...particularly with respect to the use of technology, taste in music, movies etc.

I have seen my share of people like this who like to go "alternative" just to set themselves apart and I would like to know if there's a word for them? I wouldn't mind a casual/Internet-born word either. Just need a term I can label them with in my book. :)


EDIT: I am looking for a word that's disapproving in nature. :)

EDIT 2: I am actually looking for a term that signifies "fake" in more particular terms with this scenario. Think about the people that only use Linux, only listen to Death Metal, only watch cult movies with the sole motive of being NOT mainstream. I am sorry that I didn't made myself clear enough.

  • 1
    .......maverick Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 19:05
  • It would be wrong to disapprove of that. It’s a positive trait.
    – tchrist
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 19:10
  • 5
    Hipster seems to be very close to the mark.
    – Joseph R.
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 19:12
  • 1
    @tchrist : Thanks for your input. I am actually talking about people who deliberately try hard to go alternative just for the purpose of setting themselves apart. They don't understand Death Metal but they have all of it and they actually try to condition themselves to like that music just because it's cool and different and not mainstream.
    – Anton Unt
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 19:14
  • 2

15 Answers 15


Maverick is the obvious choice, but since you want a derogatory connotation, how about

  • wannabe-maverick, faux-maverick, pseudo-maverick, quasi-maverick, mom-can-i-be-a-maverick, maverick-in-vogue, fashionable maverick, trendy maverick, hipster maverick?

Oxymorons are always good for that — they can connote stupidity, and there's your derogatory sense.

It's not a word, but one funny saying comes to mind:

  • That no one understands you doesn't make you an artist.

How about contrarian as defined in dictionary.com?

"a person who takes an opposing view, especially one who rejects the majority opinion, as in economic matters".


"a contrary or obstinate person (as modifier): a contrarian investor ; contrarian instincts."

  • Doesn't sound disapproving.
    – Anton Unt
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 19:39
  • 1
    Obstinate is generally a disapproving term.
    – Shoe
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 19:41
  • 1
    I stand corrected but I am actually looking for a term that signifies "fake" in more particular terms with this scenario. Think about the people that only use Linux, only listen to Death Metal, only watch cult movies with the sole motive of being NOT mainstream. I am sorry that I didn't made myself clear enough.
    – Anton Unt
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 20:03
  • 1
    Poseur, with regards to fake. Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 4:16
  • Thanks for that suggestion, @Mari-LouA. I have made the edit.
    – Anton Unt
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 12:27

Since you are looking for terms of a disapproving nature, I would call them abrasive or flakes or attention whores but that's just a personal choice.

Some other descriptive terms are:


a person who refuses to conform, as to established customs, attitudes, or ideas.


someone who does not seem to belong to a group or is not accepted by a group,because of being different in some way.


a person or thing that is atypical, bizarre, eccentric, or nonconforming, especially one having beliefs thatare unusual but harmless.

> people that only use Linux
> only listen to Death Metal
> only watch cult movies with the sole motive of being NOT mainstream

Dude, that's totally me, I mean what's wrong with that?!

All joking aside, I can't believe hipster has only been mentioned twice in this thread, once as a comment and the other as an adjective. If you replaced Linux with Mac OS X and death metal with indie music, then you'd have three qualifiers that perfectly describe a hipster, and it is also a negative connotation.

Another negative connotation is anti-conformist, which though I don't self-identify as, fits me too well.


I think you might be looking for the word 'iconoclast'.


What do you think of


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eccentric "deviating from an established or usual pattern or style"
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/eccentric "departing from a recognized, conventional, or established norm or pattern"


I think the word you are looking for is: unconventional

To be unconventional is to act, dress, speak, or otherwise exist out of the bounds of cultural norms. If you eat cheeseburgers for breakfast, that's somewhat unconventional.

Anything that's nonconformist or out of the ordinary can be described as unconventional. Every culture has its own conventions — or norms — and what may be unconventional in one region might be typical in another. The perception of what's unconventional is determined by context. source: vocabulary.com


I think I have found it via Urban dictionary.

Townies (sheep isn't bad either)

Townies are, to put it simply - Sheep. The follow whatever trends are in fashion, for about 3 weeks, then go onto the next thing, they are very noticeable: [...] Townies usually listen to music by slutty women who don't have real talent but wear revealing clothes so the males stay interested and the females take notes on how to dress wrongly. They also listen to music by so-called "gangstaz" - men who would be shot within a second if they actually put one foot in the ghetto.

Poser Rocker
Looks to be relatively new but the definition fits.

someone who doesn't know the difference between alternative rock, classic rock, heavy metal, death metal, pop punk, nu metal and possibly even indie. however, this poser will buy a guitar and take up lessons, in a way that will make you cringe seen as 90% of guys have already jumped on this bandwagon already. they act like they're really 'kwl' and go around proclaiming how good 'rock' is and telling everyone to listen to some 'decent' music, when they don't even know what they're talking about. their music taste will probably change in a year anyway!!

defined on No.4 as

A person who likes anything and everything that "everyone" likes (trends, etc.) for the sake of being cool. Once that trend ends and everyone stops liking it, they promptly start disliking it and it becomes the worst thing in the world. They also mock the people that continue to follow the "uncool" trends.

  • ‘Poser’ was the first word that came to my mind, though it has other meanings as well, of course. In the right context, though, it should be fairly unambiguous. Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 21:06
  • well poser definitely means someone who is "a fake". Whether it is a "kewl" enough word for our OP, remains to be seen. :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 21:10
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    Where I went to school, townies were the students who lived at home with their parents instead of in the dorms- and that's it.
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 21:29

Not a single word but "different for the sake of being different".


Perhaps naysayer

someone who always thinks of reasons to oppose new ideas or solutions to problems

Not all definitions suggest that the negativity is forced.

Also consider controversialist

someone who engages in or encourages controversy


I have two of them. They are called teenagers. A word often used for teenagers is rebel.


Malodiversary - someone who has a different preference because it is different - someone who is averse to popular opinion because it is popular

[I don't think there is an English term for the word you're after (contrarian and maverick aren't fitting). Here's a combination of two Latin words - feel free to use it LOL]

  • I would think it would mean a smelly enemy. Not sure it will take off.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 16:01

I am one of those people who enjoy being different and aim to be - although I don't use Linux, don't listen to Death Metal (though I love Japanese music), and I don't watch movies or TV full stop. I don't think any of these terms fit the bill except perhaps malodiversary, which isn't a real word. Being different for the sake of being different is different from enjoying and aiming to be different - this is also something you should bear in mind.


Antiestablishment works: Free dictionary:

Marked by opposition or hostility to conventional social, political, or economic values or principles.

In some folks it manifests as nearly fetish-like behavior.


'radical' is sometimes used in this sense.

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