I am looking for a word meaning "a person who asks many questions", with positive connotations (one who is curious about things, which is good). Preferably a noun.
The word preferably should be unambiguous and clear to non-native speakers; preferably a bit humorous, and clearly saying that this person has good qualities, such as curious and eager to learn.
I know such words in other languages: Russian почемучка "a curious child who wants to learn all things and asks his parents many questions" (positive), Spanish preguntón "questioner" (I think neutral).
Context: At a conference, we give several awards. In the audience, there is always somebody who asks questions at all presentations, which is good and shows his/her active involvement and attention. We want to encourage this behavior by giving an award. All other awards are called with nouns:
- Best paper
- Best poster
- Best presentation
so we want to have an award in line with this, like:
- Best why-boy
- Best questioner
- Best inquisitive mind
The award is in a way humorous, so "why-boy / why-girl" would be adequate (if I get right that it has positive connotations), but having the word gender-dependent is not convenient. "Questioner" does not seem to have too positive connotations (and is not humorous enough). Then "inquisitive mind" seems to be the best option, but it is too long and not quite correct ("best mind"? "most inquisitive"?).
This is also why I need a word that is unambiguous (to avoid misunderstanding!) and easy to understand by non-native speakers: most of the attendees of the conference are non-native speakers, so a too fancy word can confuse them more than encourage.