Is there a word describing the phenomenon of when you insult or speak badly of something but it turns out the person you are speaking to likes or owns or is related to that thing? E.G. you say "The new model of XYZ looks terrible" and the person you are speaking to says "Oh... I've just gotten one."

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    this word needs a word
    – Matt
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 13:42
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    @Matt - agreed, there are words as suggested in the good answers below, but they are more general than this. Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 16:55
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    I think that @JoeTaxpayer 's point is an important one; none of the words below refers specifically to your situation. I want very much to call this hockey-itis, per the second half of reddit.com/r/Jokes/comments/2kfcud/… (but, to be explicit, that isn't, and shouldn't be, a word).
    – LSpice
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 19:01
  • You slam-boozled yourself! Embarraslamming. You performed a dis-crash ("dis" as in "disrespect"). dis-fail? Inappropri-insulting. Trash-talk-block. Wheeeee!
    – ErikE
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 19:09
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    also, if the thing you dislike is something you are not very knowledgeable of, and the other person is, you may be "speaking out of school" (worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-spe4.htm)
    – chiliNUT
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 19:02

5 Answers 5


I don't think English has a word for the precise situation you are after, but have you considered gaffe:

an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder.

synonyms: blunder, mistake, error, slip, faux pas, indiscretion, impropriety, miscalculation, gaucherie, solecis, slip-up, howler, boo-boo, fluff, flub, blooper, goof

"I made some real gaffes at work"

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    Definitely a good word for this sort of thing, but yes I'm looking for something more specific to describe the situation. Thanks!
    – Kagetsuki
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 8:03

Not a word, but a phrase; put your foot in it/your mouth, also known as Foot-in-Mouth disease which plays on Foot-and-Mouth disease, an ailment which afflicts cattle.

I was talking to the boss about the new XYZ and I really put my foot in it, I didn't know he'd just bought one of the hideous things!

  • Be careful of * every time he opens his mouth he puts his foot in it*.
    – WS2
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 11:10
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    I've also heard the phrase "eat crow" to mean this same thing. I don't know if crow is some synonym for feet or not.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 21:04
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    @corsiKa "Eating crow" involves being humiliated by having to admit you were in the wrong. Because eating crow required that admission or error it is subtly different from putting your foot in it, where no admission is required. Also putting your foot in it is more about being tactless than being wrong.
    – Spagirl
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 21:11
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    I'd say this is pretty close what I was looking for. Thanks!
    – Kagetsuki
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 8:04
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    yes, "eat crow" is totally different.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 12:56

A good phrase would be faux pas

a slip or blunder in etiquette, manners, or conduct; an embarrassing social blunder or indiscretion.


While it's not as highly specific as your scenario I believe it would still fall under a faux pas.

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    This is a bit more general than just applying to the situation the OP is seeking it for Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 14:15

Make a blunder (to make a gross mistake / error due to stupidity or carelessness (OED)) or goof (to blunder / make a mistake (OED)).


"I really blundered / goofed when I said... (the new model of XYZ looks terrible).


Well he certainly turned the tables on you. This expression can be used to summarize the fact that he used your negativity against you.

  • a citation from a dictionary such as this one, dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/… helps support an answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 14:45
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    -1, This doesn't seem right at all. Also, I had to click the link to see the definition, and for all I know there's some alternate definition you intended that I missed. Beside linking the source, you should copy over the specific definition you're looking for.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 17:57

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