backhanded compliment
backhanded compliment & left-handed compliment
an unintended or ambiguous compliment. •

Backhanded compliments are the only kind he ever gives!

And I think his left-handed compliments are all given by accident, too!

* * *
{n. phr.} A remark that sounds like a compliment but is said sarcastically. * /"Not had for a girl" the coach said, offering a backhanded compliment./

Dictionary of American idioms. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • backhanded compliment — {n. phr.} A remark that sounds like a compliment but is said sarcastically. * / Not had for a girl the coach said, offering a backhanded compliment./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • Backhanded compliment — A backhanded compliment or left handed compliment or is an insult disguised as a compliment. It is generally used to belittle or condescend, or often one uses a backhanded compliment when one wants to insult someone in a subtle way. [ [http://www …   Wikipedia

  • backhanded compliment —    A remark that appears to express admiration but could also be interpreted as an insult is called a backhanded compliment.     He said my presentation was surprisingly clear . How s that for a backhanded compliment! …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • backhanded\ compliment — n. phr. A remark that sounds like a compliment but is said sarcastically. Not had for a girl the coach said, offering a backhanded compliment …   Словарь американских идиом

  • backhanded compliment — noun An insult disguised as a compliment …   Wiktionary

  • backhanded compliment — sarcastic praise, double edged compliment …   English contemporary dictionary

  • (a) backhanded compliment — a ˌbackhanded ˈcompliment idiom (NAmE also ˌleft handed ˈcompliment) a remark that seems to express admiration but could also be understood as an insult Main entry: ↑backhandedidiom …   Useful english dictionary

  • Backhanded — Back hand ed, a. 1. With the hand turned backward; as, a backhanded blow. [1913 Webster] 2. Indirect; awkward; insincere; sarcastic; as, a backhanded compliment. [1913 Webster] 3. Turned back, or inclining to the left; as, backhanded letters.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backhanded — [bak′han΄did] adj. 1. BACKHAND 2. expressing or expressed in an indirect or sarcastic way; not sincere; equivocal [a backhanded compliment] 3. Sports performed by backhanding the ball [a backhanded catch] adv. with a backhand …   English World dictionary

  • backhanded — ► ADJECTIVE 1) made with the back of the hand facing in the direction of movement. 2) indirect or ambiguous: a backhanded compliment …   English terms dictionary

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