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I want to know the word which can describe the personality trait of disliking "Phony" people. Misanthrope is too extreme and generalizes hating human race.

P.S: Any word which can suit personality of Holden from "Catcher in the rye" will do.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think the three best one-word descriptions of Holden Caulfield are "crazy" (his own word), pretentious (a literary critic's word), and idealistic (my word) or unrealistic (also my word). Everybody's somewhat of a phony (see Erving Goffman's The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life). Nobody likes extreme phonies. That makes "the personality trait of disliking 'Phony' people" a normal trait that deserves no special label.

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Great answer. Thanks! – atams Apr 28 '13 at 7:21
I don't have the privileges to vote up/down a post yet. – atams Apr 28 '13 at 7:29
That was a tongue-in-cheek reponse, not a nudge, atams! – Edwin Ashworth Apr 28 '13 at 8:07
@EdwinAshworth Pardon me, if this comes out as naive. As English is not my first language, I was not able to understand the context of "not a nudge" part of your response. I know its literal meaning but can you please tell me the meaning you intended. – atams May 2 '13 at 6:52
Holden was the biggest phoney. – Ben May 27 '14 at 12:16

An upright personality

upright adj

Adhering strictly to moral principles; righteous.


for example:

Louise: A widow in her late 60's to early 70's, who is in a weak and sickly condition but maintains her pride through her elegant and upright personality.

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Someone who recognizes hypocrisy (or phoniness) is likely to be


seeing the worst in others.

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Hmm. You don't have to be cynical to dislike 'phoney people'. – EleventhDoctor Jul 16 at 13:42
@EleventhDoctor Sure, but the OP's mention of misanthrope and Holden Caulfield make 'cynic' the closest one-word fit. Otherwise it's just 'doesn't like phony people'. – Mitch Jul 17 at 11:56

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