I'm looking for a word that means compulsively or habitually unclean people; those sort of like hoarders, but not specific to that compulsion.

I could not find anything in a thesaurus that suited what I was looking for.

  • Now that you're here, please provide a sample sentence or two that we can drop the needed word into. It's a site rqmt. for this sort of question. Oh, and what did the thesaurus list and why don't they serve?
    – Phil Sweet
    Apr 1, 2018 at 2:48
  • "filthy" adj or "filth" get to the point although almost all the dirty sorts of words have expanded into a figurative sense that means moraly repulsive more than un-hygenic thesaurus.com/browse/scumbag
    – Tom22
    Apr 2, 2018 at 1:12

3 Answers 3


slovenly (adj)
sloven (noun)

n a person who is habitually negligent in appearance, hygiene, or work
Collins English Dictionary

(especially of a person or their appearance) untidy and dirty.
Oxford Living Dictionaries


Oxford Living Dictionaries

Merriam-Webster Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary, Collins Dictionary, Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, and dictionary.com all use the word "slovenly" in the definition of slob.


Feral (or a synonym) might convey the idea. Of course, filthy, unhygienic, chronically malodorous, etc.

To broaden the answer:

  1. Consider describing these people through the reactions of the clean people around them. People shy away from them, hold their breath, look askance, and so on.

  2. It is OK to use a phrase rather than a word. if this feels like a hangup, like 'not what you want' - think of it in these terms: Make the bug a feature. Instead of that one word that you want but doesn't exist, and that awkward phrase that isn't quite there, ... Consider a nice long description. Sentences. Describing these people. Really put us in the gutter with them.

  3. If this is a foreign planet, you can create a word. This can be fun, because you can play with English etymology (assuming you are writing in English). Derive an in-world word from a description. I'd begin with words like 'cretin' or 'barbarian' even though those are wrong, add in some filth, some sense of chronic, and with those words and their synonyms I'd coin a new word for my world.

  • 1
    I've checked about 6 dictionaries and none (with one exception) mention anything to do with being dirty or unhygienic. They emphasise savage or undomesticated. The exception I found which does mention words like "dirty" is one marked specifically as Australian slang.
    – Zebrafish
    Apr 1, 2018 at 7:11

Could be controversial, but maybe "untouchable".

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