American Idioms and Expressions

Back Handed Compliment Idiom

This database is a comprehensive collection of all the American idioms and slang available. American Idioms are many and varied. We hope you enjoy our collection. We are adding more all the time. .

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Back handed compliment
What does Back handed compliment mean?
A compliment that also insults or puts down at the same time.They gave me a backhanded compliment when they said I was smart for a girl.
Back-handed is synonymous with left-handed. For example in tennis, a backhand stroke is a strike by a right-handed player from the left side of the body.
The left side of the body has always been deemed sinister. The Latin word for left is sinister. Hence, back-handed means round-about, indirect, or devious.

Some Random Idioms
neither fish nor fowl
What does "neither fish nor fowl" mean?
not in any recognizable category I could not decide what the animal was. It was neither fish nor fowl.

You can't have cake and the topping, too
What does "You can't have cake and the topping, too" mean?
This idiom means that you can't have everything the way you want it, especially if your desires are contradictory.
loo
What does "loo" mean?
toilet; bathroom; restroom
in the rear
What does "in the rear" mean?
behind someone or somethingThere were several trucks in the rear when they opened the bridge to traffic last night.
blow the lid off (something)
What does "blow the lid off (something)" mean?
to reveal something (often a wrongdoing)The government investigation blew the lid off the illegal activities.
highway robbery
What does "highway robbery" mean?
the charging of a high price for somethingThe amount of money that the company is charging for its services is highway robbery.
feel out of place
What does "feel out of place" mean?
to feel that one does not belong in a placeI sometimes feel out of place when I go to an expensive restaurant.
have it
What does "have it" mean?
hear or get news, understandI have it that the new president will be coming to see us next week.
ditch class
What does "ditch class" mean?
skip class/play hookey."You shouldn't have ditched classyesterday. We had an unannounced test."
eat (someone) for breakfast
What does "eat (someone) for breakfast" mean?
to defeat someone easilyThe young wrestler can eat the older wrestler for breakfast.

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