0

Not someone overstepping boundaries, but if, for example, I was at Jiffy Lube and suggested different things as if I knew anything about cars.

Ideally (though I know it's a long shot) I'd want a word I could use when I caught myself doing it (i.e. not super derogatory, but acknowledging the social gaffe).

Sorry, I don't actually know anything about cars; I'm just [being a] __.

  • 1
    This phenomenon is closely related to the Dunning-Kruger effect. – MrHen Mar 27 '14 at 18:04
  • 2
    The first word that comes to mind is politician, though I realise that’s more of an example than a definition. ;-) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 27 '14 at 18:05
  • See meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/904 about including mildly offensive jokes in comments. – GEdgar Mar 27 '14 at 18:10
  • 1
    It sounds like you're talking out of your ass. – Gob Ties Mar 27 '14 at 19:10
  • Bull shitting....? – WS2 Mar 27 '14 at 19:41
2

Not one word but there is an idiomatic phrase:

talk through one's hat

1. (idiomatic) To speak lacking expertise, authority, or knowledge; to invent or fabricate facts.  

2. (idiomatic) To assert something as true or valid; to bluff.

Thus, bluffing somewhat has this sense also.


There is another similar idiom but it has other connotations as well:

whistle in the dark: (idiomatic, US) To speak of something despite having little knowledge of it.

2

A know-it-all is a person who acts as though he or she had better knowledge or understanding than anyone else. It is a hard thing to admit to being, but it is a term for someone who pretends to knowledge he doesn't have.

Once, my husband and I heard someone apologize for being a know-it-all by saying, and now I've said far more than I actually know about the subject. We thought it a humorous way to admit to the fault, and it became a family joke.

  • I like that. I think I'll use it, too. – calvin Mar 27 '14 at 19:48
  • 1
    A "know-it-all" person may actually know things and talks/interrupts too much when it comes to the things that he knows. More like a smartass, a pretentious person. I think this sense is more common. Isn't it? – ermanen Mar 27 '14 at 20:02
  • @ermanen - A know-it-all can be arrogant or obnoxious as well, but not necessarily. I do like your idiom, though. The OP asked for a word, and that was the closest I could get. – anongoodnurse Mar 27 '14 at 20:05
0

Prententious, ostentatious are adjectives that point out such behavior.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.