a backhanded compliment

backhanded compliment

An insulting or negative comment disguised as praise. She said my new pants really make my legs look much slimmer. What a backhanded compliment!

a backhanded compliment

1. A backhanded compliment is a remark which seems to be praising someone or something but which could also be understood as criticism. Saying she's improved comes over as a backhanded compliment. Reviewers gave the play the backhanded compliment that it was `surprisingly impressive'.
2. A backhanded compliment is a remark which seems to be criticizing someone or something but which could also be understood as praise. They were seen as the ones most in need of some culture. This was a backhanded compliment: it implied that they were capable of appreciating the highest works of art.

a ˌbackhanded ˈcompliment

(American English also a ˌleft-handed ˈcompliment) a remark that seems to express admiration but could also be understood as an insult: She told me that my essay was ‘surprisingly good’, which I thought was a backhanded compliment.
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: New Delhi (India), Aug 5 (ANI): Kajol who turned 45 on Monday received a backhanded compliment from hubby Ajay on her special day.
L F APts 17 31 49 10 54 16 2 3561750 16 0 5462148 13 5 3381644 12 5 4463141 11 5 5433238 9 4 8252331 8 5 8303129 8 5 8232529 8 4 9293228 7 6 8313127 8 3 10 31 40 27 7 5 9242926 6 411192622 4 6 11 15 29 18 5 313214218 5 313194118 37 11 21 38 16 3 513194714 2 4 15 13 37 10 Fully aware of Van Dijk's talents, the former Real Madrid winger, who has announced he will leave Bayern at the end of the season, offered something of a backhanded compliment when quizzed about the centreback.
Fully aware of van Dijk 's talents, the former Real Madrid winger, who has announced he will leave Bayern at the end of the season, offered something of a backhanded compliment when quizzed about the centre-back.
In a backhanded compliment today, former Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin thanked his successor Datuk Osman Sapian for carrying out initiatives and policies he claimed to have started.
"I'm nearly always giving him a backhanded compliment because I want to keep him grounded and feeling like he has more to do to impress the manager."
"'Weird crush.' It's a backhanded compliment, but I'll take it" - Jimmy Carr.
I believe that's what they call a backhanded compliment.
This is something of a backhanded compliment, but here's a list of the "Most Overpaid Actors in Hollywood." Who cares about Forbes' new list of the highest paid deserving actors when you've got this list.
"I suppose it's a bit of a backhanded compliment, isn't it?" said (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3310211/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1) Rose Leslie , the actress who portrays Ygritte.
Despite being the victim of a number of rash challenges this season, Bale sees the treatment as a backhanded compliment to his abilities.
The United defender enjoys the Barcelona midfield maestro's ball control Phil Taylor The DVD was quite funny to be honest but much prefer Zulu The Power gives a backhanded compliment to Something About Mary Mark Foster Hometown Champions League final for Man United!
That's probably a backhanded compliment to the Special One - such was the fear we Manchester United supporters had for him.
But he didn't expect a backhanded compliment from his own agent after his comeback.
Admittedly, that's something of a backhanded compliment.