Benjamin Franklin once said,

“What signifies knowing the names, if you know not the nature of things?”

I'm wondering if there is a single word to describe a person like this.


1)A word to describe a person who collects cars but doesn't know how cars work.

2)A word to describe a person who puts computers together with out knowing how computers function.

  • 8
    Nobody really knows how today's computers function. Commented May 17, 2016 at 0:20
  • 3
    Management material.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 1:45
  • 2
    You have two different concepts here. There are people who collect butterflies without any idea how they work. For those, barbarians is too good a word. But I would guess that all our devices are put together by people with no idea how they work, so for them the right phrase is "trained assembly-line workers". I don't see how you could squeeze both those ideas into one word without getting a headache.
    – frank
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 2:16
  • 2
    I would suggest the phenomenon is so widespread it doesn't have a particular name. It's the way things are; the status quo. Many people will recognise a gyroscope but not have the faintest idea how it stays upright.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 7:14
  • 3
    Everybody uses a smartphone/car these days. Only a few know how these machines work.
    – NVZ
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 13:06

2 Answers 2


We call it feeling maayo. It means someone who feels he/she is good at something but he/she really isn't.

Or feeling brayt, from English feeling + bright, someone who thinks he/she is smart.

In the same structure:

  • feeling gwapa - thinks she's pretty but really not.
  • feeling dato - social climber
  • Which variant of English is this? Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 7:59
  1. Someone who tries to deceive others by making them believe they know more than they do: bluffer.

  2. Someone who genuinely learns names of things without really understanding how they work. In your example, someone who learns to put together a computer and the names of their parts but doesn't quite understand yet how these parts are able to work together: novice or hobbyist.

  3. As someone commented on your question, nowadays, we all know names of things without knowing how they work. For instance, smartphones, cars, even simple things like electricity, everybody can change a bulb but does everyone really understand how electricity works? In this group I would say that the term is simply: user.

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