Metaphors. I always been a [...] at deciphering them."

I think I'm looking for the antonym of whiz, but when I checked them on Thesaurus, I didn't find anything that could fit the sentence. Any suggestions?

(I thought of chickenhead, but I think it's also a derogatory term.)

  • 1
    Anything like dunce ought to do: "Metaphors. I've always been a dunce at deciphering them."
    – Robusto
    Sep 9, 2015 at 13:50
  • You might struggle to find a non-derogatory term for someone who's incompetent. 'Novice' might be fairly neutral, but (obviously) infers a lack of experience which may not be what you're after.
    – JHCL
    Sep 9, 2015 at 13:57
  • 1
    If you can't find a suitable noun, suggest: 'I've always been useless or crap at deciphering them.' Sep 9, 2015 at 15:11
  • 1
    Klutz -- "I've always been a klutz at deciphering them" Useless -- "I've always been useless at deciphering them"
    – SAH
    Sep 9, 2015 at 16:31
  • I guess 'left shark' never caught on.
    – user116032
    Sep 9, 2015 at 17:21

5 Answers 5


(warning: non-native here) I'd say

Metaphors. I have always been horrible at deciphering them


Somewhat impolite and non-single-word from Macmillan dictionary:

Piss artist

someone who does something very badly

  • 2
    I've only ever heard that to mean 'very heavy drinker' (in the UK).
    – JHCL
    Sep 9, 2015 at 13:56

I would use duffer for that purpose:-

  1. a dull or incompetent person [Collins English Dictionary via the Free Dictionary]

One might say I have always been a duffer at rocket science.


a jackass, a blockhead, a chowderhead, a dummy, a dumbbell, etc...

They all mean stupid.


I have always been such a dummy at deciphering them.

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