I thought to terms below and found them inappropriate:

Ignorant = A person who doesn't know generally = incorrect

Talkative = A person who may know a lot too! = incorrect

Awkward = A person who may know a lot but cannot express his/her knowledge appropriately = incorrect

Liar = A person who lies but may know a lot! = incorrect

Shallow = A person with shallow knowledge but may not try to force his/her ideas to the others = incorrect

Windbag = A person who talks a lot but may know a lot too = incorrect

Facile = Easygoing = incorrect

Can you suggest a better word or phrase?

  • 8
    A politician. (sorry I couldn't help myself).
    – Eternal21
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 13:20
  • If you're willing to make an obscure reference, you could call them obsequious, purple, and clairvoyant.
    – Dan
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 8:52

7 Answers 7


It could be someone with Male Answer Syndrome....

(defined as: The tendency for some men to answer a question even when they don't know the answer.)

  • Thanks! If I could I would add you to my personal dictionary! You understand me! :')) Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 21:40
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    i've never even heard of this, and i've been speaking english all my life. i know i'm just one english speaker, but this doesn't seem like the best answer to me. "windbag" or "blowhard" or something similar is probably way more common. i don't have any hard facts, but it's a pretty well-informed guess.
    – user428517
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 23:24
  • 2
    @sgroves agree with you, never heard this before in my life. It also fails hard in my eyes for polarizing the issue to a sex. I think men take enough blame these days. Women and men can both be know its.
    – user20827
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 10:23
  • Note that this is a cute answer, but it's a joke, not a serious response.If you're specifically talking in the context of women complaining about men, this may be appropriate. But if you wanted to talk about, say, politicians who talk about economics while knowing nothing about the subject, in contrast to the politicians whose policies you agree with and who therefore by definition are quite knowledgeable :-), this phrase would be totally inappropriate.
    – Jay
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 22:27
  • Not a common phrase, but adequately sourced, and just what the OP was looking for.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 3:50

Know-it-all (“Someone who obnoxiously claims to be knowledgeable on a subject”) has already been mentioned. Synonyms include smart aleck, wiseguy, and clever dick. However, wiseacre (“One who feigns knowledge or cleverness; an insolent upstart”) may be a better choice than any of those.

For adjectives, consider facile and shallow. For related words that might apply, consider blowhard (“A person who talks too much or too loudly, especially in a boastful or self-important manner”) and instant expert. Note, per tvtropes, the latter also has meanings that don't apply – specifically, how some superheroes almost instantly pick up new skills.

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    And windbag is similar to blowhard. Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 19:24
  • @Scott, yes, windbag (“someone who talks excessively”) is good too! Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 19:26
  • @jwpat7 +1 Wow! Thanks! Many useful terms for many useful situations.Anyway I do not agree with windbag because it is about a person who talks a lot but is not describing a person who doesn't know about a topic which he/she is talking about. :) Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 20:37
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    In a business situation, an empty suit is someone who uses all of the buzz words and sounds like the real thing, but doesn't actually know what he's talking about. Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 21:48
  • 1
    I think "know-it-all" implies that the person speaking thinks they know it all. It doesn't necessarily mean that they don't. In fact it often means that they are delivering information that the listener isn't particularly interested in, or hasn't asked for. I wouldn't say it implies that they don't know anything about it. Wiseacre, which I'm not familiar with, does sound like a better word. Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 10:55

I've never heard anyone use this in speech, but a "technically correct" word for it is ultracrepidarian.


You would call someone like this an "armchair expert". An armchair expert is somebody who speaks with authority on a subject while having little to zero practical experience in the topic at hand. The number of people acting like armchair experts appears to be increasing, and it appears to be in direct correlation to the ever increasing availability of information via the internet.

Thanks to the internet, I can read endlessly about medicine and medical problems. I can casually fill my head with half facts and regurgitate them on demand. However, being that I am not a doctor, though I could shoot my mouth off all day regurgitating these facts, I would most likely fail entirely at accurately assembling or interpreting any of this information. To other non-doctors however, it may appear that I am accurate.

The moment I actually attempted to do this, I would be an armchair expert. It would be hot air making me sound like a medical expert, masking the fact that I'm a complete fraud, a counterfeit masking the magnitude of my incompetence with a false air of confidence.

Another example of an armchair expert is all the men that sit in bars watching UFC shooting their mouths off criticizing a fighter, while the only fighting experience they have is getting a wedgie by the school bully in grade 6. These are all armchair experts. I hope you had a laugh. ;)


In America, we usually call these people politicians.

But seriously, some other words for this sort of behavior:

  • blatherskite
  • its shorter cousin blatherer
  • a humbug
  • a twaddler, or more commonly, as a verb, i.e. "don't mind him, he twaddles" or a noun, "don't mind his twaddle"

And then various words for this kind of talk, usually used like "that person speaks a lot of ____"

  • poppycock
  • prattle
  • malarkey
  • balderdash
  • baloney
  • hocus pocus, sometimes hokeypokey, sometimes hokum, sometimes hooey
  • My personal favorite: applesauce

You may consider Loud-mouth, a person who talks too much and who says unpleasant or stupid things


You could call them a dilettante, but I would warn you that it can sound extremely pretentious.

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