There is an expression in our current language which has entered from legal jargon into the common language. (I'm trying to translate it.) We say something like:

  • He/she is an obvious example/model/type of a rude person.

Connotation: He / she has all the characteristics of a tude individual and demonstrates all the qualities of such a person.

  • He/she is an obvious example/model/type of health.

Connotation: He / she is a very healthy person and represents all the features, qualities and characteristics of a healthy one in all aspects of their lives.

  • That was an obvious example/model/type of an insult.

Connotation: The action that was done, or the statement that was said, has been clear and obvious example of an insultation and by the sentence it would be clear that someone has insulted someone else.

The only close words/expressions that I could find in dictionaries are as below:


Showing all the characteristics that you would usually expect from a particular group of things:

Example: I must look like the typical tourist with my shorts and my camera.


You use picture to describe what someone looks like. For example, if you say that someone is a picture of health or the picture of misery, you mean that they look extremely healthy or extremely miserable.

Example: We found her standing on a chair, the picture of terror, screaming hysterically. [+of]

I wonder if you could let me know about the way you would say them in normal English.

Thank you.


There doesn't seem to a word which is an exact parallel and addresses all these cases and is in common usage, or even uncommon usage. Your phrase "an obvious example of" may be one of the best ways of conveying your precise meaning, though there are alternatives which would be much more natural in common English but aren't identical in their connotations.

As @Glorfindel says, typical is plausible and common for the first case:

He/she is a typical rude person.

But one would rarely say "That was a typical insult" as the implication would be that it is typical of a person to be insulting, rather than that the statement was a typical example of an insult or that amongst insults the statement was typical. And "he is typical health" would not work; "he is typically healthy" is sound but suggests that the person is usually healthy, with the possible connotation that sometimes they are not.

Picture would be reasonably common for the second case though it is now quite cliche:

He is the picture of health.

It conveys that someone is obviously healthy, and you can tell by looking at them. But less so for your other cases. "He is the picture of a rude person" would be an unusual statement, since people rarely look rude. "That was the picture of an insult" likewise is unhelpful as it is hard to visually picture an insult.

Common usage would suggest clearly or obviously as mildly but not deeply emphatic (unless additional emphasis is placed on the word) and easily understood, but it doesn't have the connotation of being an obvious example, only that it is very apparent that the person has this quality.

He is clearly a rude person.

He is clearly healthy.

That was clearly an insult.

Exceptionally is quite viable and more emphatic, but suggests an abnormal and extreme case compared to the average person, and (as with "clearly") one which can be obviously identified:

He is an exceptionally rude person.

He is exceptionally healthy.

That was exceptionally insulting.

Apparently doesn't really work, since it has an undertone of being dismissive or disbelieving. "He is apparently an idiot" is quite scathing. "He is apparently healthy" suggests he may not be. "That was apparently an insult" is ambigous depending on context, possibly giving the person the benefit of the doubt, or suggesting that the person who thought themselves insulted may be wrong.

In geek culture, canonical would be quite viable for some of your usages, interchangeably with textbook which @Glorfindel suggests (and "textbook" is in wider usage and hence is probably better unless you're writing for a geek audience).

He is the canonical rude person.

That was a canonical insult.

It suggests that there is a (tongue in cheek) canon or doctrine to which may one authorititively refer, which defines such things, and that this fits the criteria.

In popular culture, compare the line from the film Pulp Fiction:

Whether or not what we experienced was an "according to Hoyle" miracle is insigificant.

This likewise suggests a putative canonical authority, in this case, Hoyle and is used for emphasis in a dismissive statement, since it sets up the non-existent canon as an obvious strawman. But this wouldn't fit a serious text or repeated usage in the same text.

  • Thank you very much @El Zorko for the comprehensive response. Just not to be forgotten, you didn't mention about the sentence: He is a typical healthy person, although you had mentioned some similar structures. :) – A-friend May 19 at 13:29
  • 1
    @A-friend You're welcome, and yes, to me that does sound very natural, that wording suggests that the person is typical amongst people and also healthy, so it's likely I would think that he was as healthy as people usually are (which is pretty healthy). It could equally imply that they are typical amongst healthy people. To me, if the other adjective next to like typical is not one I'd associate with the average person (for instance, rude) I am more likely to think that the statement means they are typical amongst (in this instance, rude) people. So they stand out more versus the average. – El Zorko May 19 at 16:40
  • Thank you very much for the great help @El Zorko. It was a very useful and informative reply. – A-friend May 19 at 16:44

An often used phrase is textbook example or equivalently textbook case:

: a classic, perfect case/example
// The scandal is a textbook case/example of corporate greed.

(source: Merriam-Webster)

Of your other examples, typical is a good solution too, picture less so. I'd rather choose model, or the much more sophisticated word paragon:

A person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality.

(source: Oxford Dictionaries)

We found her standing on a chair, the very model of terror, screaming hysterically.

  • Thank you @Glorfindel. But you didn't mention anything about my own offers functionalities in this case. I wonder if you could explain a little more. – A-friend May 19 at 10:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.