"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[skur-uh-luh s, skuhr-] /ˈskɜr ə ləs, ˈskʌr-/
grossly or obscenely abusive:
a scurrilous attack on the mayor.
characterized by or using low buffoonery; coarsely jocular or derisive:
a scurrilous jest.
Origin of scurrilous
1570-80; scurrile + -ous
Related forms
scurrilously, adverb
scurrilousness, noun
1. vituperative, insulting, offensive. 2. vulgar. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for scurrilous
  • Others exchange scurrilous messages by computer and telephone.
  • There is a world of difference between healthy criticism and vicious, scurrilous attacks.
  • As a result, these scurrilous operators have turned to other methods of stealing money, including demand drafts.
  • The agency head has the right to remove notices which are defamatory, scurrilous, or inflammatory.
  • Respondent's contention that the leaflet was both scurrilous and defamatory was not upheld.
  • One sometimes heard scurrilous comments about the weather forecast for that day that didn't work out, but never a decision.
British Dictionary definitions for scurrilous


grossly or obscenely abusive or defamatory
characterized by gross or obscene humour
Derived Forms
scurrility (skəˈrɪlɪtɪ), scurrilousness, noun
scurrilously, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin scurrīlis derisive, from scurra buffoon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scurrilous

"using such language as only the licence of a buffoon can warrant" [Johnson], 1570s, from scurrile "coarsely joking" (c.1500, implied in scurrility), from Latin scurrilis "buffoonlike," from scurra "fashionable city idler, man-about-town," later "buffoon." According to Klein, "an Etruscan loan-word." Related: Scurrilously; scurrilousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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