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  1. #1
    Archie is offline Member
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    Default backhand compliment

    To me this sounds negative rather than something positive.
    maybe derision behind it am I right?
    Can you give me some examples of the usage of it?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: backhand compliment

    A backhanded compliment is a sentence that at first sight looks like a compliment, but hidden inside is an insult.

    For example: "You're really attractive when you close your mouth." It looks like a compliment, but what it means is: "I hate it when you talk."

  3. #3
    Archie is offline Member
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    Default Re: backhand compliment

    Thank you rewboss.I had that kind of thoughts too but wasn't 100% sure.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: backhand compliment

    Hi there.
    Thank you first for replying my question:
    I wonder if there's a phrase for the reversal (sentence that at first sight sounds negative, but hidden inside is a compliment).

  5. #5
    Archie is offline Member
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    Default Re: backhand compliment

    Good question, that interests me too.
    I know that there are certain words and verbs that sound bad but means good like "She's so phat" (pronounced same way as "fat" but means positive)

    And then "awesome" has positive meaning though originally means terrible.

    Hopefully someone gives more examples and sentences

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: backhand compliment

    A contranym is a word that means the opposite of itself- cleave can mean stick together or split. The link gives some further examples.

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