(reprinted and retitled by permission of Jalapeno at Tucson Hot Pepper, http://tucsonhotpepper.blogspot.com/)
"In the current climate of emotional and political strife, there have been a number of complaints about vitriol and the lack of civility in public dialogue. I agree. If more people paused and thought before they spoke, our discourse and ability to insult one another would be much more refined. The degree of vulgarity in the content of speech is a reliable indicator of the depths to which we have linguistically sunk as a society.
I advocate a return to civil insults. If you’re not good at it, or have a limited vocabulary, take a few minutes each day to peruse a dictionary or a thesaurus (as I have here), and improve your skills. For example, the Os are rich with high-level slander and allegations. To wit:
- Oaf (n.) – A large, ungainly, and dull-witted person : gawk, hulk, lout, limp, ox. Informal: lummox. Slang: klutz, lug, meatball, meathead.
- Obduracy (n.) – The quality or state of being stubbornly inflexible: die-hardism, grimness, implacability, implacableness, incompliance, inexorability, intransigence, relentlessness, remorselessness, rigidity, stubbornness.
- Obfuscate (v.) – To make dim or indistinct : becloud, bedim, befog, blear, blur, cloud, dim, dull, eclipse, fog, gloom, mist, obscure, overcast, overshadow.
- Oblique (adj.) – 1. Angled at a slant : beveled, bias, biased, diagonal. 2. Not taking a direct or straight line or course : anfractuous, circuitous, circular, devious, indirect, tortuous.
- Oblivious (adj.) – 1. Unable to remember : amnesiac, forgetful. 2. Not aware or informed : ignorant, innocent, unaware, unconscious, unenlightened. Idiom: in the dark.
- Obloquy (n.) – 1. Harsh, often insulting language : abuse, billingsgate, contumely, invective, railing, revilement, scurrility, vituperation. 2. Loss of or damage to one’s reputation : bad name, bad odor, discredit, disgrace, dishonor, disrepute, ignominy, ill repute, odium, opprobrium.
- Obnoxious (adj.) – So objectionable as to elicit despisal or deserve condemnation : abhorrent, abominable, antipathetic, contemptible, despicable, despisable, detestable, disgusting, filthy, foul, infamous, loathsome, lousy, low, mean, nasty, nefarious, odious, repugnant, rotten, shabby, vile, wretched.
Isn’t this great?
- Obscene (adj.) – 1. Offensive to accepted standards of decency : barnyard, bawdy, coarse, Fescennine, filthy, foul, gross, lewd, nasty, profane, ribald, scatologic, scurrilous, smutty, vulgar. 2. Beyond all reason : outrageous, preposterous, ridiculous, shocking, unconscionable, unreasonable.
- Obsequious (adj.) – Excessively eager to serve or obey : menial, servile, slavish, subservient.
- Obstinate (adj.) – 1. Tenaciously unwilling to yield : bullheaded, dogged, hardheaded, headstrong, mulish, pertinacious, perverse, pigheaded, stiff-necked, tenacious. 2. Difficult to alleviate or cure : persistent, pertinacious, stubborn.
- Obstreperous (adj.) – 1. Not submitting to discipline or control : disorderly, fractious, indocile, intractable, lawless, obstinate, recalcitrant, refractory, uncontrollable, undisciplined, ungovernable, unmanageable, unruly, untoward, wild. Idiom: out of line. 2. Offensively loud and insistent : blatant, boisterous, clamorous, strident, vociferous. Informal: loudmouthed.
- Obtrude (v.) – To force or come in as an improper or unwanted element : cut in, horn in, intrude.
- Obtuse (adj.) – Lacking in intelligence : blockheaded, dense, doltish, dumb, hebetudinous, stupid, thickheaded, thick-witted. Informal: thick. Slang: dimwitted, dopey.
- Odious (adj.) – [identical to Obnoxious].
- Officious (adj.) – Given to intruding in other people’s affairs : interfering, intrusive, meddlesome, obtrusive.
- Offish (adj.) - Not friendly, sociable, or warm in manner : aloof, chilly, cool, distant, reticent, standoffish, unapproachable, uncommunicative.
- Oily (adj.) – 1. Having the qualities of fat : adipose, fat, greasy, oleaginous, unctuous. 2. Affectedly and self-servingly earnest : fulsome, sleek, smarmy.
- Omnivorous (adj.) – Having an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit : avid, edacious gluttonous, greedy, rapacious, ravenous, unappeasable, voracious.
It’s only a suggestion however, I don’t want to obtrude and obfuscate the issue for anyone."