That Marco Materazzi may have insulted Zinedine’s mother seems to some to be sufficient justification for the ensuing head-butt.

In 2004, when David Beckham was shown the red card for calling a Spanish linesman a “hijo de puta” (son of a whore), the Sun newspaper (??) put together a list of other mother curses from various cultures.

“Tu madre tiene un bigote!” (Your mother has a moustache).

“Anda la puta que te pari!” (go back to the prostitute who gave birth to you).

“Me cago en la leche que mamaste!” (I shit in the milk that you suckled from your mother’s breast).

Now I’m into the logic of opposites in a big way, so I thought, well, if the worst insults are those which are denigrating to mothers it follows that the most effective compliments might work in a similar way.

“Estoy seguro que su madre no es una puta!” (Your mother is not a whore at all).

“Estoy seguro que su madre es una mujer muy respectable en su comunidad!” (I am sure that your mother is, in fact, a respected figure within her community).

But the insults are the best. I like this one from Finland: “Aitisi nai poroja!” (Your mother copulates with reindeer).

Nice, huh?