1

I remember reading a very specific word defined as "someone who tries to employ wit unsuccessfully". I have not been able to relocate where I read this and my research has been mostly dead-ends thus far.

This is not what I'm looking for: What is a word for someone who tries to be clever?

  • To jog memories, do you recall if the word is formal, technical, slang, based on Latin, based on Anglo-Saxon etc? Also is it new or old, Urban Dictionary or Shakespeare? – chasly from UK Jul 17 '15 at 20:37
  • I think you should employ wit to describe the bon no. – Avon Jul 17 '15 at 22:16
4

Witling may be what you're looking for. See here for a definition as "a would-be wit"

  • 1
    That may well be the correct answer. It does however suffer from the disadvantage of being archaic. Here's the Google ngram books.google.com/ngrams/… – chasly from UK Jul 17 '15 at 20:57
  • Ouch! We better get the word out, literally! – GoldenGremlin Jul 17 '15 at 21:11
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    We're witling away at it. – Hot Licks Jul 17 '15 at 21:31
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    Hm. This is a good substitute, but I wouldn't consider this an actual answer, based off of Webster's or OED. It implies that the person is either witless, trying to be witty, or considers themselves witty. – kayleeFrye_onDeck Jul 17 '15 at 22:12
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    Witling is it! Thanks @Silenus. I had no idea it was so archaic. – mikeLdub Jul 20 '15 at 17:30
2

Lame works, although I'm sure classy people use classier terms.

2

The adjective ham-fisted and its brother ham-handed can be applied to bungled attempts in general, and are often applied to humor, i.e. ham-handed delivery, or a "ham-fisted entertainer who's in on the joke."

1

Einstein (used sarcastically, because Einstein really was "clever"), Bill Gates (used sarcastically, because Bill Gates thinks he's clever), smart ass (if you're using "clever" in the sense of witty or personable)

0

The death of the party.

Humor impaired.

Pathologically unfunny.

A comedic train wreck.

-1

Slang phrase: "clever dick" but I cannot think of one word. Sorry.

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