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 ?
"It doesn't surprise me there are potential suitors out there for a player of his quality but he's our player, he's on a long-term contract and - while it's a back-handed compliment for all the work people have done here over the years with Kieran - we don't want him to go."
In a back-handed compliment about Anton's dance skills, the source called him a "well-loved professional" but pointed out that "his glory years are over."
DEAN Smith has paid a back-handed compliment to Jed Steer after the goalkeeper's part in Villa's convincing victory over Derby.
The Scotland stopper laughed: "I'd have bitten your hand off for that when I was younger, being called that, so it was a back-handed compliment. No offence was taken."
Councillor Short, who represents the SNP, said: "We will take his comments as a back-handed compliment. They are what we call 'high dudgeon'.
But Silva believes Newcastle's approach was actually a back-handed compliment to the progress his squad has made.
QPR legend and former Sky pundit Rodney Marsh weighed in with a back-handed compliment by dubbing Warnock "one of the greatest lower league managers ever".
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.
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."
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.
Amid the jubilation and the applause, a few voices asked whether it was a back-handed compliment or not.