The Book of Insults

After 10 years of research, Fiora Gandolfi presents a study of insults around the world with an analysis of the effect of such insults in Mediterranean countries going back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The universe of verbal aggressiveness demonstrates the common points as well as differences within a cultural ambience where the dynamics of the nearby sea lead to poetic, political, and philosophical exchanges.
Beginning with an introduction in each language, quoting well-known sayings from literature with "classic" insults and swearing, the book will also address the drama of the insult - analysis of tone of voice and gesture - and the etymology of offensive words or idiomatic phrases. Insults are divided according to themes of refusal, imprecation, and difference (racism). She has uncovered, for example, that the word "oreo" entered the idiom of the United States as a perjorative referring to people of colour who behave like white people. It is now the name of a famous biscuit which is black with a white filling. The book also includes an idiomatic list of sweet words that act as counterweight to semantic aggressiveness.
Some of the material has previously been presented at the Conference on Insults "Va Manger du Savon!", held on October-November 2002, Paris, Italian Language and Cultural Centre - L'insulte en Italie et dans le monde ("Insults in Italy and the World")

A selection of notes (in Italian)

Ancient Greek Insult
The Book of Insults - Greek
Latin Insult
The Book of Insults - Latin
Palestinian Insult
The Book of Insults - Palestinese
Japanese Insult
The Book of Insults - Japanese
Italian (Neapolitan) Insult
The Book of Insults - Neapolitan