The art of the Dwarven Insult
Dwarfs are known for their colourful use of the common tongue, especially when it comes to insults. Sometimes these are meant in jest, with some dwarfs known to use words as a weapon to rile up and anger their opponent into making a mistake. A few dwarfs have taken to using this as a part of their arsenal in battle, with a few being true masters of the insult, making their opponent slip up and attack them in anger, only to be met with a well-placed axe or hammer to the head.
There are, in many clans, an annual tradition of the insult competition, with strict rules and regulations about the nature of the insult, the nature of these rules varying from clan to clan. Although these competitions are open to all, you must use the same rules as the clan that is hosting the event. For example, using an insult that has two middle parts, when the clans’ rules clearly state only one, is a major faux pas and liable to have your beer ration reduced. Some have endurance insults where, in a single breath, the insultor must let loose an insult as long and complex as possible, without hesitation or duplication. The record is held by Sven “Pottymouth” Svenson, who holds the record at 2 mins 32 seconds, a record that to this day have never been close to being beaten. To some “channelling Sven” is a compliment given for a particularly good insult.
Noting the enjoyment and ceremony surrounding these events, some have started copying the dwarfs begun to study the “art of the insult”. A traditional dwarfish insult is broken down into three parts; an opening part, a middle and a closer. Often found with some kind of personalised introduction to the insult, such as a comment about the targets poorly kept beard, or the fact that their hammer resembles something a blind orc would make. This is the attention getter and primes the target for the insult.
Then comes the opening part of the insult. This is word simple word that can be described as first impression, such as “rabid” or “loathsome”.
Next comes the middle part. Often two words combined, such as “dung-living” or “jelly-boned”. In some clans the middle and opening part or swapped around and/or duplicated.
Then comes the closer. This is the chance for the insulter to really shine and let loose. This is the part designed to push the target over the edge of sanity and into madness. Anything goes here and can be short, such as the simple “gimp” , bizarre(“shoe-chewer”) or down right cruel (“disappointment to ya ancestors”).
Whilst the first 2 parts are relatively interchangeable and can be duplicated, such as having 3 middle parts to the insult with an opening part in between, the closer is never used except at the end.
Small plug : I have made a Dwarven Insult Generator that can make the hard work for you along with a pdf of some examples (link is on the insult generator page). Why not use it and post your favourite results in the comments below.