There are always these people who are giving their opinion and ideas about anything just to show how intelligent they are, even if they are not asked. But the advice is either absurd or too impractical and is of no use.

Is there a word or phrase for free advice?

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    Can you explain a little more about what you are asking? Free means freely given, but, in this context, that could mean either dispensed without a monetary charge, or it could mean given without being hindered by social norms and mores. If you're only trying to describe an arrogant blowhard, you could replace thoughts and free advice with opinions and ideas. – J.R. Mar 13 '13 at 9:41
  • @J.R. actually that is a phrase my friend uses, here free does not have anything to do with money. What ts means is 'to give advice despite not being asked to' which is very annoying. – Thor Mar 13 '13 at 9:48
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    @Thor: That's kind of what I thought you meant, but, when someone asks for clarification like I did, I'd recommend that you edit your question, as opposed to leaving a comment. Chances are, if one person finds your question a bit ambiguous, others might see it that way, too. As more and more people look at your question for the first time, they shouldn't have to read through all the comments to get the gist of what you're asking – the question should stand on its own. Just a thought. – J.R. Mar 13 '13 at 12:01
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    Though it doesn't answer the question, one often hears the statement "Free advice is worth what you pay for it." – barbara beeton Mar 13 '13 at 20:58

A person who habitually gives unsolicited advice is often called a (or Mister) Know-it-all (or Know-all). It's often understood that such a person's advice is either or both unwanted and inappropriate/unusable.

I don't think there's any particularly common expression for the advice/opinion beyond obvious forms involving preceding one of those words with unsolicited, unwanted, etc.

An extremely common (and quite rude) response to being on the receiving end is...

"When I want your advice I'll ask for it!"

...for which the typical British understated version is...

"I'll bear that in mind."

(which isn't always said dismissively/sarcastically, obviously).

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  • I agree that Mr. Know-it-all is a fine answer to this question. I'd like to mention, though - it's not a definitive answer, because there are other ways to describe a person who gives unsolicited opinions, too, such as blowhard, back-seat driver, meddler or pest, or (by using adjectives): intrusive, opinionated, self-aggrandizing or high and mighty. Which words work best would depend on the context; that is, what kind of advice is offered, how it's delivered, and how it is ultimately perceived. – J.R. Mar 13 '13 at 15:54
  • @J.R.: I wouldn't say blowhard was very close (it usually just means blusteringly boastful to me). Meddlers are often actively (and unwantedly) involved, rather than just giving advice, and pests can be tiresome for many other reasons. But I expect you're right that there are probably many alternatives for people giving unwanted/useless advice. I'm less convinced we have established terms for the advice itself, though. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 13 '13 at 16:07
  • Fumble - exactly my point, context is everything. This "advice" from the chronic Mr. Know-It-All, how bothersome is it? Does he butt in because he thinks it makes him look good? Does it make him feel important? Is his advice usually unworkable? The O.P. hasn't said much, except that it's "annoying" – so there are a host of possible scenarios, and thus a wide array of options, (although some might be well-suited only for certain situations). As for the advice itself, if it's "absurd" or "impractical" one could call it hot air, claptrap, folderol, balderdash – or just a stupid idea. – J.R. Mar 13 '13 at 17:23
  • I don't know of a phrase, which is actually why I google it. I was looking for an answer to the same question. I usually want to reply to these "Know it Alls" with something like "Thank you, Captain Obvious", but I don't. – Maureen Bass Nov 12 '18 at 16:44
  • @MaureenBass - Your answer would be a good one, so long as you don’t mind sounding a bit rude and annoyed by the original comment. – J.R. Nov 12 '18 at 20:00

"Ultracrepidarians" think they know everything, but their information is based on assumption rather than fact. These know-it-alls are happy to offer unsolicited advice, even if they have no idea what they’re talking about. An "ultracrepidarian" is probably a "snoutband", too. A snoutband constantly interrupts the conversation to tell you how wrong you are. They take pleasure in being argumentative.

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