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"?
    – DyingIsFun
    Jun 4, 2016 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. Jun 4, 2016 at 3:30
  • Righteous indignation or just indignation?
    – DyingIsFun
    Jun 4, 2016 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". Jun 4, 2016 at 3:37
  • sensitive, fragile, prim, moody, touchy, squeamish, prissy, thin-skinned, prudish
    – NVZ
    Jun 4, 2016 at 5:41

5 Answers 5


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. Jul 5, 2016 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.) Jul 26, 2016 at 14:00
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    @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, 2016 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. Jun 4, 2016 at 4:52
  • I've edited my answer to add a phrase that might suit. Jun 4, 2016 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. Jun 4, 2016 at 5:17
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    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! Jun 4, 2016 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, 2016 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"

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