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A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
1. Indirect or ambiguous, having double meaning; sarcastic or malicious.
2. Performed with the back of the hand facing forward.
The metaphorical sense of the term derives from the image of a hand facing backward being indirect or hiding something. Earliest documented use: 1800. The word forehanded is not an opposite of this word.
“In an extraordinary backhanded compliment, Pierre Rolin compared Helen Macintyre to the Dr Seuss character the Grinch, saying: ‘I think deep down there is a beautiful heart, a lovely person, who was damaged and who was absorbed by tragedy.’”
Polly Dunbar and Alexis Parr; Boris Johnson’s Amazing Love Pentagon!; Daily Mail (London, UK); Feb 6, 2011.
See more usage examples of backhanded in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Thinking is an experimental dealing with small quantities of energy, just as a general moves miniature figures over a map before setting his troops in action. -Sigmund Freud, neurologist, founder of psychoanalysis (6 May 1856-1939)