Which word(s) would you use in a situation such as the one below, to make the sentence sound logical, natural and complete?

You told me we were going to a nice park. We've spent almost two hours to get here! And what do I see here? You call these three trees and two benches a park?! Are you kidding me? This is not a park, this is a ____ of a park!

  • What's the point of opening another question, essentially identical to your last one that has been closed, already knowing this will be closed too? english.stackexchange.com/questions/23165/…
    – nico
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 8:01
  • @nico - "What's the point of opening another question, essentially identical to your last one that has been closed" - Shortly put, because I need to get an answer. If more expanded: yesterday I ran into that situation and didn't know how to say that in English. I stumbled exactly where the blank is (see my question). I need to know how to express that thought in English for the next time.
    – brilliant
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 8:33
  • @brilliant: sure I understand you need an answer, but then just rephrase the question in another way, so that it will not be closed. By the way, I would use a mockery of a park, but I am not sure if that's what a native English speaker would say ;)
    – nico
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 8:38
  • 1
    The point is that is very very unlikely that anybody will ever find this question by searching for it (what would you look for). You could write: "What words would you use to describe something that does not at all reach the expectations you have for it?" You can then, if you wish, add the example of the park, maybe add another one or two examples. The question will be essentially the same, but it will be more wide and easier to look for. Also it may probably be more well suited for writers.stackexchange.com (I'm not sure)?
    – nico
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 9:06
  • 2
    I think this question is way better worded and applicable to a much wider audience than that other one that got closed. (Also, it is applicable to a rather wide range of situations, not just parks.) However, "meta" stuff such as "this question will probably get killed" should be kept out of the body of the question, and I agree with @nico that it's generally not a good idea to just go ahead and post a question you don't deem on-topic yourself. When in doubt, ask in our chat first. This is also where lengthy discussions go. I reserve the right to clean up the comments without further notice.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 14:30

8 Answers 8


An epigone. IPA: ˈɛpɨɡəʊn Greek: ἐπίγονοι

Epigone means a pathetic copy, a derivative, a completely un-memorable also-ran, created by the half-hearted effort of a talentless hack, who probably would never have had the idea to create the derivative work, if he had not admired the original. If "paragon" is the greatest exemplar of a particular platonic ideal, then the "epigone" is a shallow pale photocopy. The greek root of the word epigone means "born later". Synonyms: Also-Ran, Derivative.

I first saw the word referring to the "epigones of Tolkien"; That mass of drivel that copies Tolkien, poorly.

  • +1 for epigone! I sometimes read anepigone.blogspot.com epiwent, epigo, epigone! :) haha Commented May 2, 2011 at 23:25
  • 2
    did you actually click the up-vote button? :-)
    – Warren P
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 23:58
  • I should credit China Miéville, author of Perdido Street Station for introducing me to the term.
    – Warren P
    Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 17:44

a shadow of a park

a semblance of a park

a simulacrum of a park

  • 1
    Nice... or along the same lines, perhaps "an imitation of a park" :)
    – psmears
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 13:25
  • @psmears maybe you should add that as an answer? :) that's a good one actually! :) Commented May 1, 2011 at 17:33

'Parody' would be my guess, FWIW.

  • 1
    Most people I know would just say "joke." It's a whole two syllables less!
    – kitukwfyer
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 21:59

It won't fit exactly with the sentence, but I would use:

"...this is a poor excuse for a park!"


You could either say it is a travesty of a park or a caricature of a park.

From NOAD:

travesty |ˈtravistē| noun ( pl. -ties) a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something : the absurdly lenient sentence is a travesty of justice.

caricature |ˈkarikə ch ər; -ˌ ch oŏr| noun ... • a ludicrous or grotesque version of someone or something : he looked like a caricature of his normal self.


So called. or Soi-Disant (french).

"This so-called park took us two hours to get to".

  • +1 @Warren how would you use soi-disant? "This soi-disant of a park took us two hours to get to?" Commented May 3, 2011 at 1:00
  • @PaulAmerigoPajo, use soi-disant as an adjective; as in "This soi-disant park..." Commented Sep 13, 2014 at 18:43

. . . embryo of a park!

. . . poor cousin of a park!

. . . back yard of a park!

. . .


"Shit-hole" is the more forceful, but less "general audience" version.

I also agree with "joke", "tragedy", and "pathetic/sorry/poor excuse" (but follow that one with "for", not "of"). Those are things that a native English speaker (USA, anyway) would say.

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