John Terry may have been found not guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, but one thing that's been made abundantly clear throughout the course of the trial is the pitiful state of banter that pervades the top tier of our national sport.

Insults confirmed as acceptable on-pitch 'hand bags' by Terry, Ferdinand and Terry's teammate Ashley Cole, include classics such as (WARNING: BAD LANGUAGE TO FOLLOW!):

"You shagged your teammate's missus, you're a cunt"

"Fuck off you knobhead"

"You're fat" (to goalkeeper Paddy Kenny)

and "your breath smells" (denoted by waving a hand in front of one's nose).

In other words, what you'd expect to hear from a set of 10-year-old boys from rival schools throwing Ribena cartons at each other over a bus stop.

Is this really the best our footballing heroes can do? What kind of example does it set to aspiring young swearers the world over?

There's a lot Terry and the rest of the Premier League's millionaires could learn from by getting their heads into some classical literature, not least of all how to wind each up with a little erudite flair.

To save them the bother, we've dug deep and compiled 13 suggestions ahead of the new season.

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  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "You scoundrel!" <strong>From:</strong> Henry IV, by William Shakespeare (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "You look like a sheep. And not in a good way, either." <strong>From:</strong> Various writings by Petronius, Roman author (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "You've got curly hair, and your face looks like an onion" <strong>From:</strong> <em>The Dinner Of Trimalchio</em>, by Petronius (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "Your mother is a poxed whore." <strong>From:</strong> <em>Henry VI</em>, by William Shakespeare (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "You lowly servant!" <strong>From:</strong> Henry IV, by William Shakespeare (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "You lady's secret love!" <strong>From:</strong> <em>The Canterbury Tales</em> by Geoffrey Chaucer. Used by the wife of Bath. (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "Really, <em>really</em> - get lost" <strong>From:</strong> Bacchides, by Plautus. A stronger version of the typical Ancient Roman profranity "by Zeus" or "by Jupiter". (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "You unscrupulous tramp!" <strong>From:</strong> Various writings by Petronius, Roman author (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "Fuck you", basically <strong>From:</strong> Romeo + Juliet, by William Shakespeare (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "You lunatic bastard!" <strong>From:</strong> 12th century scholar Tzetzes writing off an academic rival (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "Get lost you perpetual masturbator" <strong>From:</strong> <em>The Frogs</em>, by Ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "You're not much of a man" <strong>From:</strong> Love's Labors Lost, by William Shakespeare (Photo credit: PA/Composite)

  • <strong>Meaning:</strong> "You mean wretch!" <strong>From:</strong> Henry IV, by William Shakespeare (Photo credit: Getty/Composite)