For example, if someone says “I love your art. It reminds me of that movie, Avatar” and you happen to think Avatar is a horrible movie.

I wouldn’t say it’s a “backhanded compliment”, because it was well-intended.

2 Answers 2


One can say that the compliment backfired, since appraisal was the intended purpose but it ended up being perceived as insulting in nature. In that vein, unintended insult could be used to describe the situation.

With that said, however, there is no singular word that accurately fits the description, so I'm afraid your options are limited to the above two.


You might say that the compliment was poorly-received.

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