My colleagues and I have been talking about whether or not "effervescent" is a pejorative when used to describe someone.

To provide context, one of the people who works in my office is a high-energy and bubbly person but they aren't flighty or whimsical (they're grounded, well-adjusted). We've been trying to find the best adjective to describe them and wondering whether people thought effervescent sounded vaguely insulting.

Also, anyone have any good recommendations? Thanks!

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jason Bassford, JJJ, Chappo, Cascabel, Edwin Ashworth Jun 11 at 19:07

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    As a side note, I have heard "effervescent" applied as a polite euphemism to someone with frequent flatulence, but I can't verify whether the usage is common or widespread. Excluding that usage, I would think "effervescent" was fine. – TaliesinMerlin Jun 3 at 19:03
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    Without a doubt, "effervescent" would be taken as a positive characteristic. Such people are often a joy to be around. – Cascabel Jun 3 at 20:57
  • @cascabel I don’t think it’s always positive. See my comments on the answer, which I DV’d. – Xanne Jun 5 at 5:18
  • @Xanne Hhmmnn...maybe this Q is mainly POB. – Cascabel Jun 5 at 15:24
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    Erm, @Xanne The OP took pains to avoid gender issues : "one of the people", "they", "them" "they are"... – Cascabel Jun 5 at 20:34

Most dictionaries, as Collins, define effervescent with a positive connotation:

If you describe someone as effervescent, you mean that they are lively, entertaining, enthusiastic, and exciting. [approval]

  • ...her winning smile and effervescent personality. America is the most intellectually, artistically and politically effervescent of nations.
  • Very odd to characterize a nation as having a facial expression. France’s peevish pout, Norway’s frightening frown? I suspect the quote is a rewrite that originally referenced pop culture and citizens, not the country. – Xanne Jun 4 at 3:24
  • My sense is that effervescent, like feisty, is a word more easily applied to women than men, and is a way of not taking a woman seriously; and thus risks being pejorative. – Xanne Jun 4 at 3:27

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