June 2, 2006

backhanded compliment

Posted in Idioms at 10:01 am by Feng

backhanded compliment — an insult disguised as a compliment [wiki]

When I read an article on 'The Times', I came across this phrase — "backhanded compliment". The article is about an interview with the former football star: Pele. He is invited to comment on the 2006 Brazil world-cup squad and compare with the 1970 side at his peak time. He praises that this year's team is great, but if two teams were to compete, his 1970 team would win. In the article, his comment is described as "a backhanded compliment". Well known in the world, Pele is such a hilarious talker. I remember a few days ago he predicted that Brazil would win out in the forthcoming world cup. But his "patriotic" speech incurred vehement protest back at home in Brazil, because he always predicted wrongly.

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