I'm looking for a word to describe a person who approaches problems with physicality, as opposed to intellectually.

I'm having a difficult time describing what it is that I want, as I'm not necessarily interested in words like "brute", which, to me, imply a certain degree of aggression or a lack of finesse. This doesn't necessarily have to be an angry or oafish person. Just one who solves problems physically rather than intellectually.

EDIT: I suppose I wasn't clear in my original phrasing, but I'm looking for a noun. I did say I wanted a word to "describe a person", but what I mean is a word that means "one who approaches problems with physicality".

  • Hands-On is all I can think of. – Joe Dark Nov 11 '14 at 18:19
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    The danger of requiring us to find an obscure noun, even if it exists is that no one will understand what you are talking about when you use it. If I state that "Abyginstanic" means exactly what you want, it remains useless to you to communicate with others. – Oldcat Nov 11 '14 at 18:21
  • I'm not necessarily looking for an obscure or difficult word. Would you say that virtuoso is an obscure word? What about pugilist? These are very specific nouns and to my knowledge, they haven't destroyed our ability to confer meaning to one another. I would argue, rather, that they have enhanced it. – burfl Nov 11 '14 at 18:27
  • Would "mason" fit in. – weakphoneme Nov 11 '14 at 18:47
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    The distinction I had in mind was "decisive action" versus "let's-see-what-this-does" action" :-) – TRomano Nov 12 '14 at 12:44

My suggestion sounds a little naive, but doer might be a word to consider.

For example, "I see myself as more of a doer than a thinker"

From MW

a person who actively does things instead of just thinking or talking about them

It doesn't necessarily mean that a doer only accomplishes things physically though, but I tend to think of a doer as someone who 'gets stuck in' and physically gets things done rather than just planning or thinking about it.

  • It does sound a bit naive, but it's not bad. It's the best so far, anyway. Accepted unless something better presents. Thank you! – burfl Nov 11 '14 at 19:16
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    Because of the gender-neutrality requirement, I think "doer" is the best you're going to get. – TRomano Nov 11 '14 at 19:53

"Man of action" is the idiomatic expression. Was Kierkegaard a "man of action"?

  • Very good, but I'd prefer a single-word and, most importantly, something gender-neutral. – burfl Nov 11 '14 at 19:34
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    Man-of-action, voilà. :-) Can't help with the gender. – TRomano Nov 11 '14 at 19:36

Sometimes "Muscular" is used in that sense. "He preferred muscular solutions"

  • Sorry if this wasn't clear in the question, but I'm looking for a noun meaning "one who approaches problems physically". – burfl Nov 11 '14 at 18:16
  • Adjectives are used to describe subtle distinctions in nouns, rather than invent fifty million nouns. – Oldcat Nov 11 '14 at 18:19
  • Both have their place, in my humble opinion. See my reply to your above comment. – burfl Nov 11 '14 at 18:28

In my opinion, one who fixes, changes, or solves things using physicality might be called a " BULLY ", but the term "Brute" as in brute force, might work as well. That is only 1 permutation of your question however, because you may mean more like the person who is strong enough to open a tight pickle jar lid or brace a wall while it is being framed.


Have you considered "physical"? It is one of the antonyms for "intellectual"...

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    As on Oldcat's answer, I apologize if this wasn't clear from the question, but I'm looking for a noun. Something that means "one who approaches problems physically". – burfl Nov 11 '14 at 18:17

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