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View Full Version : Insulting Someone in a good-natured way / Word For ?



Ken
07-28-2012, 09:20 PM
... goes on a lot on this site, in the Office Party forum, particularly in the long running threads. One member insults another, calling them an idiot or something. It's all in good fun, though, and it's done in a genial way, which they get across somehow. And witnessing it, you know they're great pals to be able to do that. There's a word for this sort of congenial banter, I believe. I need it for a story I'm wrapping up. Would you know it, by any chance? Thanks in advance!

(As a last resort, I may go with something like "affectionate insult.")

fireluxlou
07-28-2012, 09:31 PM
backhanded compliment?

mirandashell
07-28-2012, 09:41 PM
I would use the word 'banter'. Although that does imply back-and-forth. Do you mean an isolated example?

DarthPanda
07-28-2012, 09:46 PM
a friendly jibe?

ribbing?

eta: can be spelled either jibe or gibe. don't know which is prefered.

Al Stevens
07-28-2012, 10:04 PM
Needling
Giving someone the red-ass
Riding
Pulling one's leg
Messing with
Pulling one's chain
etc.

backslashbaby
07-28-2012, 10:05 PM
It may be very Southern of me to call it 'teasing'. 'Ribbing' is good, too, although you don't hear that as much where I am. It's too Southern for most folks, but you can say 'messing with' or 'fooling with' you, too.

A backhanded compliment is entirely different! Passive aggressive folks just ruin everything for everyone else. The intents are totally different. Being ribbed is fun :D

Ken
07-28-2012, 10:27 PM
... neat expressions. Will store them away for future use. Banter is about the closest, but still not the one. There's a saying or word for insult that connotes affection. Ribbing and friendly jibe are almost there but not quite. The emphasis is on the affection, if such a word or phrase exists. It may be one of those Jane Austen expressions that have slipped out of use.

(A synonym search of "banter" didn't turn up anything.)



Do you mean an isolated example?

Yes. It's something that a wife would say about her husband whom she loves. Sorta like a complaint. But in an affectionate way. The fault doesn't really bother her so much as it's part of who he is. And she'd be telling that to a friend of hers. E.g. Gotta run now. Captain Blye (her husband) is home. Again. This would be affectionate. Probably a bad example here. But in general that's what I'm after. And I do think there's a word for it that describes it to a T.

DarthPanda
07-28-2012, 10:32 PM
razz and chaff are the only others I can think of...

hmm...

eta: repartee?

stormie
07-28-2012, 10:51 PM
Instead of using a term for it, how about the person who makes the comment look at the person endearingly?

I don't know. I'm at a loss, but this will bug me for the rest of the day. See what you did, Ken?! ;)

Ken
07-28-2012, 11:01 PM
... this will bug me for the rest of the day.

... was worth posting the thread just to achieve that ;-)

----------------

I couldn't use how the person looked at the other in this instance. Otherwise, that might work fine.

crunchyblanket
07-28-2012, 11:18 PM
I'd refer to it as "winding someone up"

amschilling
07-29-2012, 06:07 AM
Josh might work. Banter is one of it's synonyms (but yeah, "josh" isn't listed as a synonym for "banter" in my book, either, lol)

benbradley
07-29-2012, 06:28 AM
... neat expressions. Will store them away for future use. Banter is about the closest, but still not the one. There's a saying or word for insult that connotes affection. Ribbing and friendly jibe are almost there but not quite. The emphasis is on the affection, if such a word or phrase exists. It may be one of those Jane Austen expressions that have slipped out of use.

(A synonym search of "banter" didn't turn up anything.)




Yes. It's something that a wife would say about her husband whom she loves. Sorta like a complaint. But in an affectionate way. The fault doesn't really bother her so much as it's part of who he is. And she'd be telling that to a friend of hers. E.g. Gotta run now. Captain Blye (her husband) is home. Again. This would be affectionate. Probably a bad example here. But in general that's what I'm after. And I do think there's a word for it that describes it to a T.
I'm reminded of "term of endearment" but I'm sure that's not it, as there's no connotation that it could be interpreted negatively, though sometimes it could be, as in (for an example I once heard) "the little shit."

Badgering?

I'd refer to it as "winding someone up"
That doesn't seem to have the kidding around, non-serious meaning. That sounds like out-and-out trolling.

Josh might work. Banter is one of it's synonyms (but yeah, "josh" isn't listed as a synonym for "banter" in my book, either, lol)
Joshing seems to be "joking with."

fivetoesten
07-29-2012, 06:38 AM
ragging on?

Quit ragging on my orange shoes!

Ken
07-29-2012, 06:13 PM
... and we have a winner. Am going with "banter." I took up Stormie's suggestion in a way. I put the part about the love in a textual description right by the banter, so the good will comes across during the insult.

Thanks for the input, everyone. Great suggestions! Will keep them in mind for future use. ("Term of endearment" is a fairly close, Ben. Another would be an "inside joke." In the same ballpark, but not quite.)

Now to submit the (gulp, gulp) story.

stc
07-29-2012, 10:34 PM
You might add raillery to the list of similar terms; note that it's a noun only, no verb form.

Def:
--Good-natured teasing or ridicule; banter
--Light-hearted satire or ridicule; banter
--An instance of bantering or teasing.

Example:
"Obama (for whom I intend to vote) has the patrician elegance of John F. Kennedy, but JFK also campaigned with the raucous bravura and taunting raillery of a Boston Irishman."
--Camille Paglia, salon.com, March2008

veinglory
07-29-2012, 10:39 PM
In sociology it's called "jocular abuse"

WildScribe
07-29-2012, 10:53 PM
In sociology it's called "jocular abuse"

Oh my goodness, that is the best expression ever!

jaksen
07-30-2012, 10:53 PM
On the TV show, the Sopranos, they called it 'busting your balls.'

The men would toss the insults around - this was a male thing - and when one suddenly takes offense, the lead or more dominant man would laugh or smile and say, 'I'm just busting your balls.'

I think it's rather quaint and folksy. :D

AlishaKlapheke
07-31-2012, 12:02 AM
"Jocular abuse". Fantastic. Wow. That was worth reading this thread. Glad you found a solution with "banter". Good luck!

Ken
07-31-2012, 01:05 AM
... "raillery." Neat word. Funny how there's no verb form.
Thanks for the luck, Alisha. "Jocular abuse" is indeed some term.
That's a good one Jaksen. I remember that phrase. Haven't heard it in years.
Thanks, everyone. Very helpful. Glad I posted and got the word I was after.

SophieM2401
08-01-2012, 02:42 AM
I think there is, but "rail" used as a verb definitely means "rant" rather than "josh". In French "railler" means to mock, so maybe that's a halfway point.

Meant to quote Ken above - still getting the hang of the housekeeping here.

Becky Black
08-01-2012, 01:11 PM
In sociology it's called "jocular abuse"

I'll have to remember that one. Being British most of the social interaction I see between male friends would be described as jocular abuse. :D

onesecondglance
08-01-2012, 02:29 PM
This thread makes me think there's another related word that I just can't get hold of. It's for pet names that sound insulting but aren't really. So like calling your wife your "trouble" (cockney rhyming slang, from trouble and strife), "'er indoors", etc. etc.

Ken
08-02-2012, 03:22 PM
... if you think of that word let me know. Sounds like a useful one, Onesecondglance.
Thnx for the added input Becky and Sophie. (To quote you just click the quote button in the post you want to quote, located on the btm right side. You can multi-quote several people, too, by clicking the square button next to it. Haven't figured that one out myself yet. So long as it's fairly clear whom your quoting it often isn't even necessary. That's my excuse, at least.)

Bufty
08-02-2012, 04:55 PM
To me, 'kidding' seems more appropriate than 'banter' because the latter suggests an ongoing two-way conversation.

Ken
08-03-2012, 04:26 PM
... thanks Bufty. You have a point there. Stored away for future reference.