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A portion of Hippolyte Delaroche's 1836 oil painting Charles I Insulted by Cromwell's Soldiers

Insults are expressions, statements (or sometimes behavior) which is considered degrading and offensive. Insults may be intentional or accidental. An example of the latter is a well-intended simple explanation, which in fact is superfluous, but is given due to underestimating the intelligence or knowledge of the other.


  • We should never insult others on account of their faults, for it is our duty to show charity and respect to everyone.
    • John Calvin Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life, pg. 33.
  • If he has deserved no kindness, but just the opposite, because he has maddened you with his injuries and insults, even this is no reason why you should not surround him with your affection and show him all sorts of favors.
    • John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life, pg. 38
  • τίς ὸμφαλητόμος σε τὸν διοπλῆγα
    ἔψησε κἀπέλουσεν ἀσκαρίζοντα
    • What navel-snipper [midwife] wiped and washed you as you squirmed about, you crack-brained creature?
    • Hipponax attributed by Aelius Herodianus (fl. 2nd c. CE), 'On Inflections'; as cited by Douglas Gerber, Greek Iambic Poetry, Loeb Classical Library (1999), page 367.
  • Hear me, you who know what is right,
you people who have taken my instruction to heart:
Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals
or be terrified by their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment;
the worm will devour them like wool.
But my righteousness will last forever,
my salvation through all generations.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 398.
  • Qui se laisse outrager, mérite qu'on l'outrage
    Et l'audace impunie enfle trop un courage.
    • He who allows himself to be insulted deserves to be so; and insolence, if unpunished, increases!
    • Pierre Corneille, Heraclius, I. 2.
  • Kein Heiligthum heisst uns den Schimpf ertragen.
  • Quid facies tibi,
    Injuriæ qui addideris contumeliam?
    • What wilt thou do to thyself, who hast added insult to injury?
    • Phaedrus, Fables, V. 3. 4.
  • Contumeliam si dices, audies.
    • If you speak insults you will hear them also.
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, Act IV. 7. 77.
  • Sæpe satius fuit dissimulare quam ulcisci.
    • It is often better not to see an insult than to avenge it.
    • Seneca the Younger, De Ira, II. 32.

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