Is there a term for a well informed person who is not believed, or not listened to, or is even ridiculed?

I do not necessarily mean some one before their time... I am thinking in more general terms.

(I have googled this but the question is too broad and has too many keywords and if I try to narrow it down I lose the original meaning.)

  • They're the voice of reason.
    – Mazura
    Oct 2, 2016 at 0:11
  • Rather than existing answers that imply "prophet" to one degree or another, I would think a more suitable example would be a Galileo or such.
    – mick
    Oct 2, 2016 at 1:23

4 Answers 4


You could try Cassandra:-

  1. Greek Mythology A daughter of Priam, the king of Troy, endowed with the gift of prophecy but fated by Apollo never to be believed.
  2. One that utters unheeded prophecies.

[American Heritage Dictionary]

This would be particularly apposite if the person was something of a pessimist.

  • Good suggestion. William Connor, the journalist, took the pen-name Cassandra.
    – Mick
    Oct 1, 2016 at 10:54

They are [like] a prophet in his own land, which is based on a Bible quote - Mark 6:4.

A prophet is not without honor save in his own country

Words spoken by Jesus to the people of Nazareth, the town where he grew up. They refused to believe in his teaching because they considered him one of themselves and therefore without authority to preach to them.

Note : The expression is now used of anyone whose talents and accomplishments are highly regarded by everyone except those at home.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy


If you take the ridicule and the lack of listening far enough, I like suppressed because it implies that there is something to be feared or avoided by the information the person is bringing forward. If one wants to suppress something, the implication is often that it's true, and one somehow fears or wants to avoid that truth. Therefore, there is both the rejection, denialism and refusal to listen, but at the same time the implication that the person is conveying truth or is "well informed" as you put it in OP.

"This meddlesome man Galileo must be suppressed,” murmured the University fathers as they left the square. “Does he think that by showing us that a heavy and a light ball fall to the ground together he can shake our belief in the philosophy which teaches that a ball weighing one hundred pounds would fall one hundred times faster than one weighing a single pound?"

Galileo and the Leaning Tower of Pisa (2011) by Alberto A. Martínez.

Dr. Stockmann attempts to expose a water pollution scandal in his home town which is about to establish itself as a spa. When his brother, the mayor, conspires with local politicians and the newspaper to suppress the story, Stockmann appeals to the public meeting - only to be shouted down and reviled as 'an enemy of the people'. Ibsen's explosive play reveals his distrust of politicians and the blindly held prejudices of the 'solid majority'.

Description of An Enemy of the People (1882) by Henrik Ibsen.

Suppressed means:

  • Put down by authority or force: subdued.

  • Kept from public knowledge.

  • Stopped or prohibited from publication or revelation.

  • Excluded from consciousness.

  • Inhibited from growth or development.

Merriam-Webster. Adapted, not verbatim.


low man on the totem pole

unsung expert

And here are some related adjectives:

marginalized Definition of marginalize: "to relegate to an unimportant or powerless position within a society or group."



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