What is the person called who always thinks negative? E.g.

  • Mr. X always thinks negative.
  • Mr. X has negative attitude.

What we can use either? Is there any particular word for this?


The word is pessimist, a person who expects the worst.

Mr X is a pessimist.

Contrast with optimist.

It is often said that while optimists are happier, pessimists are more often correct.


Optimists are said to live longer than pessimists, though a pessimist might say those extra few years are bound to be miserable.

  • 4
    Difference between a pessimist and an optimist. In difficult situation, the pessimist will say "It can hardly be any worse than that". The optimist will answer "Of course it can !". – Alain Pannetier Φ Mar 10 '11 at 14:23

There are a lot of colloquialisms and other terms that mean the same thing:

"Mr. X is a ..."

  • Negative Nancy
  • Downer
  • Drag
  • Debbie Downer
  • Naysayer
  • Prophet of doom
  • Doomsayer
  • Futilitarian
  • 2
    +1 for Negative Nancy, which I have heard to describe both men and women. – Zoot Mar 10 '11 at 16:51
  • 3
    I like futilitarian. Hadn't heard that before. – John Bartholomew Mar 10 '11 at 20:10

Alternatives for consideration:

  1. Cynic
  2. Defeatist

'Mr X Thinks negatively' is correct.

However, 'Mr X is a pessimist' is more grammatically sound.


I've always enjoyed slang expressions like "Mr Unhappy is a real stick in the mud" (i.e. won't participate) and similar expressions like curmudgeon or party pooper. They have slightly different connotations than always thinking negatively, but I think the mindset would have the be similar to support them.


A lackadaisical person is someone who is listless and lacking vigor or determination, in short someone with a negative attitude.

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