Is there any good word/phrase/idiom for that feeling of scorn when you're accepted by someone/something after getting rejected the first time?

I remember a phrase being quoted by Nathan Fillion in Castle when Richard Castle's daughter is rejected to Stanford and later gets in. Still can't remember the lines, just the situation.

6 Answers 6


Perhaps it's spite you're after:

From The Free Dictionary:

n. Malicious ill will prompting an urge to hurt or humiliate another person.
v. to annoy in order to vent spite

You could say,

"Oh, now, they finally accept me after rejecting me a few months ago. Well, I'm gonna turn 'em down just to spite them."

  • Yup. That's exactly what I was looking for-harboring resent over rejection. Feb 12, 2015 at 4:21

Indignant might be a synonym for the feeling of scorn (which is a great word on its own merit):


Feeling or showing anger or annoyance at what is perceived as unfair treatment:


late 16th century: from Latin indignant- 'regarding as unworthy', from the verb indignari, from in- 'not' + dignus 'worthy'.

When they rejected you, they despised your dignity, and now their dignity is diminished in your mind, because they rushed to a faulty judgement against you.


Leave a bad taste in the mouth , may suggest such a feeling:

  • if an experience leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you have an unpleasant memory of it

    • The whole business about the missing money left a bad taste in his mouth. It was a very nice hotel, but something about it left a bad taste in my mouth. (TFD)
  • The experience of being finally accepted after having been rejected, may reasonably leave a bad taste in the mouth!!
  • Interesting. I was thinking more in terms of scorned lover, maybe? Feb 11, 2015 at 20:41
  • 1
    I was thinking about sour grapes that works with this: It appears the grapes were indeed sour.
    – SrJoven
    Feb 11, 2015 at 22:20

Forlorn would imply a sadness at the rejection:


  1. Pitifully sad and abandoned or lonely:

It could also imply the apprehension of your future in that relationship:

  1. (Of an aim or endeavour) unlikely to succeed or be fulfilled:

The etymology suggests a lostness:


Old English forloren 'depraved, morally abandoned', past participle of forlēosan 'lose',

of Germanic origin; related to Dutch verliezen and German verlieren, and ultimately to for- and lose.

sense 1 dates from the 16th century.



Consider the term vindicate

to show that (someone or something that has been criticized or doubted) is correct, true, or reasonable


The term is also used to describe proving innocence.

A person who was rejected and then accepted might say I feel vindicated!

The noun form is vindication


If you are looking for a phrase to express rejection by the formerly rejected, you could say

  • uhh..not quite, I think. The feeling I'm referring to has more of a negative connotation to it. Feb 11, 2015 at 20:41
  • I like the "too little, too late" that you added on to this.
    – andi
    Feb 11, 2015 at 21:28

Antipathy comes to mind:



A deep-seated feeling of aversion:

This is a general bad feeling in its etymology:


from Latin antipathia,

from Greek antipatheia, noun of state

from antipathes "opposed in feeling, having opposite feeling; in return for suffering; felt mutually,"

from anti- "against" (see anti-) + root of pathos "feeling" (see pathos).

Emphasis mine

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