Stereotypical notions of gender circulated more freely and effectively in libelous verse, because they were attached there to other matters of moment—to God, sex, and money. In the context libelous poetry was a powerful medium for the transmission of gender stereotypes. The body being basic to the construction of gender differences, the embarrassing body was a crucial ground for demeaning others, men and women alike. If plaintiffs were to prove that their good reputations had been damaged, they had to record accurately the allegedly slanderous words of the defendants whether these were merely abusive epithets, "pockie Queene" or "horned Knave" for example, or substantial pieces of verse. In the libelous poems of early modern England there is no sweetness and light. Many of the poems were cleverly conceived and deftly executed; some were witty, at least in part, and undoubtedly added to the fun in the alehouse at Christmas or Whitsuntide.