Someone who is highly nostalgic and is stuck in the past, better days

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  • 2
    You can call them a nostalgic. – bib Oct 26 '13 at 19:52
  • You've used three expressions in your question which express perfectly your request. Nostalgic, living in the past and stuck in the past. Consequently, posted answers will succeed in sounding only contrived. – Mari-Lou A Oct 26 '13 at 22:37

I do not think you can do much better than to describe such person as 'a nostalgic'. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English it exists as such a noun.



concerned with the past rather the present and future
a stagnant, backward-looking culture

To be even more contrived, you can try:


I hate to be a hark-backer but I'm sure mainstream rock and pop had better to offer in the way of lyrics before the noughties.

  • All of this implies strongly that there is something wrong with being a 'nostalgic'. – WS2 Oct 27 '13 at 7:48
  • 1
    @WS2 Hm, I have a different take on this. OP did add the attribute "highly" to nostalgic, and he opted for "stuck" in the past, when he could've used the word living. The connotation, IMO, was quite clear. Whether I myself look favorably on his connotation is perfectly irrelevant. (It just so happens that I don't.) – Talia Ford Oct 27 '13 at 9:55
  • But people tend to use superlatives excessively. They also speak in narrative form. There is a well-known narrative about people being stuck (pejoratively) in the past. You never hear of anyone being 'stuck' in the present. What is wrong with the past, for goodness sake? Literate people ought to know better than to fall into a habit of using popular narrative form which sells tabloid newspapers. – WS2 Oct 27 '13 at 10:42
  • @WS2 regardless whether or not you're right. The OP's question has a decidedly gloomy air that nostalgia alone, or wistfulness if you prefer, doesn't carry. – Mari-Lou A Oct 27 '13 at 14:29

A relic. Per dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/relic?s=t): "1. a surviving memorial of something past. 2. an object having interest by reason of its age or its association with the past: a museum of historic relics. 3. a surviving trace of something:"


Consider the terms relict, “Something which, or someone who, survives or remains or is left over after the loss of others; a relic” and conservative, “A person who favors maintenance of the status quo or reversion to some earlier status”.

Note, neither term actually indicates “highly nostalgic”, but both have some flavor of “stuck in the past, better days”. Also note, the referenced sense of conservative differs from that of political conservative (“(US) A person who favors decentralization of political power and disfavors activist foreign policy”.

  • I do not think that 'relic' or 'conservative' are relevant to this question. A 'relic' is an artefact or an idea from past times. A 'conservative' is someone who is averse to change and holds traditional values. I think it is closer, but it still does not precisely describe someone who loves the past. – WS2 Oct 26 '13 at 20:25

He or she can be called an anachronism

One that is out of its proper or chronological order, especially a person or practice that belongs to an earlier time

And, as noted by Carly Simon, James Otto and Pink, these are the good old days.

  • 1
    I have never heard the term 'anachronism' applied to a person. In any event I am not sure that is what the questioner means. An anachronism relates to a thing which belongs in a period other than that in which it exists. For example in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar one hears a clock striking. It is an anachronism because although they had striking clocks in Shakespeare's day, they did not have them in ancient Rome at the time of Caesar. Our questioner here, asks for a word which describes someone who is nostalgic for past times. That seems to me quite different to an anachronism. – WS2 Oct 26 '13 at 20:19
  • @WS2 you a are a mess! Not really, but we regularly refer to a person as the noun characteristic they embody. The person suggested by the OP is an anachronism because he is a 1950s character who finds himself in the 2010s. – bib Oct 26 '13 at 21:59
  • 'Anachronism' is pejorative. I don't think many people would refer to their boss as 'an anachronism', at least not to their face. It would though be reasonably polite to say someone was a 'nostalgic', even in their presence; depending of course on how well you knew them. I for one would feel complemented to be so described. – WS2 Oct 27 '13 at 7:55

Halcyon : denoting a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful.

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