2

Is there a noun for the opposite of "gift"? I want to use in a context like, "A kind word can be a gift but a kind word said in malice is not a gift. It is a ____." Something that means like a gifting debit, a withdrawal rather than a contribution. What is a good noun for this?

4
  • How about a theft?
    – TRomano
    Dec 4, 2015 at 17:53
  • Liability, obligation, deficit, invoice, albatross, assessment.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 4, 2015 at 17:57
  • And, probably the most obvious for that specific context, theft.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 4, 2015 at 18:54
  • 2
    I would do away with kind all together in the second part: "A kind word is like a gift, but a word said in malice is like a knife"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:39

3 Answers 3

3

A Trojan Horse is a "gift" given with malicious intent. If you have ever heard of Trojan programs, they are called that for this specific reason.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_Horse

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_horse_(computing)

1

There are quite a few antonyms for gift, and the two which seem most appropriate are, 'penalty' and 'fine', however, they don't really fit with your context.

in your context, "A kind word can be a gift but a kind word said in malice is not a gift. It is a ____."

I would use an antonym of 'blessing'; either 'curse' or 'scourge'.

"A kind word can be a gift but a kind word said in malice is not a gift. It is a scourge."

0

The courts can tax someone to punish them.

Now, as the most common of litigation tactics, some motions to tax costs are spurned out of the need for firms big and small ones to recoup money spent defending non-meritorious cases.

Source

When a court taxes a party, they take money from that party as a punishment for bringing a case without merit.

In contrast with a gift, a tax removes something from someone. There probably is no perfect opposite to gift.

A kind word said in malice is not a gift. It is a tax.

2
  • This must be British; I do not recall this usage of "tax" in the US. Here, the court may fine someone to punish them,
    – GEdgar
    Jun 16, 2020 at 13:07
  • I was referring to a term in US jurisprudence. A court fine may punish someone who has shown contempt, for instance. This is to deter illegal or infelicitous behavior. When a court taxes someone, it is a punishment for frivolus, but procedurally legal behavior. I have seen courts tax parties for wasting its time by dealing with matters already dealt with.
    – rajah9
    Jun 16, 2020 at 18:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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