Who didn't go around taking bites out of their thumb in people's faces after they read Romeo and Juliet in grade school? Who didn't want to burst out laughing when Caliban exclaimed, "You Banbury Cheese!" in The Tempest? Shakespeare is a master of insulting with style.
Right now, I'm in the middle of reading R.D. Blackmore's Lorna Doone. The story itself is engaging but sometimes when the narrator, John Ridd, goes into a two page explanation of his cows, I zone out. This pleasant line however brought me right back into the story when John is describing digging his sheep out of a snowdrift while his farmhands complain about the cold. I actually laughed out loud:
"Go, if you choose, all of you. I will work it out by myself, you pie-crusts!"
One day, I would dearly like to insult with this calibre. If only I had a flaky person in my life who needed calling out.
Any other brilliant insults out there?