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Is there a word that names an excuse made so as to not look stupid?

Here is an example that actually happened:

A guy walks up to a girl and starts talking to her. After talking for some time, the girl asks the guy to give her a kiss, but the guy refuses. So to this, the girl said, "I just wanted to test you if you are a good guy or a bad one."

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  • 1
    Generally speaking, excuse or rationalization.
    – Dan Bron
    Sep 30 '15 at 13:57
  • @danbron Excuse.
    – Usernew
    Sep 30 '15 at 13:58
  • 2
    Sorry for being unclear. My comment was a suggestion, not a question. Those are two words you can use.
    – Dan Bron
    Sep 30 '15 at 14:02
  • 7
    It's not one word, but I would call such an excuse "face-saving". Sep 30 '15 at 14:20
  • 1
    She tried to save her own skin. skin-saving.
    – user140086
    Sep 30 '15 at 15:57
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It's not one word, but I would call such an excuse "face-saving", which is defined by oxforddictionaries.com as "preserving one’s reputation, credibility, or dignity".

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  • This is what I have been looking for. Thanks! +1 to all the helpful people.
    – Usernew
    Oct 1 '15 at 6:59
3

(Not a one word) She tried to keep up appearances.

Definition: to make things look all right whether they are or not; to ​pretend to be ​happier, less ​poor, etc. than you really are, because you do not ​want ​people to ​know how ​bad ​your ​situation is.

Examples: We must keep up appearances even if it means little sacrifices here and there. Things may be unpleasant, but we will keep up appearances. They were very ​unhappily ​married but ​kept up ​appearances for the ​sake of ​their ​children.

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  • Single word request!? Nov 27 '15 at 11:42
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Justification. "So to this, the girl justified herself by claiming she was testing him."

2

How about cop-out?

: an excuse for not doing something

: something that avoids dealing with a problem in an appropriate way

So it's an excuse, except more emphasis on avoiding something (like not looking stupid in your example). so I think it fits perfectly.

And perhaps if you were to continue the dialogue in your example, the boy might respond "Don't give me that cop-out". And that sounds perfect to me.

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pretext

noun

A reason given in justification of a course of action that is not the real reason: the rebels had the perfect pretext for making their move
OED

So you could say

A guy walks up to a girl and starts talking to her. After talking for some time, the girl asks the guy to give her a kiss, but the guy refuses. To this, the girl had the perfect pretext, "I just wanted to test you if you are a good guy or a bad one."

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Depending on context I suggest

"an extemporaneous excuse"

  • composed, performed, or uttered on the spur of the moment

"an ad hoc excuse"

  • made or done without planning because of an immediate need

or "a lame excuse"

  • lame (adj) not very convincing or effective
1

An example using 'face-saving' (as suggested by Doug Warren):

So to save face, the girl said, "I just wanted to test you if you are a good guy or a bad one."

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Lifesaver is what comes to mind.

lifesaver: a person or thing that saves a person, as from a difficult situation or critical moment (Dictionary.com)

The lawyer excuse was a lifesaver

Alternately, face-saver might come close to what ypu're looking for.

face-saver: something that saves one's prestige or dignity (Random House Dictionary)

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