Looking for a phrase or single word to describe the strategy which a person employs when she deals with another person in their own style.

For example: Let's say a person constantly says that God controls everything. Then one day that person whines about some event in her own life. You console her by saying to her the same thing which she constantly says - God controls everything.

You weren't really trying to console her. You just said this same sentence that she repeats so often without any seriousness.

This may be referred to as giving someone a taste of their own medicine but the difference is that you are not arguing/fighting with the other person. It is a friendly conversation in which you gave a smart answer.

  • Since the person is not really trying to console her, then that person is being sarcastic. They are not trying to argue or fight. Just a witty reply Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 5:27
  • @JoeL. : Not asking for the word to describe the person. Looking for the word to describe this way of answering. Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 12:39
  • @NagarajanShanmuganathan : Looking for something more specific. This can be called sarcasm but sarcasm is typically ironic. Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 13:59
  • It's not clear to me whether the speaker in the example is actually being sarcastic/ironic or is genuinely trying to console the other person. @displayName, can you add some more info to your question around what the speaker is actually trying to do? Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 14:25
  • @MaxWilliams: Something like, I pulled a 'you' on you. Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 15:13

2 Answers 2


How about hoist with his own petard? Originally from William Shakespeare's Hamlet; quote from the wiki article

By "hoist with his own petar" (literal translation: "cause the bomb maker to be blown up with his own bomb"), Hamlet means he is metaphorically turning the tables on Claudius, whose messengers are to be killed instead of Hamlet


Chameleonic: Resembling a chameleon: readily changing color or other attributes (such as their manner / way of speaking).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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