13 Splendidly Snarky British Put-Downs Through History

Because when the Brits throw shade, it stays thrown.

1. William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616): line given to Orlando in As You Like It.

2. John Wilkes (1725 –1797) in reply to John Montagu (1718 – 1792).

3. Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) in reply to Lewis Morris (1833 –1907).

4. Edith Sitwell (1887 – 1964) on Ethel Mannin (1900 – 1984).

Hulton Archive / Getty

5. F.E. Smith (1872 – 1930) in reply to J.H. Thomas (1874 – 1949).

Hulton Archive / Getty

6. Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) in reply to Nancy Astor (1879 – 1964).

7. Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965), relieving himself in the House of Commons toilets, in reply to Aneurin Bevan (1897 – 1960).

8. Noel Coward (1899 – 1973) in reply to George Arliss (1848 – 1946).

Hulton Archive / Getty

9. Sir John Gielgud (1904 – 2000) on Ingrid Bergman (1915 – 1982).

10. Alan Bennett (1930 – ) on Arianna Stassinopoulos (later Huffington).

11. Jo Brand (1957 –) in reply to a heckler.

12. Stephen Fry (1957–)

Tristan Fewlings / Getty

13. Liam Gallagher (1972 –) on Victoria Beckham (1974 –).

Andreas Rentz / Getty

Source: Great British Wit by Rosemarie Jarski.

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