Thinking more about insults, I suppose if we do process the noise-codes that come from people's mouths, sometimes that can be like a bait.
I agree with Mike's philosophy, it seems factual that although an insult is meant for offence, it seems for the target to hit home, was have to open the target for display.
If our heart is ultimately the target, then let us represent our minds as the shield. When someone sends us an offence, we have the choice to raise the shield or let it down.
It seems to me we are more prone to not raise the shields, if the person can cleverly capitalise by finding that one thing we are insecure about. This accentuates the insult, and effectively makes the insult a sharper arrow, yet we still have to let our shield down in order for the arrow to hit home.
Notice the nature of an insult; it is to describe the person as the sole descriptor, as though this descriptor fully describes what the person is. Effectively an absurd deception.
Example; "you are a fatty." (an overweight person)
This fool has chosen the one thing that they know will emotionally hurt the other person if they say it, as they know their weight problem may create a weakness in their psychology. A wicked person that is sadistic and cunning, obviously looks for the type of insult that will hit home the hardest. But this person isn't only a, "fatty", and there will obviously be a lot more to a person than what they weigh, which doesn't matter much except as a health issue. This is the healthy thing that person should tell themselves, but we are very foolish sometimes, and we tell ourselves negative things that agree with the insult. Example; "I am fat, that's all I am, I have no value." CODSWALLOP - that's what they want you to think - snap out of it!
Obviously the more child-like, puerile person, thrives from using insults because their desire is to cause pain and we know that wickedness is ultimately the problem with the sinner. Sometimes we don't insult to cause pain, we just insult because we ourselves are emoting, we may be angry and tell ourselves the solution is to insult the other person or belittle them in some way.
The definition of mikey-mischief on the other hand is harmless mischievous fun. The insults themselves won't mean anything because they would apply to anyone and ultimately are either fake words or fictional entities. Example, "you cantankerous balrog." Translated; "you grumpy fictional creature".
This is to get a kick out of mischief, but the mischief is never intended as an actual insult with any motive to cause the person hurt but is always coming from a benevolent happiness/cheerfulness. The totality of the meaning of the mischief is only the amusement I get from finding ways to get away with being a naughty boy.
Example; "mike, get out of class, there is no chewing gum in the classroom, only after school can you chew gum, stand outside please until the end of school."
mike hears the school bell ring for the end of school, he knocks on the window and the teacher sees him in the window, and he puts a new gum chew in his mouth and with an expression of joy chews the gum and waves to the teacher.