Is there one? For example, "Bill was a hipster who only enjoyed [very strange and specialized genres of] music".

  • 1
    'Esoteric' is an adjective that might be applicable. It usually connotes quality, though. – Edwin Ashworth May 23 '15 at 21:16
  • 'hipster' or 'alternative' – curiousdannii May 24 '15 at 1:38
  • You've chosen a foreign word that no-one understands. – PerformanceDBA May 24 '15 at 3:17

Perhaps recherché: unusual and not understood by most people (Merriam- Webster).

This word has a spectrum of meaning, from "exquisite/choice", through "affected", to "pretentious/overblown".

Would you be happy with such ambivalence? I think, from your quote, you might...?

  • 1
    Very cool thanks it will do nicely! Obscure is another good term I had overlooked but I certainly prefer recherché :) – Daniel Wilson May 23 '15 at 21:36
  • +1 Superb choice, which you beat me to. If OP intends a dig at Bill, though, as a little over-precious, I'd suggest he refrain from italicizing this French term, lest he be hoist with his own petard. – Brian Donovan May 23 '15 at 22:34
  • -1. We don't need foreign words when (a) we have perfectly good words in English, and (b) the foreign word is not commonly known. – PerformanceDBA May 24 '15 at 3:16
  • 1
    @PerformanceDBA If you don't need foreign words you might consider rephrasing your comment to omit: 'foreign', 'perfectly' and 'common', since they were all foreign words once... Even though I disagree with you, I have to say that your effort to explain the downvote is commendable, not many people do it. – Lucky May 24 '15 at 3:58
  • @Lucky. (a) Thank you. (b) The comments are an important communication tool, a learning vehicle. I use them as such. (c) I won't rephrase my comments because your points are pharisaic (if they apply, they apply only in minute ways, and in a context other than which is given). Thus it diffuses, rather than straightens, the focus. I am happy to stick to EL&U on EL&U, and the context of the question. (d) Origin, etymology are different subjects. (e) You might consider deleting irrelevant comments. – PerformanceDBA May 24 '15 at 4:34


I think the meaning is (a) well-known, and (b) has a wide application, so I will skip the definitions.

It is specifically applicable, given your description. The New American Dictionary states:

Obscure often expresses dissatisfaction at one's inability to identify something.

Two points:

  1. genre itself is specific (or specialised1), and that you are going to give a [specific] genre is the expectation of the listener.

  2. You are trying to identify a genre, but you can't. So you want to express all that in one word.


  • Bill was a hipster who only enjoyed obscure music

  • Bill was a hipster who only enjoyed recherché music

The foreign word is foreign, unknown, obscure (sorry). You will have to stop and explain what it means to the other person.


  1. Your title 'specialized genre' is redundant because genre is specific. Your description is completely understood.

As well as Margana's excellent answer, you could try arcane, recondite or esoteric.

  • Now those are just too recherché... – smci May 24 '15 at 7:53

In addition to all the good answers:

  • pretentious
  • highbrow

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