0

I have a friend who uses the thesaurus all. the. time. and ends up using unnecessary words and looking silly. Is there a word for this kind of person? Or a person who is constantly trying to impress people with their vocabulary?

2

grandiloquent

a lofty, extravagantly colorful, pompous, or bombastic style, manner, or quality especially in language
Merriam-Webster

 

A style or way of using language [which] is complicated in order to attract admiration and attention, especially in order to make someone or something seem important
Cambridge Dictionary

This term is properly supposed to describe the speech itself ("a grandiloquent turn of phrase," "grandiloquent claims"). But I've heard it used to refer to the speaker as well. Cambridge gives one such example:

I do not want to sound grandiloquent about this, but . . .

To be more in line with strictly proper usage, you might say that your friend likes to wax grandiloquent. But since you're not exactly celebrating high-falutin' language in the first place, you might rather just use it to describe him directly.

More general terms to describe someone who puts on airs, though not restricted to how they use language: pompous, pretentious, or ostentatious. That last one, especially, comes to mind when thinking about someone like that.

1

It sounds like your friend is an aspiring vocabulist:

excerpt citing vocabulist Copywriting: Theory and Technique (1959)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.