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Is there a word or an insult for a person who is stubborn?

Usage:

Tiresias is after all the only one that can force Creon, a king and a ____ to see reason


Jade was called a _____ because she continued arguing for three days after she realized her opinion was scientifically wrong.

Connotations:

  • Negative or neutral preferable but not necessary.

Would also prefer a formal word but as long as it's not profanity it should be ok.

I am looking specifically for a noun used to refer to a stubborn person. For example one of the words used to refer to someone who is not bright would be idiot.

  • Hi tenthdoctor, I made some edits to make your noun requirement more apparent. Rollback in case you have any objections – Tushar Raj Jan 27 '17 at 10:46
  • A formal word for stubborn the adjective would be obdurate. No noun comes to mind, though. Strange. – Tushar Raj Jan 27 '17 at 10:56
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    Did you just ask us to help you with a good insult? – tchrist Jan 27 '17 at 13:47
  • @tchrist Not intentionally, but that does not mean that my family and friends should not expect to have to use a dictionary in our next argument. Thanks guys :) – tenthdoctor Jan 30 '17 at 3:41
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Intransigent perhaps.
Dictionary.com also defines it as:

noun: a person who refuses to agree or compromise, as in politics.

  • I'd upvote this answer if I didn't have to click on the link to get M-W's definition of the word. – J.R. Jan 27 '17 at 10:10
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    My upvote is reluctant too. The word is primarily an adjective, and is rarely used as a singular noun. Though it is technically correct. – Tushar Raj Jan 27 '17 at 10:37
  • @J.R I agree MW primarily defines it as an adjective but scrolling down it defines it as a noun too. Same with idiot, MW writes it as an adjective. I had to mention this contradiction in answer. Puzzles me. – Nikki Jan 27 '17 at 12:22
  • @Nikki - I wasn't challenging your answer; I was merely saying I think it could be improved if you included the definition, rather than simply post the word with a link (much as you did with the dictionary.com definition). – J.R. Jan 27 '17 at 15:43
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For a noun, I like recalcitrant

noun 1. — a person with an obstinately uncooperative attitude.

1

The only words that I can think of, apart from the aforementioned obstinate, that are closest in meaning to the adjective stubborn are wayward and uncompromising. But it looks like you're looking for a noun. In that case, the only thing that comes to mind is mule.

Example:

He is as stubborn as a mule.


Here are two more:

maverick - an unorthodox or independent-minded person
nonconformist - a person whose behavior or views do not conform to prevailing ideas or practices

I think maverick might work. Seems to be the only word that perfectly fits your sentence about Creon.

Tiresias is after all the only one that can force Creon, a king and a maverick to see reason.

Jade was called a mule because she continued arguing for three days after she realized her opinion was scientifically wrong.

  • Are there any nouns that you could think of/exist? – tenthdoctor Jan 27 '17 at 4:26
  • What nouns? Nouns that mean stubbornness? – Mike R Jan 27 '17 at 4:33
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    That would be a mule. Example: He's stubborn as a mule. – Mike R Jan 27 '17 at 4:53
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    I think you can be a nonconformist without being stubborn. And I'm not sure if mule works without stubborn as a. – Tushar Raj Jan 27 '17 at 10:51
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    I'm afraid nothing will fit the blanks in his sentences exactly. Some rewording is going to be necessary. – Mike R Jan 27 '17 at 10:57
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Possibly the old-fashioned word mumpsimus would work for you. One1 of its definitions is

1.1 A person who obstinately adheres to old customs or ideas in spite of evidence that they are wrong or unreasonable. (Oxford Dictionaries)

It's not a common word, and it has a bit of a connotation of the stubborn person being old or set in his/her ways, rather than just purely stubborn.

It's ironically appropriate for your example from the classics, as it is from a story about a priest who mixed up the nonsense word mumpsimus for the actual Latin word sumpsimus but refused to change even after being made aware of the mistake. You can read more about the origins in Wikipedia.

Thus:

Tiresias is after all the only one that can force Creon, a king and a mumpsimus, to see reason


Jade was called a mumpsimus because she continued arguing for three days after she realized her opinion was scientifically wrong.

I think it works very well for your Creon example, since he was old(er) and most Classicists will probably know the term.

It also works somewhat for your second example, since it looks like Jade is sticking to an outdated idea that is factually wrong. However, I would expect a casual audience to be less familiar with the term, and if Jade is a young person the connotations might be a little off. (On the other hand, it sounds kind of insulting all on its own, I think, and if your listeners aren't familiar with the term they can't object to it based on its connotations.)


1 It can also be the idea that is stubbornly retained.

0

In Oxford Living Dictionaries, diehard is listed as a noun meaning:

A person who strongly opposes change or who continues to support something in spite of opposition.

Similarly, the British entry for diehard in The Cambridge Dictionary lists it as a noun meaning:

[S]omeone who is unwilling to change or give up their ideas or ways of behaving, even when there are good reasons to do so.

In spite of these two seemingly relevant definitions, however, the Oxford link specifically states that it is used “often as modifier” and all the examples given in both links seem to confirm this, making it little different, as I see it, from an adjective and perhaps unsuitable for use in your two sentences, especially the first one.

cf: "Jade was called a diehard because she continued arguing for three days after she realized her opinion was scientifically wrong."

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The related word is "obstinate".

word for insult for a person who is stubborn?

None.

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    I'm not even sure what this answer is after the "obstinate" suggestion... – Hank Jan 27 '17 at 4:02
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'bigot' (noun) The Wiktionary defines: "one strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, politics, etc and intolerant of those who differ."

Merriam Webster elaborats: "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance."

Also from the Merriam Webster online:

"Trump Calls Clinton a 'Bigot'

Remarks at a campaign rally in Jackson, Mississippi, send thousands to the dictionary AUG 24, 2016.

The word originally meant “a superstitious religious hypocrite.”

The current definition of bigot is “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.” However, when the word first entered the English language (borrowed from French at the end of the 16th century) it had the meaning of “a superstitious religious hypocrite.”

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Inexorable isn't a dead-on match for the concept, but it's close:

adjective: Incapable of being persuaded, moved, or stopped.

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