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I am curious if there's a word for a person who apparently fits in easily but still remains different from the others—he thinks differently from the mass, or has different interests and who, maybe, is a little above the others, in intelligence. He is not an introvert, but still has a loner feel to him.

I think I need something between "wallflower" and "social butterfly". And it should be a noun.

Is there a word, an idiom or a phrase for something like this?

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  • I know the person you mean. The word loner and its synonyms do not really fit. Often they are described as enigmatic, which doesn't "translate" exactly to your description, neither does Delphic but I think they get closer than recluse, introvert or outsider.
    – WS2
    Feb 11, 2016 at 22:48

7 Answers 7

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“Eccentric.”

There are no introverted connotations, and the person is typically extroverted and social and popular. However, you expect them to have unique tastes, for example in fashion and music.

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One of a kind - to be very ​unusual and ​special

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/be-one-of-a-kind

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Freethinker.

 a person who forms his or her own opinions about important subjects (such as religion and politics) instead of accepting what other people say.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freethinker

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Perhaps a lone wolf, a person who prefers to live, act, or work alone or independent of others.

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Outlier

A peripheral person often with unique ideas as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book 'The Outlier' The outlier is not an introvert though he could also be one, stays on the fringes of society, has contrary and often remarkable views, and is able to relate to society if he so chooses.

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Self-taught ? : Taught by oneself without the aid of formal instruction. Or following Nietzsche : Aristocrat

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Urban Dictionary’s top definition of “mingler” seems close enough to offer as a suggestion:

A member of a social atmosphere without a particular group. A mingler simply wanders from group to group. He or she may be friends with jocks as well as nerds, goths as well as preps. The enmity between the groups which he or she befriends themselves do not concern a mingler. They are society's neutrals, and generally very outgoing with an individual sense of style.

If the group involved politics, I’d call such a person “a Talleyrand”:

When a person is skilled politically. The word comes from Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754-1838), the brilliant, coldly political, and womanizing French politician who survived through a turbulent French history by switching sides and making the right moves politically.

(again, unfortunately, from ‘Urban Dictionary’)

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