A coworker and I are having a discussion about a very smart person we work with who is also very difficult to deal with.

We both feel like there is a word or phrase out there to describe this type of individual. Someone you both respect for their intellect and dread having to work with because of their attitude.

The famous character Doctor House would personify this word we're looking for.

Edit: To be clear my coworker and I are hoping to use this word or phase as an inside joke at work. The word or phrase can be rude but must also be Safe For Work (SFW).

I'm looking for something that merges the meanings of brilliant and infuriating.

Example: "I always hear about Jeff being really smart but a real pain to deal with or a ___________ for short."

closed as off-topic by jimm101, NVZ, MetaEd, Nathaniel, Drew Mar 26 '16 at 2:21

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  • "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – jimm101, NVZ, Nathaniel, Drew
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  • Sometimes these people are simply self-absorbed. – ktm5124 May 24 '16 at 1:19

You could call them a prima donna:

: a person who thinks she or he is better than everyone else and who does not work well as part of a team or group
from Merriam-Webster

Admittedly there is room for doubt about whether the person is actually better than everyone else, or only thinks they are.


Sherlock has made [a] high-functioning sociopath a buzzword (over 350 000 Google hits).

Although not all psychologists accept that the term is accurately used; this article by Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. gives his point of view.

  • 1
    I've got to admit I burst out laughing at work with this one. GJ. – Dan Mar 24 '16 at 17:32

Netflix calls them “brilliant jerks."

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