15 words to describe people

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

This view professed by Oscar Wilde seems rather limiting, especially to the word connoisseurs who read PR Daily. People can be rather complex and so are the words to describe them. Below are 15 words to describe people.

1. Ascetic — a person who leads an austere, simple life, especially one who denies himself or herself material satisfaction or physical pleasure.

Example: “I had always thought of Eve as an ascetic until I saw her at the monster truck show.”

2. Bon vivant — a person with refined taste, especially one who enjoys superb food and drink.

Example: “John always referred to himself as a bon vivant. I thought him spoiled and self-indulgent.”

3. Bungler — a clumsy, awkward person; someone who makes mistakes because of incompetence.

Example: “As Liz fell to the ground, dropping everyone’s lunch, she proved herself a bungler.”

4. Cad — a man who behaves dishonorably, especially toward women.

Example: “Perhaps the most famous cad in all of literature is Mr. Wickham from ‘Pride and Prejudice.'”

5. Dandy — a man who is excessively concerned with his clothes and appearance.

Example: “The fact that you own more pairs of shoes than I do makes you a dandy.”

6. Dilettante — a person who has a superficial interest in an art or subject; an amateur.

Example: “I find cooking to be very tedious and was never more than a dilettante in the subject.”

7. Gastronome — a lover of good food; a gourmet.

Example: “I fear my children will never be gastronomes, as they prefer to eat macaroni and cheese every day.”

8. Lummox — a clumsy, stupid person.

Example: “That giant lummox just pushed his way to the front of the line.”

9. Malingerer — a person who pretends to be sick to avoid doing work.

Example: “Suzanne the malingerer calls in sick every time she has a writing deadline.”

10. Parvenu — a person who suddenly rises to a higher social or economic class, but has not yet been accepted by others in that class.

Example: “Because she made her fortune at the racetrack, Rachel was regarded as a parvenu.”

11. Prevaricator — a person who speaks or acts in an evasive way to avoid telling the truth.

Example: “Politicians seem to be born prevaricators.”

12. Princox — a conceited person.

Example: “I can be something of a princox when it comes to playing Scrabble.”

13. Rogue — a dishonest person; a scoundrel. Also a person who cause trouble in a playful, mischievous way.

Example: “I can’t decide if being a rogue is a good thing or bad thing.”

14. Sophist — a person who uses clever but false arguments or reasoning.

Example: “According to my Facebook feed, sophists are everywhere.”

15. Toady — a person who tries to please someone to gain favors or a personal advantage.

Example: “Someday they’ll realize what a toady Michele is.”


PR Daily readers, do you have any other words to add to the list?


This article was first published on Ragan Communication’s PR Daily.






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