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See also: back-handedness



backhanded +‎ -ness


backhandedness (uncountable)

  1. The quality of being backhanded
    1. The use of a backward flip of the hand.
      • 1997, Bud Collins & ‎Zander Hollander, Bud Collins' tennis encyclopedia, page xix:
        Bjorn Borg, 18, wins French, and the three of them change the game, guiding the world to two-fisted backhandedness.
    2. Insincerity, irony, or sarcasm.
      • 2007, Graham Clews, Eboracum: The Village, →ISBN, page 98:
        The backhandedness of the compliment suddenly struck him, and he squeezed his eyes shut at the gaffe.
    3. Indirection.
      • 2012, Robert P. Abelson, Statistics As Principled Argument, →ISBN, page 10:
        The backhandedness of this procedure reflects the fact that null hypothesis tests are motivated by rhetorical considerations.
    4. (of writing) Leftward slant.
      • 1995, Ernst Grumach, Kadmos - Volumes 34-35, page 58:
        If it is, as one supposes, the same scribe who wrote the verso, his backhandedness had been cured by putting the tablet in a better position.
    5. Backwardness of direction.
      • 1918, Bibliotheca Sacra - Volume 75, page 540:
        It would be easy to draw a popular conclusion that this backhandedness of the language proves the backwardness of their civilization, and the fact that the Turk ought to go way back and sit down in remote Asia
    6. Deceit or neglect.
      • 2010, Howard Jones, Blue & Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations, →ISBN, page 68:
        Russell's clandestine attempt to initiate diplomatic contact with the Confederacy left an image of backhandedness that substantiated Seward's direst premonitions about British self-interest.
      • 1903, Robert Barr, Over the Border: A Romance, page 208:
        ... but I am ever behindhand with my purposing, and remember a project when it is too late to put it into action. Many a fight that same backhandedness has led me into.