Posted by R. Berg on November 14, 2002
In Reply to: Left-handed compliment posted by jim on November 14, 2002
: Would you please divulge the origin of this phrase? Thank you much...
A left-handed (or back-handed) compliment is an insult concealed in an apparent compliment and thus is the reverse of a real compliment, as left is the reverse of right. The left side has long been associated with wrongness; see link below for a related series of posts from the archive (www.phrases.org.uk bulletin_board 16 messages 627.html).
- Left-handed compliment Robert 11/14/02