I learnt "creepy" is feeling unease or scared, but it's not considered rude to say creepy at someone?

In my language, when people felt scared about something in horror, we use a word close to "eerie" but for bugs which feels uncomfortable to see, or person who acts strange, or a stalker, we use a word similar to "ew" and it's rude because it expresses a feeling disgust about the person.

In English, when people say "He is creepy!" or "You are creepy!", it's not rude? Not including of disgust like "ew"? It's just like "Your act is scary"? I know "you are disgusting" is rude and showing strong disgust, but "creepy" for bugs or weird people, it also has nuance of disgust? and rude?

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    See also to give someone the creeps - to make someone feel nervous or frightened. Jan 20, 2018 at 17:54
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    It's fine to use about things. But be very careful using it about people (especially males) because currently it often suggests that there is something about the person that makes you think they might behave inappropriately to others, particularly in a sexual way.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 20, 2018 at 20:12
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    creepy does not mean feeling uneasy: it means making somebody else feel uneasy. That's why it can be offensive.
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 21, 2018 at 11:41

3 Answers 3


"Creepy" is a word like "ugly". It is rude to use it to describe someone.


I watched a creepy film yesterday.

Fine. A film can be creepy, that's not rude.

I saw a creepy woman at the bus stop.

Okay. Some people are creepy. But remember that the "creepy" woman is someone's daughter. This is not a "nice" thing to say. Sometimes it may be the right thing to say

Mr Smith, you are creepy.

Not Okay because you shouldn't insult people. If you need to tell someone you could say "you are being creepy" to tell them what they are doing is wrong. This describes an act instead of insulting a person.

However, people are often rude. Using language like "ugly", "creepy" and so on is part of how people speak.

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    I can get on board with this except for the blanket statement that saying "you are creepy" is not okay. Yes, it is rude, but there are situations where someone is doing something creepy and needs to be told to stop, and in such cases, sometimes a rude response is entirely warranted.
    – David Z
    Jan 20, 2018 at 23:21
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    Then use "you are being creepy", to focus on the act, not the person.
    – James K
    Jan 21, 2018 at 6:35
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    "you are creepy" (simple present) could only be interpreted as a general truth: you were creepy, you are now and you always will be. "You are being creepy" (present continuous) focuses on what they are doing now, and is a therefore much more effective way of telling them to damn well stop it now!!!
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 21, 2018 at 11:38

"Creepy" is used to express a feeling of disgust or awfulness, especially that which makes one frightened. Also, it can be used for a feeling towards an inappropriate sexual behavior.

To answer your question, yes, the word is used to denote a negative expression. It may sound rude to use it for to say to a person- in the context that "you are creepy". But you may use it to describe a disgusting situation or as an adjective for a third person.

For deeper insight as to how to use "creepy" in English, you can have a look at: http://sentence.yourdictionary.com/creepy


Telling someone they are "creepy" is not something that happens often. More often you would say "You're giving me the creeps" to decry behavior or speech by someone in your presence. What's more pejorative, and thus also more rude, is to call someone a "creep" (a noun).

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