It's so easy to do in a chat room. I just do this: click here.

I want to capture that same benign, eye rolling, gently mocking disdain - but I have to stick to small words.

An example of an actual circumstance (true story) after which I might want to use such a phrase or word is when he ever-so-patiently explained to me that "rocket surgery" was an incorrect use of idiom.

Perhaps a quote?

I realize that this question is at least borderline for the site. If you feel I've crossed that line please edit if you feel that the question is salvageable.

EDIT: He's 56. Perhaps an instantly recognizable (to an American of his age) quote from pop-culture? Kind of like the way I might say, "Laugh it up, Fuzzball" to someone my age (46) who is very much enjoying the fact he's winning a card game?

  • That's something that encapsulates your whole personality. You naturally cannot use borrowed-wisdom in that department. (I expect a rejoinder any moment ;)
    – Kris
    Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 8:16
  • @Kris He doesn't need to know it's borrowed! Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 8:23
  • It would depend very much on how well I knew the target. There are some, mostly old colleagues, who I can call a 'pillock' with no offense taken whatever. But when speaking to a stranger it is an altogether different matter.
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 9:48
  • @WS2 This is a long-time acquaintance, almost friend. I say "almost" because he is sometimes such a pig-headed, sexist bigot that I can't stand to be around him - But then he tries so hard to be good that I end up tolerating him again, at least until next time. When I really am angry at him, I don't mince words - I let him have it. I don't need help with that, when I'm angry at him, he knows. I'm looking for something much more benign, especially for times like the "rocket surgery" correction, or when he assumes I can't screw in a light bulb because I'm a woman. Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 10:01
  • Think crotchety old-fart. Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 10:06

1 Answer 1


You could say that he's not the sharpest knife on the Christmas tree

  • 'sharpest knife in the drawer' and 'brightest bulb on the (Christmas) tree' (in case anyone is unfamiliar with those idioms.)
    – Dodgie
    Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 20:16
  • 1
    I wish I had thought of that after the "rocket surgery" conversation! If I give it while maybe he'll forget so I can set him up to do it again. I'd use "chandelier" though, he's actually heard me use that one. "You're not the sharpest knife in the chandelier, are you?" I like it :) That will be epic if setting it up actually works. Dual layered mockery! Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 23:23
  • @Jolenealaska hah, good luck!
    – Dodgie
    Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 0:42

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