backhanded compliment

Discuss idioms and slang from different English speaking countries.
James Trotta
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Re: backhanded compliment

Post by James Trotta » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:30 am

Thanks - this is useful. The only thing I would add is that backhanded compliments often are sarcastic. But all your examples are solid.
elevenoclock_jiminyoon wrote:Hello! ^o^

While I was skimming through this thread, I noticed several posts..
Many of these are more like sarcastic remarks, more so than backhanded compliments..

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Let's say that Alfred thinks he's a really amazing singer.. but he's actually very bad..
Alfred sang a few songs to Betty..
Her reaction could be one of the following..


Scenario 1
Betty: That's a nice song!
Alfred: Thanks!
Betty (to herself): My ears! They bleed!!!!
::This is what is commonly called a "white lie" .. It's a lie used daily by almost everyone.. whether it's done purposely or habitually...
::Technically.. Betty didn't completely lie.. All she said was that it was a nice song.. she never said anything about Alfred's singing!

Scenario 2
Betty: You have a voice of an angel.. Your talents are wasted here.. really..
Alfred: ......thanks? ...I guess??
Betty: You're welcome.
::This is sarcasm. It's hard to type sarcasm.. but yes.. It's when you say the opposite of what you mean.. but make it over-dramatic.
::Sarcasm is usually easy to pick up due to the emphasizing of certain words (in this case, "really").. but some sarcastic remarks can be made without emphasis. The "really" is hard to pick up.. so Alfred's reaction was a bit confused..

Scenario 3
Betty: I used to like that song.. until today..
Alfred: Well, excuse me, princess..
Betty: You're excused.
::This is just mean.. Betty clearly added in "until today" to show that she thought Alfred ruined one of her liked songs..
::Alfred's retort wasn't any less mean.. He was the one being sarcastic, this time.

Scenario 4
Betty: Not bad for a beginner!
Alfred: ...b-beginner? ...............
::This is a backhanded compliment. Betty states that he's "not bad".. and then adds in "beginner," meaning that he's not a good singer.
::I suppose Alfred wanted some sort of other response from Betty.. He doesn't really think of himself as a beginner, I guess haha..

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Wow.. I wrote a lot..
Um.. I don't know how much this is going to be helpful (or not)..
But I did my best.. If anyone would like to point out any corrections, please do so!
I'll edit it asap!

-Jimi

mnbvcxz
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Re: backhanded compliment

Post by mnbvcxz » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:55 pm

:D
SeokhyunHong wrote:I used to give my friend lots of backhanded compliments like, "You are too handsome to be dadting anyone."
how is working this

Leticia
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Re: backhanded compliment

Post by Leticia » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:10 pm

Plain Sarcasm:
When you change your hair style, and your friend says, "where did you get your hair do, so I won't go there"

James Trotta
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Re: backhanded compliment

Post by James Trotta » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:19 am

Right. A backhanded compliment would be something like. "Remind me never to go to your hairdresser! That hairstyle is just too cool for me."
Leticia wrote:Plain Sarcasm:
When you change your hair style, and your friend says, "where did you get your hair do, so I won't go there"

silvamani
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Re: backhanded compliment

Post by silvamani » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:23 am

no boss like to compliment of his junior in front of but they are backhanded

James Trotta
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Re: backhanded compliment

Post by James Trotta » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:10 pm

Hi Silva. This is a good try but I'm afraid I am not 100% sure about your meaning. Let me know if I got it right please.
silvamani wrote:no boss like to compliment of his junior in front of but they are backhanded
No boss likes to compliment the workers under him or her unless it is a backhanded compliment.

hollyce
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Re: backhanded compliment

Post by hollyce » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:41 am

I remember when I was working in an Orphanage, their is One girl who has lots of lice in her hair. I was thinking to help her but other girl said No' its nice and glittery. New hairstyle?..then she wink at me.

James Trotta
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Re: backhanded compliment

Post by James Trotta » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:03 am

Wow, that's mean.
hollyce wrote:I remember when I was working in an Orphanage, their is One girl who has lots of lice in her hair. I was thinking to help her but other girl said No' its nice and glittery. New hairstyle?..then she wink at me.
There was one girl who had lots of lice in her hair.

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