a word i learned at boat building school.
definition: 1. a polite but not too polite way of saying you're an asshole, but less edgy than asshole. Nuance: depending on the situation calling someone an a-hole can be an highly effective way to shut down or cause to make an otherwise obnoxious personality introspective. In an another instance, the use of the term could be a disapproving approval of someone's behaviour. One may disapprove in principle a course of action as in an act of revenge but in fact emotionally endorse or approve of the meritoriousness of the act.
let's say a father publicly humiliates his child in order to boost his ego in the eyes of his friend, then one might respond by declaring---a-hole, what an a-hole, you're an a-hole, dude you're such an a-hole or only an a-hole belittles a child in order to feel powerful.