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Origin of sarcasm
synonym study for sarcasm
OTHER WORDS FROM sarcasmsu·per·sar·casm, noun
Words nearby sarcasm
BEHIND THE WORD
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.
Example sentences from the Web for sarcasm
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
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!
Even after these successive near misses, the irony mark (and, for that matter, the sarcasm mark) remains an elusive beast.
It is safe to say that the creators and supporters of other irony and sarcasm marks were not amused.
"Necessarily, no doubt," Lena said, with an idea of easing her sister's stupefaction by a sarcasm foreign to her sentiments.Vittoria, Complete|George Meredith
Instead of returning her silent greeting, William grinned back at her a cold stare of sarcasm or of rage.Night and Day|Virginia Woolf
She felt that she had no good ground on which to defend her sex of the present generation from the sarcasm of Mr. Plomacy.Barchester Towers|Anthony Trollope
The press visited the friends of social freedom with sarcasm and contempt, and described them as purists and fanatics.The History of Tasmania, Volume I (of 2)|John West
He meant it for sarcasm, but I took it quite seriously, that is to all appearance.That Affair Next Door|Anna Katharine Green
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!”