large following was maintaining the quality of the content on the subreddit. In the next 3 months, the subreddit grew almost 200k users, and the influx of new users brought along a lot of low quality posts. The support from the amazing moderation team has allowed the subreddit to thrive and still maintain the original quality. After Pewdiepie made a video on our subreddit, we grew almost 25k users in one day. If the subreddit did not have such hardworking and committed moderators, we would not have seen the success we have today,” Blank-Cheque said.
According to the mod, there is a perfectly simple reason why most of us curse and swear. “The question seems more complex than it is; it requires no philosophy of any sort to answer, only science. Cursing has been observed by scientists to alleviate pain, and insult-like gestures have been observed by researchers even in chimpanzees.”
“Professor Frans de Waal said that angry chimpanzees "will grunt or spit or make an abrupt, upsweeping gesture that, if a human were to do it, you'd recognize it as aggressive" in order to avoid conflict, rather than to escalate it. He continues that a "chimpanzee who is really gearing up for a fight doesn't waste time with gestures, but just goes ahead and attacks." [Insults] are a part of life, and a world without them would be extremely different to ours to a degree which cannot be simply explained.”
When asked what their personal favorite rare insult posted on the subreddit is, Blank-Cheque said that it’s difficult to choose. “Honestly, we see such a volume of rare insults every day that it's so hard to pick a favorite. There are just so many great ones to choose from that I would never stop listing them. This subreddit has such creative posts, it's really a joy to mod it. As for whether we use any in public: no, no we don't. Hurling insults at people is generally considered rude and we try to avoid being rude.”
All the countries of the world have a rich history of insults. Have you ever been called a ‘velnio išpera?’ Or a ‘varlės kinka?’ Lithuanian insults sound better than poetry and almost like compliments. A bit like swearing in French or wiping your bottom with silk, some would argue.
Meanwhile, a good many insults have fallen out of use in the English language. Insults like ninnyhammer (a fool), mumpsimus (a stubborn person who insists on making an error in spite of being shown that it is wrong), milksop (a pampered boy or man), cockalorum (a boastful, strutting, and self-important person), and lickspittle (a suck-up).
What do you say about bringing some of these insults back? The next time your colleague is sucking up to your boss, why not call him a lickspittle? And if you’ve shown your friend they’re wrong about something, but they insist on doing it nonetheless, call them a mumpsimus. Obviously, when somebody cuts in front of you on the highway, shake your fist, stick your head out of the window, and yell: “Sod off, you ninnyhammer!” But remember, insulting someone for fun is never the way to go, so stay classy.