Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Like many kids, mine sometimes get caught up playing the insult game. They hurl insults at one another or call each other ridiculous names and burst out laughing. Of course, there are also times when someone forgets it's a game and, eventually, the tears flow. I don't particularly care for this game. However, every once in a while the kids draw on the new vocab words they learn at school or make up completely new words, pretend they're insults and hurl away. I like that game much better. In fact I like that game so much that I'd like to try and further it. Consider the following 10 rare and amusing insults:1. Cockalorum: a boastful and self-important person; a strutting little fellow; 2. Lickspittle: a fawning subordinate; a suck-up; 3. Smellfungus: an excessively faultfinding person; 4. Snollygoster: an unprincipled but shrewd person; 5. Ninnyhammer: ninny; simpleton, fool; 6. Mumpsimus: a stubborn person who insists on making an error in spite of being shown that it is wrong; 7. Milksop: an unmanly man; a mollycoddle (a pampered or effeminate boy or man); 8. Hobbledehoy: an awkward, gawky young man; 9. Pettifogger: shyster; a lawyer whose methods are underhanded or disreputable; 10. Mooncalf: a foolish or absentminded person.

Good books with good insults in the title are easy to find. Here are some worth considering. How about Jerry Spinelli's Loser for middle graders? Or Ursula Vernon's Dragonbreath? Middle grade and young teen readers will also enjoy Meg Cabot's Airhead.

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