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This question already has an answer here:

I think many are familiar with the famous line from Shakespeare:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

What I seek to do is keep the analogy but change the second sentence to an insult. I also want to keep the style and a few words of the original phrasing so the parody is clear. However, if I use nearly all the original words from the second sentence, it sounds too contrived:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Nay, thou art much less lovely, let alone temperate.

Question: Can someone give me a suitable, slightly less contrived, insult using "Thou art more lovely and more temperate" as inspiration?

marked as duplicate by Kris, lbf, Robusto, RegDwigнt Jun 25 '18 at 20:49

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  • "Thou art less lovely and less temperate" might do. What do you think? – tautophile Jun 25 '18 at 5:10
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    This question belongs on Writing – Kris Jun 25 '18 at 7:04
  • I think you might want to start off with "Shall I compare thee to a winter's day?"; being less lovely and temperate than a winter's day has more bite. – user888379 Jun 25 '18 at 13:37
  • Your answer is here: english.stackexchange.com/a/579/300 – RegDwigнt Jun 25 '18 at 20:51
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    More florid and more balmy? – Phil Sweet Jun 25 '18 at 21:25
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Here in the Washington DC area

Thou art more humid and more thunderous

or

Thou art more sweaty and more thunderous

would be appreciated. It is very humid here in the summer, people sweat a lot, and afternoon thunderstorms are common.

Now, do these words qualify as early modern English insults?

According to Etymonline, humid may qualify:

humid (adj.)

early 15c., from Old French humide, umide "damp, wet" (15c.) or directly from Latin humidus "moist, wet," variant (probably by influence of humus "earth") of umidus, from umere "be moist, be wet," from Proto-Italic *umo- "wet" (also source of Latin umidus "wet, moist," umiditas "moisture," umor "moisture, fluid," umectus "moist, wet"), perhaps from PIE *uhrmo- "wet," from the same source as Latin urina [de Vaan].

As for thunderous, according to Etymonline, it dates from the 1580s, which is Shakespeare's era. (April 1564 (baptised)—23 April 1616).

As for whether these qualify as 16th to 17th century insults, I did not find any quotations in the Oxford English Dictionary that used humid and thunderous explicitly as insults dating from that era. However, calling a woman thunderous would not have been a compliment; as for humid, I don't know.

sweaty is more promising. According to Etymonline the meaning soaked with sweat dates from the 1580s. No woman would want to be called sweaty in any era.

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"…. Thou art more sultry and more eccentric," maybe.

(This question is more about writing than ELU, though.)

  • Sultry is a pun. – Kris Jun 25 '18 at 13:12
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19 Shakespearean Insults We Need To Bring Back phactual.com

As in:

“Thou art like a toad; ugly and venomous.”

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