Consider the following scenario, and bear with me because this is pretty abstract because I don't know the best phrasing for the situation -- hence the question.

Person A is a user of a computer software application, and Person B is a helpdesk employee for the computer application.

Person A: "Help me! The application isn't working!"

Person B: "Are you sure you are doing *basic thing*?"

Often, Person A will respond like so:

Person A: "I was already doing *basic thing*! It just started working. It must have been a random glitch. Bye."

I've had similar conversations in non-IT related topics, and I'm sure you have too.

Now there are two possibilities.

  • It really was a random glitch. (Rogue gamma ray flipping a bit? Act of god?)
  • They lied about already doing *basic thing*.

What phrase or expression could you say Person A did, or that Person A acted in what way?

I could think up PEBKAC and ID10T, but those aren't as specific as I'd like and are limited to an IT / computer crowd. Would you say they were lying about something simple as to not appear dumb? That's still kind of a mouthful and I've never heard it before.

Related questions that may help spark ideas are this and this.

  • 3
    You need to clarify that you are asking solely about the lying scenario (assuming that you are!), for which a relevant but not exactly matching common expression is saving face. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 27 '17 at 15:14

There isn't a one-or-two-word term for this scenario, but it's basically when someone's ego gets in the way.

 Hope this helps, D
  • 1
    Your response makes a reasonable case for how to understand a person's motive for lying about having made a basic check despite not really having done so—but the person who posted the question wants to know what the behavior is called, not why it happens. Consequently, your response doesn't answer the posted question and would be more suitable as a comment. To leave comments on this site, you must first accumulate 50 reputation points by posting upvoted questions and answers—actual answers, not comments posted in answer boxes—at which point you''ll be able to comment on any post on the site. – Sven Yargs May 31 '18 at 1:22

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