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What word describes someone who offers unsolicited advice? For example I might write, "At the risk of being called a ______, I will offer you some unsolicited advice."

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Not really serious, but how about mother-in-law? More seriously, I've never heard anyone say that they were going to offer unsolicited advice. In fact people who are inclined to offer unsolicited advice often do not realize they are doing so. –  Daniel Cook Aug 28 '12 at 22:43
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@DanielCook -- I know you didn't ask, but I think you might be mistaken. –  Malvolio Aug 28 '12 at 23:33
    
It's actually not uncommon to say "dispenser/purveyor of unsolicited advice". –  Neil Coffey Aug 29 '12 at 3:22
    
I wonder if the German word "Besserwisser" is ever used in English? It's been imported into some other languages, such as Swedish, and I think it would fit well here. –  Thomas Padron-McCarthy Aug 29 '12 at 8:11
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8 Answers 8

Busybody would work well here.

that busybody across the street is always telling me how to tend to my own garden

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Busybody seems to mean a person who pries (inquires into other people's business), rather than a person who gives advice without being asked. –  MετάEd Aug 29 '12 at 5:40
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Certainly in the UK, I know the usage to be for both scenarios. –  Ste Aug 29 '12 at 7:53
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+1 I'm convinced after re-reading your citation. –  MετάEd Aug 29 '12 at 15:08
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I have also heard this as being a kibitzer

kibitz: To look on and offer unwanted, usually meddlesome advice to others.

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I like this definition even more: one who looks on and often offers unwanted advice or comment <a kibitzer at a card game>; broadly : one who offers opinions –  Daniel Cook Aug 28 '12 at 22:54
    
I don't see why... I listed that definition in my comment. The definition you'd already listed is also good. –  Daniel Cook Aug 28 '12 at 23:13
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You could humorously refer to yourself as a buttinsky (sometimes spelled buttinski).

It is defined as:

a meddler who tends to butt in

Or try: quidnunc. It has the advantage of being fun to say. It means:

a nosy person; a busybody; a person who meddles in the affairs of others

I think offering unsolicited advice fits in the category of meddling.

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+1 for quidnunc. –  Malvolio Aug 29 '12 at 17:26
    
To me, a quidnunc is more someone who’s overly curious about what others are doing—not someone who gives opinions. It’s basically just someone who’s nosy. ‘Meddling’ in the quidnunc context to me means just prying, not actively trying to influence. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 13 at 10:19
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I would suggest, backseat driver:

noun

(informal)

  1. a passenger in a car who offers unwanted advice to the driver
  2. a person who offers advice on or tries to direct matters that are not his or her concern

The word kibitzer suggested by others is also a good one. But, I've not heard it used in this sense outside of card games.

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A kibitzer is a legitimate spectator giving unwelcome advice; a buttinski interferes in matters that are none of her concern; a busybody might neither interfere nor give advice, but will snoop and gossip to third parties.

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And a know-it-all (one word?) is a conceited person who imparts the correct way to do something, or other information, with a sense of smug superiority. No need to thank me, I'm happy to help. –  Beta Aug 29 '12 at 13:44
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Yenta—Yiddish for chronic intermeddler and one that meddles

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I would like to suggest meddler.

From The Free Dictionary, to meddle is:

  1. To intrude into other people's affairs or business; interfere. See Synonyms at interfere.
  2. To handle something idly or ignorantly; tamper.

A person that feels the need to control or influence other people's lives can be called a meddler. I think unsolicited advice fits in perfectly with this definition.

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smarty-pants

smarty-pants: a person who talks and behaves like someone who knows everything

smart aleck

smart aleck: an obnoxiously and self-assertive person with pretensions to smartness and cleverness

wisenheimer

wisenheimer: a wiseacre; smart aleck

wise guy; wiseacre

wise guy: a cocksure, conceited, and often insolent person; smart aleck

know-it-all

know-it-all: a person that acts as though they had better knowledge or understanding than anyone else

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protected by RegDwigнt Oct 26 '12 at 13:42

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