4

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

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    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
  • 1
    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
  • 1
    Erm, @Xanne The OP took pains to avoid gender issues : "one of the people", "they", "them" "they are"... – Cascabel Jun 5 at 20:34
1

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

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.