damn (someone or something) with faint praise

(redirected from damn them with faint praise)

damn (someone or something) with faint praise

To criticize or undermine someone or something by showing a lack of enthusiasm. I needed you to support me in there! The committee probably won't approve of my research project now that you've damned it with faint praise.
See also: damn, faint, praise

damn someone or something with faint praise

Fig. to criticize someone or something indirectly by not praising enthusiastically. The critic did not say that he disliked the play, but he damned it with faint praise. Mrs. Brown is very proud of her son's achievements, but damns her daughter's with faint praise.
See also: damn, faint, praise

damn with faint praise

Compliment so feebly that it amounts to no compliment at all, or even implies condemnation. For example, The reviewer damned the singer with faint praise, admiring her dress but not mentioning her voice . This idea was already expressed in Roman times by Favorinus (c. a.d. 110) but the actual expression comes from Alexander Pope's Epistle to Doctor Arbuthnot (1733): "Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer."
See also: damn, faint, praise

damn someone/something with faint praise

If you damn someone or something with faint praise, you praise them, but in such a weak way that it is obvious that you do not really have a high opinion of them. In recent months he has consistently damned the government with faint praise. Note: People occasionally use by instead of with. He has been damned by faint praise throughout his career even though he has scored all manner of important goals. Note: You can also just talk about faint praise. Mr Robinson called him `the most obvious candidate'. That sounds like faint praise. Note: This expression was first used by the English writer Alexander Pope in his `Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot' (1735): `Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer.'

damn someone or something with faint praise

praise someone or something so unenthusiastically as to imply condemnation.
This expression comes from the poet Alexander Pope's ‘Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot’ ( 1735 ): ‘Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer’.
1994 Canadian Defence Quarterly True there is the occasional condescending nod to those who served, but this frequently amounts to damning with faint praise.
References in periodicals archive ?
Killie played as if they could read the sameness and predictability of this Rangers performance and to commend them for their work ethic is not to damn them with faint praise.