Is there a word that describes a saying which states one thing in order to make the point (clearly known by all) that the opposite is true? For example, my brother is sitting in front of a once-full-now-empty plate, and I say, "You weren't hungry, were you?!"

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    Not a single word, but your example fits the definition of a "rhetorical question."
    – ab2
    Aug 9, 2017 at 1:16
  • @ab2: A rhetorical question a way of self expressing ones thoughts in the form of a question, asked without expecting anybody's answer. Here the tag question doesn't seem to be a rhetorical question. Aug 9, 2017 at 2:44
  • Hi Tiffany, and welcome to English Language & Usage, and Stack Exchange. Single Word Requests have certain requisites that need to be fulfilled before they are considered truly answerable. Would you please you explain why you don't think it qualifies as irony, why you ruled out sarcasm and other likely candidates found in in a thesaurus, and include an exemplary sentence? We need to know these things in order to find the best word for your given context and circumstance.
    – Tonepoet
    Aug 9, 2017 at 18:00
  • The answer to this question contains the answer to yours Is there a word for an intentional misnomer?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 9, 2017 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


It can be either irony or sarcasm depending upon the mood of the speaker.

If the speaker intends only a humorous comment, it can be called an ironic expression.

If a criticism and hurting ones feelings in a humorous way are intended, it can be called sarcasm.

IRONY: the use of words that are the opposite of what you mean, as a way of being funny.

SARCASM: the use of remarks that clearly mean the opposite of what they say, made in order to hurt someone's feelings or to criticize something in a humorous way.


sarcasm : the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny


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