There was a recent phrase I can't remember for feigning being violated.

I know the word perfidy is sometimes used, but that is not what I am looking for. I remember seeing something on the media and I just can't remember it.

It's like when someone takes offense for something that was never meant offensively, making a big to do about nothing. Similar to positioning oneself to assume the worst in people, never assuming the other person made a genuine mistake.

Think of a person bumping into someone accidentally, and the other person acts as if they have been physically assaulted.

  • Are you talking exclusively about false rape claims or more generally about "being violated"? – GoldenGremlin Jun 4 '16 at 3:28
  • it's like you bump into or brush someone and they act like you violated them. or sometimes a verbal comment misconstrued or attributed to malice that was never implied. – robert bristow-johnson Jun 4 '16 at 3:30
  • Righteous indignation or just indignation? – GoldenGremlin Jun 4 '16 at 3:36
  • certainly not righteous indignation. might be synonymous with self-righteous indignation, but has to have a sense of hyperbole in it. and it's more than just "making a mountain out of a molehill". – robert bristow-johnson Jun 4 '16 at 3:37
  • sensitive, fragile, prim, moody, touchy, squeamish, prissy, thin-skinned, prudish – NVZ Jun 4 '16 at 5:41

Is it feigned outrage? That has around an order of magnitude more hits than "feigned umbrage" on Google (21K vs. 1.5K) and appears as a phrase used by politicians across the spectrum. For example:

Yet for all these exacting efforts to do a hard and necessary job and to do it right, we hear from some quarters nothing but feigned outrage based on a false narrative. (Dick Cheney, in an op-ed)


In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, President Bill Clinton said there was something “completely disingenuous about the feigned outrage” from conservatives over the MoveOn ad. (via ThinkProgress)

  • it's more like this victimization culture. feigning victimization to have a pretense of entitlement to respect. – robert bristow-johnson Jul 5 '16 at 7:38

"Feigned Umbrage" sounds sort of clunky and perhaps both words are not commonly used, but I think it perfectly and unambiguously describes the situation, a version of which came to mind yesterday during Michael Cohen's testimony before Congress.


how about: To cry wolf?

As it relates to the taxi example: "Make a mountain of a molehill" or perhaps more on point: "To lay it on thick".

As for Perfidy, i believe it would be acceptable to use Perfidity.

  • it's more like a faux victimization mentality. just recently i am accused of "sexist microaggression" because i used the term "Sec. Pantsuit" for the Dem nominee for prez. (i had also used the term "Cap'n Combover" for the GOP nominee.) – robert bristow-johnson Jul 26 '16 at 14:00
  • 1
    @Stark, as stated with your other answers, please try to give a source for your answer. This site strives to provide objective answers. Find out about good answers in the Help Center. – Helmar Jul 26 '16 at 14:33

Nouns that might suit your description of a serious and deliberate misreprentation of events:

1. a false or baseless, usually derogatory story, report, or rumor.


1. a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something:
The speech was considered a calumny of the administration.
2. the act of uttering calumnies; slander; defamation.

Other possible words include fabrication, misrepresentation, distortion, hyperbole, exaggeration, misinterpretation, sensitivity (in descending order of intent to discredit).

For a phrase, what about "take umbrage"?

For further directions to pursue, you could start with lie in a thesaurus.


playing the victim (Wikipedia):

"Victim playing (also known as playing the victim or self-victimization) is the fabrication of victimhood for a variety of reasons such as to justify abuse of others, to manipulate others, a coping strategy or attention seeking. Where a person is known for regular victim playing, the person may be referred to as a professional victim."

  • it wasn't a single word, i don't think. it was most like "taking maximum offense". or something akin to hypersensitivity. i have been trying with online thesauri. – robert bristow-johnson Jun 4 '16 at 4:52
  • I've edited my answer to add a phrase that might suit. – Chappo Says SE Dudded Monica Jun 4 '16 at 4:57
  • we're getting there. it's feigning umbrage. and there was a phrase i heard in the news, sorta like self-identifying as a victim. – robert bristow-johnson Jun 4 '16 at 5:17
  • 2
    I know exactly the kind of situation you're describing, but I can't think of a phrase that captures it. I hope someone else can! – Chappo Says SE Dudded Monica Jun 4 '16 at 5:30
  • @robertbristow-johnson Is the sense that the over-reaction is deliberate and knowing or more that they are just hypersensitive. – Spagirl Jun 4 '16 at 6:21

The phrase that best encapsulates this idea that I can think of would be :

Affected offense

Used here - By John Knox, reference - The Works of John Knox, Volume 6

If you are looking for a noun that comes closest, I would say a nitpicker is close, especially in the "pedantic fault-finding" sense of the word.


Derived from

Nitpicking "Fussy or pedantic fault-finding"

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.