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I am looking for a pejorative term to describe someone who constantly needs social interaction regardless of quality.

Something along the lines of "social nymphomaniac", but not necessarily gender-specific, and preferably in a single word. I would also prefer it if it were not colloquial.

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Did you look in a thesaurus for synonyms of gregarious? –  Mitch May 23 '13 at 11:08
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Yes, and I couldn't find any pejorative terms. Everything was either neutral or complimentary. –  TimY May 23 '13 at 11:09
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Needy seems to fit. –  Matt Эллен May 23 '13 at 11:56
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I don't know. That's quite a lot to expect of a single word. Extroverted, excessively, pejorative, and all in one word? Just because there are lots of single words for complex ideas doesn't mean that every conceivable complex idea has a corresponding single word. Or I could be wrong. –  Mitch May 23 '13 at 11:58
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I gave this a +1 because it seems there ought to be such a word. The best I can think of are words like "sheeple" and "herd," which apply to groups rather than the individuals that constitute them. –  gmcgath May 23 '13 at 12:34

6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I was just editing a paper on schizophrenia and noticed that one of the symptoms of the disease is called asociality. Being asocial (lacking a strong motivation to engage in social interaction or preferring solitary activities) is not the same as being antisocial (active dislike or antagonism toward other people or the general social order).

One antonym for asocial is gregarious. To turn that into a pejorative, you can prefix hyper- or ultra-.

That'll give you:

hypersocial and hypergregarious

[M-W 3rd Unabridged says: "Main Entry: hyper- Function:prefix Etymology:alteration (influenced by Latin hyper-) of Middle English iper-, from Late Latin hyper-, from Latin, from Greek, from hyper (more at OVER)

1 : over : above : beyond : SUPER- hyperbarbarous, hyperemphasis
2 : overmuch : excessively : EXTRA- hypercritical, hypersensitive
3 a : excessive in extent or quality hyperesthesia, hyperemesis,]

as well as

ultrasocial and ultragregarious

[M-W 3rd Unabridged says: "Main Entry: ultra- Function: prefix Etymology: Latin, from ultra beyond (adverb & preposition), from abl. singular feminine of (assumed) ulter situated beyond (more at ULTERIOR)

3 : beyond what is common, ordinary, natural, right, proper, or moderate : excessively : exceedingly : HYPER- ultracomplex, ultracritical, ultraformal, ultramodern]

The problem with ultrasocial, however, is that Jonathan Heidt and others have approbatorily appropriated the term to describe human and animal ("social insects and colonial invertebrates") societies, because most people are social, not asocial or antisocial.

(#)Hypersocial and ultra-gregarious are associated with a neurological problem called Williams Syndrome# (#: see next paragraph), so using those terms is probably politically incorrect because it implies that the person they're used to describe is "crazy".

(#)"People with Williams Syndrome (caused by deletion of a certain region on chromosome 7) are hypersocial, ultra-gregarious; as children they fail to show a normal fear of adult strangers. WSers are cognitively impaired on most dimensions, but their verbal abilities are spared or even exaggerated; they often speak early, with complex sentences and large vocabulary, and excellent verbal recall, even if they can never learn to do basic arithmetic."

That leaves only hyper-gregarious, which is used in a medical book to describe one clinical symptom seen in some alcoholics.

Another possibility is to coin words like sociorrhea, sociorrheic, gregariorrhea, and gregariorrheic, using diarrhea and logorrhea as models, by adding the suffix -rrhea. Those two conditions are considered pretty obnoxious, I'd say, and are never used with positive connotations.

A little bit of imagination will take you a long way in the world of neologisms.

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Wow. That's a great answer! –  TimY May 25 '13 at 9:43
    
(I'm going to give it a few more days, before I select one though.) –  TimY May 25 '13 at 9:43
    
@TimY: Thank you! My imagination is limited, so I suggest that you do give it a few days. Someone else may come up with something much better. A good question deserves some hard thought before an attempt to answer it. –  user21497 May 25 '13 at 9:54

I would call such a person intrusive, if I were limited to a single word. Some of the synonyms my thesaurus gives for intrusive are presumptuous, pushy, impertinent, officious, and forward. They're all pejorative. An officious person offers help, advice, or service where none is wanted. A presumptuous person presumes on a degree of familiarity or intimacy that isn't warranted by the actual relationship. Another word for forward in this sense is brash.

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Intrusive is exactly what it is. –  abby hairboat Jul 26 '13 at 18:26

"Social addict", though 2 words, has the pejorativeness you're looking for, I believe.

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But that's not a phrase that's sees any use. (A quick google suggests that when it is used, it refers to social media e.g. someone who uses facebook too much.) –  starwed May 23 '13 at 18:41
    
@starwed. Great! Another perfectly good phrase usurped by FaceBook and the like! grrr! ;-) –  Kristina Lopez May 23 '13 at 19:01

I think social butterfly would fit most contexts perfectly well...

Someone who is VERY social and easygoing; can be either a male or a female. Usually these people don’t belong to a particular group, but rather jump from one group to another. They are somewhat accepted in all of them, but don’t really have any deep friendship connections in any of them.

...but if OP doesn't want a "colloquial" term, perhaps socialite would do...

A person who is well known in fashionable society and is fond of social activities and entertainment.

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I don't think those are pejorative though, unless you're biased against social people as a class. –  Bradd Szonye May 26 '13 at 20:11
    
@Bradd Szonye: You're joking! I can't imagine anyone thinking "social butterfly" is anything other than pejorative. And as for "socialite" - I doubt very much if anyone would self-identify as one, even if they're not prepared to take out libel actions against gossip-columnists who describe them as such. –  FumbleFingers May 26 '13 at 20:24
    
Nope, not joking at all – maybe it's a regional difference? The Urban Dictionary entry you cite lists positive, neutral, and pejorative senses of social butterfly: The neutral–positive ones have net upvotes, the pejoratives have downvotes, and the one you quote actually has a positive, self-descriptive example. I usually see it used to describe people whose popularity or hospitality transcends clique boundaries. I occasionally see it used to suggest shallowness or irresponsibility. –  Bradd Szonye May 26 '13 at 21:49

Maybe ultrasociable will suit your needs. It's not at all colloquial, and any word that begins with ultra- is generally pejorative, like ultraconservative, ultraorthodox, and ultraliberal, because ultra- means extreme.

Bacchanalian (noun and adjective) or bacchic (adjective) might fit, but they are kind of restricted to drunken, orgiastic parties. Corybantic is another, but it implies wildness too.

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I don't think those last two possibilities are worth even bringing up. They're pretty far off the mark, and mentioning them might mislead someone. –  starwed May 23 '13 at 18:35

Maybe "Serial Socializer"... as in someone who, like a Serial Murderer, can't stop from socializing to the point where he/she becomes a social pariah anywhere that person sets foot in.

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