Are there words (or phrases) that mean "makes it seem as if you are smarter/more educated/more refined/etc. than you really are" (while you know you are not)? For example, like a word suitable to fill in the following sentence.

I'd like to have a ______ saying on my profile page. What comes to your mind?

UPDATE: Sorry, it seems my question was somewhat underspecified. What I wanted is not expressions that have "deceiving people" meaning, but what suggest "it's felt like the doer is trying to be smarter than s/he is" kind of nuance. Of course, it sounds jocular rather than serious when you use it to yourself like in the example above. Please point out if my English is still unclear.

  • 1
    sententious comes to mind.
    – TimR
    Aug 23, 2016 at 13:08
  • 3
    Pretentious maybe.
    – Usernew
    Aug 23, 2016 at 13:34
  • 1
    The first word came to my mind seeing the blank was clever. I wouldn't say it always means "makes you seem smarter than you really are", though. Aug 23, 2016 at 15:06
  • 2
    The first word that came to my mind was highfalutin, though it is informal and somewhat cynical.
    – user3169
    Aug 23, 2016 at 16:38

3 Answers 3


I'd say spin.

According to American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, definition #6, as a noun:

a. A distinctive point of view, emphasis, or interpretation: "adept at putting spin on an apparently neutral recital of facts" (Robert M. Adams).

This said, putting spin on your profile page would imply the use of disingenuous, deceptive, and highly manipulative tactics.


I'm not sure what kind of word you're looking for.

Are you emphasizing the fact that you're attempting to fool people into thinking that you're smarter than you really are? In that case, deceptive fits pretty well. It means:

deceptive (adj.) misleading, likely or attempting to deceive

However, when you put it into the sentence in your question, I don't think it explains the situation very accurately:

I'd like to have a deceptive saying on my profile page.

After all, the saying is not deceptive – the deception comes when you use that saying on your profile page, because you in fact barely understand it.

If you're looking for a word that describes the kind of saying that you're looking for, then you might consider erudite. It means:

erudite (adj.) characterized by extensive reading or knowledge; well instructed; learned

With that, we could say:

I'd like to have a erudite saying on my profile page, so I can fool people into thinking I'm smart.


I think the word you are looking for is erudite.

“ I'd like to have a erudite saying on my profile page. What comes to your mind?”


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