Slang dictionary

unsult

[un-suhlt]

What does unsult mean?

An unsult is a backhanded compliment, i.e., an insult packaged as a compliment.

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Related words

please advise, subliminal message, in the meantime, soyboy, snowflake

Where does unsult come from?

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The term unsult traces back a 2009 episode of The Simpsons called “Father Knows Worst.” A storyline in this episode follows the lovable oaf Homer as he tries to make his smartypants daughter Lisa popular. He buys a book on how to do this and it advises trying unsults, or “insults disguised as compliments.”

A tribute to the influence of The Simpsonsunsult spread as slang term. It has even been classed as a slang term of “Generation Z,” or those born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s.

Online, however, unsult faces a tough battle, as letters I and U are next to each other on QWERTY keyboards. That means people have typed an awful lot of unsults meant as insults.

Examples of unsult

if i unsult you and make inappropriate jokes around you our friendship is real

@jaydofiel, September 2013

 

...an insult tucked inside a compliment. Unsult. She’d make snide remarks and backhanded compliments so you’d think she was being nice and later you’d think and go… huh?

Wendy Roberts, A Grave Search, 2018

“Fun but also kind of a bitch." Joon licked a green dollop of guac that clung to the corner of his mouth. “Not an outright bitch but the kind who’d give you an unsult.”

Roberts, Wendy, A Grave Search, 2018

Gifer

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Who uses unsult?

As is the nature of insults, unsults aren’t meant in a friendly manner. They are considered very sarcastic and passive-aggressive.

Some of us, however, prove able to put a positive spin on an unsult, finding empowerment in the intended attack.

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Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of unsult like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of unsult that will help our users expand their word mastery.