“Sarcastic” Vs “Sardonic”

Sardonic” and “sarcastic” are two words with similar meanings and are sometimes used interchangeably. However, their actual meanings, origin and usages are distinct.


This word is derived from the Greek word “sarkasmos,” meaning “to sneer” or literally “tearing of flesh.” Both of these meanings embody unpleasantness. Hence, “sarcastic,” is a bitter, contemptuous remark that an individual makes to hurt the other. Despite the fact that sarcasm and irony are not one thing, sarcastic remarks carry a lot of irony because what a person says in a sarcasm is the opposite of the message he intends to convey. Therefore, sarcasm is made with the intention to ridicule or bull someone. For instance, the sentence, “He cannot afford buying a car because he is very rich” is a ridiculous and hurtful statement because if basically means that the person being referred to as “very rich” is actually poor.


This word is derived from the Greek word “sardonios,” which literally means scornful smiles or laughter. The word is based on the Greek story of Sardinian plant which kills when eaten. Prior to death, the patient’s face would undergo convulsion so it looks like the person was laughing. Hence, sardonic expressions are mocking, cynical, derisive and scornful remarks that carry humor intended to hurt the feelings during adversity. For instance, the sentence “the prisoners’ food is so good that prisoners hardly chew it” is sardonic in nature. Additionally, unlike a sarcasm, which is always meant to hurt other people, a sardonic remark can target oneself. For instance, “The food I cook is so delicious that people don’t eat it.”


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