How would you define an act or a person who answers a question with an answer they know might not necessarily be true, for the sake of providing one?


Tim - What's the name of Microsoft's new operating system?
Bob - Ermmm. Windows 9.
Tim - Thanks Bob.

  • This is unclear. Can you elaborate? Also, is there such a a word in your native language and you're looking for a translation or so you just hope there is such a word in English? – Mitch Sep 28 '15 at 15:11
  • Sure! English is my native language, I'm unsure if such a word exists. Bob may or may not know the answer to the question Tim's asking, but regardless on whether the information is true, Bob has still provided an answer for the sake of answering the question. What does this make Bob? Or how would you express Bob's actions? – Aeyz Sep 28 '15 at 15:22
  • 3
    @Aeyz Maybe, "he has an answer for everything." – Elian Sep 28 '15 at 15:33
  • 2
    Must... resist... urge to give... bad... answer! – James Sep 28 '15 at 15:50
  • 2
    Sometimes people want to appear smarter than they actually are, so they give what they know is (or could be) a wrong answer at the risk of appearing stupid if they are caught! Some folks are funny that way. Call it insecurity, or neediness, or starved for attention, or whatever. Don – rhetorician Sep 28 '15 at 17:37

If a person with a normal attitude receives a question to which he/she doesn't have an answer to, a reply would be "I have no idea. Why don't you look up the internet?" or "I don't know."

Know-it-all is the word describing;

A person who behaves as if they know everything

from Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

Someone who thinks he knows everything and refuses to accept advice or information from others.

from Thesaurus

Know-it-all can be used as an adjective.

8 Tips for dealing with a know-it-all coworker.

  • Sadly not what I'm trying to find. Though a very interesting (and eerily relevant) article! – Aeyz Sep 29 '15 at 7:37
  • @Aeyz Good luck. It was just a suggestion. There are more words suggested in other links and above. It's not a thing to feel sad about. – user140086 Sep 29 '15 at 7:51

Sounds like you're describing a charlatan

a person who pretends or claims to have more knowledge or skill than he or she possesses; quack.

  • I never actually knew the meaning of the word! Every day is a school day. This feels warmer to what I'm trying to describe but still no cigar. Another similar one was elusively concise. – Aeyz Sep 29 '15 at 7:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.