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illustration Trade-Last



Part of speech: noun

Origin: American English, 19th century


A compliment from a third person that is relayed to the person complimented in exchange for a similarly relayed compliment.

Examples of Trade-Last in a sentence

"Tom told me Sarah loved my haircut, so, as a trade-last, I told him Carnie said he was handsome."

"I don’t need a trade-last, I’m just telling you Jan said you were brilliant."

About Trade-Last

The expression “trade-last” emerged in the late 19th century as a shortening of the phrase “will you trade your last compliment?” which was later shortened to “will you trade your last?”

Did you Know?

“Trade-last” is an old but charming expression that describes giving compliments in a somewhat convoluted fashion. For example, John tells Ringo that Paul thinks Ringo is a great drummer. In exchange, Ringo reveals to John that George is a fan of his latest lyrics. It’s similar to “paying it forward,” but rather than leaving something of value for the next person to enjoy, a speaker requesting a “trade-last” is doing so in hopes the person they’re talking to has another compliment to trade.

illustration Trade-Last

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