I know there is a word for this kind of person, but I can't remember it. What kind of person would buy a house with a beautiful garden in the back, and replace it with grass?

A lush garden with statues; a koi pond; fountains; lanai benches; all kinds of flowers that attract hummingbirds; flowering trees; trellised vines.

Only someone who did not have a well-developed sense of beauty, someone who had no aesthetic sensibilities whatsoever... there has to be a word for this kind of person.

Ingrate doesn't quite cover it. Neither does ignoramus.

  • 4
    Practical, smart, efficient? I can think of a lot of ways to describe someone who doesn't think spending a lot of effort on maintaining a bunch of demanding plants, animals and other landscape items is a good idea... Your question seems to indicate you want a pejorative, but the example you give is very opinion-based.
    – oerkelens
    Aug 8, 2015 at 23:03
  • 6
    I would call it someone who's had a garden before and knows how much work it is.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 8, 2015 at 23:11
  • A herbicidal/ichthyical/hydrological/ornithological maniac? Just think of those poor koi, fountains, lanai benches, flowers (cum hummingbirds), flowering trees, and trellised vines! The oaf must be shot, forthwith. Don Aug 9, 2015 at 1:27
  • @rhetorician, for ichthyical (which may or may not be attested) read squamous.
    – Hugh
    Aug 9, 2015 at 1:51
  • Poaphile. "Poa is a genus of about 500 species of grasses, native to the temperate regions of both hemispheres." Wikipedia. Possibly the owner is trying to give the effect of the African savannah, upon which some theories hold the hominid ancestor of homo became bipedal. I guess I am something of a repomaniac, or I'd post this as an answer, downvotes be demmed [sic].
    – ab2
    Aug 9, 2015 at 2:21

1 Answer 1


One possibility.


noun: philistine; plural noun: philistines

  1. a person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts.
    I am a complete philistine when it comes to paintings

adjective: philistine

  1. hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts.
    a philistine government


early 19th century: from Philistine, originally with reference to a confrontation between university students and townspeople in Jena, Germany, in the late 17th century; a sermon on the conflict quoted ‘the Philistines are upon you’ (Judges 16), which led to an association between the townspeople and those hostile to culture.

Oxford Dictionaries

Also - barbarian - a brutish or uncultured person.


I notice that others have suggested visigoth and boeotian respectively. I don't think either of these have much force in English. They carry no association with brutishness for most of us. Philistine and barbarian however will be recognised by any literate person.

  • I voted for Philistine, that I prefer in this context to beotian : an ignorant, dull, stupid or simple minded person. To simplify, a beotian is insensitive to beauty by ignorance, whilst a phillistin claims its attitude.
    – Graffito
    Aug 8, 2015 at 21:00
  • Strange... I was thinking of this very word today. It was what my 'O' level English teacher used to call us all... Aug 8, 2015 at 21:48
  • @JulieCarter - What? Beoetians? Aug 8, 2015 at 22:17
  • Sorry, @chaslyfromUK no, 'philistines'! It wasn't aimed at me in particular, more the group who sat along the back wall and didn't appreciate his teaching.... Aug 8, 2015 at 23:17
  • @Mari-LouA - No I don't mind. Actually I've been a bit mystified about Google's sources. I'm sure I've seen them using other dictionaries as well. Aug 8, 2015 at 23:33

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