I am looking for a phrase similar to bluster. Something like “he saw her ???? fade away”. I'm looking for a phrase that describes fake arrogance or sizing somone up and trying to show them that they don't meet your standards.

I am male, but I believe the situation is similar irrespective of your gender preferences. I want to describe a situation where I approach a girl and ask her to accompany me on a date. She looks at me like I'm a talking turd. She may like me, but she puts on a facade showing that she has better things to do, than listen to me. In hip hop slang, she may be said to be "fronting". Whats the proper English phrase or word to describe "fronting"?

6 Answers 6


He saw her facade slip.

facade - a false appearance that makes someone or something seem more pleasant or better than they really are [emphasis mine].

Slang fronting is probably better described as posturing (a way of behaving that is intended to convey a false impression).

  • That's some fancy English right there - I like it! +1 Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 20:34
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    @Chris: I can only hope you're referring to the 10 words in the above that are actually my own words, rather than the 30+ which are just "quoted material" :). Although perhaps I could take credit for having selected some fancy English - I did look at three different dictionaries before selecting what I felt was the most appropriate definition for facade there. Oh - and I've always had a soft spot for the quirkily idiomatic [emphasis mine]. Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 20:45
  • Heh, I was more or less talking about the choice of words, not necessarily where they came from :P I've always liked the word facade, though I prefer façade because it looks even fancier ;) Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 20:57
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    @Chris: I'm not a great fan of using accents in words I consider to be English. I usually do it (under protest) in words like clichéed, because they can be awkward to recognise otherwise. But especially for you, here's a very rare instance of me referring to our little tête-à-tête here! :) Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 21:07
  • Ah, what a coincidence... I just looked at your profile and realized that I'm a next-generation you. Very very strange considering that I plan on doing software development for linguistics! Also very cool ^^ Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 19:24

Pomposity seems to fit the bill here.

A display of puffery intended to assert superiority without real justification.


Here are a few alternatives:

intimidate, browbeat, bulldoze, cow, bully, bludgeon:

These verbs all mean to frighten into submission, compliance, or acquiescence.

Intimidate implies the presence or operation of a fear-inspiring force: "It [atomic energy] may intimidate the human race into bringing order into its international affairs" (Albert Einstein).

Browbeat suggests the persistent application of highhanded, disdainful, or imperious tactics: browbeating a witness.

Bulldoze connotes the leveling of all spirit of opposition: was bulldozed into hiring an unacceptable candidate.

Cow implies bringing out an abject state of timorousness and often demoralization: a dog that was cowed by abuse.

To bully is to intimidate through blustering, domineering, or threatening behavior: workers who were bullied into accepting a poor contract.

Bludgeon suggests the use of grossly aggressive or combative methods: had to be bludgeoned into fulfilling his duties.

  • Thanks. I don't know if you're a male. Do you know that feeling you get when you look at someone you like and then they look at you and sneer as if to say "You and me? Oh please!" Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 15:11
  • I am a male. What you describe sounds like something personal, I understood the context was more professional.
    – user66974
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 15:20
  • I've edited the question to reflect what I mean. Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 15:29

A possible candidate might be bravado:

A bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate.


I think that a stuck-up attitude is what you are referring to:

I am sure you have heard guys use the terms “unapproachable”, “stuck up”, “snoody”, “intimidating” in reference to certain women who they find it difficult or impossible to approach and meet because of a certain energy that those women radiate. Most guys who go out will see that many of the women who are out in fact look unapproachable.


How about 'facade' meaning a false appearance (Behind that amiable facade, she's a deeply unpleasant woman).

Other related ones are 'charade' 'playacting' 'guise' 'airs' 'pretense' and 'semblance'

You can find it more here (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/semblance)

Also I'd go with

supercilious - behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others: a supercilious lady’s maid. Mnemonic: cilia are short hairs, as in eyebrows, think of some snooty person raising eyebrows and looking down at you.

presumptuous - failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate: I hope I won’t be considered presumptuous if I offer some advice

pretentious - attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed: a pretentious literary device.

Source is http://collegeprepexpress.com

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