Is there an English word or idiom that describes a person who's blissfully unaware or oblivious to their surroundings? I always thought this word was "aloof," but "aloof" seems to hold a rather negative connotation, whereas the word I'm looking would almost connote a positive, like "living in a fairy tale" - or something along these lines. Is there a word for this, or is "oblivious" as close as we get?

  • 10
    The word that is closest to oblivious is, believe it or not, oblivious!
    – WS2
    Mar 16, 2016 at 23:51
  • 3
    There’s clueless
    – Jim
    Mar 16, 2016 at 23:53
  • 2
    The person is "in his own world" (or in a world of his own), staying in his thoughts and ​ideas and not giving much ​attention to what is ​happening around him.
    – Graffito
    Mar 17, 2016 at 0:09
  • 1
    What's wrong with bliss? "informal: reach a state of perfect happiness, typically so as to be oblivious of everything else." "blissed-out hippies" –Google
    – Mazura
    Mar 17, 2016 at 1:02
  • I'm confused by this question. You used an idiom and the exact word as part of the question. Surely the answer is simply yes
    – Gusdor
    Mar 17, 2016 at 13:26

10 Answers 10


A Lotus Eater .

  1. Classical Mythology. a member of a people whom Odysseus found existing in a state of languorous forgetfulness induced by their eating of the fruit of the legendary lotus; one of the lotophagi.
  2. a person who leads a life of dreamy, indolent ease, indifferent to the busy world; daydreamer.
  • I love this! Most unique by far - thanks for sharing!
    – lux
    Mar 17, 2016 at 2:24
  • Happy spreading the word. Read it aeons back in some book and it came to me right as I read this question.
    – R.S.
    Mar 17, 2016 at 17:10

An idiomatic phrase for this is blissfully unaware.

Ngram: blissfully unaware.

  • Backed by science, I love it!
    – lux
    Mar 16, 2016 at 23:23
  • Thanks @josh61 - I'll get the hang of this eventually (I hope).
    – Dan
    Mar 16, 2016 at 23:27

Consider head in the clouds

guided by whim and fancy


However,this term has a connotation of flighty, which may not be considered positive.

A similar concept is on cloud nine

elated; very happy


  • This was a super close second, as head in the clouds absolutely nails it! Thanks for sharing.
    – lux
    Mar 17, 2016 at 2:25

Out to lunch.

  1. Informal
    Unaware of or inattentive to present conditions.



Be/live in a dream world may convey the idea:

  • to have ideas or hopes which are not practical and are not likely to be successful (usually in continuous tenses) :

    • If she thinks he's suddenly going to turn into the perfect boyfriend, she's living in a dream world.

(Cambridge Idioms Dictionary)



zone out

Stop paying attention, dissociate oneself from a situation. Also, engage in a mindless activity. For example, When Felicia starts talking about her ailments and her friends' ailments, I totally zone out. This idiom also occurs in the passive, be zoned out. It originally alluded to narcotic intoxication and then was broadened to other kinds of dissociation. [; second half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary

space cadet

(slang, derogatory) One who forgets, daydreams, or otherwise is distracted from reality more often than most.



dreamily or eerily out of touch with reality; disoriented, forgetful, or dazed. [1965–70, Amer.]

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary


~ Ditzy

silly or scatterbrained. "don't tell me my ditzy secretary didn't send you an invitation!" synonyms: silly, foolish, giddy, lightheaded, scatterbrained, featherbrained, harebrained, empty-headed, vacuous, stupid, brainless

From: Wikipedia

  • This doesn't imply blissfulness, though.
    – kettlecrab
    Mar 17, 2016 at 14:39

Without more context, I would go with "naive." It connotes not only ignorance, but unawareness that there is something to be ignorant of. It's often used to describe children or immature people.



  1. of a happy lighthearted character or disposition
  2. lacking due thought or consideration : casual, heedless

--blithe·ly adverb



Don't forget - ignorance is bliss

if you do not know about something, you do not worry about it.

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