They Knew How to Deliver a Line

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® TX License #0566780

I received this list of what were termed glorious insults. They are attributed to a number of famous people from days gone by. It takes a certain skill to pull off witty repartee when responding to an initial verbal attack. Note the lack of profanity.

I guess good stand-up comedians are some of the best at this sort of give and take in the modern world.

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
Sir Winston She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison."
He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."

"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."
"He had delusions of adequacy."
- Walter Kerr

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
 - Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." 

-Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
 - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
- Moses Hadas

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
 - Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.."
 - Oscar Wilde
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend... if you have one."
 - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one."
 -  Winston Churchill, in response.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."
 - Stephen Bishop
"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."
 - John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
  - Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others."
- Samuel Johnson
"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
 - Paul Keating

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."
 - Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."
 - Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"
- Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
 - Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
 - Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination."
 - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music."
 - Billy Wilder
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
 - Groucho Marx

One of my military instructors impressed on us the importance of tact. "Tact" he said, "is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way the person will look forward to the trip." In sales or customer service knowing what to say and how to say it are great assets.

Comments (26)

Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Wayne, Some pretty sharp exchanges and some good chuckles to start the morning :) 

Nov 25, 2014 10:11 PM
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Wayne, Winston Churchill is one of our favorites for many reasons. Great quotes and most are really funny. Your Military instrucor was very wise. Tact is not easy sometimes especially in Real Estate business. 

Nov 26, 2014 03:45 AM
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Wayne,

What a wonderful collection you have compiled, thank you...some of these may come in handy to know (LOL)

Nov 26, 2014 06:28 PM
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert


Today due to the Holiday this is a fly by comment. Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family and  May the Good LORD bless all of you.

Nov 27, 2014 01:18 AM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Wayne, I don't remember the last time I enjoyed a post so much!  Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Nov 27, 2014 03:33 AM
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Hey Wayne Johnson just wanted to stop by and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 27, 2014 05:12 AM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

I love these, Scott. Brilliant. Churchill was known for them.  I love his interaction with, I think it was Lady Astor again.

Astor: Sir you are drunk
Churchill: And you are ugly. But in the morning I'll be sober.

Nov 27, 2014 08:11 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Those are some good ones and being very direct and rude has always been around. Happy Thanksgiving to you William.

Nov 27, 2014 10:56 AM
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

These are funny, Wayne.  I always love to read Churchill's quotes. Funny does not need profanity.

Nov 28, 2014 06:19 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Very clever answers. Some people were and are really quick-witted!

Nov 28, 2014 08:53 PM
Suzanne De Vita
Online Associate Editor

I think 'tact' was the first word that came to mind when I started reading these. Sharp, biting and clever. Love these Wayne!

Dec 02, 2014 01:45 AM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Hi Wayne, I needed that. Very funny stuff.

Dec 03, 2014 12:43 PM
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Wayne,

These are just as much fun the second time around...

Dec 04, 2014 10:53 AM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Wayne Johnson ,  You picked some very good comments to show us.  I may use a couple in the future.

Dec 05, 2014 04:54 AM
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!

Wayne Johnson

Some of those Mark Twain quotes be very deep and  pretty interesting 

Dec 06, 2014 11:56 AM
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Wayne Johnson -How was this one not featured. Oh my Goodness. I have never heard of these before. I should use this one somebody. Thanks for sharing.

Dec 10, 2014 08:48 AM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Wayne -
Thanks for a good laugh at the end of a VERY long day!
Have a successful rest of 2014!

Dec 10, 2014 11:29 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

This is one of the best lists and even though I have read them before, I love every one. And it so true that you can really say what you want without profanity. I think we all have come up with some good responses in our Real Estate.

Dec 19, 2014 09:08 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is a great list of quotes.

Happy Holidays!

Dec 21, 2014 07:42 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Dear Wayne,

Wishing you a happy, successful, challenging but also exciting new year!

Jan 01, 2015 03:33 PM