Usage in sentence:

Person A: Ooh - look at that crow!

Person B: Well, actually, as someone who is a scientist who studies crows, I am telling you, specifically, in science, no one calls jackdaws crows. They're not the same thing. If you're saying "crow family" you're referring to the taxonomic grouping of Corvidae, which includes things from nutcrackers to blue jays to ravens. It's not one or the other, that's not how taxonomy works.

Person A: Are you always such an XXX?

"Pedant" is close, but not quite.

It would be a mix of "know-it-all", "condescending" and "arrogant".

  • 4
    Person B is a male, no? What he's doing is called "mansplaining". There's no particular word for a person who does that, but it is one of the constituents of the Assholic Behavior Spectrum. May 29, 2016 at 19:18
  • 2
    nothing in my post suggests that person B is male. May 29, 2016 at 21:36
  • Except the behavior described. May 29, 2016 at 21:38
  • 4
    please don't turn this into a gender war. men are not the only beings capable of being condescending. a man can be condescending towards another man. a woman can be condescending towards a man, or towards another woman. I'm looking for a gender neutral word. May 29, 2016 at 21:51
  • 1
    A know-it-all is typically condescending and arrogant. It pretty much covers all of that.
    – Drew
    May 30, 2016 at 1:19

9 Answers 9


Pedant fits your example sentence. Wikipedia says:

A pedant is a person who is excessively concerned with formalism, accuracy, and precision, or one who makes an ostentatious and arrogant show of learning............The term in English is typically used with a negative connotation to refer to someone who is over-concerned with minutiae and whose tone is condescending.

The OP might also say:

Are you always so pedantic?

  • it's true that it fits my example sentence, however it's not the word I am looking for. I'm not really looking for "excessively concerned with formalism", and more "gives unsolicited advice" May 29, 2016 at 21:55

A didact.

1. a didactic person; one overinclined to instruct others.



smarty-pants, from the Free Dictionary

someone who is always trying to seem more clever than everyone else in a way that is annoying. Example: Cindy, the little smarty pants, will be the first to tell us where we went wrong.

See World Wide Words for a discussion of the origin of smarty-pants

Most English speakers, I would guess, know this classic Americanism for a know-all who, like others of his type, often knows less than he thinks he does or would like us to think he does. The books say it dates from the early 1940s, but it’s really a little older........

A waspish description of the type appeared in an Ohio newspaper [in 1938]: “But the Smarty Pants breed is peculiar to the 20th Century. Unlike the common garden variety of Swell Heads, the Smarty Pants is not happily content with grabbing the spotlight for himself — he must kick someone else in the shin while so doing. It is not enough to boost his own stock — he must simultaneously belittle the other fellow’s.”


Someone who tries to impress others with their knowledge, abailities or possessions is "a show-off".

a show-off - "a person given to pretentious display."

show off (verb)

  • to behave in an ostentatiously skilled way with the intention of impressing others. TUD

e.g. - She is just showing off – she wants everyone to know how well she speaks French. TFD

  • A show-off may be so via physical actions (non-verbal) so this is too broad, i think.
    – Martin F
    Feb 12, 2017 at 23:57

An egotistical egotist.

A conceited, boastful person.

Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/egotistical


patronise: (UK informal) to speak to or behave towards someone as if they are stupid or not important:

'Stop patronizing me - I understand the play as well as you do.'

nitpicking: (informal) Fussy or pedantic fault-finding:

'For those nit-pickers out there, yes, the album wasn't released in 2004-in fact, disk one was actually released in 2001.'

Person A: "Are you always such a patroniser/nitpicker ?"

  • I think the OP wants a term for the person rather than something to describe the behavior.
    – Yeshe
    May 31, 2016 at 5:26
  • @Yeshe The term patroniser is always at OP's disposal
    – Jimmy
    May 31, 2016 at 10:55

Sounds like a smart-ass.


smart-ass (British smart-arse) NOUN

A person who is irritating because they behave as if they know everything.
‘for a know-it-all smart-ass like me, it was a humbling experience’

Also, a smart alec(k).


smart aleck (also smart alec) NOUN

A person who is irritating because they behave as if they know everything.
‘I'm sick of all these smart alecks from the big city running the show’


How about self-righteous or prig? (or perhaps in combination as a self-righteous prig)

self-righteous Having or characterized by a certainty, especially an unfounded one, that one is totally correct or morally superior

prig A self-righteously moralistic person who behaves as if they are superior to others:

  • I do like the term prig, a new one for me, but it seems at least from the example that we are looking for which they are objectively right.
    – Yeshe
    May 31, 2016 at 5:28

Kibitzer - Someone who offers unwanted or unnecessary advice. Commonly used to describe a person who observes a game or activity and makes comments or suggestions about the gameplay, however can also refer to a person who listens to a conversation and makes unwanted interjections.

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