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Word Games

What is it called when someone gives you a compliment and insults you at the same time?

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May 24, 2011 6:52PM

It is called a left-handed compliment. For example : You are smarter than you look.

I've heard it called a backhanded compliment, because it compliments you, but you feel slightly insulted.

Another example is 'damning with faint praise'. This is a compliment that seems to most in earshot to be much less glowing than an individual's accomplishments would generally deserve. This may be somewhat subtle, and is an example of clever, even brilliant rhetoric if done intentionally and expertly well.