E.g. I’m in an argument with a friend and I make a strong personal point about my self, or intention and she just says “uh huh” or “right” or "whatever".

Me: “I did it because I want better for you” Her: “yeah, uh huh.”

Basically interjecting disbelief talk backs throughout my argument which is frustrating because I want her to hear and accept what I’m saying but she just pushes away with anger and distrust.

What word would you call that person’s behavior or attitude ?

  • 1
    Do you have other examples? My first inclination on hearing "I did it for you" as an explanation of behavior that needs explaining is always disbelief, so for your existing example I'd be inclined to call the other person "smart" or "intuitive" or "normal".
    – 1006a
    Dec 27, 2018 at 18:39

5 Answers 5


I think that possible words that you are searching for in the first situation are mocking or condescending.

  • @Chappo, here is another person like me. The question was for a word. He gives a normal, conversational answer. Yes, those are words that might work. He assumes people understand how to use the internet or may even know these words already. Good job tyler1, says me. Dec 30, 2018 at 12:36

The person you described is being dismissive with you.

  1. Serving to dismiss.
  2. Showing indifference or disregard: a dismissive shrug.

I recommend you avoid this person, if that is possible. If that is not possible, at least limit your interaction with her or him. Sometimes, however, confronting the person in a calm and reasoned way can "clear the air" and perhaps pave the way for a healthier relationship.


Depending on exactly how it is said, the word you are seeking may contempt, scorn, disdain, or derision.


They are mirroring.

The reply shows they think your statement is insincere.

They are mirroring you with an equally insincere response.

When mirroring, the intent is to trigger in you the same (dismissed, insulted) reaction they felt hearing your statement.

Alternately they are "calling your bluff" by accepting superficially, in word-only, while clearly signaling the opposite. They are mirroring a (false) statement with an equally (false) acceptance.

Nothing has changed in the positions of the argument. The explanation is being deflected. Communication is breaking down. Change communication tactics or step away.


I think the word scoffer may fit.

  • 2
    This isn't a bad start, but it's too short: the system has flagged it as "low-quality because of its length and content." An answer on EL&U is expected to be authoritative, detailed, and explain why it is correct. Can I suggest you edit your answer to provide more information - e.g., add a published definition of scoffer (linked to the source) and perhaps a sample sentence? Dec 28, 2018 at 12:48
  • Yes, I think the official understanding of the purpose of the site does not fit with the way people are using it. Are they aiming for conversational or authoritative? And why should this site want to be loaded with content copied from other sites? Dec 30, 2018 at 12:24
  • I have this problem with every thesaurus question. Probably I should just not answer. Dec 30, 2018 at 12:29
  • The aim is authoritative. If you want "conversational", check out our chat room. And given the nature of our site, references from dictionaries, etymologies and similar reputable sources would be appropriate, no? Dec 30, 2018 at 23:01
  • Ok, then I'll quit Dec 30, 2018 at 23:44

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.