I'm looking for an idiom or expression that means someone just makes frustrating or disappointing remarks.

Maybe some of you have watched the TV cartoon 'The adventures of Gulliver' in which there was as a character named "Glum". He was all the time pessimistic about everything and used statements like:

"We'll never make it"; "We'll never get out of here alive"; and "We're doomed."

I want to use that idiom or expression in examples like this:

Husband: After getting my promotion, I will take you to a fantastic trip.

Wife: Oh, stop talking nonsense! I know It won't never happen, it's impossible you get a promotion.

Husband: You remind me of 'Glum'! All the time _____ (i.e. acting like Glum, just having a gloomy outlook on everything). Please stop using such remarks and be a little optimistic!

I have found wet blanket for describing such people.


We Iranians use an expression that literally says "to read a frustrating or disappointing verse".

So in above example, the husband might reply like this:

Hey Glum, the only thing you know is reading a frustrating/ disappointing verse!

(Sometimes we call these people 'Glum'.)

enter image description here


14 Answers 14


I've got a gut feeling that this question is a duplicate, but "naysayer" fits in your context:

a person who habitually expresses negative or pessimistic views: 'Despite a general feeling that things were going well, a few naysayers tried to cast gloom.



You could call them a Debbie Downer

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It is a slang phrase which refers to someone who frequently adds bad news and negative feelings to a gathering, thus bringing down the mood of everyone around them.

It's also a character from Saturday Night Live, portrayed by Rachel Dratch.

  • 3
    Also 'Negative Nancy'.
    – Ketura
    Jul 6, 2016 at 16:56
  • Although it's since passed into the common idiom, I believe the character originated the term --at least, I don't personally recall ever hearing it used prior to the character becoming popular. Jul 6, 2016 at 19:23
  • @Chris Sunami - I believe you may be right about that, although it does seem to have been obscurely used in the late 1970s/early 1980s: books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Justin
    Jul 6, 2016 at 20:42
  • Also (these are my personal creations) Karen Killjoy and Becky Buzzkill.
    – nelomad
    Jul 13, 2016 at 16:27


US, informal A person or thing that has a depressing or dispiriting effect
"if you think bad weather at the zoo sounds like a buzzkill, you’re right"


noun A person who deliberately spoils the enjoyment of others
"a few killjoys try to reform the seasonal activities"


noun A person who behaves in a way that spoils others' pleasure, especially by not joining in an activity
"Don’t be a spoilsport, Sidney."


I've always referred to those personalities as "Eeyores," from the Winnie the Pooh character.

enter image description here


Every party has its pooper that's why we invited you,

party pooper, party pooper



Not all of these describe a person directly, but are relevant idioms.


Fig. a dull and old-fashioned person.
"Don't be such an old stick-in-the-mud."
"Some stick-in-the-mud objected to the kind of music we wanted to play in church."

Burst someone's bubbleMacmillan

to end someone’s happiness by making them realize what is happening.
"I hate to burst your bubble, but I don’t think he remembers you."

Put a damper onTFD

Fig. to have a dulling or numbing influence on something.
"The bad news really put a damper on everything."
"The rainy weather put a damper on our picnic."

Rain on someone's paradeMacmillan

to do something to stop someone enjoying something good that is happening to them

Upset the applecartTFD

to cause trouble, especially by spoiling someone's plans.
"I don't want to upset the applecart now by asking you to change the date for the meeting."

  • 1
    I especially like the suggestions "don't rain on my parade" or "don't burst my bubble" for the OP's example, since they don't rely on calling the other person a name. In the same vein would be quit harshing my mellow (or buzz, etc.).
    – 1006a
    Jul 7, 2016 at 20:31
  • 1
    In England we have the phrase: to piss on one's chips e.g. "Why're you always coming in 'ere pissin' on people's chips John? It's bang out of order!" Jul 7, 2016 at 23:04

misery guts, though that might be a Northern England thing. When I was younger vinegar tits was also common (from a character in Australian soap Prisoner Cell Block H.)


My group of friends used to call these people 'fun-sponges'.

Someone that can show up at the most awesome of parties and just kill the vibe with bad body language, lack of enthusiasm, inability and/or lack of desire to enjoy themselves, all round obstinateness and all in all a total fun-sponge!

  • A fun-sponge a person who absorbs "fun".... I know a (small) number of users on EL&U who could fit that description. :) It's even cited by Urban Dictionary. Thankfully, the definitions are not filled with expletives. urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Fun%20sponge
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 7, 2016 at 5:38

whinge. verb. Complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way: stop whingeing and get on with it! (as adjective whingeing). a whingeing killjoyODD

Husband: You remind me of 'Glum'! All the time whinging. Please stop it and be a little optimistic!; Hey Glum, the only thing you know is how to whinge. Hey Glum, stop being such a whinger

Also its synonyms, e.g. complain, grouse, grouch, grumble, whine, moan, carp, mutter, murmur, whisper; informal-gripe, bellyache, bitch, beef; informal-mither


I always liked Gloomy Gus

a person who is habitually gloomy

Or you could probably even use 'Gloomy Glum' and keep some of your original idiom, an idiomatic portmanteau. Assuming the listener was familiar with the original idiom.



unfriendly and bad-tempered.


full of anger and acrimony


feeling or expressing resentment, disappointment, or anger

getting a bit risky here, but

a big spiky stick up everyone's ____


Try Chicken Little here. I was also thinking of doomsayer but this is probably too strong for your purposes.


Synonisms of pessimistic will do, I suggest downbeat for your context.

  • 4
    synonyms... why not include a link that explains downbeat?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 6, 2016 at 11:33

If they are right but no one believes them, then Cassandra.

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