Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

People sometimes use "political-savvy" to describe someone who is aware of what to do or what not to do in an organization or company. I wonder which word would be the opposite of that? i.e. someone who doesn't have that set of political (business, communication) skills.

share|improve this question
1  
Lacking in people skills. –  Elliott Frisch Apr 18 at 20:36
    
When they're sure they won't be overheard, I imagine the "savvy" people refer to the others as resources (or maybe sheep). But I expect OP is looking for a more "positive" expression. –  FumbleFingers Apr 18 at 21:03
    
I like "Palinesq" –  Chris Apr 18 at 23:05
1  
This isn't a practical answer to your question (anymore?), but it might amuse you: The term "idiot", to the ancient Greeks (who originally used it), meant someone who did not participate in politics. –  Superbest Apr 19 at 4:27

9 Answers 9

up vote 10 down vote accepted

You could go with "political-naïveté", where naive is an antonym for savvy.

na·ive [nah-eev] adjective

1. having or showing unaffected simplicity of nature or absence of artificiality; unsophisticated; ingenuous.

2. having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information; credulous: She's so naive she believes everything she reads. He has a very naive attitude toward politics.

Source: NAIVE. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved April 18, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/NAIVE

As a bonus, savvy and naive both have roots in the romance languages, being primarily from Spanish/French and French respectively.

share|improve this answer
    
Great thank you! –  Michelle Apr 18 at 20:18
1  
Plus, "naïve" has a great noun form: naïf (a naïve person). For "savvy", I guess you would have to go to maven for the noun. –  Malvolio Apr 18 at 20:48

I think you mean politically savvy? The opposite? Pehaps politically unaware, a newcomer to politics, a political innocent.

share|improve this answer

I've heard the term "politically inept", as an adjective. There's even a Simpsons episode that uses this phrase in its title.

Unfortunately, the noun form, "political-ineptness" or "political-ineptitude", is not very elegant.

share|improve this answer

How about "political ignoramus," "political retard," and "political passivist?"

"Are you a political ignoramus?"

Confession of a political retard.

Also, on fairly different levels, consider "political don't-give-a-damnist" and "political apathist."

share|improve this answer

For someone who totally lacks political savvy, but tries to exercise it anyway: loose cannon?

share|improve this answer

Someone who is politically savvy is saying the right things to the right people. Often bending the truth or keeping their lips closed if they have any issues.

So two words that would describe the opposite behavior...

  • honest
  • blunt
share|improve this answer

Less formally, 'unsavvy' is the antonym of 'savvy'. (not that 'savvy' is particularly formal!)

share|improve this answer

Do-nothing: always used before a noun 1 : not willing to work, help, etc. : lazyenter link description here

a do-nothing husband

2 : failing to achieve or do anything important

a do-nothing policy/government/politician
share|improve this answer

Political cretinism

I've been hearing people say that about themselves mockingly. It's not that they actually consider themselves cretins in that aspect, but objectively assess their own level of knowledge as very low.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.