I want a word for a person who doesn't know much but is extremely good with words. The words he uses are pompous but he doesn't write anything concrete. If you are wondering, it's not fiction. I am talking about the people who publish their articles in newspapers but do not say anything substantial. I need a colloquial word, and it should be derogatory, not a compliment about the person's vocabulary prowess.

  • Is this word intended to be a compliment, or an insult? (It sounds like you're looking for a negative word, but I'd like you to clarify.)
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 10:04
  • 1
    In India, we call them 'journalists'! ;)
    – Maulik V
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 10:35
  • 1
    "Style over substance" might fit the bill.
    – ssav
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 10:44
  • @ssav yes. thanks!! any other similar phrases? (to J.R.) a derogatory one Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 12:41
  • 2
    @JonyAgarwal - Please don't answer inquiries like that in the comments. Edit your question so that people reading the question for the first time don't need to read through the comments for clarification. (I'll fix this one, but you'll know what to do next time.)
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 15:31

3 Answers 3


Talk that is pompous but not concrete is vacuous. ( It is pumped up but not solid, so it is empty—or full of air like a balloon.)

If he uses magnificent words, he may be grandiloquent http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/grandiloquent —and still vacuous.

If he makes unsubstantiated, fallacious arguments that only appear to have any substance, they are specious. http://i.word.com/idictionary/specious

If he makes big, vague promises without delivering any workable plans, he might be said to be

  • all sizzle and no steak


  • OMG. The definition and example sentence of 'all sizzle and no steak' has a tremendous similarity with a political figure in our country!
    – Rucheer M
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 11:26
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    @RuchirM - That idiom could probably be applied to far more than one political figure.
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 15:34

A sophist. Someone who is good at rhetoric and persuasion, even though fallacious. More concerned with the art of speaking than truth and content.


grandiloquence - a type of talk that is pompous and bombastic, full of pretty sounding words and elegant turns of phrase that add up to nothing

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