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"No offence, but..." - phrase of the week

Commonly used phrases and sayings from the English language.

Phrase

"No offence, but....."

Examples

  • No offence, but you do smell a bit.”

  • No offence, but I think you’re overdoing it.”

  • No offence, but I won’t take any advice from a police officer who’s just been sacked from office for taking bribes. 

  • No offence, but you sound like a politician.”

Meaning

Insulting someone or criticising someone bluntly but, on the surface, apologising in advance.

Uses

  • The phrase is used in informal conversations, where one person wants to give the appearance of caring about the listener’s feelings towards what has been said.

  • It is also often used in semi-formal situations, like public debates when things become personal

That's interesting!

The response in situations that are started with “No offence, but…” is sometimes to say “None taken!”, which signals that the person at the receiving end does not feel offended or, at least, will not admit to being offended.

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