Origin of sarcasm
synonym study for sarcasm
OTHER WORDS FROM sarcasmsu·per·sar·casm, noun
Words nearby sarcasm
MORE ABOUT SARCASM
Where does the word sarcasm come from?
On the hit TV show Friends, the character Chandler Bing can never help himself from being sarcastic. But, maybe he would think twice if he knew the origins of the word sarcasm.
Sarcasm is defined as a “sneering or cutting remark.” Fittingly, the word sarcasm comes from the ancient Greek word sarkázein, which meant “to tear flesh.” That verb became a metaphor for “speaking bitterly.”
While we always hear that sticks and stones can’t break our bones, even the ancient Greeks recognized that sarcasm feels like someone is digging into you.
The roots of these other words may get a rise—of laughter or surprise—out of you. Run on over to our roundup of them at “Weird Word Origins That Will Make Your Family Laugh.”
Did you know … ?
Generally speaking, sarcasm is a form of verbal irony, in which a person says or writes one thing and means another, or uses words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of the literal meaning. For this reason, many people sometimes take sarcastic comments at face value. This is especially true online, where it’s harder to convey tone and intention—despite all our emoji and emoticons. Due to the limitations of digital communication, some people will often end a sarcastic remark with “/sarcasm” or “/s” so they don’t get misinterpreted. Sarcasm is commonly used in many kinds of humor, from self-deprecation to satire.
How to use sarcasm in a sentence
He’s no match to the original C-3PO’s fluency in 6 million forms of communication, but he’s got full linguistic mastery and can learn from humans like humans do—from observation and imitation, whether it’s using sarcasm or sticking dishes into slots.
Of course, when a student posts a split-second video of the gesture, that sarcasm is lost amid viral context collapse.Netflix’s Sharp Satire The Chair Throws Sandra Oh Into the Politicized Powder Keg of Higher Ed|Judy Berman|August 19, 2021|Time
There are also plenty of mom accounts drenched in sarcasm, illustrating what a hot mess the maternal experience can be.The many emotions of motherhood — and how to manage them|Ilyse Dobrow DiMarco|June 25, 2021|Washington Post
So I’ve tried not to be sarcastic because sarcasm and humor do not translate.Ron Rivera tries to keep Washington focused amid increasing coronavirus disruptions|Nicki Jhabvala|November 30, 2020|Washington Post
We try to always keep the self-deprecation in it because that optimism we feel about people does not have room for sarcasm or negativity.Is It Moral to Have Facebook as a Client? Colleen DeCourcy, Wieden+Kennedy Co-President, Isn’t So Sure|Eben Shapiro|October 4, 2020|Time
Lou's valedictory has been acclaimed, without sarcasm, as baseball's Gettysburg Address.The Stacks: The Day Lou Gehrig Delivered Baseball’s Gettysburg Address|Ray Robinson|July 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Friedman is acutely aware of the thin line between soap opera and sarcasm.Lifetime’s ‘Witches of East End’ Is the Ultimate Witch Show|Anna Brand|November 21, 2013|DAILY BEAST
A spectre is haunting the internet—the spectre of Open Sarcasm.
But it is the quest of a father and son to invent a symbol for sarcasm that will live in infamy.
The written word has question marks and exclamation points to document those thoughts, BUT sarcasm has NOTHING!
A vein of shrewd and humorous sarcasm, together with an under-current of quiet selfishness, made him a very pleasant companion. '
He had often been floored by argument and coughed down by contempt, but he seemed alike insensible to sarcasm and to insult.Madame Roland, Makers of History|John S. C. Abbott
His manner disconcerts me; but the sarcasm of his words and the offensive tone rouse my resentment.Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist|Alexander Berkman
Avoid sarcasm; it will, unconsciously to yourself, degenerate into pertness, and often downright rudeness.The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness|Florence Hartley
I see you were not, said the stranger, an expression of quiet sarcasm playing about his mouth, or you would have known my name.Oliver Twist, Vol. II (of 3)|Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for sarcasm
Word Origin for sarcasm
Cultural definitions for sarcasm
A form of irony in which apparent praise conceals another, scornful meaning. For example, a sarcastic remark directed at a person who consistently arrives fifteen minutes late for appointments might be, “Oh, you've arrived exactly on time!”