1

Someone or something you have heard a lot about. Not really a widely known person, but a friend of a friend or a local person (from your school/workplace/..). A thing you have discussed before, but is not well-known to outsiders.

Similar question: Looking for a word to describe someone who is famous to a small group of people

Cult hero from above question does NOT apply, and the best fit is the awkward and nondescript demicelebrity.


In my experience, people tend to colloquially use infamous with that sense (cf. The Infamous Swoosh) even though this does not match the dictionary definition.

infamous: well known for some bad quality or deed

I think peeps use infamous because they think of the word famous, but would feel silly using famous (the object in question has a more limited sort of "fame"). Familiar is close but not quite specific and expressive enough.


Contrived example:

I can't wait to meet your son Logan! I've heard so much (good stuff) about him! He's ________ [= well-known to me].

Actual examples from me texting:

> Me: https://68.media.tumblr.com/0dc47d322a9f8615dada2510ce522d20/tumblr_ojpmf5nYc41uy57v5o1_400.jpg
> Them: lol, I thought about the fast-food chains first, too!
> Me: i thought about Domains in the context of haskell
> Me: the infamous 'Dom' chain >_>

> [talking about modular smartphones]
> Me: that black guy from yesterday even has a video on them
> Me: next to techaltar's infamous video on them

What would be a better fit in this situation? Or am I stuck with demi-famous?

  • local/minor/niche celebrity, or someone locally famous could be described as a "local identity". – user252684 May 28 '18 at 21:38
  • Logan is highly-regarded. – jxh May 29 '18 at 23:03
  • The never-ending 'Dom' chain. – jxh May 29 '18 at 23:05
  • Wouldn't you use viral for a video, even if it wasn't really that famous? – jxh May 29 '18 at 23:08
4

If I knew somebody wasn't famous objectively, but I kept hearing about them from people I met, I might say that—within my social group at least—they were ubiquitous.

existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : widespread · a ubiquitous fashion

seeming to be seen everywhere

In other words, not necessarily famous, but still the "talk of the town."

  • The best I could come up with was 'notorious' which wasn't quite correct. I think you've got it. – Nigel J May 28 '18 at 10:53

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