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I want to know the opposite of the word "Star" ?

*Here star indicates a celebrity (people that appear in a movie).

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    Could you give a context in which you want to use the word? In English, there are always many options, all with slightly different tones. As it is, we can't be sure whether you mean an actor playing a minor part, someone who is simply unknown, or a modest and unassuming person. – Toby Speight Feb 28 '18 at 8:20

15 Answers 15

17

Depending on where your universe ends, the opposite end of the spectrum could be an extra (if you are only thinking of the people that appear in a movie). I think nobody, as has been repeatedly suggested, is the best colloquial term that the average person would consider the "opposite" of a star, but I wanted to bring up this possibility because I think it's interesting that the framing of the question could affect the answer. It also indicates the looseness of the concept of "opposite"--there are many things that don't really have an absolutely clear opposite.

For example, if you think of a "star" as "a person to whom a great deal of positive attention is paid by the public", you could say that the opposite would be someone to whom a great deal of negative attention is paid (the "pariah" suggestion might be an approximate term here). Or you could say it's a person to whom no positive attention is paid (the "nobody"). If you're thinking of a star as a person that appears in a movie or show that is the main focus of the show, then an "extra" would be a person in the movie or show who is furthest from being the main focus.

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    "Extra" seems good to me ! – Schl....r Feb 27 '18 at 17:10
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    @user506555: Note that "extra" is very nearly jargon, and is unlikely to be used outside of film and television related contexts. It's more of a job title than a descriptor. – Kevin Feb 28 '18 at 23:09
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    @Kevin Puhleeze! "Extra" has been common usage in the progenetrix of those lesser arts at least since the 1880s. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 1 '18 at 0:08
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    @Kevin Great Mother Theatre. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 1 '18 at 0:28
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    I think @Kevin has a point at least about context mattering. As long as the context of a movie is established, I think "extra" is a pretty generally known term. It really matters what this usage is going to be embedded in. It wouldn't really work if you're specifically referring to a rock star, for example. There you might have roadie or even groupie if you wanted to keep it in-metaphor. I still agree with the upvoters of Cookie Monster for the earliest instance of "nobody" as the most generally used "opposite" for the general concept of "star". – msouth Mar 1 '18 at 4:24
54

If you walked up to me and asked what is the opposite of the words star and celebrity, my "knee-jerk reaction" answer would no doubt be nobody. The term nobody when used as a noun (notice that it's a noun in this case and not a pronoun) by most online dictionaries is defined as a person who is not important, but the word itself has come to mean more or less someone who is really just the epitome of not being successful or famous (the song "The Nobodies" by Marilyn Manson comes to mind all of a sudden). Here's a usage example:

She's an internationally recognized superstar. And who am I? I'm a nobody! I'm just a plumber from New Jersey. No, we'll never be together! It's absolutely impossible! A superstar can only be married to another superstar.

Another expression that you might find interesting, apart from the ones that have already been mentioned such as nonentity and no-name which I personally like for their neutrality in meaning, would be no-hoper. No-hoper basically means someone who is a failure or someone who is doomed to failure right from the start. It's often used in a political context to refer to people who you're sure are never going to be able to build successful political careers and as a result become famous politicians. But its usage is not restricted only to politics. For example:

You're a real no-hoper. You'll never achieve anything in life and you'll never become successful!

Note that no-hoper is mostly used in British English.

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    As a footnote, I think "nobody" is an excellent suggestion, but I can't recall ever seeing "no-hoper" before reading this answer. – J.R. Feb 26 '18 at 20:50
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    @J.R. I think that's because, like me, you speak American English. If you look at the Corpus of Global Web-Based English (GloWbE), you can see it's mainly used outside the U.S. It does seem to be relatively current slang, judging by Google Books Ngram Viewer. – snailcar Feb 26 '18 at 20:55
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    "No-hoper" is indeed a familiar expression in Britain, but it only makes sense in this context if you're talking about people who are trying to be the thing you're talking about (a star). For example, "As a teacher at acting school, I might see one future star in my class every 5 years. All the other students are no-hopers", or "The singer of this band is a star in the making, but her bandmates are talentless no-hopers". The plumber from New Jersey modestly surprised to be dating a star wouldn't be a "no-hoper" unless they were terrible at plumbing. – user56reinstatemonica8 Feb 26 '18 at 23:49
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    No-hoper in Australian English is somewhat dated; it was very current two generations ago and bore a more scornful connotation than the British usage as I hear it. It wasn't used for general mediocrity but implied more a wilful mediocrity. It was a thoroughly judgmental, nasty and unkind term. That is, if you were a terrible plumber but devoted to your job and made a genuine effort, you might be called a "disaster", but never a "no-hoper". These days overtaken by "bludger" by the Murdoch press to pass judgment on anyone who is struggling to find work when there are four times as many .... – WetSavannaAnimal Feb 28 '18 at 0:22
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    ... candidates as positions as is the wont of "normal" people who have "made it" (i.e. grew up in periods of much higher employment). – WetSavannaAnimal Feb 28 '18 at 0:23
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Apart from nobody as suggested, there are three possibilities for use. The nicer term to use would be

Unknown

ADJECTIVE

1.1 (of a performer or artist) not well known or famous.
      ‘unknown artists of the avant-garde’

NOUN

  1. An unknown person or thing.
    ‘she is a relative unknown’

Not as nice are

Commoner

a common person, as distinguished from one with rank, status, etc.

or

Nonentity

A person or thing with no special or interesting qualities; an unimportant person or thing.

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    Interesting comment you made about "nobody." I wouldn't regard it as a rude term in the right context, but it certainly can be used disparagingly and therefore ought to be used with caution. – J.R. Feb 26 '18 at 21:17
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    I like "unknown" - nobody does seem a bit disparaging, like "worthless" or "unimportant", but unknown just means "not known", and maybe "not known yet". – stangdon Feb 26 '18 at 21:29
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    I was thinking about "pleb" which would sort itself into commoner, but that has probably a worse ring to it. – Arsenal Feb 27 '18 at 16:20
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    Oh yes, @Arsenal. That to me would be worse than commoner – Chris Rogers Feb 27 '18 at 16:22
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    I am confused. If you mean for example, referring to another actor as an extra, then that would not be correct for what you are asking. An extra is someone who acts in the background of a scene being filmed. – Chris Rogers Feb 27 '18 at 17:13
7

Some opposite words are:

No-Name--a person unknown in a particular profession.

unimportant person--a person lacking in importance or significance.

a zero--a worthless or contemptibly undistinguished person.

a nobody--a person of no importance or authority.

a nonentity--a person or thing with no special or interesting qualities; an unimportant person or thing.

6

Without the proper context, it's hard to know exactly what is meant by the opposite of star, so I'll add another option that's not already listed:

D-lister

Ubrban dictionary describes d-list celebrities as:

A D-List celebrity is simply a person who is known simply through social networks, a person who has made a name for them selves through social networking sites such as Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or what ever else is out there.

D-List celebrities are not necessarily known for there talents but work put in, in areas such as video production, photography, game play or even just simple creativity and originality.

with the example dialogue:

Person 1; "Is Nash Grier Even Actually Famous?"

Person 2; "No!, Hes What You Call A D-Lister (d-list celebrities"

So a d-lister is someone who is a celebrity but certainly not a star.

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    I like this because it adds yet another context/universe. In the universe of celebrities, this is the opposite end of the spectrum. Very nice. – msouth Mar 2 '18 at 16:21
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Nothing (noun) is often used in the sense you are referring to:

someone of no value or importance:

  • He's a nothing, a low-down, useless nobody.

(Cambridge Dictionary)

4

There are

  • stars (celebrated celebrities),
  • has beens (they were celebrated once but now people have forgotten them), and
  • never was (like you and me).

It is better to be a "has been" then a "never was." Not everyone can be a star.

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    The first two options you suggested - stars, has beens - are plurals, but the third one (never was) looks singular to me. Is it? If so, what would its plural form look like? – pt314 Feb 28 '18 at 14:52
  • @pt314 the unwashed masses, the hoi polloi, the peasantry, the proletariat, commoners, etc. There are lots of words to describe us. – emory Mar 1 '18 at 1:09
  • Sure, but what about that specific phrase? Would it be "never were"? "never weres"? "never wases"? Or did you mean to say that it's not possible to make that expression plural, and we have to pick something else if we are talking about multiple non-celebrities? – pt314 Mar 1 '18 at 7:37
2

The following is a completely non-standard use of the word, and I don't actually recommend using it unless you're in the company of native speakers who like to mess around with language and say silly things that nonetheless sort of make sense…

…but personally I would occasionally go with civilian.

This term usually distinguishes a person from a member of a military organisation, but in some street dialects can be used in a sort of ironic sense to just mean anyone not part of whatever large group of folks you're presently talking about.

Actor #1: Look at that fan over there, waiting for autographs.
Actor #2: Damn civvies.

2

In sports, the "stars" of a team are complemented by "role players", "bench warmers", and "practice squad" members.

A "superstar" is famous enough that people who are unfamiliar with the sport may watch the team just to see the superstar play. For example, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, or LeBron James.

A "star" is famous enough that most fans of the team are familiar with how the player helps the team.

A "role player" has one or two specific roles on a team. Many fans of the team do not know who the role player is, or do not care what the role player does. For example, Kurt Rambis.

A "bench warmer" rarely plays. He is there in case better players get injured, or to learn the game so that he might be able to play in the future.

Many teams have a "practice squad". The job of the practice squad is to simulate upcoming opponents, so that the first team can have realistic practices. Many high-level women's teams practice against men.

A "replacement level" player is about as good as the best player who does not yet have a job in the league. In men's sports leagues, "practice squad" players tend to be "replacement level" players.

1

The other answers describe one who is not a star as a nobody, but the opposite of a star would be a

Pariah (pəˈraɪ ə)

noun

  1. outcast.
  2. any person or animal that is generally despised or avoided.
  • I wouldn't say this is the opposite; A celebrity can be a pariah, and many celebrities are considered pariahs in at least some community, but a celebrity can't be a nobody, which makes it the better choice as the natural opposite. Of course, if the intended meaning was "unpopular" then this would be on point. – Cubic Feb 27 '18 at 11:07
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    This is a good example of how 'opposite' and 'antonym' aren't really rigorously defined concepts. There are many different ways the meanings of two words can oppose one another, and depending how you interpret the idea of opposition, you can come up with different choices as "the" opposite of a word. – snailcar Feb 27 '18 at 23:17
  • Roman Polanski would be both star and outcast. – gnasher729 Feb 28 '18 at 13:38
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A Z-lister.

“A-list” is the list of the worlds most famous stars. “B-list” is someone not quite as famous, but still very well known. A Z-lister is someone trying to be famous and failing miserably.

The “extra” mentioned is different. That’s someone hired not as an actor, but because a human body is needed to fill a space or a function. As an extra in a TV series you can actually become recognisable if the same extra is used repeatedly.

1

An unknown "Average Joe" might seem to be the opposite of a star/celebrity but that is not the case. Being an unknown is not the opposite of fame, it is merely the absence of fame. The opposite of a star or celebrity would be someone infamous; i.e. famous for something bad.

1

In Video Gaming Community I can think of those two :

No-Name

Random

Those hold a pejorative connotation though...

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There's loads of words you could use, depending on who's saying it:

Civilian is the word celebrities use to refer to non-celebrities

(a) Nobody is used by someone who likes to criticize others

Just a regular guy/girl sounds like a mouth-full of words but this is what most people would use, it's not derogatory like the previous example.

Peon is the word used by old-fashioned people like grandparents and villagers.

Noob is the word used by gamers.

Broke Joke is used by gold-diggers.

and finally...

Diamond in the rough is what a wanna-be celebrity would refer to themselves as.

0

there is an idiom about terrible actors: couldn't act one's way out of a paper bag.

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