back of one's hand

(redirected from back-handed compliment)

back of (one's) hand

A display of rejection, disdain, or contempt (for a person or thing). She met their accusations with the back of her hand. I give the back of my hand to anyone who says I'm not a good parent.
See also: back, hand, of

back of one's hand

Rejection or contempt, as in Unimpressed with him, she gave the back of her hand to his suggestion. This phrase is usually the object of a verb such as give or show. [Second half of 1700s] Back of the hand similarly means "an insult" in the term back-handed compliment (see under left-handed compliment) but has a quite different meaning in know like the back of one's hand (see under know like a book).
See also: back, hand, of
References in periodicals archive ?
Pep Guardiola has offered Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United a back-handed compliment after admitting the Toon manager's tactics were "complicated" for his team to eventually break down.
Now, this might be somewhat of a back-handed compliment, but the glamping and camping side of Crealy is a little let down by the theme park - but this is more down to the high level of expectation built up by the excellent standard of the campsite.
But the big prize has eluded him and he has outgrown the back-handed compliment of being the best player never to win the world title.
7 MICHAEL KEANE Much improved on Sunday's sloppy show, which is perhaps a back-handed compliment.
On Sunday, May 21, appeared the first bombshell article, courtesy of The Los Angeles Times, with a back-handed compliment declaring, "People who get rid of cable TV might not save money.
The new Aston Villa boss insists two decades of abuse from their fans was a back-handed compliment.
It was something of a back-handed compliment, though, as he said: "This Dublin team is mentally tough.
Opposition defences have already paid him the compliment of doubling up to restrict his room to manoeuvre - and, indeed, the back-handed compliment of those finger-pointing theatrics when they resort to fouls to halt him in his tracks.
IT almost appears to be a veiled, back-handed compliment when you earn Newcastle United's man-of-thematch award at the moment.
He even got the ultimate back-handed compliment from his manager as Slade described O'Keefe as providing 'good cover' in the Cardiff squad.
Amid the jubilation and the applause, a few voices asked whether it was a back-handed compliment or not.
I know you are an exceptionally clever man and no-one is more aware of your cleverness than you" - Commons Speaker John Bercow's back-handed compliment to Labour MP Chris Bryant.
I have had so many over the years, I am almost immune to it" TV weather presenter Carol Kirkwood, above, on men who send her explicit pictures of themselves through the post "It is the sort of place that throws a tanned arm around one's shoulder, gives you a matey squeeze and bungs you an ice-cold tinny" Food writer Tom Parker-Bowles, son of the Duchess of Cornwall, sings the praises of Sydney "I know you are an exceptionally clever man, and no-one is more aware of your cleverness than you" Commons Speaker John Bercow's back-handed compliment to Labour MP Chris Bryant
To note, during the trash-talking between the two in the Rockets-Lakers tiff after Howard hit Bryant with the elbow to the chin, Bryant was seen calling Howard, "soft" and thus supporting the supposed back-handed compliment on calling the Rockets big man a "teddy bear".
THE DETECTORISTS (10pm BBC4) THE term "gentle comedy" has become a bit of a back-handed compliment, to describe some thing that's well intentioned, but disappointingly short on actual laughs.