Insults in The Comedy of Errors

Notice: While using the sorting box on the left, that the intended use is not that of a filter system. Instead, when any of the checkboxes is selected any insult which has a matching attribute value will be displayed. E.g. If I have selected slander and direct speech, I will get insults that have slander with indirect speech and direct insults with types other than slander. While this system is confusing, it is a product of time limits placed upon the creation of this system.

Insult Type

Personal Attack

Name Calling

Sex/Gender-based Insult

Backhanded Compliment



Male to Male

Male to Female

Female to Male

Female to Female


Parent to Child

Child to Parent

Sibling to Sibling

Friend to Friend

Couple to Couple

Acquaintance to Acquaintance


Speech Act







Illocutionary Acts






old man

A trusty villain

sir knave

Thy mistress' marks? what mistress, slave, hast thou?

sir knave



Wast thou mad


Marry, sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.

the plain bald pate of father Time himself

harlot brow

I am possessed with an adulterate blot; My blood is mingled with the crime of lust

thou snail, thou slug, thou sot!

I am an ape.

If thou art changed to aught, 'tis to an ass.

'Tis true; she rides me and I long for grass.

I think thou art an ass.

Mome, malt-horse, capon, coxcomb, idiot, patch!

I am an ass

wondrous fat marriage.

she's the kitchen wench and all grease; and I know not what use to put her to but to make a lamp of her and run from her by her own light. I warrant, her rags and the tallow in them will burn a Poland winter: if she lives till doomsday, she'll burn a week longer than the whole world.

Swart, like my shoe, but her face nothing like so clean kept: for why, she sweats; a man may go over shoes in the grime of it.

Noah's flood could not do it.

will not measure her from hip to hip.

No longer from head to foot than from hip to hip: she is spherical, like a globe; I could find out countries in her.

in her buttocks: I found it out by the bogs.

I found it by the barrenness; hard in the palm of the hand.

In her forehead; armed and reverted, making war against her heir.

I looked for the chalky cliffs, but I could find no whiteness in them; but I guess it stood in her chin, by the salt rheum that ran between France and it.

Faith, I saw it not; but I felt it hot in her breath.

upon her nose, all o'er embellished with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain; who sent whole armadoes of caracks to be ballast at her nose.

this drudge, or diviner

There's none but witches do inhabit here

She is too big, I hope, for me to compass.

He is deformed, crooked, old and sere, Ill-faced, worse bodied, shapeless every where; Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind, Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.

is this Mistress Satan?

It is the devil.

Nay, she is worse, she is the devil's dam

here she comes in the habit of a light wench

out of doubt Antipholus is mad

Thou whoreson, senseless villain!

Thou art sensible in nothing but blows, and so is an ass.

poor distressed soul!

the kitchen vestal scorned you.

pale and deadly looks: They must be bound and laid in some dark room. Say, wherefore didst thou lock me forth to-day? And why dost thou deny the bag of gold? I did not, gentle husband, lock thee forth. And, gentle master, I received no gold; But I confess, sir, that we were locked out.

Dissembling villain, thou speak'st false in both.

Dissembling harlot, thou art false in all

how pale and wan he looks!

peevish officer

O most unhappy strumpet!


Thou art a villain

defy thee for a villain.


They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-faced villain, A mere anatomy, a mountebank, A threadbare juggler and a fortune-teller, A needy, hollow-eyed, sharp-looking wretch, A living dead man

this pernicious slave

I think you all have drunk of Circe's cup.