For example someone says "I like most genres of music, but hate R&B", or "I like to go to the park but the children are so annoying", or "I'm going on holiday this year, I bet it rains the whole time".

So something that starts positive or neutral and generally ends negative. Is there a word for this?

  • What is the context for this? Are you writing an essay? Or do you just want to say something about someone (who annoyingly does this all the time)? Or something else?
    – Mitch
    Jun 13 '15 at 20:32
  • I noticed a friend of mine speaking in this way quite often, which made me wonder if there is a word for it
    – Simian
    Jun 13 '15 at 21:02

The closest thing I can think of is buzzkill:


North American informal A person or thing that has a depressing or dispiriting effect:

From Oxford Dictionaries Online

Or perhaps spoiler:


1 A person or thing that spoils something:

From Oxford Dictionaries Online

or pot stirrer.

  • Very good. Thank you Marty and/or @John Smith, +1
    – user98990
    Jun 13 '15 at 3:20

An AmE slang expression for the circumstances OP describes might be a “downer.”

downer noun: slang 1. A depressant or sedative drug, such as a barbiturate or tranquilizer; 2. One that depresses, such as an experience or person. See, The Free Dictionary

The epitome of a “downer" personified, is “Debbie Downer”.

Debbie Downer is a name of a fictional Saturday Night Live character who debuted in 2004, and who was portrayed by Rachel Dratch.

The character's name, Debbie Downer, is a slang phrase which refers to someone who frequently adds bad news and negative feelings to a gathering, thus bringing down the mood of everyone around them. Dratch's character would usually appear at social gatherings and interrupt the conversation to voice negative opinions and pronouncements. See, Wikipedia

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Debbie Downer at Yahoo!

  • 1
    Negative Nancy or Pessimistic Patty work too.
    – Dispenser
    Jun 12 '15 at 20:52
  • 1
    Beat me to it. This has to be the answer.
    – Drew
    Jun 13 '15 at 1:06

For the person scenario, I'd suggest pessimist:


  1. a person who habitually sees or anticipates the worst or is disposed to be gloomy.

From Random House Dictionary

  • @John Smith that was very nice of you :-). @ pd5rm the word itself was a good suggestion (IMO) I hope we'll see more of your ideas on ELU, just please remember to provide references ;-)
    – Lucky
    Jun 12 '15 at 22:19

This person is known as a "naysayer"

"Naysayer" from M-W:

:a person who says something will not work or is not possible : a person who denies, refuses, or opposes something

Some great synonyms from Thesaurus.com include:

  • wet blanket
  • party pooper
  • prophet of doom
  • killjoy
  • sourpuss
  • None of those really has the requested connotation of starting off neutral and then turning negative, though. They're just negative all the way through.
    – Morton
    Jun 12 '15 at 20:03
  • @Morton, to be thorough, none of the current answers exactly fills those requirements - but barring a word to fit that neutral-to-negative requirement, the end result is a person who is remembered for dragging down every situation. Any of our answers can be used to describe that person. Jun 12 '15 at 20:11
  • @KristinaLopez Ah well, you see, I'd never heard the expression "buzzkill" (from one of the other answers) before - and on first reading, it sounded to me like it meant exactly what was being requested. If I hadn't been prompted by this very dialogue to go back and check, I'd have come away with a false impression. Which is why I think it's worth pointing out when it's only a partial match :-)
    – Morton
    Jun 12 '15 at 20:19
  • I see your points Morton and Little Eva but I've always considered buzzkills and killjoys to be killers of others' buzzes and joy. Almost like if you took the OP's example and split it between two people: Person A: "I am going on a cruise to the Bahamas." Person B: "I'll bet it rains the whole time." Maybe OP's example person has a split personality! :-) Jun 12 '15 at 20:27
  • The person does indeed have split personality, +1 for picking up on that. Killjoy seems equally as good as buzzkill, and I love 'wet blanket', haha. Thanks
    – Simian
    Jun 12 '15 at 20:31

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