Travel: Dribbling, Senile Fool!

British Book Publisher Peter Wolfe ordered soup in an Italian restaurant, and the waiter served it with his thumb in it. Wordlessly sending it back, Wolfe wished he had had enough Italian to call the waiter "a dribbling, senile fool!" or at least snarl at him: "Tolga il suo sudicio dito dalla minestra!" (Get your dirty thumb out of the soup.)

Reasoning that thousands of frustrated tourists must have the same difficulty, he had an ingenious notion: Why not publish a foreign-language phrase book composed entirely of rebukes and insults? The result is the Wolfe Publishing Co.'s Insult Dictionary,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!