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1.
What might at first sound like a compliment but could/should really be taken as an insult when considered in its entirety.
The Republican Senator would never desecrate the holy institution of marriage by voting to allowing gays to wed; just ask his ex.
by Anon April 19, 2005
 
2.
An insult disguised as a compliment
"No, honey...I love yours. I don't even like them big."
"Relax, sweetie...you were perfectly adequate."
"Your haircut really slims your face."
Since Michael is a pompous prick, I think I'll give him a backhanded compliment.
by Ryan Deerhead September 05, 2006
 
3.
When a new acquaintance ends an interaction with a cleverly delivered phrase, leaving you confused about their feelings towards you. Many times a shrewd tactic used by women to get men emotionally invested and intrigued in them.
Off duty paramedic: Well it was nice to meet you Claudia, but I must go now.

Claudia the nurse: Sir, I sincerely hope i never have to deal with you professionally. *Smiles*

Off duty paramedic: Well that's not very... oh I get it! Haha. Take care! *walking away and scratching head*

Claudia the nurse (under her breath): Got um :)

Later on a call

Paramedic: Man, I can't stop thinking about that nurse Claudia from St. Thomas. She schooled me with that backhanded compliment. I'm so confused. Is she attracted to me? That is the question.

Partner: Huh!?! What the hell are you talking about??! This man is in cardiac arrest!! Do something! This is my first shift and you're the senior paramedic here! OMG What do i do?! What do i do!?????

*beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep*

Paramedic: I think i'm gonna call her tonight. Yeah. Definitely gonna call her. Those lips... hmmm. Hey rookie, fill out the incident report will you? *sings* K K K Claudiaaaaaa.. .K K K Claudia... Mmm mmmmm

Partner:.........(shedding tears)
by whatsyourproblemyouremyproblem September 29, 2013
 
4.
Any compliment a gay man gives to another gay man. Usually to cause drama.
I can make a fire with some wood and a backhanded compliment.
by epyonnxt May 08, 2005