What words (adj., noun) describe or refer to a person who likes to show off their wits/cleverness/smartness by speaking (puns, jokes, sarcasm, satire, etc) or facial/body.language (e.g. smug)?

  • Wit (note the singular) isn't necessarily the same as sarcasm. Sarcastic, satirical are obvious choices for the latter. Feb 24 at 9:37
  • @Kate The context would seem to imply that the question is about wits (inventive intelligence), not wit (ability to use intelligence for humorous purposes). Feb 24 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


In the spirit of "keep it simple", a person who shows of their wit is said to by witty.

A thesaurus can give other terms: humorous amusing, droll, funny, comic, chucklesome, sparkling, scintillating, lively, entertaining, quick-witted, sharp-witted, piquant, ingenious, jocular, waggish

And you can form nouns from some of these, again with the help of a thesaus: joker, comic, wit, comedian, clown, card (informal), kidder (informal), jester, dag (New Zealand, informal), prankster, buffoon, trickster, humorist, joculator or (fem.) joculatrix

You can use a dictionary to investigate the particular meaning of these words (and if they are common, casual, rare or dated)

  • These are all words that describe wit (humour), rather than wits (intelligence). The fact that the question says “wits/cleverness/smartness”, I think the asker is looking for people who show off their intelligence, not their wittiness. Feb 24 at 18:53
  • "by speaking (puns, jokes, sarcasm, satire, etc" So it means people that show cleverness by humour. But look more carefully "ingenious" or "sharp-witted" don't mean "funny" I've deliberately left these lists uncurated - it is up to the OP to use a dictionary to find the words that fit their needs, and to see how a thesaurus can be used (teach a person to fish...)
    – James K
    Feb 24 at 19:43
  • I just think they’re all in the wrong semantic sphere. The example of a similar word given in the question is smug, which seems much more in line with the tone of the question. I would certainly not refer to someone who shows off how clever they are by being sarcastic as ‘sparkling’, ‘scintillating’, ‘entertaining’ or really any of the other words you’ve listed (except perhaps sharp-witted) – I might call them smug, supercilious, a smart-alec, etc., but never any of the words you’ve suggested. Feb 24 at 21:35
  • Feel free to write an answer!
    – James K
    Feb 24 at 22:19

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