left-handed compliment(redirected from left-handed compliments)
An insulting or negative comment disguised as praise. She said my new pants really make my legs look much slimmer. What a left-handed compliment!
Also, backhanded compliment. An insult in the guise of an expression of praise. For example, She said she liked my hair, but it turned out to be a left-handed compliment when she asked how long I'd been dyeing it . This expression uses left-handed in the sense of "questionable or doubtful," a usage dating from about 1600.