Hey, everyone likes receiving a compliment every now and then. While some compliments change our days for the better, others don’t exactly come out the way the person meant it. After all, did someone ever tell you that you’re finer than a frog’s hair? We didn’t think so…
#1 Mighty Proud
I was told by an old fella at a rest stop, "Woman, you are rarer than hen's teeth and finer than a frog's hair cut three ways." I laughed until I cried. I have kept it alive, passing along this comment but not in the same context. "Son, this drawing is finer than a frog's hair cut three ways. You should be mighty proud."
#2 Donut Perfume
I’ll never forget this one time when someone, apropos of nothing, told me that I smelt exactly like donuts. This was from a very partied-out man who was clearly taken back by my vanilla perfume. He then proceeded to bring all of his random friends over to sniff me, which was definitely weird. But, thanks I guess.
#3 The Right Kind of Charisma
"90% of women you meet won't like you. But the ones who do are going to be obsessed with you and hang on your every word. You have the charisma of a cult leader." I once had someone tell me something like that. I’m not going to lie, after all this time, I still don't really know what to think about that comment.
#4 Passing Compliment
I was once walking around on campus when some (Tipsy? Out of it? Totally sober?) guys were passing by me. Then one of them just said, “You look like you have a big member,” to which another responded, “That’s a girl.” So the first guy responded with, “Sorry. You look like you have a big strap” and kept walking.
#5 Matching Colors
“You rock two black eyes and a broken nose better than anyone I’ve ever seen. Your bruise matches your dress.” For context: a couple of years ago I broke my nose on the back of a stopped car while commuting on my bike. I spent three weeks walking around with —you guessed it— a broken nose and two shiners. Most people looked horrified at first sight (a couple of my teachers asked about my home life), but one girl noticed that I’d started matching my clothing to the color of my bruises out of boredom.
#6 Touchy Clerk
"You look so much cuter without your glasses on. Almost like you're 12." It was from a front desk clerk who also touched my face because it looked so soft. I never walked out faster from somewhere than I did there. This was back when I was in high school during my senior year. I was about 18 at the time. The clerk was also a female and I’m a male.
#7 Worst Timing
I needed to pay a visit to my OB/GYN once. Well, in the middle of my pap smear he just randomly said, “You have a wonderful pelvic floor.” I wasn’t sure what to say to him, but my brain went on auto-pilot and said, “Thank you.” He just nodded and continued the exam. At least I have that going for me I suppose.
#8 Sampling Veins
I know that some other people have been “complimented” on how noticeable their veins are, but it’s still super weird to me. Back when my sister was in training to become a nurse, she once looked at my forearms and said, “You have such beautiful veins. Can I take a DNA sample from you?" Yeah, not creepy at all…
#9 Great Gams
I’ll never forget this one time when I had someone tell me, “You have great calves. They’re really muscular. You must work out a lot.” That little comment was from a random construction worker as I was walking by their site, wearing a skirt. I can’t stress this enough, but I didn’t work out at all at the time.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Stories that matter — delivered straight to your inbox.
#10 Guy in Green
I was at work; I work in a grocery store and was the attendant for the self-checkout machines. At the time, I was required to wear a green vest. I had a girl who was probably in late middle-school to early high school yell at me, "Guy in the green vest! You're beautiful. Have a great day!" It was very random and very odd.
#11 Bathing Suit Material
When I was a few years younger and getting a physical from a doctor, she was kneading my tatas for tumors and such. Then she said, "Huh, your skin feels like bathing suit material." I was stunned and I asked her, "Is… is that a bad thing?" She seemed equally stunned and replied with, "No, I don't think so..."
#12 Good Dresser
This was just strange because it came from such a young person. But, I was once walking to the station near where I lived at the time and there were a mom and her young precocious daughter, maybe six or seven years old. They came over and she started saying, “I love what you’re wearing. That blazer and scarf together, oh my God. And those shoes are just perfect with what you are wearing.”
Her mom apologized and had to drag her away. It was just super weird coming out of such a young person. I always find precociousness such a weird trait — being a man-child, but her sheer enthusiasm for what I was wearing was just too weird. That said, though, I do like to dress well, so I was kind of flattered.
#13 A Terrible Boss
Someone once walked up to me at work and said, "You look important, I'll ask you!" (I was in uniform, and remarkably clean for once because I had fairly new boots and PPE on). I just burst out laughing. A few people have mistaken me for a supervisor or someone with some sort of actual, real authority before. A fair few people at work call me "boss” and I've told them I'm absolutely not the boss of anything. Then they're like, "No, you're the boss." Not going to lie, it feels good. I think I'd be a terrible, terrible boss, though.
#14 Cute, Boyish Face
A little while ago, my high school headmaster (she liked being called that as opposed to "headmistress" for some reason) was talking about me joining a school play. Evidently, she cited a reason being my "cute, boyish face." I don’t know what she wanted me to say, man. Thank you for saying that about me, I guess?
#15 Nerd Things
Back when I was in the army, I used to frequent a card shop to play CCG/TCG games and miniatures. I was very attractive and very fit (not bragging). People always assumed I didn’t know how to play and was just there for some other reason. Well, I took the championship in Cardfight Vanguard and proceeded to get berated because how dare I be attractive and into nerd things?
#16 On the Nose
When I was socially awkward in high school, I was in a creative writing class. It was a very small class. We all sat in circles and traded poems or prose each week. One week, our poem topic was to pick something about a fellow classmate that we liked about them. The girl in the class, red-headed and cute, chose me. She wrote a three-stanza poem about how much she loved my nose. I never really got over that, especially after in my mid-twenties when I realized she had a crush on me.
#17 Riding a Duck
A guy I liked once told me, and I quote, "You know, you have a very interesting pattern of pimples across your face.” I didn’t really know what to make of it, but I brought this to my friends. This sparked a discussion among all of us over what exactly the pattern looked like. They settled on a cat riding a duck.
#18 Jealous Boyfriend
Before I started going out with my girlfriend, I met her at a festival with her now ex-boyfriend. We smiled and shared some devil’s lettuce together or something like that. But that was it at the time. A few weeks ago, my girlfriend actually told me that her ex-boyfriend said, “I wish I looked like him” that day.
#19 Guy in a Cardigan
"Whoa, you go hard for a guy wearing a cardigan." I absolutely love punk rock and especially love being in the pit at shows, but I don't really look the type to be there most of the time. I went to see The Distillers in concert. I had been wanting to see them ever since I was 16 years old, but I never got a chance before they broke up because I was too young for most of their shows.
I decided to wear a grey button-up shirt and a beige cardigan with dark blue jeans. I looked pretty normal, but definitely stood out at the show full of a bunch of punks wearing all black and studs. The show got going and I was having a blast in the pit. I was in it for nearly every song, stopping briefly to catch my breath for a bit before being pushed back in.
During one of these breaks, this biker-looking dude with a shaved head, tattoos, and a fairly long grey beard put his hand on my shoulder and told me, "Whoa, you go hard for a guy wearing a cardigan." I thought it was a hilarious and very unexpected, so I just gave him a nod and made my way back into the pit.
#20 Obsession With a Topic
I was once told that I look very German by a guy. I’m Irish and he was obsessed with German WWII stuff. The guy wasn’t a weirdo or anything, he was just a really weird guy with an obsession with a topic. This was in the 10th grade, so quite a few years ago now. That’s also the only time another man has complimented my appearance.
#21 Really Nice Person
“You have big, beautiful earlobes.” Oddly enough, I’ve actually been given this compliment on many occasions by several different people. Also, when I was playing video games with some friends of mine, one of them told me that I was a really nice person who could make everyone else playing really toxic. Ha, nice.
#22 Smart and Cynical
This happened in a conversation with my best friend when I sent her an unfiltered snap the other day. She told me, "You look like a character in a television show. No one in particular, you just do.” I then responded with, "Haha! What role would I play?" and she said, "I don't know. Some smart and cynical geek."
#23 Adorable Crush
"Oh my God, he has the biggest crush on me and it's so adorable!" That was said by my crush last year at lunch on Valentine's Day. I bought her a chocolate rose from the valentine grams concessions. She was having a terrible day and I think that made it better, even though my hand slapped her chest by accident that day.
#24 Talking to Snakes
"You speak like a snake." I’m Latin American and we have a rather strong Spanish accent depending on where we live, but I don't speak like my people. I have a certain Spanish accent for the simple fact that I don't pronounce the "s" like that, I sound like a Spaniard. A boy once told me, "Hey, how cute, you sound like a snake.” I think in his mind it was a compliment but I could only imagine playing Harry Potter talking to the snakes.
#25 Attractive Smells
I was once working the door at a pub that was very LGBT-friendly at a time when that was unusual (years and years ago). I'd sometimes get gay dudes flirting with me or paying me compliments. Although I don't swing that way, I'd enjoy it all the same because it's nice. And it was usually a bit different from what you'd get from women.
This one time, I had a bit of a cold, so I was sucking on these eucalyptus cough sweets all evening. One of my regulars came out for a bit of fresh air, and said something like, “Oh that smell's so attractive, like you know how to look after yourself!” I just stood there bemused thinking, “Come on buddy, really?"
#26 Father’s Day
“No offence, but your dad is pretty nice for a black guy." For some context, this was said to me after Father’s Day when I was in grade 5. My caucasian friend was raised in a very insensitive household, so I know he meant no harm. I'm sure he was just comparing it to what his family had told him about black people.
#27 Tense Down There
“You have a lovely, long lady part and your cervix is beautiful.” That was from my first-ever gynecologist I saw when I was 17. As you can probably imagine, his comment did nothing to relax me. It had quite the opposite effect actually. I got so “tense” down there that I somehow managed to damage his speculum.
#28 Looking Fabulous
A guy in the club I was dancing with said I have a nice posture. At some later point in the evening, another guy said that they like my eyebrows. Even further into the night, another guy told me that they like my glasses. (These were literally all on the same night.) I mean, I guess I looked fabulous that evening?
#29 Hot in Here
I’m a singer and one time I was hired for a short set at a Mother’s Day luncheon, which had me singing a few jazz standards and some Italian pieces. I was heading out of the room and one of the women caught my eye. She said, “Oof. With each of your songs, the room’s humidity went up about 10 points.” I just smiled and gave her a “Thanks so much” kind of thing and headed out the door. It wasn’t until later that night that I realized what she’d meant.
#30 This or That?
This is less in the vein of complimenting looks, but I once had a couch-surfing host tell me, "I don't know whether to admire your resourcefulness or question your ethics." He said this to me after I told him about my strategies to get a free shower at motels while living on the road. I’ll still take it, though.
#31 The Perfect Lap
A stripper once told me that I have “the perfect body for receiving lap dances.” She meant that I’m soft in the lap area and my legs were the perfect length for the couch we were on. I made sure she meant it as a compliment because it definitely caught me off guard. A year later, she told me the same thing, but prefaced it with, “I don’t know if you’ve been told this before, but —”
#32 Bright Future
I got this care package from my university with a bunch of random objects and a card with puns relating to the objects like, "Balloon, to help you reach for the sky.” One of the puns was, "A colored marker because you have a bright future!" It just so happened that the "colored" marker they gave me was black. I found this very funny so I posted it on my Instagram story. An acquaintance of mine commented like, "That suits you" then followed it up with "Jokes, you deserve a bright orange." It was a weird compliment, but cute.
#33 Younger Dad
There was a kid (maybe five years old) behind me in line with her parents for the security check at the airport. I noticed that she was looking at me constantly, which was a bit unsettling. It was more like an intense stare. When it was my turn to go through security, I heard the kid behind me shouting to her mother, “Mommy! That man looks like daddy, but younger!” while pointing at me. I started laughing, the mother turned on a nice shade of red and her father looked like he wanted to hurt me.
#34 Great Scent
Multiple girlfriends I've had and their friends have always complimented me on how I smell. I don't wear fancy colognes or anything and I actually never have. However, all of them would insist that I smelled so great. Oddly enough, none of them could ever place the smell, except one girl who thought it was figs.
#35 Real Pretty Mouth
I had a guy at a friend's gathering tell me I have a "perky mouth.” I'm a dude. I found out later he was bisexual and also has Asperger's, so it made more sense I guess? But I have never been so speechless in my life. He also hit on my girlfriend a lot and kept hanging around us I'm pretty sure he was angling for a kinky experience.
#36 Perfect Part
I once had an OB/GYN tell me that I have a perfect cervix, textbook perfect. She was so excited about it that she legitimately asked if her nurse could look. As strange as that is, years later a nurse-midwife told me the same thing. The most perfect part of my body and it’s not even visible to the general public.
#37 China Cabinet
Once when I was at work, this little old lady came up to me and said, “You look just like a doll!” Honestly, it’s a compliment I get a lot because of my big eyes, so I didn’t mind. But then she followed it with, “I want to take you home and put you in my china cabinet.” It went from sweet to Criminal Minds very quickly.
#38 Wonderful Aura
When I was in my first year of university, I was paired up with this one girl for a group project. As we were working on our stuff, she just told me I had the most wonderful yellow aura. I still think about her compliment when I’m feeling down and it really does make me feel happy inside. It’s sort of like sunshine.
#39 Young Enough
One of the cleaners at my work is convinced she’s going the be human trafficked and the scheme has been set up by the other cleaners, despite the fact she’s 50 and lives onsite in a building with limited access. It has been the subject of a few jokes at work. She’s a great cleaner but rubs a lot of people up the wrong way. Anyway, one of my colleagues was fretting about turning 30 soon and my other colleague says, “You still look young enough to be trafficked.” She then replied, “Aw, that’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me.”
#40 In the Walk
While I was bartending, some lady asked me if I was straight or gay. When I told her I was straight, she seemed surprised because "I walk like a gay man.” She assured me that it was intended to be a compliment. I don’t know, I guess I'm graceful. Of course, she also asked for my number maybe two minutes later.
#41 A Long Trek
“Your shoes smell nice,” after a very, very long trek. I left my shoes by the front door. Admittedly, my shoes did smell nice, and there was no unpleasant odor as you would expect them to have after a 12-hour trek. I still think it was quite awkward, but then again, it’s still a compliment I’ve remembered over the years.
#42 Under the Microscope
I didn't receive this compliment but me and two lab partners were doing a lab in biology where we had to look at a sample of our cheek cells under a microscope. One girl put her sample under the microscope and the other girl looked at them and said, Wow. Those are some nice cheek cells" and the other girl said "Thanks, I made them myself."
#43 Spotting Partner
"Oh, but you looked so pretty under all those weights!" This was said by my middle-school gym teacher after my spotting partner walked off and left me literally struggling to breathe. I also once had a guy on a dating site tell me he wanted to drink soup from my skull, which was either a compliment or a threat.
#44 Spanish Words
I recently moved to a predominantly Spanish-speaking area. I was at the store with my daughter and a lady kept following us around the store saying the same word to me in Spanish over and over. I didn't understand it at all so I'd just smile and say, "Okay" each time, which would send the lady into a giggling frenzy. My daughter thought it was hilarious. Once we got back to the car, she told me that apparently "guapo" means handsome and the lady spent like an hour following us around hitting on me.
#45 Beautiful Microwave
One time, my family ordered pizza after we hosted a yard sale. When the delivery guy came, a few larger items were left out. I greeted the guy and he said, "You have beautiful eyes." I thanked him and he followed up, eyeing our old microwave on the curb, "That's a beautiful microwave." I gave him the microwave, but not because he used the same adjective for an old appliance as he did to compliment my appearance.
#46 Hair on Toes
I was with friends at an LGBTQ club in Austin (Rain on 4th). An older man in cowboy attire randomly came over and started talking about how he loved hair on toes and asked to see mine. I was a little tipsy, so I humored him. He said that he liked them so much he wanted to touch them. That's when I noped out of there.
#47 Let it Be
I (a man) sang "Let it Be" by the Beatles once at a karaoke night. I'm not a great singer, but there was a very tipsy lady at the bar who apparently thought I sounded quite good. When I was done she said, "If I weren't so stinking gay, I'd have such a stiffy for you right now.” Everyone in my friend group lost it.
#48 Kind Shadow
I was walking through campus at night during winter and this man from the shadows of the International studies building said, "That's a really nice jacket.” I had no idea who or what I was looking at because it was so dark. I said, "Thanks" and scurried my way to the bus. Nothing happened after that but it was certainly very strange.
#49 Bug Eyes
I went on a date with a guy off of a dating website. We were eating dinner at a restaurant and he was kind of staring at me. I asked what was up and he said, “You know, you’ve got, like, bug eyes.” He said it like it was a huge compliment. Bug eyes. I mean, I have big eyes but that was still a strange thing to say.
#50 Haunted Ever Since
At an airport, an employee said, "You look like you should be somebody." Afterward, I said something like, "Thanks… I think.” He then clarified that he meant like an athlete or actor. I do think it was meant as a compliment, but since then I've been haunted by the feeling that I haven't lived up to my potential.