litotes [ˈlaɪtəˌtiz, laɪˈtoʊtiz] n.
1.) An understatement by which an affirmative is expressed by negation of its contrary, as in 'not a little' for 'very' or a weaker expression used to suggest a stronger one (Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases).
Etymology: Late Latin, from Greek litotes, form litos single, simple, meagre.
" Vercotti: Doug (takes a drink) Well, I was terrified. Everyone was terrified of Doug. I've seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug. Even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug.
2nd Interviewer: What did he do?
Vercotti: He used... sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. He was vicious.
Presenter: By a combination of violence and sarcasm, the Piranha brothers by February 1966 controlled London and the Southeast of England. It was in February, though, that Dinsdale made a big mistake ("Piranha Brothers", Monty Python, 1970).
Went out for my housemate's birthday last night to Shoreditch; saw no small amount of dirty hipsters with moustaches.