What I'm looking for is a noun describing someone confused and awkward as a result of trauma.

The word should replace MAN in the following sentence:

He's no longer the floundering MAN I remember from the day of the accident: his eyes are focussed and determined, his gestures commanding.

This would be similar to the noun "coward" describing someone who lacks courage.

Is there such a word for someone who is confused or insecure?

Also, the one answer offered ("wallflower") perfectly describes someone who is awkward, but not in this context (not related to trauma). I need something more formal, a noun for a person traumatised rather than shy.

  • I can’t think of a good one, but your question reminds me of when a former coworker was asking about folks in the office. We all chuckled when he asked, “What about Dan? Is Dan still a quivering mass of insecurity?"
    – J.R.
    Oct 19, 2018 at 23:21
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    In your question title you ask for "confused" but then in the question ask for "coward" and "lacks courage", then "confused" again, then "traumatised" and "shy". I'm sorry if this is my fault but I'm not understanding which aspect you wish to mean, or is it both? Also, do you mean "PS" instead of ETA? I only know ETA to mean "estimated time of arrival", which sounds like placing or serving an order. If you mean to say all of "shy", "confused" and "traumatised" it sounds like like a case PTSD. I'd call them a "wreck".
    – Zebrafish
    Oct 20, 2018 at 2:38
  • @Zebrafish I was confused by "ETA" as well. I looked it up. See for yourself. (Look at the fourth definition.)
    – user320354
    Oct 20, 2018 at 4:02
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    @HeWhoShallNotBeNamed Wow, that's the first time I've seen that. And a search for it tells me it's not that common. I hope it doesn't take off. This reminds me of the STD/STI pair, except I fell victim to an urban legend, that STD was replaced with STI because of long distance calls. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subscriber_trunk_dialling#/media/…
    – Zebrafish
    Oct 20, 2018 at 4:25
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    I edited your question so all of the important info is in the question and removed the "edit-history" from the post because it is confusing and unnecessary. Hopefully it looks good to you.
    – Laurel
    Oct 22, 2018 at 3:16

2 Answers 2


Try addlepate Defined as

one who is addlepated.

Addlepated according to Merriam Webster is

being mixed up : CONFUSED

A list of synonyms for addlepate is found here. None of them are politically correct however. For example: Moron, imbecile, boob, simpleton.



Here's one definition:

a person who, because of shyness, unpopularity, or lack of a partner, remains at the side at a party or dance.

How about this one:

shrinking violet

a shy or reserved person

look it all up here

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