Please have a look on the following video and let me know what do you call such a person in everyday speech and which verb can be used to describe his actions:


Based on my dictionary definitions, he can be called a "menace" and what he does is "menacing to the people"! But the problem is that the translation of these words from English to my language reveals that they are used for some more sereous meanings while what I'm looking for shold be a multilateral concept which can imply both humor sense and sereous aspect as well! I was wondering if English everyday speech encompass such words (noun & verb)! I would appreciate it if you provide me with some separated words to describe the funny and serious aproaches independently (if exist).

  • Please note: menacing and teasing are very different.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 16:03
  • Agreed, but they are listed under the word in my question within my dictionary search box!
    – A-friend
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 16:04

3 Answers 3


I watched the first couple of scenes of that video, and it strikes me we'd say he's a prankster. He's playing pranks. He's doing it for laughs, admittedly at their expense, rather than with the intention of upsetting the people. It's rude and antisocial, for sure.

A person who is actively trying to make people's lives a misery is a bully, and all sorts of actions can be bullying. If you bully someone, it could be physical threatening, actually physically violent, or just tormenting them mentally. Sometimes a bully will make out that they are joking, try to get people to see them as a prankster, but there's a very definite difference in both intention and effect between bullying and playing pranks.


The activity in this video is much more serious and harmful than mere "teasing". I, personally, would describe it as "menacing", but normally when we talk about a "menace" we mean someone whose acts are even more harmful physically, and threatening, even life-threatening.

"Bullying" can rise to that level of harm, but usually a bully acts repeatedly, out of animosity to an individual or group of people. He doesn't just pick a victim at random for a senseless one-time attack.

A "vandal" strikes randomly and destructively, but against property not people.

In fact, the behavior shown in that video is so weird - at least in the western society I'm familiar with - that it wouldn't surprise me if we didn't have a single English word to describe it. The nearest I can think of, which others have also mentioned, is "prankster". But I think a prankster shows more humor, and less outright meanness.

I would go for a two word description, like "sadistic prankster", "menacing prankster", "random attacker", or "malicious prankster".

  • I like "malicious prankster". I've seen English-language TV shows like that, though. Usually more psychological and less physical, but similarly prankish. Some sequences in Trigger Happy TV, from the UK in the 90s, play along similar lines.
    – SamBC
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 17:35

I agree that this person could be called a "prankster" or a "jokester"; however as these stunts do not apparently have the consent of the target, and constitute a physical assault on their person (which, in my area at least, would result in an arrest and criminal charges), many would label him a public menace.

When applied to a person, "public menace" means that the behavior constitutes an active (albeit minor) threat to the public.

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