Sign up ×
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.

What is single word in English for a fake/false image (in terms of personality, not in terms of photograph) of someone?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Andrew Leach Nov 19 at 13:13

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – Andrew Leach
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Please can you add in an example sentence to show how you would use the word? – Matt E. Эллен Jul 15 '12 at 15:57

4 Answers 4

Facade ("A deceptive outward appearance") may suit. Also consider disguise, persona ("a role or character adopted by an author or an actor"), and masquerade ("Acting or living under false pretenses; concealment of something by a false or unreal show; pretentious show; disguise"). Trumpery ("worthless finery; bric-a-brac or junk") may be used in achieving a false image; by analogy one might call a false personality trumpery. Spelling note: Be careful not to leave out the er before y.

You may also find useful words (such as two-faced, Janus-like, deceiver, fake, double-dealer, duplicitous, polymorph, chameleon, wolf in sheep's clothing, poser, duplicitous, back-stabber, hypocrite, fraud, imposter, poseur, whited sepulcher, Devil in disguise, fool's gold, mirage, simulacrum, et al) in answers to the following questions:

#24216: "I'm in need of a word that describes someone who has two personalities (they don't necessarily contrast each other, good/evil)."
#72916 "What word best describes a person who is deceitful and very complicated to understand? As they say, he wears several masks."
#42404 "A character in the movie is really bad, but when she talks with others, she pretends to be an innocent/ good woman. I want to know how to describe this kind of person."
#71398 "What are common phrases that describe something that appears good but is actually bad?"

share|improve this answer

How about beguile:

transitive verb : to lead by deception

intransitive verb : to deceive by wiles

or specious:

2: having deceptive attraction or allure
3: having a false look of truth or genuineness : sophistic

share|improve this answer

Depends on the semantic of the fakery/falsehood:

For someones personality I would suggest: ( in order )

  1. Disingenuous
  2. Phony
  3. Factitious
  4. Hypocritical
  5. Artificial
  6. Two Faced
  7. Jive Turkey
share|improve this answer

Not a noun, but one adjective that is extremely common for this is "photoshopped" regardless of what image editing package was used.

Did you see this photo of President Obama with a bunch of playboy bunnies?

Dude, it's photoshopped.
share|improve this answer
Oops, the question specifies image in the sense of persona, not photo... – Daniel Harbour Jul 15 '12 at 21:13
Oh, yeah, so what is a single word for a person who doesn't read the question carefully enough? :-) – Fraser Orr Jul 16 '12 at 16:42

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