These days the art of parliamentary put-downs has mostly been replaced with political spin and politicians prefer to take their potshots at each other in the press and on lobby terms.
Merging music, poetry and put-downs, one rapper is given less than a minute to launch a tirade of verbal insults designed to wither his opponent who then gets the same time to come back.
PUT-DOWN: (Indicate his trouser area) "No, but I bet you get a fair few of those."
PUT-DOWN:"Yes, they grow when I water them, so buy me a beer and then clear off."
PUT-DOWN: "Whatever you've lost, I really don't think you'll find it down my top."
BIG-BREASTED babes, fed up being the butt of men's jokes, can take heart from a new book of put-downs.
Because of this, threats are a particularly harmful kind of put-down.
Put-downs show a lack of sensitivity to the feelings of employees.
Frequently put-downs are defensive maneuvers intended to distract a supervisor from an undesirable duty.
PUT-DOWN: Do you deliver meals on wheels to old invalids?
PUT-DOWN: And if you were a real man I'd stay and talk to you.
And for any girl on the receiving end of attention from an unwanted suitor, RACHEL DOBSON has got some ego-crushing put-downs certain to rout any Romeo...
Clearly, a put-down of the "literary lion" and "malapropian Hall of Famer" was in play, but the punch line left me guessing.
It is here, finally, in the narrow borders of the meritocratic class, that the Spy put-down game has its most insidious effects.
The proliferation of the put-down, and Spy's honing it to new levels of precision, gives the New York magazine world a new hierarchy.