The Bard has been credited for popularizing thousands of English language words, including gloomy, critical and zany. He may also be responsible for the invention of rant, which would explain why he's also known for devising especially clever and biting insults.
Here are 9 of Shakespeare's absolute best put-downs, from Shakespeare Insult Generator [Chronicle, $12.95]:
Meaning: Bull’s penis
Meaning: cuckold—a man whose wife was unfaithful was thought to grow horns; from Latin “cornu,” horn
Meaning: man who busies himself with women’s household tasks
Meaning: dupe, fool, object of scorn
Meaning: one with faith in stupidity
Meaning: large cask of malmsey, a strong sweet wine
Meaning: saucy, insolent boy
Meaning: the short, erect tail of a deer
Meaning: a scoundrel, villain
*I LOVE these insults. If I was not happily married for 13 years, I would be at a bar or someplace similar seeing who is a reader :) I may get this book. I have a few friends that deserve an insult or two.