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.

  • 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? 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? Feb 23 '13 at 23:22

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)

  • 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. 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

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

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