Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a word of phrase for someone who denies their own statement?

It’s like when somebody snitches and then denies having done so.

share|improve this question
1  
Besides "liar", right? That's a good question. –  Joe Z. Feb 23 '13 at 20:31
    
He'd probably call himself "a victim of misquotation." –  Sven Yargs Feb 23 '13 at 21:09
    
double-crosser? –  Oliver Mason Feb 23 '13 at 21:36
3  
why specifically Canadian English? Do you have reason to believe Canadians use a different word for this than other English-speaking people? –  Kate Gregory Feb 23 '13 at 23:22
add comment

2 Answers

Recanter noun (formal) a person who makes a repudiation or withdrawal of a former belief or statement, esp formally in public (Collins English Dictionary)

from recant (v.) 1530s, from Latin recantare "recall, revoke," from re- "back" (see re-) + cantare "to chant" (see chant (v.)). A word from the Reformation. Loan-translation of Greek palinoidein "recant," from palin "back" + oeidein "to sing." (Online Etymology Dictionary)

share|improve this answer
3  
But would that not be a deliberate and public retraction, rather than underhand denial as implied by the question? Recanter sounds too honourable for that. –  Oliver Mason Feb 23 '13 at 22:27
    
@OliverMason no, recanting just means that they recanted. It can be a deeply dishonourable thing to do, depending on just what was recanted and why. –  Jon Hanna Feb 24 '13 at 1:46
add comment

In legal parlance, a witness can sometimes turn hostile or contradict himself.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.