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  1. #1
    PAG
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    Some Put Downs.....

    TD is a veritable treasure trove of put downs and insults, with nearly every thread having at least one, sometimes humorous, sometimes not. I thought I'd offer a few inspirational famous quotes:

    On one occasion, Churchill dealt with George Bernard Shaw in his usual way. Shaw wrote to Churchill:
    ‘I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend… if you have one’.
    To which he received the reply: ‘Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second… if there is one.’

    Sarah Bernhardt: ‘Do you mind if I smoke?’
    Oscar Wilde (yes, we know he’s Irish): ‘I don’t mind if you burn’

    Benjamin Disraeli on William Gladstone: ‘He has not a single redeeming defect’

    Winston Churchill on Clement Attlee: ‘A modest man, who has much to be modest about’

    Bessie Braddock: ‘Winston, you are drunk!’
    Churchill: ‘Bessie, my dear, you are ugly. But, tomorrow, I shall be sober’

    Lady Astor: ‘Winston, if you were my husband, I would poison your coffee’
    Churchill: ‘Nancy, if you were my wife, I should drink it’

    Churchill (After being disturbed while on the loo by the Lord Privy Seal): ‘Tell him I can only deal with one shit at a time’

    Squire: ‘If I had a son who was an idiot, by Jove, I’d make him a parson’
    Rev Sydney Smith: ‘Very probably, but I see your father was of a different mind’

    The 4th Earl of Sandwich: ‘Sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox’
    John Wilkes: ‘That depends, my lord, on whether I embrace your lordship’s principles or your mistress’

    Sir Thomas Beecham to a cellist: ‘Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands and all you can do is scratch it’

    And one from an American: Groucho Marx: ‘She got her good looks from her father, he’s a plastic surgeon’

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    Thumbs up

    Churchill: king of the withering put down, a great orator and one of the men (and women) who saved Europe.



    While pissed out of his tree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PAG
    Groucho Marx: ‘She got her good looks from her father, he’s a plastic surgeon’
    I don't think they had plastic surgeons in Groucho's time. I could be wrong, and it doesn't really matter to whom it's attributed.

    What was that one, Churchill again I think, or W C Fields;
    Would you sleep with me for a million pounds?
    I suppose so.
    How about ten pounds?
    !! What sort of woman do you think I am?
    Madam, we have established what you are, we are now just haggling over price.

  4. #4
    or TizYou?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PAG
    Groucho Marx: ‘She got her good looks from her father, he’s a plastic surgeon’
    I don't think they had plastic surgeons in Groucho's time. I could be wrong, and it doesn't really matter to whom it's attributed.

    What was that one, Churchill again I think, or W C Fields;
    Would you sleep with me for a million pounds?
    I suppose so.
    How about ten pounds?
    !! What sort of woman do you think I am?
    Madam, we have established what you are, we are now just haggling over price.
    Now We?re Just Haggling Over the Price | Quote Investigator

    Quote Investigator: The role of the character initiating the proposal in this anecdote has been assigned to George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill, Groucho Marx, Mark Twain, W.C. Fields, Bertrand Russell, H.G. Wells, Woodrow Wilson and others. However, the earliest example of this basic story found by QI did not spotlight any of the persons just listed. In addition, the punch line was phrased differently.

    In January 1937 the syndicated newspaper columnist O. O. McIntyre printed a version of the anecdote that he says was sent to him as a newspaper clipping. This tale featured a powerful Canadian-British media magnate and politician named Max Aitken who was also referred to as Lord Beaverbrook [MJLB]:

    Someone sends me a clipping from Columnist Lyons with this honey:

    “They are telling this of Lord Beaverbrook and a visiting Yankee actress. In a game of hypothetical questions, Beaverbrook asked the lady: ‘Would you live with a stranger if he paid you one million pounds?’ She said she would. ‘And if be paid you five pounds?’ The irate lady fumed: ‘Five pounds. What do you think I am?’ Beaverbrook replied: ‘We’ve already established that. Now we are trying to determine the degree.”
    Note that this newspaper version does not use the blunt phrase “sleep with”. Instead, a more oblique expression, “live with”, is employed to conform to the conventions of the period.

    Top-researcher Barry Popik has performed very valuable work tracing this tale, and we have incorporated some of his discoveries in this article. Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.


    O. O. McIntyre’s column containing the Lord Beaverbrook anecdote was printed in multiple newspapers including the Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune of Iowa [MJLB] and the Rockford Morning Star of Illinois which ran it the next day [MSLB]. In April 1937 a humor magazine called “Gargoyle” which was operated by the students of the University of Michigan published a closely matching version of the tale [GMLB]. The short article ended with an acknowledgement to the periodical “Exchange”.

    Seven years later in 1944 the story was still being propagated. Coronet magazine printed the following version which substituted “famous actress” for “visiting Yankee actress” and contained a few minor syntactic modifications [CRLB]:

    They’re telling this story about Lord Beaverbrook and a famous actress. In a game of hypothetical questions, Beaverbrook asked the lady, “Would you live with a stranger if he paid you a million pounds?”

    “Yes,” she answered.

    “And if he paid you five pounds?”

    The irate lady fumed, “What do you think I am?”

    “We’ve already established that,” returned Beaverbrook. “Now we’re trying to determine the degree.” —The U. of California Pelican
    By August 1945 a novel variant of the story was printed in a trade publication called “Excavating Engineer”. The anecdote was relocated to a courtroom and the main roles were filled by an anonymous lawyer and a “pretty defendant” [EEPD]:

    “Would you live with a stranger if he paid you $100,000?” the lawyer asked the pretty defendant.

    “Yes.”

    “Would you live with him if he paid you only $25?”

    “Certainly not! What do you think I am?”

    “We’ve already established what you are,” came back the lawyer. “Now we are trying to establish to what extent.”
    In October 1945 the gag was printed in the mass-circulation periodical Reader’s Digest. This version was very similar to the instance that was printed in Coronet the year before, and it retained the acknowledgment to the University of California Pelican, a humor magazine.

    In May 1946 the tale was published in a magazine for lawyers called “Case and Comment”. This version was the same as the one given in “Excavating Engineer”, but an acknowledgement to a periodical called “Tax Topics” was appended [CCPD].

    By 1955 the story schema was known widely enough that QI believes it could be alluded to without describing the full scenario. During a subcommittee hearing of the United States House of Representatives a member used a modified version of the punch line to express disapproval [CHFA]:

    Mr. FASCELL. You know the words, it is like the old story, “We have established what it is, we are just haggling about the price.”
    Phrases such as “just haggling about the price”, or “just haggling over the price”, or “simply haggling about the price” became frequent in later retellings of this tale. Here is an example in 1961 in a volume by a sociologist [PVPB]:

    To put this in a different way, all our actions have a price. It is we who decide at what point we agree to be bought. As in the story of a conversation between a very sophisticated gentleman and a very respectable lady at a party. They are talking about prostitution, “Well,” says the gentleman, “just for the sake of our argument, suppose I offered you $1000—would you spend the night with me?” The lady, smiling coquettishly: “Who knows—I might very well!” The gentleman: “Now suppose I offer you $10 for the night?” The lady: “But what do you think I am?” The gentleman: “We’ve already established what you are. Now we’re just haggling over the price.”
    In 1962 a letter to the editor of the Nevada State Journal expressed unhappiness with a group that was circulating a recall petition and was paying cash to obtain signatures. The writer alluded to the joke by only presenting the punch line which he credited to the statesman Winston Churchill [NJWC]:

    This reminds me of Winston Churchill’s observation that “We have established what you are—we are simply haggling about the price.”
    In 1965 a version of the tale was presented in the book “The War-Peace Establishment”. The author identified it as an “old joke” [WPAH]:

    I tell them the old joke about the man who asks a girl if she will sleep with him for a million dollars. Of course, she says yes. He then offers her two dollars and she slaps his face, saying, ‘What do you think I am?’ He answers, ‘I know what you are. We are just haggling over the price.’
    In 1968 the volume “Rationale of the Dirty Joke” by Gershon Legman noted that many versions of the tale were already in circulation. The setting of the following variant was a charity event [RDGL]:

    A story that has been told of almost every modern celebrity beginning with President Wilson and H. G. Wells: A famous man at a charity banquet asks the beautiful young woman next to him, “Assuming that we gave the money to charity, would you sleep with me for ten thousand dollars?” After some thought she says, “Yes.” “And would you for two dollars?” “Why, what do you think I am!” “We’ve already decided that. Now we’re just haggling about price.”
    Skipping forward, in 1985 a book about humor and philosophy titled “I Think, Therefore I Laugh” included an instance of the story. The author deliberately changed the identity of the person filling the primary role [GMJP]:

    The following is an old story due to George Bernard Shaw. It seems more appropriate with Groucho however.

    GROUCHO (to woman seated next to him at an elegant dinner party): Would you sleep with me for ten million dollars?

    WOMAN (giggles and responds): Oh, Groucho, of course I would.

    GROUCHO; How about doing it for fifteen dollars?

    WOMAN (indignant): Why, what do you think I am?

    GROUCHO: That’s already been established. Now we’re just haggling about the price.
    In conclusion, QI hypothesizes that this anecdote began as a fictional tale that was intended to be humorous with an edge of antagonism. The story was retold for decades. Famous men were substituted into the role of the individual making the proposition. Occasionally, the individual who received the proposition was also described as famous, but typically she remained unidentified.

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