This phrase often carries a negative connotation - conveying a sense of bitterness or condescension - as in: "my so-called friend", "my so-called life", "Microsoft Windows, your so-called operating system", or "Scientology, your so-called religion", etc.

Usually, the emphasis falls directly on so-called, stressing the subjective, and possibly erroneous, irrational, or dissappointing nature of the topic of discussion.

So"-called` (?), a.

So named; called by such a name (but perhaps called thus with doubtful propriety).

 

© Webster 1913.

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