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.

3 Answers 3


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.

  • I don't have the privileges to vote up/down a post yet.
    – atams
    Commented Apr 28, 2013 at 7:29
  • That was a tongue-in-cheek reponse, not a nudge, atams! Commented Apr 28, 2013 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
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 6:52
  • Holden was the biggest phoney.
    – Ben
    Commented May 27, 2014 at 12:16

An upright personality

upright adj

Adhering strictly to moral principles; righteous.

source: thefreedictionary.com

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.


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


seeing the worst in others.

  • Hmm. You don't have to be cynical to dislike 'phoney people'. Commented Jul 16, 2015 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
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 11:56

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