What do you call it when someone has a strong opinion about something without having any experience with that thing? For example, if someone writes an entire newspaper article about how disgusting pie is without having ever eaten pie.

The word lodged in my brain is "hypocritical", but I know that's not correct.

  • On the disgusting nature of pie: there's a famous (although possibly apocryphal) epitaph on the subject. "Pie is a detestable / American comestible. / That's why I lie here undone / So far from my dear London." As a proud American and a lover of pie, I resent that. – MT_Head May 17 '11 at 16:26
  • Possibly also helpful to you: A polite substitution for “lamer” – user1579 May 17 '11 at 16:37
  • Ted Cruz – Hot Licks Mar 8 '16 at 20:07
  • I’d call that ignorant – Jim Jul 12 '16 at 23:57

13 Answers 13


Are you thinking of "prejudiced"?

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  • Possibly...but that has a connotation that one's opinion stems from a bias. I'm looking more for a case in which a person maybe thinks something is stupid/bad/whatever without having actually experienced it (maybe because it's "trendy" or "contrarian" to hold that opinion). – mipadi Feb 25 '11 at 19:21
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    Ok, maybe "preconceived" is better then. – PaulRein Feb 25 '11 at 19:23
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    @mipaldi: The word prejudice(d) (pre-judging) is the correct one -- racial prejudice is only one form of this disease of thought. Bias, by the way, is an essential part of what you are describing. An unbiased opinion would preclude contempt prior to investigation. – bye Feb 25 '11 at 19:30
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    They have an opinion without information, they are pre-judging. He says pie is disgusting without ever eating pie: he is pre-judging. Pie may or may not be disgusting to him, but he is judging that before trying it. And for a racial bigot, they may claim they have knowledge, but they are still making assumptions based on ignorance and incomplete knowledge. – thursdaysgeek Feb 25 '11 at 21:20
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    I agree with the first answer, a strong opinion is a judgement, and to have such an opinion without trying is prejudiced. – Lee Kowalkowski Feb 26 '11 at 1:53

You might go with "closed-minded" or "small-minded" for the sense of not being interested in learning anything that might change their opinion, or perhaps "willfully ignorant" if you believe they've made a conscious decision not to educate themselves further about the matter.

I would describe what such a person is doing in that case as "speaking from ignorance" (in opposition to speaking from experience), but I can't come up with an existing word or phrase to describe someone as a person who routinely speaks from ignorance. To coin a phrase for it, I might go with "an oral flatulator."


The speaker has a preconceived bias.

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  • +1: I think "preconceived bias" is the best answer to the question. – Adam Feb 25 '11 at 22:16

My answers:

  • prejudice
  • ignorance
  • naïveté

I voted up prejudice, I think it fits. In your comments you stated you want to emphasize the fact the prejudice is uniformed. In that case, I think you could just qualify the prejudice:

  • naive prejudice
  • ignorant prejudice
  • unfounded prejudice
  • groundless prejudice
  • uninformed prejudice


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Hypocritically self-righteous and condemnatory.


Feigning piety or righteousness

As in A sanctimonious smug bastard


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Charlatan; fraud; counterfeit expert. My own invention is "instant expert: just add water!"

Poseur (poser).

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  • Any words for the instance of the act itself (like hypocrisy instead of hypocrite?) – mipadi Feb 25 '11 at 19:28
  • +1 for poseur. Although "reporter" might also be an excellent substitute as well. ;) – Ernie Feb 25 '11 at 19:34
  • @mipadi: can you offer context? Maybe someone can fill in the word or help restructure your sentence. – horatio Feb 25 '11 at 20:35

Someone mentioned it in a comment, but I'll put it into an answer: the person is "speaking from preconceived notions".

Prejudiced is based on pre-judging, but I think it's not what you want. You can be, for example, racially prejudiced and yet have met people of the other race. The pre-judgement is not on a racial basis, but on an individual basis: you are judging an individual without having met that individual, based on what you perceive about the race to which they belong.

Another option that hasn't been mentioned -- but I also think it does not work in your situation -- is opinionated. Opinionated has the connotation of strong opinions not based on facts, but also does not imply this is because of a lack of exposure.

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I would call that person a blowhard, possibly an ignorant blowhard if I didn't mind the arguable redundancy.

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  • Blowhard doesn't really fit the bill, since it's more about arrogance and bragging than anything. This term is better defined as "all talk and no action". – Ernie Feb 25 '11 at 20:36
  • @Ernie: I can see that, but it's always meant to me more something along the lines of "somebody who talks a lot to distract from how they have no actual knowledge to back it up", which is more in line with the question. – chaos Feb 25 '11 at 20:54

It's probably not what you are looking for, but confabulator is worth a mention. One who confabulates makes up incredibly detailed fantasies that they believe are entirely true, usually based on some very small piece of real information. For instance, you might show them a picture of sand and ask them to describe it. They'll start with sand and then tell you about the palm trees and the blue ocean, and the two people drinking Coronas under a rainbow colored umbrella. The important thing is that this is reality to them. It's a pretty interesting phenomenon.

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  • confabulator = born advertising copywriter – Andy Dent Nov 27 '11 at 19:08


the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge or competence

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You might say that person has an unfounded opinion. Baseless also works, as well as unsupported - although the last one is a bit more general, and could refer to lack of support from outside sources.

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The term "armchair" is used a lot. An armchair critic gives opinions on subjects they haven't directly experienced. An armchair mechanic might say something won't work from a mathematical standpoint despite people doing it in their garages all the time. An armchair activist yells at the TV about how we all need to get up and do something about whatever political situation they don't like, but who never gets up to do anything themselves (this case also qualifies as hypocritical).

This isn't quite the same as your example though. In your example, you're talking about a purely subjective thing, while the use of "armchair" tends to be more objective. I'm not sure that "armchair pie-taster" works as well.

Of note, just because someone hasn't tried something doesn't mean they can't objectively determine that they would subjectively hate it. As an extreme example, I can be pretty confident that I would dislike getting shot with a gun without getting shot first. Similarly, I can use my experience in other fields of study to make a pretty good argument for a field of study I don't have experience with.

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exaggerated pride or self-confidence

"He exhibited a fair amount of hubris by ignoring his generals."

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  • "He had the hubris to write an article about pies" ? – mplungjan Apr 29 at 7:18

Jumping to conclusions

Jumper: "I have a strong opinion about X."
Clear thinker: "Can you give a definition of X?"
Jumper: "No. I've reached a conclusion without knowing the basics."

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  • Adding some more information to answers like quoting and citing sources makes them much better. – SuperBiasedMan Mar 8 '16 at 20:50

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