I'm trying to identify an effective adjective for someone who is unpleasant to others, mean spirited, and self-centered enough to qualify as a colloquial "a$$hole".

I've looked at this question, but it is focused on people who are critical. The question itself does offer abrasive, but it doesn't capture the sentient of universal awfulness.

I'm stuck on a neologism of A-hole-ish that just won't cut it. A word that is not profane is preferable.

That person is so _____ that they double parked in a handicap spot.

I'm aware that the above sentence can readily be reworded to avoid the need for the adjective, but provide it as a simple use case.

  • 2
    – ermanen
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 17:41
  • 2
    I hate to break it to you, but you won't find a sanitary adjective to describe an asshole. The whole point of expletives is that they describe things only generally, but with hard-hitting force. Non-profane words lessen the blow and express things more precisely. If you want a polite word, it won't describe every asshole, and, even then, it won't describe any asshole to the full extent of his assholery. But, for your example, I would suggest inconsiderate.
    – Anonym
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 18:16
  • I like the connotations of contemnable, which looks like a variant of condemnable but actually is closer in meaning to contemptible. It's especially satisfying (in my experience) when said in a posh accent and associated with a suitable noun such as caitiff or boor. I should perhaps add that any such characterization is best offered from the soundproof security of one's own automobile (with the windows closed).
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 17:39
  • Perhaps a Malcontent?
    – htm11h
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 20:50

7 Answers 7


Though I absolutely loathe this word and its close relatives, in US-English I think "douchy" is used fairly frequently.

However, useful non-slang terms that could work in the example you gave might be "selfish" and "self-centred".

  • +1 This does nail the sentiment, but I agree that the word is rather distasteful and lacks a certain amount of sophistication.
    – Minnow
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 17:45

How about any of the following?

  • contemptible
  • abominable
  • slimy
  • scummy
  • déclassé
  • vile
  • opprobrious
  • infamous
  • Love opprobrious. In keeping with the "origin" of the original suggested word, I note that fecal can be used as an adjective. I further note that while I've never heard someone described as fecal, the sentence "That person is so fecal-like, they double parked in a handicap spot" is rather amusing.
    – mikeY
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 22:17
  • +1 - I also am partial to opprobrious. It prompted my memory banks for the term odious, which might be even better. Will leave it open for another day to see if anything better comes along.
    – Minnow
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 17:44
  • Arrogant (takes what is not his to take)
  • Anti-social (cares nothing about societal conventions)
  • Obnoxious (just generally disagreeable)

Pick any two from these and others' suggestions. It takes at least two non-profane pejoratives to come close to what "asshole" conveys.

  • Interesting comment. This equation of 2*non-profane = profane is intriguing.
    – Minnow
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 17:50

Inconsiderate may be a bit mild for your purposes, but it's worthy of consideration.

  • It's not bad, but lacks the punch and true vileness of a real a$$hole as you've noted.
    – Minnow
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 17:47


adjective \ˈō-dē-əs\

  • causing hatred or strong dislike

  • extremely unpleasant; repulsive.


Reprobate might fit. It can be an adjective or a noun.

  • The question asks for an adjective specifically.
    – phenry
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 21:02
  • Yeah, but you can't yell an adjective out the car window at an Amish buggy - so a noun might still come in handy.
    – Oldbag
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 22:43
  • Adding a definition here would help readers who are unfamiliar with the term reprobate and would appreciate the convenience of finding the meaning in the same place as the word suggestion.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 17:43

Having surveyed a particular suburb with many people like this, "jerk" is a descriptor, so is "entitled" for those who have a sense of entitlement over everyone else (not that they are inheritors, they just act imperiously). Sometimes a-hole is an emphatic suitable for a complaint context (e.g. "He's such an asshole, parking illegally like that."), but jarring in normal prose. (That person is so entitled that they double parked in a handicap spot.)

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