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Is there a single word slang or otherwise that can describe

A person who continually overreaches or overestimates their own abilities.

and example usage

"Bob's such a word: He always injures himself."

The closest non-slang term I could find was narcissism, however, this isn't really appropriate. Rather, an expected characteristic for someone with this trait.

In sporting slang, there are several terms:

  • Kook (generic extreme sports, slightly abused in this context)
  • Jerry (in snowsports e.g. "JerryOfTheDay")
  • Tryhard (strictly two words in my opinion)
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  • M-W lists the agent noun overreacher. Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 0:12
  • bonehead? joker? bluffer? big talker?
    – lbf
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 1:10
  • Per your example, the expression "he bites off more than he can chew" is a possibility.
    – Xanne
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 1:39
  • Because there isn't, I can't explain why not. Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 21:04

4 Answers 4

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Q: Is there a single word slang or otherwise that can describe A person who continually overreaches or overestimates their own abilities.

For myself it would depend largely on how and why I was planning to use it.

I've pondered that same question before regarding which word to use, and it seems that after considering presumptuous, impudent and all the other entries in the thesaurus, I always end up using overconfident.

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Conceit

Noun: excessive pride in oneself.

Ex:"he was puffed up with conceit"

Similar: vanity narcissism conceitedness self-love self-admiration self-adulation self-regard egotism egoism egocentricity egomania pride arrogance hubris boastfulness cockiness self-importance immodesty self-satisfaction smugness complacency amour propre big-headedness

https://www.google.com/search?q=coneit&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari

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  • This doesn't really fit the sample sentence from the question. Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 7:41
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Prima donna may come close, Oxford English Living Dictionary defines it as:

A very temperamental person with an inflated view of their own talent or importance.

This may not be exactly what you look for, since it includes the part very temperamental, but the latter part of the definition surely fits.

The rest of this answer mistakenly comes with adjectives rather than a noun, I'll leave it just in case it is of interest. Collins Dictionary defines self-conceited as:

having an excessive sense of one's own importance, abilities and value

Another word to describe it would be overconfident, Collins Dictionary defines it as

excessively confident (British English), or

confident without adequate reason; too confident (American English)

To put the previous definition in context, one of the definitions for confident, according to Collins Dictionary:

If a person or their manner is confident, they feel sure about their own abilities, qualities, or ideas.

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  • The OP test sentence requires a noun.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 1:41
  • @NigelJ thanks for pointing that out, I added a noun which may be suitable.
    – JJJ
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 1:54
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Hubris

exaggerated pride or self-confidence

Source: Merriam Webster

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  • Bob’s such a hubris...
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 2:06
  • is that not grammatically correct? Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 2:12
  • 2
    You can have hubris, you can be accused of hubris, you can display hubris, but you cannot be a hubris.
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 2:16
  • correct me if I'm wrong but hubris can also be defined as dangerous overconfidence Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 2:18
  • 1
    You are not wrong, but you can’t be” a dangerous overconfidence” either.
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 2:20

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