People love to tell other people what to do. It may not be control, so much as trying to help, especially when you've asked for help directly. However, there's a difference between answering someone's question and answering while piling on recommendations the person didn't ask about, and this is what I'm seeking a term for. Advertising and marketing feel similar to me in this vein. In the worst cases this can be overzealous religious followers professing your damnation if you don't follow with them (I think in Christianity they call it "witnessing"). Any which way, it comes across to me as a form of unsolicited advice: I didn't ask for it, so I don't want it; I want to stay focused.

Is there a better term for this than "unsolicited advice"? Also, is there a term for a person who exhibits this kind of behavior frequently?

  • 3
    “Unsolicited advice” is a great way to phrase this. I think you should stick with that. It’s a great turn of phrase on your part.
    – user305707
    Jul 19, 2018 at 17:33
  • 1
    And see english.stackexchange.com/questions/79844/… for words for such people. Jul 19, 2018 at 17:59
  • @NathanM. Much appreciated ☺ I needed something a bit less common / colloquial
    – nikodaemus
    Jul 19, 2018 at 18:50

3 Answers 3


Through diving into the link supplied in the comments, and links thereafter, I have found officious:

: volunteering one's services where they are neither asked nor needed : meddlesomeofficious people who are always ready to offer unasked advice

Which leads me to define unsolicited advice as officiousness. I appreciate this in particular due to its uniqueness, which ensures people will come with less preconceived notions as to what this word means. Also, from the example supplied with the definition, I can see a person fond of officiousness being called meddler.


nosey and busybody. less formal, colloquial names for such person(s).

As in;

Nosey and busybody are names for a person who people insist on giving you help/advice you didn't ask for?

nosy busybody

  • Those are good suggestions but it is probably not clear to the OP what POS those are , how they fit in a sentence
    – Mitch
    Jul 19, 2018 at 19:44
  • @Mitch so edited
    – lbf
    Jul 19, 2018 at 19:58
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    Nosy is an adjective, busybody is a noun: "My aunt is so nosy ; she is such a busybody"
    – Mitch
    Jul 19, 2018 at 20:51

Two words that come to mind are:


marked by aggressive ambition and energy and initiative


designed to replace or conserve human and especially manual labor

  • 2
    Giving excessive unsolicited advice doesn't save labour, if anything it slows the recipient down.
    – nnnnnn
    Oct 10, 2020 at 2:04

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