I'd really appreciate if someone could help me find a word to describe the following:

Someone who thinks they are versed in some subject but really only has a superficial grasp of it.


  • Do they know that they don't know much about the subject and are just trying bluff or do they really think they know everything when if fact they know very little?
    – Jim
    Apr 8, 2015 at 2:50
  • The obvious word would be ignoramus, but that might not have exactly the connotations you're looking for. Have you tried a thesaurus yet?
    – keshlam
    Apr 8, 2015 at 2:54

2 Answers 2


Sophomoric comes to mind:

intellectually pretentious, overconfident, conceited, etc., but immature

Alternatively, you might consider this person to be a pseudo-intellectual:

  1. a person exhibiting intellectual pretensions that have no basis in sound scholarship.
  2. a person who pretends an interest in intellectual matters for reasons of status.


ignorant peacock

The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume 1: By Ralph Waldo Emerson - 2011

And another, an ex-governor of Illinois, said to me, “If a man knew anything, he would sit in a corner and be modest; but he is such an ignorant peacock, that he goes bustling up and down, and hits on extraordinary discoveries.”

Now, surely, Descriptive word for someone who is ignorant: ignoramus

but that doesn't cover the "pride"

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